reviews\ Nov 6, 2002 at 7:00 pm

Guilty Gear X Advanced Edition - GBA - Review

Late last year, Sammy developed a game for the PlayStation 2 entitled: Guilty Gear X. This game proved to be one of the best 2D fighting games for the system at the time. It had tons of different characters, great control scheme, and has a chance to duke it out with one of the best 2D fighting developers known to gamers: Capcom. When the Game Boy Advance was unveiled, it was thought that it will produce great 2D games, and thus far has proven to be true. The only thing the system really lacks is a strong fighting game, and Sammy intends to change that. It decided to convert the PlayStation 2 game on the GBA. Will the game prove to be a port that was not meant to be, or is it something great?

The story line for the game is as follows: The last international fighting tournament was held in 2180, and Justice, the worlds most powerful Gear, was finally defeated. Since the gears leader was destroyed, the other Gears were easy to hunt down and eliminate. The world was finally free of the obliteration that the Gears brought, or so they thought. Several months later, there were numerous reports of new Gears that are operational. People were frightened about another ferocious Gear on the loose. Soon, an announcement was given out “whoever brings about the demise of this dreadful Gear shall be rewarded with the lofty sum of 5,000,000 World Dollars!”

There are several modes of play that are: arcade, verses, training, survival, tag match, and 3-on-3 modes. Arcade mode is the main story mode of the game, where players pick a character and play as they battle against the CPU in a series of matches. If players have a link cable and two Guilty Gear X games, they can play each other to battle it out to see who the best fighter is. Training mode is where players can practice the characters moves to become the best they can be. Like other survival modes in fighting games, players fight in consecutive matches against CPU players, which get progressively harder. Tag Match games are when players choose two characters, and when one dies the other character comes onto the battlefield. Once both characters die, players will lose. 3-on-3 matches will let players choose three characters for a battle; and this mode will allow players to perform dual combinations. This means two of the characters will come out and do a super move, which will devastate your opponent’s health.

The game’s controls have made a good conversion from the PlayStation 2 version. The D-pad still moves the characters around. There are two modes a four-button and a three-button mode. The four-button mode is as follows: A is heavy slash, B is kick, L is punch, and R is slash. A is heavy slash, B is kick and punch, L is to begin an instant kill, and R is slash. Their differences are greater than players think, but they both offer great ways to play the game.

One last thing to be aware of is the tension gauge, which is the measure of the fighters drive. It goes up when players fight strategically in a battle. Once the gauge is full enough, players will be able to use special attacks, and instant kills. Special attacks will take off around a half or third of the gauge. Instant kills will take away the entire gauge, and players will not be able to build it up again till the match is totally over. Players will have to use discretion when they use their special abilities, because they can prove very useful in a bind.

Guilty Gear X: Advanced Edition is rated T for Teen for mild violence and suggestive themes.

Gameplay: 8.5
The game is remarkably fun on the Game Boy Advance. The controls are extremely tight and are very responsive. Even though players will have to use the shoulder buttons, it will not distract from the game in any way. The combos are easy to perform, and they are not too powerful. Each of the fourteen characters seems very balanced, which makes the game very enjoyable. Some of the characters are a little slower but stronger, while others are more agile but less powerful, it is this kind of balance that gives the game a better replay value.

Graphics: 8.3
The game looks very nice on the GBA screen. Players can tell that they are playing with a next generation handheld system, because it can display beautiful 2D backgrounds, without any slowdown. All of the characters are also nicely detailed and have a nice set of animations. No two characters will look alike or move in the same way. The effects are also nicely done, from the flashes to the special effects.

Sound: 8.0
The sound effects are also well done, from the sounds of the punches hitting their victims, to the special attack moves. The music that plays on each level never gets repetitive or annoying. Sammy has done a nice job in the translating it, due to the limited space on the GBA cartridge.

Difficulty: Easy
One of the bad things about Guilty Gear X is that it is on the easy side. It didn’t take me a long time to master the gameplay mechanics, and beat the entire game really quick, even on the hardest difficulty mode.

Concept: 6.5 
No one has really innovated 2D fighting games, since the golden age of the 16 bit systems. They all have the same characteristics of previous fighters on the market, and Guilty Gear X is not different. It has the same formula that other games have, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. People know when they play this game that it will have a solid fighting engine, myriads of good characters to play as, and option for playing against another human opponent.

Multiplayer: N/A
The game offers a two player verses mode, but I do not have another Game Boy Advance to test this feature. The possibility of doing this adds greatly to the replay value.

Overall: 8.0
Guilty Gear X Advance is a good game for the Game Boy Advance. This game will remain in the players Game Boy for quite some time. This is one game that has its sights set on taking over Capcom’s leadership in creating the best fighting game on the market. Even though this game isn’t perfect, it is getting close to reaching that goal of overtaking the might Street Fighter market. With a little more time, greater character selection, and making the game a little harder, Capcom will have a serious contender on their hands. In the mean time, if you are looking for a good fighting game for your GBA, I suggest trying this game out, as it might be the fighting game you have been looking for.


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