"Transcending history and the world, a tale of soul and swords eternally retold"
Another week and another Namco title from the Playstation era - this time it's Soul Edge and the theme Edge of Soul from the Introduction FMV sequence, as above. It works brilliantly in setting the scene of 1on1 battles between characters from different places and goes some way to introducing the cast and explaining their backgrounds.
Musically however, I found that the track and the way the video was cut was a great way of pumping you up before a match. It's a high BPM rock number with lots of Japanese influences and even a half decent vocal performance thrown in as well. I was never a really good fighting game player, but this title was done with such flair and style that I couldn't ignore it. The customisable weapons, the sidestepping (which Tekken at the time didn't have), the guard mechanics - it was all much deeper to me than the experience I had with Tekken and the speed of some of the rounds reminded me of Battle Area Toshinden. It's no surprise that this game spawned quite so many sequels, although this original has a lot more substance to it I feel.
Given the size of the Playstation disc, there was plenty of space to add additional content on the disc. In fact, the original game only takes up about 30Mb on MAME, so the Playstation version had loads of extra modes, training scenarios, different skins, weapons and even a story mode called Edge Master Mode. The music was also remixed and new versions put in along side the arcade soundtrack, so there is just loads of content there to enjoy. There are plenty of period Japanese-style pieces as well as big-band jazz and electronic numbers and literally something for everyone.