Review: Guilty Gear Xrd -REVELATOR- [PS4]

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I have to be honest, my experience with the Guilty Gear, and BlazBlue series for that matter, is very limited. Having only touched upon a couple of titles over the years I’m not entirely familiar with the story or characters. However I couldn’t say no when the opportunity to review Guilty Gear Xrd -REVELATOR- came about. Based on promotional material alone -REVELATOR- just looks great.

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Release Date: 10th June 2016
Platform: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3
Genre: Fighting
Player(s): Single-player, Multiplayer
Rating: PEGI 12
Publisher: PQube
Developer: Arc System Works Team Red

As fans of the series are undoubtedly aware, -REVELATOR- is a sequel/follow-up title to the 2014 (EU 2015) title Guilty Gear Xrd -Sign-. Unfortunately as I haven’t played -Sign- prior to this review I will be unable to compare the two and it will be more from a newcomer’s perspective.

Like most fighting games of this type an Arcade release always precedes an eventual console port. When a sequel comes a little further down the line they tend to be more of an update on the existing game than a full on sequel. This appears to be the case with -REVELATOR-. Now, I won’t be holding this against the game as I haven’t played -Sign-. On first impressions when starting up the game I was immediately sucked in by the opening movie. Featuring impressive visuals and a pretty intriguing story, of course I have no idea what happened previously, but it definitely got me hyped to start playing.

Not usually a fan of tutorials and I generally skip them if I can because they end up overly tedious in most cases. However as I’m unfamiliar with the series I gave it a go and wow, maybe it’s because I’m not great at fighters, but I found parts of it incredibly hard. I found the actual game a lot easier than the tutorial. I feel that the bronze trophy you obtain for clearing it wasn’t a worthy reward. That’s just my two cents anyway and I’m sure that seasoned veterans wouldn’t have found any issues clearing it.

Thankfully for newcomers, or those also like me who just aren’t that good at fighting games, there’s two different modes of combat; Technical is standard, and Stylish  makes performing moves and combos easier but it does come with some downsides such as increased damage taken. It’s a trade-off but I’m definitely glad it’s there as it allows me to enjoy the game without being constantly destroyed. As a newcomer it’s kind of overwhelming just how many abilities are available to you during battle. To learn each of these we have to again turn to the tutorials but the games also features missions to get you up to speed with various mechanics which can be very useful.

The main meat of the game is in its arcade mode which acts as a prologue to the main story. The main story itself is made separate from the other modes and can be watched in a long rendered cut scene which players can pause and resume whenever they wish. While it’s visually impressive, it seems an odd decision to present the story this way. Arcade mode itself features a pretty interesting story from each character’s perspective and we see a lot more story than most fighting game usually provide. This makes each play through a much more enticing prospect knowing that you’re going to get a great deal of character progression. M.O.M. Mode, or “Medal of Millionaires”, is a different take on the regular survival mode and see players earn medals based on their performance. Medals can then be spent on power-ups for increased stats.

Outside of all the offline modes you can venture online to battle friends or play in ranked matches. Oddly, you can’t invite friends in the normal sense; you need to give them a code in order to access your lobby. A strange decision again but once you’re up and running the online experience is a fairly smooth one. Pretty much all modes within the game will award you world dollars, in-game currency, to purchase themes, voice overs, alternate character colours and many other collectables in the game.

There’s no doubt that -REVELATOR- looks absolutely fantastic. I’ve always been a fan of fighting game sprites and it’s been sad to see them disappear over the year but Arc System Works have come up with a suitable replacement. Cel-shaded 3D models have become an increasing trend with anime style games and Arc System Works have brilliantly used it to create modern a sprite-like look. It features all the character and personality of the traditional sprite technique but updated to a modern era. It’s definitely one of the best looking fighting games I have ever played and is easily one of the best looking games I’ve played this year.

Verdict

80% Very Good

Guilty Gear Xrd -REVELATOR- is a fantastic looking game and definitely a joy to play. Featuring an intriguing and deep story, complex battle mechanics and now a stylish mode that caters to newcomers making -REVELATOR- a great title to pick up for new and old fans alike.

The title was reviewed using a PlayStation 4 review copy provided by PQube.

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About Author

Co-Founder & Writer of @JapanCuriosity / Writer for @MangaUK. Lover of Anime, Manga and Games. Current obsession - Metal Gear Solid!