Looking Forward to the New Year

Hi everyone! After quite the hiatus, I am feeling refreshed and ready for action. 2017 has been quite the year. It was full of ups & downs, but it came to an end along with my academic career. That’s right! Your boy has graduated from Baruch College. It’s been a long time coming, but I’ve finally accomplished that goal. I’ve been feeling great these last few weeks, so let’s keep the positive vibes flowing as we make our way through this write-up.

As fighting game fans, the new year is rolling in with some incredible momentum already. Dragon Ball FighterZ really looks to be the game of our dreams. Three versus three tag team fighting with assists, snapbacks, ex moves and a collection of Dragon Ball’s fiercest fighters, this game looks to bring Marvel and anime players together in a way that has never been seen before. From a presentation standpoint, the game is S-Tier and the music is pretty good, too. With a plethora of modes, presentation that is out of this world and the supreme polish & care that has been put into the game, this is looking like a candidate for Fighting Game of the Year already.

As someone who has been rooting for Street Fighter, I’m glad it has finally made a glorious return to form with Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition. AE, or Season 3, has not only brought along a host of some welcome balance changes, but it also brings back Arcade Mode in spectacular fashion. There are numerous paths to go on and it has a nostalgic feeling to it as you traverse the paths of the games of old like Street Fighter 2 and 3. The presentation got a nice upgrade with a new coat of paint for the HUD and the main menu. I think presentation is huge in fighting games. Especially now since they are on the main stage because of eSports. In addition to Arcade Mode, we also got a cool new Team Battle Mode, which will be great for team tournaments and friendly competition alike. Not to mention the Extra Battle Mode, where you can wager your Fight Money for more Fight Money which gives you yet another option to earn Fight Money, which is always welcome. I sure did mention Fight Money a lot in that last sentence, didn’t I?

One game that is approaching the fighting game business model in a (not entirely, but kinda sorta) new way is BlazBlue Cross Tag Battle. From the jump, this game seems to want to establish itself as the go-to game for anime players. It boasts a roster that consists of characters from 4 great anime games such as BlazBlue (obviously), RWBY, Persona and Under Night. The game is a two versus two tag team fighter and has assists. Seems like another great tag team fighter coming out this year. For me, the point of interest in this game lies in the fact that the game will have 20 characters at launch, 20 DLC fighters and a starting price point of 39.99 MSRP.

The reason why this is interesting is because games as a service has been something discussed for a while now. Street Fighter V was intended to be a service that got continuous support but as we all know, the launch of SFV was certainly rocky. What didn’t help was the fact that Street Fighter V had a $60 price tag at launch. What certainly could have helped its case is a $40 price tag. Cross Tag Battle seems to be using a similar model. While 20 characters is definitely skimp for a tag team fighting game, the $40 price tag could help assuage the backlash. Although the game is coming under some heavy criticism from fighting game fans, we’ll see how things work out. Personally, I’m okay with a smaller base roster and more DLC choices. I think that it puts me in control of the game's roster and what characters I want to pay for. I will always support more choices for the consumer.

As we can see, we already have a lot to enjoy this year. Street Fighter V makes a glorious return to form, Dragon Ball FighterZ is set to blow everyone out of the water and Cross Tag Battle should be a delight for any anime game enthusiast. This coupled with the extremely entertaining Capcom Cup that will be going on throughout the year and the resurgence of Soul Calibur 6, we have for ourselves another great year for fighting games on the horizon!

Welcome back, old friend... you were definitely missed.

I look forward to what's to come and I’m sure we will have ourselves a wonderful year. It’s good to be back. Peace and love, everybody!

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