The 10 Fighting Game Franchises That Need to be Resurrected are a group of series that have stood the test of time and have left us wishing for more from the last time we ever fought with them. The Xbox One's resurrection of Killer Instinct reminds us that there are many fighters that deserve recognition and a form of similar treatment. The 10 Fighting Game Franchises That Need to be Resurrected represent a distinct group of fighters that left bruises in our hearts that we'll never forget. Most of these titles specifically tried to set themselves apart from being mere clones of their more popular contemporaries, and their influences can be seen all across the genre.
Many of us first encountered Hayato Kanzaki in Marvel vs. Capcom 2 where we simply dismissed him as, "that lightsaber guy". But Hayato has been the frontman of both the Star Gladiator and Plasma Sword fighting titles. Hayato was included in MvC2 to coincide with the release of Plasma Sword: Nightmare of Bilstein, where both turned out to debut on the Sega Dreamcast within months of each other. Star Gladiator and its sequel promoted the use of plasma weapons with a distinct "what if?" theory in its application to Gladiator's mixing lightsaber-like effects to various types of melee weaponry. Hayato was noticeably absent in MvC3, so we're hoping for one more title which gives the plasma sword-wielder and all his cohorts a chance at immortality. That's why it belongs on our list of 10 Fighting Game Franchises That Need to be Resurrected.
Battle Arena Toshinden's influence can be seen across both the Tekken and Soul Edge/Calibur franchises. Time hasn't been as kind to Toshinden, especially in regards to its mediocre sequels, but we cannot deny the innovations of the original title from its inclusion of weapon-based mechanics, and being able to circle around your opponents into the foreground or background. This fighter came out on the Sony PlayStation and was packaged in the PS1's original, retro "tall boxes" (as opposed to a standard jewel case), which is a telltale sign that Battle Arena Toshinden was one of the first.
Even though a port of the ClayFighter: Sculptor's Cut is coming to the Nintendo DSi and Wii, we feel that it is still not enough. We want Earthworm Jim, Boogerman, Ickybod, the rest of the squad, and Claytalities. ClayFighter is known for its exaggeration of caricatures and the cliché, but most importantly, its unorthodox style. With more and more character archetypes to parody as time passes, this is the opportune time for a revival of the ClayFighter series.
Bloody Roar plays like a combination of Tekken, Guilty Gear, and Soul Calibur, but with one huge difference: the ability to morph into a humanoid-animal. Given the genre's focus on the ability to chain combos, a modern version of Bloody Roar could have players Animorphing their way into long combo chains that could utilize both normal, human combos, and faster/harder-hitting animal combos with the animal transformation in the middle of the chain. Hudson Entertainment was working on a fifth Bloody Roar until it was untimely disbanded. Since the fourth Bloody Roar came out about 10 years ago, it seems like it's about the right time for the series to return and incorporate what works and what doesn't in terms of fighting mechanics in order to try and push the genre forward.
In the early-to-mid '90s, there was a surge of faux-Mortal Kombat copycats which were all extremely hit-or-miss. Alongside Killer Instinct and Primal Rage, Eternal Champions was, arguably, the best of this series of heavily influenced titles. Eternal Champions blatantly took MK's pit-based fatalities in the form of their stage finishers called "Overkills". Overkills performed exactly as advertised -- they were fatalities that tried to crank 16-bit violence to the max via drive-by shootings, electrocutions and other forms of environmental demise. The bright side to this was that there were no button combinations to memorize, you simply had to defeat your opponent at a specific location on the stage in order to trigger the overkill. While its overkills were easy to perform, the game left all of its intricacy for surprisingly in-depth and methodical combat system. Unfortunately, Eternal Champions has been surprisingly absent from every Sega anthology collection ever made and there has yet to be any form of port or remake of this classic fighter.
Sasquatches, succubi, mermen, demonic samurai spirits, Chinese ghosts and B.B. Hood, oh my. What else is there to say about Darkstalkers that hasn't already been said? Oh wait, WHERE IS DARKSTALKERS 4? The popularity of Morrigan and Felicia's characters, along with their appearances in numerous other fighting titles, shows that Darkstalkers is still a viable franchise. There are rumors that Capcom's profits from this year's Darkstalkers Resurrection collection were relatively low, but that does not excuse the fact that there needs to be a fourth Darkstalkers title. The growth of the horror genre is opening the doorway for all sorts of phantasms and ghastly apparitions to make the jump into the battleground. Darkstalkers makes it onto our list of 10 Fighting Game Franchises That Need to be Resurrected.
Aside from Marvel vs. Capcom 2 and Shenmue, Power Stone was one of the most frequently played (and CD-R copied), fighters for the Sega Dreamcast. Before Super Smash Bros. perfected four-player combat, Power Stone was the brawler to go to for those wishing for a battle royal. Characters were able to fight each other in vast arenas and use the environments to their advantage as they tried to collect matching Power Stone gems in order to transform into super-powered versions of themselves. The resulting chaos from 4-player combat was nothing but fond memories. Given current internet capabilities and next-gen consoles on the horizon, we see no reason why this 19th century fighter should not resurface.
Marvel vs. Capcom 2 may hold the title for the best game of the Sega Dreamcast, Power Stone might be the best multiplayer fighter, but Project Justice (Rival Schools 3) was just as amazing. Rival Schools allowed for MvC 2-like air-combos and 3-man teams which would offer tons of variety. Each character would have a fighting style that would reflect one area of sporting or academic expertise. Seeing the super attack sequences of a baseball bat-wielding varsity player followed up by a golfing student led to hilarious and effective sequences mixed with the MvC 2 speed of fighting. Throw in some sports/academic mini-games, and you have tons of enjoyment that excels far beyond your average fighter. Batsu's appearances in UMvC3, Tatsunoku vs. Capcom and Project X Zone proves that this stellar franchise is not forgotten.
So far on the list, we have had nothing but unrealistic fighters: air-combos, monsters, absurd characters, etc. This is where Bushido Blade comes in and reminds us what real combat is all about: honor, blades, and the reminder that swords were meant to kill. Bushido Blade tried to make its blade-based combat system as realistic and logical as possible: a single slash to the legs would impede your movement, damage to the arms would impair your swings and a clean hit to the chest or head would instantly kill you. Throw in tons of bamboo trees to cut in the background, some snow to leave tracks in, the clanging of an in-depth parry system, and you have some of the greatest experiences in fighting game history. Why Square Enix continues to make sequels to the already-absurd Final Fantasy 13 but doesn't try to do any of its classic PS1 franchises any forms of justice leaves us scratching our heads in disbelief as we watch the company commit seppuku.
A meteor strikes the planet, Pangaea reforms in the shape of a dinosaur skull, humanity reverts back to the Stone Age, Earth is now called "Urth", and seven deities (who are all 100 foot tall dinosaurs or giant apes), emerge from the Urth's core in order to fight the ultimate war between good and evil? Where do we sign up? Oh, the red ape can do a cartwheel fart? Wait... why isn't there a sequel, a real Urth cult, or an HD-remake of Primal Rage yet? Each of the fighters of Primal Rage directly take moves from a corresponding fighter in the original Mortal Kombat (one does a flying kick, one does electricity, one does a shadow kick, etc.), but there is just something about Primal Rage that we love. It's giant dinosaurs and apes fighting each other with neanderthal humans in the background whom you could eat to replenish your health! Just based on its premise alone, Primal Rage is amazing, and its combat was surprisingly good. We could go on and on about the awesome specifics of Primal Rage, but we will leave our readers with the knowledge of a huge crime that exists in gaming history. And that crime is the fact that Primal Rage remains a standalone title. And that's why it's entry #1 in our list of 10 Fighting Game Franchises That Need to be Resurrected.