Guilty Gear -Strive- – Review
Follow Genre: Fighting
Developer: Arc System Works
Publisher: Arc System Works, Bandai Namco Entertainment, Sega
Platform: PC, PS4, PS5
Tested on: PS5

Guilty Gear -Strive- – Review

Site Score
Good: Amazing visuals, Mechanics, Overall flow
Bad: Minor issues with texture popping, Online play has a few dodgy mechanics
User Score
(2 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 9.0/10 (2 votes cast)

It has only been slightly over a year since we took a closer look at Arc System Works’ amazingly beautiful fighting game Granblue Fantasy: Versus. We concluded that this was a stellar experience for fighting game fanatics, be it those in it for online play, or those who wanted to dabble with an interesting story mode and an arcade experience. We deemed that the fighting mechanics were interesting for both newcomers and veterans. Now, we take a look at the next project of the aforementioned developer, Guilty Gear -Strive-. This game will be the end of Sol Badguy’s saga, but will also focus heavily on online competitive play. Once again we found ourselves very impressed.


It can either be very positive or negative when a game evokes the feeling of: ‘where do we even begin?’. This is very much the case with Guilty Gear -Strive-. The actual story mode of the game expects you to know a lot of the events that unfolded in previous entries of the series, but it still makes a bit of sense for newcomers now and then. That being said, there is so much lore embedded into the game that you can actually consult and read at your own pace. The story value, considering this is ‘just a fighting game’, is absolutely massive. The presentation for the story mode is also spot on, as it is basically presented as a proper animated movie. The lore, however, is presented via plain text.


This latest entry to the GG series can easily go toe-to-toe with Granblue Fantasy: Versus as to which game is actually the prettiest. That being said, as both are developed by Arc System Works anyway, the company has already won by creating two amazing-looking fighting games in such a short period. We have to be honest that -Strive- looks equally as impressive as the aforementioned fantasy fighting game; but during the story, there are a few questionable set pieces thrown in the mix. You’ll notice a few stark contrasts between the characters and their backgrounds, as well as some texture popping and dodgy lip-syncing for certain dialogues. We have to say that we are now just nitpicking and that the game looks phenomenal on PS5.

One strange design choice for the game is how the online lobbies are designed. In here you’ll be running around with a pixilated avatar, that looks as if comes from an NES title. The overall concept is quite nice, but we somewhat failed to see the motivation behind this.


With an explosive soundtrack and some other tracks, almost akin to the intro from Wolf’s Rain, you’re set to go on an adventure. The game never drops the ball in the sound department with its great soundtrack, its matching sound effects, and a whole lot of voice acting to go with all of it. Sure, some sequences may become repetitive after a while, but you can easily skip many of these.


Guilty Gear -Strive- is an old-school 2D fighting game, albeit modernized to stay relevant in the fighting game landscape. The game will offer you a variety of different modes, ranging from offline arcade options to online matches that allow you to level up and collect money, in order to buy certain items. The offset is clear, and the game offers different tutorials to make sure you get acquainted with the basics. The game has a somewhat small roster of characters, but they feel very diverse in how they play. This makes it so that the game has a lot of replay value and it doesn’t give you the feeling that certain characters are reskinned versions of others. Of course, many will probably stick to a handful of fighters they like.

As mentioned above, each character has its own quirks and skills. The game does not have pages full of different abilities per character and sticks to a handful of basic combos, a few skills, and a proper counter system, which is actually very beginner-friendly. The latter depends on timing, which is something you’ll need to get the hang of. When playing online, your opponents will always see what character you have picked, and thus they can decide to either go for it or skip you altogether. This makes certain matches feel a bit less random. The entire online system feels like it was designed with a certain idea in mind, but it doesn’t always shine through properly. More than often you find yourself only being challenged by someone who is much higher in level. The latter is not always a sign you’ll lose though, as there are a lot of casual players who also gain experience, but don’t really rise in the rank-based tower. The game allows you to play versus higher ranks, but depending on your win-loss ratio, you might be advised to drop a bit further down the ladder, in order to gain a few wins again. Players who are clearly skilled, will not be allowed to drop down again, making sure a lot of ‘newbies’ are in a somewhat safe environment.


Guilty Gear -Strive- might easily be one of the best fighting games of the last few years. Just like Granblue Fantasy: Versus it ups the ante with its visuals, but also with its engaging and competitive mechanics. The game has more than enough depth for every type of gamer, be it those that are interested in the GG lore, or those who want to duke it out on a worldwide scale. While the online lobby and the currency system may not always be that rewarding to deal with, there is still a lot of meat on the bones of this traditional fighting game. If you’re into old-school fighting games, with modernized controls and mechanics, then we can wholeheartedly recommend this one.

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Rating: 9.0/10 (2 votes cast)
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Rating: -1 (from 1 vote)
Guilty Gear -Strive- - Review, 9.0 out of 10 based on 2 ratings

Aspiring ninja.

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