Review – Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus R (Switch)

I consider the Guilty Gear franchise to be one of the greatest fighting series of all time, and believe Guilty Gear Xrd Revelator to be the best fighting game released during this generation, beating the likes of Mortal Kombat 11, Tekken 7 and Dragon Ball FighterZ. Arc System Works’ franchise has never managed to appeal to the mainstream due to its  anime-oriented designs and infamous learning curve, although some of that was fixed in more recent releases. However, those who have decided to give the franchise a try, myself included, have more than likely become die-hard fans.

I was really looking forward to the series’ debut on the Switch, after the great work Arc did with their port of BlazBlue Central Fiction. Even though I was expecting a port of the brilliant Revelator, especially after the great port of Dragon Ball FighterZ to the system, Arc decided to grace us with a port of XX instead, which originally released for the PS2 but was revised one trillion times. Instead, we ended up getting Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus R. I honestly have no idea what those words are suppose to mean.

Accent Core Plus R

Burn baby burn.

Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus R is the SIXTH revision of XX. It was first released for arcades and PS Vita way back in 2012. It features well-detailed sprites instead of the widely acclaimed cel-shaded polygonal models from the more recent versions, as well as a more compressed sound department, and a 4:3 aspect ratio. You can clearly see that it’s still a PS2 game at its core, and some of these aforementioned aspects clearly show its age. Compared to other fighting games released for the Switch, Accent Core Plus R didn’t wow me as much. Even though it’s still really pleasing to the eyes, the reduced aspect ratio and poor voice work made it feel like I was playing one of the dozens of emulated SNK fighters released for the system every single week.

Accent Core Plus R

And this bad guy is supposed to be the franchise’s main GOOD guy…

Thankfully, those aren’t the most important aspects a Guilty Gear game should feature. When I think of Guilty Gear, three things come to mind: heavy metal, stupid yet charming character designs, and a complex but rewarding combat system. Accent Core Plus R excels in all of those. Even though the game is not as beginner-friendly as the more recent Arc System Works fighters, it still boasts a great fighting system, which allows you to pull off some ridiculous combos if you can memorize everything your character of choice can do. Granted, it suffers from the Switch’s lack of a decent directional pad, but the joycon’s analog stick still manages to get the job done. Playing with the Pro Controller is as trouble-free as expected.

Guilty Gear games are known for their edgy attitude, and it’s no different in here. The game’s roster is vast and as ridiculous as ever, with twenty-five equally balanced and over-the-top characters to choose from. Not to mention the franchise’s staple heavy metal soundtrack is as good as you’d expect in here. This is a series created by a heavy metal musician, with lots of characters named after musicians and bands, such as Axl and Slayer, so you know the headbanging ‘tude is strong in here.

Accent Core Plus R

There is a guy named Slayer, a guy named Axl… I guess the director might like rock a lil’ bit…

With its plethora of characters, modes, tunes and combos, Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus R provides more than enough to make players forget that this is a game that clearly shows some noticeable signs of aging. This is an unapologetic and over-the-top fighter that, despite not being as newcomer-friendly as more recent entries, is still very entertaining and rewarding after you spend some time learning how to play it. Guilty Gear‘s debut on the Switch is a great one, and makes me look forward to what Arc System Works will bring next for the system.


Graphics: 7.5

The sprite-based animations have managed to stand the test of time, but I really disliked the game’s reduced aspect ratio. Make sure to remove the borders once you boot it up.

Gameplay: 8.0

Like most Guilty Gear games, it’s a great combo-heavy combat system, even though it’s not as newcomer-friendly as the more recent games. Just like most Switch fighting games, the Pro Controller is essential.

Sound: 8.5

The heavily compressed voice samples sound cheap, but the heavy metal soundtrack is excellent as always.

Fun Factor: 8.0

It’s not as fun or over-the-top as the more recent Guilty Gear games, but this is a great companion piece for your Switch if you are a fan of fighting games. It boasts a very impressive amount of fighters and modes, as well as online play.

Final Verdict: 8.0

Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus R is available now on PS3, PS Vita, Xbox 360, PC, Switch and Arcade.

Reviewed on Switch.

A copy of Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus R was provided by the publisher.