For a change of pace, today’s review is about an arcade fighting game that got translated for the PC in 2004. My copy was distributed by Zoo Publishing, though I can’t find any further mention of this game on their website. The game is none other than Guilty Gear X2 #Reload (and shortened as GGX2#R for the review). Yes, no doubt – that is a strange title. In fact, Wikipedia says the symbol “#” should be replaced by the musical term of “sharp”, so that the title of the game reads as “Guilty Gear X-X sharp Reload”.
For those who have heard of the Guilty Gear series before, then you would know that this game has spawned quite a franchise. In fact, the developers of GGX2#R, none other than Arc Systems Works (who hail from Japan), is pretty well-known in arcades the world over for their Guilty Gear series.
|Starting up GGX2#R|
Why, of course. Thanks to the fantastic gameplay and nice touches found throughout the game.
There are quite a number of modes in GGX2#R and they include: Arcade mode, Medal of Millionaire (or MOM) mode, Vs 2P mode, Vs CPU mode, Training mode, Survival mode, Mission mode, and Story mode.
|Each character is artfully done|
I will go through them to give you a better idea of the variety you will get in the game:
- Arcade mode is a standard one-on-one series of matches against ten opponents, with each level getting harder as you progress further down the line.
- MOM mode is all about using combos to attack a series of opponents, and collecting the medals that they drop.
- The Vs 2P and Vs CPU modes set up a single match against either a second player or the CPU.
- Training mode is a really useful mode for you to practice the game with a character you like to play with. You can decide on the opponent as well as its AI level against you.
|Get ready, Fight!|
- Survival mode is like a series of matches where you earn Survival Levels. When you complete a match, you receive a small health boost to continue onwards. Be prepared to meet boss-type opponents when you attain certain Survival levels.
- Mission mode allows you to select from 100 available missions with pre-defined fighting criteria. For example, you must eliminate your opponent using only special moves within a specified time.
- Story mode allows you to select a character and you will then follow through a scripted story for that character.
There are 21 characters available in the game, and 2 more characters requiring you to unlock them by completing certain objectives in the game. All the characters are nicely drawn, large 2D animated sprites that look very artfully done. Most characters feature a touch of creativity here and there, for example the character I-no uses a guitar (oh my) as a weapon, while May prefers to wield an anchor and a dolphin.
One of the more interesting aspect for each character are the special moves they can employ. You should view the special moves for each character and practice them in Training Mode until you become a master at executing them. Special moves are probably the only way you can beat the harder matches and unlock for yourself some goodies to view in the Gallery.
|Story mode features English subtitles|
I found the music in GGX2#R to be varied and interesting, with mostly up-tempo and heavy pop/rock style to highlight the sense of an all-out mêlée. In fact there should be an OST available if you look hard enough on Amazon. Here is a sample of the music, Pillars of the Underworld, available on Youtube.
The voice work accompanying each character is very well done. They range from a guttural male voice, to a high pitched sweet little girl, to a sultry vixen, to the voice of a smart-alecky guy. Their emotions evoked in the game may range from anger to frustration, and even to dismay. Although you will surely wonder what they are saying in Japanese. The only time you will understand what the characters are saying is when you play out Story Mode; thankfully English subtitles are available here.
In conclusion, if you find a copy of GGX2#R still sitting somewhere on a store shelf, I must say, Go get it right now! You owe yourself to give this great game a try. And if you do, at least you won’t be wasting away any of your quarters at the arcade. You can play this great action fighting right on your PC in the comfort of your home.