Guilty Gear XRD REV2 Review

By Shawn Collier on September 22, 2017

For those versed in fighting games for any length of time — specifically those from Japan, are well familiar with the practice of update releases. Before the advent of DLC and updates, developers and publishers would have to release an entirely new version of the game when fans wanted an updated entry of their favorite fighting game franchise.

Developer ARC System Works and publisher Aksys Games are bringing an updated version of last year’s Revelator entry in the form of Guilty Gear XRD REV 2, but as the name suggests this is more of a tweaking and refining of the formula than a whole new iteration or follow-up. And as such, it’s a smaller update and is available as DLC for owners of the original version as well as via physical/digital in the new REV 2 edition with all of the new additions included. For newcomers this is great as it includes everything in one package, but are the new additions worth enough for veterans to jump in as well outside of the hardcore that will pick it up regardless to stay competitive?

The two most obvious additions, which ARC System Works headlined themselves the update with leading up to its release, is the two new additional characters included: Baiken and Answer. Long-time Guilty Gear fans will recognize the former, as she’s appeared in earlier entries in the series. She made a cameo in Revelator, but now in REV 2 she’s making an official entry into the series. ARC System Works kept her play style generally intact for those used to prior iterations, with some minor differences here and there of course. For those not aware of the character, she controls a powerful mix of offensive and defensive abilities that she can switch between at will depending on the situation. And while she has low health and doesn’t deal as much raw damage as other characters, in the hands of the right player she can deal some lengthy combos.

The other additional character is Answer, who is technically a “new” character as he only was introduced in the story of XRD -SIGN-. Baiken tends to be somewhat of an easier character for newcomers once they get the hang of her abilities, whereas Answer is very much aimed at the advanced segment of the player base. His main gimmick is placing floating scrolls on the battlefield (as he’s a “business” ninja), which can be used to hang from and launch into different attacks. The idea here is to place them in a manner so you can chain attacks together utilizing these scrolls, hence the difficulty curve for new players.

As far as other additions/extras to REV 2 over Revelator, the two previously DLC-only characters Kum and Dizzy are now included free-of-charge for people buying REV 2. In Arcade mode, Kum, Dizzy, Baiken, Answer, Jam and Raven now all have stories to experience. The M.O.M. mode has some minor changes with new items added to the mix and Mission mode has some new challenges added. And the online lobby system has some new customization options available to choose from.

Probably the biggest change outside of the new characters for veterans will be the balance changes, which almost feels like a new entry in some ways as every character in the game has been modified and rebalanced. And this isn’t just the standard “attack A does more damage, attack B does less damage” tweaking, some characters have entirely new attacks or have elements of their existing attacks switched up from what they were in Revelator. What is nice is that since this is a “revision” update and not a major update (even though in some ways it feels like it is), you can switch back to the “Revelator” balance updates to play against some still playing that version of the game.

Final Thoughts

While the game is $20, whether that is too high of a price or not depends a lot on if you picked up a prior version of the game and how much of a competitive player you are. Competitive players will pick this up regardless because it’s the latest balance updates. For newcomers or those who played XRD -SIGN- and skipped over Revelator, getting all four DLC characters plus the latest balance patches is a great deal. But if you have Revelator and don’t find either of the two new characters interesting enough and care more about the story mode and don’t want to play competitively, the asking price might be too steep for you.

Great deal for those new to Guilty Gear XRD or who owned XRD -SIGN- and passed on Revelator due to those two DLC characters being bundled in.
Can switch back to Revelator's balance changes to play against those players if you wish.
Every character gets balance changes and/or new moves.
If you already own Revelator and aren't a hardcore fan of the series or in the scene, the $20 price tag may be a bit steep for you.
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