Five reasons to look out for Guilty Gear Xrd -REVELATOR-0 Comments
It’s no secret that Street Fighter V has been the staple for every fighting game enthusiast lately, despite its horrid launch. However, there’s another game that fans should be looking out for: Guilty Gear Xrd -REVELATOR-. The Guilty Gear series has been Arc System Works’ baby for 18 years, and Revelator is gearing up to be the best in the franchise. Although I still love Street Fighter to pieces, I’ve recently experienced Sign, and I must admit I've become a believer. Revelator’s release is on June 7, and if I were you, I’d save that extra $60. Sure, that’s a bold statement, but I’ve five reasons why this latest entry is worth your time and money.
5. Graphical enhancements
This may seem like a minor point, but from a larger perspective, it’s very rare to see fighting game sequels receive graphical updates. Thanks to the franchise’s transition to 3D models, it’s been far easier for Arc System Works to give the upcoming sequel some visual love. Lighting will be the biggest change to Revelator, as it will implement a new global lighting system. This allows characters, projectiles, and even special moves act as their own light sources, which will give the fights some visual TLC. For example, Sol’s Gunflame displays its red glow when it’s close to another character, as flame does in real life.
To accentuate this, the stages themselves have been enhanced to demonstrate the new lighting effects by adding sunrise and sunsets. The Central Organ Tower stage at sunset is the best example of this. You can see how the shadows fluctuate across Sol’s body as he moves in the air, especially at dusk. Sure, the changes are subtle, but much appreciated. It’s great to see Team Red applying more changes than just the standard fare (new characters, stages, balance changes).
4. Revelator’s story mode
If there’s one thing that makes the Guilty Gear series standout from its peers, it’s the narrative. I’ve never witnessed a fighting game that took its lore so seriously. In fact, series creator Daisuke Ishiwatari cared for Sign’s story so much that it was its own visual novel. It even included cut scenes and a fully voiced cast. Revelator seeks to pick up directly where Sign left off, which was a cliffhanger of criminal proportions. To avoid spoilers, I’ll just say this: Sol Badguy, Ky Kiske, and Ramlethal Valentine venture out to rescue Elphelt, Ram’s sister.
However, there’s far more going on in the background. A cabalistic organization is making its final preparations to obtain ultimate power, and Elphelt is the key. To make matters worse, something big is happening with the Japanese colony, and its implications could shape the Guilty Gear universe as we know it. If you haven’t caught up on the expansive lore, I highly recommend doing so by experiencing Sign’s story mode and reading its encyclopedia. One thing is certain: the buck stops at Revelator.
3. A fantastic tutorial
Guilty Gear’s fighting system is extremely deep, and if you’re new to the series, it will certainly overwhelm you at first glance. From Roman Cancels to the R.I.S.C. Gauge, there are so many unique mechanics that it’d be impossible to cover them in one paragraph. Thankfully, Sign’s (and by proxy, Revelator’s) tutorial mode is robust. It covers every single aspect, its importance, and when to use it.
I was a Street Fighter zealot for several years, so when I first gave Sign a shot in November, I was totally lost. However, after running through its tutorial, I understood how it functioned, and ultimately realized that it was an offensive-oriented fighter. That may sound silly at first, since it’s commonly understood that fighting games are about fighting, but trust me, I’m going somewhere with this.
2. Offensive-oriented combat
There are several fighting games out there, but a majority of them function in a similar manner. Many seek to find a balance between offensive and defensive playstyles, but the downside to that is the potential problem of prolonged matches. Guilty Gear throws turtling (extreme defense) out the window and favors the brave. Sol Badguy said it himself in Sign’s tutorial, “If you keep running like a punk, you’re just going to get your ass beat.”
As I mentioned earlier, Guilty Gear is an offensive-oriented game. It favors rushdowns, fast movement, and showcasing your dominance in seconds, literally. For example, the Instant Kill mechanic allows players to finish the round at any given time, but at a considerable cost. The player must enter Instant Kill mode first, and then they must be close enough to the opponent for their command to hit. If it whiffs, you’ll have no meter for the round’s remainder, which will leave you at a considerable disadvantage.
The Negative Penalty and R.I.S.C. Gauge mechanics are also great examples. If the player keeps back stepping and plays defensively, they’ll be temporarily smacked with a Negative Penalty. The penalized player will not only take far more damage than usual, they’ll also be placed in a “mortal counter” state, which allows the opponent to punish them with brutal combos that normally couldn’t be done. In addition, the R.I.S.C. Gauge places extreme caution on constant blocking. Initially the gauge will start at zero, but will fill when attacks are guarded. If it starts to flash, and the player makes a mistake, it can lead to a counter. In tandem, these two concepts heavily discourage defensive play, which leads to far more exciting matches in less time.
1. Heavy Metal/Rock music references
This may not seem like a tangible reason, since it has nothing to do with the game’s mechanics. However, I feel that style is just as important as the game itself. If you happen to be a fan of Heavy Metal and/or Rock music, then Revelator was made for you. The Guilty Gear series not only has amazing music, but it also has a plethora of Heavy Metal and Rock references, and Revelator is no different. Almost anything worth a name in the series is a reference to a rock band. There are so many references that’d it’d take another feature to list them all, but for the sake of brevity, I’ll list three.
Sol Badguy is the easiest example, because the man is essentially walking propaganda for Queen. His last name is a reference to “Mr. Bad Guy”, including his theme song “Keep Yourself Alive”. Even his metal bandana has the phrase “ROCK YOU” etched onto it. This is because the series creator, Daisuke Ishiwatari, is a huge fan of Queen, as well as several other bands that are represented through other characters. Ky Kiske is another great example. His name is actually a mashup of metal vocalists Kai Hansen (Gamma Ray) and Michael Kiske (Helloween). Ky’s theme song, "Holy Orders (Be Just Or Be Dead)" is a reference to Iron Maiden's "Be Quick Or Be Dead".
Elphelt, the series’ first gun fighter, is a literal personification of the famous rock band Guns N’ Roses, as her costume design involves a rose motif. Her dress has the words “You Could Be Mine” etched onto it, which is a possible reference to the band’s song of the same name. However, I personally believe that subtle references are superior, and Elphelt’s Instant Kill move has the best in the series. It’s a reference to Bon Jovi’s "You Give Love a Bad Name", particularly the specific lyric "shot through the heart." To accentuate the reference, one of Faust's quotes upon getting hit by her instant kill is "This is bad medicine indeed!” If that’s not awesome, I don’t know what is.