Arc System Works' 18 year old flagship fighting franchise is back with a new installment. Although it's very similar to the previous game in the series, there's no denying that Revelator elevates Guilty Gear to possibly be the best 2D fighter in years.
Over the years, Guilty Gear has amassed a cult following due to its satisfying and hectic 2D battles. To this day, it still has yet to hit the mainstream success of competitors such as Street Fighter and, to be honest, I don't fully understand why. After playing Revelator over the past few days, I can't say that I've ever had this much fun playing a 2D fighter in my life. For starters, the gameplay manages to be both intricate and accessible. You can choose to jump in and play right away or experiment in the robust tutorial modes if you want to learn how to kick ass on a technical level. Speaking of which, I found the tutorials here to be simply awesome! Not only are they comprehensive and deep, they're also a ton of fun to work through. Anyway, after reaching a level of understanding that you're comfortable with, it's time to either play through the single player experience or take the fight online. Whatever you do, you're in for an exciting time with every match being as thrilling as the last.
List of characters in Guilty Gear Xrd: Revelator
- Elphelt Valentine
- Sol Badguy
- Ky Kiske
- Ramlethal Valentine
- Sin Kiske
- Johnny Sfondi
- Leo Whitefang
- Chipp Zanuff
- Millia Rage
- Axl Low
- Jack-O' Valentine
- Jam Kuradoberi
- Kum Haehyun*
* available as DLC
Probably the most impressive aspect of Guilty Gear Xrd: Revelator is the absolutely stunning graphics. At times, it comes across as a gorgeous anime but when you see the camera rotate, it's hard to wrap your head around how they crafted everything in 3D, too. I still don't get it but I don't know if I want to because I'm happy just admiring how stunning everything looks. It's colourful, detailed, lively, and beautiful on every level. The music is phenomenal, too, with orchestral pieces playing during story scenes and rocking metal tunes blasting through the speakers during fights. As you can tell by the list above, there are plenty of characters that are both familiar and new. Of course, every single one is unique with their own distinct personalities, back-stories, and move sets.
Besides the extensive training modes, Guilty Gear Xrd: Revelator boasts a ton of content to master. You can battle online in a robust hub to challenge other players in ranked, player, or lobby matches. Honestly, I'm not very good and lost most of my fights but I still had a great time. Each character has their own eight stage arcade episode to work through where you can unlock everyone's endings. If you just want a few quick matches, you can challenge a computer opponent or local pal in a customized match. M.O.M (Medal of Millionaire) mode returns which basically acts as a survival mode where you can customize characters. On top of all this, there are a ton of unlockables that you can earn, purchase, or fish for. One thing's for sure, Guilty Gear Xrd: Revelator is not short on content.
Even though it's a great game, if you already own Guilty Gear Xrd: Sign then you may not find purchasing Revelator to be worth the expense. Sure, there are additional characters, tweaks, an optional simplified control scheme, and a few other goodies but it's not really all that different. Obviously, the online is much more active so this may be worth purchasing for that alone. My only other complaint is that I wish the story mode was interactive in some way. All it consists of is story sequences voiced in Japanese with English subtitles. Some of it is exciting but if I wanted to just watch something then I'd put on a Blu-ray. That leads me to my next point; there is no option for English voice-overs. I appreciate the Japanese actors and think they do a great job of fleshing out the characters but story mode would have been a lot more enjoyable with an English dub. Sign had English voice actors so why doesn't this?
Guilty Gear Xrd: Revelator may not be a huge step up from Sign but it does enough to make it a must-own 2D fighter. If you're even slightly interested in the genre then you can't go wrong with picking up a copy of this kick-ass game!
- + Top-notch graphics and music with a memorable cast of incredible characters
- + Solid 2D fighting gameplay
- + Impressive amount of content to enjoy
- - Those who already own Guilty Gear Xrd: Sign may not find this worth a purchase
- - Story mode is non-interactive
- - No English dub option available