Guilty Gear Xrd REV 2 review for PS4

Platform: PS4
Also On: PS3, PC
Publisher: Aksys Games
Developer: Arc System Works
Medium: Digital/Disc
Players: 1-2
Online: Yes

A few years ago, Guilty Gear Xrd (pronounced Ex-Ard) was released on the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 to much success. It put a brand new spin on the classic 2D fighting series that brought many changes, some great and some not so great. Shortly after that release, an updated version, called “Xrd Revelator” was released, fixing the balance between the existing characters and including new ones left out of the previous release. Now “Revelator – Rev 2” is here, bringing in more characters, more balance fixes and even more fun to the already great title!

Guilty Gear has always been a fantastic fighting game series, and this new 2.5D take on it is no exception. The Xrd trilogy marks the first time the series has been presented in anything but 2D. It hasn’t gone full 3D like Street Fighter or King of Fighters, as it retains it’s hand drawn style, but it is updated enough to compete, even surpass, those heavy hitters. The main game has players taking control of one character and battle it out with a set number of opponents in crazy, over the top, 2D fighter action. Battles can get intense and almost never slow down until one player is knocked out. A character’s story is fleshed out via in game cut scenes between some of the battles and after you defeat the final boss.

Each character has a reason why they are pummeling everyone to pulp, no matter how silly and confusing it may end up being, but this is mostly ignored by players who are just here for the action. If you do like the story of Guilty Gear, you have 2 ways to get your fill with Revelator REV 2. You can play through “Episodes” where the game progresses normally through the aforementioned cut-scenes, or you can select “Story” and … watch the story. Yes, many of the late entry games in the GG series included an actual story you simply just watch. It’s a strange inclusion, but it must have it’s fans since it’s still being included in new versions. Of course you have other traditional modes like Arcade and Versus, as well as Survival and Mission modes (called M.O.M) where you complete certain requirements to progress and collect in game currency.

Online play is a huge part of the GG series, and it’s here in all it’s glory. At the time of this writing, I had difficulty connecting to some games (most likely due to the limited number of players actually playing) but the times I did connect worked flawlessly with only the smallest bits of lag here and there. The lobby’s where you wait for online opponents are fun, as you can customize a little avatar to interact with other players before matches begin. This lobby is also present in the “Fishing” mode, where your avatar can use collected in-game currency to fish in the pond and unlock items, such as voice packs, character colors and other extras. You can even find items that allow you to customize your avatar.

This updated version is available in 2 ways. If you already have “Revelator”, you can download the upgrade version that will change your game to REV 2. Transferring your save data and all of your DLC to the new game. The other way is to get REV 2 complete on disc. This version includes some extras not found in the upgrade version, such as some extra character colors and system voices. 2 new characters, Baiken and Answer, join the already robust roster of characters in REV 2. While Baiken is a returning character from previous games, Answer is completely new to the GG Universe. Balance issues from Revalator have been corrected and it seems more animation has been added to every character.

Graphics are a joy to behold. Everything is just beautiful, from the smallest background animation to the larger than life characters. As with previous GG games, the character animations are all hand drawn 2.5D sprites, so even though they sometimes look like 3D models, they are not. It looks unbelievable when it’s all put together. Arenas are all 3D, but totally mix well with the 2D sprites and fluid animation making every visual look and feel fantastic. Accompanying the outstanding graphics is a fantastic hard rock soundtrack that gets you really pumped for the fight. I haven’t heard a bad tune in a Guilty Gear game and this one is no exception. Everything presented is a genuine treat for those playing and even those watching. Control, like with any GG game, is fast and fluid. There’s even an option to test and adjust your controller’s latency to get that perfect Arcade feel.

Without a doubt, I can recommend GG Xrd Revelator REV 2 to any fighting game fan. If you’ve played the previous versions of Xrd, there are enough additions and changes that make this upgrade worth it. If you’ve never played it before, this version is a great starting point. It is an absolute blast to play and even watch, and should not be missed. If you aren’t a fighting game fan, I believe this game may just turn those who experience it. Definitely a Winner.

Grade: A