Real Talk By: KJ
It has been a while since we have had a new fighting game in the Guilty Gear Series. Last gen was treated to a title of similar gameplay and style in Blazblue. While that series is sweet, (more entries are coming on the way), The original bizarre-fighter is ready for come back. Is Xrd -SIGN- worthy?
Well you cannot talk about this fresh GG without mentioning the Unreal Engine 3 powered graphics. I’ve never played a game that has taken the 2D/3D experience more seriously. Characters look as if they had been drawn by hand, but in-fact, these are 3D models one-hundred percent. Fight at a 2D angle, until you pull off a nice super move, or round ending slash. The game transitions between both dimensions seamlessly, making it truly feel like you are in control of an anime.
Many of your favorites are back, but sadly there has been a few omissions. More DLC is planned so maybe the veteran characters will be back (and hopefully for free). Much of the paid content is for those who can’t wait around. Spend real money to unlock a character immediately, that you could get just from playing the game anyways. Also, system voice packs for each fighter, that again, can be achieved for free by simply putting time in. One fighter players will have to buy is newcomer Leo Whitefang for $7.99. The good news is that extra purchases are cross-buys.
Gameplay includes regular taunts, and respect taunts wherein players complement their opponent. The tension meter is still the key to using the special moves. Red, Yellow, and Purple Roman cancels are methods used to extend combos given the situation. Even if a move is botched, there is a cancel to accommodate, bringing you right back like nothing ever happened. The Burst technique will help you get out of a jam. These are all very important strategies to learn. Don’t worry friends.
If there is one thing to takeaway from the game, it’s that if you put the time into Guilty Gear Xrd, the game will give it right back. Every technique and useful strategy is broken down to the minute detail. Tutorials are entertaining as Sol Badguy and Sin Kiske go through the motions. Funny dialogue is crammed into it. For a person who dozes-off at your typical “How-To” segments, it’s rather refreshing.
Soundtrack is true to form. Heavy metal rocks stages. Sound effects fit with the game, the voice acting is solid. Good guys and Villains match-up. Its funny fighting the computer and being insulted at the same time. Shocked more games don’t use the feature.
Arcade actually sets up main story. Taking players through several stages of combat, fight the cheap boss, see the multiple openings and endings. Once finished, move onto Story mode. Ramlethal has initiated a plan to eliminate Mankind.
The plot makes sense here, with the game breaking down any terminology that may confuse. When key things are mentioned in GGXrd’s story, all one has to do is press the triangle button. A screen comes up breaking it down. Unfortunately this part is completely unplayable. It is supposed to serve as a movie. The Story plays like a motion comic, and any action or dialogue is slow-paced. It is a shame that characters who have been a part of the series (like Johnny & Dizzy), only appear in this mode as guests. This hands-off part of the game is more acceptable though, when you factor in the rest -SIGN- has to offer.
One mode has absorbed most of my time. The M.O.M (Medal of Millionaire) mode. It’s a Survival/RPG Mash-up. Defeat an enemy several times under unique conditions. Do it before the time runs out. Even if you have more life in this mode, you’ll still lose. Players will have to hustle. Getting upgrades for your fighter such as life, Power, items to use in battle, then facing foes with similar enhancements keeps this mode enjoyable.
PS4 vs PS3. The two system owners can clash online. Network play is decent. Some rooms lag, others are fine. The typical experience. The fact no console owner’s left out, is a major plus. But it is a no-frills experience compared to other modern full-priced fighters. Limited options for sure.
It is refreshing to play a game that has made updates to the formula, but does not stray away from what made it great. Guilty Gear Xrd will groom newcomers to the series in an entertaining and satisfying way. The combat is incredibly deep. Fully grasping the ends and outs will take time. But it’s a grind that you’ll want to be apart of since the core gameplay is so tight. Rocking tunes and an overall style that will leave an impression whether you like the game or not.
Guilty Gear Xrd -SIGN- Gets
4 out of 5
+Groundbreaking Art Direction
-Online needs help
-Unplayable Story Mode