Fighting game fans that love playing anime styled fighters that aren’t named Street Fighter have probably come across the Guilty Gear series. It’s defining characteristic outside of the anime visuals and over-the-top character designs is its attachment to rock and heavy metal music. The original Guilty Gear had a cast of 13 original fighters for the series debut, while its sequel Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus R introduced more characters and story while giving updates to all of the returning characters. Both games are now on the Nintendo Switch for fans that want to take the heavy metal fighting with them on the go.
The first game, the original Guilty Gear, was released in arcades back in 1998. The game did well for its original roster of fighters and its smooth animations during fighting. On the Nintendo Switch the game runs smoothly and is a faithful reproduction of the original arcade release. The instant kill attacks will be a hurdle to overcome against the computer in Arcade Mode, but using them against your friends is still super satisfying in Versus play.
Unfortunately, there isn’t much beyond the Arcade mode and Versus modes to enjoy, there’s no extras or bonus content related to the development of the game. There is no online Versus mode, which is a shame since it seems like an obvious addition for this rerelease. But if you’re more interesting in playing the sequel to this game, Guilty Gear lacking online support won’t bug you at all.
Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus R is the bigger and meatier of the two games. A small nitpick on the Nintendo Switch version is the reversed controls for A and B buttons, where B confirms selections and A goes back. This might be annoying for some, but will eventually grow on you as you play more. Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus R is an updated sequel that received a number of extra characters and tweaks to the roster, it feels like the more complete and fully realized game.
There’s a Story Mode, Arcade, Training, and so much more to do in this game over its predecessor. The roster of fighters jumps up to 25 characters, with all of the bonus and DLC characters for the game included. Characters also get a bonus EX MODE version to them, which adds even more variety among the roster for those who love tinkering around with the different match ups you can have.
Getting into matches on the Nintendo Switch with Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus R works well as you’d expect it to, with online matches being a hit or miss depending on the quality of your internet connection. It doesn’t take long to find someone to play against, but matches do vary in stability and overall quality. When playing locally you can detach the joycon controllers to play multiplayer or connect with another controller to the Switch.
When you’re done fighting, there’s a Gallery Mode you can explore with original artwork and video clips, as well as other bonuses you can obtain from playing through every mode in the game. If you’re obsessed with much of the Guilty Gear universe and plot, you’ll definitely have a lot of fun collecting everything in here.
Guilty Gear and Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus R on the Switch are good ports of the arcade games to Nintendo’s portable console. While it’s a bummer that the original Guilty Gear doesn’t get more love compared to its sequel, especially with the lack of extras and online play, it’s still a faithful recreation of the original arcade game. Hardcore Guilty Gear fans will definitely spend more time playing Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus R, both online and offline. Both games give exactly what fans want, a solid and faithful port of a classic fighting game to bring with them anywhere they go.
These impressions are based on digital review codes of Guilty Gear and Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus R for the Nintendo Switch, provided by Arc System Works.