Review by Slifer_Alpha
"Does AC+ deserve Heaven or Hell?"
Does Accent Core Plus ascend to the heights, or fall to the depths?
All things considered, the Guilty Gear series as it is known today is a relative newcomer in the field of fighting games. It doesn't have the long, nostalgia-ridden history of other well-known titles such as Street Fighter. However, what it lacks in history, it has pretty consistently made up for in the sheer polish and fun the game offers. Since its debut, it has given gamers a high-speed, twitchy fighting action that few games had utilized up until that time, and even still now. Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus, the newest game in the series with one mouthful of a name, thankfully lives up to the series' precedent.
Graphics - The pinnacle of 2D fighters on the PS2.
I know this may come as a shock to some hardcore fans of the third dimension, but the graphics in this game are stellar, holding up to the Guilty Gear standard very well. The sprites are extremely well animated, even in the midst of battle. Each frame of animation is crisp and clean, transitioning from one to another very fluidly, and shining through even in hectic situations. As well, the arenas are varied and beautiful, even though they are often hidden behind battle effects. Definitely a treat for the eyes.
Sound - A speedy, hard rock soundtrack for a speedy, hard-hitting battle.
Something the Guilty Gear series has always been lauded for is its music selection, produced under the watchful eye of Daisuke Ishiwatari. A choice selection of hard rock, heavy metal, and even songs with classical and oriental bits integrated into them. Each character's theme is representative of their personality and story, and makes a great background for battle. As well, each character is fully voiced, both in battle and throughout Story Mode. And, as a nice little cherry on top, the game comes with a music CD containing many of the songs featured in the game.
Story - A completely new addition!
To say the least, the Guilty Gear story is... Complex. With characters ranging from a stoic, harsh, crass, yet righteous vigilante, Sol Badguy, and his rival, the posh and proud knight Ky Kiske, to strange characters like the mad, bag-wearing Doctor Faust, who wields a giant scalpel as a weapon and the constantly-bleeding, giant key-toting A.B.A., there has been a great deal of trouble piecing together the wild and varies stories tied to these characters. This has been something gone rather overlooked in the actual games, instead being told in mostly Japan-only supplementary works. However, as of AC+, English-speaking people now have a chance to see the story for themselves with the newest addition, a Story Mode! In this, you work your way through a given character's story, and depending on your decisions in dialogue and battle, the story can unfold in a number of different ways. As well, Kliff and Justice also return to the fray as unlockable characters, with their own story modes. Even if you already own Accent Core, these are definite reasons to upgrade to Plus.
Gameplay - The true test.
Regarding how Accent Core Plus plays, there isn't much to be said that hasn't been already. The battles are fast, furious, and hectic, the difficulty can range anywhere from simple to unforgivingly hard, and each character is a new and unique experience. However, for fans of Guilty Gear, even those who have Accent Core, there is still much to look forward to in Plus. There are a number of new modes, aside from the aforementioned Story Mode. There are Team Vs. modes, where you can play against either a friend or the CPU with a team of three characters, similar to the King of Fighters series, where, after one character is defeated, the other takes his place and the winner gets a slight health regeneration, and the fighting continues until one side is decimated. Returning from Accent Core are, of course, Medal of Millionaire mode, where you fight for medals and score, Arcade mode, Mission mode, Survival mode, and so on. This gives it a definite replay advantage, especially with over 100 unlockables, including EX characters, Black and Gold characters, different stages, new character play modes such as the Guilty Gear Generations, which allow you to adopt the play style of the former GG and GGX games, as well as some secret additions.There is a ton of content here, and it is definitely a timesink. As well, the game has been rebalanced and tweaked, with new additions to movelists and how certain characters handle. Even though the improvements may not be in the forefront, they can definitely be felt.
Final Opinion - A definite keeper!
Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus is a nearly flawless game, with numerous improvements and additions, which is more than worth its meager release price of thirty dollars. Even if you already own the original Accent Core, it is worth the upgrade just for the chance to see the story unfold, not to mention all the other features just waiting to be unlocked. A very worthwhile game for fighting game fans, and even those looking to get into it.
Total Score: 10/10
Reviewer's Rating: 5.0 - Flawless
Originally Posted: 04/09/09
Game Release: Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus (US, 04/07/09)
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