Features// Arcade News: Let The Brawlers Begin

Tekken 6, Virtua Fighter 5 - FIGHT!

Posted 18 Jul 2007 15:00 by
The fighting game or Beat'em-up scene has been like waiting for a London bus recently. First none appears and then three come together. From famine to feast; and what a feast, with some of the most anticipated brawlers in history filling the arcades.

The first big hitter is Tekken 6, now sporting a deluxe four-cabinet network and an audience Live Monitor display. The game promises much with 720p HD display and full tournament connectivity through Tekken.net (based on the SEGA all.net infrastructure). This is brings us support of a player storage card system to save customized characters (attire purchased using game points on the web service), and the ability to take part in network fights. A feature of player character and stats connectivity expanded upon in Japan with the new QCode – mobile camera phones – means that players are able to jump to web services after capturing a special 3D barcode.

Tekken was first released on the PlayStation arcade variant in 1994, and now is the first on the PlayStation 3 arcade variant board-set. As with the new crop of fighting games about to be released, the launch of a consumer version is a factor in the wings for this game. Stories are rife, however, that Tekken could be one of the first to offer full cross-over capability with T6 customized characters’, played on arcade and PS3 home systems.

The other big player in the brawler stakes is Virtua Fighter; currently Virtua Fighter 5 Ver.C has been released on the Japanese arcade scene, but recent trade reports have confirmed plans for Virtua Fighter 6 to hit the arcades this year - possibly in direct competition T6.

The All.net-connected infrastructure supports this series with the vf.net service, as well as specialized cabinet configuration that includes its own four-network single-player cabinets; a combined live audience screen and IC Card dispenser and interrogator terminal.

Virtua Fighter was first released in 1993 on the Model 1 board; the game would later play a part in Saturn and DreamCast deployment for the consumer scene. This latest version running on the Sega LindBergh PC derivative arcade platform has already been ported to a home release.

It is the ability to use arcade credibility for a home version of a popular beat-em-up brand that has seen a rush on Amusement releases in this crowded PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Nintendo Wii fighting-game market. Products like Dead or Alive!, Mortal Kombat and Guilty Gears, all side-stepping their arcade roots for console domination.

Most recently in the arcade market, the SNK-Playmore franchise having swapped from two platforms made big news of its imminent arcade release. KOF MAXIMUM IMPACT: Regulation "A" the latest and long-awaited of the King of Fighters franchise was placed for a Q4 2007 release through a licensing agreement with Square-ENIX owned Taito.

The King of Fighters was first released in 1994 on the Neo-Geo MVS system, a vast array of variations and sequels has brought us to the aborted Sega Sammy AtomisWave version- and now to the licensed Taito Type-X² hardware (housed in the new Taito flat-screen ‘Viewlix’ cabinet). The game series is vital for Playmore’s survival as the latest owners of SNK.

This all comes at the same time as news that famous Hong Kong film director Gordon Chan (The Medallion) has announced that he will direct a live-action adaptation of the King of Fighters brand.

Just as the market could not get any more crowded, sources in Japan revealed that Capcom plans to launch in August a new 2D fighting game for the arcade market. Limited information was available, with only a teaser web site launched, but it was speculated from a number of fan web sites that the 2D brawler would be based on the Sengoku Basara series, developed by ARC System Works – who will be working on the Taito Type-X² hardware for the first since their Guilt Gear Sammy A-Wave days. This latest addition to the fighting game roster shows that this will be a crowded market for 2007/08.

Let battle commence for the arcade crown!

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