It seems 2009 has already kicked off to a magnificent start on the gaming front, with plenty of great titles still to be shown. However there has been an abundance of a single genre this year, and its one of my favourites; Fighting games. Everyone loves a good fighter, whether you play competitively or casually you can have some serious fun pumping out Ultra Combos in Street Fighter, or pile-driving in Tekken. But is 2009 the year of the fighter? In my opinion it could well be, hit the jump to see why.
Lets start with the games that have already been released; Street Fighter IV. The Street Fighter series is without a doubt the most well known fighting franchise ever created. Shout Hadoken at a stranger in the street and they’ll probably know what you’re doing; though they won’t know why. With Street Fighter IV released in February the world was pumped with fighting spirit, ready to kick the tar out of each other online people strengthened their thumbs for the factor that would take over their social lives; Online play. As of the end of March the game has sold over 2.5 million copies, that’s a lot of fighting.
It’s no exaggeration to say Street Fighter IV was popular, but many gamers (Including myself) saw this as just the start, with Street Fighter at the start of the year and Tekken at the end we looked at what would come in between; and we smiled.
Marvel Vs. Capcom 2: New Age Of Heroes is my personal favourite fighting game of all time. The fast paced action, huge combos and insane character variety keeps me coming back for more every single time I play. When I heard that the game was being ported to the PSN and XBLA I nearly had a heart attack. The game holds 56 characters in total, which is more than enough to keep you entertained. You play in tag teams of three, which gives a lot of thought as to who you should partner with who. A demo was recently released on the US PSN, with 6 characters; Ryu, Strider, Chun-Li, Spiderman, Iron Man and Wolverine. This game is pure gold, and another fighting game coming out this year. But there’s more.
King Of Fighters XII is also coming out this year, and while it’s not on my list of games to get, I’ll still probably rent it for a week. KOF XII has the lowest amount of characters ever in a game from the series; 20, which technically speaking is still a nice amount. It also uses the 3 on 3 battle system and should be another great addition to the series. I don’t really know why, but I never got into the KOF series as much as I would of liked to, I guess Street Fighter, Marvel Vs. Capcom and Guilty Gear kinda dominated my childhood.
Speaking of Guilty Gear the next game on my list is called BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger. You can catch the trailer for the game above. BlazBlue is the spiritual successor to the Guilty Gear series, which means its a launch day buy for me. Guilty Gear was 2D fighting at its best, and I expect the exact same out of BlazBlue. Unfortunately there is no set release date for the game in Europe, which means I may have to wait till NEXT YEAR. Unless I import. You may be wondering why the new Guilty Gear game wasn’t mentioned, well truth be told I’m more excited about BlazBlue. Also I’m still sulking about it appearing on PS2 and Wii and not PS3. Not to mention Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus isn’t exactly a NEW game.
Last but certainly not least is Tekken 6. It comes out in October and I’m semi excited. I have already played the game in the arcades and I only have one thing to say about it; “It plays exactly like you’d expect Tekken to”. Does that make sense? Of course you want a Tekken game to play like Tekken, but I haven’t seen a noticeable change in the franchise in so long. Leading me to completely skip Tekken 4 and 5 and just stick with Tag.
Although there have been notices of the game changing a lot, such as move lists and character animations. I’ve also heard that the stages will be much bigger and interactive. Sidetracking a bit now, am I the only one who would like to see Namco develop a 2D Tekken game? I think it could be amazing, crisp 2D sprites always look better than clunky 3D models.
So that wraps up my list of fighting games for 2009. Chances are I’ve messed up and missed some, but if I have it just strengthens my argument further. All we need now are new Super Smash Bro’s, Mortal Kombat and Dead or Alive. That would complete the package for me, and make this the gaming year of my life.