Guilty Gear X for the Nintendo Game boy Advance is an exciting splash of fighting that fits in the palm of your hands. I found myself playing for multiple hours trying to perfect each move of the different characters. The game is a typical Fighting game where it is you verse your opponent. Not really anything new just a new story and reason to be doing battle. I think the key to the success of this game is it brings a great look and story that ports very nicely to the Game Boy Advance.
I have played many fighter games and with the multiple X-box, GameCube, PS2, Nintendo 64 games I was unsure what to expect with Guilty Gear X. I soon found out it is a full throttled fun fight. With four modes and the ability to battle your best friends it is easy to find the clock passing by way to fast. Again, it is just a matter of how quickly you can push the buttons to pull off your characters instant death move.
The story takes place in the future when mankind is battling with new biological weapons called Gears. So of course your job is to save the world and destroy the evil that is the Gears. It is a great story line however once you get into the game most of the story or plot is just a theme in the back of your mind. The game is all about the fighting of the characters and unfortunately, the Story of the Gears falls away to little more than a waste of time for the writers.
The one part of the story they have done an excellent job on is the characters, which are all very different with their own special skills. With 16 different characters to choose from and learn most of your gaming time will be spent learning which moves work best against which character. The characters also have a wide range of skills.
Finally, the different modes of play Arcade, Vs, Tag Team, and three on 3 are all very fun the multiplayer matches are fun as you play using one character until they are beaten then you move onto the next. Arcade let’s you battle through all the other characters and Verses mode will pit you against your buddies if you have two GBA’s and two copies of the game and a connector.
Although the Story is a bit bland, the graphics are nice to look at. With backgrounds and the cool animations of all the characters like when Faust opens the door to smash you the game has definite appeal. They have done an excellent job of making the game look as good as many other games of the same genre and as that it is on the Game Boy advance the graphics glare through the tiny screen and make you pay attention to itself. Another part of the game that really excels is when the battle is on and the action shots that occur as the characters use their advanced moves. The game is not a 3D adventure so you will have to deal with the scrolling view but they have some decent backgrounds setup to look at. These at least add to the Character animations that are in the game.
The sound for the game is a basic soundtrack that plays repeatedly. Also with each swing of a sword or smash of a fist you hear it all. Now of course being on a Game Boy the sound gets a little repetitive and bland but it serves its purpose other than that the sound is just a way to enhance the battles.
Once you get past the glitz and sounds of the game and know the story then all you have left with is whether the game is a fun fighter or jus another Game Boy tries at Fighter excellence. Unfortunately there are a few things about the Game play that hurt the game. The first and foremost is the Computer AI. If you play at Normal level you should be through the Arcade and Tag matches fairly quickly. As an example when a match would start the Computer would stand and wait for you to attack and even then it may not fight back it just kind of sits there and gets the crap beat out of itself. I one time got into a match and walked away to get a drink came back and still went ahead and won the match. Playing the tougher levels adds a little bit of fun but still a little too easy to take home the crown as champion of Guilty Gear X.
The other major problem is there is very little playback value. If you have ever played fighter games then you will probably find that Guilty Gear X is more of the same it is whoever can get their super move done first and how quickly you punch and kick. I still enjoyed the time that I played but when the AI is lacking it makes it hard to continue to come back for more. Now contradicting that is the fact that you have 16 characters to choose from all with their own special skills. So just competing to be the best at each character will add a lot of playback time.
As for the game play there are multiple modes and these are all a lot of fun. The first is the Arcade mode where you kick and punch your way to the end. Then there is the training mode, which allows you to train on the moves of different characters. Also they have a survival mode where your health continues into the next match. They also have a tag team and three vs. three match types. Three vs three I rarely even got to the second character on my own team.
Final Thoughts – although Guilty Gear X has a good original plot, they do not use it within the game sure you are saving the world. How exactly I am not sure. If you have been a fan of fighting games then this use of the Game Boy will be perfect for you. The game is fast paced and character driven. Also the AI is a bit weak so remember to move the difficulty up a notch or two and you will enjoy the game just that much better.
Originally presented 11/7/02
Game Boy Advance Requirement
Number of Players – 2 with connector cables
ESRB rating – T for Teen
Links ARCSY Developer, Sammy Publisher
Release Date Q 4 2002