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Guilty Gear Strive Japan beta test showcases Bo5 matches, cinematic supers

Guilty Gear Strive has changed a lot since its first beta test. The latest changes are being tested at select Japanese arcades with a few standout differences from the online trial.

Legendary fighting game developers Arc System Works have put on a local beta test for Guilty Gear Strive. The test is only available at select Japanese arcades, but gameplay footage has made its way onto social media.

In addition to dozens of character changes, a handful of game mechanics have been altered or improved from the beta.

Best-of-five matches

At the local beta tests, all cabinets were set to best-of-five. Extremely high combo and command grab damage has been a prominent concern since the first beta. Instead of lowering damage, Arc System Works may have opted to turn Guilty Gear from best-of-three to best-of-five. This would allow for higher damage while still giving players enough opportunities to adapt.

Guility gear best of fiveA solid corner combo from cyborg vampire samurai Nagoriyuki gets him halfway to victory. (Picture: Arc System Works, Gamespot) 

It's possible that the game was purposefully set to best-of-five for the local beta test, a common practice among arcades to give players more bang for their buck. Arcsys might still plan on best-of-three being the default mode, but changing to five-game sets would gracefully address damage concerns without requiring game-wide rebalances.

Cinematic Supers

Guilty Gear is known for eschewing long cinematic Super moves in favour of fast-paced and extremely elaborate Instant Kills. With Instant Kills seemingly removed, Arcsys is moving the flashy cinematics to Supers that end the round.

Guility gear strive supers(Picture: Arc System Works)

All of the cinematic Supers appear to feature heavenly clouds and new camera angles to show off the characters’ expression. It’s not clear if all Supers become cinematic on kill, but Chipp’s Zansei Rouga and Nagoriyuki’s Wasureyuki are both confirmed to change.

Wallbreak kills

Wallbreaks are a controversial new feature. They allow for extremely punishing combos but grant the opponent some clemency by returning them to mid-screen. The bonus damage from a wallbreak is now lethal. In the first beta, characters would reset to the mid-screen with a pixel of life; prime positioning for a comeback.

guility gear wallbreak kills(Picture: Arc System Works)

Characters like Millia Rage and Zato-1 have gameplans built around forcing the opponent to the corner. Having access to potentially lethal wall break combos make corner offence much stronger than before.

Character rebalances

With scare footage, it's difficult to tell exactly what changes Arcsys has made to individual characters. However, there are two major changes that fans have discovered.

The first is related to Ramlethal. Her swords no longer cause a wallsplat when thrown out in a combo. Instead, they bounce the opponent off the wall. Ramlethal was an extremely popular and powerful character in the beta, so this seems like a natural nerf.

Guility gear character rebalances(Picture: Arc System Works)

Leo Whitefang also received a slap on the wrist. Zweites Kaltes Gestöber (his grounded cross-up sword slash) no longer leads to a combo on a normal hit. This was a widely questioned design change from Leo’s debut in Xrd. Combos out of ZKG might still be possible with a counter hit or Roman Cancel. Of course, Leo still has plenty of mixup options afterwards between his command grab and standing overhead.

There are dozens of more character changes to discover when Guilty Gear Strive releases 11th June.