Absolver is not your average fighting game. The term “fighting game” normally elicits two immediate thoughts: 2D fighters like Street Fighter or 3D brawlers like Tekken. While Absolver looks like it should fit the 3D fighter mold, this is a game that acts more like Journey than it does a typical fighter. That sounds like a strange combination but it absolutely works, and my time with the game at Devolver’s E3 parking lot jamboree has planted Absolver firmly on my most anticipated list.
The fighting game genre is in full renaissance mode, with Street Fighter V and Mortal Kombat X leading the charge into the newest generation of consoles. E3 2016 was a haven for the next chapters in the genre’s history with Tekken 7 and Injustice 2 featuring heavily throughout the Los Angeles Convention Center, but one particular title seemed to have been overlooked amongst the hustle and bustle of the show. The King of Fighters XIV from SNK Playmore is taking some big strides for the franchise, ditching the hand-drawn sprites of the two previous games for full 3D environments and character models and bringing 50 characters to the tournament this time around. Luckily the action translates perfectly to the new look, as my time with the show floor demo proved to be a ton of fun.
You know what's cool? Grabbing Atrocitus, flying him into space, taking a lap around the sun, and then blasting him back down to Earth with heat vision. No matter how many times we were able to pull off Supergirl's super move in Injustice 2, that trip round Sol just never got old. It was just about the most satisfying special attack you could ask for when adding Supergirl to the roster. It certainly beats her cousin's, which merely takes place in the upper atmosphere, and has him punching his opponent a few times before flinging that foe back down to the ground. So yeah, Supergirl is better than Superman.
Guilty Gear Xrd is continuing to stand out as the game that deserves to bask in the spotlight. -Revelator- doesn’t reinvent the wheel the way -Sign- did, but it does add a significant amount of content and gloss to what was already awesome.
EA UFC 2 is one of the most realistic UFC games since THQ reinvigorated the MMA genre with UFC Undisputed back in 2009, and I'm still not sure if that's good or bad. On one hand I have to plan out each fight as if I were mapping out strategies for a real MMA fight — which will never happen in a million years — and that requires thought and quick decisions on when to strike and when to try a takedown. On the other hand I'm really bad at planning for MMA, preferring to just punch and kick the crap out of an opponent as opposed to clinching or going to the ground, and that approach gets me beaten up a lot.
As the fight enters into the championship rounds, Robbie Lawler and Rory MacDonald look like they've already been through hell. Their faces each carrying massive battle scars in the making, their bodies weakening by the second due to the high volume of punishment taken. Neither combatant looks like he can take much more, but both will gut it out for the gold and reverie awaiting at the conclusion of this historic and memorable night. The respective teams leave the Octagon and the referee summons both fighters to the center of the cage. The normally excited Joe Rogan and Mike Goldberg are tentatively speaking about the carnage that's about to ensue.
As the fifth proper entry in one of gaming's biggest franchises, Street Fighter V had a lot to live up to. Street Fighter I & II helped create the genre of fighting games, and Street Fighter III & IV helped to revitalize them. To live up to its predecessors Street Fighter V needed to be electrifying, and since it came from a huge, triple-A video game company, it should offer an experience both massive in content and potential. What we got instead was the digital embodiment of greed.
After countless quarters eaten and far too many re-releases, we're celebrating the release of the original version of Street Fighter II across arcades in North America. That's right, Street Fighter II has officially turned 25—let that sink in for minute. Sure, Street Fighter II Turbo, Championship Edition, Super, and all the other versions of the game have their own subsequent anniversaries to come as well, but this is the anniversary of the one that matters the most. Let's not act surprised at how many times Capcom re-released Street Fighter IV when the company has been doing this from the get-go. More importantly, let's look at the monumental influence Street Fighter II had, as it basically introduced the fighting game genre to the masses when it started spawning crowds around its arcade cabinets in the '90s.
Ryu vs. Captain America, Mega Man vs. War Machine, Gambit vs. Chun-Li, Zangief vs. the Hulk, and Venom vs. Morrigan are just some of the potentially amazing bouts you could have, thanks to the cornerstone crossover fighting game, Marvel vs. Capcom: Clash of Super Heroes. 18 years ago, this fast-paced fighter started hitting arcades, forever changing the scene, especially with the sequels that would spawn from it.
17 years ago, Masahiro Sakurai and his team at HAL Laboratory introduced us to the crossover fighting game that featured Nintendo's most popular characters. In case you've been living under a rock, Super Smash Bros. is a fighting game that features the likes of Mario, Samus, Link, Fox McCloud, Pikachu, Donkey Kong, Kirby, and more. It allowed gamers to settle the schoolyard debates they had in the '90s as to who could win in a fight, Mario or Link. After all those times Donkey Kong kidnapped Princess Toadstool, it was nice to be able to play as Mario and finally punch that ape in the face.