Guilty Gear Xrd -SIGN- (PC) (2015)

Overview: A fighting game belonging to the Guilty Gear series.


Millia Rage defeats I-No (Arcade Mode)

20190808:
Today I decided to play Guilty Gear Xrd -SIGN-, because it was one of the two games in the Yogscast Jingle Jam 2018 bundle with the highest retail value ($29.99). The higher the retail value, the higher the lowest sale price. That benefits me, because I've been trying to break even on my Humble Bundle purchases and I use the lowest sale price as part of the metric for breaking even. For -SIGN-, the lowest recorded price on Steam is $5.99. Since I played the game today for 3.5 hours, that contributes $13.09 towards my goal of breaking even on the YJJ 2018 bundle ($35), where $13.09 was determined by a custom weight function.* Despite choosing to play the game based on its value, I enjoyed playing it.

Setup: Fullscreen. Xbox Controller.

Gameplay Log:
Played the tutorial (~1.25 hours)
Played Sol Badguy Arcade (~50 minutes)
Story Mode (~5 minutes)
Played Sol Badguy Challenge (~15 minutes)
Played Millia Rage Arcade (~50 minutes)

Sol Badguy versus Ramlethal (Arcade Mode)

Tips/Notes:
While writing this blog I came up with the following.
The tutorial took me a long time, but it went over many mechanics which I wouldn't have known about. With that being said, I forgot about most of them and wish I had written/found a reference sheet. I intend to write and/or look for a reference sheet.
Among the different items that would make the reference sheet, the one that I wish I remembered and overlooked during play was the Dust attack (LB). There were many moments while playing as Millia where I wanted to break the opponent's guard but didn't remember the appropriate attack.

Steam Game Time: 3.5 hours

*The weight function caps out and the maximum a game can contribute is (currently) about 2.2 times the lowest recorded price (at the time of play). Thus for -SIGN-, the maximum contribution would be $13.19.

[20190808]

20190809:
Today I decided to play more.

Millia versus Venom (Arcade Mode)

Gameplay Log:
Spent some more time in tutorial to write a reference sheet. (4.3 hours total = ~0.8 hours)
Played Millia Rage Challenge (~50 minutes)
Played Mission Mode (~2 minutes)
Played Millia Rage M.O.M. (~10 minutes)

Tips/Notes:
Millia has a move called Silent Force where she throws a knife. I spent some time in the tutorial not being able to execute the move (and it confused me because the button input seemed correct). Apparently she cannot use the move again until she picks up the knife.

Steam Game Time: 5.7 hours (total game time) / 2.2 hours (session game time)

[20190809]

Thoughts:
Pros:
+ Story
+ Animation
+ Tutorial covers many topics

Sol Badguy defeats Ramlethal (Arcade Mode)

+ Variety of fighting mechanics/systems (see next)
+ Less about long combos, more about attacks that allow for counterplay.

Con:
- Tutorial covers many topics; Perhaps the developers could think of a more efficient way to teach the player about all the systems.*

*This series of YouTube videos captures the idea of what I'm talking about: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLj34EySs1IeZ8GpjKW8R2T6dzI6B3GSuH

[20190809]

Summary:
I haven't dived into learning a fighting game since Soul Calibur II (GCN). After playing Guilty Gear Xrd -SIGN-, I felt like it was a game I could dive into. I've played various fighting games between SCII and SIGN, but I haven't felt like spending time with any of them.

Sol Badguy and Sin Kiske (Tutorial Mode)

Unfortunately, while it is the case that I enjoyed the game enough to play more and improve at it, I read that the sequel and its DLC, Xrd -REVELATOR- and REV 2 make several key changes to gameplay and so essentially everybody opts to play REV 2 over SIGN.* As such, the remaining reason to own SIGN would be for the story. However, the story can easily be found and viewed independent of the game (e.g., YouTube). Of course, if the most of the move lists remain the same, I could still look to learn a character on SIGN while waiting for REVELATOR and REV 2 to go on sale.**

Overall, I enjoyed being exposed to the various battle systems in Guilty Gear Xrd -SIGN-. And while I have not played REVELATOR and/or REV 2, I've read enough to assume it's better than SIGN. As such, I would recommend REVELATOR to anyone who enjoys fighting games and is looking for a fighting game that provides the players with options regarding playstyle and fighting systems.

*A the time of this post, the daily player count for SIGN in 2019 was around 10 and the occasional spike up to the 30s (according to steamdb.info). In contrast, REVELATOR hovered around 200 with a recent spike in the 500s (after the Free Weekend and Steam Sale**) - maintaining the ratio of popularity (between 1 to 15 and 1 to 20).
**Apparently REVELATOR and REV 2 were recently 75% off, but I missed it; they were $7.49 and $4.74, respectively.

Millia Rage versus Sol Badguy (Challenge Mode)

[20190808][20190809]

Guilty Gear Xrd -SIGN- (PC) (2015)

Relevant Links:
Guilty Gear Xrd (Wikipedia.org)
Guilty Gear Xrd -SIGN- (PC) (MetaCritic.com)
GUILTY GEAR Xrd -SIGN- (Steam Store Page)

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