Guilty Gear Xrd Rev 2 is, by all intents and purposes, a niche game. Even by fighting game standards, it’s pretty niche. That isn’t to say it’s unpopular or not worth playing or anything of the sort—quite the opposite.

It’s a game that has the most devout, yet most loyal fanbase. Its tournament scene continues to thrive, with events at every major this year, including EVO. It’s heavily regarded as one of the most in depth, strategically rewarding games, on both offense and defense. It’s rather complicated, but thoroughly fleshed out mechanics are heralded among the die hard fans, and some fighting games wish they had the art style that Xrd does.

One of my favorite matches in fighting game history is from Xrd: Lost Soul vs. Daymendou. It is a master class showing of, in card game terms, control vs. aggro, and learning how to handle aggressive characters and establish, maintain, and control space. I firmly believe that you don’t have to know that much about the game, or fighting games in general, to understand the dynamics of this match if you’ve competed in anything at all. It’s that good.

Now, Xrd isn’t perfect. The mechanics, while super in depth and fleshed out, are often unnecessary. Having different wake up timings for each character, and it being different for face up or face down knockdowns, is one of the most unnecessary and archaic things in a fighting game. Throws being frame 1 might be a polarizing mechanic, and I do like the fact that it’s effectively a universal reversal for each character, but it may not be for everyone. The fact that you’re forced to space out or put thought into your pressure or oki setups is great, but being punished for a slight mistake due to a wake up timing difference will definitely deter someone who has been labbing that setup for a long time.

And Danger Time is just Mario Party incarnate.

All of this said, Xrd is one of the most raw and pure fighting games to ever exist, at all levels. At low level, the sheer amount of options each character has and how effective they all feel is a wonderful change of pace if you’re coming from fighting games that are perceived as more simplistic. You can just pick up the game and jam your favorite character. Know a single setup with Raven? Run it over and over until they die. Just want to duff people with Sol the same way you do with him in Strive? You can do that with some adjustments.

At the mid level, the game becomes a pretty big knowledge check, but that’s to be expected as you’re in the trenches, grinding away, learning and internalizing as much as you can. This is the road where many players stop, because Xrd in particular has so damn much to keep in mind. High level play, however, is magic.


The sheer amount of intricacies of interactions, how they interact, and how many levels beyond said interactions players have knowledge on, is some of the best I’ve ever seen. It’s almost artistic, how much that knowledge culminates into their gameplay.

And now, we get to experience all of it with rollback.

Rollback for Xrd is legit the best thing that could have happened to it. The announcement at CEOTaku confirming rollback created a huge spike in active users, as well as creating the talk of the weekend. More players will be introduced to the game by default, as more people are playing fighting games because of Strive. Seasoned players who never stopped playing will now have a much better experience. Returning players will be able to relive their time in the best way possible, and TOs will just get to run events more reliably and consistently across the board.

Rollback for Guilty Gear Xrd Rev 2 will be available in late October.

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