This past weekend, the first official beta went live for the highly anticipated new indie platformer Guilty Gear Strive. The demo showed off crisp retro graphics, customizable characters, responsive platforming, and a pretty cool fighting game tucked deep within the main game as a hidden bonus.
In Guilty Gear Strive you’ll play as an avatar character that is customized to your liking. You can run, jump, and chat as you ascend the game’s mysterious mansion. On your way to the top you’ll encounter various other guests, and under very specific circumstances you’ll even be able to challenge them to an impressively elaborate fighting mini-game.
The bonus fighting game hidden deep within Guilty Gear Strive is remarkably intricate, boasting several fighters, beautiful stages, and satisfying combos. Surprisingly, this extra mode is arguably even more fun than the mansion platforming of the core game itself. I get the feeling that something like this could potentially work well as a stand-alone fighting game where you turn the game on and jump right into matches like these.
If there’s one thing that’s really jarring about Guilty Gear Strive, it is the lack of graphical cohesion. While the fighting mini-game looks incredible, it is a drastic departure from the retro graphics of the mansion where you’ll be spending most of your time in game. Even more confusing is that the UI seems to match neither the retro mansion or the cel-shaded fighting part. Luckily there’s still a few months left in development for them to completely overhaul most of the game.
Still, it’s nice to see fighting games get a well put together nod like this from such a highly anticipated indie platforming title. Guilty Gear Strive is already generating a lot of hype in the platforming community and even elsewhere. It looks like the full launch could be a major success later this year, as the beta proves that the game is already drawing big numbers.