Although fighting games still remain a mystery to me, i enjoyed this one a lot and the characters and fighting are great
Guilty gear XX reload is hard to dislike, it's crammed full of features, and there isn't any English speaking characters which means I can't really insult the game for having cheesy voice acting. That said the game does translate the Japanese into English text for you so you don't feel completely left out, there isn't much of a story to it except people decide to prove themselves to each other by beating the living snot out of the other guy until one of them goes cool you've killed me now I respect you. But I think guilty gear recognises this fact as it isn't a fighter that actually takes itself too seriously.
In a world full of fighting games which is full of characters like ryu, ken, Cammy, akuma (mattata) and other uninteresting characters. It's nice to see Guilty gear take a turn away from this and create truly abstract characters, from the serial killer doctor that is Faust, to the male transvestite who fights with a yoyo in a nuns outfit called Bridget. These characters are all over the top and seem like some of the freaks that you might be unfortunate enough to meet behind a seedy brothel within Amsterdam.
The graphics within guilty gear are really well done, instead of sprites everything is hand drawn and it really looks great, like something you would see within an anime comic book. There are a ton of effects for each character's moves as well, which is also a problem, as often when you're fighting the game turns into a cluster of effects, meaning you don't know whether you've hit them or they have hit you, However it can be forgiven as it's pretty...
The story mode in Guilty Gear is laughable, it is just a bunch of dialogue linking all the fights together, however it does the job and it can be ignored, seeing as it's spoken in Japanese so if you close your eyes you can imagine them saying whatever you want them to say. Personally I closed my eyes and imagined the male characters all hitting on the transvestite Bridget, but that's just because I'm sadistic and I like the idea of even though these guys are the best fighters they still have difficulty detecting when a the person they're hitting on has a penis.
The gameplay in guilty gear is different from your usual fighters, there are still bits that are directly ripped from other games like super combos, it's instantly pickup able for those who have street fighter. However it does things differently as well. It introduces an instant kill move for almost every character that can only be used once, however if you miss or they block it you lose the ability to do super combos for the rest of that battle, amongst other losses. The characters also move fairly slowly, although they can dash on the ground and in the air to make up for this.
This game seems to concentrate on combos, the bigger the combo the more damage you dish out compared to if you were to do each move by itself, therefore don't be surprised that most of the fighting is spent on the offensive. Moves are fairly easy to pull off as well except a few, so you can quickly learn the basics of a character, but take a while to master and link up different moves. However sometimes the Ai can be unforgiving which quickly leads to the more frustrated of us i.e me, to button mash the prick into video game hell.
However not everything about Guilty Gear XX reload is good, for one fact some of the missions you get in mission mode and in single player are downright impossible. Note to editors, when you give the player a certain task to fulfil, like kill this enemy within a minute and a half, but only super combos take away life, don't then give the enemy the ability to block all your super combos' a lack of intelligence on the developers part led to a controller through the pc screen here in merry old England.
The two player on the other hand turns into a button mashing blister fest , this is because both human players aren't likely to go on the defensive, unlike the computer who would. After playing and mastering the game as much as humanly possible by myself. I invited a different friend round who'd never played the game, only to be beaten by him instantly when he kept repeatedly hitting the slash button. In retaliation I lost all ethics about playing properly and decide to button mash my way to victory. Thankfully I had cheated by not telling him about super combos so my dignity remained intact after I instant killed him and sent him packing back to his hovel.
What disappoints me about this game is the lack of online, It was released in 2004, and it could really have done with another way to play human people, as the cpu just doesn't cut it sometimes.
I'd also recommend getting a pc controller for this game, or pluggin your xbox 360 or ps3 controller in, as the default mapped keys on the keyboard aren't at all that great and make it harder than it already should be to pull of a super combo.
Another thing I've noticed which irritates me is the fact that almost all the girls wear clothing that just barely holds in their cleavage, it was undoubtedly a way for lonely nerds to both learn ridiculously long lists of moves off by heart, and simultaneously put their hands in their trousers. It irritates me that all the males are wearing armour and then fight against a girl who wear's an amount of leather that would barely cover her belly button let alone most her body.
Would I recommend this game? Of course, it's one of the best 2d fighting games out there, but saying that it hasn't got much competition, a street fighter game here and there, a virtua fighter for good mix, and a dash of tekken. But don't be fooled, Guilty gear is a fun game. And it's helped by a cast of weird characters and the fact it doesn't take itself seriously.