This past weekend saw fighting game fans and professionals flock to Las Vegas, Nevada for the Mecca of virtual fisticuffs that is EVO. What began as a series of tournaments for the latest and greatest fighting games has morphed into a festival celebrating everything about the culture of fighting games as a whole.
The tournaments were entertaining as always, and boy are these players disgustingly good at what they do, but the big talking points following EVO are the cavalcade of announcements regarding upcoming fighting games. Rather than covering each item individually, we’ve compiled the biggest and best news just for you. Aren’t we good? Let’s break it down.
Abigail from Final Fight Confirmed for Street Fighter V
I’m not going to lie to you, it took me a minute to realise who Abigail actually was. When it comes to Final Fight characters, we all remember Guy, Cody, Haggar and Andore (Hugo). Abigail however? Probably not. Still, it shows that Capcom are continuing to follow through on their promise to bring completely new characters to the second season of Street Fighter V. The traditionally unplayable Final Fight boss is comedically huge, but doesn’t appear to be the lumbering giant you’d expect. Those frontflip kicks look brutal. Abigail will be available from July 25th, along with his Metro City Bay Area stage and some additional costumes for different characters.
Trunks Confirmed For Dragon Ball FighterZ, Beta Registration Next Week
It was practically inevitable that Trunks would form part of Dragonball FighterZ, given how integral he is to DBZ as a whole, but it’s always nice to see the proof. To anyone who watches the show, Trunks seems to play like you’d expect; plenty of beam attacks and a sword with which to cut a bloody swathe through the competition. The really interesting news concerns closed beta registration for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on July 26th. I know I’m signing up, are you?
“PREDICTABO!” – Geese Howard Confirmed for Tekken 7
This is a strange and exciting time for fighting games. Not many expected to see Geese Howard taking pride of place in Tekken 7’s DLC line-up, but this is the world we live in and it’s beautiful. The worst father in SNK history joins a franchise based around shoddy parenting. I smell a “Shitty Dad” article brewing. From what we can see in Geese’s reveal trailer, he’s retained much of his Fatal Fury/King of Fighters moveset, with Reppukens, Atemi Nage counters and the Raging Storm all featuring. No word on if Raging Storm will keep that damn pretzel motion though. Geese will release in the winter of this year with a special stage based on Howard’s signature temple.
Jedah and Gamora Showcased for Marvel vs Capcom: Infinite
Depending on who you ask, the hype for Marvel vs Capcom: Infinite is either real or passed on to Dragonball FighterZ. Issues with the art style, roster and overall developer attitude have dissuaded most from boarding the hype train to “Xgard”, and that demo didn’t help. EVO was one of Capcom’s last big opportunities to try and turn around public perception, and they didn’t do a bad job.
Gamora was already revealed in a previous story trailer, and whilst she looks fun to play, she isn’t doing anything new or interesting like we’d expect from an MvC debutant. The highlight here is the return of Darkstalkers’ Jedah, who looks to be the most interesting character, not only to look at but also to play. His blood constructs (which are now purple because family game) look to be a huge problem for his opponents. Capcom have yet to confirm the rumour I started in my mind that Fetus of God will appear as a selectable stage, but Jedah and Morrigan in MvC:Infinite might be the closest we ever get to a new Darkstalkers. Treasure that.
Blazblue Cross Tag Battle Revealed
Arc System Works are killing it at the moment with fighting games, and they’re showing no signs of slowing down. EVO saw the debut trailer for their latest venture: Blazblue Cross Tag Battle. As you might expect, it’s a 2v2 tag fighter with Blazblue taking front and centre. What’s interesting is that other franchises are joining the anime fighter for this tag team melee, with Yu Narukami from Persona 4 Arena, Hyde from Under Night In-Birth and Ruby Rose from Rooster Teeth’s RWBY getting in on the action. They’ll join Ragna, Jin and a bunch more characters yet to be revealed when the game ships in 2018.
Arika’s New EX Game Not A Cruel April Fool’s Joke, Skullomania and Others Confirmed
This past April Fool’s Day was a tumultuous time for anyone with fond memories of Street Fighter’s EX series. Developed by Arika, the games were flawed but offered enough differences from mainline SF titles to make them interesting in their own right, and the quirky original characters that Arika created are worthy of their own praise. On April Fool’s Day, Arika dropped footage of the fourth EX game without any warning or prior hype. Many suspected it to be a cruel practical joke, but then EVO happened, and a new trailer showed the world that Arika aren’t playing around. The game itself, which still doesn’t have a full title, looks very similar to the rest of the EX series, with a lot of special moves coming back for this resurrection. The trailer also confirmed that Skullomania and Darun Mister are joining the roster, alongside Kairi, Garuda and Shirase. The team are shooting for a 2018 release, with a PS4 beta arriving at tail end of 2017. This is certainly one to keep an eye on.
What announcement was the highlight of EVO for you? Hit us with a Shoryuken in the comments below.