Okay so to start things off, this morning was awesome. The Japanese PSN put a demo for Guilty Gear Xrd -sign- only on the ps4 for right now, catch is. You need to be a subscriber to they Plus services, as well as have a JPN PSN account. Either way. I got to play the demo. In the demo it lets you do pretty much only two things.
First of which, and its the first option is to go through the tutorial's ( there are about 50 something listed) but it take's and gives you a nice feel Guilty Gear. Or if you never played a fighting game before. It teaches you all the little uniquely shared asset's like "Walking forward, hold down to crouch, press down quickly then tap up for a super jump, double tap any direction to either dash or back step or in air do an air dash" you know normal fighting game flaires XD. It also teaches you some uses for the Dust system, which I love how they expanded on it gameplay wise. After doing a Dust ( essentially a move that launches your opponent skyward) you know have the choice to tap Up to follow upwards and do an aerial combo, Or you can press a direction towards a wall and it'll slam you opponent into the wall and you have about a brief 2 sec's to unleash combos or overdrives.
Second option is Arcade mode. (Sadly only downfall is that the difficulty is locked at a really, really , really easy level. )And this is why I love ArcSystemWorks they released a demo, that not only adequate shows off the game, but it has the full arcade mode for both playable characters. You get an opening, a full 9 fight's against the rest of the roster, including the boss fight, the arcade ending as well as the staff credits, IN THE DEMO, Im just saying XD Now in Arcade mode you only get to play as one of two Characters. Sol Badguy or Ky Kiske. So you can choose either one of them, as well as 6 different color palettes. And go through the arcade mode with. Now seeing as this was all in Japanese understanding the story kinda..fell short. But despite it was easy to follow.
The gameplay that followed was just as fun as it has ever been in GG. Quick fast paced, (I heard execution has been lowered, but seeing as how both Ky and Sol have pretty basic moves, its truly hard to say till I've played with someone like I-no or Potemkin whom have more demanding inputs). All the moves in both Ky's and Sol's arsenal look so smoothly animated, all are quite flashy, effective and easy on the eyes. Colors are nice and vibrant. Staple moves are still in the game Sol still has his "Gun Viper" Ky still has his "Stun edge", Looks like they both have only two over drives, plus the one hit kills. And they look gorgeous. Seeing them in videos don't really do them justice, you have to see it on your tv screen.
The stages are mind blowing. The use of color in them are so vivid. In arcade mode when you go against May, her intro has her riding in from the sea, on a dolphin who launches her onto your fighting area, which looks to a remodeled version of her airship. The background characters look stunning as well, they have a little life to them and are gorgeously detailed. Where as Slayer's is a dark but highly etiquette inducing back alley. Till he sucks the life outta Sharon who has accompanied him to the fight her now deflated body floats away into the background. Just love the art direction!
The Sound was pretty much you typical GG soundtrack, alot of heavy metal sounding songs, some where faster paced others, were not so heavy. I think though that most of what I had heard where just the themes of my opponents. But im not to sure but there's a nice blend of music. Im looking forward to the story mode, im sure there will be newer songs that weren't in this demo.
Now for my take on the characters. Which as I had mentioned earlier you only get to play as either Sol Badguy, or Ky Kiske. However you do get to fight the entire roster through arcade mode using either of them, so impressions are possible.
Lets start with the two playable characters.
Sol Badguy. Visually he looks just the same with few minor detail changes, mostly his sword has been completely redesigned. His undershirt now features a cross like design, or more appropriately an insignia. He's still as muscular and manly looking as always. Only issue I have with his design is when hes just standing he suffers from a bad case of stone face. But other wise a very gorgeous design. Move wise he seems to have all his moves hes previously had in past Guilty Gear. Hes got some new moves, which I think were moves he had in EX forms, he has a flaming divekick, which I think is his only new move. I never mained him so its hard to really say 100%. Now for his overdrive's he still has his Dragon Install, which in previous versions he just flashed red and his moves got buffed. NOW he actually has a visual change , which looks really dope, and he still has a flickering, but his moves are still as buffed! His second Overdrive, which I don't know the name of is another returning overdrive where he does a gut punch , followed by another punch that explodes in fire. Now in Dragon Install mode its the same but, the second punch explodes and covers the bottom of the screen with a gorgeous explosion, that hits for about 7-8 hits. His one hit kill, is also varied depending on if you do it DI mode or not but, it comes down too a rage filled slash of his sword that when strikes, explodes with Sols rage into the victim.
Ky Kiske. Visually his outfit looks like a mixture of his original outfit and his X2 overture outfit, it has flaps, flowing flaps, his hair is a bit longer and he now sports a new designed sword, which his new idle pose he flaunts it. He's still a pretty boy, though they finally made him a little more masculine. Most of his moves are pretty much what he's always had. He still has the two lightning bolts, one that is quick and hits once , or the super charged one that is slow as molasses. but hits 3 times. Still has his Greed Sever, that does the overhead hard knockdown. His Dust attack in the air now, instead of just leaving a little sparkling ball of lighting , now forms a glyph that alters his lighting projectiles, he can also do it on ground. Still has the sliding chop, and his aerial uppercut move, that im saddened they took away the second input from. He has a new normal move though that's diagonal and HS ( or O) that does a 2 hit rising slash, which if timed right can lead to a pop up. Over drives. He still has Ride the lighting, but it's had a bit of a visual change, where the front of it says "hope" and doesn't look that much like lightning any more. His other overdrive Sacred Edge, still pretty much looks the same, is still comboable off a sweeping dust. Now his One-Hit-Kill. I have to say looks awesome, once initiated, he steps back, channels a ton of lightning into his sword then charges at his victim and stabs them pointblank and literally "Destroys" them! Its very visually pleasing!
So that covers the two characters you get to play as in the demo. So as for who you fight against.
Slayer. The ever pipe smoking gentlemanly vampire. (On a sad note, his voice actor of the age 80 passed away) Now I really didn't give the computer a chance to fight back so I didn't get to see any of his moveset, nor his dashes, I didn't even get to see his block, so there's not to much to say on him. Though his entrance is dope, it has some very eye catching camera work at least. Still looks and sounds like Slayer XD
May. She's still the little pirate girl that refuses to age, Just like slayer though her entrance as I detailed somewhere above this. Is fantastic. Very colorful, very bright and vibrant, just like May. She sounds like her self from previous games, I think her outfit got a bit of a redesign, but she still looks the same. It seems she can still throw dolphins at you. Also like slayer she didn't have much room to do anything.
Venom. Now we have Venom, whom for various reasons, continues to go shirtless showing off his abs. Which its nice to see a game that not only gives us males fanservice, with the like of I-no an Jam, or me personally Rementhal. But also caters to its female fanbase. But that's always been Venom. His entrance he appears fully clothed carrying a briefcase which he dynamically unseals, putting together his pool stick, then his shirt de-materializes to reveal aforementioned abs.
He's Still able to place and shoot his billard ball's, It looked like he still has his move while in the air he comes down with a kick and does rising kick. Fighting him he feels very much like old venom so he gets a pass in my book.
I-No. Now I-No Visually still looks exactly the same, still has that rocker chick vibe, same classy red leather outfit. Guitar in tow. Now I let her do a few of her moves cause I got excited, at the textures on her moves. Since she's musically inclined and inspired, her moves, while albeit still the same all have new textures. Her ground Spike looking move now resembles the squares you would see on a radio or stereo's amp display. It rises, and falls like the tempo in music. So Its a very soothing and nice touch, her half circle , then forward motion , and I think S or HS now has a more , scratchy like texture. Very nice subtle gestures to music. Her entrance is pretty much her staple guitar thrashing, but now with the added delight of delightful camera angles.
Potemkin. Visually completely redesigned. Now wears a helmet, and big ass gauntlet gloves with hearts. Still a moving wall, whom will grab you out the air faster then you can say 'coconut'. I accidentally skipped his intro on impulse, so I cant really say much about it. All in all he still moves like a fridge and can grab you. And grab you and explode you.
Chipp. Visually, looks the same but now has a shuriken necklace. Still sports a leather jacket, and his baggy pants, same silver hair style. I think his entrance was just him dashing to the fight, or I skipped it I can remember XD But he only got to do a few moves on me , one of which was his command grab where he vanishes and catches your throat with his arm blade, and secondly his Gamma Blade, which it looks highly redesigned, but looks awesome enough.
Millia Rage. Visually she has a whole new outfit and now a new color scheme of white, black and orange, Her entrance has some pretty up close and personal shots of her legs that then pan up to show the rest of her sitting on her hair. I only saw a few moves of hers, and her bubble move still exists and and I think she still has her air projectile of the throwing knife in her hair. Looks like she still has some of her classic moves.
Faust. Visually still Faust, still wearing the bag to cover the fact hes bald. His entrance is him walking up from the ground through one of his various door, floor traps. Pretty much still the same old Faust.
Zato-1/Eddie. He didn't show up through my playthrough, but he is in the game though, just somehow other characters appeared before him. So cant say to much on him.
Axl Low. Like Eddie he didn't show up but he is in the game.
Bedman. Now someone completely new to GG. Visually he looks like a a teen/adult strapped to a nightmare bed, that I want to say he controls. Unfortunately when he appeared I completely destroyed him in all of about 10 seconds, so I saw NOTHING of his moves XD.
Rementhal. The boss of arcade mode. Visually shes such a nice piece of fresh air. Shes darker skinned, has decently long hair, actually looks like she's crazy. She wears like this white cape, cloak , robe thing that opens up to reveal her pretty much scantly clad undergarments, looks like bandages but has its fair share of moderate fan service. And she has two huge floating big gigantic swords. Her moves look like she has a huge zoning game-play style. She did two different 3 hit combos one initiated with punches other one with some kicks. her specials though kinda remind me alot of Azreal's from Blazeblu. She has one that she kinda does a quick teleport and slam which appears to repeatable 3 times. Her overdrives are very visually stammering. Her one she dashes at you , if it connects she wraps around you doing multiple hits, and constantly swarming around you. Her second one when she initiates it, it goes into a dynamic camera angle, she puts her hands together and fires a "I once had a vitality gauge" super laser beam of death, which since shes the boss it does typical boss damage of about 80% of your life bar. Coupled with that, it looks like she has a move where she does these spinning dash like moves.
So all in all that's my impression from the GG demo. Now mind you, I love the guilty gear series ever since I first played it, so more then likely this is extremely biased but at the same time I tried to be objective of it as well. I went into it having alot of fear that you would be more BlazBlue the Guilty Gear. Thankfully I was wrong. If you played the demo, or seen videos of it being played Id love to hear your impressions as well. So with that im looking forward to seeing when it'll eventually get localized. hopefully we in US don't have to wait 2 or 3 more years for it.
Ill end it like this "Heaven or Hell? You ready to Rock?"