Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus R (PC) Review

By Athanasios 17.06.2015

Review for Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus R on PC

In these few occasions that fighting games decide to pay a visit to the PC, they usually do so in their - for the most part - finest form, like Dead or Alive 5 Last Round (which Cubed3 reviewed on PS4 and PC), or Mortal Kombat: Komplete Edition. The same goes for the third, and arguably the best title of the Guilty Gear series, which started back in 2002, only to go through five revisions before it finally hit the shores of Steam. Surely, that's a good thing for genre fans, yet somehow its cool, but also bizarre world, along with its highly technical and chaotically fast gameplay won't appeal to everyone.

What's weird? The extendable limbs of Dhalsim from Street Fighter 2, the wooden multi-martial artist Mokujin from Tekken 3, or the fact that the opponents of Mai Shiranui from The King of Fighters can look her in the eyes? The answer is: none of the above, because the product at hand has a transvestite nun that uses toys as weapons, a girl covered in blood-soaked bandages that wields an enormous talking key, and a towering… something, that wears a business suit and a paper bag on its head.

Yup, Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus R (that's a mouthful) is strange, and when it's not it's as flamboyant and over the top as any testosterone-filled anime. Since this isn't an HD overhaul of any kind, the PS2-era visuals look a bit dated, with lots of pixellation and an unflattering 4:3 aspect ratio, yet despite all this, this remains an example of master craftsmanship, since everything is colourful, highly-detailed, and exceptionally animated - and all this sprinkled with a very good hard rock/heavy metal soundtrack.

Screenshot for Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus R on PC

The fifth revision of the definite Guilty Gear adds a large and diverse roster of characters, along with a couple of game modes, retweaks some HUD elements, and, most importantly, rebalances everything, although some rough edges have been left behind, life Kliff, a boss character that still feels somewhat overpowered. Furthermore, the Training mode remains simplistic, and won't really help get newcomers up to speed, which, given this title's highly complex nature, is not a good thing.

The controls are responsive, even with the - not exactly recommended - keyboard, and the basic four-button control scheme (punch, kick, slash, high slash, plus an aerial launcher button) makes it easy to pull off special moves, which, for the most part, are done through directional inputs full of quarter or semicircles. Even though some good ol' button-mashing is possible, the AI doesn't kid around, therefore, players ought to get much, much deeper into the game in order to have any chance in surviving.

Screenshot for Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus R on PC

Bear in mind that Guilty Gear XX was never supposed to be a simple plug-and-play fighter like most of its kind, and this update doesn't do much to ease beginners in. Those coming from the BlazBlue or Persona Arena games won't have any problems, since the Guilty Gear series is their spiritual predecessor, but the rest will have to do a lot of online digging in order to learn about weird terms like Roman Cancels, Dead Angle Attacks, Faultless Defences, et cetera, which, fortunately, are all very important, and not there just for show.

Those that will delve deeper - and like it - can have fun in various ways. Apart from the standard Arcade, Versus/Team Versus, and Survival, there is M.O.M, where the goal is to gather points by doing combos, and Mission, where players must complete challenges while being handicapped. Finally, there is Story, where, depending on one's choices, it's possible to see various endings for each character, although the plot itself, which deals with a war against the man-made biological weapons known as Gears, is only mildly interesting.

Screenshot for Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus R on PC

The incentive to keep on playing comes in the form of lots of artwork that can be unlocked. Then again, the real fun starts when competing with friends, which is also when most of the special mechanics begin to show their real value, especially the tension bar, which enables certain super moves, and fills up when hitting or approaching the opponent, encouraging an aggressive play style. Unfortunately, the online mode is disappointingly unstable and slow, to the point that it can take more than 20 minutes to start a match.

Ultimately, and even though this is a fantastic 2D fighter, there are many who won't appreciate it. Apart from those die-hard fans that "must" own every single iteration of GGXX, the rest will probably prefer trying something else instead of replaying a slightly different version of the same old game. Furthermore, those completely new in the franchise will either love its unique gameplay, or skip it for something far more accessible. In the end, Cubed3 recommends trying before buying.

Screenshot for Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus R on PC

Cubed3 Rating

7/10
Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

While a product of many pros and only a few cons, this is more like a cult, rather than a true classic, because many will prefer something less complex… and maybe not so old. Secondly, those that have any revision of Guilty Gear XX won't really find any significant changes here to pick this up, even if this is the best update yet. Finally, and although that is a pretty good port, the online section remains pretty problematic, like in the rest of the platforms it got released on. In conclusion: It's fast, it's tough, it's insanely hard to master, it looks cool - and weird - and it's not for everyone.

Developer

Arc System Works

Publisher

Arc System Works

Genre

Fighting

Players

2

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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