Guilty Gear Isuka

REVIEWGuilty Gear: Isuka takes the Guilty Gear X series away from its roots and into an entirely new direction, featuring "simultaneous 4-player fighting" for the first time. Along with the new gameplay style comes the debut of a new playable character, A.B.A, and an all new (and disturbingly ugly) boss, Leopaldon. Isuka also features all new music tracks, backgrounds, and an entertaining color edit mode on the home versions.


Guilty Gear Isuka character selection screen.


The main difference between Isuka and all the previous versions of Guilty Gear is most definitely (and unfortunately) the gameplay mechanics. I use the word "unfortunately" because quite simply, Isuka doesn't play nearly as smoothly as previous installments. The main flaw is that players have to manually "turn" using R1 to turn (by default).

Manually having to turn around to face your opponent in a 2D fighting game???   ...yeah, it's pretty clunky. Manual turning is unfamiliar and annoying because "auto-targeting" is a staple in every single fighting game to date. It works "alright" in a 2 player battle, but the manual turn becomes a huge problem when playing against the computer AI, which has a laughably ridiculous advantage in turning! It's completely unfair. The new fighting engine also features a foreground and a background (much like in SNK's classic Fatal Fury series).


Heaven or.... the hell's even going on here?!?


The single-player frustration continues with the new GG Boost mode... a novel idea that borrows its side-scrolling inspiration from classic arcade games like Final Fight. Boost could have been a terrific addition to help fill the void when not playing the regular modes, if not for its need to use the damn turn button once again. Why should you have to manually flip yourself in the other direction in a side scrolling beat-em-up?!? It just doesn't make any sense. All in all, Boost Mode is a decent extra mode if you can get a hold of the controls, but still seems rushed and leaves a lot to be desired... it's also very, very repetitive if you're playing by yourself.










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Page Updated: March 21st, 2024
Developer(s): Arc System Works
Publisher(s): Sammy Corporation
Designer(s): Daisuke Ishiwatari
Artwork by: Daisuke Ishiwatari
Platform(s): Arcade, PlayStation 2, Xbox, PC
Release Date(s): 2004                                    Arcade
July 29th, 2004              PS2
Nov. 2nd, 2004              PS2
Dec. 16th, 2004             Xbox
Nov. 28th, 2005             Windows '98
Jan. 2014                         Steam
Characters A.B.A, Sol-Badguy, Ky Kiske, Millia, Chipp, May, Jam, Johnny, Baiken, Potemkin, Dr. Baldhead, Axl, Anji, Venom, Dizzy, Testament, Zato-1, Justice, Kliff, Slayer, Bridget, I-no, Zappa, Robo-Ky, Leopaldon

Featured Video:

Related Games: Guilty Gear XX Slash, Guilty Gear Judgment, Guilty Gear XX Accent Core, Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus, Guilty Gear, Guilty Gear X, Guilty Gear X Advance, Guilty Gear XX, Guilty Gear X2 #Reload, Guilty Gear Xrd -SIGN-, Guilty Gear Xrd -REVELATOR-, GGXrd REV 2, Guilty Gear -STRIVE-, BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger, Hokuto No Ken, Sengoku Basara X, Rumble Fish 2, Power Stone, Power Stone 2

Gameplay Engine

 5.0 / 10

Story / Theme

 6.0 / 10

Overall Graphics

 7.5 / 10


 8.0 / 10

Music / Sound Effects

 6.5 / 10


 6.0 / 10

Art Direction

 8.0 / 10


 9.0 / 10

Options / Extras

 7.5 / 10

Intro / Presentation

 6.0 / 10

Replayability / Fun

 3.5 / 10

"Ouch" Factor

 7.0 / 10


 8.5 / 10


 5.8 / 10

 Review based on PS2 version     


Final Words:

Ask any hardcore Guilty Gear player what their least favorite Guilty Gear game is... and approximately 98% of the player base, who knows about Isuka, would probably choose this game. While Isuka features the same great 2D sprites from the XX series and shows off some epic new backgrounds, the 4-player gameplay just didn't quite work.

Isuka probably wouldn't have turned out so bad if the controls weren't so clunky and absolutely lousy. The game can be played and casually enjoyed with some practice. However, learning Isuka's clunky control scheme might be a bridge to far for some players (and won't benefit you in any way for future fighting games).

Besides the introduction of A.B.A... my favorite thing about this "spin-off" installment, besides the awesome stages, is the Color Edit mode. Honestly, most of the time I spent with this game I spent creating GG Isuka character colors. It's also a shame this mode didn't return in future installments. Anyhow, this small hiccup in the Guilty Gear series was a rarity... and Arc System Works redeemed themselves with more playable and enjoyable sequels, including Guilty Gear XX Slash, Guilty Gear: Judgment, and Guilty Gear XX: Accent Core.
~TFG Webmaster | @Fighters_Gen  

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