One more fighter steps into the ring this November 30th, and cheaper than expected - Arika's Fighting EX Layer, spun off from the oddball Street Fighter EX series. Starring the returning, colourful and non-Capcom-owned cast of Street Fighter EX (plus a guest appearance from King Of Fighters's Terry Bogard) it's a fast and twitchy arcade fighter, and a good one at that. Originally released on the PS4 a little light on features, the upcoming PC version looks to be a much more fleshed out package of punches. Below, a honking great 36 minutes of PC version footage.
There's something about the way Fighting EX Layer moves that doesn't match any other modern fighting game. Despite being 2D wrapped in polygons, neither Street Fighter nor Guilty Gear captures that sense of characters just being flung wildly around the screen at each other. There's an energy to it that hasn't been seen much since the heyday of arcades. Another interesting twist of the game is the Gougi system - a deck of perks that you choose separate from your character, which activate based on fight conditions, giving each match a unique sense of escalation.
It's strange to see the PC fighting game scene so crowded now. Soul Calibur, a refreshed Tekken and the excellently over-the-top Dragon Ball FighterZ all in just the past few months, and all with busy multiplayer scenes. It's almost impossible to believe, considering that our humble, flexible little platform used to be a blighted wasteland inhabited by only the worst ports, or even worse-still home-grown fighters. It's good to see Arika back on their feet too, and still using their weird and offbeat character designs again. It's hard not to like Skullomania and his enthusiastic antics.
Fighting EX Layer lands on PC this November 30th and is priced at $39.99/€33.99, and slashed down to $29.99/€25.49 for its first week, making it significantly cheaper than its original PS4 release. You can find it on Steam here.