In the time
following Dizzy's disappearance, the
mysterious Post War Administration Bureau began secretly investigating the Gears
and fighters from previous tournaments for their own needs and ambitions.
Various powers were working in the shadows to gain control of the world, one
being the very creator of the Gears, a mysterious figure known only as
"That Man". Fighters find themselves in a reality beyond their
control, most notably in the manipulative hands of the villainess I-No, who is
revealed to be a servant of That Man for reasons yet unknown.
Quite a cool selection
screen if I do say so.
Guilty Gear XX (also known as Guilty
Gear X2) is an update to the original Guilty Gear X. The game debuts
3 new playable characters:
I-no, Slayer and Bridget. Gameplay mechanics, stages, music, and character
abilities have also been noticeably tweaked. New to the mechanics is the "False Roman
Cancel," used for
offensive pressure or mix-up. It requires 25% tension, and can even be performed
if the move doesn't hit.
For the record, Testament
is a dude (yes, the one in the dress). ;)
Even though GGXX is merely an update to Guilty
Gear X, the game presented an all new badass anime intro and slick new character artwork!
If you ask me, a great intro and great character art goes a long way for a
fighting games "presentation". The PS2 version
is also packed with some cool extras and exclusive modes, including
a deep Story Mode containing tons of dialogue. All of the spoken words also
feature complete with voice-overs for
every character. Character voice acting is in Japanese (as it should be) and is fantastic
for the most part! There are also several different paths you can take during story
mode which enable alternate character confrontations, slightly altering
each character's story.
Guilty Gear's trademark metal-themed soundtrack is a "bit much" in some cases,
as many stage BGMs end up sounding very very similar... but as always, the
guitar-thrashing insanity gives the game a
unique sound. Graphically, the game still impresses and is nothing short of a work
of art in motion. The 3 new character designs and their ultra cool animations really add
that extra "wow" factor. The characters of Guilty Gear have some of the wildest moves ever seen in a fighting
game, period. Whether or not it suits your individual fighting game tastes, it's
worth trying out for sure.
The mainstream media rated GGXX incredibly well, most reviewers
going GAGA over the graphics & larger sprites. Some reviewers even went
all out and called
it "the best 2D fighting game ever"... or claimed "has the best 2D
animation ever in a fighting game! weeeee!!!"..... And I bet you they said all of
that before even learning how to play it. Mainstream
reviewing sites suck.
As much as I like GGXX and the
characters, I wouldn't go that far. Best 2D fighting game? Best
animation? Uhh... Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike anyone?
Thank you. It's really personal preference when judging how good a fighting
game's gameplay engine is... and I prefer the smoother, sturdier, more
traditional feel of SFIII: 3rd Strike. I'm also a big fan of MVC2,
which I also like to play much more than GGXX.
Seriously, as far as
"animation" goes, 3rd Strike is still ahead by miles. In
fact, GGXX has its fair share of awkward/stiff moments in terms of
animation... some moves just look off, and still don't really say
"ouch" when they connect either. There's also not a whole lot of
impact shown when fighters hit the ground, which in my book is an important part
of a fighting game's animation grade.
In closing, Guilty
Gear XX is a quality fighting game nonetheless, but a bit too extreme and
"air-dash happy" for my tastes. In terms of "presentation,"
however, Guilty Gear XX is easily one of the leaders of the era.