Excitement, fellows and fellow-ettes! For well over a year now, I have been foaming at the mouth for the latest iteration of one of my very favorite fighting game series: Guilty Gear. Teaser images had been floating across the interwebs since early 2013 with actual footage of the game not reaching us until earlier this year following its release in Japanese arcades. Alas, as far as I knew, stateside fans could only pine in distant affection. Imagine my surprise, then, when over the weekend I discovered this gem surreptitiously resting in the ever-so-lonely G section of the PlayStation Store. “Full Game,” I read in disbelief. Had it been released to absolutely no fanfare?! That seemed unlikely – surely I would have had some inkling of this! Well, as it turned out, no, the game had not been released. What I saw before me was a demo of the full game that had released on November 25th and would be available for the two weeks following that date. While a timed demo seemed a peculiar choice to me, it was evident that I had no time to waste on such misgivings.
A fan since 1998! 😀
The “limited release” demo, which is only playable until December 9th when it will magically vanish from hard drives across America (I guess), is a pretty bare-bones affair. It does, however, offer more than enough for those of us who have been chomping at the bit for even just a tiny morsel of game play. So what exactly does the demo give us? Well, I’m glad you asked.
You don’t think I’ve got too many buckles on this thing, do you?
(Photo Credit: GameInformer)
The Guilty Gear Xrd -Sign- demo allows players to tool around with the series’ protagonist and deuteragonist, Sol Badguy and Ky Kiske, in one of two modes: Tutorial and Arcade. The tutorial mode should be familiar to most fighting game fans, but doubly so to those who have played an Ark System Works fighter before. Featuring a third character, Ky’s son Sin, here you are given the opportunity to get acquainted with both the basic and advanced move sets for the game in anticipation of putting a hurting on the competition. It is a bit unnecessary, however, as the Arcade mode seems to be locked on the easiest setting (it should prove no challenge for just about anyone with opposable thumbs). Still, as this mode is arguably the most significant component of the demo, I will say that the reduced difficulty made it much easier to disconnect from the fighting (which seems to be a bit more balanced, if also a bit slower than previous entries) and enjoy the rest of the package.
I can’t quit you!
(Photo Credit: Giant Bomb)
What is most evident from this limited offering, and what I believe much of the fan base will appreciate, is that the transition to 3D (technically the second title in the series to attempt this) has been executed flawlessly. So unobtrusive is this change that, save for certain pre-rendered animations and cut scenes, it could easily go unnoticed. In reality, what you will witness is an entire 3D drawn game made to look and feel like it is as traditional 2D fighter. It is a thing of beauty.
Say Shoryuken one more time…
(Photo Credit: Playstation Enthusiast)
According to the PlayStation Network’s official blog and various retail sources, you can expect the full game to be released on December 16, 2014. This is good news for those who do not have access to a PlayStation Plus subscription or missed the download window for the demo entirely. Until then, however, feel free to watch the trailer for the game below and expect the official Tuff Gnarl review of the full game from yours truly as soon as I get my grubby little hands on it!