Guilty Gear Isuka

REVIEWGuilty Gear: Isuka takes the Guilty Gear X series away from its roots and into an entirely new direction, featuring "simultaneous 4-player fighting" for the first time. Along with the new gameplay style comes the debut of a new playable character, A.B.A, and an all new (and disturbingly ugly) boss, Leopaldon. Isuka also features all new music tracks, backgrounds, and an entertaining color edit mode on the home versions.


Sol even looks confused about how to play this game.


The main difference between Isuka and all the previous versions of Guilty Gear is most definitely (and unfortunately) the gameplay mechanics. I use the word "unfortunately" because quite simply, Isuka doesn't play nearly as smoothly as previous installments. The main flaw is that players have to manually "turn" using R1 to turn (by default).

Manually having to turn around to face your opponent in a 2D fighting game???   ...yeah, it's pretty clunky. Manual turning is unfamiliar and annoying because "auto-targeting" is a staple in every single fighting game to date. It works "alright" in a 2 player battle, but the manual turn becomes a huge problem when playing against the computer AI, which has a laughably ridiculous advantage in turning! It's completely unfair. The new fighting engine also features a foreground and a background (much like in SNK's classic Fatal Fury series).


What the hell's even goin' on?!?


The single-player frustration continues with the new GG Boost mode... a novel idea that borrows its side-scrolling inspiration from classic arcade games like Final Fight. Boost could have been a terrific addition to help fill the void when not playing the regular modes, if not for its need to use the damn turn button once again. Why should you have to manually flip yourself in the other direction in a side scrolling beat-em-up?!? It just doesn't make any sense. All in all, Boost Mode is a decent extra mode if you can get a hold of the controls, but still seems rushed and leaves a lot to be desired... it's also very, very repetitive if you're playing by yourself.


Page Updated: October 27th, 2021
Developer(s): Arc System Works
Publisher(s): Sammy Corporation
Designer(s): Daisuke Ishiwatari
Artwork by: Daisuke Ishiwatari
Platform(s): Arcade, PlayStation 2, Xbox, PC
Release Date(s): 2004                                    Arcade
July 29th, 2004              PS2
Nov. 2nd, 2004              PS2
Dec. 16th, 2004             Xbox
Nov. 28th, 2005             Windows '98
Jan. 2014                         Steam
Characters Sol Badguy, Ky Kiske, Millia, Chipp, May, Jam, Johnny, Baiken, Potemkin, Dr. Baldhead, Axl, Anji, Venom, Dizzy, Testament, Zato-1, Justice, Kliff, Slayer, Bridget, I-no, Zappa, Robo Ky, Leopaldon, A.B.A

Featured Video:

Related Games: Guilty Gear, Guilty Gear X, Guilty Gear X Advance, Guilty Gear XX, Guilty Gear X2 #Reload, Guilty Gear XX Slash, Guilty Gear Judgment, Guilty Gear XX Accent Core, Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus, Guilty Gear Xrd -SIGN-, Guilty Gear Xrd -REVELATOR-, Blazblue, Hokuto No Ken, Sengoku Basara X, Rumble Fish 2

Gameplay Engine

 5.0 / 10

Story / Theme

 6.0 / 10

Overall Graphics

 7.5 / 10


 8.0 / 10

Music / Sound Effects

 6.5 / 10


 6.0 / 10

Art Direction

 8.0 / 10


 9.0 / 10

Options / Extras

 7.5 / 10

Intro / Presentation

 6.0 / 10

Replayability / Fun

 3.5 / 10

"Ouch" Factor

 7.0 / 10


 8.5 / 10


 5.8 / 10

 Review based on PS2 version     


Final Words:

Ask any Guilty Gear player what their least favorite Guilty Gear game is... every one of their answers will be the same (unless they erased this game from their memory, entirely). Isuka probably wouldn't have turned out so bad if the controls weren't so absolutely lousy... but the game can be played with some practice. However, a player shouldn't really have to work so hard to control their character.

Besides the introduction of A.B.A... my favorite thing about this "spin-off" installment is the character Color Edit mode. I'm a sucker for Color Edit modes. Most of the time I spent with this game I was creating some pretty cool 2D sprite edits. Too bad that mode didn't return in the later games. Anyhow, this small hiccup in the series was a rarity... as most Guilty Gear releases are fun packages on console.
~TFG Webmaster | @Fighters_Gen