The open beta for Guilty Gear Strive has just ended and the Fighting Game Community is buzzing about the game. It’s amazing visuals and the feel of the online play has the community super hype to play when it drops on April 6, 2021.
The Online Experience is OP and Terrible
First and foremost the net code is AMAZING. Every single match I played (of around 100) felt very responsive and didn’t seem to lag at all. Many members of the FGC that participated reported playing against people halfway across the world and having it feel great to play. You have to experience it for yourself to understand how great the online feels.
This great feat does come with a ding in the online experience, the lobbies. The lobby system incorporates a cute pixel style UI where players can roam around in 2D to interact with each other. The major problem with this system is the cumbersome process and lack of basic features such as quick rematching and spectating. This is a huge step back from the Guilty Gear Xrd lobby where you can queue up on arcade machines to spectate and wait for your turn. As much as we appreciate the fun art style, we hope that Arc System Works implements more traditional form of the lobby system.
It Is and Isn’t Guilty Gear
Guilty Gear franchise is a long running franchise that has shaped and refined its system to be familiar with veterans of the series. The intricacies of the system are well known among veterans and has many staple features that have carried over. But this iteration of the series drastically shakes up the system to clean the slate a bit to help newcomers.
The main things that have stayed the same are systems that surround the neutral game. The way ground dashes and air dashes work are very familiar and the game around controlling spacing using these tools and fighting against them are essentially the same. Like in previous games, you’ll want to read when people want to air dash in and anti air them accordingly. Dashing while using Faultless Defense to advance is still very much the safe way to advance quickly.
The biggest thing that has changed from the series is how the up close game plays. The gatling system is a staple of the series that has been changed profoundly in that you cannot perform the magic series of P or K > S > HS. The reward for landing lighter attacks has been greatly reduced and the need to read opponents by fishing for counter hits for bigger damage is emphasized. Although this does somewhat reduce the flexibility of the combo system, I do appreciate it (as a new dad with not much time) that I won’t have to memorize many long combo routes and extensions.
The other smaller things that have changed seem to be designed to help newcomers to the series. Things like not requiring Faultless Defense to air block and having a dedicated throw command help players to be less mystified about the game systems.
The Tech is Wild
One of the biggest concerns that the community had with Guilty Gear revamping the system would be that it could be too simple. Thanks mainly to the Roman Cancel system, this worry can definitely be laid to rest.
The 4 different types of RC (blue, red, purple, yellow) and the ability to “fast RC” opens wide a ton of tech to be had. In the beta alone, people have found set ups for instant overheads, insanely fast grab setups, and even infinites.
— うき (@uki_0916) February 19, 2021
— HDG Younghou (@jovenhou) February 19, 2021
— Uri (@UriFGC) February 18, 2021
This has always been the case with a system as open ended as the RC. So thankfully, this is no surprise that there is a lot of freedom to be had in this game.
This new generation of Guilty Gear seems to be a great foundation for the series to innovate upon. As any new entry in fighting games, there will definitely be rough patches like balance issues and game breaking bugs. But we also know that over time these systems start to become refined and the game will flesh out to its true form sometime down he line.
The implementation of the superb net code also gives the game legs to stay relevant and playable for a very very long time. This is going to be a great boon for the Guilty Gear community along with other fighting games that likely follow suit on trying to give a comparable online experience. The future is looking bright, and we’re excited to see this future come into fruition through one of the hypest fighting games around. Play Guilty Gear.