Over the past year, the fighting game community has seen several promising independent game projects revealed by its own members. These extremely talented groups have invested their own time and resources into developing games that draw upon the FGC’s language and culture, with core gameplay mechanics heavily inspired by classic fighting game conventions. I want to highlight a few of these titles, because i think this is a very interesting trend.
Super Comboman is a side-scrolling beat-‘em-up featuring a customizable combat system based on unlocking and arranging special abilities, in the form of colorful stickers. The story follows an energetic islander named Struggles, as he takes on odd jobs to support his little brother. (Un)fortunately he tends to get carried away with practicing his spectacular combos, and usually ends up destroying everything in sight! Apparently this project has been in development at Interabang Entertainment for over 1½ years. They’re currently putting the finishing touches on the game, so it’s already available for pre-order through their website.
Señor Footsies is a simplified 2D fighting game by Luke Esquivel, featuring two identical characters with very limited movesets. They can walk back and forth, perform a quick low kick, commit to a longer range sweep with more recovery, or build meter to use a pistol. Whoever lands the first kick wins the round, so the entire match revolves around cautious mobility, space control, and – you guessed it, footsies. What began with hand-drawn sprites has evolved into 3D models and a complete visual overhaul, but no release date has been set.
Street Sweeper is another minimalist fighting game built around a streamlined version of traditional footsies, developed by Robin Ramirez. The goal of the match is to connect a low roundhouse sweep, by using a quick high kick as bait, performing a well-timed parry, or simply outmaneuvering the opponent. There’s a free playable PC version available for download, including a second character recently added to the mix – and many more on the way. The character sprites and backgrounds are adapted from SNK’s various Neo Geo Pocket fighters.
Lastly, i’m sure everyone in the FGC has heard of Divekick since it was featured at MWC2012 and Evo2k12. The combat system revolves around the somewhat polarizing fighting game concept of divekicks, recently popularized by SF4’s Rufus and MvC3’s Doctor Doom. It was developed by One True Game Studios and successfully funded via Kickstarter, before picking up a publisher and refunding everyone’s donations. A release date hasn’t been announced yet, but i’m sure we’ll be hearing more details soon!