EVO 2017: Fighting Games Making A Comeback!

Last weekend, the biggest fighting game tournament happened. With games like Guilty Gear, Blazblue, Street Fighter, Tekken, and Smash Bros Melee and 4 there was a lot to be excited about those days. Well on Sunday we got all the reveals and a majority of them did extremely well of getting people excited for what is coming up. I am simply gotta go through them in any order I want to, probably save my favorites for last.

Street Fighter V: Abigail

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Reveal Trailer

I will get the hated one out-of-the-way first. To be honest, I like Abigail. For a large character, he does not have a focus on command throws which Street Fighter is quite known for with large fighters. I will admit, his size and overall look is odd. Hell him acting like a child just keeps adding onto his odd image. Personally, it started to rub off me though. For a Final Fight character I am not surprised that this guy is not sane. Some people wanted him to be a serious gang member, but I would find that boring in my opinion. Street Fighter has been good with making some weird characters, so Abigail seems to fit in well with the franchise. I think his play style also fits with what Capcom has been doing with Season 2 of SFV. Abigail looks like he can have a good combo game which again, most large characters are not known for this. I love seeing him bounce people off the wall into many other options he has, his V-Skills can do some great counters into combos as well. Overall, I think people just do not like this character because of what else we got. I think SFV will still be fine and Abigail will get his time to shine when he is released which is quite soon so there is that.

Fighting Layer EX

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Trailer

ARIKA is coming back with a new fighting game which was a surprise from last year. This time people got to play some of this new project and the company got to reveal more for the game. Now for those confused, ARIKA made a game series called Street Fighter EX which was a spin-off series that put Street Fighter in a more 3D fighting game. The series started out strong, but later installments got it a bit tough for the console versions. The series still had love from the fans and for the longest time so many characters just faded away. Now many of the exclusive characters from the EX series are coming back in a new game. Characters like Kairi, Shirase, Garuda, Darun Mister, and most importantly Skullomania are back into the scene! Skullomania is one of my favorite Street Fighter characters in general, so seeing him back got me so excited. I do not know much about this game, but it seems to be a continuation of the EX series in terms of style, but who knows what surprises this game can have.

Jedah and Gamora in Marvel VS Capcom Infinite

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Game Footage

Capcom decided to show more off for the upcoming crossover game, since this could be Marvel VS Capcom 3’s last time at EVO. Many already know what the roster of the game will be since a leak came out and it is accurate right now, the only thing it did not have was Zero, but everything so far is spot on. They first shown off Gamora who was shown in the story mode trailer and now seeing her fighting really makes me impressed. I love her style of swords and guns. Her animations look well as she jumps off walls with good projectiles and she can jump right in with close range combat too. Jedah then looks like the best character in terms of animations. There is constant animation on the character as the blood flowing out of his body more looks like purple goo, but oh well at least that looks awesome. I love seeing that Jedah is keeping his air movement and zoning properties to the game. The best part about the reveal is that we got it through expert players playing the game. It made the reveal more honest than just seeing a trailer. Also with veterans to Marvel VS Capcom playing and saying good things about the game, makes me feel more conifdent to pick up the title.

Trunks in Dragonball Fighterz

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Reveal Trailer

What used to be my most anticipated fighting game title got a nice reveal with Trunks. The Trunks we are getting would be Future Trunks which is the first time we saw this character in Dragon Ball Z. So far Trunks seems to be the character I want to play as the most. The mixture of projectiles and sword combos really interest me. Trunks has some great zoning options and mix that with the awesome visuals of the game we got ourselves an exciting character. Then for one of his super moves, it looks like it could be a command grab super since I see Trunks throwing a character up into the air before doing the big attack. Either way, the best Trunks is in the game and I cannot wait for who else will be included.

Geese Howard Invades Tekken 7

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Best Trailer of EVO

Tekken 7 is slated for some guest characters to increase the life of the game. The first character was Akuma from Street Fighter and now Geese Howard from Fatal Fury and King of Fighters is going to take his shot at Heihachi. I have to say what a perfect character selection. I was expecting a Guilty Gear character because Harada has visited Arc Systems Works lately, so I will expecting that later on. Either way Geese fits so well into Tekken. First off, he is a terrible father just like Heihachi so they got that in common. Then just like Akuma, Geese is going to have his trademark moves and even special abilities from King of Fighters. Geese got his projectiles, counters (predictable!), and even the Max Mode functions as we can see Geese glow gold in the trailer. I am also going to guess with that then, he will have a special meter of some kind just like Akuma and Elize. If Tekken got more amazing characters like Geese coming, Tekken 7 is going to live for a long time.

Blazblue Central Fiction Adds Jubei

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Reveal Trailer

Jubei has been a character that was asked to be in the roster by so many fans. First his daughter got in, then his wife, and now he can finally join the roster! Jubei has been a character in the story mode since the first game and he was never a push over, being known as one of the legendary six heroes. Jubei seems to be a big follow-up character with good movements all around. He even has a counter and a projectile by the looks of it. Jubei even has a move where he places marks in the air which can have him do attacks through them and maybe for movement options as well like Bang. So I imagine that he will have Tao’s combo possibility which means his attacks will not be too strong, but mix that with options that are similar to Hakumen and even Bang. I cannot wait to play as Jubei and he is slated for the Summer of this year, so again another close one.

Blazblue Cross Tag Battle

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This is REAL!

So not is only Arc System Works doing a 3v3 fighting game like Marvel VS Capcom 2 and 3, but they are also making a crossover fighter with a tag system too. I love this company so having a crossover with their franchises is a godlike idea for me. Too bad they did not add Guilty Gear characters, I guess they are not making new sprites for this game which could make it easier to have more characters. Yet they are adding RWBY to this roster, I am still expecting to have at least Sol Badguy as a guest character for this game. Still the possibilities of having Blazblue, Persona, and Under Night In-Birth characters is going to be amazing. I do hope for a big roster that can add many characters to balance each of the three franchises. I bet RWBY will have their four main characters and I am not a fan of that series, but seeing how this product is growing is nice to see. Overall I am overly excited for this product because I love Arc System Works and them going for a crossover fighter with big names and a mixture of smaller names is great. The big products like Blazblue and Persona will get it to sell and hopefully the smaller names will get more love through it.

So those are my thoughts about what we got at EVO this year. I am sad that there was no Smash news on top of everything because why not reveal something for that. I guess at this point the next Smash game will be brand new and not a port of Smash 4 for the Switch. Which makes sense for Sakurai since he usually makes a product unique for one system. Either way there is tons of excitement coming up for me as a fighting game fan and I hope more people will be getting into these games. I know Dragon Ball and Tekken will be getting love, but I do hope the new Blazblue project gets popular, along with the new EX game. Then hopefully Capcom can save Street Fighter V for the fans and Marvel VS Capcom Infinite does well since it is sweating time for Capcom right now. There are some new kings in the business.

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Baby Driver: The Killer Track

This is the first time I am talking about a recent movie and I could have written a review for Shin Godzilla, but I want to see it a few more times before doing a full review. Now with this movie, at this point I have seen this four times. So one must assume that I enjoyed this movie to go see it four times. Well you are WRONG! Nah, just kidding, I really loved this movie from my all time favorite director Edgar Wright. I am not saying one of my favorite directors, this is my favorite director. I have no doubts that Edgar is my favorite. I have talked about his films on websites before with so much positivity that I just make sure to catch myself up with his works. With Baby Driver in his collection, I feel this is going to be a new big step for Wright just like how I feel Scott Pilgrim was a nice stepping block as well. There is still that unique feel of this director, but he clearly shows new direction with possibly the best usage of a soundtrack. This is also my favorite film of 2017, I do not even care what else is coming this year, I know this is the movie of the year.

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So before getting to the plot of this movie, I want to talk about the soundtrack since the songs came before the movie itself. I am not lying, the idea of the soundtrack being the building blocks of the movie was the actual idea. This sounds crazy, but when knowing how certain songs do have similar lyrics or feelings to them, it seems possible to construct a movie with it. With this idea the soundtrack itself has become a character in the film since it is moving the plot in a strange and exciting way. Some songs are used more than once, but when you hear it one time and know it is coming again quickly establishes the mood of the scene. Even when you hear certain tracks for the first time in the movie, the first notes really makes things clear. Then with how sound effects flow with the songs makes things feel natural and not a gimmick. I have to say after watching this movie, really gives you a sense of rhythm since you were naturally paying attention to the sounds of cars, guns, and other random noises go in sync with the music. In terms of the sound editing, this is so far my favorite mix and if this does not get any awards for it, I will slap someone!

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Along with the amazing soundtrack being fused with great sound editing, there is then Edgar’s directing. I love how everything moves in his movies since nothing is being ignored. When something is in motion it will stay in motion even when off camera. I feel that more films need to be doing this, since it is extremely important to keep that flow. It is exciting to pay attention to when things are moving, it works with your sense of object permanence, which again thanks to how Edgar directs his films, comes naturally. Then with things not being forgotten, there will be many lines being used again in different context though. Or they are being used to easily connect elements. Edgar has a great sense of foreshadowing because it can be quite random to a normal viewer, but thanks to how Edgar repeats these aspects, makes the joke funny and engaging. Watching his films means you have to pay attention since he loves to play with your ability to pay attention. With Baby Driver so far, I keep noticing new things and this is four times so far and I still find new things. The same can be said for Hot Fuzz since I have watched it over ten times and can find a new small detail somewhere.

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Now the basic story is a young boy trying to get out from the bad crowd. The main character, Baby has been the driver for these trained criminals. They keep robbing banks or any place with profit and Baby has been doing this for about a decade. He gets himself stuck because of one bad move in his past and is working to get himself out, but he learns that it is not easy at all. Along with this when he is thinking he is getting away, his foster-father tries to get him on a better path and Baby starts meeting a new girl in his life, Debora. Baby starts to makes moves on Debora and even his foster father approves of this and gets him a real job too. Sadly, Baby is called back to the car for another job by the big boss that could easily ruin his life. Along with him he works with certain criminals and gets associated with three specific ones. Buddy and Darling are a couple and are surprisingly nice to the young man, Buddy even shares the same taste of music. Meanwhile, a man named Bats thinks he is quite bothersome and a little too strange, and he is a bit too trigger happy. Overall the characters do seem quite simple, but Edgar Wright hides many details of who they actually are in the dialogue or in brief shots, like their real names.

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The action of the film is incredibly high as this is not Edgar’s first movie with car chases or using cars in action sequences. This is more of a heist movie though compared to something like Hot Fuzz with the focus on gun play at the end of the movie. Baby Driver really does great with car action and it does not get too crazy at the same time. It is a reason why I am not the biggest fan of Fast and the Furious because the cameras in those movies can be a little out of control in the wrong way. With Baby Driver, things do move fast, but your eyes can easily follow the action. You can see the direct paths the cars are moving and see each impact. Thanks to the easy to follow action, you can also pay attention to the lines being spouted out during those moments. With the use of the main character being called Baby, there was a nice streak of jokes where the robbers were wearing Austin Powers masks where of course they had to say “Yea baby!” The action is presented so well too that even when you are not seeing it, there can be brief moments you see the action in a corner or something as such and with what happens afterwards, you can easily imagine how things were going down.

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Baby Driver to some may seem like a basic movie, but with the four times I have watched this movie, I can say this is clearly an Edgar Wright product. There are many little details sprinkled around that ends up adding so much details. One I will say is a surprising parallel between Baby and one certain character, which I found with my fourth viewing. Then for in terms of acting I ended loving John Ham’s performance as Buddy the most because Buddy easily goes through a nice 180 for his character and made it feel understandable while scary at the same time. An honorable mention will be CJ Jones as Joseph as this man was able to show off emotion so well and his performance made him my favorite character in the film. I say go see this movie whenever you can because not only did Edgar Wright put his quality in this, he even put his heart into this film since this has been a movie he has been wanting to do. Edgar Wright, you are one of the most talented directors around and my personal favorite.

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