Game Zone: Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Chaos Bleeds, Virtua Fighter 4 Evolution, Soul Caliber II

By Jae-Ha Kim and Misha Davenport
Chicago Sun-Times
August 29, 2003

SOUL CALIBER II (Namco, T for Teen, Xbox )

If there’s just one 3-D fighting game to own three copies of this summer, it’s “Soul Caliber II.” The game features a playable character unique to each consoles. The GameCube version has Link from the popular “Zelda” video game series, the Xbox has the comic book character Spawn and PlayStation 2 features Heihachi from Namco’s “Tekken” video games. The plot of the game has the various characters duking it out in a host of highly detailed environments for the mythical sword called Soul Edge. Each has 23 playable characters; all boast a handful of special moves, weapons and phrases. There’s also heavy replay value because additional weapons and costumes can be unlocked by earning points in Weapons Master Mode. (Rated: T for teen) –Misha Davenport

VIRTUA FIGHTER 4 EVOLUTION (GREATEST HITS) (Sega, T for Teen, PlayStation 2)

Fast action, cool animation and plenty of options make this one of the best fighting games, bar none. There may be only 15 characters to select from, but thanks to the 1,500 accessory options (hair, clothes, facial features), there seem to be dozens more. Martial-arts fans will enjoy the matches, which incorporate kickboxing, judo and Muay Thai. The arsenal of fighting moves would make Jet Li envious. –Jae-Ha Kim

BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER: CHAOS BLEEDS (Vivendi Universal, T for Teen, Xbox)

Whew–Buffy doesn’t bite. “Chaos Bleeds” is what the last “Tomb Raider” wanted to be: a great puzzle-solving, platform-jumping, fighting game. Based on the cult TV series, the game’s plot is a “lost episode” from season five. The First–the original source of pure evil–has created a dimensional bleed and it’s up to Buffy and the Scoobie gang (Xander, Willow, Spike and Faith) to once again stop the apocalypse. “Chaos Bleeds” essentially sends the TV series–which ended this year after seven seasons–out with another bang. (Rated: T for teen) –Misha Davenport

CHICAGO’S TOP 10 

The hottest new games sold in Chicago on Amazon.com last week: 

1. Madden NFL 2004 – PlayStation 2

2. Enter the Matrix – PlayStation 2

3. Midnight Club II – Xbox

4. Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell    – PlayStation 2

5. Soul Caliber II – Xbox

6. Madden NFL 2004 – Xbox

7. F-Zero GX – GameCube

8. Midnight Club II – PlayStation 2

9. Silent Hill 3 – PlayStation 2

10. Finding Nemo – PlayStation 2

What’s Your Game … SEAN ASTIN? 

“My heart bends toward the real-time strategy games. I’m on the edge of my seat to see what Electronic Arts does with the latest ‘Lord of the Rings’ game.”

Astin’s short film “The Long and the Short of It” can be seen on “The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers” DVD, in stores this  week.

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