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Two warriors meet to test themselves against wildly different styles of combat. They are Russian wrestlers and tonfa-swinging Englishmen, American boxers, Indian mystics, New York brawlers, crazed jungle monsters and quiet masters of the martial arts. Blunt instrument or elegant weapon, the choice of discipline isn’t important. Skill alone determines the outcome.
Konami hired high school senior Yoshiki Okamoto as a graphic artist in 1982, despite the fact that Okamoto didn’t like video games and didn’t want to make them. Two years later, under orders to create a racing game, he made classic shooters Time Pilot and Gyruss instead… and then asked for a raise. He was fired the next day.
Five-year-old Capcom scooped him up. They were shifting their business model from electronic game machines to video games, and Okamoto – their second R&D hire, after designer Noritaka Funamizu – put one of their first hits in arcades with 1942, a scrolling World War II aerial shooter that, ironically, encouraged players to wipe out the Japanese air force on their way to Tokyo. Together with Tokuro Fujiwara’s one-two punch of Commando and Ghosts ‘n Goblins, 1942 helped put Capcom on the map, and ushered in their move on the American market. The next step involved Okamoto taking on his old employers.
Data East had release Karate Champ, a basic fighting game, in 1984. Konami answered in 1985 with Yie-Ar Kung Fu (One-Two Kung Fu), staring martial arts master Oolong as he put the hurtin’ on fighters like sumo wrestler Buchu, shuriken-throwing ninja girl Star, and tonfa-wielding Tonfun until somebody’s health bar was gone. Capcom wanted its own fighting game, combining the best elements of Karate Champ and Yie-Ar Kung Fu, and outdoing both. Okamoto put director “Piston” Takashi Nishiyama and project planner “Finish” Hiroshi Matsumoto – the team responsible for Capcom’s overhead beat-’em-up Avengers – on the job, and stuck newly hired 22-year-old graphic designer Keiji Inafune on the team to design the fighters.
They named their project after the Americanized title of Sonny Chiba’s 1974 beat ’em up classic, Clash! Killer Fist. Street Fighter landed in arcades in 1987.
Cosmetically, Nishiyama and Matsumoto didn’t deviate far from Yie-Ar’s example, and Inafune had cribbed heavily from 70’s manga and anime Karate Baka Ichidai for several character designs. Gamers played as Ryu, a solemn, red-headed Shotokan Karate master in a torn white gi and red slippers. The health bars were identical to Yie-Ar’s, and several of the ten fighters scattered across the globe were curiously familiar… like shuriken-throwing ninja boy Geki and tonfa-wielding Eagle. Joining them was elderly Chinese assassin Gen, Caucasian punk Birdie, thinly veiled Mike Tyson clone Mike, and Thai bosses Adon and Sagat, the eye-patched Mauythai master and dead ringer for Ichidai’s villainous Reiba, the Dark Lord of Muaythai.
King of Fighters (KOF)
The King of Fighters (ザ・キング・オブ・ファイターズ, Za Kingu obu Faitāzu), officially abbreviated KOF, is the most prominent series of fighting games by SNK Playmore (formerly SNK). Its claim to fame is the large cast of characters and the innovative “team” system, with both original designs and characters from other SNK games.
Starting with the addition of the “Team Edit System” that allows players to choose their favorite characters and create their own teams, this second installment in the KOF series adds a whole slew of new elements. The appearance of Iori Yagami, the rival to Kyo Kusanagi, also promises to heat up the action and make KOF more addictive than ever.
It’s the year of our Lord, 1995. Once again invitations to the King of Fighters tournament have found their ways to the world’s most powerful fighters.
And their author is none other than the mysterious “R!” Could the “R” be that of Rugal, who supposedly blew himself up on his aircraft carrier a year ago?
Among the contestants for this year’s tournament is the newly selected team of Billy, Yagami, and Kisaragi, who sent the American Team packing.
But what in the end is Billy’s scheme? What ambitions does Kisaragi cradle? And what evil designs for his old foe Kyo Kusanagi spur Iori Yagami on?
These new challengers join all of the previous tournament’s contestants-except the American Team, of course-both in battle and the all-consuming intrigue that forms the core of King of Fighters ’95.
Tekken (Japanese: 鉄拳, “Iron Fist”) is a fighting game franchise created, developed and published by Namco (later Bandai Namco Entertainment). Beginning with the original Tekken in 1994, the series has received several sequels as well as updates and spin-off titles. The series has also been adapted into three films and other media. The series’ official English name is always written in all-capital letters (TEKKEN, abbreviated to TK). There are 6 main installments to the series, one installment having an updated version that also made a home release, two non-canonical installments, and a seventh mainline game in the works.
The long running Tekken series is one of video gaming’s finest examples of the beloved “a couple of guys punch and kick the shit out of each other” genre. With the recent announcement of Tekken 7 we’ve decided to take a look back at history of the franchise. And since completely gratuitous eye candy is a proud tradition of the fighting game genre we’ve decided to take a look back at the history of that too. For this feature, we’re going to focus on numbered game releases, and not the numerous updates, spin-offs and movies.
Tekken was one of the earliest fighting games to be in 3D, which places it in the period of video game history where games were going to the third dimension but weren’t very good at it yet. Still, for the time it was pretty damn good, and it offered up some innovations to the genre, most notably more intuitive controls. For a new franchise it sold very well, probably because it avoided being a Street Fighter rip-off like pretty much every other fighting game that came out in the mid 90s.
Fatal Fury (餓狼伝説 Garō Densetsu, “Legend of the Hungry Wolf”) is a fighting game series developed by SNK for the Neo Geo system.
Fatal Fury – The first game of the Fatal Fury series allowed players to select one of three characters, Terry Bogard, Andy Bogard, and Joe Higashi, as they fight against a gauntlet of computer-controlled opponents ending with Billy Kane and Geese Howard. When two players joins in, they have the option of either playing cooperatively against the CPU or competitively against each other. It was ported to SNES and Sega Genesis by Takara. The Neo-Geo version was released onto the Wii’s Virtual Console. It was also released as part of SNK Arcade Classics Volume 1 for PS2, PSP and Wii.
BlazBlue (ブレイブルー Bureiburū?) is a fighting game series developed and published in Japan by Arc System Works, and later localized in North America by Aksys Games and in Europe by Zen United. An anime adaptation aired in the fall of 2013. The BlazBlue series has sold 1.7 million games as of August 2012.
Guilty Gear (ギルティギア Giruti Gia) is a series of competitive fighting games by Arc System Works and designed by artist Daisuke Ishiwatari. The first game in the series was published in 1998, and spawned several sequels. It was also adapted to other media such as manga and drama CD. Guilty Gear has generally received praise from video game reviewers for its graphics, soundtrack, and mainly for its characters. Another fighting game by Arc System Works, BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger, is considered a spiritual successor of the series.
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Karate Japanese pronunciation: [kaɽate] is a martial art developed on the Ryukyu Islands in what is now Okinawa, Japan. It developed from the indigenous martial arts of Ryukyu Islands (called te (手?), literally "hand"; tii in Okinawan) under the influence of Chinese martial arts, particularly Fujian White Crane. Karate is now predominantly a striking art using punching, kicking, knee strikes, elbow strikes and open hand techniques such as knife-hands, spear-hands, and palm-heel strikes. Historically and in some modern styles grappling, throws, joint locks, restraints, and vital point strikes are also taught. A karate practitioner is called a karateka.