Guilty Gear Xrd: Rev 2 - PS4 Review

It is a fantastic time to be a fighting fan these days, and perhaps no game epitomizes that more than Guilty Gear Xrd: Rev 2. Without a doubt, there is no better 2D fighting game on the market right now.

I have covered numerous Guilty Gear titles over the years, and time and again I come away impressed with the amazing visuals, fast action and surprisingly deep combat mechanics. Guilty Gear Xrd: Rev 2 is easily the best of an outstanding bunch. Even referring to it as a 2D fighting game feels just a bit off, with the 2.5D visuals. Mind you, this is not a truly 3D fighter like Tekken, but the gorgeous visuals still move about the field of play in interesting ways that really highlight just how breathtaking the graphics are. The animations are buttery smooth, with tons of color, detail and movement both in the fighters at the forefront of the action and in the imaginative background environments.

In fighting games, stories can be somewhat murky affairs, and truth be told, that is a problem found here as well. For every character with an interesting tale to tell on their way to kicking ass, we have a completely stereotypical narrative for one character or a completely ludicrous story for another. I think the fighting genre as a whole just suffers from this - after all, how many ways and times can you tell the tale of an assemblage of characters who kick the tar out of one another while continually raising the stakes? You really can't, especially with one sequel after another. Still, credit Arc System Works for trying. in fact, you are presented with a couple of different ways to take in the tale here. You can choose the story mode and simply sit back and watch the events unfold like a lovely anime. Or, you can take the episodic approach and play through it piece by piece. Both work just fine, but fall a bit short of the cohesion found in the story modes presented in titles like Injustice or Mortal Kombat. Still, there is some heart and plenty of fun to the story if you allow yourself to just bask in the over-the-top nature of most of it.

Of course, at the end of the day, the Guilty Gear is really about the fighting, and you have the usual suspects when it comes to your modes in Guilty Gear Xrd: Rev 2. The ability to play against other players both locally and online is a must, and the online component's netcode seems especially solid with little lack to speak of. You have traditional arcade and survival modes as well as the kind of objective-based Mission mode found in more robust fighting titles. Here you can collect money to use in the game to unlock certain things such as avatars and the like - mostly for use in differentiating yourself from the other online players when chilling out in lobbies or playing competitive matches.

However, all of the modes and pretty graphics (and once again, they are very, very pretty) in the world would not matter a lick if the action failed to hold up its end of the bargain. As always, Guilty Gear delivers the goods here. This has never been the most approachable of fighting games in my opinion. The controls are precise and the basics are easy enough to pick up, but there are some subtleties in the systems and combos that immediately make it clear who the veteran players are and who the rookies are. If you are new to the series, or even just thinking about getting into the series - I assure you that Guilty Gear Xrd: Rev 2 is worth the time investment. You will get better, but it absolutely takes practice.

Of course, the biggest question for those already familiar with the series, is whether or not Guilty Gear Xrd: Rev 2 is a must-acquire. If you already have Revelator, you can simply download the new content as DLC for about twenty bucks, which is obviously the cost effective way to go as opposed to purchasing the whole game over again. The upgrade policy is similar to what we saw from Street Fighter in the recent past, which is a whole lot more palatable than having to drop a fresh sixty bucks on largely recycled content. However, Guilty Gear Xrd: Rev 2 does help to freshen up the entire package a few different ways.

Most noticeable of these is the introduction of Answer and Baiken - two new characters. New characters really are the lifeblood of any good fighting series, because they offer new opportunities to learn different styles of play and tend to shake up the online experience as well. Both of these characters are solid entries into the series, but this update also comes with the DLC characters from before as well. As is par for the course, the rest of the existing roster has seen some rebalancing as well, based largely on data collection and community feedback.

If you already had the prior chunks of DLC, Guilty Gear Xrd: Rev 2 might prove to be a tad bit on the pricey side - your mileage may vary. If you are a diehard Guilty Gear fan who spends oodles of time competitively playing online, then this is probably a worthwhile update. If you didn't pick up Revelator and its prior DLC, there is enough here to chew on to also make Rev 2 worth the purchase. Otherwise, the tweaks and two new characters might not be quite compelling enough for casual series fans.

Still, if you weigh Guilty Gear Xrd: Rev 2 solely on its own merits, there is very little to complain about. The overall package is as slick as ever, with great combat, fantastic presentation and lots of characters to play with. Despite Street Fighter's continually updating content and the recent Injustice 2's best efforts, Guilty Gear Xrd: Rev 2 is where the 2D fighting scene is at its best.

Game Information

PlayStation 4
Arc System Works
Aksys Games
Single Player
Other Platform(s):

Provided by Publisher

Article by Nick


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