New characters joining an existing character roster is always an exciting event. You’re getting an opportunity to possibly find a new main and employ new strategies that revolve around new, perhaps even unexpected, movesets. Guilty Gear Xrd: Revelator introduces Kum Haehyun, Jack-O’, and Raven to the cast, and each one of these characters requires you to think a little differently about how you play the game. Kum Haehyun, in particular, requires a keen understanding of her moveset and a careful means of judging the flow of battle.
Kum Haehyun is the most straightforward of the new characters. She’s a Tuner that rides inside of a robot that looks like an old man. From her outward appearance, you’d expect her to play like Potemkin, but looks can be deceiving. Her attacks do feel quite deliberate, since she doesn’t use the gatling system for combos and relies on a link-based system that alters attacks with subsequent button presses, and she has large hitboxes, but she’s more newcomer friendly than the other fighter, doesn’t move slowly, and has no armored moves.
For those unfamiliar with the terms, other Guilty Gear characters utilize a gatling combo system, where you can be in one position with one attack, then continue to lead into additional attacks or specials from that point by pressing additional buttons and directional inputs. With Kum Haehyun, pressing additional buttons after an attack will alter that attack and lead into additional hits.
Plenty of her attacks show how one little alteration can change how Kum Haehyun’s ability works. Tuning Ball is perhaps the best example. This is her standard projectile special. Pressing slash at the end of a 236 forward semi-circle move will send off a basic, blue projectile that hits once and can be moved forward and back with the forward and back directional buttons after it’s launched. If someone presses heavy slash instead of slash, it’ll instead be red and hit your opponent multiple times. You may want to go with the charged version if you’re able to stagger your enemy with a Command Normal beforehand. The Falcon Dive kicks can be held at the end to charge the attack and break through a guard. Aerial Falcon Dive also offers varying trajectories with the forward and back buttons and I’ve used it as an anti-air move.
Even Kum Haehyn’s Enlightened 3000 Palm Strike and Celestial Tuning Ball Overdrives can be customized. Enlightened 3000 Palm Strike alters the attack in one of two ways, depending on the attack pressed at the end of the input sequence. It’s unblockable if you press heavy slash at the end, which some may want to do to perhaps guarantee damage to their opponent. Pressing Dust at the end will lower the Burst gauge in exchange for enhancing the attack. Both options also allow you to move the opponent closer or further away from you with the directional buttons. Meanwhile, Celestial Tuning Ball is an upgraded version of the standard Tuning Ball that can be moved all around the screen with the directional buttons. You can send it anywhere you’d like, not just forward and back like the standard tuning balls. Each one gives you control over the battlefield and situation. Even if the setup isn’t ideal when you launch into the Overdrive, the ability to move your opponent or the oversized Tuning Ball projectile will help you land a substantial hit.
All of this means that people using Kum Haehyun need both a good memory and to have the ability to read the flow of a fight. You need to know which moves are and aren’t right for any given situation and the inputs you need to make things work in your favor. You have to have practiced with her enough times to move the Tuning Ball projectiles around quickly and efficiently once launched. It’s even important to get the timing right so you can use a Command Normal at the right time to stagger a foe, so you could maybe transition into a Falcon Dive or Enlightened 3000 Palm Strike.
The funny thing is, despite the intricacies of her moveset, Kum Haehyun isn’t one of the hardest Guilty Gear Xrd: Revelator characters to use. It could take two weeks or so before you perfect her, but it isn’t too difficult to start understanding what does and doesn’t work. Especially if you take the time to go through the Dojo mode with her. Though, I’d also recommend taking her through as many online matches as you can. While the Dojo is a tremendous help, the best practice is against other people. You’re going to want to experience a wide range of matchups to figure out when certain variations of her Specials and Enlightened 3000 Palm Strike Overdrive should be used. Just make sure you don’t use Stylish, unless you’re trying to capture screenshots. You need the precise inputs only Technical can offer.
Simply put, Guilty Gear Xrd: Revelator’s Kum Haehyun is a character that requires you to read a battle and not hesitate when it comes to triggering specials. She gives you a lot of options, which means you can switch things up as the battle’s pace ebbs and flows. Learn how to control projectiles properly, as a means of anti-air defense and to hit while staying out of reach of certain characters. Know when to go with a standard or charged special. If you put in enough time, she can be a rather versatile fighter.
Guilty Gear Xrd: Revelator is immediately available for the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 in North America. It will come to Europe on June 10, 2016. Kum Haehyun is immediately available in the North American PlayStation Store and free until June 21, 2016.