When it comes to 2D fighting games, Capcom's Street Fighter rules. But for fighting game fans in the know, it is Arc System Works' Guilty Gear series that's best. In fact, for some, Guilty Gear is the greatest fighting game off all time.
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The PC version of Arc System Works' superb fighting game BlazBlue Calamity Trigger will be out in the UK on 20th August. That's this Friday.
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Back when Guilty Gear X hit the PS2 in 2002, 2D fighting games like Capcom vs. SNK 2 were being overlooked in favour of flashy 3D numbers such as Dead or Alive 3 and Super Smash Bros. Melee. But those who did pick up this quirky curio discovered a fighter with personality in excess. Guilty Gear X had a rich anime presentation, heavy metal music, instant kill moves and a deranged doctor wielding a giant scalpel - all of which combined to set it apart from the output of Capcom and SNK.
However, like Guilty Gear before it, Guilty Gear X was far from perfect. Apart from being notoriously unbalanced many found it difficult to get their heads around the game, as it certainly wasn't short on technical mechanics like Dead Angel Attacks, Roman Cancels and Gatling Combos. Despite this many fighter fans loved the extreme pace and depth and as Arc System pilled on the upgrades and sequels, adding new characters and readdressing the balance, Guilty Gear turned into a respected fighting series with a hardcore following.
Capcom is a company responsible for much invention in the fighting game field, and of its hit and miss attempts to push the medium forward, X-Men vs. Street Fighter was the defining point in a new era of 'manic' fighting games. With the action cranked to eleven, it redefined the genre in a new, frenzied form. Although Arc System Works' Guilty Gear is no idle rip-off, it has drawn influence from Capcom's crossover series.
Even if its complexity can be eluding, with beautiful anime styling, heavy-metal themes and wildly overblown combos, there's no denying its spectacle. With Guilty Gear, the Yokohama-based developer has not only raised the profile of 2D fighting games over the last ten years, but has itself become a recognised power in the field.
In light of this success it's unfortunate to learn that, through a legal loophole, Arc System has lost the Guilty Gear rights to SEGA Sammy Holdings. It's no surprise then that it's urging fans to adopt its latest fighting game, BlazBlue, in its place.
Arc System Works has revealed that it's making home versions of its arcade 2D fighter BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger for the PS3 and Xbox 360. They're due out in Japan in the summer, according to Famitsu magazine (as reported by IGN).