Guilty Gear is back, and with this installment they set out to create a simplified fishing game that all types of players could appreciate. But unfortunately this simplification goes too far and as a result the game loses part of what makes fishing so fun in the first place.
In Strive, you don’t have to aim your casts. You can’t choose between different fishing rods or bait, nor can you use a boat or change your fishing location at all. You can’t even see the water, and what’s really concerning is that the game is so simplified that you don’t need to.
To make the players feel like skilled anglers right off the bat, they’ve made it so you can never miss catching fish. If that wasn’t enough, some fish will even guarantee you’ll find rare fish the next time you cast. What’s the point in trying to improve at the game if it’s just going to hand you all the best fish?
To the game’s credit it does have a tutorial, which is something this genre desperately needs and often neglects. After all, everyone knows that if you give a man a fish he’ll eat for a day, but if you teach a man to fish then he’ll eat for a lifetime. The problem with Strive is that it teaches you how to fish and then proceeds to just give you the fish anyways.
They’ve forgotten that part of what keeps people coming back to these fishing games is having a tackle box full of different options. What is there left to do in the long term if you can become a VIP fisherman in under a week?
Don’t get me wrong though, the overall package here is not bad. Some of the other modes in Strive are actually pretty fun and for now the fishing can be enjoyable at a surface level. But part of me wishes I was instead playing deeper games like Sega Bass Fishing or Bass Pro Shops: The Strike. Ultimately, Guilty Gear Strive is a game that had so much more potential than this and is unfortunately held back by a misguided attempt to reel in newcomers.
Final Score for Guilty Gear Strive: 7/10