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Guilty Gear X2

Developer: Arc System Works | Publisher: Sammy Studios
Players: 1 to 2 Player Game | Release Date: 02/03/03 | Genre: Fighting

Everyone knows that there are good fighters, and then there are great fighters. Well, there are crap ones too, but֠I digress. Fortunately, the latest title in the Guilty Gear series finds itself firmly in the 짲eatategory. Not since SF II hit the arcades for the first time have I been so attached to a 2D fighter. Guilty Gear X2 is truly a great game, and should be considered a mandatory purchase if you're a fan of the genre.

To begin with, the game offers you a healthy selection of fighters to choose from, and more than enough gameplay modes to keep you occupied for hours on end. There's the standard arcade mode, a story mode with multiple endings for each character, a mission mode, a survival mode, and a medal mode; not to mention the various two player scenarios you can get into. Plus, there's even an art gallery that keeps track of all the endings you've unlocked and a few gorgeous videos as well. The CPU controlled opponents get steadily more challenging as you progress through the ranks, and usually, the final battle is fairly tough, especially if you're new to the game. I highly recommend polishing your skills in the training mode if you haven't played a 2D fighter for awhile. There is just a ton of stuff to do here, and believe me, I've got the blisters to prove it!

The gameplay itself is as deep as you're willing to make it. Casual players can pick up the controller and have a good time, but they won't see everything the game has to offer, or even anywhere close to it. The more ambitious players can spend a lot of time learning character moves, creating devastating combos, and learning how to counter properly. The characters in the game have a wide variety of fighting styles, so players can find a character that best suits their particular style of play.

From a visual standpoint, the game takes things to a whole new level. The anime styled fighters have been extremely well done with great animation and some really flashy maneuvers. However, the artists also did a fantastic job when designing the backgrounds. Long gone are the days of static fighting environments with little to no movement. The areas in Guilty Gear X2 are alive and bustling with activity, as well as diversity. Some are more peaceful, while others depict large human skulls and ominous castles. Some even contain elements of both. One stage in particular looks like something out of Piglet's Big Movie with bright green grass and a beautiful tree dwelling. But, if you look closer, you can see a group of demonic creatures sitting around a camp fire oogling at you from the television screen. The contrast is sharp, but it works better than you can imagine. It is quite chilling when you notice it for the first time.

The audio in the game is made up of heavy metal music that doesn't really jump out at you, but definitely doesn't hurt the game either. Actually, it fits with the overall theme of the game nicely and adds to the action and excitement on screen. The character voices are in Japanese, but it sounds more natural that way anyhow; subtitles are the name of the game here.

From start to finish, Guilty Gear X2 is an amazing experience; it's the total package and then some. The game offers so much that it's almost ridiculous. Oh who am I kidding? It is ridiculous!! Four new fighters have been added to the roster, and you can bet that there are a few hidden characters as well! The rewards are definitely there for those willing to invest the time, do yourself a favor and make this the next game you play on your PS2.

By Ryan Schaefer - 04/07/03
ESRB Details: Blood, Mature Sexual Themes, Violence

Screenshots for Guilty Gear X2