I recall being insanely committed to Guilty Gear back in my college days around 2005 partially due to me transitioning over to PC and not having access to good arcade cabinets back then. Even before that, I’ve enjoyed the game along with some other 2D fighters during the PSX and Dreamcast era. While those other games continued to evolve, Guilty Gear was stuck in a state of stagnancy with lack of any innovations to compete with its peers.
Exclusive to Playstation, Guilty Gear Xrd -SIGN- is long overdue and with its arrival comes a visual overhaul that’s sure to surprise both new and old fans alike.
Guilty Gear is an easy-to-pickup 2D fighter. The core fighting elements are similar to other fast-paced titles but Guilty Gear dials it up a notch by encouraging players to be very aggressive in their play style whilst still giving a technical experience for advanced players with cancels and more. Ultimately, this makes Guilty Gear a very fast-paced fighting game that requires focus and some work to master and this is what makes the game fun and unique. The signature style of aggression mixed with fast-paced action is the bread and butter of the Guilty Gear franchise.
Guilty Gear Xrd redefines the series by introducing a new visual style and graphics. The PS4 version features 1080p resolution with the last-gen versions 720p but still, the game is crisp and detailed and the vibrant anime-style design greatly simulated in cel-shaded 3D. Some moves have been given cinematic animations to give them a whole new dimension thanks to the new 3D engine. This is complemented by a really good soundtrack that really gets you in the mood and sets the tone for the fast-paced action.
To complement the visual upgrade, some character redesigns have are in place giving them new and updated sprites some of which are really far off from their last outing whilst some are just a few touches. As a big Millia rage fan, the new look is a bit of a hit or miss for me and I bet many other fans of the older character designs will feel the same way. Thankfully she’s still included in the initial roster. Speaking of roster, out of the box there are 3 locked characters which can be unlocked via purchasing them as DLCs. The new roster also includes some new characters including Ramlethal, Bedman, Elphelt(DLC) and Leo Whitefang (DLC). Some of the older characters are not included in this game like Jam, Dizzy (she appears in this game though), and Baiken amongst others but with the DLC trap being a lucrative way of profiting from these kinds of games, we expect these older characters to appear later otherwise in an upgraded version of the game in the future.
Game modes include Arcade mode, Versus Mode, a very in-depth tutorial and MOM. If you feel like watching the story progress on its own, there is a Story mode that lets you kickback and enjoy the game’s plot. Multiplayer modes besides Versus comes as Netplay and lets you battle it out with players around the world in a Lobby system. While we do wish for an automatic matchmaking, busy servers with plenty of lobbies will easily keep you busy and the lobby settings are really plenty with options that allow participants to even practice while waiting for their matches. Netcode performance is decent and if you have a good connection, should be really smooth.
All in all, Guilty Gear Xrd -SIGN- is easy to pick-up game and its visual appeal coupled with its rocking OST easily pulls in new players and keeps vets satisfied. While we do wish for some changes like automatic matchmaking, returning casts and a tag mode, the gameplay itself is plenty enough to satisfy hardcore fighting game fans.
Guilty Gear Xrd -SIGN- is an excellent fighting game that stays true to its roots and welcomes both new and advanced players alike. With only a few minor quirks, the game is solid overall and is worth trying. Exclusive to Playstation.