One long running joke is how many revisions fighting games, namely Street Fighter II, receive. Last-generation we saw Capcom offer an elegant solution to this perceived problem. In addition to rereleasing the game with new content, fixes and more, you could pay a small fee and receive the new content as an upgrade. After years of revisions, Guilty Gear is finally trying this system with Guilty Gear Xrd REV 2. With new fighters, more story, alternate character episodes and more, is Guilty Gear Xrd REV 2 a must or does it fall short?
Guilty Gear Xrd REV 2 includes Guilty Gear Xrd –Revelator-‘s story, plus a couple additional chapters to finish the adventure. The story itself explains how the new characters fit into the world of Guilty Gear, namely Elphelt and Ramlethal, with Guilty Gear Xrd REV 2 adding content relevant to Jack-O’ and Ariels, ending with a climatic clash, plus the return of some familiar faces.
Similar to previous entries, Guilty Gear Xrd REV 2’s story is essentially a long cutscene, with the new content coming up short next to the previous entry. Instead of Guilty Gear Xrd –Revelator-‘s five chapters split into two parts, there is three chapters with two parts, a final chapter, plus some after story. Additional story is planned for the future and will likely continue with the after story.
In addition to the theatrical story, characters have individual episodes. These are closer to traditional fighting games stories, which include dialog and cutscenes, in addition to gameplay. Every character has one and they offer some insight into what drives them, what they’re up to and things of that nature. None of them are required to understand the story, but still a nice bonus that adds a fair bit for anyone looking for more.
The main draw of Guilty Gear Xrd REV 2 is not just all the fancy mechanics, but the willingness to teach anyone how to play. This begins with the tutorial. Here newcomers or anyone looking for a refresher, learn the basics, from walking to cancels. After learning what Guilty Gear Xrd REV 2 has to offer, it’s time to experience combo mode.
Combo mode starts by having players learn the absolute basics. These range from unique traits to super moves. After seeing all the most basic moves in action, players are taught how to incorporate them into combat. Some are simple, others are complex, but all are helpful. Upon learning how to play, the next mode instructs players on how to deal with certain situations.
In mission mode the objective is to overcome various situations or complete a specific task. For instance, one of the tasks is comboing into an instant kill, where as another asks players to counter and punish under various conditions.
If all these modes aren’t enough, there is also an FAQ section in-game. The FAQ covers basic elements to important questions, like how characters’ fight. The only downside is that it hasn’t been updated since Guilty Gear Xrd –Revelator-, so characters like Kum Haehyun, Dizzy, Answer and Baiken aren’t included.
Beyond learning how to play, Guilty Gear Xrd REV 2 is a stylish fighter that makes for exciting matches. The controls are good and the character diversity is strong. Most characters cater to a specific playstyle and have their own mechanics that match it. The two latest characters also bring some exciting things to the table.
Baiken finally returns and with her comes a character that is offers an aggressive defensive style. She is all about getting in close for quick combos or punishing foolish players with a well timed parry. Naturally this makes her hard to master, but all the training should be more than enough for anyone looking to play as her.
The other new character, who is also new to the series, is Answer. Once you get past the ridiculous notion of a character that is part ninja and part businessman, he makes for an exciting character. Answer’s playstyle is about bridging gaps and knowing when to rush and when to retreat. He is certainly a tricky character to play, but anyone looking for an amusing character to watch will be happy.
As great as some of the side things are, Guilty Gear Xrd REV 2 sticks with a focus of story and the competitive scene. This means, outside of arcade, episodes (essentially another arcade), training, online/offline VS and story, the only remaining mode is M.O.M. This mode is essentially a cross between fighting game and RPG, which is interesting, especially if you’re not that skilled and like party mechanics, but this can only hold the attention of unskilled players for so long.
Regardless of upgrading or buying new, Guilty Gear Xrd REV 2 is a fantastic deal. Considering characters tend to cost around $7.99 each, paying $4 more for a rebalance, more story, two fighters and some other content is quite nice. As for newcomers, there is a lot for anyone interested in story or trying their luck in the competitive scene, but not much for mashers who like fighting AI. As great as all the tutorials are, it requires a lot of practice, patience and effort to become great at fighting games and if you lack the drive, there isn’t much to do.
[Editor’s Note: Guilty Gear Xrd REV 2 was reviewed on PS4 platform. The game was provided to us by the publisher for review purposes.]Guilty Gear Xrd REV 2 Review,