Guilty Gear X2 Reload Review | MOUSE n JOYPAD

Guilty Gear X2 Reload Review



Before we begin, if you are considering buying this title first make sure you have a PC compatible controller or joystick. This game does not play particularly well without one.

I liked Guilty Gear X2 Reload a lot less than I thought I would. As a fan of Street Fighter, Blazblue, and Marvel Vs. Capcom, I thought I would certainly find something about Arc System Works’ old fighter that I would like. Even after looking past my pc specific gripes, there is a lot wrong with the game.

Guilty Gear X2 Reload plays in full screen on my 16:9 monitor without any severe graphical issues. I would have liked to play the game in its original aspect ratio without the stretching, but it looks alright. It accepted Xbox controller input, which is great (playing a fighting game on a keyboard is a lot like using a race wheel to play an fps), but its mapper was finicky. All the button graphics are for a PlayStation controller, and it would not allow me to use the triggers as inputs. This is what I would expect from a pc port from 2002, not a 2014 Steam Release.


I’ve never been hit with a fan that hard, but I’ll make a stronger point of avoiding it now.

The characters all have a fairly long reach, and special attacks that chew through whole health-bars. These are design choices that try to make the fighting engine feel quick and impactful, but it often leaves my opponent and I feeling silly and frustrated. This game is more interested in having cool looking moves than having balanced moves or moves that are fun to use.

For someone without a lot of fighting game experience, Guilty Gear wouldn’t be too difficult to learn in an afternoon, but it is far from having the accessibility of Smash Brothers or Marvel Vs. Capcom. In fact, I don’t really know where Guilty Gear X2 Reload fits into the greater world of fighting games. It’s flashy and fast paced, but it is outdone by Marvel Vs. Capcom 2. It’s about as accessible as the excellent Street Fighter 4 series, but its lack of balance will bother newbies and fighting game fans alike. It’s nonsensical storyline is eclipsed by Blazblue’s in presentation and quality, so even if this type of story appeals to you their are better ways to get your fix at a cheaper price. Guilty Gear may have a place in the history books as a stepping stone for Arc System, but it doesn’t have that strong technical foundation that keeps SNK’s and Capcom’s older fighters fun decades after their initial release.

What Guilty Gear X2 Reload lacks in technical proficiency, it hopes to make up for in its sheer volume of game modes If you are in fact bored of the same arcade and 2P Versus modes we have all been playing since Fighting Street, Guilty Gear X2 Reload has got you covered. There is a fleshed out story mode, this provides more detail for a number of characters if you are interested, a survival mode, a gallery, a training mode, and a CPU versus mode. For an older fighting game this is a lot of content, and it helps supplement the lack of gameplay depth. This might be a flashy, on the surface affair, but it does counteract some of that with thoughtful gameplay modes.

After pouring a fair amount of time into X2, I realized something. As much as it might look like a fighting game, it isn’t a game designed for fighting game fans. It’s designed for anime fans. It is an attempt to take much of the themes and characters found in a Shonen Anime and dump it into the structure of the fighting game. It comes out doing neither that competently, and I find the people who disagree are often more entrenched in anime than I.

Guilty Gear X2 Reload plays like most Japanese one on one fighters. You’ve got four buttons for attacks, and your analogue stick or d-pad in place of a true eight-direction joy-stick. Pulling off special moves requires you to swoop, swoop, and cutback in conjunction with a variety of button presses. The movelist in this game is tight, and I didn’t find myself overwhelmed by the number of combo’s I had to deal with like I often do when I’m picking up Tekken or Soulcalibur after a break.

Arc System Works likes having deeper story modes in their games, and I can appreciate that. As a kid, I wanted to know more about my favorite SF characters, and I was often disappointed that I had to rely on licensed comics and tv shows to get that. While I appreciate the effort, but even after playing through several story modes I was left confused. There is little to no exposition on any subject. Character speak about events, political structures, and items that are never defined, and it all turns to bland mush. In pre-battle dialogues there are plenty of instances where characters don’t even sound like they are talking to each other.


“I have a bad feeling about this. What the hell…? I don’t even know what to do with this anger.”

  • Sol Badguy


It’s lines like these that kept me motivated through my review.

The music wasn’t very good. I know it matches the action anime theme, but it lacks variation, becoming truly grating. Even though most fighting games aren’t known for their music, most games will have a track or two that I find catchy. This soundtrack didn’t help me get into the dumb antics of the game, it made me want to quit sooner.

Playing Guilty Gear X2 Reload feels like listening to a popular rock groups first high school tape recording. There are a lot of elements that come over to Arc System Works’ new fighting series, Blazblue, but you wouldn’t have known worked had you not played the newer games. If this were Daft punk, Guilty Gear would be Homework, and Blazblue would be Discovery. Hardcore Blazblue fans will likely get a kick out of an older game with so many similarities, but it still pales in comparison of its contemporaries.