The same, yet different
If you only own one of the current game systems, then the decision on which version to pick up is a simple one. Things become difficult if you own more than one system. Each version of Soul Calibur II has its own unique draws with no clearly defined winner.
Die-hard Tekken players, those who have mastered Heihachi especially, might lean towards the PS2 version. The Soul Edge series have always been about weapons combat, so it is quite odd to see Heihachi duking it out with his fists. Strangely, Heihachi is a very strong character due to his massive string of combos. Another thing the PS2 has going for it is the controller. When I play fighting games that require discrete directional movements and motions, I prefer digital over analog. The PS2’s d-pad is in the primary position (as opposed to the secondary positions on the GameCube and Xbox controllers), making it the most comfortable controller to use for Soul Calibur 2. To add in a little extra incentive, Namco’s packed-in a special demo disc featuring playable demos, game trailers and game saves for other Namco titles. The demo disc is a nice little bonus, but picking up the PS2 version solely because of that bonus would be like buying a candy bar for the shiny wrapper.
Heihachi went nuts with the hairgel
Missing: huge red cape
Comic world mogul Todd McFarlane lent his design skills to Namco to create Necrid, who is available on all three systems. McFarlane’s crowning creation is Spawn, and he’s the exclusive character on the Xbox. Since the Xbox’s main audience is in North America, it didn’t matter that the Xbox version featured an exclusive character with limited appeal in Japan. While Spawn isn’t a videogame icon, those who have been into the Image comics will find the Xbox bonus character to be quite compelling. Unfortunately, Spawn doesn’t have the use of his cape or his chains (even though the Xbox would be well suited to handle rendering them), but he does keep his hellish powers and can fire energy projectiles as well as hover. Bonus characters aside, the Xbox is the best version in technical terms. Thanks to its higher-end hardware, the Xbox is able to output a 720p signal and 5.1 digital sound to those who have the equipment.
Spawn loses the cape for improved aerodynamics