In reverse order of excitement, ARC System Works' Guilty Gear X is currently set for release on the GameBoy Advance in September 2002, and the appallingly named Marvelous Entertainment's appallingly named King of Fighter EX : Neo Blood is due in August. Of course, it's a good thing it's not "King of Fighters EX", because you'd look pretty stupid asking for that in a shop. Go on, say it out loud. Anyway, the recurrent 2D beat 'em up staggers ever onward on multiple platforms, but GGX and KOF on the GBA are perhaps forgivably 2D. And was there ever anything strictly wrong with 2D beat 'em ups anyway? No, not really. So get excited, because Guilty Gear X is a 2D beat 'em up the way 2D beat 'em ups should be done, and King of Fighter EX is an update to the excellent Neo Geo Pocket Color games of a similar name. To begin with, they both have a stupid, completely irrelevant plot, which could easily be spun into a daft film with a plot even less relevant, and in turn not even strictly relevant to the game it started life as. No doubt starring Kylie and Van Damme. GGX has a lot of different play modes, from the standard arcade, training and versus modes to the more intriguing three-on-three link cable and tug modes, developed exclusively for the GBA, and an aptly named mode from the Dreamcast version - Survival. King of Fighter EX isn't looking that bad in the modes department either, with a story-driven team play mode (which is actually single player), team versus team (which is actually two-player), single play mode and survival mode. Players of GGX also have the option to pick from 14 characters with a handful of others waiting to be unlocked throughout the game, and finally the game will let players create their own characters to throw into the mix, which should be an interesting task to say the least. Hopefully the excellent character balance from the PlayStation 2 version will also make the transition. There, individual strengths complement and defeat one another demanding a truly strategic approach to battling.
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