Guilty Gear XX, subtitled The Midnight Carnival in Japan and known as Guilty Gear X2 in other regions, is the third main installment in the Guilty Gear series, as well as its seventh overall. It was developed by Arc System Works and released for NAOMI arcades and the PlayStation 2 console.
The game has received numerous updates over the years, in order they are: Guilty Gear XX ♯Reload, Guilty Gear XX Slash, Guilty Gear XX Λ Core, Guilty Gear XX Λ Core Plus, and Guilty Gear XX Λ Core Plus R.
A majority of gameplay elements return from Guilty Gear X, but several more are added, further codifiying the combat system of the series. With the Tension and Guard Gauges unchanged, movement, normal attacks, Overdrives, Instant Kills, Faultless Defense, and Dead Angle Attacks remain the same. Aerial versions for Dust Attacks and Throws are added; the former technique widely varies for each character compared to ground Dust Attacks and Sweeps, along with the Dust command now being its own button.
Other intricacies also involve the removal of FD cancelling, as well as the inclusion of the "stagger" hit effect (where the victim stumbles with a unique animation with an icon for wiggling the control stick to decrease time spent being staggered, which can prevent it in most cases from being looped into itself unless scripted to be inescapable). Stagger can be used to extend combos, as well as combo into throws, and not all forms of stagger can be escaped.
Combo options are expanded upon with the inclusion of False Roman Cancels that costs 25% tension, that can be used on most projectiles or moves before their hitboxes become active. Psych Bursts, which will repel the foe for no damage, are introduced. Performing one in a neutral state results in a Gold Burst and gives full Tension upon connecting on hit; if used while under attack from hits or during a block, a Blue Burst will occur that will repel the foe. The new Burst Gauge is depleted upon use and will refill throughout the fight. Overdrives (during their startup flashes) and throws (when they connect) cannot be bursted, and neither can they be used during a match start and match end (indicated with an X over the Burst Gauge). Bursts all have invulnerablity during startup, but can be punished if baited.
The Story, Mission and Gallery Modes that originated in Guilty Gear X Plus return, alongside Arcade, Versus (now split into two: VS 2P and VS CPU), Training, Survival and Options Modes. A new addition is the M.O.M Mode: a one-fall competition wherein medals are awarded. The Medal Gauge and medal level increase as the player strikes their opponent with combination moves; by achieveing certain point levels, the character receives life restoration items. For the console version, alternate versions of characters like in X Plus are available. EX versions—with altered, newly-added and/or removed attacks as a re-haul of their X Plus G.G./Extra Modse—can be unlocked (save for Kliff, Justice and Robo-Ky). Gold versions for all characters are also added as purposely overpowered versions, and appear as secret bosses.
Also, the battle themes for the characters as of this installment much like in the very first Guilty Gear, starts in-game before the round call is initiated, along with the said music being re-arranged for that purpose.
Two weeks after the events of Guilty Gear X, Dizzy has taken refuge with the Jellyfish Pirates. Each of the characters go through different plots but at some point they face I-No, meet her boss That Man, or discover something about themselves. Given the events of Overture and after, most of the paths—such as Dizzy being captured and Millia satisfying her vengeance—are considered non-canon.
The story opens with I-No, a servant of That Man, manipulating the events and creating conflict between the other characters. Ky Kiske discovers a mysterious organization creating robotic clones of himself; I-No's attack on the Mayship causes Dizzy to be thrown overboard, which leads to May and Johnny's search for Dizzy. At the same time, Millia's story focuses on her quest of revenge against Zato, who has been possessed by Eddie. Slayer watches the activities of the other characters from the sidelines and gives advice to them, namely Sol and Millia. Jam hunts for the arsonist who burned down the restaurant she was able to buy with Dizzy's bounty reward, and Bridget realizes that his bounty list is fake.
Greatly expanded upon from Guilty Gear X Plus, story mode now features fully voiced dialogue between characters, and all characters save for Justice and Kliff now have 3 paths each (and some paths feature Gold characters in normal color palettes as hidden bosses as aforementioned).
However, unlike in the prior installment's Plus version, XX now has some paths locked behind other prerequisites other than mid-playthrough of one character, such as needing to unlock and reach one other character's path ending for either another path for the same character or an entirely different character's path.
- Playable characters
- Boss characters
- Secret characters
In January 2002, Sammy Studios announced that Guilty Gear XX, as a spin-off of Guilty Gear X, would be released in arcades on the NAOMI arcade system in the spring of that year. Upon the game's release in 2002, its porting to the PlayStation 2 was speculated in late August, with release date set to autumn in Japan, which was later confirmed by Sammy in the same month. In the following month it was shown at Tokyo Game Show, after which it was published on December 2002 in Japan. In October, the North American release was set to happen in the first quarter of 2003; it was retitled Guilty Gear X2, to be released in February 2003. Sammy created a website to promote its release. After its North American and European releases, on February 26, 2004, it was rereleased in Japan under the label PlayStation2 the Best.
- It is one of three entries with revisions in the series, and has had the most re-releases with a total of five, followed by Guilty Gear X with three.