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Soul Calibur II unveiled

Gotta have em all?

In one of the cheekiest marketing exercises of all time, Namco revealed today that each console version of its long awaited beat 'em up, Soul Calibur II, will get their own exclusive characters.

The PS2 version gets Tekken's Heihachi Mishima, Xbox will get Image Comics' Spawn [why not Blinx? -Ed], while GameCube owners get Link, of Zelda fame. Meanwhile, another character not available on the arcade version, Necrid, will feature in all three console editions.

The game features an exhaustive (and potentially exhausting) Weapons Master mode, similar to the Edge Master mode featured in Soul Blade, allowing players to acquire new weapons and then use them in the normal game mode. Rather astoundingly, around 200 weapons are said to exist in the mode. Holy shit.

The question is, will the real hardcore fans be able to resist buying all three versions?

The game debuts in Japan on March 27th on all three formats, with the US release in August and European dates still to be announced. EA is expected to publish the Xbox and Cube versions in Europe, while Sony is thought to be handling PS2 duties across the territory - although no announcement has been made as yet.