Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus Review
Fighting game fans are no strangers to the world of remakes. As arcade aficionados know all too well, a newer version of these fisticuff simulators is often right around the corner. Some companies are more guilty of this practice than others (hello Capcom!), but Arc System Works’ Guilty Gear series is no stranger to this practice either. With the recent XBLA release of Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus (what a mouthful!), is an upgrade in order?
With entries dating back to the late 90s, Accent Core Plus has been refining its formula for quite some time now. Success was not created in a day, but any worries that the underlying fighting mechanics of the game is dated need not worry. Each fight is as fast as ever, with each round ending in a matter of minutes. The solid roster of 25 misfits has been carefully balanced through years of tweaking, meaning scalpel-wielding Faust has just as much of a chance in battle as muscle-bound Potemkin.
But what about those who have never played a Guilty Gear game in their life? Those raised in the school of Street Fighter will be in for a rude awakening the moment they play this game. Accent Core Plus has a steep learning curve, one that emphasizes air-dashing, fake-outs, fake-fake-outs, and more in a matter of seconds. It is fun to watch, but those hoping to turtle and hadoken their way to victory won’t be so lucky. There are a number of tutorial modes available, but the best way to improve is still to play against your fellow man.
And that’s where this version differs from its peers. While some previous versions had the feature, Accent Core Plus has full-blown online play. It’s ranked and player matches offer nothing too out of the ordinary, but connections are smooth enough to handle the action. When paired with an active community (as of this writing), the human element helps to give the game some serious legs.
Still, there are some nagging signs that this will not be the last version we see. A lack of widescreen support takes away valuable real estate from the gorgeous sprite work and intricate backgrounds. The odd pixelated character during scaling feels like something more akin to the days of CRT televisions, where those kinds of imperfections could be hidden with a lower resolution. Perhaps the worst thing of all is the fact that this title received a recent upgrade in Japan in the form of Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus Reload. It would be nice if this were a free update, but seeing how long it took to get this version stateside, it seems like this is nothing more than wishful thinking.
For what it’s worth, Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus is a fine fighting game. Give the game its just due, and you’ll have a fighting game for the ages…or until the next revision comes out.