The Guilty Gear series has always been the blueprint for many “anime-style” fighting games. It set the standard on how games with this certain kind of technical, combo-heavy fighting scheme should look and feel. Arc System Works has gotten this formula down, releasing successful games like BlazBlue and Persona 4 Arena with the same kind of charm. However, many still consider the Guilty Gear series to be one of the best. What Accent Core Plus does is finally give those PS2s a rest, and allow fans of the series to finally play it on a modern console.
Accent Core Plus is not a brand new entry in the series by any stretch. It’s an perfect port of the PS2 game that was released in 2008 in Japan, 2009 in the US and 2010 in Europe. The graphics are cleaned up for the 360 and PS3 release, but sadly lacks the widescreen support many players hoped for, leaving us stuck with a 4:3 playing area with borders. Standing side-by-side against BlazBlue and Persona 4: Arena, the game still looks nice, and the amazing sprite work still shines. The music is no pushover either, as the game is known for its stellar heavy metal soundtrack.
While the game was visually appealing, what drew most people into the series were the gameplay mechanics, which still feel unmatched today. The game possesses an extremely high learning curve, that makes mastering a combo an extremely tedious task. While it might sound disheartening to some, it’s actually the very thing that makes this game as fun as it is. I’m definitely not the greatest person at this game, but going into Training Mode and just messing around with some of the moves makes it worth it.
Each move, from a special attack to a simple jab, has some sort of unique property that could change the way a combo either continues or ends. Creating personal combos is half the fun of playing fighters. Accent Core, with its deep mechanics, provides players with creative liberties to find their own combos and better understand the game. It’s why, even to this day, a lot of gamers who like this genre always come back to it. Because this is an older game, though, it lacks the Trial Mode for combos that many of today’s fighters have.
Accent Core Plus features a ton of modes that will keep the single and multiplayer experience fresh, but the most notable feature has to be its online mode, which sadly falters. While the matches themselves are smooth, due to the game trying to compensate for no lag, inputs become troublesome to execute. Considering the combo-heavy nature of this game, lagging inputs become a huge issue.
The game is expected to release a patch for Accent Core Plus R, the latest version in arcades, in the Spring. Upon its release, it will allow users to switch between the base Accent Core Plus and the update (much like Street Fighter IV does with Arcade Edition). Hopefully, the online issues could be addressed there.
Despite the age on the game itself, it’s definitely worth going back to. The Guilty Gear series still stands today as a fun fighter to play, despite Arc System Works having more graphically-appealing fighters on the market. However, they lack the polish that Accent Core had. It definitely proves that just because it’s old, doesn’t mean it’s not worth playing.
Pros: Deep game mechanics, colorful cast of characters, amazing soundtrack
Cons: Online suffers from input lag, extremely steep learning curve