Written by Bad Demoman 12th December 2014

It's been a good couple of weeks for the Fighting Game enthusiasts among us. There seems to be news coming out left, right and center for us.

First off, there’s the Street Fighter 5 announcement. This was supposedly a leak, but I've taken to an amount of healthy scepticism when it comes to leaks as of late. Sometimes it seems like a leak is just a slightly more controversial way of announcing a game. Even so, Katsuhiro Harada made some really funny comments over on twitter, implying that he may have been the one to leak SF5. This is all in jest, of course. It's probably in reference to the rumours floating around after Tekken 7 got leaked that Yoshinori Ono was responsible. This back-and-forth between them is always a highlight of interaction between gaming devs for me.

It's hard to comment on the gameplay of Street Fighter 5 yet, as the game is so early in its development. The graphics are quite impressive though, even this early. The lighting and shading have taken on a very different look from Street Fighter 4's colourful style. The stage shown is pretty expansive. It seems to go well past a single screen, with one part of the stage taking place in a street and another seemingly within one of the buildings on said street. Stage interaction is also shown to happen, as Chun-Li combos Ryu into a door, breaking it. Maybe this is what allowed access to the other part of the stage. This reminds me a bit of Injustice, where you can change the stage by hitting your opponent into a stage hazard. Combos seem pretty different too. It looks like air combos can be extended past their limits in SF4, and at one point Chun-Li hits Ryu off the ground to extend her combo. Both characters also seem to enter special states that add extra particle effects to their moves, and I'm assuming this power these moves up.

Street Fighter 5 has been announced as exclusive to PS4 and PC. This has been a great let down for Xbox One players, since Street Fighter 4 was available on both Xbox 360 and PS3. Sony definitely seems to be the company to go for if you want fighting games, as the amount of exclusives are piling up. In particular, so called “Anime” fighters seem to have pledged allegiance to Sony, as Guilty Gear Xrd, Blazblue Chrono Phantasma and Undernight are all recent additions to the list of Sony exclusives. No release date is set for SF5 yet, but it's probably a long way off. If you simply can't wait for your newest Street Fighter fix, then not to worry. Ultra Street Fighter 4's Omega mode, set to completely break the game (in the best way, of course) and not care too much for balance, has been announced for a 15th of December release date on arcades in Japan, and hopefully it won't be too long before it comes to home platforms in the west.

Guilty Gear Xrd is also set to release soon, with a December 16th release date in America. That hasn't stopped people from getting it already though. A few people I've spoken to here in Scotland have already imported the Japanese version, and last night, I even got to play it. Granted, I only got about 5 minutes on it since time on it was in high demand, so I can't comment too heavily on it. Overall, it seems like you'll really need to put some time in to Guilty Gear to get good at it. It's pretty complex, with so many different systems to learn. The visuals are absolutely beautiful, especially striking since this is Guilty Gears transition from sprite art. And it's made the transition exceptionally well. I got to try out my old favourite, the best named protagonist I've ever seen, Sol Badguy. And I got absolutely destroyed. But it was fun anyway, and it definitely seems like a game I would buy if I had a PS3 or PS4.

Finally, a new character was announced for Tekken 7. Lucky Chloe (seen at the 1:50 mark in the above video), a breakdancing girl wearing a cat-themed costume, is the newest addition to the roster. Some western fans have criticized this new character, saying they don't like the “uninspired” design. Harada didn't take too kindly to this, although it did give him another opportunity to exhibit his humour I love so much, saying By the way, Are you "Western" only one bulletin board? Hello small world. I'll make muscular & skinhead character for you. Personally, I really like the new design. Her Idol-inspired design is quite charming, and her habit of using English in her sentences means this is probably a character I'll be keeping the voices on Japanese for, in fear of losing part of the charm in translation. Lets just hope that Tekken's newest breakdancing character isn't as frustrating as other acrobatic dancing character. I'm looking at you Eddy...

So all in all, an exciting time to be a fighting game lover! There's even been some news on a couple of Indie offerings. In particular, I've been looking at Pocket Fighter, a game with Gameboy aesthetics that is trying to make mind games more important that execution, and Rivals of the Aether, which is heavily inspired by Smash Bros. 2015 looks like its shaping up to be an awesome year!

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Bad Demoman

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