As some of us know, Konami was one of the few companies that laid the groundwork for the fighting game genre. Their beat em up game Yie Ar Kung Fu was the game that inspired Capcom to make the very first fighting game, the original Street Fighter. A year after SF1, Konami decided to release another fighting game in Galactic Warriors, which in spite of the use of mechas, it was the first fighting game where you can choose your own fighter, paving the way for Street Fighter II and every single fighting game that followed. Speaking of which, SFII of course brought the genre to the mainstream, and spawn a bunch of competitors from Fatal Fury to Mortal Kombat. Because of SFII, Konami decided to get back into the genre after having huge success in the beat em up genre, they released Martial Champion, their first fighting game in five years. Unfortunately, it turned out to be a crappy game, thus it was a colossal failure. Konami should’ve had the SNES TMNT Tournament Fighters team do Martial Champion because it would’ve been a WAY better game, and though it wouldn’t have been nearly as big as SF and MK, it would’ve been big enough to get sequels like FF did. But sadly, it didn’t happen, and the team that made it did a horrible job. That’s it never made it past the first game.
Dragoon Might, a weapons fighter, could’ve been the one to put Konami on the fighting game map, had they made it a 3D game instead of a 2D one. In 1995, 3D fighting games were all the rage while 2D fighters (especially sprite-based ones) were dying off. I know Konami wanted to capitalize on the success of Samurai Shodown, but it was not the time to do that, especially when SS itself was already losing popularity with SS3 (also 1995). If they wanted to capitalize on SS, they either should’ve released it a year earlier when sprite-based fighting games were still relevant. At the time, the only big 2D fighters that year were Killer Instinct (a late 1994 release), MK3, SF Alpha and Marvel Super Heroes, the latter two which were the only handdrawn games with any success. Let’s not forget that '95 was the year when Konami started making the shift to 3D, and it was the perfect time for them to make a 3D weapons fighter.
Let’s face it, what company made a 3D weapons fighter that year? Well, Takara did make Toshinden, but it wasn’t intentionally designed for the arcades but for the consoles…and as good as the game was, well all knew the series wasn’t going to last because Takara was a poorly run company that barely advertised Toshinden (their ONLY franchise) after the original. As for the other companies…Sega didn’t release Last Bronx until summer 1996, SNK didn’t start making 3D games until 1997, Midway wasn’t ready for 3D yet, Tecmo was still in the process of making their first fighting game (which turned out to be a crappy 3D fighter with half-naked lolies), Taito never took the fighting game genre seriously to begin with, Sammy had not yet made their mark in the fighting game genre, Square had yet to even make a fighting game, Irem was out of business already, Data East was on its way out, and Aksys Games DIDN’T EVEN EXIST!!! Capcom was originally going to release a 3D Star Wars fighting game in late '95, but because of licensing issues, it was push to summer of the following year and was soon renamed Star Gladiator.
And this leaves me with one company, which just happens to be Namco. Coming off of two awesome Tekken games, Namco decided to make a 3D weapons fighter to cash in on Toshinden 1’s success, and that game happened to be sigh…static.divbyzero.nl/facepalm/doublefacepalm.jpgSoul…Edge. Despite the company’s notorious lies with the copyright dates like in the majority of their releases, the game came out in 1996 (not '95). Anyways, the Soul Edge series is the most overrated fighting game series ever, especially when it became “Soul Calibur” and hit the Dreamcast which the fanboys claim is the greatest thing since Jesus. I don’t see what so great about that Goddamn franchise.
Now getting back to Konami and Dragoon Might. Had Konami made Dragoon Might a 3D weapons fighter and released it in the same year they actually did, it would’ve been just as big as Virtua Fighter and Tekken no question about it, and it certainly would’ve shown Soul Edge who’s the boss of the 3D weapons genre. It would not only been ported to consoles like the PSX and maybe the Saturn, the game would’ve been given plenty of sequels. Bust sadly, Konami made Dragoon Might a 2D handrawn fighter instead, and it became so obscure it never received a port on any console (not even the Saturn). Because of this, we’ve been stuck with the overrated Soul Edge franchise as the only one of its kind, and the fanboys love that. And until any company that isn’t Bamco revives Toshinden or makes a Hunger Games fighting game, we’re stuck with the overrated Soul Edge series.
However, there’s still hope for Konami to be a huge player in the fighting game genre as they now own Hudson, the company behind the Bloody Roar series. They can revive Bloody Roar, or get the rights to Toshinden now that Takara is dead, or buy SNK and make them not suck like they did for the past 19 years, or get the Hunger Games license. Come on Konami, you can do it.