|System: Wii, PS2, PSP||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Arc System Works||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Aksys Games||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: May 12, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Long-time fans will want to know: whats different this time around? For one, characters Kliff and Justice have returned (they were removed in the previous version), as has the difficult Mission mode, the goal of which is usually to beat an enemy while handicapped in various ways, or within a certain time frame. Survival mode has added some RPG elements. And theres a Team Vs. mode, playable against the CPU or another player.
The biggest addition, though, is Story mode, in which players stick with the same character all the way through, learning through narration and between-fight dialogue what makes the character tick (the story continues that of the original Guilty Gear XX). The conversations provide a nice break between the one-round fights, but in the end the mode hits the same brick wall every fighting-game story does: each encounter has to end in fisticuffs, so theres no real way to tell a tale that has any depth or variety. The fact that the voice acting is Japanese-only doesnt help, either, though the English text will enable American gamers to at least follow along.
The other modes all return: Training, Arcade, M.O.M. (the initials stand for Medal of Millionaire; its an easier mode that gives you power-ups to grab when you perform well), and single matches (one- and two-player). Unfortunately, theres no online option, which hurts the game greatly. Fighting games are best played against human opponents, and the inclusion of multiplayer on only the local level makes that impossible for a lot of gamers.
To the games credit, though, its unusually enjoyable to play alone. When the difficulty is set to Normal, the enemy A.I. provides a reasonable initial challenge that ratchets up smoothly. For those who have problems of boredom or frustration, there are five other settings to choose from. Its even possible to make the inputs for special moves and Full Roman Cancels more forgiving. Also, learning the basics is a breeze, even outside the Training mode; youre never more than a pause menu away from a moves list.
Theres no question that Guilty Gear XX is a great game, one of the best and deepest 2-D fighters to come out in quite some time. Theres also no question that Accent Core Plus is thus far the definitive version of Guilty Gear XX. Newcomers will love it, and hardcore fans will want to explore the few new features. However, casual and even dedicated fans wont find the additions worth a whole new purchase. For that reason, this version really ought to put an end to Guilty Gear XX, and the developers should start working on Guilty Gear 3 (or Guilty Gear XXX as the case may be). Its time to take an accomplished series and move it forward.
CCC Freelance Writer