Thanks for talkin’ ’bout Guilt Gear -STRIVE- Tim! I will never win EVO either, but I sure do love that game. If you’re new to fighting games, I don’t know if it’s a good one to get into to learn the genre, but it sure is fun for those of us who are “serious amateurs” of the genre.
One thing I appreciate about the game is that I generally get the highest-quality matches vs. opponents near my own skill by playing ranked games. It’s not a perfect system by any means (it’s streak-based and it’s not character specific which prevents me from experimenting as much) and like anything, I’m sure it can be abused but it doesn’t seem worth the time to do that. If you are say on floor 8, you cannot join floors below 8, but you can chose to “play up”. There is also a “Celestial” floor above 10 that is invitational. I got invited once and immediately got kicked out!
At launch, I was seeing clear skill tiers every few floors. First few floors are just mashing buttons. Next few floors you win by blocking and punishing. Next few floors you start doing combos and hit confirms and use bursts. Depending on my streak, I play on floors 8-10. Floor 8 players have decent mixups and have integrated red cancels into the combos and consistently use most of their character’s tools. Floor 9 players will use yellow cancels defensively. Floor 10 players can absolutely burst-bait me, block my burst, and murder me.
I will stick up for -STRIVE-. Yeah, it’s a lot different than previous Guilty Gears, but I think that the designers did so by choice rather than accident and I think Insert Credit will appreciate that.