Guilty Gear Advance


posted 4/15/2003 by Charlie Sinhaseni
other articles by Charlie Sinhaseni
Platforms: GBA
I love fighting games but I never thought of the GBA as a means of satiating my desires. That is until Crawfish released Street Fighter Alpha 3, then I realized that a great time could indeed be had on the tiny handheld. With that in mind I looked forward to playing Sammy’s port of its excellent PS2-fighter and the end result is just as I expected, excellent all-around with a few minor hitches.

Most of the engaging characters from the PS2 title make an appearance here and while the cast isn’t as large in number, it’s just as good in quality. Although I did miss the yo-yo toting boy/girl from Guilty Gear X2, I was pleased to find that most of the game’s 14 characters were worth using. They all retain the majority of their movesets, including special moves and combos.

There are plenty of gameplay modes to cut your teeth on, a very King of Fighters-esque 3-on-3 mode is especially notable as is the traditional 1-on-1 fighting. When going at it solo you can expect to be pitted up against fairly competent opponents. While the AI isn’t quite up to snuff they’re capable of providing a more than adequate challenge to the casual gamer.

Since the series uses only four different attack commands the controls don’t suffer too much in the translation. Most of the moves are derivatives of the Street Fighter formula, sonic-booms and quarter-circles are the order of the day here. Surprisingly, executing these maneuvers on the tiny d-pad was much easier than I initially expected. I had little to no trouble executing these moves on command and as I progressed, I became one hell of a combo machine.

While there are a few gameplay modes available the title lacks the depth to hold your attention for extended periods of time. Sometimes the action gets a little repetitive and I found myself booting up the game just to grab a quick 10 minute fix. On a major trip that I took I couldn't play this game for more than 30 minutes at a time because it became so repetitive.

For a GBA fighting game GGAdvance looks excellent. All of the moves have been recreated quite nicely as are the animations. Most of the special effects and glitz that populated the other entries in the series are notably absent but the character sprites more than make up for those deficiencies. The background recreations are done quite nicely as well. I especially liked how the screen scrolled upwards to accomodate for those spectacular aerial combos. The sounds are fairly decent, even if that guy who says "Heaven or Hell, Fight!" is MIA. Just as you would expect the background music if your standard GBA fare.

Simply put if you’re in the mood for a great portable fighter then you should look no further than Sammy’s Guilty Gear Advance. The game is fun, looks great and is simple enough for anyone to pick-up-and-play.

If you’re in the mood for an excellent handheld fighter then look no further than Sammy’s port of its excellent PS2 title.

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