Guilty Gear is one of the big trademark series of Arc System Works. With dynamic and stylish combat and gorgeous visuals and soundtrack, it’s an important staple in the developer’s career. Guilty Gear: Strive seems to continue on the company’s steps toward making compelling 2D fighters with 3D visuals that are fluid and impactful.
While both Guilty Gear Xrd games and Granblue Fantasy showed their excellent visual aspect, Strive feels even more refined. For the open beta early access period, it’s already possible to see impressively detailed backgrounds, animations, and interesting visual effects with the UI. To put it bluntly, this game is stylish as hell.
Guilty Gear Strive is a major fighting spectacle. From the movement of the camera to the use of sparks and particles to even the way the combo numbers and counter indicators jump on the screen. All those things make it into a compelling and dynamic skill competition.
During the open beta, it was possible to get a taste of 13 of the already announced characters, with only Anji Mito left out. There’s a lot of variety to be found here, from the rushdown-type newcomer Giovanna to the complicated puppet character Zato-1, including all-rounder Ky Kiske and grappler Potemkin.
And though the mastery of each character has different curves, it also feels really easy for newcomers to pick up. My only experience with the Guilty Gear series was playing XX Accent Core Plus R on the PlayStation 2. Strive was much easier to understand, learn, and improve faster. I imagine many people who are fond of fighters but not particularly skilled or experienced will find Strive to be a good entry point to get a little more serious. Or just to have some fun.
With lobbies ranked by skill, it should be easy to find players around the same level when the game’s released. It’s also simple to go from one region to another, so if there isn’t anyone in yours, you can just jump to another area.
Though it’s important to keep in mind that the battles will be more fluid the closest both players are, the rollback netcode should improve online play considerably. Unlike delay-based netcode, this technique should reduce lag considerably.
Having no issue with delays is important for a game like this in which any hindrance to input may spell death. I’m glad to say that I didn’t have any issues with players from any region so far during my time playing ranked battles.
Besides the lobby areas, it’s also possible to fight ranked battles straight from the main menu’s quick battle option. While waiting for a new match, the player may train, and it’s even possible to use data from the last enemy to exercise your skills.
Frankly speaking, my first impressions of Guilty Gear: Strive are very positive. Not only is it a flashy fighter that even uses its UI for maximum impact, but it’s accessible for newcomers while allowing for a variety of character styles. It’s exactly the kind of fighting game experience I crave, and I can’t wait to get my hands on the full release.
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