E3, being the gaming juggernaut that it is, offers a large variety of games from many different companies. Of course, fighting games were no exception. New entries and content were shown off for the every hitter of the genre. Here is our impression of the fighting games showcased at E3.
King of Fighters XIV: One of the most controversial titles revealed over the last year, King of Fighters XIV. The game faced community criticism and backlash since the games announcement, in large part to the graphics and overall presentation that the title had to offer. I was very interested going into the experience how the title would hold up to previous entries. Without a doubt, this is one of the weaker presentations today in the fighting game market, graphically being a step below games like Street Fighter V and Tekken 7. That being said, the game runs very smooth at a great pace.
The overall execution barrier that the series has been known for, being one of the most technically demanding 2D fighters on the market, has been toned down for this entry, making it easier for newcomers to be able to get into the swing of things. The game offers simpler inputs, as well as a few tools such as an auto combo sequence. Now, anyone can perform some basic combos, and there is still a great emphasis on strategy and many high level systems to ensure the game will be a competitive fighting game community staple for years to come. Not to mention, this game is a blast to play. The controls are solid, and the game runs at a steady pace.
The team I ended up using was Leona, Kula and newcomer Kukri. Leona and Kula play much like they had in previous games, while Kukri was a fighter who utilized sand for his attacks, allowing him to teleport around the field as sand using sand mirror images which made him very tricky. Another character I saw was the King of Dinosaurs used by my opponent, who was a large T-rex humanoid that was very powerful, but a bit sluggish as well.
Street Fighter V: Being a title already out on the market, there’s not much I can really say on the entry that many of you already don’t know, though with that being said, E3 did offer a look at the newest DLC character, Ibuki. She is a very fast tricky character, using agile dashes and great mobility to mix up opponents, while using Kunai and her V Trigger Bomb skill to apply pressure and control the flow of battle.
Tekken 7: The game was tucked away in Namco Bandai’s press room. The game was set up like a local fighting game tournament as opposed to the normal kiosk style booth that event normally has. One of the biggest draws of the new game was the addition of Akuma. In Tekken, he feels more like a heavyweight than the lighter fighter he is in Street Fighter. His moves hit like a truck. I wasn’t able to pull off any of his classic special moves, but that was likely due to my inability as a player. Regardless, I was still able to deal some serious damage with this character.
I got to see a few of the other new fighters as well. Lucky Chloe is a otaku cat girl, and her fighting is just like that of a cat. She blends agile swipes, punches and kicks with acrobatic leaps. Another character I got to try out was Gigas. While this character was huge, it didn’t feel like he hit very hard. That said, he had some amazing grapple attacks. Lastly, I got to try out Josie. She is a more nimble and quick character. He fighting style was a more traditions as compared to Lucky Chloe, but she definitely attacks fast. One trick I pulled on my opponent was to hit with a series of light jabs, which was very annoying. She was one of my favorite of the new characters.
One of the newest features was a rage mechanic. When your health got low, you gained access to some new abilities. One of these was a rage attack (or Rage Art as it was called), which is akin to super attacks in Street Fighter. Once it used, the rage goes away. While I was able to pull one off, I wasn’t able to land it on my opponent. One of the more noticeable features is a more dynamic camera. In certain instances, the camera will zoom in and give a more dramatic view of the fight. Once, my kick just went over their head as they went low for a punch. It was a funny and awesome moment. The camera really makes the fights more interesting, and highlight those “What was that!?” moments.
Beyond those additions, the game seems very similar to past Tekken games. More experience players will likely see the additions as a significant shift, but for someone who dabbles in the series, such as myself, it will feel like another Tekken game. That said, it is still a solid game and plays well.
Overall: Fighters at E3 offered an interesting look at the future of FGC tournaments as many of these games, as well as Injustice 2 (which you can see impressions here) will be staples for the next few years. Each offered an unique experience, whether they were a 2D or 3D title, and each were worth checking out if you’re a fan of the genre.