Anime style fighting games have been the most numerous type of fighting games coming out in over the last few years, many of which are have established or are establishing a line of series. To name but are few…
Guilty Gear XX series
Sengoku Basara X
Hokuto no Ken
Akatsuki (yes, arcade release)
And theres even more waiting in wings as doujin games, just waiting to make the leap to arcade just like Melty Blood and now Akatsuki have.
My question is though, why haven’t these games taken off in the UK?
Guilty Gear, the industry standard at the moment has good sized scene in the UK, but it feels rather stagnant. Like the scene itself hasn’t grown much over the last few years, but seems stable enough. Its been awhile since we had a UK release for the series, but we finally have AC on the Wii. But do you know anyone who owns AC on the Wii? Surely anyone in the UK who was interested in AC would have imported the JAP/US PS2 version ages ago. Would anyone say AC being avaliable on the Wii has brought in new players to the game (by which I mean competitively of course)?
So taking AC as an example is my original question simply answered by lack of UK releases for these games or is there something else?
Anime/manga in general has been on a massive rise now for years now. And anime/manga fans are no strangers when it comes to importing. So why arent they hooked on these new titles. Are these anime fighters too complex? Possibly (I’ve already talked alot about this, check my topics - Problem of Execution and Future of fighting games). Or is it simply cause these games arent based off popular mangas/animes?
Other fighters like DBZ and Naruto sell loads, obviously cause they are much more recognisable and provide lots of fan service, which is something other anime style fighters obviously lack. The fan service is something which was missing from HNK which maybe one of the reasons why it wasn’t a hit, or maybe once again, a lack of a UK release really hurt it.
At events you don’t see much love for anime fighters. Last year for Rebirth 2007, only 8 people entered the HNK tournament. There was a hell of alot of talk prior to the event about the game, with quite a few people showing interest, but ultimately only a fraction put their money where their keyboard was. Maybe it was just far to broken to be taken seriously competitively, but according to the latest news about game, its not only a 1 character game anymore.
Also you don’t see many other anime fighters at events other than guilty gear. I’ve seen Melty blood a few times on ps2, but if its not the latest version (PC), it likes playing an older version of GGXX; no point. I didn’t see Arcana heart at SVB at all though. Being one of the latest releases, I thought there might have been a bit noise for game to be at SVB on a casual setup. Maybe people are just too embarrassed to admit they like Loli.
Loli has alot of stigma attached to it. Playing a loli is kind of like a taboo i guess, something some people do, but don’t really want other people to know or talk about it. Maybe that stigma is rightly deserved. Little girls, big heads, no tits - no doubt if it was popular in America, Jack Thompson would blame games like Arcana Heart for creating pedophiles.
Hmm I think i’ll leave it at that.
P.S. I was referring to UK events, i do not know if the same things apply at US events.