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Guilty Gear X2: #Reload

About.com Rating 4.5 Star Rating

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GGX2 Box Art
Guilty Gear X2 is easily the best 2D fighter to come around in a long time. It combines the best ideas of Samurai Showdown, Marvel vs. Capcom, and Virtua Fighter and then turns the speed up to 11. Add in fantastic online play and you have one of the best fighters on the Xbox. The fact that the game only costs $20 is just icing on an already delicious cake. The learning curve is pretty steep, but for so cheap it is still quite possible for casual fighting fans to get their money’s worth.

So What Is GGX2?

Guilty Gear X2 is basically a combination of all of the best ideas from fighting games over the last 15 years. It borrows ideas from pretty much every other fighter out there, but it puts everything together in a tight package that is an absolute joy to play. You get the solid fighting foundation laid down by Street Fighter II and the King of Fighters series. You get the weapon based combat from Samurai Showdown. You get hugely powerful, screen-filling special moves like in Marvel vs. Capcom. And you get an insane level of depth that can only really be likened to the Virtua Fighter series of 3D fighters. On top of all that, GGX2 is also one of the fastest fighting games on the market.

Beautiful Chaos

GGX2 Screen

Great special effects.

GGX2 gives you four attack buttons – punch, kick, and two weapon attacks – as well as a dust attack button that lets you trip up or knock an opponent into the air to set them up for a combo. In addition to the standard moves you expect from a 2D fighter, you can also execute reverses, reverse-reverses, fake out moves, overdrive attacks, and psych bursts. It takes a bit of practice before you can use all of these moves effectively, but they are absolutely vital to your success in GGX2. You can also perform instant kill attacks that can end a round at any time if you hit them. The instant kill attacks leave you wide open for attack, however, and your opponent will know if you are trying to execute one so they could possibly defend against it. If you catch an opponent at the right time, however, an instant kill attack can bring you from the brink of defeat to a triumphant victory. All of these moves are performed by long controller input strings, so if your fighting game skillz aren’t up to par you’ll definitely struggle with GGX2. The practice you have to put in is worth it, though, as Guilty Gear X2 is one of the deepest and most satisfying fighting games around.

Loads of Modes

The modes on offer in Guilty Gear X2 are pretty impressive. You have a lot to do in the single player game, and that combined with the online play (more on that later) ensures that you’ll be playing GGX2 for many months. Arcade, versus, training, mission, and story modes will keep you busy for ages. You unlock items, medals, and character artwork by competing in all of these modes, and the rewards are usually worth the trouble. Most of the modes are self explanatory, but mission is a little more complicated. You are presented with dozens of scenarios that are governed by a number of different variables. Enemy difficulty, clear conditions (you don’t always have to get an opponent’s life gage to zero), and combo damage (how many hits you have to land in a combo before you do any damage) make the mission mode much more difficult than the other modes, but it is also very satisfying. With all of these modes and the rich rewards you can reap from playing them, Guilty Gear X2 offers a lot of replay value for solo gamers that a lot of other fighters don’t have.

Great Characters

GGX2 screen

Everybody was kung fu fighting!

Another thing that makes Guilty Gear X2 really stand out is the cast of characters. Most of the characters can only be described as weird and definitely not just rehashes you have already seen in Street Fighter or King of Fighters. The characters are extremely detailed and feature interesting enough stories that you’ll learn to love them just as much as you love Ryu, Ken, Joe, and Mai. Notable in the cast are a pirate girl who fights with an anchor, a scantily clad witch who fights with an electric guitar, a young boy who dresses like a woman and uses a yo-yo as a weapon, and a character that was entirely based on Guns ‘N Roses frontman Axl Rose. There are more than 20 characters in GGX2 and they all pack enough personality and are unique enough to really set them apart from other fighting games.
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