It's the 20th anniversary of once wonderful fighting game series Soul Calibur. And so to mark the occasion publisher Bandai Namco has released a new Soul Calibur Pachislot game in Japan.
Namco designers responsible for sketching out Soul Calibur's famously buxom female brawlers are governed by a strict set of chest measurements, game director Daishi Odashima has revealed.
Daisuke Uchiyama, chief producer at Namco Bandai and a man best known for is work on the Dragon Ball Z games, has confirmed that a fourth instalment in the Soul Calibur series is on the way.
That's according to GameDaily.com, who got the chance to sit down with Uchiyama for a chat.
Apparently he said he'd love to see members of the Tekken or Soul Calibur development teams working on a DBZ game - but they're a bit busy at the moment, what with having to produce Tekken 6 and Soul Calibur IV.
For many of us, the SoulCalibur series represents the pinnacle of beat-'em-ups. Residing in a satisfying niche between depth and accessibility, it's one of the few examples in the often wilfully hardcore genre that doesn't require a daunting level of expertise to enjoy. Namco seems to go further with every incarnation to reward the fans with a bewildering amount of extra content, new characters and modes, yet still delivers a game that even newcomers to the scene can get straight into. In almost every sense, version three of this fantastic series continues this fine tradition.
Given the universal acclaim of 2003's revered sequel, the only thing left for Namco to do was take the series online. In many ways, that was the only important element missing from the package, yet Namco has curiously decided to spurn that golden opportunity with version three, choosing, instead, to beef up the single-player content in ways that not everyone has been particularly receptive to.
Even more bizarrely, the multiformat approach brought in with SoulCalibur 2 has been axed, with Sony presumably passing a large money hat to its Japanese friends to ensure PS2 exclusivity this time around. And with no arcade version either, this is the only opportunity fans will get to sample the latest evolution of the classic series.
Namco's weapons-based beat-'em-up extravaganza, Soul Calibur III, will be released in Japan on November 24th, according to Famitsu. That's a pretty much a whole month later than the US and European release for the PlayStation 2 title. Namco [hearts] j00.
As more details of the characters in PS2-exclusive Soul Calibur III emerge, a new trailer for the game is now available for download from Eurofiles.
The trailer features game footage plus an interview with producer Hiroaki Yotoriami, who describes SCIII as "a totally new experience" in the video.
"This is probably the finest group of developers Namco has ever assembled," he says.
Following Namco's recent announcement that Soul Calibur III will be a PS2 exclusive, producer Hiroaki Yotoriyama has now revealed that the game will not offer online play.
Sony has announced that the third instalment in the Soul Calibur series will only appear on PS2, confirming reports that Xbox and GameCube owners will miss out.
We're promised that Soul Calibur III will offer "exhilirating sword-fighting action" and "profound" martial arts, complete with the obligatory improved graphics and sound effects.
A Character Creation mode will allow players to customise their own fighter, selecting weapons, gender and occupation, and there are also three new characters to choose from.
The third instalment in the Soul Calibur series will be hitting the shelves this autumn, according to a report in US magazine GamePro. And, unlike its predecessor, Soul Calibur III is set to be a PS2 exclusive.
The game will feature 25 fighters, including three new ones. But most interestingly, you'll be able to create and customise your own character, selecting their gender, weapons and even occupation.
New modes are said to include 'Soul Arena' and 'Museum', with the latter offering a look back at the history of the series. And possibly a gift shop selling postcards and pencil sets.