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Release Date: December 16th, 2014 Movie Release Year: 2014

Guilty Gear Xrd -SIGN-

Overview -

The 'Guilty Gear' series has taken a set of odd turns. While the series has mostly stuck to 2D fighting titles, the most recent mainstream entry, 'Guilty Gear 2: Overture' (the fourth main title), was an unusual mix of real-time strategy and action elements.

Thankfully for fans, though, the newest title in the series, 'Guilty Gear Xrd -SIGN-' returns to its fast-paced fighting genre roots. However, Arc System Works isn't afraid to make some changes, with a new art-style and an increased focus on the series' hard to penetrate plot, not to mention the move to a new engine in Unreal 3. Along with an arcade verison and the PS3 version, 'Xrd' also marks the series' debut on the PS4.

OVERALL:
For Fans Only
Rating Breakdown
VIDEO
AUDIO
Tech Specs & Release Details
Release Date:
December 16th, 2014

Video Review

Ranking:

In the past, the Guilty Gear series used high quality sprites to render the characters and their animations. 'Guilty Gear Xrd' moves away from that standard, instead opting to use 3D models for the fighters. This was originally met with backlash by fans, as there was a fear of loss of some of the more unique characters' charm and animations may be lost in the transition.

Thankfully, Arc System did a masterful job with the new graphical direction. The 3D style used mostly replicates the old sprite based style, without the limitations of such a work-heavy style. While the battles are still in a wholly 2D style, they occasionally break out into a more 3D view for cut-ins and super moves, and for the taunts at the beginning and end of battles.

But the new models don't really get a time to shine until the Story Mode, where (it at least appears) it uses the in-engine models for all of the cutscenes. The scenes and animations in the Story Mode are mostly stunning, and a few oddities aside, really show off the new graphics in a wonderful light.

Audio Review

Ranking:

Likewise, the music for 'Guilty Gear Xrd' is top-notch. Both the remixed tracks from earlier titles and the new tracks are all heavy metal tunes. Given that the series is heavily influenced by metal and the somewhat unusual culture that stemmed from the musical genre, the tracks fit perfectly.

Voice acting, on the other hand, is mostly strong, though there are some unfortunate hiccups. It feels as though Sol Badguy's actor is trying a bit too hard to sound like a typical gritty anti-hero, coming off as fake, and while it's understandable that Ramlethal is supposed to sound flat and emotionless during the majority of the story, her voice fails to reflect any character development that happens throughout the course of the plot.

Final Thoughts

Like I said above, I've been waiting for the likes of 'Guilty Gear Xrd -SIGN-' for years. After the oddity of 'Guilty Gear 2', finally seeing a return to the series core fighting game mechanics filled me with endless excitement… and honestly, 'Xrd' is all I've wanted for an entry of the series. The wonderfully fast and somewhat complicated gameplay is still intact, and the graphical change is a joy to behold.

But, as much as I'd like to tell everyone to run out a buy a copy of the game as soon as it comes out, I simply can't. 'Guilty Gear Xrd' is not for everyone. The story is nothing short of a mess, and while the gameplay is fun, it can be hard to recommend to the average gamer.

If you're a fighting game fan, 'Xrd' is sure to find a nice place on your shelf. Otherwise, give the demo a try first; don't go buying this title without giving some of the game a playthrough first.