Guilty Gear Xrd -Revelator- delivers a near-flawless victory.
Previously released last summer on the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4, Guilty Gear Xrd -Revelator- has pummeled its way to Steam, allowing PC-bound pugilists to finally experience one of the deepest and most satisfying fighters around. However, does this port from the TV to your computer monitor pack all of punch of its console-based cousin? Read on to find out!
Guilty Gear Xrd -Revelator- is the direct sequel to 2014’s Guilty Gear XRD SIGN. The game introduces six new additions to the roster, three of which are available right out the gate, while the remaining three are available as paid DLC. Four of these are returning characters are from previous games in the series including fan favorites Johnny, Raven, Dizzy, and Jam Kuradoberi. Newcomer Jack-O mischievous trickster whose fighting style is centered around planting pumpkins that spawn numerous minions to harass her opponents. While she sounds gimmicky, she’s actually a blast to play as, packing some pretty fluid combos that make her a competent rush rush character in addition to a formidable zoner. The other newcomer, Kum Haehyun, is also an interesting addition to the roster. She actually pilots a humanoid cyborg named Jun Ryu Kum, who looks like an elderly martial arts master. She uses Jun’s imposing might and unique Ki abilities to make her a powerful and unpredictable fighter.
All in all, the 23 characters that round out the game’s roster cater to wide variety of play styles. And the new additions to the lineup are all solid, with returning characters getting a number of tweaks, while new characters introduce unique and exciting skill sets for players to master.
If you’re new to the series, you’ll be happy to know that Guilty Gear Xrd -Revelator- features one of the most fun and intuitive tutorial systems out there. Pitting players in the boots of fan favorite Sol Badguy, newcomer Jack-O puts players through the paces by laying out challenges as you pummel her ghostly minions. It’s a refreshing change of pace from other fighting games. Each segment feels like something ripped out of a platforming game as you dodge traps and hit targets while learning the intricacies combat. Before the end you’ll have a firm grasp of air dashes, Roman Cancels, Gatling Combos, and all of the other finer points of Guilty Gear’s deep fighting system.
As for the combat itself? It feels better than ever this time around. Bouts are fast, fluid, and bring with them all of the over-the-top spectacle you’d expect from the series. The controls are responsive, pulling off combos and special moves is seamless, and the action never dipped below 60 frames per second during any of my offline time spent with the game which is impressive – especially when you consider just how much chaos is going on at any given time.
Arcade Mode is a great place for players to cut their teeth in -Revelator-, allowing players to choose a character and participate in an 8-fight tournament which serves as a great warmup for versus play. Each character features their own story, and completing matches earns World Dollars which can be spent to unlock a variety of things such as BGM music, artwork, and other goodies. In addition to the arcade mode, you can also kill time with an entertaining Mission Mode, along with the returning M.O.M Mode, which introduces RPG-style buffs into the fray, offering an added layer of depth to the proceedings.
For those wanting to give their blistered thumbs a rest, Guilty Gear Xrd -Revelator- also comes packed with a pretty damn enjoyable Story Mode. There’s no fighting to be had here, just a thoroughly entertaining anime that’s rendered in the game’s lavishly detailed engine. The Story Mode sheds light on the series’ story leading up to the events of Xrd SIGN. The story is still a delicious word salad of anime-inspired ridiculousness, but the spectacle alone will entice you to savor every last zany morsel.
Figure collecting freaks will also find the the collectible digital figures to be a fun distraction. You can unlock new poses, accessories, and more via competing in bouts or through the game’s fishing mode, which allows you to spend World Dollars to unlock random collectibles. While there isn’t a great deal to it, it’s strangely satisfying to amass a collection of stands and figures and pose them on your virtual desk.
Sadly, while it does a great deal right, Guilty Gear Xrd -Revelator- really stumbles when it comes to the online department. During my time with the game, it took far too long to find an occupied lobby. And when I finally did get into a match, most of them were hobbled by nearly a dozen frames of delay. Credit where credit is due, when you can get into a lobby the system is incredibly charming and easy to use, allowing you to spectate, step in line to “put your quarter up” at a virtual candy cabinet, or interact with players via chat or emoticons. And it’s hard to fault Arc System Works for the barren online community, as it’s always a struggle for fighting games to flourish on PCs. Hopefully the lag issues are sorted out and the community begins to flourish, because a fighter of this caliber deserves it.
When all is said and done, Guilty Gear Xrd -Revelator- is a great addition to Steam’s stable of fighting games. It’s incredibly polished, and features a wealth of entertaining modes to keep even the most discerning armchair pugilists entertained for quite some time. Add to that a thoroughly entertaining story mode and you have a game that’s well worth the price of admission. It’s just a shame the online community is all but nonexistent. Still, if you plan on picking it up for local competitive play or just to savor the single player experience, you won’t be disappointed with what you find here.
Final Verdict: 4/5
Available on: PC (reviewed), previously released on PS4 & PS3 ; Publisher: Arc System Works ; Developer: Arc System Works ; Players: 1 – 2 ; Released: December 14, 2016
Full disclosure: This review is based on a review copy provided to Hey Poor Player by the publisher.