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With the level of innovation in the DS, it's hard not to see Guilty Gear Dust Strikers as some kind of cop-out, trading on a successful franchise for a new console. Fans will boo and hiss at this, and say that Guilty Gear was always a top Fighter and a sleeper franchise that needs more exposure. True that may be, but it only does an average job as a fighter, and it barely scratches the surface in terms of using the capabilities of the DS. Good for a rental, but thin as a purchase.
The biggest drawback to the game is a lack of single-cartridge multiplayer. That would probably be pretty close to impossible to include though, considering the large amount of sprite animation that would need to be downloaded to each DS, but playing this game single-player really won't be entertaining for that long, either. If your DS buddies are getting it, you should get it too. If not, you might want to pass, at least until the game goes cheap.
Hardcore gamers in the know will testify that the Guilty Gear series has consistently been on of the most innovative and intriguing fighting franchises in gaming as of late. Where the other 3D fighting franchises are happy simply adding new layers of bump mapping and hair texturing to their scantily clad pin-ups, the Guilty Gear series keeps pushing the envelope by adding entire new dimensions and gameplay layers to their whacked-out crew of carnival freaks.
But if these disillusioned fans can get past these omissions, then they'll find Guilty Gear Dust Strikers to be quite enjoyable, as it uses many recognizable elements from the venerable series and tastefully borrows from other fighting games, too.
Guilty Gear: Dust Strikers is not the essential handheld fighting experience, and doesn't really deserve to be. Its control quirks and lack of anything in terms of long-term entertainment outside of the multiplayer fail to make this a must-buy. However, fans might enjoy the new interface, and will surely get into the presentation and multiplayer options. It won't gather that much dust.
Cheat Code Central
The animations of the special moves are good but it would be so much better if the characters were larger. You will hear strains of guitar rock throughout the game that will remind you of better days. Overall, Guilty Gear Dust Strikers is just a hodgepodge of a game that is marred by its overly ambitious efforts to be something unique.
Fans will be happy with its fairly large roster of classic Guilty Gear characters, but gamers savvy with Jump Superstars and Bleach DS may not be impressed. Having up to four people fighting at once is a step in the wrong direction, but at least game designers implemented the platform system to address the overcrowding problem. The inclusion of the power-ups severely cheapens the game, changing it from a competitive fighting game into a wannabe party title. Had the development of this game been focused on one-on-one combat and Wifi connectivity, things might have turned out for the better. Though the game comes with its own customization mode, having to slog through the horribly gimmicky mini-games won’t sit well with jaded gamers looking for some fun. Thus, the latest installment of the Guilty Gear series is a mixed bag of great characters, intense fighting, and bad ideas. Here’s hoping the next DS fighting game gives us something better.
It's too bad that Guilty Gear: Dust Strikers had to sacrifice some of its progenitors strongest features to enact new and engaging gameplay changes because the new enhancements for Dust Strikers really do add something new to the franchise, however; judging the entire game as a whole leaves it wanting.
Guilty Gear DS is an all new vision of the franchise, and while it doesn’t have the solid gameplay or flow of the original, it’s great to see developers take a chance. Unfortunately, fans will want to pass this one up, as more things were added to the fix-it list than were taken out. The gameplay is sloppy and basic, the characters suffer from less of an animation budget on the smaller system, and the overall feel just isn’t worthy of the Guilty Gear name. There’s a bit of fun to be had on the most basic of levels, but the overall strategy is far too small. Players will inevitably resort to button mashing, which is a far cry from the complexity of the Guilty Gear franchise. A similar approach is going to be taken for the PSP version, adding all new gameplay to try and win over the handheld crowd. With luck this will be a better transition, as Guilty Gear Dust Strikers isn’t worth the cash. Here’s hoping for a traditional sequel.
The graphics for this game also took a beating in a sense. While the characters and stages are pretty well detailed, it is the animations for each of the characters that have been limited. While this is understandable (since there can be up to four characters on the screen at once) it is also sad because this is one of the staples of this game. The music and sound effects are decent in this game, but it can’t compare to the console versions.
Guilty Gear: Dust Strikers is something that should've been a no-brainer. Sadly, with the addition of party elements and lack of unlockables, the game just doesn't live up to its predecessors. You might just want to stick with Guilty Gear X2 until they release a real sequel to the franchise.
With tasty graphics and a finely-tuned battle engine, Dust Strikers is another quality entry into the Guilty Gear series that while not offering anything new (or better) than other DS fighting games, is still an enjoyable game. If Majesco and Arc Systems can fine-tune some of minute details that are present in the game (most notably the stage design) then this series could be a real contender on the DS.
Game Informer Magazine
Dust Strikers is what you get when you take an existing franchise and suck everything that makes it cool out of it in the process of trying to copy a different successful franchise.
Trop confus et fondamentalement déséquilibré, voilà ce qui ressort des quelques heures passées en compagnie des superbes combattants de Guilty Gear Dust Strikers. Le jeu pèche par sa volonté excessive de nous offrir du neuf et du contenu typiquement adapté à la DS. Une action qui se partage entre quatre joueurs et qui s'étend sur les deux écrans, des bonus et des mini-jeux, tout cela laisse présager de nombreuses heures de bonheur mais passe finalement assez mal à l'écran. Décevant.
There isn’t much replay value to be found in Dust Strikers. With most fighting games, the majority of the replay comes from the fun factor, which holds very little weight in the case of GGDS. While some good ideas exist in this game and it tried to emulate the fun and action of the originals, it brought in too many bad ideas and sloppy gameplay. To be honest, the only thing that I gained out of playing this terrible entry was a newfound interest in playing some more games in the Guilty Gear series. If you want a good portable GG, get Judgment for the PSP, GGX for the GBA, or, Hell, even the Petit GG games on the WonderSwan would be a better investment.
Part of what makes the original Guilty Gear games so great is that sense of controlled chaos derived from the bizarre characters and exaggerated moves. Dust Strikers removes that sense of control that gave the original games their depth and challenge and kept people coming back for more. Instead, Dust Strikers just throws together some components that have worked in other games, and hopes for the best. The result is a game that lacks the focus, depth, and challenge to be a competent 2D fighter.
Pocket Gamer UK
But overall, Guilty Gear Dust Strikers is a misguided attempt to graft party game features onto an established fighting franchise. It will be a disappointment to existing fans of Guilty Gear and newcomers alike. Not to mention the counselling all those depressed streetpunks are going to need.
It's a real shame to see such a fundamental mistake get in the way of what would otherwise be an excellent package. Aside from the omission of a practice mode, there's plenty of content here and some great ideas implemented too - the Challenge mode allows for an arcade-style experience where the single-player game can be interrupted by another challenger over Wi-Fi connection, while the seven touch-screen mini-games are mildly diverting if somewhat contrived. It does have its moments and like Isuka before it, four-player gaming is quite entertaining, if only because each player is in the same boat (namely the SS What The Hell Is Going On). But while Arc has obviously attempted a Super Smash Bros-style game within the Guilty Gear universe, the end result is something truly horrendous. It may not be the case that 2d beat-'em-ups cannot work on the DS but unfortunately, Dust Strikers does absolutely nothing to debunk this theory. What a mess.
We're left quite bewildered as to why the core gameplay has been changed quite so drastically for this release. Surely people only wanted a straight up 2D fighter, and instead we get one of the worst games for the handheld.
The Video Game Critic
I couldn't believe how easily I plowed through the single player mode, despite not really knowing what I was doing half the time. In several matches I seemed to get my ass handed to me, only to be declared the victor. High scores aren't retained, which hurts the replay value. In what could be construed as an apology for the main game, Dust Strikers also includes a collection of light-hearted mini-games starring Guilty Gear characters. There's a wack-a-mole game starring Faust, a food-catching game, and a bizarre one where you clean a yo-yo! These stylus-controlled games are cute, but they drag on for so long that your amusement gradually turns to hate. I was curious to see how Guilty Gear would translate to the DS, and now that I know, I can only hope and pray it never happens again!