Guilty Gear Isuka Review - The Next Level

Game Profile

System:
PlayStation 2
Release date:
Fall 2004
Publisher:
Sammy Studios
Developer:
Arc Systems
Players:
1 - 4; 1 - 2 (GG Boost)
Genre:
Fighting
ESRB:
RP

Guilty Gear Isuka

Back for another round, GN returns to the ring with Sammy's 2D 4-player mayhem.

Review by Chris Bahn (Email)
November 9th 2004

Guilty Gear Isuka is one of those ideas that seems absolutely terrific on paper. The fluidity of Guilty Gear mixed in with some four player insanity seemed like the perfect receipe for a game, but unfortunately plans got derailed somewhere, and it's anyone's guess as to what happened. Isuka is not a terrible game by any means, but given the pedigree of Arc Systems and Sammy Studios, so much could've been done to make this game a lot more enjoyable.

Isuka plays similar to past Guilty Gear games in almost every sense except for two major changes. The first is the ability to hop between two plans of action, like in the early Fatal Fury games. The other is the inclusion of a block button, which replaces the Dust button (it has been remapped back to its original button combination). The first change is a novel idea that works pretty well, as it allows players to separate themselves from the hectic action to gather their thoughts for a second before jumping back in, and you cannot attack someone who is on another line unless you use a Line Change attack. The inclusion of a Turn button has been criticized quite a lot since initial impressions have come in, but it's a fairly intuitive to use, and honestly, if it wasn't included, it would be a lot harder to attack anyone, especially those crazy free for all battles.

Those who are familiar with the Guilty Gear series will recognize the roster of characters in Isuka. Everyone from Sol Badguy to Zappa are in the game, as well as a console exclusive character in A.B.A, who fights alongside a battle axe named Flament Nagel. A.B.A actually has three modes, which are represented by the bloodbags near her Tension meter. By consuming one of those bags, you can greatly change the way she plays by giving her more speed, power, and even new moves at a cost. Robo-Ky, who was an addition to Guilty Gear XX #Reload is in the game too. In fact, he's used in one of the neatest features in the game, dubbed the Robo-Ky factory. Here you can customize your own Robo-Ky that has his own moves and attributes. For example, you can change attacks so you can Roman Cancel (recovery of a move is canceled) any special move.

Of course, you can also customize the appearance of your Robo-Ky too. It's a cool feature that ties in well with the Boost mode, which is another console-only mode where players go through several Final Fight-esque levels in order to gain experience for their Robo. Most of Boost mode is really easy to go through, although you'll have to go through it a lot in order to get enough experience points for many of the tasty features you can use with Robo-Ky. One odd design choice I've noticed is that while Boost mode is single player, you still have to use the Turn button. This strikes me as strange, seeing as Boost mode isn't a multiplayer mode, so there's no need to constantly switch targets. It makes the controls far less intuitive than they should be, but that's my only gripe with the game.

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