Sunday, January 1, 2017

Review #360: Guilty Gear Xrd -Revelator-

 And now we start this year with a bang.
 It's yet another ArkSys fighting game update, which translates to 3-5 new characters, a few updated mechanics and stages and the mandatory scummy business practices. Y'know, the usual.

 Let's start with what's new: 6-8 new characters, kinda. Elphelt and Leo are new if you didn't purchase them back with Xrd, and I hope to god you didn't, since you shouldn't be supporting ArkSys' nickel and diming. There's also Johnny and Jam Kuradoberi as new characters, making their return from X/XX, although unlike most returning characters they haven't seen many visual changes(Heck, even Zappa and Baiken, unplayable story-only returning characters, look different!) which is kinda disappointing. Jack-O is a brand new character, and she is yet another silly fanservice Blazblue-inspired character that has no place in Guilty Gear, as well as Kum, who is this game's shady on-disc DLC character and, just like Leo before her, does fit the cast, so of course they are gonna charge for her. Raven rounds up the cast as the 'expensive-to-get-with-in-game-money-but-if-you-give-us-real-$$$-you-can-have-him-now bullshit character. Oh! And Dizzy was released, for 8 bucks, alongside a free patch later down the line. And don't worry, you won't forget that you are missing characters if you don't give ArkSys more money, the character select screen will be taunting you with locked slots every time you play! I swear to god, ArkSys is one of the worst videogame companies when it comes to DLC. On the bright side of things, the new characters offer entirely new ways and movesets to play the game with, and now we've over 20 characters to play with!
 There's three new main mechanics added to the Xrd engine: Throw Break and Burst super moves, while homing attacks and blitz shields have been tweaked a bit. Each character has a Burst version of only one of their super moves, which consumes the Burst gauge as well as 50% tension, but deals extra damage and sometimes has extra added effects. Throw Break just nulls throws when both players try to throw each other at the same time and Blitz Shield can now be turned into a Blitz attack with special properties. Stylish Mode has been added as well, while playing in this mode, pressing any of the four attack buttons will perform simple buttons, and a new SP button can be used for easy special moves. To be completely honest, the new additions and tweaked mechanics will only be noticed, and used, by expert players, but Stylish Mode is a decent way to get more people playing, as well as to play the game more casually, which is kinda neat.

 With that out of the way, let's get into the Modes... after you get through the somewhat confusing menu. They tried to group modes in an effort to make it more tidy, so now, for whatever reason, VS and M.O.M. modes are under... Arcade Mode? I don't even... Regardless, it's easy to get the hang of it, but it could've been a much better, cleaner menu. Anyways, besides the online VS features, you also get offline VS CPU or Player, Episode Mode, which is a fancy way of saying Arcade Mode in which you battle 8 CPU enemies while treated to very tiny snippets of story(Except Jam and Raven, for whatever reason, they don't get anything), M.O.M. which is an ingenious take on Survival, you earn medals from defeated foes and can use them to strengthen your character as you go along.
 Story Mode is back, and it works just like it did before... Look, I don't agree with the animu turn the series has taken. Mind you, Guilty Gear has always had some anime influence('That man'), always, but it was never THIS bad. It made sense for I-No to be sexy and fanservicey, since she was Rock'n roll. But now we have three Murakumo uni.... I mean, three Valentine Clones, Elphelt, Ramlethal and Jack-O, all which feature different waifu personalities and disgustingly fanservicey designs, even Jack-O who bears the least skin but crouches in a downward dog positions because Japan. The story is filled to the bream with its own presumptuous terminology like 'Scales of Juno', 'Flame of Corruption', like... Why is this game turning into Blazblue? The entire story mode feels like a bad generic anime filled with cliched scenarios and situations. Like... damn.

 Rounding up the modes we get a very good tutorial, a fantastic mission mode that teaches you a lot about how this game works as well as how fighting games in general work, a training mode and a combo challenge mode for each characters. All in all, a very strong assortment of modes. There's also a quirky, but addictive, new minigame: fishing. You can get every in-game unlockable, even Raven, by randomly fishing it out of the fountain instead of paying its full price... if you are lucky. In this minigame you use the customizable, cartoony avatar that you use in the online lobbies, which is really neat. They added a lot of personality to what could've otherwise been a throwaway extra,
 Now THIS feels like an actual fully-fledged game. Over 20 characters, a healthy amount of modes, various in-game unlockables(like up to 17 colors per character!) and great tutorial modes for beginners. And I wish I could score it higher, but I can't in good conscience do so while ArkSys continues their disgusting DLC practices. I just can't, because you can't shake the feeling that ArkSys cares more about your money than providing a full product. And what's up with turning this game into Blazblue? Give me more Metal, give me more Rock and stop bringing in more anime tropes.
 8.0 out of 10

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