Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus offers modern gamers a chance to step back into the vintage of the 90s by re-visiting the popular Guilty Gear franchise. Developed and released by Arc System Works, the game is a 2D fighter and continues the storyline of Guilty Gear X and brings along all the favourite characters that fans of the franchise will remember.
Not given a full title release and instead made available via the Xbox Live Arcade Marketplace, the game offers multiple modes in which gamers can challenge themselves and others. There is your typical Arcade and Vs. mode along with a Story and Survival mode. All of which boils down to the player button mashing their way to success.
The game can be appealing to new players of the franchise, however I am sure that it will be old school fans and long term gamers that pick this up as it offers little that you cannot get form a more modern fighter other than a sense of healthy nostalgia.
The game is easy to pick up but very difficult to master and while it will reward players who put in work, the learning curve increases rapidly. There are your typical quick combos or specials that newer players can learn within the first few minutes of a fight but when going against the later stages of the game this just won't be enough to see you win the round.
Some have said that the controls for the game were great, however when playing I found them difficulty and clunky to master. The first time I went into a fight I kept taunting my opponent after nearly every attack, expecting to find another punch button on either the trigger or shoulder button but instead realising the game relied more on the four button punch, kick control mechanic.
The accuracy and in-depth nature of the controls and combos are just a turn off for me and I would imagine a turn off for anyone new to the franchise. On the flip side of the difficulty coin, I can imagine this game is very rewarding for players of the franchise who have been honing their Guilty Gear skills for the past ten or so years.
The cast is expansive to say the least and offers a huge array of options. Perhaps more so than any of its competitors, the variation on character choice really impacts the play and controls and movement of the game. There are your typical samurais, your undead vampires and your Japanese schoolgirl with a yoyo. The twenty five strong cast are just another reason why the game can reward players who see it through to the end and want to practice their skills.
For me the game just felt out of date. I didn't approach the title with a huge fondness for the series but when I look at the 2D background and the steep difficulty curve, I just think that this kind of game has seen its day. I look to recent success like Dead or Alive 5 or my personal favourite, Marvel vs Capcom 3 and they give me all that Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus does and more. With the more recent games, they are easier to pick up and play which I think the more modern and causal gamer wants. The environments are more detailed and enticing, grabbing the player and the characters from both of the modern franchise mentioned and familiar than their Guilty Gear counterparts.
Perhaps Arc System Works need to take their time to rework the engine and bring the game into the new millennium rather than relying on nostalgia. I approach XBLA in hope to find retro classics or inspiring new ideas and while some may consider this a retro classic it just didn't offer me the fond memories I thought it would. Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus may be someone's guilty pleasure but unfortunately it isn't mine.