Arc System Works has been gradually implementing systems into its fighting games to make them more welcoming to newcomers. BlazBlue Continuum Shift kicked it off with Stylish Mode, a control scheme that allows someone to launch into combos and kick off special moves by mashing buttons. You don’t need to worry about precise inputs or memorize triggers. You press any buttons you like to make the magic happen. And now, with Guilty Gear Xrd: Revelator, players can choose Stylish Mode for the first time.
The option comes up after selecting a character in Guilty Gear Xrd: Revelator’s Online, Arcade, Versus, and M.O.M. modes. You can go with Technical, which is the traditional control scheme, or Stylish. Each of the input buttons ends up being tied to specific sorts of attacks, rather than having each button tied to punch, kick, slash, and heavy slash attacks. Instead, you’re getting one button with what you’d consider light attacks, another with normal attacks, a third with heavy attacks, and a fourth for special attacks and Overdrives. Depending on your character’s position in relation to an opponent and their stance, as in if they’re standing still, crouching, or jumping, they’ll launch into different combos. Your character will also automatically guard against high and middle attacks when standing still. (Crouching attacks will still hit you.)
There is a downside to this, of course. You aren’t going to have every combo available to you with Guilty Gear Xrd: Revelator’s Stylish mode. You also won’t have the traditional inputs that will allow you to specifically launch into a certain attack. It isn’t actually teaching you practical moves, in the same way the Tutorial does. It also isn’t guaranteeing you a win. You’ll take 20% more damage than you normally would when using Stylish. Someone who knows what they’re doing Online or in Versus won’t be at a disadvantage against a Stylish player. Their know-how can take advantage of the newcomer’s limited range and zip in to tear at their health. Still, a Stylish player won’t be completely defenseless.
Stylish mode helps you establish a rhythm. Finding a good pace for yourself and a character is important in Guilty Gear Xrd: Revelator. While you aren’t learning the proper inputs and triggers, you do work out timing and find out how various characters react. I found Stylish mode quite valuable for working out some Jack-O’ strategies and settling into a groove, as it let me experiment with her summonable minions and get an idea of what would and wouldn’t work for her. I wasn’t able to go ahead and begin detailed Organ Deployment, but I could Ghost Set some additional allies and see how they would and wouldn’t work.
This brings up another important point about Stylish mode. There are some characters who won’t be at their best when you use it. Jack-O’ is one of them. It isn’t possible to reliably level up and utilize her ghosts. You need the greater range Technical offers. Ramlethal and Johnny are other characters who are best in Technical mode. His combos require a certain level of precision that Stylish doesn’t afford. Characters like Sol, Ky, Faust, Jam, and Sin lend themselves best to Stylish. You can really settle in and perform some great combos and attacks.
Now, if you’re an advanced player who’s been with Guilty Gear since the beginning, it’s easy to gloss over all of this. You know what you’re doing. Stylish is something you don’t exactly need. For you, I’d say there’s still a point. Do you like taking screenshots? Stylish is fantastic for grabbing stills. While some timing is involved, since you need to press the Share button on the PlayStation 4 a few seconds before the moment you want to capture, it is a great way to get fantastic action shots. (Though that obnoxious “Guilty Gear Xrd Revelator © Arc System Works” watermark on the bottom does detract from the resulting image.) Pulling off Jam’s Choukyaku Hou’oushou and Johnny’s That’s My Name were incredibly easy in Stylish, allowing me to capture them at their flashiest moments.
Stylish mode isn’t something you’ll want to use all the time in Guilty Gear Xrd: Revelator. Relying on it isn’t as satisfying as using it to see how certain characters work, working on your timing, and bettering yourself because of it. But, it does have its moments and serves a helpful purpose, even if you do know what you’re doing. Stylish is a well implemented mechanic and, while beginners will appreciate it most, some people who know what they’re doing may find it useful for experimenting with a new character or getting a great screengrab.
Guilty Gear Xrd: Revelator will come to the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 in North America on June 7, 2016. Europe will get it a few days later on June 10, 2016.