TGS 2000Guilty Gear X Hands-On

We got our hands on the Dreamcast version of Sammy's 2D fighter.

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Guilty Gear X is a 2D fighting game developed by Arc Systems and published by Sammy. The game showed up in Japanese arcades earlier this year. The arcade release ran on the Naomi arcade hardware, so as you may expect, the Dreamcast version is pretty close to identical.

The main draw in Guilty Gear X is its graphics. The characters are amazingly animated, truly doing justice to the playing-a-cartoon concept that other games have tried to attain in the past. While the Dreamcast version on display here at the Tokyo Game Show doesn't look quite as fluid as the arcade release, it still looks better than any other 2D fighter on the market, and there's still the possibility that the game will run even more fluidly upon its final release.

The fighting in Guilty Gear X is a fairly standard four-button affair: You use two buttons for weapon strikes, one for punches, and one for kicks. The combo system is easy: You simply work your way up the buttons, from punch to hard slash, and - of course - it never hurts to toss in a special move at the end either. Where the game makes its mark is with its fairly interesting uses for your supermeter. Aside from charging it up to do a special move, you can switch it over to a mode that drains the bar a bit each time you attack but gives the attacks more potency. Also, there's a special block that drains your meter a bit when you use it, but it prevents you from taking any block damage.

The character design is pretty varied in Guilty Gear X, ranging from your typical sword-wielding character to the more esoteric choices, like a winged woman who uses her wings as a weapon; a sea-faring girl who totes a giant anchor; and a man who stands well over nine feet tall, yet crouches all the time to keep his height from unbalancing the game.

Guilty Gear X should make quite a splash when it's released in Japan later this year. No US plans for the game have been announced.

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