Fighting gamers usually fall into one of two extreme groups. The first are the button-mashers: the guys who play the game mainly to see what cool moves they can get the characters to do by madly tapping on the controller. Then there are the button-memorizers: the guys who know every special move for their favorite characters and know how to string together insane combinations on their unsuspecting button-masher opponents.

Many fighting games skew gameplay to appeal to only one of these groups, either through a simple fighting system with little depth (Super Smash Bros. Melee) or an overly complicated system, inaccessible to new players (Virtua Fighter 4).

Namco’s Soul Calibur II for Playstation 2, Xbox and GameCube, however, strikes a balance that will likely keep both mashers and memorizers happy.

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