2018 Is Shaping Up To Be a Really Good Year For Fighting Games

Fighting games are a community I’ve long existed on the fringe of. I’ve never been hardcore into them, but I float along the periphery of the community, keeping my eye open for any games that might kindle that fighting spirit inside me.  This year…could be a surprisingly great year for fighting games.

Dragonball FighterZ is the obvious title coming up soon, and I’m hyped. Unless they find some way to screw the game up between the most recent beta and release, I’m all aboard this train. It plays so fluidly, it looks so good…my only real complaint is its pricing structure. Costing $100 out of the box to unlock  all the characters (and requiring pre-order to obtain two more) is pretty scummy as things go. And yeah, I know, Bandai-Namco. Just because it’s expected doesn’t mean it doesn’t suck.

And Tien is stylin’ in this game. I think this is the first game with his Super outfit available.

Still, I’m looking forward to it. Which is a rarity, and all the more rare because I’m also looking forward to at least one other just as much. And I’ll buy it because Dragonball. I’m a big Dragonball fan and I’ve at some point owned or played most of the existing fighting games. FighterZ so far takes the cake in being a good fighting game on its own merit (even the best DBZ fighting games to date, like Budokai 3, haven’t been great fighting games if we’re talking mechanics alone).

My biggest tentative hype for later this year is Soul Calibur VI. They announced it over a month ago, and we don’t have any new details yet, but the trailer is promising:

Not because it looks nice or tells us anything about the gameplay or anything, but because it hints they’re moving back to the old roster instead of the one that came in for Soul Calibur V. This is one I’m excited for mainly because I thought SCV might have killed the franchise for quite a while. I’m a long time Soul Calibur fan, and it’s the only fighting game series besides Smash Brothers that I’ve owned every entry in the series at one point (save the original Soul Edge). Soul Calibur V was a rushed, shoddy mess and the asinine change to the roster (replacing all of the iconic characters with glorified reskins) did nothing to endear it to me either, but the short clash between who I presume are Mitsurugi and either Cassandra or Sophitia (I can never tell them apart in official artwork and trailers) is immensely promising that the roster will be restored.

And finally, this is a very special year. Because this is the year that the Legend of Shaq Fu will be Reborn.

Why? Who knows. Is it just for the memes? Is it a true labor of love? Will it be as infamously divisive (many love and many hate the original) as its predecessor? Is a fighting game based on the high concept premise of “What if Shaquille O’Neal knew kung fu?” still a dumb premise?

These questions and more will be answered in the coming months. I for one can’t wait.

#2018 Is Shaping Up To Be a Really Good Year For Fighting Games