"If Guilty Gear is known for anything, itís the way it hands the player a series of complex rules and gauges that are unmatched in modern day 2-D fighters. Taking quintessential elements from Segaís unappreciated classic Eternal Champions: Challenge from the Dark Side and merging it with its own distinct style and complexity, Sammy has created a monster. It would be fair to say that GGX2 is one of the most complete 2-D fighters of all time, surpassing anything that former fighting giants C..."
If Guilty Gear is known for anything, itís the way it hands the player a series of complex rules and gauges that are unmatched in modern day 2-D fighters. Taking quintessential elements from Segaís unappreciated classic Eternal Champions: Challenge from the Dark Side and merging it with its own distinct style and complexity, Sammy has created a monster. It would be fair to say that GGX2 is one of the most complete 2-D fighters of all time, surpassing anything that former fighting giants Capcom and SNK could create.
GGX2ís originality slaps you in the face the second you look at the character selection screen. Sure, we have the typical tough fighters like the sword wielding Sol Badguy and the meeker Ky Kyske, but wading through the large cast offers you a handful of bizarre characters that will surely have you scratching your head in disbelief. Take Bridget, a male bounty hunter dressed up in nuns clothing who uses yo-yos and teddy bears as his weapons of choice. Then, we have Zappa, a man who uses the demons that possess him to fight or I-No, a woman who uses her music as a weapon. (Donít laugh, really, just donít. Sheíll wipe the floor with you.)
GGX2 uses a traditional power gauge, which gradually increases after you hit your opponent. When this bar gets pretty full, you can execute special moves that will wipe the floor with your opponent. Thatís standard stuff, I mean, even Super Street Fighter 2: Turbo had that! Where GGX2 really takes the biscuit is with its Tension gauge, overdrive attacks and instant kills. The tension gauge increases with every offence and decreases with any cowardly retreat, allowing you to pull off some really nasty techniques. Overdrive attacks are basically massive moves that consume your energy but smash huge chunks off your opponentís health bar. Finally, instant kills simply allow you to crush your foe in one colossal hit. Be warned, theyíre hard as hell to do but when they work they gift-wrap the victory to you.
The idea of a ďRoman CancelĒ is another one of GGís unique traits. They allow your character to look like he is going to attack but pulls back at the last minute. Pointless? No. In fact, Roman Cancels are probably one of the key elements of GGís uniqueness. Imagine the look on the face of your opponent as he smugly tries to avoid your attack only to find him being slapped silly by another unexpected attack. You can even double bluff your foe with False Roman Cancels, which looks as if they retract but actually continue with the attack. Priceless.
You can use these skills and techniques in the three main modes that are offered to you. The standard arcade mode pits you in a series of battles with other fighters from the cast and the 2P mode, obviously allow you to duke it out with your friends. However, we also have a handful of key modes that make GGX2 shine out from any normal 2-D fighter. Story mode allows you to pick any character and take him/her down a path of battles, interacting with various other characters and eventually meeting up with his/her destiny.
M.O.M and the mission mode feed those who are more technically adept to fighting games and enjoy fighting under new conditions and pulling off sexy combos. M.O.M basically rewards you with more points whenever you pull off a decent combo while mission mode simply makes you fight under specific rules, such as survive in the time limit or defeat your opponent in it. However, fun as these modes may be, they're just something to potter around when you grow bored with the story and arcade modes.
Using a slick anime style and rich colours, GGX2 looks absolutely fantastic. Whether itís the smoked ruins of Jamís burned shop, Maiís boat floating delicately in the sea or the fiery apocalypse surrounding your fighter as he unleashes devastation on his foe, it looks like artwork. The smooth animation of each character as s/he moves, taunts or attacks is unmatched in any 2-D fighter to date.
GGX2 is a perfect amalgamation of tactical 2-D fighting and unrivalled chaos. For those who arenít exactly profound at fighting games, you may want to give this tech-fest a miss and go play something as equally as impressive such as Marvel vs. Capcom 2, but for those who are ready to walk the rigorous road of GGX2, then go out and spend your £10 on an experience you will not forget.
Community review by goldenvortex (February 15, 2006)
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