Guilty Gear holds a special place in my heart above all other competition games. Over Guitar Hero, Taiko Drum Master, Street Fighter, and all other games where I have to compete against other people. I took to Guilty Gear unlike any other game, and it has since become my favorite competition game. So, I bring up this week's Weekend Reading on the heels of Guilty Gear: Accent Core being released in Japan just 4 days ago, as I try to bamboozle, hoodwink, and persuade you readers with reasons why Guilty Gear is so wonderful.
Now, I feel I have need to remind you all that this is my opinion, and if I'm wrong, say so in a civilized manner. No need to turn into 4chan here. Seriously, Anonymous can go crawl in a hole and die for all I care.
As you may have noticed, I enjoy a good story. Even in fighting games, I find it more enjoyable when there's some vague reason why the people are fighting. Over its 20 year history, Street Fighter has developed a story that's considered decent, but only occassionally, and through other mediums, do you see this story unfold. Now, admittedly, I haven't played through the most recent iterations of the series because I know that the story won't be all that apparent in the game. Now, Guilty Gear has provided me with a decent story and characters that are clearly defined from one another, unlike in Soul Calibur, where we have repeat characters like Yungsung and Assassin, Cassandra and Sophitia, or Seung Mi Na and Kilik, whose moves are virtually the same, just with different skins. Really, I expect all the characters to have different move sets from each other.
It seems to me that the people behind Guilty Gear took great pains to make the game as balanced as possible. As I play through my friend's copy of Guilty Gear X2 #Reload, I don't run into any real issues with unbalanced characters, or with clear "tiers" of who to play and who not to play. Instead, each character is good as long as you learn how to play as them, thus eliminating button mashers from being any real threat. A friend of mine will button mash as Potemkin, but we have no trouble beating him, and since he'd have to spend some time with the game to learn the characters, he doesn't play. So, we lose out on that aspect, which I don't miss all that much.
So, apart from the characters who are unique in both story and moves, the other aspects of Guilty Gear that rock are the music and the art. Drawn in an anime style, the art for Guilty Gear is very sharp, and continues to improve with each game. The one good thing to come out of Guilty Gear: Isuka (which this is the only GG game I actually own, unfortunately) was the system allowing users to create their own custom color schemes for each character, something that can make the character look a lot more awesome when you're playing at home with friends. This, combined with a soundtrack of fast-paced guitar rock makes for an awesome fighting game that really can't be paralleled elsewhere.
So, are there many Guilty Gear fans out there in the Destructoid crowd? I'd like to hope so, as whenever there is a Destructoid Party Fest (temporary name), I'll be damned if there isn't a Guilty Gear tournament going. Be prepared for my hell butterflies, people!