It is a good time to be a fan of fighting games. Street Fighter V got its act together with a new version of the original about to drop for the Switch in a few days. Injustice 2 has released to rave reviews leaving Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite to up the ante in the fall. Tekken 7 is coming in a few weeks as well, meaning there is a great resurgence of fighters for console players.
With so many popular franchises refreshing themselves for current consoles, it just makes me wonder: why have we not gotten a Star Wars fighting game? Oh…we did? Can we please just act like it never happened? Do we have to acknowledge it?
Fine then, but Star Wars: The Masters of Teras Kasi was one of the worst Star Wars games ever.
(Clip courtesy of starwars70011)
But, what if Disney, EA and The-Maker-only-knows who-else has a license to Star Wars games, took the plunge and decided to really go all in to create a new fighting game? What could it look like? Let’s take a look.
The Fighting System
In my opinion, this would be the hardest part of making a good fighting game. The system would have to be solid, with a good amount of balance. I think one of the things that went wrong with SW:TMoTK was that the fighting system wasn’t really fleshed out to take advantage of the characters and their abilities. You had lightsaber users going up against fighters with no weapons so it was almost always easy to win, especially since some moves were unblockable. If I had to give it some thought, while my first instinct would be to make the game in the style of Soul Caliber, I would probably opt to have the game fashioned after Tekken or Dead or Alive. Soul Caliber’s combos are some of the deepest to learn but then a designer would have to go out of their way to have all of the characters use some form of a weapon. This would result in not only many of them being non-canon, but uncharacteristic for that character as well. A Tekken-type system would be a bit more grounded – especially for fights that involved Force users vs. non-Force users – but the mechanics for the fights would have to be sound and believable. I would really not be too crazy about going the Mortal Kombat route, as I feel like it would make the game feel like an Injustice re-skin; especially since Injustice is more or less a Mortal Kombat re-skin. Bottom line however, whatever system that goes in place should have some cool moments that would allow Han Solo pull his blaster on Vader only to have Vader block with his hands.
So, that Game That Shall Not Be Named only had 10 characters. 2 of which were just a generic Stormtrooper and Tusken Raider (named Hoar. Go ahead and pronounce it and try not to giggle!). Now, with the prequels behind us and with new movies being released, a new Star Wars fighter opens up an opportunity for a large roster of characters. If it was up to me, I would love to see a 30-character roster, but my top 15 picks would look something like this:
Jar Jar Binks
Yes I may have missed a few like Lando Calrissian and a few others…but hey, you gotta get that DLC or season pass! Actually if I had it my way, there would at least be 24 characters to start with. Just in case you have questions about my character picks, I bet that Tarkin was a masher in his day. He would be a sleeper character that most would never pay attention to until they are getting their butts handed to them by the one person who did have handles on that fighter. Jar Jar Binks, who wouldn’t want to beat up on him? Wicket? Well, if you have Yoda you have to have another small fighter. I think at least starting with that list of fighters would be great.
Last but not least, what’s in the game? Once you have a fighting system established, then it comes down to deciding if this game should be a straight up fighter or a brawler. It becomes a question of whether it should include a tag mode (which has become popular now) or be more of a 1 vs 1 affair. Once a creator starts doing 2 vs 2 and more, then it get chaotic like Super Smash Bros., and a good Star Wars fighting game doesn’t need to go that route. As long as there is enough variety to go around, players would stick with it. The one element that I saw coming from the Injustice 2 game that I bet many games may start imitating is that there is now a loot system. This system allows players to use unique items to not only change their character’s appearance, but also boost stats as well. So just imagine chasing after an elusive lightsaber that does double damage or getting a flak vest that boosts your defense. The possibilities could be endless!
It’s still amazing, that in twenty years since the last try, there hasn’t been another Star Wars fighting game. I think that there is a viable market for it, given that there is now a resurgence in fighting games on consoles, and there is money being left on the table if no one looks into it. As long as there is a strong fighting system (which was absent from the first effort) as well as a deep roster, I am sure that we would be all over it. While there are plenty of fighting games on the market, any developer can now cherry pick the best parts of them and come out with something solid. However, the question remains: will it happen, and if so, when?
Leave us a note in the comments about what you would like to see if a new Star Wars fighting game was to be made.