Guilty Gear Xrd: Revelator Review: Let's Rock!
Guilty Gear Xrd: Revelator is a game that has been on my wanted list since it was penned for a console release late last year. I have history with the Guilty Gear franchise that dates all the way back to the original Playstation. Over the years, I've played a number of entries in the franchise including 2014's Guilty Gear Xrd: Sign, the previous entry on the Playstation 4. While each entry has been similar to what we've seen in the past, each of them has managed to stand on their own thanks to tweaks and new content added to each outing.
When it comes to Guilty Gear's story, it can be difficult to follow if you haven't played all of the previous entries in the series. Past games did tend to stick with a format similar to the Street Fighter franchise, where many of the games would just retread the same narrative. However, that all changed with Guilty Gear Xrd: Sign, which started began a new plot.
This bring us to Guilty Gear Xrd: Revelator's story, which picks up shortly after the events of the previous game. PlayingGuilty Gear Xrd: Sign isn't necessary, but for those who have played the previous entry, the game's episode mode will offer a few story bits to fill the gap between the two entries. In addition to this, it will also explain the involvement of the characters that are new to Revelator. Thanks to an excellent localization by the team at Aksys Games, the game's story mode is made that much more enjoyable.
As far as issues with the story, the lack of any kind of recap of previous events is a bit of a downer, especially since Arc System Works has previously offered this in the BlazBlue series. The episode mode also lacks a proper edition for the returning Kuradoberi Jam, which is a disappointment for fans of that character. Jam is still playable in episode mode, but her path plays like a traditional arcade mode.. That being said, thanks to a strong localization and the Episode Mode, the single players experience offered in Guilty Gear Xrd: Revelator is easily the best in the franchise thus far.
Anyone familiar with any of the recent releases by Arc System Works should have some idea of what to expect when going into Guilty Gear Xrd: Revelator. Being a traditional one-on-one fighter, the game follows a formula that has been a constant in the genre since the early nineties. The action is much more fast paced than the likes of Mortal Kombat X or Street Fighter V, but move input and combos are handled with the controller's four face buttons and your choice of the d-pad or analog stick. Thankfully controls are responsive and I experienced zero input lag, even when playing online.
Outside of the modes mentioned above, the game also features a number of other modes including the return of Guilty Gear Xrd: Sign's Master of Medals. In M.O.M. mode, the player faces increasingly difficult opponents in an effort to collect medals dropped by your opposition. These medals are used within the mode to buy upgrades for your character. Characters from M.O.M. mode can also be taken online to use against players from around the world, giving the mode added longevity.
Revelator also features extensive training modes, allowing players to learn basic and advanced moves and combos for each of the game's 23 playable characters. While playing each of the game's modes, the player will also be rewarded with "World Dollars", in-game currency that will also you to unlock items in the gallery from artwork, music from previous Guilty Gear titles, new colors, and even additional playable characters. Overall, Guilty Gear Xrd: Revelator features a robust suite of both single and multiplayer options. Thanks to this, the game will likely keep fans of the franchise busy for some time to come.
With the release of Guilty Gear Xrd: Sign, the franchise transitioned from its traditional 2D sprite based style to using 3D character models with a cell shaded look. This comes thanks to Arc System Works' decision to transition the series to the Unreal Engine. While I was a fan of the traditional style, and initially resisted the switch to the new look, but after spending some time with the game I have really come to enjoy the new visuals. Returning characters retain their look from the previous titles, and new additions feel right at home with the game's unique roster of characters. The new visual style is a great direction for the franchise and seems like a natural evolution for this style of game.
Thanks to the return of series composer Daisuke Ishiwatari, the music retains the same hard rock style as previous games in the franchise. A host of new compositions fit each of the characters well, with tracks for the returning characters sounding similar to their previous themes. In addition to the game's new pieces, the gallery features a suite of returning songs from nearly every entry in the series. With the ability for each of these to be used in battle upon unlocking them, Revelator features the largest musical library in the franchise's history.
Voice over is also top notch, with each of the Japanese voice actors reprising their roles. Unlike the previous entry, there is no option for English voice over in this game, but given the typical audience for this style of game, I don't view that as much of a problem. The audio rounds out an excellent overall presentation and adds more value to Guilty Gear's already robust list of features.
After the disappointment that was Street Fighter V, I needed another fighting game to cleanse my palate. As it turns out, Guilty Gear Xrd: Revelator was exactly the game I was looking for. With its fast paced gameplay, amazing soundtrack, a brand new story, and fantastic art direction the game is easily one of the top fighters on the Playstation 4. I've had Revelator for just over a week, and I feel like I've barely scratched the surface of the game. Guilty Gear Xrd: Revelator is a fantastic game and I know it will remain in my Playstation 4 for a long time to come.