Guilty Gear Strive (GGST) is a 2D anime fighting game developed by Arc System Works. The game was released in June 2021 and is the latest game in the Guilty Gear series. It is currently one of the top 3 traditional (1v1) fighting games on Steam alongside Tekken 7 and Street Fighter 5.
The Elemental Tetrad
What sets GGST apart from other (older) fighting games is its smooth online experience thanks to rollback netcode. Players are no longer stuck playing offline with consoles or at arcades, and you can actually fight your friend from another continent without lagging to the moon. I love you rollback.
I don’t want to spend an entire page explaining delay vs rollback so here’s an answer from a dude from quora:
As with most fighting games, its core mechanics revolve around “rock paper scissors” type interactions. Players get to mindgame each other by mixing up their offensive options, striking high when the opponent expects a low, blocking an attack to counterattack, throwing someone that has been conditioned to block, mashing an attack button when expecting to be thrown, etc. It all sounds easy but is hard to master, and honing your skill is the name of the game. As you master your offense and defense, one day, you will go toe to toe with fighting game veterans that have been with this genre for years.
While GGST has some relatively unique mechanics amongst fighting games such as Roman Cancels, Burst, wall breaks, Faultless Defense, Tension and Overdrives/Supers that are really, really cool, describing them in detail to people who might not even play fighting games is not, so I’ll just leave some cool images.
It’s an anime fighting game, what else can I say?
While you don’t even need a story for a fighting game, GGST itself has 4 hours worth of cutscenes in the story mode. The entire GG series has days worth of lore for those who enjoy it, but honestly it’s entirely optional. I just enter a floor and fight people.
The Player (#19)
Fighting games retain specific kinds of players. Players that are ok with getting crushed 0-30 against better players if it lets them improve. Players that are ok with grinding the same combo for hours in the training room until they never drop their combos in a live match ever again. When playing a match, I can sometimes feel the amount of effort my opponent has put in. This mutual respect and competition is part of what drives me to keep playing and improving.
A good GGST player needs to know how to properly execute their character’s combos and defensive options. No one is born knowing how to do a combo, when to use it, or whether to use another one. All these come with practice, and that’s what makes it fair. If I want to beat someone, I have to put in more time and effort than them. I’m not paying for stronger weapons/characters, I’m not grinding for better gear. I’m grinding for a better me.
Head and Hands (#42)
Some may think fighting games are all muscle memory and no mental, but it actually alternates between the two. When the combo begins, it really is all muscle memory, but players can use that time to plan their next move. When attacking, players have to consciously weigh their risks/rewards and decide how to mix-up the opponent to overload their mental stack and land a hit, then convert into the right combo. It’s therefore incredibly rewarding when my head and hands succeed in tandem to defeat my opponent. If my mix-ups don’t work and I get blown up, it’s actually my fault for not thinking good/hard enough.
GGST, as a 1v1 PVP game, inherently draws out the competitive nature in its players. There’s no “support” class. There’s no teamwork aspect where I hope my teammates can cover for me. There’s no objective to capture or bases to destroy. It’s just me, fighting against another human on the other side of a screen until one of our hp falls to 0. Nothing quite scratches my “lizard brain” or gets my heart pumping like a match with an evenly skilled opponent. GGST gives next to no rewards for winning, but I still want to win. That’s because winning 1v1 against a real human, who has put in just as much, maybe even more effort than me, is it’s own reward.