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 the first update to the original Guilty Gear X engine. The game debuts
3 new playable characters:
I-no, Slayer and Bridget. Gameplay mechanics, stages, music, and character
abilities have also been tweaked (for the better).
New to the gameplay is "Burst," enabling players to escape from
combos. This idea of "escaping combos" is a controversial one, since
very few other fighting games offer such a thing. On one hand, it gives you a
second chance if your caught in a combo... but Burst can also become a bit
tedious and even annoying if you're the one with the combo advantage. At the end
of the day, I suppose its personal preference whether or not you approve of this
gameplay element. (But in retrospect, the Burst system has stayed with the
series since this installment). Also added 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. Finally, a fifth button was added
for sweep, which feels much more natural than the 2-button sweep from the
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 new installment presented a brand new (and rather badass) anime intro,
along with slick new character artwork.
If you ask me, a great intro and sexy character artwork can go a long way for a
fighting game's "presentation". The PS2 version
is packed with some cool modes, including
an intricate Story Mode featuring tons of fully-voiced dialogue (for every
character in the game)! 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 activate 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 similar to one another... but as always, the
guitar-thrashing insanity gives GGXX its unique sound. Graphically, GGXX
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, the
game is worth trying out for sure.
The mainstream media rated GGXX incredibly well, most reviewers
going completely GAGA over the graphics & large character sprites. Some reviewers even went
all out, calling GGXX"The best 2D fighting game ever"... or claimed it has "the best 2D
animation ever in a fighting game!".....
I like GGXX and all, but I wouldn't go that far.
In my book... "Best Animation" and "Best 2D Fighting Game"
still goes to Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike. MVC2 is also a
contender for the latter.
Of course, it's 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 can also play MVC2 for
hours upon hours (upon years) on end... but never could getting into playing GGXX for even close to as long.
As far as
"animation" goes, 3rd Strike is still ahead of Guilty Gear
by miles. In
fact, GGXX has its fair share of awkward & stiff moments in terms of
animation. Some attacks 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.
Apart from being a bit overrated by the mainstream (especially when considering
some of the other great fighting games of the time), Guilty
Gear XX was a milestone for the series and a classy fighting game all