Guilty Gear Strive is the latest fighting game gamers are falling head over heels for. The source of the attraction for most was the open beta that recently went live between February 19-23, as it not only showcased the game’s incredible gameplay but also its potential. As a disclaimer, this isn’t a comprehensive review or breakdown of the beta or game, as Falcon already wrote comprehensively on it. This is more of my impressions on the game so far and a second opinion on the beta’s quality.
A Promising Start
To sum it up in a few words, my experience with the Guilty Gear Strive beta was incredible. This isn’t to say the game had no issues, as it had some glaring ones. I’m not one for fighting games, but I’ve always loved the Guilty Gear series for its incredible gameplay, attractive character designs, and inviting visuals. This couldn’t be more true for Guilty Gear Strive as Arc Sys kicks things up a notch by blending incredibly crisp visuals with stylistic gameplay. The level and environmental designs were especially awe-inspiring as each level oozes with style and an amount of detail not seen in many fighting games.
Gameplay and Combat
The gameplay, however, is perhaps the most notable improvement thus far as every hit feels weighty; combos are slick and smooth; the characters move with detail on impact; the special moves are immensely entertaining to pull off and witness. Guilty Gear Strive’s more stylistic approach to combat compels players to keep playing and witness all the intricacies of combat it has to offer.
As with previous titles in the series, players can choose between stylistic and technical gameplay types before each fight. As the name suggests, the former aims to make the player look good and combat a tad easier. It makes executing combos and finishing moves easier, while the latter is more suited for veteran fans and those looking to get good at the game, as it enables players to dive deep into the game’s combat system.
The beta also had multiple modes for players to enjoy, such as the tutorial and training modes where players can master characters and perfect their moves and combos. In the versus mode, players can face off with other players locally or take on the CPU. Then, there’s the final mode that was the main focus of the beta, the online mode.
Multiplayer & Issues
Upon starting this mode, you can tell Arc Sys put a lot of effort into creating a new experience for fans of the series. Players are introduced to a stylistic 2D pixel lobby and are asked to customize their avatar before playing a match that places them on one of the ten floors. The higher a player’s skill, the higher the floor they’ll be placed in, with the highest being ten and the lowest being one.
This system is not only creative but also good for balancing, especially for new players. However, as much I’d like to say the experience was perfect, I, unfortunately, faced multiple server issues and lags. The matchmaking lobby was also quite irritating to navigate and even more so to fight the player you want to due to the aforementioned lag. What’s worse is that the beta had no dedicated matchmaking system, so in order to play with a friend I was forced to join the same lobby as them and hope for the best.
Nevertheless, this doesn’t change how highly entertaining Guilty Gear Strive is. Most of the base characters were available to play in the beta, along with some new ones like Giovanna, who has quickly become a favorite of mine. While it is unfortunate the game was recently delayed two months from its initial April 9 release date to June 11, judging by what I experienced in the beta warts and all, I can confidently say that I eagerly anticipate the full game’s release.
This impressions article is based on an early copy of the game provided by the publisher
Are you a fan of the Guilty Gear series? Did you play the Guilty Gear Strive beta? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.