Ohhh, how long has it been Guilty Gear
X series? (Depends on where we're counting from and what region)... 12-13 years? The original GGX released in
Japan in the year 2000, with a North American console release in 2001. Well over
the past decade, Arc System Works has perpetually tweaked their "pride and
joy" 2D fighting franchise more times than a sane gamer can count. Even
several years after the release of their latest 2D fighting franchise, Blazblue,
Arc System Works primed and polished this final, refined version... say
it with me... Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus Arrrrrr.
The previous release, GGXX: Accent Core was released for PS2 in May 2007.
Not only did the console prequel have a major bug that wasn't debugged before the code
went to production, but many hardcore players were put off by the arguably senseless
character changes and over-complications of the gameplay. Of course, this
"opinion" depends on who your main characters are (and your skill
level), but this is the "insider" feedback I've heard. Concerning that
post-production bug, reports of the glitch appeared on Japanese gaming message
boards soon after the game hit retailers. Arc System didn't issue a recall, but they did post an apology on their website to assuage the disappointed gamers.
About 7 months later, Arc System Works released "Accent
Core Plus" which was first
came out on September 20, 2012 on Sega's arcade system board, RingEdge 2. Accent
Core Plus hit consoles shortly after, fixing the prequel's glitch and also
adding some new features.
The later released "+R" free update added further refinements &
updates, including: a new HUD,
different colored health bars / Burst gauges, a new timer display, and even some
new character color palettes based on Blazblue characters. A newly tweaked combo
counter mechanic also shows invalid combos up to date with recent Arc System
Works fighters. Most
importantly for hardcore players, AC+ also aims to offer better character
balancing, giving weaker characters more weapons and options and adjusting how
the top tier fighters play. Lastly, Justice and Kliff Undersn return as playable
/ tournament viable characters.
"Welcome back"... Kliff and
Justice... for the... 4th time, is it?
Along with "new-ish"
characters like Holy Order Sol and A.B.A, players can once again enjoy using boss characters, Kliff
and Justice. This time around, a lot of effort went into making the boss
characters "tournament legal" characters for the hardcore crowd. Special
consideration went into their movesets so as not to break the game or be as
underpowered as in the past. Changes to Kliff involve more of his moves being
more likely to backfire on himself, and Justice's cases shows her to lose most
of her mobility.
Other changes in Accent Core +R include new Force Breaks for the majority of characters, as well
as the return of several "classic" attacks and specials that were
previously taken out of the game (mainly from EX versions of characters). While
some changes are definitely an improvement over Accent Core, some serious
players would argue
that AC+ is far from perfect. Many of the new EX moves still feel unnecessary, and
certain high-level combos and other gameplay mechanics still feel a bit
over-complicated and input-touchy (meaning, one small input error and your combo
is shot). Once again, these gripes are not the opinion of my own, but were taken
from more serious GGX players.
On the flipside, if you're more of a casual Guilty
Gear player and likely won't notice these minute character changes, here's a
run down of the new "core" content of Accent Core Plus R.
The Story mode is a
continuation of the lore from Guilty Gear XX. All characters have a
new storyline, their stories covering the major events involving the mystery of
Gears, "That Man" and conflict with the Post War Administration
Bureau, etc. The mode uses a full branching path "Zapping" system with a total of
350 scenarios. The game also introduces a new NPC character: the Post War
Administration Bureau scientist Crow, who attacks the cast using mindless clones of Justice. All the stories of each characters are
portrayed through fully-voiced dialogue. As you'd expect from Guilty Gear,
the voice acting is quite good.
X marks the spot...
Guilty Gear XX Accent Core +R's
modes, include the following: Story, M.O.M, 3-on-3 Team Battle, Mission, Survival, and
Training. The new Survival
mode introduced contains new leveling-up features and is a pretty fun
play-through if you're confident with a character or two. The online enabled
Playstation 3 & Xbox 360 ports of Guilty Gear XX: Accent Core Plus
were released in October of 2012, featuring basic netplay options. This version of the
game was later updated to the current arcade build of the game, GGXX AC+R with a free patch (though
the update delayed for quite a long time).
In the online enabled versions, players can also choose between the "Plus" and "Plus R"
versions of the game.
Arc System Works
Arcade, PS2, PS3, PSP, Vita, Wii, Xbox 360, Steam
2008 ( PS2)
July 24th, 2008
Apr. 7th, 2009 ( PSP/PS2)
May 12th, 2009 (
May 6th, 2011 (
Sept. 20th, 2012 (
Arcade - GGXX:AC+R)
Oct. 24th, 2012 (
XBLA - GGXX:AC+)
Dec. 4th, 2012 (
PSN - GGXX:AC+)
Mar. 19th, 2013
Vita - GGXX:AC+R)
Apr. 23rd, 2013
Vita - GGXX:AC+R)
Oct. 11th, 2013
360 - GGXX:AC+R)
Mar. 3rd, 2014 (
PS3 - GGXX:AC+R)
May 26th, 2015
Steam - GGXX:AC+R)
I lost count of
how many times I've reviewed a game with "Guilty Gear XX" in
Not to mention I also reviewed Guilty Gear Judgment and Guilty
Gear Isuka. It's comical how many different iterations of GGXX they've
made, and equally as comical (or sad) considering that many of these updates
were very minor. You win Arc System Works. You've officially beat Capcom's SF2 series in terms of
minor sequels, by far... Congrats?
While I poke fun at Guilty Gear series, I know there are dedicated players, and I respect that. I never took the game very seriously
myself (mainly because I prefer more traditional 2D fighters as opposed to air-dash-crazy
ones), but even so, I've supported the series and picked up GGXX: Accent Core
+R on PS Vita. Even though I'm not a hardcore player, I have to admit that GGXX has been a fun game to "come back to" every so
often when these new versions have been released. Due to the cool art style and
everything else "cool" about Guilty Gear, it almost seems like
a new game regardless of how minor the changes are. On the flipside. . . .
Random Rant: Not that this influenced my review at all, but
I must point out that other game companies over the past decade have been widely criticized (mostly by casual fans)
for releasing fighting game sequels that apparently haven't "changed
enough"... but rarely do I hear these casual fans ever mention anything
about the Guilty Gear X series. Is GGX immune to this subject? Or is
the series just not in the limelight enough to be criticized? I'm just saying, if
any fighting game company released too many sequels that
didn't "change enough"... well, let's never forget the epic GGXX(XXXXX)
series (and now, Blazblue for that matter).
more informed, and tell your uneducated friends about the GGXX series when they complain about future fighting game sequels.
Nonetheless, I still love you
Arc System Works. Over the years, I've Guilty Gear-ed... I've Blazblue-ed...
I've even Hard Corps: Uprising-ed... and then, I Guilty Gear-ed...
Again. Of course, I'm referring to Guilty Gear Xrd -SIGN-, a game that
rekindled my appreciation for this iconic franchise. Let us continue to Heaven
or Hell, and Rock, into the future. ~TFG