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Guilty Gear Strive - Review



I have been a long-time fan of the Guilty Gear series ever since I started playing Guilty Gear Xrd Rev 2. And despite I myself never really being able to grasp the controls of most fighters and only being decent at best, I loved playing them. With the release of Guilty Gear Strive (GGS), I was looking forward to seeing what the series had in store next. The game has a much easier control scheme than the previous games, which had controls that were tough as nails making the series niche. With the release of GGS, newcomers can get a feel for how the game plays with its simpler controls and veterans will like the deep creative gameplay the series is known for.


Pros and Cons


Pros

- The story is very interesting

- Fantastic fighting game mechanics for beginners and veterans alike

- An amazing roster of characters to choose from, with more coming along the way

- Lots of online content for you to enjoy.

- One of the best soundtracks that I have heard in each and every stage

- Updated character models with some looking much better than they were in GGXrd


Cons

- The story plays out like an anime, with no gameplay or anything, and personally is not my style

- I find that there is a lack of single-player content

- You can’t rematch people if your rank changes


Story

Three weeks after the previous entry Rev 2 and the Universal Will incident, the story starts out with I-No. She is breaking into the former St. Maximus prison at Illyria Castle to see Ariels. I-No then extracts the mysterious Happy Chaos from her, who has two badass revolvers and his very own car.


Meanwhile, in America, That Man surrendered to the United States government and wants to be in the next G4 Summit meeting as he intends to erase this book called the Tome of Origin and Sol Badguy from the world. Sol, who is with Jack-O Valentine, is asked by Ky Kiske to join in on the meeting, however, decides to go on a vacation instead. They run into Axl Low, who warns them that something bad will happen.


That's all I can say about the story of GGS, it's packed with content and is enjoyable for those who like the GG lore as I do. The story is not for everyone though, as it has a certain style to it, which I will explain.


The story plays out just as a story, like an anime and such. There is no gameplay and I myself am not really used to this style of story, when I want to play a game, I want to play a game. I don’t want to just see a story with no gameplay attached to it and I have played story-heavy games but they tend to have some sort of gameplay element to them. However, that’s not to say that some people won’t enjoy the way the story is presented, I have found that some do like the style choice. I guess you could say it’s more on personal preference than anything.


Gameplay

There are a total of 15 characters for you to choose from and at the time of this review three DLC characters have come out, with Baiken coming out next year in January. There will be characters for you to pick up and play like Sol Badguy, Ky Kiske, and May as examples. If you want some characters that do require a bit of skill to play, then I recommend Happy Chaos and Zato-1. I’ll even throw Nagoriyuki in as he has this skill called Blood Rage where he sacrifices 60% of his health to do extra damage, making him a risk/reward kind of character.


I will say that the complex characters have more interesting mechanics to them that make them unique. Take Zato-1 for example, he uses his alter ego Eddie to attack, making him a puppet-based character. So, you are essentially playing as two characters. Happy Chaos uses his gun in order to do his combos and you have to focus on two gauges while playing him. The ammo on the gun and the focus meter on it, which makes him one of the hardest characters to play as but also one of the most unique ones that I have seen in a fighting game in some time.


Also, for those who are like me and know their GG lore, Anji Mito is playable after a long hiatus.


There is a lot to learn with the characters you play as and mastering them is one of the hardest parts of the game. However, as long as you are having fun and are enjoying yourself, you can have a good with almost any character no matter how hard they may be. It's up to you on how you want to play and that's what matters at the end


My only issue with GGS from a single-player point of view is that there is a lack of single-player content. There is only really an Arcade mode and I suppose training in fights against the CPU. However, that’s it, most of the fun is online. Most people will probably only go there but for those who just want to play on their own, you may want to look elsewhere.


Online

Online mode is where you will most likely be spending your time and has a few things you can do. You can make your very own custom avatar that you can use to interact with the players in the lobby and it comes with many cosmetics you can get by playing the fishing minigame. You can even customize your own lobby room when you invite your friends for private matches.

When fighting random people, you will be assigned a rank and you can rank up by beating people in the matches you play. The higher the rank, the better your opponents may be, and they will know the ins and outs to the character you are playing as, especially in top-ranked areas.


The only issue I have with online is that when you rank up or down during a match, you can’t finish the game and are kicked out. I wish you could finish the game with your opponent before the game shows you your new rank but oh well.


Soundtrack

GGS has one of the best soundtracks that I have heard in gaming, in recent years. Picking my all-time favorite is hard, I like the metal theme that every song has to them all. However, the five that stood out to me had to be Play the Hero, Trigger, Find Your One Way, Drift, and Armor-Clad Faith. There are many more that I can list but it would be a long one, it's just that good, all the songs are on Spotify if you are interested in listening to them.



Graphics and Performance

GGS is really beautiful, and I personally think it’s one of the best-looking fighting games I have seen in a long time. I also think some of the character redesigns are much better than they were in Rev 2, especially I-No. I tested the game on an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 3GB, AMD Ryzen 5 1500X Quad-Core Processor 3.50, and 16 GB of RAM. The game runs at a solid 60 FPS and I experienced no issues performance-wise.


Final Verdict

If you are someone who is new to GG or are experienced with the series, then look no further than GGS. It has the tools to teach newer players how to play the game and people are looking for that GG feel from the previous entries, then this game has it all. I highly recommend it and it’s one of the best fighting games to come out in 2020.



Steam Store Page

My Original Review