Mortal Kombat 1 is a superbly presented fighting game with something to offer players of all experience and familiarity with NetherRealm's sprawling MK universe. The Kameo fighter system injects new strategic depth into combat, the rebooted timeline feeds a ridiculous story, and the suite of game modes are both varied and well made.
Dragon Quest Builders 2 is the perfect sequel. The kind that improves on every aspect of the original, adding more meaningful content to the mix, quality of life fixes and throwing some interesting new aspects at players, whilst maintaining that core that made the first game so enjoyable in the first place.
Mega Man 11 is a real cracker of an action platformer, full of creativity and challenge that has been built up from a reliable base that has been the foundation for so many classic titles. Fans of the series are going to be spoilt by the new challenges on offer, and newcomers will find a game that not only rewards their skill, but offers them the tools to learn the stages, get better and eventually crack this extremely tough game.
Although the seven games on offer are good examples of the fun, but shallow genre, it's hard to shake the feeling that with a bit more attention – the kind Mega Man and Street Fighter received – this could have been another must have retro collection.
It begs the question who exactly SNK Heroines is for? The hardcore fighting game fans aren't going to find enough here to pull them away from Dragon Ball FighterZ or Tekken 7 and yet, they're the ones who are going to appreciate the references to SNK's arcade history throughout.
Despite the writing, which is definitely an acquired taste, The Messenger is a truly excellent classic platformer and a bloody good Metroidvania. There's enough of a twist on both genres to make it stand out in an increasingly crowded market. It looks great, in both the 8-bit and 16-bit sections, and the music sounds like it's ripped from the best NES game never made.
Vampyr might not be what many wanted after Life Is Strange, but it's still an enjoyable – well, as enjoyable as its grim nature allows – game nonetheless. It follows the modern action RPG template almost to a fault, but the agency the player has in shaping the districts by disease control and straight up murder is a lot more interesting than some of the moments in other games within the genre, where they present you a binary choice that pushes the plot forward. It's a decent idea holding up an otherwise solid game, but overall Vampyr is worth a look if you're looking for something to plug the gap in your life in this post- Witcher 3 world.
This is a real love letter to the Street Fighter series. Eleven genuine classics (and one stinker) all ported with great care and with a museum of developmental and concept art, soundtracks and an interactive timeline of the series that'll take a good hour or so to look through, it's a great way to celebrate Street Fighter's 30th birthday even before you factor in the online and training modes for the four marquee titles. Whether you're interested in getting really good at Third Strike or Super Turbo or simply want that nostalgic thrill of days spent on a couch leathering your friends, Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection is a must.
If you've played Dark Souls before then there isn't really anything in this version of the game that makes for a compelling reason to part with your cash. The term ‘Remastered' implies that a great amount of work has gone into this release, and although it's a definite improvement – especially with regards to the frame rate – it isn't extraordinary.
Dissidia Final Fantasy NT tries to spin too many plates at once. As a team-based arena combat game, it creates some interesting battles but comes up short against the depth and accessibility of something like Overwatch. As a fighting game, it fails to find a balance between the challenging execution of a Street Fighter and the pick-up-and-play chaos of a Super Smash Bros. And as Final Fantasy fan service, it ticks some boxes but has some glaring omissions in its lineup and surrounding features. Even those who consider themselves Final Fantasy completionists aren't going to have enough story content to keep them playing for long. That's frustrating, because when its various parts all come together in harmony it is a fun, unique team fighting game.
For Arc System Works, Dragon Ball FighterZ is a chance at real mainstream success. The Guilty Gear games are universally excellent, and have a dedicated fanbase, but their hardcore nature meant they always lost to the Street Fighters and Tekkens of the world when it came to sales. The Dragon Ball license could be what gets the masses interested in the studio's particular brand of air-dashing, spectacular combat.
Street Fighter 5 is a great game at its core, but now that core is surrounded by a healthy amount of content for every type of player. Now is the time to get involved with one of the best fighting games currently around, and put all that Hadoken muscle memory you've had since '92 to the test!
The game's shortcomings in regards to presentation and roster can largely be ignored. A bigger issue, and one that wouldn't be able to be fixed in a patch, would be if the game was just plain rubbish – and Marvel vs Capcom: Infinite is far from that. Much like Street Fighter V, when you're sat next to an opponent of similar skill, it's brilliant. That's what fighting games are all about.
For the absolute casual player, the recently released Injustice 2 is a better package. The cinematic Story and brilliant Multiverse provide the single-player fighter with more than enough reason to keep coming back. But Tekken 7 is the game that comes closest to truly satisfying both parts of the fighting game market.
It's an absolutely brilliant fighting game, and one with a tremendous wealth of modes and a tutorial that puts most of its peers to shame. It is, in many ways, the best 2D fighting game on the market right now, thanks to the way it explains every aspect of its gameplay in a practical manner.