Following hot on the heels of the superb Guilty Gear Xrd comes the next instalment in the much loved series and my oh my it is a thing of beauty. While everyone is still waiting for Street Fighter V to be somewhere approaching finished REVELATOR has possibly the most content yet in the world of 2D fighters.
The tutorial mode alone is massively in-depth and will take players through the absolute basics such as movement to the advanced techniques of the game. Unlike most tutorials this one is actually quite inventive as well as you jump over obstacles, pop balloons and combo creatures. The more familiar process of producing special moves and combo strings is also included and even players who have never played a fighting game before will find a level where they can work on becoming an all-conquering warrior.
The game sees the cast of the original Xrd return along with a handful of new characters with more following as DLC. Of some surprise is that the returning cast haven’t really been tweaked or rebalanced. That said the first game was pretty much flawless anyway so it’s easy to see why the team decided to leave things as they were.
It’s tricky to go into all the different systems of Guilty Gear but the approach has been to tweak what was already in place rather than to bring in something drastically different. It’s intimidating for even veteran players but it also gives the tutorial mode yet more time to shine as it takes you through step by step.
Though we would have thought it was impossible the game looks even more eye-meltingly amazing than its predecessor. Characters are large and detailed with flourishes a plenty and anime style entrances to each stage. The stages themselves buzz and hum with activity and lights. It’s glorious and stunning and any other words you can think of that describes something so utterly spellbinding. If there’s a more talented art team working in video games we’ve yet to see it.
The visually visceral design is not restricted to the backgrounds either. In motion the game is a thing of beauty with huge special moves and characters zinging around the screen. It can be difficult to keep up with it all at times but once you get used to the frenetic pace it makes you feel like some kind of joystick Jedi and with all the options and techniques each fighter has there is a real depth of choice to pick from.
As well as a depth of characters there is also a wealth of modes to choose from. Unusually, the arcade mode actually acts as a precursor for the story mode and goes through events that happen just before it starts. This gives players extra incentive to spend even more time with the game and encourages the use of all the available characters to get the full picture of what’s going on. These modes are joined by the M.O.M mode where players compete for in game currency and medals that can be used to level up characters to take on tougher challenges.
As you would expect the online options are also excellent with the usual ranked and player matches present. The presentation is very different though with players walking their avatars around an area and challenging players they come in contact with. There’s also a weird fishing game where you can fish out items in exchange for in game currency. This mode also allows players to change region so they can look elsewhere if their particular area is empty of players.
Overall, Guilty Gear Xrd – REVELATOR- is yet another master class in how to make and present a 2D fighting game. Every time the team produce a game it’s hard to think how it could be bettered and yet they keep finding new ways to improve, add and keep jaws dropping. There’s certainly a lot to take in and get to grips with but once you get it there is no other fighter out there with the same levels of depth to explore. The fact this depth is packaged with so much style is the final, beautiful cherry on top of the cake.