Guilty Gear X

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Guilty Gear X
GuiltyGearXCover.jpg
North American PlayStation 2 cover art
Developer(s) Arc System Works
Publisher(s)
Composer(s) Daisuke Ishiwatari
Series Guilty Gear
Platform(s) Arcade
Dreamcast
Windows
PlayStation 2
Game Boy Advance
Release date(s)
Genre(s) 2D weapon based fighting
Mode(s) Single player, Multiplayer
Arcade system Sega NAOMI

Guilty Gear X (Japanese: ギルティギア ゼクス Hepburn: Giruti Gia Zekusu?)[note 1], subtitled By Your Side in Japan, is a fighting game developed by Arc System Works and published by Sammy Studios. The second installment of the Guilty Gear series, Guilty Gear X was developed on a period of about two years after the success of the first game. It was first released in July 2000 for the Japanese arcades and rereleased in multiple versions for different platforms: Dreamcast, Windows, PlayStation 2, and Game Boy Advance.

Guilty Gear X continues on the same timeline of its predecessor's plot, while added new characters and gameplay features. It still being a four button-centered fighting game but the instant kill techniques were weakened, while a survival mode was added to the previous game's three modes. Both the Dreamcast and PS2 versions have sold over 100,00 copies in Japan and have been praised for its graphics, controls and characters but criticized for its replay value. The GBA version was the poorest received, with the main complaints concerning its easiness and graphics.

Gameplay[edit]

The fighting system works around a four main attack button configuration, consisting of punch, kick, slash, and heavy slash.[3][4][note 2] Players have also the possibility to taunt attacks,[4] and the main objective is to make opponent's health reach zero within a predetermined time.[6] In order to win a fight, the player has to accumulate two points; each round won earns a point.[6] Guilty Gear X have common features of fighting games to help on it: combos, aerial attacks, and counterattack attacks.[7][8][9] A new feature is the "Roman Cancel," which by pressing three buttons simultaneously, allows the player to cancel their own move and its after-effects, and to continue to freely move to perform other attacks.[7][10]

The game features a tension gague that charges when a character causes damage or moves toward the adversary and is reduced when a character moves backwards or stays stopped for a long time.[11] When the bar is charged at its half, the player can use super moves called "Overdrive Attacks" that causes more damage than regular moves.[7][10] The full bar allows the player to perform the "Instant Kill" that, if hits the opponent, defeats the opponent regardless of its health;[7][12][note 3] however, if the Instant Kill move does not is successful the tension gauge will not charge for the rest of that round.[12]

Guilty Gear X '​s Dreamcast version includes four modes to play:[3] arcade, which is essentially the main story mode of the game;[5] survival, in which the player fights through infinite levels until being defeated;[10][14][15] training, which allows the player to practice moves with the help of an in-game move list;[10][16] and versus, which allows the player to fight against a second player.[3] An art gallery mode was an adittional mode which was exclusively included for Guilty Gear X Plus,[17] as well as a story mode to, according to its official website, explain the "misteries" the Dreamcast version did not.[16] The Advance Edition includes a tag match mode and 3-on-3 mode, in which each player choose two or three characters respectively and can switch between they during the fight.[18]

Synopsis[edit]

Plot[edit]

Guilty Gear X continues the plot of the first game, in which the world has just recovered from a 100-year-war against man-made bio-organic weapons called "Gears". When Testament plans to ressurect Justice, the Gears's leader, a tournament is held and all Gears were annihilated. Guilty Gear X is set less than a year later, and a new Commander Gear is discovered by the name Dizzy. Worried that a second war would start, another Holy Knights Tournament is started. The person who captures and kills this Gear would be rewarded 500,000 World Dollars. In the end, Dizzy proofs to be inoffensive as she joins the Jellyfish Air Pirates, and peace is established again.

Characters[edit]

Guilty Gear X features sixteen playable characters: Sol Badguy, Ky Kiske, May, Baiken, Faust, Potemkin, Chipp Zanuff, Millia Rage, Zato-1, Jam Kuradoberi, Johnny, Anji Mito, Venom, Axl Low, Testament, and Dizzy.[19] However, only fourteen are available from outset,[20] with Testament and Dizzy being unlockable characters.[21] Guilty Gear X Plus adds three unlockable characters:[21][22] Justice and Kliff Undersn, which return from the first game,[17] and also adds Robo-Ky, an alternate version of Ky Kiske.[22] The Plus edition also allows the player to unlock gold versions of each character, which possesses a special advantage.[22]

Development and release[edit]

After the success of Guilty Gear,[23] which was first released for PlayStation on May 14, 1998,[24] Sammy Studios commissioned a sequel for arcades in February 1999.[23] Developed by Team Neo Blood, an Arc System Works production group led by Daisuke Ishiwatari, it lasted about two years in its development.[25] First shown at the AOU 2000 Amusement Expo in February 2000,[1][26] Guilty Gear X was originally released for Japanese arcades on the Sega NAOMI system in July 2000.[24] After its release, there was speculation regarding its porting to home consoles, and, although initially the developers indicated it would be released for the PlayStation 2 (PS2),[27] it was first published for Dreamcast on December 14, 2000.[24] Guilty Gear X was also rerelased under the "Dreamcast Collection" on May 23, 2003.[20]

A PS2 version was officially announced by Sammy in June 2001 to be released in the Fall of that year.[28] Guilty Gear X was released in North America on October 2, 2001 by Sammy.[17][24] As it was released before the Japanese version, the North American version did not contain the new features added by Guilty Gear Plus.[29] Sammy published the PS2 version in Japan on November 29, 2001 and in Europe on March 1, 2002.[17][24] In Japan, it was called Guilty Gear X Plus (ギルティギア ゼクスプラス Giruti Gia Zekusu Purasu?) and was published into two versions: regular and deluxe edition, with the latter containing Guilty Gear-related special products.[30] On February 13, 2003, the game was rereleased in Japan under the label "PlayStation2 the Best".[24]

CyberFront released a PC version for Windows on November 30, 2001 in Japan.[31] First revealed during a convention at the Spaceworld in August 2001,[32] Guilty Gear X: Advance Edition (ギルティギア ゼクス アドバンスエディション Giruti Gia Zekusu Adobansu Edishon?), a Game Boy Advance version, was released on January 5, 2002.[24] It was brought by Sammy to North America on August 13, 2002 and to Europe on September 27, 2002.[33] Guilty Gear X ver. 1.5, a port of the game to Atomiswave arcade system, was released in 2003 after being first unveiled in February 2003 at the AOU 2003 Amusement Expo.[34][35]

Reception[edit]

Reception
Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings SDC: 89.33%[38]
PS2: 79.70%[39]
GBA: 64.97%[40]
Metacritic PS2: 79/100[36]
GBA: 67/100[37]
Review scores
Publication Score
Famitsu SDC: 31/40[45]
PS2: 32/40[46]
Game Informer PS2: 6/10[41]
GBA: 15.5/20[42]
GamePro PS2: 4/5 stars[43]
GBA: 3.5/5 stars[44]
GamesRadar GBA: 3/10[15]
GameSpot PS2: 7.9/10[14]
GameSpy PS2: 87/100[10]
GameZone GBA: 8.0/10[5]
IGN SDC: 8.7/10[7]
PS2: 8.8/10[17]
GBA: 7/10[33]

Sammy reported in June 2001 a profit of ¥284 million for Guilty Gear X '​s amusement machines in Japan.[47] Its Dreamcast version was the 128th-best-selling title in Japan in 2000, with 97,934 copies sold between December 14 and December 31, 2000;[48] in 2001, it sold 33,822 more copies, amounting a total of 131,756 copies.[49] Guilty Gear Plus sold a total of over 128,000 copies in Japan.[50]

Reception for Guilty Gear X on Dreamcast and PS2 has been positive; they currently hold an average score of 89.33% and 79.70% respectively on GameRankings,[38][39] while Metacritic assigns a 79/100 for the PS2.[36] Anoop Gantayat of IGN called the Dreamcast version "possibly the finest looking 2D game ever, thanks to the high res graphics, mega-ultra special effects and smooth animation."[28] Similarly, T.J. Deci of Allgame said the PS2 is "notable for smooth, refined graphics, with richly detailed characters and backgrounds uncommon in 2D fighters."[51] Although its general graphics were one of the elements most praised of the game, a common criticism was directed towards its sometimes confusing backgrounds.[7][10][43][14][52]

Its control's responsiveness on Dreamcast was commended by Gantayat,[7] and it was also generally praised on PS2 reviews. Called by Greg Kasavin of GameSpot "smoothly and precise",[14] it also got praise from Major Mike of GamePro, who commented that despite of it "some moves are difficult to execute and require patience to master fully."[43] On this matter, James Fudge wrote for GameSpy, "The gameplay manages to be easy to pick up but isn't dumbed down enough to annoy expert fight fans."[10] On the other hand, its limited replay value was one of the most critiqued points of the game,[7][10][14][43] with Jay Fitzloff of Game Informer saying "Since it's especially weak in the singles game, consider purchasing Guilty Gear X only if you and a friend want to go at it."[41]

In constrast to the positive reception to other versions, the GBA version of the game has not been that well received, with aggregate scores of 64.97% and 67/100 from GameRankings and Metacritic respectively.[40][37] A common critic was that the artificial intelligence of the game was inefficient in combat, making the game too easy.[5][15][42] Chet of Game Informer said "The new modes such as Tag Match and 3-on-3 add variety, but still cannot compensate for this fundamental problem."[42] Conversely, Michael Knutson of GameZone said the game's balance "gives the game a better replay value."[5]

GamesRadar also criticized its "overblown aesthetics" and was the most critical of the game, giving it the worst score it received (3 out 10) and saying "while it's not completely hellish, it definitely deserves purgatory."[15] Star Dingo of GamePro said, "most backgrounds seem like pale, watercolor imitations of the originals (you can count the colors on two hands)".[44] Justin of Game Informer and Kaiser Hwang of IGN were critical of its sprites, which they considered small while comparing to Street Fighter.[33][42]

A common point to the different versions of the game, the characters have been praised as "original" by Justin[42] and "cool" by Kasavin.[14] Gantayat commented, "It's the characters that stands out the most" and called they "marvelously designed," "unmatched in terms of fine details" and "very distinct."[7] Fudge said, "there's a character of choice for just about everyone."[10] The characters' balance was also praised by Tom Bramwell and Knutson.[5][52] The audio, however, was mixed received; Chet and Hwang called it "weak",[33][42] and Dingo said it is "atrocious".[44] Mike and Kasavin found the fight's announcer speech "unintelligible",[14][43] while the former criticized the "oppressive" music.[43] Knutson praised its audio—both sound effects and music,[5] and Kasavin thought the music was appropriate for "the game's fast-paced action, as well as its anime theme."[14]

Other media[edit]

Music[edit]

Guilty Gear X Original Soundtrack
Soundtrack album
Released September 20, 2000
Length 56:54 (disc 1)
51:59 (disc 2)
Label First Smile Entertainment

All Guilty Gear X '​s musical albums were published by First Smile Entertainment. The arcade music was released on September 20, 2000 under the album Guilty Gear X Original Soundtrack (ギルティギア ゼクス オリジナルサウンドトラック Giruti Gia Zekusu Orijinaru Saundotorakku?), which was composed by Daisuke Ishiwatari, and arranged by Kazuhito Tomizuka and Yasuharu Takanashi.[53][54]

It received mixed critics. Don Kotowski of Square Enix Music Online rated it 8 out of 10, and said "The improved sound quality is a plus, as are the addition of new character themes, but some people may be put off by the fact that some of the new themes aren't as good as some of the older ones."[55] In contrast, a reviewer dubbed GoldfishX gave it a score of 5 and stated it is "possibly the most ear-grating, hideous sound I have ever encountered in game music," but he did not gave it a worse score only because "Ishiwatari deserves a ton of credit for putting together such brilliant compositions on such pathetic-sounding hardware."[56]

Guilty Gear X Heavy Rock Tracks
Soundtrack album
Released January 17, 2001
Length 71:54
Label First Smile Entertainment

Composed by Ishiwatari and arranged by Koichi Seiyama, a second album, Guilty Gear X Heavy Rock Tracks: The Original Soundtrack of Dreamcast, was released on January 17, 2001.[57][58]

It was very well received by critics, with a perfect score gave by GoldfishX and Z-Freak from Square Enix Music Online.[59][60] Goldfishx declared, "Even if you're skeptical about hard rock, this is something that everyone should experience in their lifetime. It's rare to have this type of heart-pounding sound without some form of vocals, but it's even rarer that the compositions reach this overall level of greatness."[59] Z-Freak commented, "Unless you totally hate hard rock, you MUST [sic] have this CD;"[60] a similar ponderation was done by Smith, who said either it will be loved or hated.[17]

Three arranged vocal albums, performed by rock band Lapis Lazuli, were released on May 6, 2001.[61] They were collective known as Rising Force of Gear Image Vocal Tracks and each was a "side" titled "Rock You!!", "Slash!!", and "Destroy!!" respectively.[62]

Other[edit]

Enterbrain released several Guilty Gear X tie-in books. First, a so-called "encyclopedia" strategy guide was released on July 26, 2000, and was followed by Drafting Artworks about its in-universe on December 13.[54][63][64] Two novelizations of the video game were written by Norimitsu Kaihō, illustrated by Ishiwatari, and published by Enterbrain: Lightning the Argent (白銀の迅雷 Shirogane no Jinrai?), and The Butterfly and Her (胡蝶と疾風 Kochō to Hayate?), on January 20, 2001 and on August 24, 2002 respectively.[54][65]

A comic anthology of Guilty Gear X was also released by Enterbrain on April 25, 2001.[66] It also inspired two yonkoma manga and an anthology published by Ichijinsha on March 25, October 25, and September 25, 2001 respectively.[67][68] A manga titled Guilty Gear Xtra (ギルティギアXTRA?), a collaboration among Ishiwatari, Norimitsu Kaihō, and Akihito Sumii, was serialized in Kodansha's Magazine Z on September 22, 2003.[69] Based on Guilty Gear X Plus, a two-part anthology was released on February 25, and April 25, 2002 by Enterbrain.[70][71] Ichijinsha also released a yonkoma manga and an anthology based on Plus, which were released on April 8 and 25, 2002 respectively.[72][73]

A compilation DVD entitled Battle for the Saint with the highlights of a Guilty Gear X arcade national championship was released by Enterbrain on August 22, 2001.[74][75] In addition to the musical CDs, two audio drama CDs containing original plots were released by ScitronGuilty Gear X Vol. 1 and Vol. 2—between October 24, and November 24, 2001.[54] On October 25, 2002, Terranetz released a trading card game series based on Guilty Gear X.[65][76]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The "X" on its title is reportedly pronounced as "Zecks" and "Zechs" by Yukiyoshi Ike Sato and Justin Speer (both from GameSpot) respectively.[1][2]
  2. ^ The Advance Edtion allows the player to choose between two control's configuration: a four-button and a three-button mode. In the former A is heavy slash, B is kick, L is punch, and R is slash, while in the latter A is heavy slash, B is kick and punch, L is to begin an Instant Kill, and R is slash.[5]
  3. ^ In Guilty Gear, a Instant Kill would end a match when hit the opponent but on Guilty Gear X it only earns the player a round.[13]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]