Here is a series where all the glory lies in its past. If you point out any game in the SoulCalibur fighting lineup that fans will decide is the absolute best, you'll get an even split between the Dreamcast original and its follow-up, SoulCalibur II.
SoulCalibur III, IV and V all have their fans and were obviously made by people who know how the fighting genre works. When it comes down to popularity and recognition, though, the previous two have it where it counts.
Which is why bringing SoulCalibur II to the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 is such a great decision. Namco announced that the HD Online version will be based on the PlayStation 2 build of the game, meaning guest character Tekken's Heihachi will be available on both consoles.
In the original run, the Xbox version came packed with Spawn, and Nintendo fans lucked out with Link on the GameCube version. No comment has been made on whether these two characters would return in the HD port, but something tells me that Nintendo wouldn't be happy with Link appearing on a rival's console.
Namco already attempted to port SoulCalibur to Xbox LIVE Arcade in 2008, but results were mixed. Fans still stand by the gorgeous Dreamcast version as superior. Luckily, we've come a long way in understanding the ins and outs of these machines in the five years that have passed, so Namco can bring the goods.
The game has been scheduled for release in the fall. I've always wanted to jump back into the series, but have never found myself able to sink hours into it like I did back in those original games. I've got my nostalgia bubbling to give this a try, but even more so, I'm tempted to seek out the GameCube version and play as Link.
Namco has confirmed a release for the fall, giving me a few months to make my decision. If you need any further proof about SoulCalibur's greatness in the past, try this blast from the past on for size.