Deep into Advanced Variable Geo‘s story mode, young Yuka Takeuchi (female, 17 years) fights her clone. Although Yuka struggles in noble pursuit of glory and fame, her clone lives only to murder. During an emotional post-battle cinematic, Yuka’s clone describes her lonely life . . . and passes away without ever knowing the warmth of a loving smile. Alas, poor Yuka-clone! Your heart knew only sadness and failure! Why weren’t you allowed to wish for happiness?
Trying her best to hold back the tears, Yuka removes Yuka-clone’s red glove and places it on her right hand. With this Memorial Fist, she will make the wicked genetic manipulators pay for playing God!
Before you let Advanced V.G.’s pretentious patina of pathos touch your heart, know this one small detail: Yuka is a martial arts waitress, fighting against other waitresses in a waitress battle tournament. Melodramatic nonsense about clone life and death has no place in a fighting game starring bunny women who fart flames from their bushy-tailed rears. Asuka 120% understood this. Asuka 120% worked not only because it’s genuinely good, but because it’s a lighthearted romp that fits the loose playing style and goofy character designs. With sloppy control and a mystifying “plot twist”, Advanced V.G. makes the entire chick fighter genre look exactly how judgmental gamers would expect it to look: bad.
Before Advanced V.G. gets all weepy near the end, it does try to be a “wacky” game with “crazy” characters. I spent most of my time grim-faced, cursing whoever decided that parading a bunch of stereotypes across the screen qualifies as comedy. It certainly doesn’t qualify as ingenuity: there’s the strong girl, the bunny girl, the rave dancer girl, the glasses girl, the ninja girl, the waitress girl, the other waitress girl, the other other waitress girl, and the other other other waitress girl. Despite being overloaded with waitresses, none of them are even half as cool as Guilty Gear‘s Jam Kuradoberi. They also talk too much. In Advanced V.G., you’re forced to listen to all of these vapid caricatures say a lot of nothing during unskippable cinematics and unskippable pre-battle conversations.
As for the fighting itself:
I’m a fan of bright visuals and glitzy cutscenes, but such things are most effective when complementing a worthwhile game. After painful deliberation, I’ve concluded that Advanced Variable Geo is not that worthwhile game. But it could be worse. The waitresses could all get raped when they lose, like they do in the original PC version. Fortunately, TGL has removed all of the sex so that people who buy 2D fighting games starring a bunch of big-breasted girls won’t be offended.
Skip this nonsense and get Asuka 120% Maxima Burning Fest instead. It controls like a dream, it’s got some depth to it, and you can actually play through its story mode with more than one character.