Gear Xrd -Revelator-
Releasing back in 2014,
Guilty Gear Xrd -SIGN-
was no doubt one of the premiere "next-gen" fighting games of the era,
showcasing groundbreaking 3D-based visuals presented in a classic "2D"
game style. Even non-hardcore Guilty Gear players could appreciate -SIGN-
not only for its innovative visual style, but thanks to the streamlined,
easier-to-grasp mechanics. -REVELATOR- is the ('everyone knew it
was going to happen') sequel to move forward the vibrant new direction of the series, adding 6 new fighters to the roster
(3 returning, 3 completely new). Arc System Works didn't have to reinvent the
wheel to expand Xrd -SIGN- besides adding new characters and content, and they
arguably succeeded with their usual formula of
creating a "sequel"... but is it enough to win back fans who migrated
over to other fighting games?
Arc System Works made great choices for returning characters. Jam Kuradoberi, Johnny and Dizzy never
looked better and retain everything that made their personas and movesets stand
out in the beginning. There were no missteps in bringing them back, especially
since they don't look much different from their GGXX incarnations.
Not to mention, their new "fleshed out" Overdrives and Instant Kills
look TOO SICK.
The (always) obscure newcomers to the series this time include: Jack-O, Kum
Haehyun and Raven. Each of them have intriguing play-styles and bring something original to the outlandish cast.
Whatever "opinion" of the character designs you might've had at first glance will
likely be smashed to
pieces when you see what these beasts can do in battle (for better or worse).
Each of the newcomers are bat-shit crazy for different reasons... but all in good way.
Arc System Works still pulls off these "crazy" designs with superb detail and
Gear... always with the sexy character select screen.
While the standard
"recipe" of creating a sequel in Arc System Works' cookbook may work
for hardcore fans, lesser-hardcore fans might notice they cut some corners with
this release. First impressions matter... and one thing I was
immediately disappointed with when I first turned on the game was the return of the
SAME EXACT menu song from -SIGN-.
You'd think they'd want to give REVELATOR
a unique presentation over the prequel, but pretty much everything about the main menu feels
"copy-pasted". The character select theme is also the same... (but
I'll let that one slip because it is a badass tune).
Thankfully, the substance of the new modes mostly makes up for
the lack of a visual menu upgrade. Along with all the returning
modes from SIGN, REVELATOR offers several new modes,
such as a full-fledged Tutorial and charismatic Online Lobbies featuring customizable avatars
players can move around.
I heard good things about REVELATOR's Tutorial Mode before playing it.
From basics, to chain combos, to the deepest mechanics, the Tutorial covers
everything (and more) that you need to know to play the game and proudly aims to
anyone from shamelessly button mashing. The Tutorial is "very good"
in terms of its content and value, but I actually wouldn't rank it above some of the best-designed
fighting game Tutorial modes I've ever played. Again, the substance is there... but it's presented in a loud, almost obnoxious
way. Particularly, the clashing colors of the "oddball" Tutorial stage
setting and the "props" (to avoid or jump over) really really hurt my eyes.
It's like they designed this Tutorial mode to hurt my eyes while I learn. And
why are we popping "pumpkin balloons" on a "beachy" water stage?
bright side, beating up Jack-O's little minions while learning stuff is
Overall, a few things seem rushed and could've been implemented with
more style, but Tutorial gets the job done and "playfully" introduces new players
to the fairly complicated mechanics. Parts of the Tutorial are even legitimately challenging for
a seasoned fighting
game player, as it directly tests your input-accuracy and reflexes.
To talk about some of the other modes.... As a continuation of the Tutorial,
Mission features "practical applications" and actual specific match-up
strategies that hardcore players will probably flip out over. This sort of
in-game training is the first of its kind in a fighting game, and a nice touch
if you're serious about the game. Nitpicky pro-level players
will also be happy with the Training
mode, which includes tons upon tons of ridiculous options. Gallery features
character voices, movies, music, and character colors (lots of stuff!) Last but not least, the obscure Digital Figure
mode was released post-launch as a free DLC update. Digital Figure is basically
a 1st-person camera mode where you can place the 3D character models on
different backgrounds. You can also unlock lots of new figures and poses. Appreciators of obscure
modes might enjoy this one, and it could even double as a drawing reference for
you "artistic types".
Jam Kuradoberi will bring
her martial arts waitress badassery to Xrd.
add or change that much about the gameplay engine or
returning characters. All characters still seem just as powerful (and potentially
broken) as ever. New / updated gameplay systems include: Throw
Clash (nullifies throw when 2 players throw at the same time), Blitz Shield
(allowing fighters to defend and repel attacks), and Burst Overdrive Attack (Activates
an Overdrive Attack with increased damage. Also consumes 50% of the Tension
Gauge and all of the Burst Gauge.) The new Blitz Shield is
particularly interesting, because it now acts more like a Focus Attack from SF4
(and only costs one bar). Arc
System Works also added "Stylish Mode" to REVELATOR
(previously seen in Blazblue) which allows players to perform ultra-flashy
combos simply by mashing one button. Scoff at it if you want... but Stylish
Mode is great for "non-Guilty Gear pros" to get an
understanding of how combos work. Even your lesser-skilled friends can mash
buttons and make awesome stuff happen, so it's a welcome addition.
features 2 main Story Modes. The regular "Story" will let players
enjoy the console exclusive main story of the game, while "Episode
Mode" features the arcade version telling of the storyline. REVELATOR's
main 9-chapter Story Mode is very ambitious... but very very long (and a bit
"sleepy" at times).
You can expect plenty of typical "over-dramatic" anime fare, characters hitting
badass poses, and a few LOL / WTF moments... but, the
Story mode is made up of mostly talking. Many scenes seem to drag on and on...
and on... without much change of pace or variety. Worst of all, there's no
So if you don't constantly stare at the screen (for hours) to read the subtitles, you'll
Story cinematics and cut-scenes offer fairly-entertaining eye-candy most of the time and present the 3D
character models in a new light. The 2D style animation mixed with the 3D character models is engaging to watch.
The graphics aren't perfect, however... as there are some random unsightly
textures and generic backdrops in certain scenes. The cinematography is pretty good, but
there are some iffy camera angles with close-ups of boxy polygonal objects.
Sometimes character models also appear heavily aliased in certain angles.
At the least, REVELATOR's story is an artistic achievement, and
while the actual story content might not be clear (unless you pay ultra-close
attention) it is pretty clear that ASW put heart into this mode. They also
managed to give all
participating characters a good amount of screen-time, which is an achievement.
Strangely, there's absolutely no gameplay in
Story Mode to break things up. (A very odd decision from ASW). I've nitpicked past fighting game story modes for
not having enough
gameplay and putting me to sleep... but ZERO GAMEPLAY???
Someone check my pulse. I thought this was a
video game? Even when considering the coolest moments of the story, and the classic character
cameos (no spoilers here), Story Mode isn't quite
enough to stand on its own as something only to "watch"... but it is
what it is.
Possibly the coolest (and
cutest) online Battle Lobby of any fighting game to date!
To wrap things up, let's talk about
Online Mode. Thankfully, the netcode has been vastly improved
over -SIGN-. Fighting against players even in other countries (and with PS4 to PS3
cross-play) is surprisingly smooth at its best moments. It also states
how many "delay frames" there are during online bouts, and it's
actually accurate this time (unlike -SIGN-). By far, the coolest part of REVELATOR's
new Online Mode is the all new Lobby system, which
features chubby little Avatars with square heads whom you can customize with hair
pieces, hats, and colors. Your Avatar can walk up to arcade machines and wait
for opponents or just run around and look silly. Lobbies also
feature a "Fishing" pond where your avatar can fish for new
unlockables (again, there's a ton of unlockables! You can catch new character colors, emoticons for chat, digital figures,
System Voices, lots of stuff. Your avatar can fish at any time while walking around the lobby waiting for
opponents. The Lobby also features its own camera
controls, with zoom-in and -out features so you can get that perfect angle on your
chubby little persona.
Other options I liked about REVELATOR online: You can select your
opponent in Ranked Battle to make sure the connection and opponent is to your
liking. There are tons of settings for matchmaking (such as the feature to fight
PS4 or PS3 opponents only) and tons of options for setting up a room, possibly the most I've ever seen
in a fighting game (17+ options). There are even room "passwords" you
can use to keep lowly riffraff out of your "high class, exclusive" club of a room.
Another thing I
LOVE is that you can enter
the game's full menu screen directly from online lobbies, which
is a very convenient option that other fighting games should adapt in the future.
While REVELATOR's lobbies are charming as hell (and probably the most
fleshed out battle lobbies I've ever seen in a fighting game), they aren't
perfect. Lobbies can fit upwards of 50 players, but start glitching when they
get this full (the arcade machines actually stop working for matchmaking).
Player match rooms are a little more "under control" than the group lobbies, where
players "line up" at arcade machines to play the winner (old
school!!!). Player Match
lobbies even have a little soccer ball you can kick around. Arc System Works
still has a great sense of humor. Last but not least,
GGXrd's lobbies might not be
as populated as lobbies from more popular fighting games, and finding an
opponent at certain hours can prove to be a difficult and lonely experience.
Good luck out there!
|| Arc System Works
PS4, PS3, PC
May 26th, 2016
June 7th, 2016
June 10th, 2016
Dec. 14th, 2016
(PS4/PS3/Steam - "REV 2" Expansion)
Badguy, Ky Kiske, Millia
Low, I-No, Faust,
Sin Kiske, Elphelt, Leo Whitefang,
Jam Kuradoberi, Dizzy,
Kum Haehyun, Raven
Gear Xrd -SIGN-, GGXrd REV 2, Guilty
Gear, Guilty Gear X, Guilty
Gear X Advance, Guilty Gear XX, Guilty
Gear X2 #Reload,
Guilty Gear XX Slash,
Guilty Gear Isuka, Guilty
Gear Judgment, Guilty Gear XX Accent Core, Guilty
Gear XX Accent Core Plus R, Yatagarasu: Attack
on Cataclysm, Under
Night In-Birth EXE:Late[st], Dengeki
Bunko Fighting Climax, Blazblue: Chrono Phantasma,
Blazblue: Central Fiction, Street
8.0 / 10
7.5 / 10
8.5 / 10
9.0 / 10
/ Sound Effects
8.5 / 10
8.5 / 10
9.5 / 10
9.0 / 10
Options / Extras
9.5 / 10
Intro / Presentation
7.5 / 10
Replayability / Fun
7.5 / 10
7.5 / 10
8.5 / 10
Review based on PS4 version
It's great to see Arc System
Works still doing Guilty Gear in 2016. Anyone who enjoyed the
Guilty Gear series in the 90's has little reason not to return to the series
now. While Guilty Gear Xrd -REVELATOR-
is obviously the "definitive" version of Xrd (for now at least), some may not think
it's worth the full $60 price tag, as it carries itself as more of an
"expansion" than a full-fledged sequel. Thankfully, you can now score
the game for a more reasonable price, but don't forget you still might want buy
DLC characters like Dizzy, Kum Haehyun and possibly Raven (who is
unlockable in-game, but for quite a bit of in-game currency.) In any
case, REVELATOR is a must play, especially if you missed out on SIGN.
If you're a serious
Guilty Gear fan, it would seem you're in very good hands. REVELATOR
seems to be everything a fan would want out of a
possibly even more. While ASW may charge for "Day 1" DLC... and seem
to love "making prequels irrelevant" by releasing new
versions again and again, Arc System Works clearly still pours a lot of heart into their games.
was first announced, I said (in this very section) that "my fingers are
crossed for at least 5 new characters". Indeed, Arc System Works matched
my expectations and raised them by one!
Guilty Gear Xrd -REVELATOR-
is a beautiful game and a work of art. Don't let anyone tell you different. The camera angles during K.O's are epic
and more dynamic than in SIGN, showing off
the 3D stages and characters even better than before. The new pre-fight camera
pan-in also gives you more appreciation of the graphics. Even if you don't fancy
plays, watching it played at a high level is impressive on a variety of
levels. The new backgrounds are great eye candy (although I miss some of the
originals from SIGN and wish they were still in the game). Character
color options are also superb, as usual... with tons of unlockable colors per
character (and even some flashy DLC ones if you want to go crazy).
Even though the product is great at its core, I was hoping for a "fresher" vibe from REVELATOR... as
certain features and music tracks seem dated (copy-pasted from SIGN), but those are fairly minor flaws
looked over. Another minor gripe is the lack of character voice options
(Japanese only). The lack of English dubbing in gameplay and story mode is a
shame, and makes me appreciate games that do have this option, like Street
Fighter V. (What? SFV has something that GGXrd doesn't? Indeed
Hardcore players already bought GGXrd -REVELATOR- (and probably mastered
at least 3 or 4 characters) long before this review was written. However, if
you'd consider yourself a "filthy casual" at Guilty Gear but you like the aesthetics of the game, you
should absolutely give the game a spin. It's more accessible than it may look,
with features like Tutorial and Stylish Mode giving you every reason to level up
your game. And on that note... you should play REVELATOR while you can...
before Arc System Works releases yet another sequel and makes this one