PSX Mania – 059 – Guilty Gear (1998)

Completion time: 53:50

I played Guilty Gear once before on the PS1. It lacked music, and I never really did much other than play a round or two. After playing it during this past stream, I’m beyond thrilled that I never put much time into it before, as the soundtrack that was missing from my old copy, really….really enhances the action exponentially.

I’m not kidding when I say that Guilty Gear‘s soundtrack is one of the best on the console, and for sure a top three for PS1 fighting games. It’s exciting, exhilarating, mood setting, blood pumping, and plenty of other superlatives I could spend a while going over here. It’s a franchise that’s known for amazing compositions, but man, it’s some god tier goodness that I didn’t expect from a PS1 version.

The gameplay is super tight as well. I knew the basics of combat for the most part, outside of air combos, so going into this I had a bit of a feel for how to do things. It’s a disgustingly well made fighting engine. I was never a Guilty Gear fan in general, but on the PS1, this games fighting engine is top tier. It’s also drop dead gorgeous. It might not have a lot of frames of animation, but the character models look fantastic, and the backgrounds are wonderful.

There were two things that did get to me. One was more of a comical exchange with the game where, out of no where, I got insta-killed. Multiple times. It was hilarious, and something I didn’t realize was a thing, or didn’t remember. The other thing though, not so playful – one of the worst final boss fights I can recall. I enjoy a challenging and fair final boss (Gill in 3rd Strike is perfect), but when they have attacks that are next to impossible to avoid, on top of the button reading and the ridiculous damage being done, it really pisses me off. This final boss had me raging hard, maybe harder than I did with the absolute BS from War Gods.

The funny thing though, because Guilty Gear is so well made as a whole, so fun to play, such sick music, it really makes me not want to hold this last boss against the game as a whole, and I’m not going to. It will drive you mad (and there’s no difficulty options oddly enough), but the journey to at least is some of the best the genre has to offer on the console. I’m sure this probably fetches a pretty penny, but this is a must play, however you go about it. It’s a premiere game on the console, and honestly, I’d consider it a hidden gem.

Rating: 10

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