Soulcalibur 3’s single-player mode is almost unmatched in the fighting game genre thanks to clever additions and asset reuse.
In the world of fighting games, the Soulcalibur series occupies an odd position. It is the best weapon fighter and still reigns supreme as the subgenre’s king today. Even though it plays like Tekken, the face button mechanics are completely original, and smooth movement is given more importance than in most fighting games.
Soulcalibur is viewed by fans as a distinctive and well-designed alternative to other 3D fighting games that do not have any direct rivals. The majority of entries are fun and easy to understand for even casual players, and the series has capitalized on this over time.
Following the launch of Capcom Vs. Namco’s Soulcalibur was the next game in the series to feature notable guests. Even though Heihachi, Link, and Spawn are stuck on different consoles, their selection in Soulcalibur 2 is still legendary.
In contrast, the single-player modes of Soulcalibur are among the best in the genre. They can compete with some of the single-player options in Super Smash Bros., despite not having the production values of a NetherRealm Studios story mode. The Chronicles of the Sword mode in Soulcalibur 3 is one of the best examples that ought to serve as a model for other fighting games.
The greatest strength of Soulcalibur 3 is Chronicles of the Sword
Although Soulcalibur 3 appears to have a few issues, its console port had several significant issues. One was the absence of a genuine guest character other than Xenosaga’s KOS-MOS in the form of custom parts, but a more significant issue affected gameplay.
A console-only bug made it possible to easily cancel animations, which brought competitive players back to Soulcalibur 2. Soulcalibur 3 still holds up well when viewed through a modern lens, despite bugs that make PvP difficult.
It introduced the Create-a-Soul system for creating custom characters, which has become synonymous with Soulcalibur. It also had a deep arcade mode and a large mission mode with a lot of different content.
However, the Chronicles of the Sword side mode may be the best reason to revisit Soulcalibur 3. This unexpected addition to home releases combined fighting gameplay with a strategy RPG in the style of Fire Emblem, serving as a different take on Soulcalibur 2’s Weapon Master mode and the predecessor to SoulCalibur 6’s Libra of Souls.
Unit types with varying strengths could be assigned to custom characters, and they could move through 21 maps, leveling up and acquiring gold, equipment, and skills along the way. Chronicles of the Sword is still a good reason to play Soulcalibur 3 again because it has a stand-alone story and several characters that can be unlocked.
The Rules of Fighting Games: Chronicles of the Sword
There is a school of thought that the most popular fighting games have the most casual appeal due to the intimidating competition. The fighting genre suffers from a lack of additional modes in arcade ports, so games that go beyond the standard Arcade, Versus, and Training modes stand out.
A valuable skill is the ability to find solutions that keep the focus on the core fighting gameplay, which often doesn’t work well with other genres. That is precisely what the Chronicles of the Sword mode of Soulcalibur 3 did.
For a fighting game, a story mode that lasts between five and ten hours and adds simple maps, custom characters, and RPG stats on top of regular gameplay doesn’t sound very impressive. Soulcalibur 3’s single-player mode has the potential to last a lifetime thanks to the clever repurposing of assets and mechanics and simple menu-based gameplay.
Even though Chronicles of the Sword is just another single-player mode in a game with many, it’s not hard to imagine it being expanded into an entire game with more depth and variety.
While Street Fighter 6 brings back the acclaimed Konquest adventure mode from Mortal Kombat Deception, smaller fighting games should look to Soulcalibur for ways to differentiate their single-player content.
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