Whether you were a hardcore fighting fan, or a more casual gamer who simply liked the genre, 2012 was a good year for flying fists. Namco and Capcom were on fine form, with their supreme mashup serving up a union that fans had been hungering after for years, with Tecmo Koei and Reverge Labs also providing cracking tournament support. PSASBR and Anarchy Reigns gave us some high-octane brawler action this year. It's just a shame that Persona Arena didn't reach us in time, really.
NB. Click on the thumbnails for price comparisons and the game's title for the relevant review where available.
Now, admittedly, we don't normally do this. But with SEGA quite literally having no good reason whatsoever to have held Anarchy Reigns back, the fact it's out right at the start of the new year, and considering that we've played the import version which works perfectly and is fully localised we're sticking Platinum's brawler in our 2012 list. Utterly barmy, deliciously slick, furiously addictive, Platinum once again wiped the floor with all competitors to present a multiplayer brawler the likes of which we've not seen in many a year.
Now, just because Matt and Brendan had an allergic reaction to this game doesn't necessarily mean it was bad. We've included it here in the list out of respect for our peers, who appear to have deemed it the second coming. There is certainly a chance that we might be fallible; after all, it can't be that bad, because lots of people apparently like it. Allegedly.
Reverge Labs knocked it out of the park with Skullgirls this year. It packed more profound balance, greater flexibility and smoother animations than most games thrice its price, and the developers wholeheartedly succeeded in their bid to craft one of the finest competition fighters in recent memory. No, it wasn't for the casual fighting fan, but if you played hard, and fought to win, this was probably your new favourite game.
Street Fighter x Tekken
It's one of those mashups you dream about in the throes of a fever or a whisky-soaked haze...what if Tekken and Street Fighter came together?! Yet it happened, and it was awesome! Holding something for both casual fans and hardcore tournament fighters alike, SFxT proved to be an exceptional fighter...apart from that whole on-disc DLC mess.
Boasting a truly packed roster, serving up a neat liytle tutorial in the form of the Combot and the Fight Lab, Tekken threw its doors wide open for TTT2. The fast-paced tag action was back, and now with online stat tracking you could make sure you were nudging ahead of your friends. Oh, and le's ot forget the largely free post-game content shall we?
Probably the definitive MMA game out there right now. Boasting improved presentation, ramped-up content offerings, greater accessibility, an awesome new Pride mode, and a revamped submission system, Yuke's made sure that this was the best in the series, and a triumphant title with which to say farewell, with the developers underlining why it might be a crying shame that the franchise now lies in EA's hands.
Anarchy Reigns elevated brawling into its most unpredictable, hardcore and empowering form to date, allowing it to stand tall alongside the very best online multiplayer games of this generation - regardless of genre. With a hefty singleplayer campaign, sixteen unique characters, ludicrously unpredictable matches and unparalleled depth, this really was an evolution and apex of the genre.
We love Platinum simply because they make fantastic games. Here was another one.