Guilty Gear Xrd -Sign- is the sixth main installment, and overall twenty-second entry, of the Guilty Gear series. Taking place about two years after Guilty Gear 2 -Overture-, this title and its follow-up continuation, Guilty Gear Xrd -Revelator-, are the third chapter in the main storyline.
It has been released for the RingEdge 2 arcade board in Japan exclusively, and on the PlayStation 3 & 4 consoles physically in Japan and North America, and digitally on Europe. Since December 2015, it is available on Steam as well.
After the genre departure in Overture, Guilty Gear Xrd -Sign- goes back to using the series' customary gameplay mechanics from Guilty Gear XX and ♯Reload. It returns to the six-button layout: the five basic attacks—Punch , Kick , Slash , Heavy Slash and Dust —, and the Respect button for taunting or respecting the opponent. Movement, Overdrive Attacks, Psych Bursts, Instant Block, Faultless Defense, Dead Angle Attacks, Stun, and Throws work the same.
Regarding Roman Cancels, players can now cancel most missed attacks, and character will have a red X over them when cancelling is disabled. Force Roman Cancels are removed, and instead it comes in three types: red, yellow and purple. Slashbacks, Throw Breaks, and Force Breaks are also removed.
Dust Attacks now have two followups: Homing Jump, and the newly-added Homing Dash (holding after a successful Dust). The latter allows for new corner combos, as the opponent is sticked to the wall in the corner even after subsequent attacks. Guard Level is renamed "R.I.S.C. Level", and only displays levels above 0. There is also a new guard option: Blitz Shields ( + any button except while at neutral, in mid-air and crouching with ). It requires 25% Tension, and will repel strikes and projectiles, but not Throws and Overdrives. A successful repel forces the opponent into a stunned state, but even in this state they can still perform their own Blitz Shield.
The Clash system is introduced. A clash occurs when simultaneous attacks strike one another, and result in one of two scenarios: a Normal Clash (a standard clash like previous games where either player can cancel the clashed attack into a new attack), and the occasional 10-second Danger Time. While Danger Time is active, damage is increased by 20%, and connecting with any Roman Cancelable strike on hit will result in a Mortal Counter. Landing this attack results in potentially massive damage.
The game features four main modes: Network Mode, Practice Mode, Battle Mode and Story Mode. The first allows online matches; Practice Mode features the regular Training feature, a Tutorial, Missions, and Challenges that focus on performing combos. The Battle Mode comprises the Arcade Mode, which unveils part of the game's Story Mode after the player defeats eight CPU opponents; the offline Versus mode against a second player or against the CPU, and the M.O.M Mode. The Story Mode presents the story as a film-like animation divided into several chapters for uninterrupted viewing. It can be paused at any time to investigate the Library Mode, a glossary of terms in the series. Players can also earn a number of achievements and badges.
The prologue, and the game itself, provides more details on the series' backstory: It was in 1999 that mankind discovered magic. But this very resource, meant to usher in world peace, was instead leveraged as a tool of war, and in time the Gears were created. As if to condemn these thoughtless deeds, the Gears developed a will of their own and turned their fangs upon humanity. The Crusades that followed ended when "the Destroyer", Justice, was defeated. Though man emerged victorious, many threats yet loom large in the shadows of that hard-fought peace, threatening to engulf the world. And so mankind must continue to atone for the sin of magic.
In October 21, 2187 at 12:12, Ramlethal Valentine declares war upon the entire world with none taking it as a laughing matter in the wake of the Baptisma 13 incident years prior. Though Ramlethal is captured by teamwork of Sol Badguy's group with help from Elphelt Valentine, her declaration is revealed to be a distraction to enable the Conclave to activate the Cradle as part of their plan to revive Justice and remake the world in their image. Sol and his allies work to stop this while dealing with the mysterious Bedman who is working for the Valentine sisters' "mother".
- Playable characters
- Boss characters
- Non-playable characters
Notes: Characters in italics were console-exclusive until the Version 1.10 patch (March 19, 2015) added them to the arcade roster.
(*) Unlocked by paying an amount of World Dollars(W$) in-game or via purchase from the PlayStation Store or Steam.
(**) Was available to download for free from December 16, 2014 to January 5, 2015.
The idea of a new Guilty Gear entry came about in 2008, but production only started in 2011, when Arc System Works obtained the full rights to Guilty Gear from Sega. By mid-2012, development of Xrd -SIGN- progressed to a full-scale production that concluded in 2013, handled by a 25-member team in Arc System Works under the codename "Team Red" and with Daisuke Ishiwatari as a director. The team opted to use Unreal Engine 3 because of several factors: the low price, the ease at which non-programmers could edit projects directly, and its development tools would let them to release the title on PlayStation 3 and 4. Intended to be as accessible as possible to newcomers, Xrd was meant to be a new start on the franchise or "reboot".
The first trailer was shown to the public during the annual Arc System Works Festival on May 19, 2013. Just as Overture dropped the traditional 2D sprites, -SIGN- uses 3D cel-shaded models and environments, intentionally expected to be visually impacting. 3D cutaways, which gave "a more dramatic perspective", were added to characters' special moves to showcase their work. The team intended to design the characters as closely as possible to anime using Softimage, and used methods uncommon in 3D rendering to give the impression that it was hand-drawn, such as ignoring environment lighting, using between 400-600 bones for character models, cutting frames, among other techniques.
- Prior to Xrd, most Guilty Gear main entries use variations of theme songs established in the character's first appearance. Xrd, however, introduced new themes for nearly all returning characters.
- Unlike other main current Arc System Works fighting games, Story Mode has no 2D style mode, likely due to inconsistency of Sol's outfit between Arcade and Story Modes.
- This is the first Guilty Gear game in which Story Mode looks like a graphic novel or anime series and mostly has no connection with the gameplay.
- This is the second title in the series to receive an English voice cast, the first being Guilty Gear 2 -Overture-.
- Guilty Gear Xrd -Sign- Original Sound Track
- The Limited Edition includes (besides the game itself):
- GUILTY GEAR シリーズ一覧
- GUILTY GEAR Xrd 公式攻略サイト
- Guilty Gear Xrd -SIGN- at Dustloop Wiki
- Guilty Gear Xrd at Wikipedia
- 西川善司の「試験に出るゲームグラフィックス」（1）「GUILTY GEAR Xrd -SIGN-」で実現された「アニメにしか見えないリアルタイム3Dグラフィックス」の秘密，前編
- Arc System Works Now Owns The Rights To Guilty Gear
- Discussing Guilty Gear Xrd SIGN's Tech With Daisuke Ishiwatari
- 『GUILTY GEAR Xrd -SIGN-（ギルティギア イグザード サイン）』石渡太輔氏インタビュー! 家庭用で挑む新たな試みとは?
- Arc System Works's Aims For A Fresh Start With Guilty Gear Xrd –SIGN-
- Arc System Works announces Guilty Gear Xrd -SIGN- with debut trailer
- Guilty Gear Xrd -SIGN- goes gloriously 3D
- GuiltyGear Xrd's Art Style: The X Factor Between 2D and 3D
- (Video) GuiltyGearXrd's Art Style: The X Factor Between 2D and 3D
- 西川善司の「試験に出るゲームグラフィックス」（2）「GUILTY GEAR Xrd -SIGN-」で実現された「アニメにしか見えないリアルタイム3Dグラフィックス」の秘密，後編