Published on August 10th, 2017 | by thec0re30
Are We Seeing An Arc System Works Take Over In The Making?!
2018 is shaping up to be a spectacular year in the making for Arc System Works. The development/publishing company of the popular Guilty Gear franchise has been filling our console coffers full of exciting fighting game titles for more than 19 years now,yet, they have been unable to breakthrough with any of their titles on a global scale like many of the popular fighting game companies that came before them. Their latest upcoming title Dragon Ball FighterZ is potentially poised to change all of this and with their follow up title in BlazBlue Cross Tag Battle, this could ultimately bring them to the Mount Olympus of fighting game greatness they have so steadily strived for.
Arc System Works made their mark in 1998 when they released their first fighting game title Guilty Gear for home console. At this time, traditional 2D fighting games were on the decline, and current fighting games like Tekken 3, which took a more realistic approach in a world of 3 dimensional bad assery, were dominating so it was surprising to see this title from an unknown developer make such a splash in the genre.
It may have been the unique approach to the heavy metal influenced game design with its challenging game mechanics that helped this title become a break out phenomenon, but it was clear there was something special about this developer and the next generations of titles that followed from them would prove to ring these feelings true.
During the Playstation 2 era, we would see ASW developing fighting games that were based on some very popular IPs in Japan. Their first title outside of the Guilty Gear franchise, Hokuto No Ken, which was published by Sega, is still enjoyed by many fans today despite a few interesting bugs that altered the experience in an..infinitely unique way. ASW even collaborated with fighting game behemoth Capcom to bring one of their new franchises into the 1 vs 1 brawling hemisphere with Sengoku Basara X(Cross).
With each new title that came, Arc System Works commitment to amazing design and fluid animations would become their staple. Where other companies would flounder on their fundamentals grasping at straws to create something new and marketable, Arc System Works seemed to remain firm and when they broke out with their next big IP BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger, it was clear that they were here to stay.
The coming years would see the company stretch its wings becoming a publisher for other amazing fighting game developers like Soft Circle French Bread the makers of the popular Melty Blood series and the more recent Under Night In-Birth franchise. The return of their biggest franchise with Guilty Gear Xrd would prove that the developers had a few tricks left up their sleeve as they successfully brought the traditional 2D art that fighting games were known for into the world of 3D like no other fighting game was able to do. This achievement would ultimately bring ASW and Namco Bandai together for what may be ASW’s defining moment, Dragon Ball FighterZ.
Guilty Gear creator, Daisuke Ishiwatari once stated in an interview that ASW make their games with the goal of becoming a major player. I have reason to believe the release of DBFZ next year is going to finally help them to bring this goal to fruition. For years, ASW has been carrying the banner for fighting games. Their long history in the genre shows just how dedicated to fighting games and the communities growing within them they are. ASW’s titles are among the most visually stunning fighting games ever created on the market and more importantly, they have been the most successful in maintaining their traditional 2D roots while still keeping up with the latest current generation technology standards, and that is all some one who has enjoyed fighting games for the length of time I have could ask for.