This will just be collecting dust I fear
Up until I played Guilty Gear ? Dust Strikers, I had never looked at the series. So I decided to do a little research as it confused me a little! It turns out that Guilty Gear was first seen in 1998 on the Sega Saturn and the PlayStation (PSOne). It was an animie inspired fighting game in the style of Street Fighter. The game become popular not only for its fast gameplay, but also due to its inspired visuals and superb sound track.
It really fails to get anything right
As you can imagine, after finding that lot out I was quite excited to get this little bad boy in the DS and fired up. It started well, with a decent sound track and 20 great looking characters to choose from. Having selected what looked like a balanced fighter, I entered the fray. And that’s when the problems started. Initially it all looked good. The animation was fluid and the graphics were clear. Then the fighting started. At that point I may as well have given the controls to my 5 month old daughter for all the good they did me.
With 3 other fighters on the screen the action is confusing to say the least. You never quite feel as though you know where you are what you are doing. This is made worse by the fact that there is no character collision detection. All four of you can be in the same place at the same time, so you can end up not being able to distinguish your character. Then add into the mix that you have multiple platforms available to you, which you find yourself getting punched onto with concerning regularity, and you are just button mashing and hoping that the game will end soon. There are also powerups available. These can result in what I expect the developers considered amusing situations. Oh how I laughed when my position on screen and that of 2 other fighters suddenly switched and I had even less idea what was going on than normal.
Nintendo gave us a unique platform when it came out with the DS. The dual screen, the touch screen, the built in mic etc. The big problem is, many developers do not know how to get the best out of the unique features. They either ignore them altogether, or they use them just for the sake of using them. Unfortunately, Dust Strikers falls into the latter category. There was no real need to include the ability to punch your opponent up into the top screen. Rather than adding to the flow of the game it totally kills it.
Of course there are also the obligatory mini games. These seem to have been thrown in just because it is expected. These range from a really bad pool game, to a pretty fun whack a mole clone. Again these really add nothing to the package.
Guilty Gear ? Dust Strikers is a master class in how not to use a DS for 2D fighting games. It really fails to get anything right that I can see. This may be a bit harsh. The graphics and sound are good, but you just won’t care about them as you mash your DS in the hope of not getting cornered and pummelled by the DS AI.