Wow. Guilty Gear X2 #Reload is incredibly good. I?d be willing to say it rivals, or even beats, every single fighting game on Xbox, without exception even from Dead or Alive Ultimate, Mortal Kombat, and Soul Calibur 2. I wasn?t expecting this game to be as good as it is, especially not as a side-scroller?but there it is. In almost every way, it offers a greater experience than any fighter to date. However, it still may not appeal to all gamers.
GGX2R actually has some form of a plot. One hundred years before the game, genetic engineering was at its peak, and scientists began to create bio-weapons with the oddly inorganic name, ?Gears.? Of course, Gears became angered by their eternal subservience to the puny humans, and started a revolution to purge them from the planet. When the war broke out, heroes were born, and mankind eventually won. Fast forward. Sol Badguy, an unfortunately named bounty hunter, is on the trail of a mysterious woman named I-No. Sol and I-No both seem to be directly tied to the war from years long past. Of course, along the way, Sol has made enemies, and hot on his trail is his angry zealot of a pursuer, Ky Kiske. As in most fighting games, the seemingly disjointed setup of fighting a slew of randomly selected opponents until the final two fights leaves little breathing room for a coherent story. There is also a Story Mode included, but it leaves much to be had in terms of actual character relations, and is simply a PRESET slew of battles against computer-controlled enemies?the only real difference between Story and Arcade modes is that between each battle is a short, almost nonsensical conversation between the two combatants. So, like all fighting games, don?t buy this expecting a compelling story.
Where GGX2R really breaks away from the mainstream fighting games is in its combat. Normally, a 2D fighting game consists of a four or six button system, mainly made up of punches or kicks of varying strength. GGX2R, on the other hand, uses a five button system, which includes Punch (X), Kick (A), Slash (Y) and Heavy Slash (B). All of these are entirely different, and are highly variable in terms of speed, power, and combining, which is a nice departure from the standard. The game does, however, play it safe when it comes to special moves, using the standard quarter circles and half circles. What really sets GGX2R apart is its combo system. It is by far the most open-ended setup in the fighting genre. Combos can be strung together with regular moves, special moves and Overdrives (Super Special moves). A combo can start with essentially any attack, and there are many different variations. ?Gatling Combos? are a series of quick-but-weak attacks which can be easily strung together. The move ?Roman Cancel? cuts a multi-hit special move short, which allows for the insertion of many other moves, which can create huge combos. There is also the ?Dust Combo?, which knocks an enemy high into the air, at which point the player can follow them up and unleash huge combos on their sorry behinds. It?s much too elaborate to get into every detail of the system, but it is really, really great.
Perhaps the greatest feature of GGX2R is just how long you can play it. There are numerous game modes, including but not limited to Arcade, Story, and Mission. All of the game modes offer so many unlockables. It will blow your mind. Fans of the game will feel compelled to play for hours on end in an effort to unlock everything. On top of that is the Xbox Live versus mode, which (obviously) allows online battles. However, it can sometimes be mired by lag, which may keep some people from enjoying it in full. Despite that, it still guarantees many hours of playtime on or offline..
The graphics and sound may make some people wary when it comes to playing GGX2R. Many people simply reject classic 2D action on modern consoles. However, anyone who doesn?t blow this game off simply because of its retro look will be greatly rewarded. The graphics are high-quality for a side scroller, and the animations are all elaborate and superbly executed. The voice acting is virtually all Japanese, but instead of just having the opening and closing taunts from the characters before and after a fight, there is voice acted dialogue in the story mode. It is in Japanese, though, so the subtitles will have to do. The sound does the job, though, and is more than acceptable.
Almost anybody can appreciate just how great Guilty Gear is if they are open to it. While many may say ?Oh, the graphics suck!?, anybody who actually gives it a chance will be quite pleased. The combat system is innovative and one of a kind. One might even make the claim that it is flawless. The value of this game is incredible. It has the capability to keep someone playing for months on end, and with Xbox Live competition is guaranteed. This is a must-own for any fan of the fighting genre. Even if you are rusty on your retro fighters, you should brush up just for this game. Anyone up for the challenge will greatly appreciate Guilty Gear X2 #Reload.