Guilty Gear Xrd Rev. 2 is an updated version of Guilty Gear Xrd Revelator, available as a paid upgrade also available as a standalone version. We played it on PS4, but – like Revelator – you can also grab it on PS3, treating the PS3 crowd to a rare gem of a game in 2017.
Rev. 2 title is clever and ties into its place in the series. It’s not quite a sequel to Revelator, but more of a revision with a few nice additions thrown in. It’s also the second time that the Xrd series has been revisited, after Xrd Sign kicked off the saga and Revelator become its sequel. Rev. 2 feels less like a new game than Revelator did, but it still feels like the best entry in the series. If you’re interested in Revelator, the previous entry, then our review for that can be found here.
All the content of Revelator is here again, but two characters have been added to the roster. In addition, the existing characters have also received additional moves – providing a bit of a fresh taste even for experienced players. With these extra moves come a few balance changes, but it takes an expert player to spot them. For me, the experience with the game’s balance was that none of the new moves feel overpowered but none are unwelcome either. Others will no doubt notice more subtle changes as well, as player feedback has been very positive on the (earlier) arcade release of this revision.
Guilty Gear is a long-running series by now, and series veterans will delivery some serious hurt on you if you go online too soon as a newcomer. Xrd Rev. 2 provides a great tutorial to get you started though, and after that you have a training mode at your disposal that should help you master the various moves that are available to you. Developing your fight tactics, and figuring out what works best against which style, is all up to you though.
If you’re looking for a story/campaign mode in Rev. 2, then story mode is not it. That may sound strange, but it’s the episode mode you’re looking for – a traditional arcade-like mode with cutscenes in between each battle. Story mode’s available too, but it’s an entirely passive experience that’s cinematic more than anything. It’s not nearly as accessible as Injustice 2’s cinematic approach though, unless you’re intimately familiar with Guilty Gear already.
The two new characters, Baiken and Answer, fit well into Xrd’s already diverse roster. Baiken’s a returning character from previous Guilty Gear iterations and prefers a counter-oriented style with his samurai blade, whereas Answer is completely “out there” as a character. He’s a ninja, a businessman and a secret agent all rolled into one – and still takes calls in the middle of a fight. It’s over the top, but the great emphasis on style in the Guilty Gear universe makes sure he’s fits right in with the rest of the bunch.
Speaking of which, the presentation in Guilty Gear Xrd Rev. 2 is still excellent, and if you’re a fan of 2D/3D anime brawlers then it doesn’t get much better than this. Xrd is one of the best fighters you can grab at the moment, and if you haven’t already invested in Revelator or Sign then this is the perfect moment to jump in. If you already own Revelator then the 20 dollar/euro upgrade might feel like a bit much for just two extra characters, extra moves and some new story content, since you’d expect balance tweaks from a regular game update as well. The full game is extremely competitively priced though, especially compared to the likes of Injustice 2 and Tekken 7. It’s a great time to live in for fighting fans.