Review: Guilty Gear Xrd Rev 2 (PS4)

"Heaven or Hell...?"
When last we checked in with hated by some, beloved by others (raises hand) anime/airdash fighting progenitor Guilty Gear, the second in the Xrd series, Revelator had seen release last summer, and we thoroughly enjoyed and highly recommended the latest in ARC System Works’ long running, lovingly animated, heavy metal inspired and thoroughly Japanese flagship fighting series. Fast forward 10 months and the incremental fighting game upgrade train has rolled through town to give us Guilty Gear Xrd Rev 2, a sort of “complete” or “game of the year” type package mashing together all of the content from the first two games (including the DLC characters) and two new fighters in the form of returning fan favorite Baiken and brand new competitor Answer.

Somewhat disappointingly, the two new characters are just about all that immediately sticks out as “new” here, especially for those that have been keeping up with the (sometimes refreshingly free, though timed) DLC. Baiken and Revelator DLC character (who now comes standard) Dizzy look awesome and feel great, with themes both reverent to their classic musical accompaniment while also feeling totally fresh. Answer’s a winner as well, if more conceptually than in practice for me personally. His tricky fighting style, involving planting grapple points across the play field that he can then delay and pounce from, will definitely interest some, but it was the character design itself I latched into. The sharp dressed ninja is the communications arm of Chipp’s clan and as such is constantly on his futuristic cell phone and hurling business cards like a yuppie Gambit. Hilariously Guilty Gear.

Everything positive I said about the original Revelator still stands, but other than that it’s difficult to wholeheartedly recommend this release. I’m happy to have everything Xrd on one handy $39.99 disc, and there’s even an option on PSN to upgrade the existing Revelator for $19.99, but even that seems steep given what’s actually, genuinely “new” here. This ones only for the completists, fanatics and apologists. Hopefully the next time Guilty Gear darkens our doorstep it’ll give us something brand new to break our guitars over.

Kevin Hawkey is the co-founder, head writer and editor of Riot-Nerd. He enjoys Fighting Games, Metal, Marvel, Horror and all the weird shit in between. A lifelong Philadelphian just as comfortable in a circle pit at Underground Arts as he is drooling over the new Hot Toys figures at Brave New Worlds, Kevin’s idiosyncratic sensibility gives this site it’s unique dichotomy between “riot” and “nerd”.
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