The Future of Fighting Games: Looking Forward at Marvel vs. Capcom 3, Mortal Kombat, Tekken X Street Fighter And More


Posted October 13, 2010 - By Kevin Kelly

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We're in a sort of black hole for Fighting Games right now, with Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds dominating the news chatter, while we don't know much about most of the other games on our list. Everything is in early stages of development, and some of the mainstays of fighting aren't even here. Why is that? Are fighting games on the wane? Not if our arcade sticks have anything to say about it. 

Looking at this list, you might think that Capcom is just dominating the fighting genre right now, and you'd be right. There are a lot of different franchises right now that are either in a holding pattern, or are in a very early development cycle for their next game. Be sure to check out the Honorable Mention section at the end of this post where we talk about those games. But for now, keep reading to look at the fighting games that are looming in the imminent future. Games that you should start getting excited for.


Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds

Release Date: May 31, 2011

Definitely one of the most eagerly anticipated fighters in years, MvC3 seems hell-bent on dribbling out information about the game, one character at a time. Could you ever have imagined that we would have Arthur from Ghosts 'n Goblins and M.O.D.O.K. from the Marvel Universe in the game? I mean, the guy is just a giant head in a floating chair. Gimme some Captain Britain or The Beyonder or something. I just can't rally behind bighead.

But beyond that, MvC3 is going beyond the limits with this title. Instead of just being a sequel that brings new characters galore to the table, the game is going to offer up new modes as well. One of the most intriguing, and divisive, is the new Simple Mode that allows newbies to easily pull off combos and special moves. The old-school fighting gamers don't love this, since it basically levels the playing field in favor of unskilled fighters, but Capcom is also adding things that experienced players will love. For instance, the "Exchange" button will allow you to swap fighters in mid-air while performing a combo. 

This time around, the game features unique endings in the single-player mode, and it's the first in the series to use 3D models for each of the characters, even though the game remains locked in a 2D view. For a company that loves teasing us with new characters announcements, it's nice to see them adding so much to the title. 

Defining Feature: Producer Ryota Niitsuma has said that this game features the biggest engine ever featured in a fighting game. Based on the new content, it sounds like it's going to need it.

Marvel vs. Capcom 3 New York Comic-Con Gameplay Trailer »

Street Fighter IV 3D Edition

Release Date: TBA 2011

Not much information has been released about this title, but on face value the information that has been released is enough to have you ready to fork over $300 for a Nintendo 3DS on launch day. Street Fighter IV 3D Edition is reportedly going to be exactly the same as its console counterpart, and will feature nifty modes like "Figure Collection" where two 3DS units that don't even have the game loaded can play against each other while riding comfortably in your backpack , with the "winner" taking home your figurine.

There's also the "Arcade Standby" mode that works in WiFi, providing you with an instant challenger whenever you come in range of someone else playing the game. Sitting in a crowded DMV? Take on Marge, the grumpy lady behind the counter while she's on her lunch break. Apparently the gameplay systems like Saving Attack, Ultra Combo, and more will work on the title as well, providing you with a pretty robust fighting experience in your pocket.

Defining Feature: If the addition of the WiFi features weren't enough, having the full-sized Super Street Fighter IV shrunk down to a handheld with the bonus of 3D graphics should be enough to convince you to get this.

Super Street Fighter IV 3D Debut Trailer »


Street Fighter X Tekken

Release Date: TBA 2012

At Comic-Con 2010, Street Fighter producer Yoshinori Ono dropped a fighting game bomb: Street Fighter X Tekken, a fighting game that allows cross-series combat between the fighters of Street Fighter and the brawlers who make up the Tekken universe, will be coming out for the 360 and the PlayStation 3. SXT is being developed by Capcom, but the game's mirror image, Tekken X Street Fighter is coming out from Namco. While the bulk of the game's details still haven't been released, Street Fighter X Tekken is a 2D fighting game that will take its stylistic and gameplay cues from the Street Fighter universe.

The Comic-Con exclusive gameplay footage showed off a Street Fighter's Ryu and Chun-Li laying a tag-team beatdown on Tekken's Kazuya Mishima and Nina Williams, and fulfilled the dreams of fighting game fans across the world.

Defining Feature: The combination of two of the most famous fighting game franchises ever will make for a fascinating mash-up.

Street Fighter X Tekken Comic-Con 2010 Panel »

Tekken X Street Fighter

Release Date: TBA 2012

No footage and only a single concept screen of this game have been released, so it's basically just an idea, but what an amazing idea: A crossover game in which the fighters of Street Fighter go 3D and take on Tekken's roster in a Namco-developed fighting game. This game is coming out after it's mirror image title (Street Fighter X Tekken) hits consoles, and that's sometime in 2012, barring any changes in schedule.

Defining Feature: The combination of two of the most famous fighting game franchises ever will make for a fascinating mash-up.

The Future of Fighting Games: Looking Forward at Marvel vs. Capcom 3, Mortal Kombat, Tekken X Street Fighter And More

Mortal Kombat

Release Date: TBA

This series reboot of the aging MK fighting saga brings back the blood and guts missing from T-rated Mortal Kombat Vs. DC Universe. The return of gleefully over-the-top violence and gore includes the game's signature fatalities, as well as a new feature that allows players to zoom into an X-Ray view of opposing players' bodies and watch in great detail as the damage from their firsts, feet and projectiles breaks bones and traumatizes important bodily organs. Fun! The gameplay is based on custom combos, with as few pre-programmed combos as possible, giving the players a wide range of fighting possibilities. Mortal Kombat will also feature a "super bar" that is filled through either dealing or taking damage, so as you get beat up or (deal a beat up) you can respond with a powerful super move.

Mortal Kombat games have been second-tier among fighting game fans for a number of years, but the series' loopy charm and ultra-violence still appeal. Let's hope this M-rated reboot lives up to the promise of the first couple entries in the series.

Defining Feature: Fatalities and blood and guts will appeal to the most violent of fighting game fans. 

Mortal Kombat "Shadows" Trailer »

Honorable Mention: While there's a lot to look forward to coming up next year and beyond, there are also plenty of franchises who are MIA right now. For instance, a new Tekken game was announced as in-development earlier this year, but we haven't heard much about it. There's also a new Fight Night sequel called Fight Night Champion coming from EA that promises to be "darker," but it's slated for late 2011. King of Fighters XIII just came out this summer in Japan, but there aren't any North American release plans right now. Dead or Alive is likewise in limbo, with the last game being Dead or Alive Paradise, a PSP port of the Xbox 360 title Dead or Alive Xtreme 2.

The Japanese fighting game scene is really where nearly all fighting games take their cue from, and it's frustrating that the arcade industry has all but died out in North America, because that means we don't have outlets for these games to materialize in. Super Street Fighter IV Arcade got an update in Japanese arcades which saw the addition of Yun and Yang and some character balancing, but that apparently won't be making it's way over as DLC for Super Street Fighter IV console editions, unless some magic happens.

Likewise, Virtua Fighter 5: The Final Showdown hit Japanese arcades this summer, and just to show you how tied in to the arcade culture Japan is, the game features Twitter support! You can like your Virtua Fighter profile with your Twitter account, and the game will send out updates while you play. Sadly, our own arcade infrastructure is on life-support, and it'll take more than Twitter to fix it. Keep your fingers crossed, and combos ready.

Additional reporting by Stephen Johnson

For more Future of... Content, check out: Shooters | Action/Adventure | Platformers | Fighters | RPGs

The Future of Fighting Games: Looking Forward at Marvel vs. Capcom 3, Mortal Kombat, Tekken X Street Fighter And More


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