Game Preview: Guilty Gear -Strive- (PS4, PS5)

While Street Fighter 2 is probably the most recognizable one-one-one 2-D fighting game series, there are plenty of others that have made a name for themselves over the years.  With its anime styled characters and rockin’ soundtrack, Guilty Gear is just one of those series.  And there’s a new one coming out in about a month called Guilty Gear -Strive- and I got a preview beta build of it to review!  Now, keep in mind since this is a beta build, there may be changes to the final game.  Hopefully I’ll get to review that, too! Anyway, Guilty Gear -Strive- will be available on PS4 and PS5, but I’m playing the beta on PS4 here.

Really the only things you can do in the preview build are play a match in single player, or go online.  I didn’t go online because I’m not too terribly good at fighting games, but you can see the menus in the beta and what the final game will have.  There will be a story mode and gallery and one of the selections says “Fishing.”  If there’s a fishing game in the final build, I gotta try that!

In the single player beta, you can’t pick all the characters, which is a shame because most of my favorite fighters aren’t in the beta, like Jam, I-No, or Baiken.  Some of the returning characters seem more or less the same to me, like May who still fights by summoning dolphins and hefting a heavy anchor around (she must be really strong), or Millia Rage who still fights with her hair.  But some of the returning cast has changed a lot!  One of my favorite characters used to be Faust because he had weird and silly moves and wore a paper sack over his head!  But in this game, he still has a paper sack, but now he’s some kind of undead skeleton zombie thing and is pretty scary!  At least one of the new characters is really cool.  Her name is Giovanna and she has a pet blue wolf dog monster ghost thing that helps her fight!

If there is one way to describe this game, it’s big.  Characters are Texas-sized and take up the whole screen from top to bottom!  No wasted space here.  Even the words that pop up that tell you if you countered or whatever are huge, but they are in the background so they don’t get in the way.  Another amazing thing about the game is how they seamlessly blended anime cartoon intros with the game itself.  It’s hard to tell when the cartoon ends and the fighting begins.  Probably the closest thing to a playable anime I’ve seen.

If there are any problems I had with the game, it’s that a lot of the characters seemed to move kind of slow.  Maybe it was the characters I picked, or maybe it was a trick of the eye since most of the characters take up the whole screen.  Also some of the animations seemed a tiny bit choppy, but I bet that was because it’s a preview beta build.  But I really hope I get to review the final game, too, and if you are a fan of Guilty Gear or fighting games in general, you’ll want to check out -Strive- when it comes out in about a month or so.

Kid Factor:

Guilty Gear -Strive- is rated T for Teen with ESRB descriptors of Blood, Violence, Language, and Mild Suggestive Themes.  It’s a fighting game, so of course it’s violent, but I didn’t notice too much blood and bad language in the preview build.  Even though they were not playable here, some female characters have suggestive themes that are more than mild, and look like they’re about to fall out of their clothes (I-No, I’m looking at you).  So I think this game would be best enjoyed by preteens and older players.

One Response to “Game Preview: Guilty Gear -Strive- (PS4, PS5)”

  1. I apologize if Joe Gisonoi is someone else’s name cause that is not who I am, but it randomly popped up in the Name field and my name IS Joe (Step), so what the heck. I’ll let the name thing fill in someone I’ve never met.

    I think the last GG had a fishing minigame where you could go fishing for prizes. I think it actually might have been part of the online lobby, somehow? I only used it once.

    I’m not loving hearing the characters feel slow, considering the speed of GG is a huge part of its appeal for me.

    I think the anime transitions you describe, if the game is anything like the most recent Xrd entries, is due to the fact all the character models on screen are 3D, so you’ll see their 3D intro before they fight on a 2D plane, but the character models remain 3D.

    Of course, I didn’t play it, so if you mean they had actual 2D anime transitioning to the fights, that’s new.

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