The one and only Monty Oum posted to Twitter recently, following his own personal joy explosion over the new Guilty Gear trailer. Yes, the fighting game wunderkinds at ARC System Works are making a new Guilty Gear. It's called Xrd -SIGN-. No, I do not like the title. And yes, this announcement calls for celebration.
Guilty Gear X was the first fighting game I truly lost myself in -- even more so than Street Fighter II. It had an outrageous sense of style with unbeatable character design. It had incredible music. It had fun, oh so much fun. It would fill the basement gaming room in my mom's house for entire weekends. I listened to Awe of She on repeat.
After Guilty Gear X, I followed the Guilty Gear series for years. When I reviewed BlazBlue for IGN, I relived all those memories while enjoying the sizzling HD upgrade. But I secretly wished for Guilty Gear to return. BlazBlue ruled, yes, but Guilty Gear had that special something that you just can't replace.
All those years ago, in that basement room, on that massive "big screen TV," with that super cool s-video cable, my friends and I worshiped Guilty Gear X. Especially my childhood pal Greg (not Miller).
Greg and I would play ceaselessly, having only each other to practice against. We would train and train only to be the best of the two. But since we were the only competitors in the pool, before the wonders of online play, we knew each other too well. Neither of us were superior. It was a beautiful example of true competitive play. Each player inside the head of the other, seeing five steps ahead at all times.
This also marked my first real experience with metagaming. Greg and I would develop unusual restrictions or rules for our matches, to mix up our constant competition. We would stage anime-like battles where we would select suitable stages and musical themes to set the mood. We'd even start a match and wait for the guitar part in Meet Again to explode over the speakers before we began to fight.
We'd even go so far as to do angel/demon battles, selecting different character color palettes to wage war. We'd host micro-tournaments and only stop for Kraft Mac & Cheese breaks.
If you're wondering, my main was Dizzy (with Jam as a close second), and Greg would always play Millia. Once I started getting good (though who knows if I was ever actually good), I branched out and experimented with other fighters -- including a brief stint with Venom and Axl Low. The only fighter I never really liked was May. She was Greg's other favorite, of course.
With a new Guilty Gear on the dusty horizon, all these memories came flooding back. I haven't spoken to Greg in years, but I'd like to think that this news made him smile just as much as it made me smile when I heard. I wonder if he would still pick Millia, even today.
Let's cross our fingers that Guilty Gear Xrd -SIGN- (ugh, that's going to take some getting used to) is as awesome as that trailer makes it look. Knowing ARC System Works, that shouldn't be an issue.