|System: PS3, PS4*|
|Dev: Arc System Works|
|Pub: Aksys Games|
|Release: December 16, 2014|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p||Blood, Language, Suggestive Themes, Use of Tobacco, Violence|
The suite of modes in Guilty Gear Xrd is pretty standard, you have arcade, versus, training, a halfway decent online mode (but since I am playing the Japanese version I can’t really comment on how good the netcode is), a sort of goofy M.O.M. mode where you get to level up your character, and Story mode. Story mode is really quite astounding, and once again this is because of the way the games graphics engine works. The story cut scenes alternate between moving stills, like a motion comic, and full blown anime cut scenes. Its miles above the still shots that we saw in games like BlazBlue.
It’s also worth noting that you can do other things while waiting for a match in online mode, and by other things I mean basically anything. Wanna go to arcade? Sure. Wanna train? Sure. It keeps the search for online opponents from being a chore.
Guilty Gear Xrd -Sign- is good. It’s solid and fun and deep and interesting and a pleasure to look at. I have to think really hard to find problems with this game. It doesn’t have a dedicated tournament mode, I guess. Uhhh… yeah that’s about it.
Otherwise it does so many things right. It focuses on teaching people how to play the game. It has a great graphics system that not only looks good, but it gives you clear visual cues as to what is going on. It has tons of different systems to take advantage of that foster high level play. This is the sort of game that we will be picking apart and dissecting in order to find optimal strategies for years. Is it balanced? I don’t know, it’s only been out for a few days on consoles, but Arc System Works has been known to give their games a lot of patch support, and even without that, I get the feeling that tier lists will shift around a lot for this game, as people figure out interesting ways that mechanics interact with each other.
If you are willing to put the work into the game, then Guilty Gear Xrd -Sign- is awesome, simply awesome. It’s a game that you will be playing for years to come, not just a flavor of the week. If you are a more casual gamer, Smash Bros. is still likely more your speed, but for the people who are willing to put the time and effort into learning a new fighting game, it is really hard to do better than Guilty Gear Xrd.
Angelo M. D'Argenio
Date: December 16, 2014