Everyone was waiting for the bubble to burst, and in a way it surely has. If your company name begins with a "C" and almost rhymes with a popular brand of masonry screws, well, the prognosis has been negative for a while. Everyone else, though, is going for broke. Although, if rumours are to be believed, things might just turn around next year. We'll see.
While not exhaustive in any way, here's a list of what's going on, games-wise, in the FGC
Street Fighter 5
Hard times or no, Sony has Capcom under its thumb and they are obligated to keep supporting this game even as personnel abandon ship. While many would still call Street Fighter 5 a game full of missing features, they are hard at work doubling-down by putting out an Arcade Edition next year. This free upgrade will feature new system changes and a roster of popular characters that should win fans over more than last season's bevy of brand-new additions. Even so, without actual changes to some core mechanics, its competitive play may still be nothing more than what amounts to a contractual obligation at this point. Take it as you will, but the only other fighting game to ever backtrack a console release into an arcade edition was notorious community-murderer Soulcalibur 3. Not exactly a winning formula to crib from.
For better or worse, we have the initial teaser for a second set of V-triggers that each character will get. Right now, we have to wait for the end of the Capcom Pro Tour before any major patches drop.
Mostly, they're combo extenders and mix-up options, which is exactly what nobody asked for. Still, there will be flash.
As well, Ono tweeted out what is certainly a teaser for Sakura as the next character reveal. Wait for the real news next month.
Marvel versus Capcom: Infinite
With its rushed development, rumours of heavy railroading by Disney and Marvel, and rumours that the entire
game's budget was less than Street Fighter 5's DLC
, there's not a whole lot going for Infinite right now. Even the Monster Hunter character doesn't use the the One True Weapon, though at least we have a Venom incoming. (That voice, though.)
And, yeah, rumours are that Marvel will finally let Capcom drop some X-men next season, but who knows? And who would think that you'd have to pay extra to play as Storm and Magneto in an Versus game? Still, stranger things have happened.
Speaking of, Harada's insistence that all he really wants to do is unite the video-gaming world by letting everyone kick everyone else in the nuts has begun to bear fruit. Mr. "Don't Ask Me For Shit" himself brokered deals for not only Akuma (!) to be in a Tekken game, but also the man himself, Geese Howard, to lay the raging storm down on the likes of Bob and everyone's favourite narcoleptic vampire-succubus.
Yes, it was anything but predictabo. (You knew it was coming. Deal with it.)
Less so was Namco giving us all the opportunity to get revenge on one of the most ponderously-named characters in times.
That's right, now you can roundhouse kick Noctis in the head as many times as it may take to wash the taste of Chapter 13 out of your mind.
And maybe it wasn't so surprising after all. I mean, the evidence was right there in front of us the whole time. Remember this?
Of course you do. Well, who do you think was sponsoring the Tekken World during which this particular character was finally shown?
I'm just saying that it was right there the whole time, people.
Who's next? Who knows!
But it can't be any weirder than this one.
Warner Bros is Warner Bros, so I suppose they have their reasons. What might seem strange is that they're aping the 90s Turtles and not the current franchise, but it makes some sense when you consider that Viacom now owns TMNT, while Warner Bros had the license (through their purchase of New Line) up till the 2007 animated semi-sequel to those original movies.
Still haven't figured out the angle on this inclusion:
Hellboy's reboot has nothing to do with Warner or DC, so maybe Ed Boon is just really, really good at talking it up to suits. I figure there's some chance that's true considering someone gave him money for a new game after Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe. (A game so notoriously awful that its best player, upon winning the first and only world championship, openly called it one of the worst fighting games he'd ever played.)
Though things could be worse, I suppose. Their best and most well-known player could be someone who brags about being a furry and shows up to matches in weird cosplay.
Arc System Works
This is getting cluttered, so here's the blanket rundown of this emerging powerhouse. (And, yeah, I get that's like all those acts who win "Best New Artist" with their ninth album, but it is what it is.)
Guilty Gear Xrd is going strong.
But they have two new games on the horizon, one of which is an anime crossover title worked on by the Blazblue team. Blazblue: Cross Tag Battle brings together characters from that series, ASW's own Persona fighting game, doujin darling UNIEL, and the producer's favourite gaijin anime, RWBY. Like I said, crossovers are where it's at right now.
They're also working on a little game called Dragon Ball FighterZ. Maybe you've heard of it.
Roster so far:
Andriod 18 + 17
Captain Ginyu + Ginyu Force
All sorts of Gohans
A rainbow of Gokus
Nappa and his Saibamen
Fighting Ex Layer
If things didn't look dire enough for Capcom, the devs of their goofy 3D Street Fighter EX series have abandon ship to produce their own (totally not an April Fools joke) fighting using the original characters from that series. There's also some heavy-handed meta-game system in it that I haven't read enough about yet. Cards or gems or something.
Yes, there's plenty more to discuss. What about that Soulcalibur 6 rumour? Will it have Sam Shodown and Last Blade characters as Harada has been hinting at? What's new on the air-dash front? Did Arcana Heart's kickstarter make enough to fund the brand-new characters? Why didn't next year's EVO trailer feature ANY Marvel footage? Would Sega announce a new Virtua Fighter game just to spite Tekken's recent award for being the longest-lasting 3D fighting game series
? Is it still peposo if I use pork shank instead of beef shank? If not, what do I call it? All of this and more awaits you in the new and improved fighting games discussion thread.