Guilty Gear X
System: Playstation 2
Publisher: Sammy Entertainment
Developer: Arc System Works
Released: 2001
Genre: 2D Fighting
Capabilities: Memory Card, Vibration Function

Review Written: May 16, 2002

The Game

Guilty Gear X is the sequel to the original Guilty Gear fighting game on the Playstation. This sequel first appeared on the Dreamcast in Japan. It was suppose to get a North American Dreamcast release, but shortly after the Japanese release, Sega announced that they’re abandoning the Dreamcast and becoming a third party publisher. So Sammy did the smart thing and moved development of the game over to the Playstation 2. Guilty Gear X is suppose to have a much different style to other 2D fighting games like Street Fighter, and King of Fighters. So let’s see if system change paid off.

The Story

This is set in 22nd century, and the story follows shortly after the first Guilty Gear game. In the first game, robots called “Gears” developed actual feelings, and rebelled against the human race. But after everything was all said and done, they came up on the losing end. All the existing gears were erased of their memories. But a new and much more powerful Gear has been discovered. And news has erupted of rival nations using their own Gears to go to war with each other. So now a band of characters has gathered together to take on the newly discovered Gear.


This is a 2D fighter, so don’t expect the beautiful computer animated models that you see in games like Tekken Tag Tournament, or Dead or Alive 2: Hardcore. But the back of the box says, “The most advanced 2D graphics on the Playstation 2 computer entertainment system.” And the game does live up to its own statement. The character models are some of the most inspired that have graced my eyes. Especially the Faust character, who has a paper bag over his head. All the characters attacks and special moves are animated perfectly, and look superb. But some of the Overdrive Attacks (the equivalent of Hyper Combos in Capcom fighting games) and new Instant Kills (like the fatalities in Mortal Kombat, but can be done any time) look just plain odd. Faust has the weirdest set of moves. Some of his special moves worth mentioning are him hiding himself under a rug and dropping down from above onto an opponent. Another unrealistic one is him opening a door that appears out of nowhere onto the opponent. Faust’s Instant Kill attack is him putting a foe on a canvas, and making the opponent explode with TNT. The just mentioned attack is one of the stupidest moves to put into a serious fighting game. And you must be thinking what the people in charge were smoking when they added it in. But either way, all the action going on screen never slows down during game play. And one can wonder how the developers at Arc System Work managed to keep the frame rate going so fast at a consistent rate.


There’s a weird announcer who does a little opening spiel for each round, and you can barely make out a word he says. He has a deep, robot voice. And at times you can’t determine weather or not he’s speaking English or Japanese. Just like most other fighting games, each character has their set of taunts and yell out the name of their moves as they do them. And as you expect, its mostly in Japanese. The sound effects are dead on, with all the punches, explosions, and so on sounding the way they should.

Game play

As I have already told you, Guilty Gear X is a 2D fighter. And it controls a lot like Street Fighter, but has enough unique elements thrown in to be billed as having its own set of controls. Just like any other fighting game, you can perform special moves like projectile attacks, and so on by inputting a specific button sequence. The game takes advantage of the analog stick control, so it’s easier to pull off moves. This game has special attacks that most other games don’t feature. A few of these are Roman Cancels, which allow you to link up several combos at once. And Dust Attacks, which help you get past opponents who like to hold their guard all the time. Street Fighter has the popular, Hyper Combo Gauge, but in here, it’s called the “Tension Gauge.” It can be built up by sustaining damage and doing regular moves. The Tension Gauge can be built up to three levels, and you can do various special attacks (called Overdrive Attacks) at certain levels that deal great damage. There is also a “Instant Kill” attack. You do this by first holding down all four main action buttons at once, and this is the time you are allotted to do the Instant Kill attack (which is about 5 seconds). If you don’t do it within that time, you start to lose health. And if you connect with it at just the right spot, then you will score an instant win. But if you miss with this attack, then you can’t perform any more Overdrive Attacks or Instant Kills for the rest of the round.

There are five main modes of play. The standard mode is the Arcade mode. Where you work your way up the ladder through computer opponents, and defeat the final Gear. The next mode of play is Versus mode where you go against a friend. Training mode is where you go against a computer dummy, so you can practice all your moves, and see how zany all those Instant Kill attacks are. Then, we have Survival mode, where you fight one computer opponent after another with just one life bar. The last mode is “Recording” where all you do is simply save replays of your favorite battles so you can watch them at a later time.

Replay Value

The game does have a little extra here to keep you playing. The Versus mode is nice, so you and your friend can go at it in endless duels. I usually don’t record battles too much in fighting games, but at least the option is there. And the training mode is welcomed so you can learn all your moves. And Survival is definitely a nice extra feature for the solo player. So we have a decent amount of extras to say the least.

In Brief

+: Superb 2D graphics, Extra Survival and Recording modes, Unique game engine

-: Horrible announcer, very unreal “Instant Kill” attacks

The Final Ratings Rundown

Graphics: 8.1
Sound: 7.2
Game play: 8.5
Replay Value: 6.0

Overall: 7.4

Rounded to fit GameFAQs Score: 7


This is a decent fighter all around. It is a welcomed addition in the lacking 2D fighting games library for the PS2, which is now just this game and Capcom vs. SNK 2. It has some flaws, but is a good package all together. If you’re a die hard 2D fighter fan, than this one is definitely worth a look.

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