“Judgment” Day for PSP; Guilty Gear Gets Reloaded for Sony’s Handheld
“We were able to keep all gameplay mechanics exactly as they are in the X2 #Reload console versions.”
How do you make one of the best 2D fighting games even better? There are many answers to that question, but it looks like Guilty Gear Judgment has the right answer.
First the developers decided to port the last game, Guilty Gear X2 #Reload, to PSP. No graphic effects were spared, no combat moves deleted – the guilty pleasure of the Xbox and PS2 classic is fully alive in Judgment.
Next they created a new mode exclusive to the PSP edition: a single-player, side-scrolling beat-‘em-up that’s strong enough to stand on its own. Final Fight who? Streets of Rage what? Judgment day is coming. When it arrives, few brawlers will be able to compare.
Intrigued by this promising fighter and engrossed in all that it has to offer, GamingPolo Online went straight to the source to get reloaded with more information. Russ Mock, Producer at Majesco Entertainment, told us about the game’s development, its content, and how much butt it’s going to kick.
Guilty Gear Judgment is partially a port of the Xbox game, Guilty Gear X2 #Reload. Xbox-to-PS2 ports are common, but Xbox-to-PSP has been pretty much unheard of. How was it decided that this should be the game to bring to Sony's handheld?
Russ Mock: Actually we used the PS2 version of Guilty Gear X2 #Reload to port onto the PSP. The Xbox version and the PS2 version are almost identical so it just made more sense in terms of port-ability.
Given the different architecture of both the Xbox and PSP, what obstacles did you have to overcome in bringing Guilty Gear X2 #Reload's gameplay and graphics to the PSP? Have any changes been made to the game's controls or the graphics? Was there anything that needed to be scaled down for a handheld, but expanded for the widescreen view of the PSP?
RM: The graphics remain the same, if not a bit crisper and more vibrant. Guilty Gear has always been know for its visually gratifying attacks and lush backgrounds so our benchmark was to make the graphics at least as good as previous incarnations. Surprisingly, we were able to keep all gameplay mechanics exactly as they are in the X2 #Reload console versions. We did have to adjust the game controls for Judgment in order to translate all of the awesome moves from 2D fighter to side-scroller format. We spent a lot of time tuning how players turn around since this movement is automatic in a 2D Fighter as opposed to being player controlled in a side-scroller.
We also had to add a jump button so that required rearranging some of the player's attack combinations because we lost an attack button. For these attacks, we just switched which attack button the player has to use to perform certain attacks (instead of the X button we changed the button combo to either the Square, Triangle, or Circle buttons). All of the player's attacks will be viewable through the menu system much like they are in X2 #Reload. It is almost second nature to acclimate yourself to these adjustments.
The new Judgment mode sets this title apart from its predecessors, giving players a full-fledged brawler to get into. What can you tell us about it?
RM: The story is brand new: a scientist is experimenting with genetic manipulation on the Island of Isene in the South Seas. All of our Guilty Gear characters find themselves on Isene for one reason or another. There are 6 areas, composed of 19 levels to pummel your way through using all of the old and some new attacks for each character. Arcsystems created over 20 new enemies to populate these levels. When you go from a 2D Fighter to a side-scroller you need "cronies" to beat up. From flaming Hellhounds, lizard men, and mud monsters to plant women, lumbering beasts, and flying insectoids, Guilty Gear Judgment has them all.
Which characters will be playable in Judgment mode?
RM: All of the standard characters from X2 #Reload without Robo-Ky, Justice and Cliff (but those three are in X2 #Reload). There is also an unlockable character you can play as once you beat the game. This guy is sick--you gotta unlock him! That brings the grand total to 21 characters.
In playing the preview build, I found that you had to attack repeatedly to raise your meter and unleash temporary invincibility. How is this going to work in the final game? Is there a key to landing continuous attacks that players will have to figure out?
RM: As you attack enemies, your Tension Meter increases. You can perform more special moves as the Tension Meter fills. When the Tension Meter fills to capacity it will overflow into the Burst Meter. At that point, you can perform a Burst Attack where your character projects an outward radiating force burst that eliminates all enemies in the vicinity. Continuing the tradition of the Guilty Gear franchise, continuous attacks enable you to juggle enemies using attack combinations for prolonged periods of time. Players just need to find the right combination of attacks, but hey that's half the fun.
Will Judgment mode have more than one level of difficulty?
RM: Judgment includes two difficulty levels--normal and hard.
How does the game advance the story, and which of the characters will have their own storyline?
RM: Actually, all of the characters have their own storylines. You begin the game with the option to play as five characters; Sol-Badguy, Ky Kiske, Millia Rage, I-No and May. As you play through these base character storylines, you will encounter other Guilty Gear characters within those stories, thereby unlocking those new character stories for you to play through. Each character's storyline intersects with another character's and this branching connection will give fans new insights into each character's backgrounds.
What about bosses – will any of the levels end in a special fight?
RM: Each area ends in a boss fight. There are six bosses total and each has a very different look and set of attacks.
What is the M.O.M. (Medal of Millionaire?) mode all about?
RM: M.O.M. is a GG X2 #Reload mode where hitting opponents with combination moves increases the Medal Gauge and raises your Medal Level. The higher the Medal Level, the higher your score.
Is there anything else you can tell us about Guilty Gear Judgment that we might not be aware of?
RM: It's going to be one of the deepest and fun games on the PSP with tons of replay value. It's basically two games for the price of one--Guilty Gear X2 #Reload, an already great console game that translates into a solid handheld game you can bring with you anywhere, and Guilty Gear Judgment--a soon to be classic game that perfectly complements the Guilty Gear franchise. Along with Judgment's Story Mode, it also includes a Survival Mode and 2 Player Co-op that lets you and a friend play all the way through the game together, on screen at the same time. It's great for working with your friends, but if you want to put a whoopin' on them go into X2 #Reload and deal out the punishment 2D fighter style. Also, as a bonus, Robo Ky, Justice, and Cliff will be unlocked in X2 #Reload from the beginning.
Thank you for your time.