GAME REVIEW | Heaven & Hell Flamboyantly Collide In "Guilty Gear Xrd -SIGN-"
Even though Guilty Gear Xrd has been out for awhile -- and the newest version Revelator comes out in the summer --Arc System Works decided to put out a PC version of Xrd. Thankfully the port is pretty faithful, but one could wonder if there're even plans to sell the Revelator content separately, as there doesn't seem much of a point to this (other than giving PC players a break).
One advantage the game's port has going for it is that it boasts an excellent framerate and resolution, provided that you have a decent rig. Even if you have an older but mid-ranged setup, it still will run smoothly. Unfortunately the DLC for the game still has yet be purchased, and boy there is a lot of it. There is a story in this game, but even if you've been following it from the original game you might get lost.
At least the game tries to put one out, even going for a Story Mode that expands on each of the character's paths from Arcade Mode. What is there is still decent for a fighter, though. Unlike most fighters the tutorial mode that teaches you how to play the game is the most extensive I've seen, painstakingly detailing how to do all the moves and techniques.
Gameplay is also very extensive and deep. There's all kinds of things to do, such as air dashes, double jumps, air blocking, instant blocking, Psych Bursts (which are defensive maneuvers meant to slow your opponent), or Roman Cancels to also throw them off. You can even reflect attacks to set up for counters, so the game is very good at giving the player more defensive options so you can't just keep getting rag-dolled as long as you know how to deal with attacks. The implementation of the Tension meter and things like Negative Penalties encourage players to keep moving. There are plenty of offensive options like combo chaining and cancels, Dust Attacks, special & super moves, and even risky but deadly Instant Kill attacks.
There is, of course, online play, and I've given the game enough time to work out the kinks in it's netcode for it to be acceptable. When it first launched, netplay wasn't terribly stable. Unfortunately despite an update to fix this, it created other problems, so it had to be rolled back. Arc System Works is working on it, so at least there's strong support. The lobby system is great with the one weird exception of having to select you character before going into a room.
Outside of online, the game's audio and visual presentation is fantastic. The way this Guily Gear uses polygons to look and behave like traditional 2D cel-animated sprites is stunning, and the game compliments this with an amazing soundtrack and quality dub. If you like fighters and only have a PC, Xrd is a game definitely worth getting. However with Revelator on the way, you might want to check the forums just to see how the developers will handle its summer release.
The Good – This PC port of the Arcade/PS3/PS4 version is a good adaptation, and the performance levels are great on most mid level systems.
The Bad – The game has tons of complexity, which makes it have a higher learning curve for online play.
The Ugly – The netcode for online play isn't as rock solid as the the rest of the game. It can either be great or awful.
SUMMARY: The PC port of Guilty Gear Xrd -SIGN- is good translation of the console version, but the netplay can be hit or miss at times.
Review code provided by Arc System Works and Gail Salamanca of Strangely Compelling