Taking Venom And Ky For A Spin In Guilty Gear Xrd SIGN

By Kris . August 12, 2013 . 1:00pm

These are my personal opinions of Guilty Gear Xrd –SIGN-. For information on the new systems in the game, please refer to our earlier report.


As I was waiting in line to play Guilty Gear Xrd, I could hardly believe that the game was 3D. The game emulates the 2D animation style of the older Guilty Gears, and while that looked a little bit odd in the game’s initial trailer, seeing it polished up and at 60FPS makes it almost indistinguishable from a distance.


The fact that the characters’ animations were basically a perfect match for the older games made even the new character designs seem familiar. Millia is still Millia despite the orange look, May walks like May’s always walked, and even though Potemkin looks like Panzerfaust from Skullgirls, he’s still our beloved Potemkin.


However, after watching a bit more, I started to see reminders that the game was, indeed, 3D. Character intros look fantastic, using a combination of the animation-omitting 2D style and the extra perspective advantages of 3D to do some cool stuff. Sol holds a bullet in his teeth (complete with close-up) before loading it into his sword. Ky walks past the camera before whipping off his cloak and electrifying his sword. They can even do some stuff they couldn’t really do with 2D, like May riding one of her dolphins into the stage from the ocean while her friend cheers her on from her sky pirate ship in one single tracking shot. Given how well they nailed the look of the game from the standard fighting game perspective, it’s nice to see how well they’re working with other angles.


Overdrives (Super moves, basically) have some extra animations and camera angles this time around as well, with the camera often swooping in on the character before they unleash their attack. However, these animations were quite short during the location test and didn’t feel any more invasive than a super flash or watching a landed super play out normally in a Guilty Gear game. (That said, while there weren’t any Instant Kills available at this location test, I can’t wait to see how they look with the new visuals.) The last hit of each round is given some instant replays from different directions or with a swooping camera angle. It’s a bit jarring when characters are clipping through each other, but like Virtua Fighter, when the last hit is dramatic, it’s pretty cool.


When I finally got to sit down with the game, I started to play with Venom. While I by no means consider myself particularly good at Guilty Gear, he’s probably the character I’m most familiar with. I felt right at home. Tossing out pool balls to be knocked at my opponent, rushing forward spinning my pool cue, teleporting upward, and shooting an absurd number of billiard balls down at my opponent from the air all felt right.


The layout is exactly as it’s always been and none of those attacks had their inputs changed. However, Venom lost his attack “Dubious Curve,” which both strikes the opponent and tosses out a billiard ball. I was a little bummed by its absence until I found its heir apparent.


Venom had a new attack. At first I thought it was just a way to toss out billiard balls and do a little bit of damage, like Dubious Curve. However, I held the button a bit longer than I normally would and I started charging the ball into a vortex. While Venom can normally do this with his forward-to-back charge attack, this is the first time to my knowledge that he could just have vortexes floating around in space. Because my opponent was rather timid, I managed to get three vortexes out onscreen before tearing through their health bar by hitting one at them.


Venom has also picked up a new super. For one thing, he had a new super that generated a special ball, which would bounce from wall to wall after I struck it. While this wasn’t too visually spectacular, I could see it being incredibly helpful if I knew how to use it properly. The couple of hits it landed on my opponent did allow me to win the round though.


I was pleasantly surprised to see that Dusts in Gulty Gear Xrd worked exactly as I remembered, too. I was a bit worried after I saw two unusual Dusts in the debut trailer, but Venom’s animation and the timing for it worked just as it used to. Despite the odd angle, following people up into the air felt just like it did in 2D Guilty Gear.


However, one big omission is the lack of the EX-style “Force Breaks” that could be performed with 25% of a tension gauge and the Dust button. This was a big concern for me when I switched over to Ky. While it was weird not to have any of the force breaks that he had in Guilty Gear XX Accent Core+ R, he had a new trick. His Dust attacks (and the one special he can perform with Dust) now make “Grinders” appear onscreen. While at first I didn’t know what these did, shooting a projectile through them made the projectile into a sword that did a ton of damage.


He still had some of his old tricks, but the Grinders added an interesting new dimension to his gameplay and the aerial version made his (usually somewhat leisurely) projectiles cover the screen much more quickly. I guess giant swords are faster than lightning.


Following Venom and Ky, I finished my time at the location test playing a few rounds with Millia, who, aside from her new outfit, played almost exactly as I remembered. Some of her normals were changed, and she had a new super that made giant blossoms of hair appear behind her as she moved (which was pretty cool, even though I only got to use it against CPU opponents), but she basically played exactly as I would have wanted her to in a followup to the Guilty Gear XX series.


In fact, that was probably my biggest takeaway from the location test. Guilty Gear still feels like Guilty Gear.


The transition to a new engine hasn’t turned Guilty Gear Xrd –SIGN- into Blazblue or Persona 4 Arena or any of Arc’s other fighters—it’s a proper Guilty Gear sequel. I can’t wait until the game is finished.


Food for Thought:

1. There was a survey at the end asking about which consoles we’d like to see a home port on. While Arc is considering Xrd for next gen systems, in addition to the expected PS4, Xbox One and Wii U, the options included 360, PS3, 3DS, and Vita.


2. I couldn’t hear the music very well at the venue (they seemed to have it turned down at every cabinet I sat at), but the announcer was very audible. He says “Select Your Battle Warrior” at the character select screen, and “You Rock!” when you win.


3. I had a chance to hear a little bit of the current title screen music (as there’s no attract mode). It wasn’t as metal as one might would be, instead it’s a somewhat bluesy piano-driven track. It might be different by the time the full game is released, but I liked it.


4. Now that I’ve seen it in person, I don’t think Ky’s ponytail is that bad…


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  • Here’s a thread that has compiled all the leak footage. Can’t wait to see it in person.


  • personablaze

    Man i’m hype for this :3

  • Spirit Macardi

    Just announce Bridget as a returning character and you’ll have my money.

    • Arcana Wiz

      Exactly we need more bridget reaction videos!!!!!! seeing the face of clueless persons when they find out it’s priceless.

  • RichyGaming

    Lol no psp is understandable but PC damn.

    • DyLaN

      I don’t see any mention of PC and PSP in the article…..

      • British_Otaku

        That’s the point.

        Look at the food for thought:
        “There was a survey at the end asking about which consoles we’d like to see a home port on. While Arc is considering Xrd for next gen systems, in addition to the expected PS4, Xbox One and Wii U, the options included 360, PS3, 3DS, and Vita.”

        While it may be typical for them not consider the Wii’s audience at this point, or the PSP which is slowing down at last, the PC is an eternal platform.

        • DyLaN

          Oh I see. Thanks for the clarification.

  • I am so excited by this game. As a Venom player, I was hoping I’d read some impressions of him soon. The best part of this article to me was this little tidbit. “The transition to a new engine hasn’t turned Guilty Gear Xrd –SIGN- into Blazblue or Persona 4 Arena or any of Arc’s other fighters—it’s a proper Guilty Gear sequel.” Thank you gaming gods and goddesses!

  • z_merquise

    It must be so thrilling to be one of the few people to witness and play it for real.

    I’ve seen the leaked gameplay videos in Youtube and despite the video in low resolution, the game looked so vibrant.

    I’m also amazed with the characters’ 3D models, you can easily mistook it as a hand-drawn 2D game.

  • xAKUM3TSUx

    Has anyone here seen Sol’s Dragon Install? He is truly a force to be reckoned with! I would like to share some off screen action for my Siliconera bretherens: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x-8tVl_PV8U&feature=c4-overview&list=UUIYtcrVl5zVwzou13T2J_hQ

    Again the game looks amazingly fluid and nostalgic with a tad more life in it. It even has Overture cameos! Arc Systems PWEAZ bring back Anji and Testament <3

    • theSN3S

      Man, this has me so excited to main Sol again. His Dragon Install is really amazing

  • Slayven19

    Millia and Venom sound good. Great to know that it is still a guilty gear game which I’ve been waiting on.

  • leingod

    Characters are polygonal, right? Animations still have that “choppiness” akin to 2D animations though, it’s weird but cool.

    • Suzaku

      I think what they did is, rather than animating the models with a skeleton and tweening, each frame of animation was manually posed and acts as a unique “snapshot,” with its own independant lighting.

      So, even though the models are 3D and the camera can rotate around them freely at a consistent 60fps, the animations are cycling through these snapshots at maybe about 12fps.

      This allows the lightning to be fine-tuned in each frame, so that the cel-shading is always consistent and appropriate. And by eliminating tweening between the frames, it gives the illusion of watching traditional 12fps cel animation.

      This is all speculation, of course.

      • leingod

        Sounds about right. Character intros appear to be animated in a regular way, though.

  • vileBrenman

    Do they still have one hit kills?

    • Arcana Wiz

      From what i undertood yes, but they weren’t in the loketests.

    • xAKUM3TSUx

      Yes, but Daisuke said the team hasn’t implemented it into the system for obvious reasons. Heck even the voices and music were all basically placeholders for now.

      • vileBrenman

        I hope they design some awesome new 1 hit kills for the new 3d engine!

        • xAKUM3TSUx

          That would be incredible!

  • Arcana Wiz

    i need more guilty gear!!!!! give me Bridget, Dizzy, A.B.A, I-no, johnny and Baiken and i’m in heaven, shame that we probably aren’t getting this game until 2015……

  • TheHolypopeofgaming

    This is all well and good but what about new characters?

  • Michael Connell

    Any mention of how the story is going to be approached in this? Bascally is there going to be a full on story mode like BB or P4A or will the story basically just be in arcade mode?

    • Zeik56

      I would expect it would follow BB and P4A’s example of only having arcade mode in arcades and then a more fleshed out story on consoles. Given that they haven’t even officially announced it for consoles I doubt they’ll be talking about the actual story mode any time soon.

    • Suzaku

      Guilty Gear has always had a visual novel style story mode for the console releases, though they generally haven’t been as sophisticated as the ones in BB and P4A.

      My guess is that the console release will feature a more robust, BB-style VN story mode.

      Since this game is also 3D, I really hope they’ll take advantage of that to give us real-time cinematics.

  • Weird Al Yankovic

    Looking so good but this really needs I-NO.

  • bushin

    This has me very interested, I’ve never played guilty gear before. If it came out on next gen I would spend unhealthy amounts of time learning it!

  • Eder García

    “there was a survey at the end asking about wich consoles we’d like to see a home port on”
    it’s too early to speculate, i believe this game will arrive on holidays 2014 or early 2015 on consoles because of ArcSys “1st on Arcade for a long time” politics

    • Servant BerserCAR

      ArcSys “political” decision is the one that makes me still have faith in fighting game. They do that in order to obtain public opinions, to minimize major bugs, so the console version of the game will be the “perfect” or “final” version.

  • Sardorim

    Whoa… The characters look a bit older in this. Interesting.

    • TheHolypopeofgaming

      It takes place after Guilty Gear 2

      • Sardorim

        Always like it when fighting games take story seriously and actually age the characters over time. Blazblue really helped pushed my expectations for Fighting game series.

    • RitterKarll17

      Did May actually grow up?

  • Astrotrain

    They better keep I-no’s topless victory pose in this game.

    • TheHolypopeofgaming

      Who says everyone returns?

      • Astrotrain

        Who says they won’t. Besides I-no is one of the main
        antagonist of the game and she has a very cool design. She will definitely be in the game at some point.

        • TheHolypopeofgaming

          THAT MAN has a 3rd Hench person who will probably take her place here

    • Zeik56

      Depends on how static the victory pose camera angles are. They could only get away with it when there was no possibility of actually seeing anything.

  • C_Diamond

    Hope they announce slayer… he is so classy.

  • I want Bridget, Dr. Faust, Jam, Zappa, and Eddie back! I do wonder how they will look this time around.

  • Milton Martinez

    this game is gonna make all fighters a run for their money.

  • Sergio Briceño

    Needs more Axl.

  • Go2hell66

    After seeing all this video footage i cant wait to see how jam and baiken play

  • Where is my Johnny!

  • LuciferD666

    Whats so wrong with the ponytail?

    Sol and Johnny have one too. Ky obviously had longer hair in Overture If this was before/after(and definitely after) Overture. Wouldn’t one use a ponytail to get hair out of the way during battle?It’s after GG2. So it promotes the ponytail even more.

    Since Overture definitely showed that he could have cut his hair at anytime before the game. I expected this.Not confirmed But Since he may still be king(gameplay intro obviously leans toward that he IS king.Especially seeing the soldier class in the background).

    • Fitzkrieg

      Potemkin had a short ponytail as well; people always seem to overlook that.

  • Aisha Lee

    Have to say. I’m pretty impressed with the way this is going (keeping the gameplay similar to the other guilty gears). My only question is will the guard gauge be making a return in this game? From what I see in the first pic, it looks not.

    • LuciferD666

      Guard gauge is replaced by the R.I.S.C. gauge. Which is the gaurd gauge in general.But I forgot what makes it different though.

      • Aisha Lee

        Just looked up the R.I.S.C gauge. from the looks of it this gauge doesn’t add anything different from the Guard Gauge or then its name.

  • Göran Isacson

    Looking rreeeal smooth there, Guilty Gear! While I’ve only seen grainy videos so far, it really does look like there’s NO change in animation speed at all. You’ve done good, ArcSys. Now all that’s left is the agonizing wait until it’s not only available on consoles, but also in the west…

  • Daniel

    I would be psyched if this came out on vita! As a vita owner, the device has potential and I just want this on VITA!!!! If not, I would be a very sad sad man watching other people play on YouTube….:(

  • Setsu Oh

    I had a chance to hear a little bit of the current title screen music
    (as there’s no attract mode). It wasn’t as metal as one might would be,
    instead it’s a somewhat bluesy piano-driven track. It might be different
    by the time the full game is released, but I liked it

    i see the BB influence there

  • Rashaan Butler

    Concerning Ky’s gameplay, does anyone know if he still has his follow-up from Vapor Thrust, Lightning Javelin, here in Xrd?

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