Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus PSP Review

Before ARC System Works shifts to more lavish fighting territory with its forthcoming console beat-em-up BlazBlue, it has one more portable game up its sleeve. Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus is the most accomplished game in the fighting series, featuring a bevy of modes, a long list of characters and addictive gameplay that fighting fans should appreciate.

If you've never played a Guilty Gear before, there's no better place to start than Accent Core Plus. The game features a terrific selection of fighters, from old-school favorites like the rock and roll witch I-No and the electrically charged Ky to the beautiful Jam and returning favorites Justice and Kliff, who were sorely missing from the previous game. Each character has various abilities, moves and special attacks. If you don't grow accustomed to one, chances are you'll easily become attached to another. The style hasn't changed that much from previous Guilty Gear games, but it if ain't broke, don't fix it.

With most fighting games on the PSP, players usually have to overcome control issues with the system's iffy directional pad. Fortunately, Accent Core Plus is very user friendly. You'll have no trouble getting used to each character's punch, kick, slash and special moves. The only problem is the occasional mis-mapping of buttons, as punch and kick tend to switch around for no apparent reason. This is easily remedied. You simply go into the options menu and remap the buttons.

With Guilty Gear, ARC System Works has always made the series stand out with hand-drawn animation. This one has luscious backdrops and beautiful character animation. They are a little fuzzy at times, but overall it's a swell-looking game. The music is equally impressive, with several hard rock tunes and an announcer that isn't afraid to act goofy. "Heaven and hell, let's rock!"

Best of all, Accent Core Plus has a variety of modes. You can face a slew of opponents and maximize your fighter skills in Survival Mode, take on the computer in full-blown 3-on-3 team battles, learn more about your character in Story Mode, take on certain tasks in Mission Mode and fight with fellow players through AdHoc. We were wondering how multiplayer would turn out, since most fighting game developers (like SNK) can't seem to nail it. Fortunately, ARC System Works has done a splendid job with Accent's multiplayer, as you'll battle against a buddy with hardly any lag or slowdown.

Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus shouldn't be missed. It's an outstanding game with the type of controls, presentation and extras to make any fighting fanatic proud. Now bring on Guilty Gear III or, better still, a handheld port of BlazBlue.

What's Hot: Splendid animation and rockin' sound, terrific gameplay, numerous modes including Survival and 3-On-3 Team Play, multiplayer actually works.

What's Not: You'll need to occasionally readjust control settings, not everyone will enjoy using the PSP D-pad.