“THE FIGHTING GAME GENRE […] DEMANDS A HIGH LEVEL OF TECHNIQUE
“Over Guilty Gear’s 20-year history, the focus was to make each update more exciting and impactful than the last,” says Daisuke Ishiwatari, the series’ creator and chief creative officer on Guilty Gear Strive. “We tried to tone it down somewhat with Guilty Gear Xrd, but it didn’t address the main issue with the series – the gap in ability between veteran players and those new to the franchise.”
Arc’s games are known for being fast-paced and technical, with a high skill ceiling, all bright lights and clashing colours that require twitchy reflexes to master. But over the years it’s been working to make fighters friendlier by including more in-depth tutorials and new modes that assist with combos without taking away too much control.
“The fighting game genre is competitive by nature and demands a high level of technique and execution of players, so there should be a clear difference between strong players and those just starting out,” says Ishiwatari on the difficulty of balancing the two sides of the spectrum. “The problem was that the ability gap between series veterans and beginners was still too large, even though Guilty Gear Xrd was intended to be a brand-new title. [One thing] we are doing now is taking a hard look at a number of things in order to establish a new baseline for long-time players and newcomers to start from.”
PUTTING ON A SHOW
With Strive, Guilty Gear is undergoing a big mechanical overhaul to address its complex nature. “The goal is not to simplify complex mechanics or make the game easier. To excel, players will still need to develop advanced skills and an in-depth understanding of the game,” says Ishiwatari. “Our games have the reputation of being hard to understand from the very beginning.” From the demo that’s been showcased at a few fighting game tournaments, it’s clear that while a lot of changes have been made, characters still have many of the moves you’ll be used to.
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