Guilty Gear Isuka Review - The Next Level

Game Profile

PlayStation 2
Release date:
Fall 2004
Sammy Studios
Arc Systems
1 - 4; 1 - 2 (GG Boost)

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

Wait, that's a lie. Overall, I enjoyed a lot of the extras thrown into Isuka, but the problem is that a lot of it seems very tired. Color editing has been around since the Street Fighter Alpha days, and even Boost mode has its roots in Tekken 3's Force mode. Considering that Isuka is a title that's considered out of the Guilty Gear canon, Arc Systems could've let their creativity fly with this title. With the exception of A.B.A (who wasn't in the arcade version), most of the characters are almost completely unchanged, save for the traditional tweaks and balances. One could argue that those very tweaks can change a character completely, but the series as a whole hasn't progressed as quickly as it should have, and this was a great opportunity for them to do so. Throw in new moves, hell, go for a wholly new graphical style too! Perhaps I'm spoiled by what Sega did from Virtua Fighter 4 to Virtua Fighter 4 Evolution, but I can't help but think of what could've been with Isuka.

On the other hand, Guilty Gear fans will definitely eat this up. I'm definitely part of this group, and although I think the game could've been better, it still possesses the same style of gameplay that has made the game one of the most popular arcade titles in Japan for the past couple of years, and it is immensely fun when played with your friends. Also, the graphics are still top-notch, and new arenas have also been drawn for the title. Finally, the soundtrack as always is great. I think that this is where Isuka beats out the rest of the games in the series, since it's able to draw upon a wider selection of tracks than earlier titles.

I can't criticize Sammy Studios for its lack of effort with Guilty Gear Isuka. They did a damn fine job in localizing the game for consoles, and I applaud them for their efforts. But considering this game is from the same duo that a couple of years ago introduced some of the most dazzling graphics in a fighting game, coupled with some truly eccentric designs, I expected a little bit more from them than an unoriginal beat-em-up and edit mode.

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