Guilty Gear Strive Review
It’s always crazy when Arc System Works announces a new game. 2 years ago in 2019 when the first trailer was shown in Evolution. ASW got the audience hyped showing both Sol Badguy and Ky Kiske, also introducing a new samurai-like character who has been unnamed. Since that first trailer, every so often Arc System Works would give us a new character reveal (including the unnamed one, now we know as Nagoriyuki, and newcomer Giovanna). The song “Smell of the Game” having instant fans singing to the lyrics (even though you wonder if it makes sense or not)
Guilty Gear Strive breakdown:
A few months into 2020, the first closed beta for Guilty Gear -Strive- came out. I was one of the people dying to get a chance to play the character that’s been my main character since the first Guilty Gear came out. Ky Kiske. Oh boy! I was disheartened! For years Ky was my pick from guilty gear, he was great, his pressure game was great, but he also had enough for a neutral game. He didn’t have any of that. Somehow he felt boring.
Months later, the second beta came out and I couldn’t really get bothered by it. I already preordered the game, and the worst that can happen is that I don’t like it and it stays on my Steam library.
It’s June 2021 now, and can’t you see I’m Blazing! (sorry) through the ladder to make it to Celestial… I made the decision to try out someone new to main. So I test out Leo Whitefang. Instantly I knew I found the character I will stick with till the end, but also, I didn’t discount Ky, I did play him at the beginning when I got the game, and I can say, yes I think he has improved since I tried him in beta.
The student becomes the master:
In fact, I started trying out the other characters, Nagoriyuki, the Vampire Samurai, Giovanna, the Secret Service woman with a wolf spirit. And all the others. The characters feel simple enough that it feels like I don’t have to try too hard to learn them. In fact, Guilty Gear Strive made it a point to show you some of the suggested ways of playing certain characters.
But one of the biggest things you learn in this game is how to use their “Roman Cancel” system that has been tweaked and upgraded since it first arrived in Guilty Gear X. GGS brought it back and has tweaked it so that it can be used 4 different ways in a great mixture of offensive and defensive. You can even cancel the roman cancel if you’re fast enough for you to either continue a combo or to run away, or even get out of a punishing situation.
Guilty Gear Strive has many things going for it. The beautiful art style, a great new system, but what it has truly going for it is the inclusion of Rollback Netcode. Online play is beautiful. Playing players in the event on the other side of the world doesn’t feel as horrific as playing some of the other games that don’t feature it (hello Smash). Yes, there were times that we were cursing missed inputs, but even then, the game is playable. I was able to play my friend in Hong Kong, with 7 frames of delay. But with the netcode, my matches with friends from the west coast would only be 1-2 frames of delay.
Extra things in Strive:
Aside from the great online play, Guilty Gear Strive comes with its own 4 and a half hour movie (no interaction needed), Arcade mode, Training, and Mission modes. The movie is rendered beautifully, though there are times that you’re waning through the exposition and itching for a fight scene, and when the fight scenes come they’re exciting to watch. Everything is rendered by the Guilty Gear engine (using unreal code). Arcade mode is there for you to get a bit of each character’s story. To perfect your skills, you have the training and mission modes.
Training mode has a plethora of options to customize how you want to practice. Did you get beat by a Ramathal with her swords pinning you down? Set it up so the computer does the same thing to you. You can even mix different recordings so that the computer can mix it up for you to react to. Here’s hoping that they bring in match analysis from Guilty Gear +R into this, where you can replay your old matchups to tweak where you need to improve upon.
Mission Mode helps you learn the basic to advanced fundamentals of the game. The 4 roman cancels, how to do Kara moves etc. What’s even better is that some of these skills can translate over to other fighting games (Kara, Option selects …etc).
Final Round of thoughts:
It’s been a crazy month since the game has been out and I can say I’m proud I made it to Celestial. Beat the 5 matches I needed to be able to stay up there. I can say I’m proud that I made it here. I don’t feel horrible losing in ranked matches in this game as I did in Street Fighter IV and V.
In GGS, I don’t feel as pressured to move up ranks as I did in SF4, I never got past gold there, but with GGS, you’re allowed to put yourself up on a higher level to fight stronger people. But if you are good, you are barred from picking on new players. Sorry to my friends in the lower levels, you’re going to have to get to heaven to fight me in ranked. We can always play in the park!!