Thursday, 25 August 2011

2D fighting game popularity still on the rise

In 2009, the revival of a genre of games that had lost much popularity began to make it's comeback.

The old-school fighting game.

Many of us remember the days when we used to play Street fighter 2 or Mortal Kombat at the arcade, Twirling the joystick like our lives depended on it, and waving our arms in the air like crazy lunatics when we managed to beat someone after 10 straight defeats.

Many other fighting games followed, like Tekken, Soul Calibur and Dead or Alive to name a few, and although all of these games have continued to release sequels, they focused on bringing the genre to a new level of graphical quality, adding three dimensional arena's and elaborate combination moves, but doing away with fireballs and special attacks.

All of these games were fantastic, and I've played all of them to the point where my thumbs were seriously cramped and in pain, but still loving every minute of it. 

Over the years though, the genre lost much popularity and waned greatly in interest, as more popular genre's of the time, like the first person shooter seemed to take over almost the entire industry.

However, the game that has always defined the fighting genre has always been the Street Fighter series, and with the release of Street Fighter 4 in 2009 with it's three dimensional characters, but strangely familiar two dimensional arenas........people are suddenly enjoying the original formula all over again.

Sure, it looks much better on a graphical level, but the method of gameplay is almost exactly the same and just as fun as it always was, and it makes sense that the series that defined the fighting game brings it back to life.

And of course Capcom (The Developer responsible for the Street Fighter series) is intent on bringing us more fun. Last year they released "Marvel vs Capcom 3", which was another much-loved fighting game brought back to life. Marvel comics characters versus many of Capcom's best game characters? What's not to love?

They've now followed up two follow-ups to this (Super street Fighter 4, and Super Street Fighter 4 Arcade edition) and the very unexpected upcoming "Street Fighter X Tekken" which will have all your favourite characters from both Street Fighter and Tekken in one game. (both made by Capcom, just in case you're wondering.)

This has obviously benefitted in sales of Capcom's other fighting game franchises, as a new Tekken game is on the way (Tekken Tag Tournament 2), as well as a new Soul Calibur game (Soul Calibur 5).

The New Mortal Kombat is definitely also worth mentioning, as their focus is also going back to their original roots.There is a new Dead or Alive game, and a version of Street Fighter 4 on the Nintendo 3DS as well. (Both spectacular in full 3D)

The yearly Evolution Championship Series Tournament (Evo for short) was held in Las Vegas last week. It's the biggest fighting game championship in the world, and was a resounding success, with more competitors and spectators than ever before, filling the venue to near over-flowing capacities.

It seems the 2D fighting game is back with a vengeance.....and doing extremely well.

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