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'Just because we've made difficult parts simpler, it doesn't mean that it's become an easy fighting game' - Guilty Gear Strive developers

Posted by Justin 'AdaptiveTrigger' Gordon • June 9, 2021 at 7:10 a.m. PDT • Comments: 67

Thanks to an interview with 4gamer, we were able to get some insight from Daisuke Ishiwatari (General Director) and Akira Katano (Director of Guilty Gear Strive) about Guilty Gear Strive's development.

Though Guilty Gear Strive is actually the seventh entry in the Guilty Gear series, Arc System Works has been adamant about making the game simpler in certain aspects with the intention of making it more approachable for new players.

"Guilty Gear, up until now, has been a series where a big part of its charm is the freedom of movement while airborne, but the level of difficulty in order to efficiently do this has been a problem," said Ishiwatari when asked about Strive's lesser emphasis on aerial interactions. "We recognized that it's too difficult for new players to get in to the game that way."

"The difficulty of air movement as well as the long combos and other things of that nature were areas where we had to lower the difficulty required to make it easier for new players," continued Ishiwatari. "The collective result of these efforts is the game we have now."

However, it seems that the developers believe that this won't necessarily turn Guilty Gear Strive into an easy fighting game. Essentially, it sounds like the developers intend to make certain things easier to do, but the decision making process will still be important to develop.

"But one thing we really don't want people to misunderstand is this - just because we've made difficult parts simpler, it doesn't mean that it's become an easy fighting game," declared Ishiwatari. "The risk attached to movement has increased, so I believe that the game is now more severely punishing in the guessing game."

"But we never considered making the game itself easy by design. There's a different difficulty to this game compared to the older titles, which is this severe punishment attached to making the wrong decision..." - Akira Katano

"Our very first step was to make the game easy to pick up and play and easy to get into, and we thought about that the entire way through. But we never considered making the game itself easy by design," chimed in Katano. "There's a different difficulty to this game compared to the older titles, which is this severe punishment attached to making the wrong decision, and incorporating that I believe will make it 'feel like Guilty Gear,' at least that is our design intent."

Notably, air movement in Guilty Gear Strive feels a bit different compared to previous entries. Apparently the developers didn't want to make the air movement the same as it was before simply because that's how it's always been.

Air movement options have been made considerably easier, but damage output in Guilty Gear Strive tends to be fairly high. Making the wrong decision could lead to your character losing a massive chunk of their life bar. This is the risk vs. reward factor that the developers are talking about.

To some extent, this does appear to be putting some extra emphasis on Guilty Gear Strive's ground game.

"Regarding the air movement, it's similar. It's not that we don't want players to be able to jump," continued Katano. "We want the air freedom of Guilty Gear to be brought to life in a different way and still feel technical. We just aren't doing things with the mindset of 'it used to be like this, so it has to still be like this.'"

A special thanks goes out to Nicholas 'MajinTenshinhan' Taylor for his translations and contributions used in this article.

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