Sunday, December 10

The Next Generation of Beating People Up

The Playstation 3 may not have had a Launch to End All Launches, nor is the initial software lineup anything to scream about (at least, not in a good way), but I'm still pretty much locked into getting myself one. It's inevitable, simply because for the near future, the best fighting games of the next generation are headed for Sony's black monolith.

Delicate but deadly, Aiki-jutsu expert Aoi Umenokouji is but one of the fighters in the PS3's first big fighting game.

The first and obvious title of course is Virtua Fighter 5. The latest installment of Sega's flagship fighting game has been out for almost a year in Japan, while the rest of the world can only drool at the literally hundreds of hi-res videos uploaded on the internet by VF5 players (the Japanese arcade units allow recording of matches- awesome). Suffice to say, even after watching several hundred match videos, I'm still pumped.
This game has more martial arts moves than an entire video shop's worth of martial arts movies, oodles of gameplay depth that other fighters can only dream of attaining and graphical goodness that makes for the most detailed and gorgeous character models yet. The characters in motion are pretty amazing, with the VF fighters designed to look more realistic than, say, in rival games like Dead or Alive. The animation is unreal, and so far all I've seen are videos- I can only imagine at how this game actually looks and moves running on a on a PS3 with a really nice TV. With 17 unique characters to master and kick butt with, I'll probably be playing this game even when the PS4 comes out. Unbeatable.

Tekken 5's Asuka Kazama and Lili have gotten wider since the last time... about 1080p wider.

The second game fighting game fans will be checking out on PS3 is the next-gen version of Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection. This is basically the same game as the original arcade upgrade to Tekken 5, albeit now in High Definition. There looks to be some new aspects to arenas (the stage above was formerly only seen burning and at night) and a playable Boss character. Instead of releasing this rehash as an actual disc, Sony and Namco are apparently putting it out as a download on the PS Online Network. No word yet if us players outside of Japan or the US can get this though. In any case, I already have this game on PSP, so no big loss if I can't. Still, seeing Asuka and Nina in HD sounds cool, so I'll get this if I can.

2007 should be a great year for fighting gamers, whose genre has suffered a bit of decline in recent times. But with VF5 and Tekken 5 DR coming soon and the inevitable Tekken 6 and DOA5 on the horizon, the future looks bright for beat 'em ups.

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