Guilty Gear made its debut on the original PlayStation in the late 90s and became popular for its unique characters as well as fun and fast passed gameplay. Within the franchise, XX Accent Core is known as one of the more popular branches after featuring on the PS2, Nintendo Wii, and Sony PSP. And it's this branch, and more specifically Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus, which Arc System Works has chosen to bring forward to the current generation in the form of an HD remake.
As long time players of Guilty Gear know, each of the 25 characters have their own play styles. None of them are clones of each other, something that many other fighting games have struggled with as their rosters have expanded. This means there is the scope for unique characters that challenge fighting game logic. The characters also have great definition and style. So often in today's fighting game scene, characters tend to possess the typical overused tropes, such as the joke character or female characters with an extreme amount of jiggle physics. It's times like these were we can look at Guilty Gear and appreciate each character without the annoying tropes that flood Japanese games of this generation.
For anyone who hasn't ventured into the Guilty Gear series before, Accent core Plus is a fantastic place to start. The controls are quite responsive and easy to understand and within minutes of starting the game you'll feel like you can do some damage. For more advanced players there is a huge amount of depth, as specific character combos keep the series enjoyable and challenging.
Sadly the game doesn't take full advantage of this generation's HD potential, as character art isn't as sharp as it could be and widescreen display mode is not possible. It makes sense, since this is just a port and not a completely new game, but it's still disappointing that they couldn't be bothered to throw these in there. However, while having the game limited to a 4:3 aspect ratio isn't great, the game does retain an essence of charm because of it.
On the upside, the sound quality for all of the background music is clear, offering an upbeat and rock stylized soundtrack. Although the vocal tacks during battle and story mode are a bit aged, it does little to discourage the enjoyment of the game.
While Arc System Works skimped on the graphics with this port, there have been additions in other places. Two new modes appear in the form of mission mode and survival mode and this provides some extra replay value. Mission mode tasks you with defeating an enemy under certain conditions, such as taking no damage, or not jumping. It's a nice change from other fighting games that only make the player perform a number of difficult combos for their mission modes. Survival mode has a level up system that allows you to upgrade your character as you go along, offering an interesting take on this classic mode. Finishing each character's story mode also unlocks their EX version that gives them more power in fights.
Online mode has good connectivity, but the community is on the small side. At times opponents are hard to come by and it's surprising that a game like this doesn't have a bigger fan base online. Hopefully with the new additions being made more players will flock online and provide a more enjoyable experience.
In a move that's disappointing, this version of Accent Core Plus isn't actually the most recent. Accent Core Plus R was released in Japan this year. However, to show more long-term commitment, the developers will be updating it to the "R" rendition in the future. Still, it would have been nice to receive the current version of the game right off the bat instead of changing it later.
It's great that fans of Guilty Gear finally have the chance to experience an XX game on their next-generation systems. Sure, it may not be the most up to date version at the moment and the graphics could be better considering, but it's still a fighting game with great controls, 25 unique characters to play as. Online participation is currently lacking, but veterans of the series will still enjoy the game they remember playing from years past. It's also a good starting place to the Guilty Gear franchise for new gamers.
|Highly responsive controls|
|Bad ass rock soundtrack|
|Unique cast of characters|
|Graphics aren't as good as they should be.|
|Online mode needs more attention|
|Should have released in its updated version to begin with|