I’m a longtime fan of fighting games. “Tekken 4” was not only one of the first fighting games I ever played, but it was also one of the first games I ever picked up. “Mortal Kombat: Deception” was another that I was infatuated with back in the day despite my parent’s disapproval.
“Super Smash Bros. Ultimate” is debatably a fighting game. It’s quoted mainly as a party game, but the intense competitive scene built around the Smash series put it on the same level as “Street Fighter” and “Mortal Kombat,” so I’ll give it the title of a fighting party game.
Speaking of tournaments, fighting games could be considered the father of esports, with tournaments being held as far back as the 80’s and 90’s.
With such a prominent place in gaming history, the fighting game genre holds its own niche against many mainstream games of today. For instance, Ryu and Chun Li from the “Street Fighter” games are in “Fortnite” now, that shows some cultural significance in my book.
“Mortal Kombat 11” was the last fighting game I really got into before the industry stagnated. A year after its release, the global pandemic was starting. The entire industry hit a standstill and many games—not just fighting games—were pushed back for safety reasons.
In that time, I got back into “Ultimate Marvel Vs. Capcom 3” for a bit, but I really don’t like its successor, “Marvel Vs Capcom Infinite.” Some friends and I also got back into “Street Fighter V,” and we’ve been enjoying it.
Still, I felt like I needed something new, something I haven’t seen before.
“MK11” was fun, but my time with it passed a long time ago, same with “Tekken 7.” “UMvC3” is great, but I’ve sunk so many hours into it already that I need something new.
“Street Fighter V” has been biding me over since I have people to play it with, but I don’t see myself playing on my own. It was then I found out about “Guilty Gear Strive.”
I’ve played “Guilty Gear Xrd: Revelator” a few years ago, but it didn’t run too well on my PS4 so I wasn’t too into it. However, the soundtrack was what kept my eye on the series.
I played “Revelator” to prepare myself for “Dragon Ball FighterZ,” a game that the developer of “Guilty Gear” Arc System Works, was making.
I pretty much played “Revelator” like it was a sneak preview of what I was getting into when “FighterZ” came out, and when it did, I forgot about “Guilty Gear.”
“Guilty Gear Strive” had been announced as far back as 2019, and I just heard about it late last week.
There was going to be a beta test for the game, and I figured since I’m using the PS5 hardware it would actually run well, so I took a break from “Street Fighter” to play it when it was up.
I loved “Dragon Ball FighterZ;” it’s my favorite “Dragon Ball” game to date. I was excited to see how far Arc System Works had come from the “Xrd” days, and to say I was impressed is an understatement.
Strive took what I liked and disliked about “Revelator” and improved nearly everything.
The characters look utterly fantastic, the gameplay is faster, flashier, and literally bouncing off the walls fun. It’s exaggerated in typical anime fashion, but only “Guilty Gear” could pull off the in-your-face action and music that it shoves onto your eyes and ears.
When your combo rises, the number of hits gets bigger and bigger on the screen, there’s a counter mechanic where once you hit someone during their hit the game yells “COUNTER!” in bold text across the screen, and sometimes goes into slow motion.
Stage transitions are apparent too, sort of like in “Injustice.” It’s always a joy to “break the glass” of the side of the arena and see the person you just kicked go flying into the next area.
“Strive” feels more fluid than “Revelator,” which was one of the biggest problems I had with “Revelator.”
Although the beta has probably ended, and a new release date isn’t set yet, definitely be on the lookout for “Guilty Gear: Strive.” I think it’s going send some pretty strong ripples through the fighting game scene.