A quick blast has devolved into an afternoon's tournament, and the hands reaching out for the loser's joypad still aren't dwindling: proof then, that Soul Calibur's gameplay is as addictive as ever, as Namco's fighting classic hits XBLA.
The weapon-based combat of SC gives it a unique edge over other beat 'em ups, as the weight and range of the character's chosen weapon dictates their play style, and with a character rooster offering 19 fighters, it means weeks - if not months - of dedicated play to learn them all.
The game includes most of the added game modes that made the original home version such a hit. Versus, Team Battle, Survival, Extra Survival, Time Attack... but sadly there are two omissions.
The lack of Xbox Live multiplayer sucks, as does the absence of the Mission Mode. It gave the single player game added depth (fights had bizarre rules, such as fighting on quicksand or infecting your character with a swift-acting poison.) but was dropped to fit the game within the XBLA size restriction.
But even without those, this is still one of the best games now available on XLBA. Invite a few friends and get ready to lose hours of your life. Under seven quid for one of the best one-on-one fighters since Street Fighter II? Bargain!
The Soul still burns as brightly as ever