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Fighting game

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Three years in the making, StudioEgg's 2D fighter Rumble Pack recently caught my attention on Shoryuken. The game contains a lot of the typical 2D fighting tastiness: QCF-type moves, parrying, air combos, and links. The "Radix" system attempts to offer its own "groove" with three different styles: hex (defensive), decimal (offensive), and binary (tech). In addition to having unique properties, special moves will behave differently in each style. Skip to the 5:45 mark to watch this in action.

The art isn't Bengus or Akiman, but a few characters like Zppr have some charm to them. The current, free build of Rumble Pack uses the MUGEN engine, but the developers have stated that they plan to move to Unity to truly express their vision post-beta.

While I wait for a new 2D Darkstalkers and Samurai Shodown, a 3D Tobal, or 2.5D Slap Happy Rhythm Busters (what a name!), I'll look to indies like StudioEgg to invigorate the fighting genre. I imagine indie audio geniuses can also recreate or iterate on the magical sounds of Takayuki Iwai (Anarchy Takapon) and those of the same era. I rarely get to post about fighting games here, so feel free to talk about Rumble Pack or air out your fighting game nostalgia in the comments!

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In North America, gamers are now generally divided into two distinct generations: those that grew up in the midst of the vibrant video arcade culture of the '70s and '80s; and those born since.

The latter group's experience with arcades is primarily through redemption-machine-filled restaurants like Dave & Busters and maybe a few neglected cabinets at their local movie theater or bowling alley. But in Japan, this divide does not exist. Arcades there have continued to grow and evolve since their introduction. Multiple floors fill not just with hardcore gamers, but with families and casual players looking for the kind of face-to-face social gaming experience hard to find on this side of the Pacific.

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Do Japanese games just suck? Perhaps not, but the trend for Japanese studios to design games for a 'Western audience' has led to some poor quality titles, and is perhaps missing the reason that Westerners enjoyed classic Japanese games in the fist place.

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