Overall - 50%
I applaud GUTS' attempts to add more innovation and creativity to an otherwise stagnant genre. However, past its comedic value, GUTS will struggle to keep you entertained for more than a few hours.
If Tarantino decided to break into the videogame industry, I’m sure his twisted take on creativity would result in a game with ridiculously over-the-top blood and gore – which brings us to this GUTS review. In recent years, the fighting game genre has evolved to new levels of competition, it’s a serious scene on the eSports circuit, and games are hyper analyzed for flaws and unbalanced characters. Enter GUTS, a game that takes about 15 seconds to convince you that it doesn’t plan on taking itself seriously at all.
A cast of insanely designed characters participate in Gory Ultimate Tournament Show, a new type of reality show launched as a result of a hyper consumerist society where scientists believe watching violence on TV makes viewers healthier and more open to peaceful solutions. I’m way ahead of my time – I always thought watching people get decapitated was a healthy way to spend my time, but sadly the science of today has yet to reach my level of intellect.
At its core, GUTS is a traditional one-on-one beat ’em up, infused with a lot of humor and comical character designs. Where it truly differs is the victory mechanics. There are no health bars, so hitting a 38 hit combo by constantly kicking your opponent into the air, in the corner of the arena, won’t get you far – and for that I’m thankful. Rather, you win by dismembering your opponent. Both legs, then both arms, and then finally the finishing blow. It’s a fresh idea, and the creativity is there, but more often than not it just gets ridiculous. Two fighters (or stumps I guess) with every limb cut off, hopping around in a pool of blood trying to stump the other to death. It’s funny the first time, but soon gets old.
Despite its obvious focus on comedy, GUTS is actually a deep fighting game. Each of the characters feels different. Some are heavy while others are light, which influences how they move and how they respond to enemy attacks. I wasn’t able to find a character I liked visually, though there are plenty of mechanical differences to make it worth your while to try them all. Stringing together a succession of hits before finishing your opponent off with a GUTS move (the abilities that dismember) is truly rewarding and doesn’t lose its accomplishment value at any point.
GUTS includes a host of modes such as a story mode, online versus, couch versus, a tutorial, and a couple of others. The tutorial bugged out on me the first two to three times I tried to do it, and I wasn’t able to find an opponent online, so those looking for a long-term beat ’em up will need a couch buddy to play with.
I applaud GUTS’ attempts to add more innovation and creativity to an otherwise stagnant genre. However, past its comedic value, GUTS will struggle to keep you entertained for more than a few hours.