Guilty Gear Isuka Hands-On

We try out the Xbox version of Sammy's four-player twist on its Guilty Gear franchise.


TOKYO--Sammy and Microsoft were both showcasing a work-in-progress version of Guilty Gear Isuka, the insane four-player variant of Sammy's Guilty Gear series of fighting games. Although released earlier this year in Japan for the PlayStation 2, the game is still in the works for the Xbox and is slated to include Xbox Live support. We of course tried out the game to see how it handles on Microsoft's big black box.

Specifically, we tried out the game's arcade and Xbox Live modes in both booths, to get a feel for how the game is coming together. There weren't any shocking revelations during our time with the game, which handled well and about as expected. The core fighting mechanics should be mostly familiar to fighting-game fans, although even Guilty Gear masters will need some time to adjust to the four-player insanity if they haven't tried it before. The game makes some significant additions to the franchise's potent fighting system. Besides the addition of two other characters in a match for four-player madness in free-for-alls or team-based brawls, you can also take the battle to the foreground or background, much like in SNK's old Fatal Fury fighting games.

The additional gameplay elements make combat a bit more challenging than you might expect, since, once things get rolling, you'll be hard-pressed to keep track of everything going on--so be ready to get beaten down the first few times you fight. But, thankfully, if you can keep a level head and stay in the zone, it's possible to make some sense out of the action in due time.

It's barely worth mentioning that the game looks stellar on the Xbox, given the graphical quality of the recent Guilty Gear X2 #Reload. Sammy's gorgeous high-res character sprites and backgrounds maintain the high standards that have been dropping jaws since the series debuted. The game's performance, even with the addition of two other characters, is good and fast, featuring Guilty Gear's trademark animation in full effect.

Based on what we played, it seems as though Guilty Gear Isuka is shaping up to be a fine addition to the Xbox's catalogue of fighting games. The gameplay additions and online functionality are nice to see, and should please fans of the series looking for new challenges. At present, Guilty Gear Isuka is currently slated to ship this fall for the Xbox in Japan, with a US release to follow. Keep an eye out for import impressions when the game releases this December.

For more updates, be sure to check GameSpot's coverage of Tokyo Game Show 2004.

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