Developer: Arc Systems Work
Release Date: September 1, 2006
Guilty Gear Judgment is the next game in the popular 2D fighting franchise from Sammy. Although the title of the game only mentions "Judgment," the disc itself actually is two games in one – the aforementioned Final Fight-style GGJ and the neoclassic fighter Guilty Gear X2: Reloaded, a practically perfect port of one of the best 2D fighters around.
GGJ itself is a side-scrolling brawler featuring almost the entire Guilty Gear cast, minus Justice, Kliff, and Robo-Ky. That's 20 characters in all, which is unheard of in a brawler. In addition, every character retains his/her full list of moves. The only real exception is that air combos are limited by the lack of multiple jumps in midair, which is not a terrible loss when you consider how many ways you already have to pummel through enemies. The developers even included the overdrive attacks and Roman Cancels.
The gameplay was fast and smooth and did not feel strange at all – the transition from fighter to brawler worked almost perfectly here. If anything, it felt like playing a souped-up Final Fight game, where your character has five times as many attacks (and with more than five times as many characters to choose from). In addition, two gamers can link up over an ad-hoc connection to enjoy a co-op mode, which is a welcome but almost unheard-of feature for a PSP title.
You'll start with only five characters, but as you wallop your way through a vast assortment of monsters and bosses, you'll slowly unlock the other 15. The game contains a great deal of insight into the Guilty Gear mythos, revealing additional details about the intertwining storylines of each character which have not been revealed as of yet. The controls were very natural and quite responsive, and I had very little problems becoming accustomed to the slight differences between X2: Reloaded and Judgment. Primarily, the only difference was that "up" does not jump, as the function is now handled by the X button.
Speaking of X2: Reloaded, the version on this disc plays as a nearly flawless port of the arcade game. All of the characters are present, and the only thing missing is the mission mode. Also, all the characters will be unlocked from the get-go, so there will be no unlocking required to play as anyone, even the special Justice, Kliff, and Robo-Ky characters.
Multiplayer competitive versus mode will also be done over ad-doc wi-fi and should be very reliable and playable, in contrast to previous versions of the game, where networked duels were attempted (cough, Xbox, cough). Although it's a few years old, X2: Reloaded is still one of the best 2D fighters in existence and played competitively the world over. This alone makes GGJ a fantastic addition to any PSP owner's library of games.
The Guilty Gear Judgment/Guilty Gear X2: Reloaded dual-game disc will be available in September for an estimated price of $40, which is a bargain, considering that this is two full games in one. Expect this one to fly off the shelves fast, as between this and Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection, the PSP is turning into one hell of an impressive fighting game console.
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