Time to Hit the Lab in This Week’s Good-Ass Games at Good-Ass Prices

Illustration for article titled Time to Hit the Lab in This Week’s Good-Ass Games at Good-Ass Prices
Photo: Arc System Works

Happy Friday, folks! I don’t know about y’all, but I love a good fighting game. While I barely have the time these days to stay in the lab like I used to, I still try to pick up my fight stick from time to time. This week has quite a few fighting games on sale across all consoles, so I figured why not celebrate the age-old tradition of (virtually) socking folks in the jaw?

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Guilty Gear Xrd Rev 2, $11.99 (PlayStation)

My love of fighting games started with three series on the original PlayStation: Marvel vs Capcom, Mortal Kombat, and Guilty Gear. If you’ve never played Guilty Gear, it’s essentially a playable version of your favorite fighting anime. I love this game because it’s one of the few fighting games that’s easy to pick up, but hard to master. Most fighting games either have an absurd difficulty curve or simplify things so that anyone can pick up and play. In my experience, Guilty Gear exists in a sweet spot where it’s so fun to pick up and play the game, you wind up wanting to put the work in to master it.

I went hard on Rev 2 in the year after it first came out and I still revisit it to this day. With Guilty Gear: Strive set to launch later this year, now is the perfect time to pick up Rev 2 and get some training hours in.

Marvel vs Capcom: Infinite, $17.99 (PlayStation)

There’s a strong chance that you’re looking at your screen right now with a Katt Williams’ level of disbelief.

Listen.

I too was disappointed and underwhelmed with Infinite upon release. The 2v2 combat wasn’t what I wanted, the art style looks like a hi-res mobile game, and the roster was disappointingly limited compared to Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3. That being said, once you let go of your preexisting ideas about the game you’ll find a fighting game with some pretty solid mechanics.

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I can’t lie; once I gave the game an honest shot, I found myself enjoying what it was doing. I think the use of infinity stones in combat is sound and adds an interesting wrinkle to gameplay. Also, the 2v2 combat is pretty unique in its own right when compared to other contemporary fighting games.

There was a lot of vitriol around the game upon release but I think that time— plus a steep discount—makes this one that I really think is worth reevaluating. Personally, I found that just because the game wasn’t what I wanted at first didn’t mean it was without entertainment value.

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Soul Calibur VI, $13.49 on PlayStation, Free on Xbox Game Pass

Maybe throwing hands isn’t your style; maybe you want to throw swords instead. No worries, Soul Calibur VI has you covered. Unlike the other two games on this list, Soul Calibur VI is a 3D, weapons-based arena fighter. Basically, think Tekken but with swords.

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Soul Calibur is probably one of the more unique fighters in the games due to its focus on weapon-based combat. The inventiveness of the blades on display is always a delight to both play and watch, and the lore of these games is bat-shit in the best way possible. To me, the best fighting games make you feel like you’re the protagonist of your own anime and Soul Calibur’s world and gameplay definitely hit that mark.

So, that does it for this week’s list! If you’re looking to ball out on some new hype New Pokemon Snap dropped today on the Switch, Nier Replicant has been getting folks in their feelings for the last week, and Returnal has been horrifying and frustrating PS5 players in equal measure. Personally, I’m looking forward to jumping into New Pokemon Snap as soon as I get done with work.

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So as always, stay safe, get vaccinated, and play more video games.

The stylin', profilin', limousine riding, jet flying, wheelin' and dealin' nerd of The Root.

DISCUSSION

will add that guilty gear is simultaneously one of the most mechanically rich fighters out there right now, so if you love a solid fighter, its pretty much the top and the most batnuts insane concept ever pounded out by a bunch of japanese metal-heads that really loved American/british metal music. easily my favorite fighting series. everything is bonkers, and it controls beautifully. and the best soundtrack for a fighting game, and top 3 of gaming in general. if you like metal, they really liked metal.