A triumphant evolution of the series. Easier to play and more strategic than Xrd. Arc Systems' trademark cell shaded graphics are noticeably improved and take the crown for this visual style.
When playing online, the lobbies are a bizarre and unpleasant side scrolling environment where players move their avatars around. It ruins one of the nice things about the previous Guilty Gear game, which had a similar concept with much better execution. However, once you are in a match the net code is impeccable. The quality of these one-on-one connections is better than almost anything else out there and make up for any other online deficiencies. Skip the strange lobbies and wait for a quick match in training mode.
It's not as good as AC+R. I don't think it's particularly close, even. The lobbies barely work, the combat system is a bit too simplified, the wallbreak system is dumb, and frankly, there isnt that much do actually do in the game.
But it is very, very fun. When you actually get the game going, all the little niggles and issues strive has get washed out by the sheer wave of positive energy that comes when the battles get going, when the music's loud and the presentation is absolutely glorious.
I know its easy to enjoy anything with friends, but doing sets with Friends in strive, and for that matter, AC+R is just special. There's something about the sheer positivity and dedication to rule of cool about the series, along with the awesome characters and music, that just makes for an absolute whale of a time, ensuing with laughs, trying to avoid singing along with Chipp's theme in the discord call, and going "ooo" as your friend dunks you in the corner with an awesome Zato combo.
Particularly in these grim times, Guilty Gear has been special for me. Maybe the only thing i've played where even for a little bit, the worries of the world truly just give way to the sheer personality and fun of it all. And whilst Strive may not be truly as good as AC+R - it still has it's energy. And that's all that really matters to me.
To anyone who i've played Guilty Gear with in the past few months - Thank you.
feels like the pieces are there mechanically and they need a lot of iteration to get it to where it needs to be. lobbies are borderline unplayable and trying to play a casual game with a friend literally took ten minutes of fucking with menus (lobby IDs simply... didn't work. so we had to make a weird arcane set of settings and search for each other with public lobbies set to 2 players.) and teleporting around battle stations until we were finally ingame.
i cannot believe that they shipped the game like this and while some of these errors are probably because of their gigantic launch the lobbies are a fundamentally broken concept and it's unreal that they were universally, consistently negatively recieved throughout the lengthy period of pre-release footage, betas, and polls and they changed jack shit about their design. i cannot underscore how bad these lobbies are and this review is barely about the game because, guess what, these lobbies are so fucking shitty that it's hard to play the fucking game! when i finally got in with my friend after fifteen minutes of controller issues, ten of lobby fuckery, and two of realizing that the character select is in the start menu instead of pre-match (????????????????????) we were in no mood to have actual fun playing it. i'm exclusively playing this locally and i have no desire to ever play this online ever again, despite the rollback working pretty amazingly. fuck this shit, man.
Feels like home! Gameplay feels fast and tight despite the more streamlined direction, at least in comparison to Rev2. Newcomers Nagoriyuki and Gio are a treat, same with Anji returning once more.
Plus, music still slaps and visuals are wonderful as always.
[But man, those lobbies are rough though]
Online, when you can play, feels really good! Rollback has been implanted so that should go a long way hopefully. It's just that at the moment, the lobbies on PC seem to be going through some issues with connections at the time of me writing this. When I'm actually able to play it's fun but the disconnections really sour the experience at times. So do bear that in mind. Either way, fun game!
if you get the chance ,even if you've never played a fighting game, please give it try!