Guilty Gear X2
Game Info
Platform(s)
Playstation 2
Publisher
Sammy
Developer
Arc System Works
Genre
Fighter (2D)
Official Website
ESRB Rating
Blood, Mature Sexual Themes, Violence
 
Grade
The Good

• Awsome 2D graphics
• Lots of modes
• Great characters

The Bad

• Not quite "User Friendly"
• Poor Practice Mode

 
Grade
A-

In such a short time, Sammy and developer Arc System Works have managed to force themselves into a genre that was tyranically monopolized by Capcom and SNK. In Guilty Gear X2, they've managed to take a place among some of the 2D fighter greats, especially by giving gamers some beautiful high-res sprites and a battle system that's fun and challenging. The story behind Guilty Gear is an odd one - the "Gears", man-made super-soldiers, have revolted against their masters. In Guilty Gear X2, you must take one of the odd characters and fight in a tournament to see if your worthy enough to join an order set to fight the Gears. On top of that, every character has their own back-story to be explored in the Story Mode.

Guilty Gear X2 presents a gameplay that isn't too far removed from Street Fighter, except a number of elements changed to keep GGX2 from feeling stale. Each character has a variety of punch and kick moves, along with special attacks that can be pulled off in usual methods. If you've player any of the Street Fighters or Samurai Showdown, you'll known a number of the moves to pull off without much trial and error. And, if not, you can always pause the game and look at you selected character's move list.

You'll find the characters tend to walk slowly, but this is remedied with dash moves and the ability to jump (and even double jumps in mid-air). These additional moves can create some fast moving battles with both combatants jumping and dashing from one side to another while throwing tons of attacks. Throw in a ton of explosive attacks and you can have some impressive battles to perform an show off at the same time.

Packed with tons of modes, Guilty Gear X2 gives players a lot to do. There's an Arcade Mode, Story Mode (where the story is told through still frames of the characters talking), Survival Mode, Mission Mode (where each fight has different limits and goals), and a M.O.M. (Medal of Millionares) Mode, which rewards the player for pulling of impressive moves during the game.

"But, how's the fighting?" 2D fighter fans will be pleased with the depth of the gameplay. But, if you have friends over, GGX2 tends to not be as "User Friendly" as other games. While you can get away with button mashing, you'll find yourself getting schooled by anyone who knows how to play the game. You can block attacks, but this weakens your Block Gauge, which means you'll take on more damage the more you block. On top of that, most will find stringing a series of combos together to be a bit more challenging here and even less rewarding as the more hits you land in a combo seems to equal less damage. Add in a poor Practice Mode and the uninitiated may not enjoy this right off the bat.

Capcom take note: The next 2D fight you make must have the high-res character sprites that Guilty Gear X2 has. Characters sprites are wonderfully designed and animated well. There aren't any low-res edges and missing frames of animation here. And, on top of some nicely illustrated backgrounds, 2D fighter fans are going to be treated to some wonderful visuals. The only draw-back might be that when the fighting gets furious, things can get a little confusing (especially when both players are pulling off flashy moves).

Audiowise, Guilty Gear X2 provides an interesting twist. Each fights is adorned with the heavy metal soundtrack. After looking at a few of the cast's character names (Testament, Slayer, Eddie, Axl Low), you'll find the source of inspiration for the 80s/90s inspired soundtrack that, while not as good as the original material, still gives players something different then the standard. Voiceacting purists will be pleased that the Japanese voice acting remains intact.

Looking for a new 2D fighter? Look no further. Seriously. Arc Systems Works has created a fighter that may borrow elements from the rest of the genre, but they've managed to carve enough originality and style to make GGX2 standout in a genre in dire need of some fresh blood.

- - Kinderfeld

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