Acceleration of Suguri X (ASX) is a bit strange, to say the least. It is an anime-style fighting game starring seven combatants who duke it out in a ringed arena to see who is the best at fighting. Well, I think that’s what they are doing. The story mode is not only weird but is also told via a series of anime comic stills that seem to go on forever and ever and ever and ever- you get the idea. You can’t even skip them as a whole. You can only skip to the next page by pressing X, which I did many, many times!
Luckily, it’s not the story that carries this game. The combat is fairly straightforward. You fly around an arena trying to defeat your opponent by using a variety of close quarter and ranged attacks. These attacks vary depending on which fighter you are using. By trying them all out, you can learn which type of attack works best for each character. The attack moves also vary in style and power depending on whether or not you charge the attack by holding down the button.
You can also dodge incoming attacks by pressing the square button; this will give you a boost of speed to help you get out of the way and will also allow you to get close to your opponent, even if they are on the other side of the screen. You are not able to go past the boundaries of the combat circle, meaning that running away isn’t always an option. In order to win the match a player must diminish his/her opponent’s stamina three times, twice for shields and then the final layer of health. Once completely drained, the battle ends and it’s on to the next fight, or a continue screen if you are a bit rubbish!
There are three arcade modes. Standard allows you to select one fighter to go up against the remaining six characters, one by one: standard stuff for fighting games. There are also two story modes in which you control different fighters to play out the narrative. The storylines themselves are bonkers; one has something to do with a party and the other to do with pudding (really). The combat in all three modes plays the same way and, by working your way through the story modes, you will unlock four more fighters.
The controls feel good and character movement is fluid and smooth, but the main problem with the game is that it is incredibly easy to spam your way through it. There are certain characters with devastating ranged weapons, and by just continuously pressing X you can pretty much fly through the modes in 10 minutes. There seems to be no real depth to the combat, and the only challenge comes from the final bosses in the story modes.
The visuals and music go a long way to make up for this. Although the characters look rather low-res, they are very cute and the music is very trance-like, adding a level of excitement to the battles.
There are also three versus modes to go along with the single player experience, but these are rather lacking. There is a two ‘human’ player mode, one player vs the AI and also a practice mode. The only thing of interest here is the 1p Vs 2p mode, which lets you battle it out with your mates (local only). The only online functionality in sight here are leaderboards, which is a real shame, as ASX would really benefit from some sort of online play.
ASX is a fun, throwaway distraction. It certainly cannot compete with ‘real’ fighting games, but its charm, music and ‘nuttier than squirrel poo’ storylines help it stand out a bit. The game’s flaws and repetitive nature mean that you probably won’t be playing this for hours on end, and the lack of online play lets it down somewhat.
Review copy provided by publisher.