After an extremely poorly received Mortal Kombat vs. DC, Mortal Kombat decided to go back to its 2D roots. Everyone loves it. The game has everything from fatalities to babalities to all the bosses you know and love. Heck, it has the entire roster of Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3, which was one of the biggest MK rosters I can remember. The developers even made characters out of fake rumor characters that fans had invented. What more do you want out of a game that is basically just an excuse to rip out another man's spine?
Somewhere in the pages of history, SEGA bought out the license for Guilty Gear and made a real-time strategy game out of it. Those were dark times. As a result, Arc System Works made a spiritual successor to Guilty Gear with all new characters, an interesting "Drive" system that gave each character a unique gimmick, and some of the prettiest anime-style sprite art we have seen in ages. The game was fun, but it didn't really catch on until its sequel, Continuum Shift, hit shelves. Continuum Shift featured rebalanced characters, new game mechanics, and an expanded roster. Even now, the game is still growing, with balance patches and DLC characters continually renewing the game's replay value. It takes a certain type of person to like anime-style fighting games, but all of them like BlazBlue.
Whether you like or not, Super Smash Bros. Brawl is a fighting game. Go to any fighting game convention and you will still see Brawl stations set up with huge crowds gathering around them. Sure, the game wasn't the most balanced, items were pretty stupid, and random tripping was about the dumbest thing I have ever encountered, but fans handled this by hacking the game in order to rebalance it. There are now no less than five fan-made mods to Brawl, all of which are far more balanced than the original. And there are more are still coming out. Once again, this is a game that will stay popular until its successor comes out for the Wii U.
The grand return of Marvel vs. Capcom made a huge splash in the fighting game scene. The damage was ludicrous, the combos were broken, and X-Factor was one of the most incredibly overpowered mechanics fighting games have ever seen. But we kept playing regardless. We kept running our faces into Wolverine's dive kick. We kept blocking the wrong way to Sentinel's drones. We kept getting demolished by Dark Phoenix in Level 3 X-Factor regardless of the fact that we slaughtered the rest of her team. It was stupid, it was broken, and it was Marvel. It was just what we always wanted.
No one can deny that Street Fighter IV was largely responsible for the grand resurgence of fighting games in this generation. The roster was huge, every character got an extra Ultra to play around with, and the game was "rebalanced" (heavy uses of quotes there.) Now, with Arcade Edition out, Street Fighter IV is still massively popular, popular enough to warrant yet another balance patch in 2012. It was old school; it was new school. It was everything we loved about fighting games wrapped up in one Hadoken. No crazy air combos, no ridiculous one-hit kills, no infinites. Just low forward Hadoken until the cows come home. This was the essence of the fighting game, and the world took notice.
By Angelo M. D'Argenio
CCC Contributing Writer
*The views expressed within this article are solely the opinion of the author and do not express the views held by Cheat Code Central.*