I love Guilty Gear, and the latest major update, XRD Rev2 went live just a week or so ago. I’ve spent some time messing about with it, but I’m not the best person to play it. I’m no authority, so what did I do? I found someone that I’m good friends with, who is a regular in the GG/BB communities and is overall quite skilled at Anime/2D fighters. So when I knew I needed to ask some questions about Guilty Gear, I went to our very own Takanub! A fighter in the Texas, and then Georgia ArcSys communities, he’s definitely a player worth mentioning. Just sayin’, if someone should be sponsored. . . So I hit up Takanub to ask him about the game as a whole, a little about Dragon Ball Fighter Z and more! Whether you’re new to the franchise or have been playing for years, his input is definitely worth getting ahold of. If you want to follow his adventures on social media, you can find him over here on Twitter! So I reached into the abyss, and called forth the demon!
Now personally, I feel this update is very important, and talking price, sure, it’s a paid update. but this is a huge change, and not “Oh, we’re adding two characters, and maybe a game mode”. The balance, the new characters, so much is being moved and fixed, and it’s definitely worth the menial amount they’re asking for it. This is instead of them just re-releasing the title with a new name, for full retail price [or 40 bucks for some other “new fighters that just update minor stuff”]. The update is 20 bucks, and if you don’t have the game, you can probably get it for about 20 bucks or less, so it does round up to that number. This is an update I feel is targeted at current players though, but I can see new folks coming in to play Answer and Baiken. I imagine this will last for a long while. Maybe until DB Fighter Z shows up? That part’s probably just wishful thinking. But this is definitely the year of Arc System Works. Alright, let’s talk Taco with Takanub!
Raga: Guilty Gear’s latest addition isn’t expansion so much as it is a huge update to the game. What are some of the most important things that new/returning players might want to be aware of?
Taka: Character balance has shifted slightly all characters either got something new or something was altered. For anyone interested in the story they’ve added two new after story things that tie up some loose ends, they’re both about an hour long. For new players check out the tutorial it’s probably the best-designed tutorial for anime fighters out right now and will help you get up to speed quickly.
Raga: Do any of these changes impact the game in a largely negative or positive way?
Taka: I’d say the changes are kinda mixed at the moment. They’ve toned down some things that were just outright strong but I don’t feel like it was enough of a shake up. The strong characters from the last version are still strong and the midling characters are still middling. The best thing about GG is that it’s actually well balanced so what ever character you pick can win.
Raga: With the announcement of Dragon Ball Fighter Z coming as a collaboration of ArcSys’s 2D engine and the Bandai Namco Branding/Funding, a lot of eyes are probably going to be on Guilty Gear in general to get a feel for how DBFZ is going to play. Any tips for new players coming into GG?
Taka: For new players getting into GG for DBFZ I’d say: 1. Play the tutorial. A lot of Arcsys basic systems cross over between games so get used to them now. 2 Find a character’s style you like and stick with them. Arcsys also likes to bring variations of the archetypes they’ve created and put new spins on them. I’m looking forward to DBFZ as this is Arc System Works time to take over the fighting game scene.
Raga: Guilty Gear added Answer [Ninja Businessman] and Baiken [Large-breasted pissed-off swordswoman/Samurai]. Are they particularly balanced or unbalanced, from your time in the game?
Taka: On the new characters: Answer is fun. Strength wise he’s looking mid tier but he’s got so Much to figure out I expect him to start jumping up the strength ladder as soon as people figure more stuff out. Baiken right now she seems kind of weak? She lost guard cancels and got a regular counter. Her neutral seems kinda lackluster but on the other hand, her Oki with tatami mats seems pretty strong and her ability to deny space also seems pretty strong. She’s also a character where we’re gonna have to wait more time to see where she ends up.
Raga: On that note, how has balance changed in GG with this update? As a franchise, it’s always felt pretty solid to me, but I don’t play on the same level you do. Does anyone stand out as ludicrously powerful/terribly awful?
Well, I mentioned this before but GG is pretty balanced overall. No one at this moment is terribly awful as Jam got buffed into mid tier but the strong ones right now are Johnny, Raven, Elphelt and Zato. I feel Millia got moved down a slight peg because she requires pin to get hard knockdowns off air combos so there’s an element of counter play now where if you get her to use pin in neutral you can stop her from running train on you if she gets a random hit. But yeah those 4 are easily top right now. Everyone else is right below them.
Raga: Some of the Blazblue characters feel terribly similar in terms of playstyle to some of the Guilty Gear counterparts. Do you think this is something that might carry over to Dragon Ball?
Taka: Oh this is something that will absolutely carry over to Dragon Ball. As sharp-eyed players have noticed (along with myself), some of the characters are already using moves from GG and BB. Cell uses Slayers sweep from GG and Frieza uses Susano-o’s sweep from BB. You can bet 100% that this is going to carry over into DBFZ.
Raga: Favorite character, vs. Best character in your professional opinion? Hypothetical: If a Blazblue character could be ported over to be in Guilty Gear, who would you want and why?
Taka: For GG? My favorite character is Leo as you know that’s my main and as of now, I’d say Raven is the best character in the game. He somehow got buffed so he’s looking really strong right now. BB character in GG? Azrael; he’s basically a GG character ported into BB anyway so he’ll fit right in GG.
Raga: Any tournaments you’ll be visible at in the near future?
Taka: Tournament wise I’d like to go to EVO but unless 1500$ lands in my lap this week that’s not happening. So currently I’m looking to go to CEOtaku and whatever pops up that’s within driving distance.
Raga: Favorite livestream, and why is it The Bottom Tier?
Taka: While The Bottom Tier is my favorite stream on the Citadel, I have to give two major shout outs to Jonio’s stream which is high-level GG play straight from the Japanese arcades and Shinkensou’s stream. He helps new people learn GG and I’m sure right now is prepping people for DBFZ so make sure to check him out.