New trend among 2D companies

Not sure if this is any significance but I’m noticing how the big three companies in 2D fighting are starting to change things up. Capcom with SFIV, SNK with KOFXII, and ArcSys with Blazblue (new series but very closely-tied to Guilty Gear). Each three have made some bold moves in their directions, some worth cheering for and some worth questioning. I generally like where things are going but still like a little more, like more info on XII, SFIV reaching more toward SFIII (though too late now), and at least a general continuation/conclusion for Guilty Gear before a brand-new series. How does everyone else feel?

Capcom went 2.5D so they kind of are joining the 3D bandwagon. I hope they will be encouraged not to since they are working on HD remixes. This shows there is still a a large demand for 2D.

It would be nice if Capcom made a dream match type of SF game (kind of like KOF98/02), include every character from SF2/SFA/SF3, use TvC style graphics, and try to incorporate the best of each game’s gameplay systems. It probably would have balance issues because of the large number of characters but it would definitely be something interesting to see.

Don’t do that to me.

They tried with Capcom Fighting Jam and it turned out so shitty I think they kind of swept it under the rug and said fuck it let’s make Street Fighter 4. Could/Would/Should be good in theory though.

What the hell are you talking about?

I’m not entirely sure either, but I think what he’s trying to say is that changing up how their games play compared to the old versions is a new trend among fighting game developers.

Personally I don’t think it’s a new trend at all. All I see is a continuation of the process of constantly trying to find ways of improving their products so that people keep buying and playing them.

The U.S. scene stagnated for the exact reason that people feared change. With SF4 up and running, hopefully that will lead people to better direction for the upcoming years.

They all needed to do something new. Especially SNK, since they’ve been lazy for too many years with their sprites.


SNK has a hardcore fanbase, so they have to go oldschool while making things exciting. What they do is listen to their fans by keeping it 2D while having new sprites. Add a few new features and it’s a whole new ballgame. Now you’ve got a game that’ll sell to its intended audience.

ASW has also a hardcore fanbase, so they go with what has worked before. They continue to make amazing 2D graphics and fast paced gameplay, but makes a cast/franchise to keep things fresh. Seems like a solid concept to me.

Capcom wants to expand their fanbase to reach their long lost audience from the 90’s. So they make it 2.5D to appease the most amount of people. Put in familiarity, new things, and some fresh faces. Now you’ve got a game that is selling well atm.

They do what sells. That’s about the gist of it.

Wrong, Capcom uses 3d graphics but gameplay is still 2d. Aside from graphics, SFIV has as much in common with 3d fighters as ST does.

I liked how stages were done in Rival Schools united by fate.

I don’t care if Capcom decides to make a pure 3D fighter as long as it doesn’t stop making quality 2D fighters.

I wasn’t talking about gameplay.

Pretty much this. In a more detailed view:

SNK went full 2D because that’s what their fans wanted and the mid-90’s sprites would in no way fly on this generation of consoles nor on HDTV’s. Yes making those HD sprites were costly (probably more then any other 2D game) but in the end it will all pay off as they’ll probably use them for the next ten years as well as it will probably slightly expand their fanbase from others going “Ohh” and “Ahh” over the graphics.

Arc System Works went the 2D route for various reasons. Sammy pretty much owns the Guilty Gear license so it would be the best to make the game mimic Guilty Gear as much as possible without being a total copycat which is highly tied with a games art-style. Also when you’re known as “THE 2D fighting developer” in the biggest fighting game region, as well as that’s how you made your fame it would be best to continue to ride that wave instead of trying to build a new one.

Capcom went “2.5D” for obvious reasons. Unlike SNK or Arc System Works, Capcom wasn’t building upon something, nor were they looking for niche sales. They were just trying to see if their legendary IP still had some strength left in it.

Street Fighter lost much of its importance and significance during the latter 90’s due to titles consistently coming out. After a 6th revision of Street Fighter II, Alpha 1 and Alpha 2, a 3D spin-off along with it’s revision, as well as a crossover between Xmen ALL HAPPENING IN UNDER 3 YEARS the mainstream crowd was getting weary of Street Fighter, and by the time the true sequel came out nobody gave a fuck. Yeah it was only in the dying arcades, but being the sequel to the 2nd biggest franchise of all-time at the time making such a small release is still shocking.

Did Capcom slow down the process? Hell no. 2 revisions of Street Fighter III, 5 more crossover games, another sequel to the Alpha series, 2 more 3D spin-offs along with one of them releasing their own revision, and God knows what else Capcom ended up not just running Street Fighter into the ground, but their whole “2D Fighter Dynasty”.

As years past it was obvious that the IP was still heard of and known for. Now what Capcom was wondering when considering Street Fighter IV was whether or not the IP could still be relevant in this day in age. In one hand if marketed correctly it could be huge hit. On the other fighting games in general are near death as even the “flashy 3D fighters” are near their knees. In order to test this they’d have to make it as cost-efficient and appealing to the mainstream market as much as possible. The result is what you see.

Each of the companies went for what seemed the most logical for them to do. SNK went 2D because they can reuse their sprites for years to come making it a investment as well as them still keeping a huge chunk of their fanbase. Arc System Works went with sprites because that’s what they’re known for and if something is going well there is no reason to step off the tracks. Capcom went 2.5D because it’s what the mainstream market wants, yeah they COULD have gone with sprites and the game still could have sold with the correct advertising (doesn’t stop Mario), but back then they were just trying to see if the IP had relevance and the best way to do that for sure is to play it safe as much as possible.

And in terms of the future it looks that at least 2 will definitely continue on expanding their path. Both HD Remix and SFIV were both widely successful. I wouldn’t be surprised if Capcom continues to put their full 2D fighting titles on downloadable services and their 2.5D fighting titles on retail. Of course they can probably do “Remix’s” of their previous fighters in 2.5D and release 2D retail games but that’s a bit in the future for me to judge. Arc System Works will probably continue to focus on arcades in Japan for their 2D fighters. I wouldn’t be surprised if they continue creating other fighting IP’s so they can further carve in a name for themselves especially with Capcom and SNK stepping up their plates. SNK? Well King of Fighters XII isn’t out yet but I highly doubt they’ll looking for Street Fighter IV success and it’s all but inevitable that the game outsells their recent efforts during its release.

So how do I feel about these trends? Well very good. It seems that each company is heading in their own direction. To me Capcom is trying to capture the biggest market as possible. Arc System Works is looking to capture as much as the core fighting game market as possible. And SNK is looking to further draw in people into their fanbase. Seeing such diversity and production in 2D fighters has me feeling that the genre is far more well then it was last generation.

Not to sound pessimistic but I highly doubt that one hit title is going to bend the scene.

I definitely agree that the fear of change throughout the scene was a huge reason for the genre falling in popularity, but to me the biggest reasons were always

A. Publishers didn’t bother finding a new home for the genre even after the arcades dwindled (this is especially true for 2D fighters)

B. The genre never got the “revolutionary game” it needed nor did it follow the games that took a sidestep with the formula

Just because the game looks 3d doesn’t make it a 3d game. The gameplay has NO 3d elements whatesoever. Capcom hasn’t even glanced in the direction of 3d gameplay.

You said Capcom is “joining the 3d bandwagon.” I still don’t see, after reading that wiki article, how a game appearing to be 3d (2.5 d) means it’s anything like a 3d game when everything you can control in the game is restircted to a 2d plane. “Pseudo-3D” was the key word in that article.

I’m bored


What, you mean to tell me you haven’t noticed this new trend of, like, bold moves???

I shouldn’t have said “joining the 3D background” since that’s what has brought confusion to what I meant. However, yes, it’s pseudo-3D, pretty much.

SNK is no better quite frankly. Yeah KOFXII is hand drawn 2D sprites but it’s all being drawn over 3D models.

2009 really is a year of bold moves. For example, this week I tried farting in front of girls for the first time ever.

You know. I think only one game has to be accessable to people who usually don’t play fighting games for them to get sucked in. SF4 is kind of like a gateway drug and as soon as people who enjoy it figure out they will eventually find SNK and Sammy. I hope this new 2D bandwagon keeps on going. We are in a fighting game renaissance right now.

KoF 02 UM
Sam Sho Anth
Arcana Heart 2

Rumors of MvC2HDR and a Darkstalkers on the SF4 engine really bring this renaissance into full tilt.

Long live 2D fighters