Although it's billed as a full-fledged sequel to Guilty Gear X, X2 is more of a sequel in the Street Fighter sense. Aside from six new combatants and some slight graphics and gameplay refinements, not much has changed. In fact, many of the game's backdrops were taken directly from the previous installment, making this feel more like Guilty Gear X1.5.
That said, Guilty Gear fans will still want to check the game out, if only for the great new characters and new Mission and Story modes. There's enough here to keep even the most hardcore fan entertained.
And for those fighting fans that missed out on the last game, now's the perfect time to see what Guilty Gear fans have been raving aboutfor example, the series' incredible visuals. As with GGX, X2 impresses with the best-looking 2D graphics ever seen in a fighter. Everything is high-res, fluid, and superclean. It looks so good, you'll almost want to swear off Capcom fighting games for good.
Gameplay is also extremely fun and surprisingly deep. GGX2 feels like an amalgam of good fighting games, blending the weapon-based fighting of Samurai Shodown with the off-the-wall insanity of Marvel vs. Capcom. But even though it draws elements from other games, it still has a feel all its own.
Newcomers need to be warned, though: The Guilty Gear series has a bizarre fascination with the artistic sensibilities of '80s hair-metal bands. The game is loud, boasts a blazing metal soundtrack, and features characters that are supposed to mirror real-life rockers.
Regardless, for anyone who's remotely into fighting games, X2 is worth at least a rental.