Guilty Gear Strive is, by most accounts, an excellent fighting game, but one major issue has been vexing players since it launched over a month ago: the absurdly long time it takes the game to load into its main menu.
The main culprit appears to be the network. Upon booting up Guilty Gear Strive, players are treated to several notifications that the game is “Preparing network…” and “Communicating with server…” Some of these messages are accompanied by a progress bar that fills slowly as the game does its thing, which only makes the progress feel more tedious.
Kotaku has spoken with a rep for Arc System Works about this issue but did not hear back from the studio before publishing.
As shown here, it can take several minutes just for Guilty Gear Strive to reach the main menu. As someone who mainly hops into the new fighting game to mess around in training mode, these long wait times have discouraged me from playing altogether, and I’m not alone in my irritation.
You can beat Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance AND watch the entire end credit sequence, before you can get into the main menu of Guilty Gear Strive pic.twitter.com/dxp3lokAfL
— AkitoBass @ ACPR (@AkitoBass) July 15, 2021
The last few weeks have seen Guilty Gear Strive players cope with this annoyance by joking about how frustrating the experience can be. These jokes often play up the length of time folks are forced to wait with clips showing how fast other games and levels can be beaten.
It may not surprise you that it’s possible to finish a one-star run of Super Mario 64 while waiting for Guilty Gear Strive to connect to the network, but how about Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance? The current loading times are so long that the classic Game Boy Advance release can be completed and the entire credits sequence can be watched without ever seeing Strive’s main menu.
OK, sure, these super-fast videos are being performed by speedrunners, but there’s obviously a nugget of truth in the hyperbole. These network connection times remain a pain point in an otherwise wonderful game with fantastic online play. And while there appears to be a workaround on PlayStation 5 using Activity cards, folks looking to use netplay will eventually need to sit through this lengthy process to find matches.
Here’s hoping a fix is in the cards soon. Not all of us have classic consoles nearby to work on our speedruns during downtime.