Guilty No More:
Guilty Gear was the fighter du jour of my adolescent years. As I got older, however, and tried to move away from button mashing and into something more purposeful, I realized I simply don’t have the skill to play the complicated fighters that the inimitable Arc System Works put out. Their deep mechanics and high skill ceiling simply didn’t accommodate a player of average skill, I thought – that is until I got dangerously into BlazBlue for a couple of years. Even during those heady times, however, I thought ‘this isn’t as cool as Guilty Gear.’
Coming back to the series with Xrd Rev. 2 (the third installement in the Xrd series) has absolutely blown me away. Much like the dichotomy of its ‘Heaven or Hell’ slogan, It is at once exactly how I remembered and completely different. And it’s bloody awesome.
Xrd Rev 2 is essentially a giant expansion pack for Revelator, and as such the story is identical to that release. Sol Badguy and co. are looking for their kidnapped cohort, Elphelt Valentine, whilst her twin sister, Ramlethal Valentine, has delcared all out war on humanity. And none of it is playable.
It’s a strange choice to have a completely hands off storyline, without any fights to participate in during its lengthy runtime. After Injustice 2 proved just how brilliant a fully fledged story can be, it’s a shame that GG is still taking this separate approach to its narrative.
If you’re wanting to throw down, there are plenty of other modes to do just that in. If you’re just looking for a quick smash there’s versus, but each of the cast (I counted twenty-five including the two new characters) have little story arcs of their own to play through in ‘Episode’ mode. Then there’s M.O.M. Mode, a strange RPG-like ladder climb that utilizes burnable items and equippable gear in weighted battles. I played a decent chunk of it and don’t entirely understand its quirks just yet, but it definitely feels like GGXR2’s deepest dive of the battle modes and I can’t wait to put some more time into it.
Xrd Rev. 2 is one of the most feature rich fighting games I’ve ever come across. My favourite of all of these modes has to be the game’s ridiculously generous Dojo section. My past self may not have ever truly come to grips with Guilty Gear’s myriad mechanics and systems, but here there’s no excuse: Rev. 2 positively assaults you with things to learn and combos to practice. There’s your basic tutorials to learn, rows and rows of character specific combos to master, fun minigames to test your skills and a full-on training suite. There’s also the brilliant Missions mode, which sets you up against aggressive opponents and tasks you with fulfilling certain criteria. This mode especially helped cement the things I’d learn and showed me their practical application and execution in the middle of a heated battle. Whilst GGXR2 is full of complicated mechanics and neccesary skills, there’s no shortage of help when it comes to learning these systems. When you pause the game there’s even FAQ bubbles you can click to answer your burning questions such as ‘what kind of characters are there’ and ‘how do I the special moves?’. Then there’s the adorable (and relatable) ‘my friends are too good…’
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