Guilty Gear Judgement E3 2005 Hands-On

Read our preview to learn about the 2D brawling action of boost mode in the upcoming Guilty Gear game for the Sony PSP.

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The Guilty Gear series of 2D fighting games has appeared on half a dozen platforms since the first title in 1998. Now, the developer, ARC System Works, is adding another platform to the list by bringing Guilty Gear Judgement to the Sony PSP. We played a work-in-progress build of the game and are happy to report that it looks like it retains the trademark characters and flashy moves the series is known for.

We didn't get to experience the one-on-one fighting in the game, but we did spend some time playing boost mode, which is a side-scrolling beat-'em-up-style game starring the Guilty Gear characters. The E3 build of the game only let us choose from Sol Badguy, Ky Kiske, and Jam Kuradoberi, but the characters looked and fought exactly like their PlayStation 2 and Xbox counterparts. However, the controls felt more simplified, and it took a little getting used to. Instead of pressing up on the D pad to jump, you'll need to use the X button, which feels odd in a fighting game but works fine in a brawler.

The level we played appeared to be some sort of swamp or bog, and we walked from right to left beating up enemies three at a time. We saw only two different types of enemies, but they were well animated and fit perfectly with the offbeat anime style of the rest of the characters. The combat involved a combination of a weak attack, normal attack, and special attack, as well as a psych burst attack that can be unleashed once your meter is full. When we played, we never saw more than three or four enemies onscreen at a time, and many of the characters' moves--like Jam's spin kick--are designed to hit multiple enemies at once. After we beat the first level, we moved on to another level where there was a door toward the right side of the screen. The door had a face on it that we attacked--apparently to gain entry to another area. As we did more damage to the door, ice spikes fell from the sky, and eventually fire shot up from random spots on the ground. Apparently, in boost mode the enemies won't be the only thing you'll have to watch out for. The demo version of the game ended after the two short levels, but according to Majesco, boost mode will have more than 20 levels, playable with any of the 20 characters in the game.

We enjoyed boost mode for the most part, and we're interested to see what the rest of the levels will look like. We're also curious to see how the experience will change when played with the rest of our favorite Guilty Gear characters. For now though, we're looking forward to playing the one-on-one fighting mode to see how the Guilty Gear experience translates to the PSP. We'll bring you more information before the game's scheduled release later this year.

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