What we want from Guilty Gear Strive Season 2

In case you don’t follow fighting games — Guilty Gear Strive specifically — then you might not know that not only was a returning character announced for Guilty Gear Strive, but a season 2 of the game was unveiled as well.

When it comes to fighting games, “seasons” are usually just sets of characters are released for the game over a set period, but this isn’t the case for Guilty Gear Strive — they announced a whole lot more than just some characters. 

The biggest news is that Guilty Gear Strive will, from season 2 onwards, become a cross-platform game! This is absolutely huge news when it comes to online multiplayer games, and especially fighting games. A big thing I always consider when I get a new fighting game is figuring out where the majority of the player-base is going to be, so cross-platform means that I just play the game on whichever platform I personally prefer and can compete against anyone. 

This then got me thinking of some of the things that I would really like to see come along with this new season of Guilty Gear. They’re doing a great job so far, but I have a personal wishlist of things I would love to see as the game progresses forward. So let’s crack on! 

Guilty Gear Strive Season 2 Wishlist

The infamous lobby of Guilty Gear Strive

I’m not referring to the issues I originally had back before the game was released; those were too deeply implemented, and I don’t think there was ever going to be any change on the overall design of the lobbies. As much as I’m not a fan of the aesthetic, it would be fine if the lobbies themselves worked perfectly and never had any technical hiccups — which is definitely not the case. 

Pretty much every single time you load into one of the floors of the Guilty Gear ranked matchmaking tower you will have trouble connecting to the server for about 30 seconds or so. This isn’t the end of the world, but it’s such a consistent issue that it makes you wonder why it hasn’t been fixed yet.

What if people aren’t as persistent? What if they take that first error message as gospel and think “oh well, the game isn’t working” and quit out — then try again later, only to get the same connection error message? That might be all it takes for someone to not bother getting into the game at all.

Somewhat connected to the lobbies, I’d love to see the rematch system get an overhaul. At the moment in Guilty Gear Strive, you can rematch someone up to three times, and then regardless of the result you will be sent back to the lobby. If you want to play that person again, you can try to match up with them — but obviously this isn’t anywhere near as easy as simply requesting a rematch.

I would like to see the rematch system become a first to three wins or best of five system. For example, if you won the first two matches but your opponent wins the third, you should then continue to have the option to go straight into another rematch until one person wins a total of three matches. That way no-one’s left hanging.

In-game changes and additions

It goes without saying that it’s important to keep things moving forward and adding to them so that things stay fresh in fighting games. As newer characters continue to be released with wild and unique mechanics, the base roster can slowly become a bit duller as time goes on. So I think it’s important that as time marches on, classic characters should be buffed with new attacks or special moves. 

Next is the damage — good Lord, the damage is definitely a bit too high in Strive, and I think this is a common opinion; the community as a whole would love to see a slight reduction in the damage output across the board in Strive. Guilty Gear has always been a volatile game where some characters can really snowball hard, get your ass in a corner and make you guess for your life. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but when a character that can do something like is also capable of killing you in two touches it just feels a bit too much. 

Finally, and this is a selfish desire but something I imagine that almost every single player would love to see in Strive: costumes. Seriously, Guilty Gear Strive is without a shadow of a doubt the most stunning-looking fighting game that has ever been made, and the addition of alternate costumes for characters would be free money for ArcSys.

They could have legacy costumes, costumes that promote things they’re currently doing — there was a collaboration with Tower Records not long ago where some of the characters were depicted literally just wearing casual clothing and themed T-shirts, for example. People were going crazy for them online, asking for these outfits to be put in the game. Chun-Li costumes kept Street Fighter 5 afloat for a long time — now just think about the power Baiken, Jack-O or I-No have!

It remains to be seen what else Guilty Gear Strive’s second season will bring with it, but it looks set to be an exciting time for one of the freshest fighting games out there today. What would you like to see added to the game or tweaked a bit? Let us know down in the comments, via the usual social channels or in a note for the Rice Digital Friday Letters Page!

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Conor Evans
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