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Retro Revolution: King of the Streets

Posted on Friday, March 30 @ 14:34:05 PST by KevinS

Street Fighter X Tekken. Combining two series of vastly different playstyles, very different methodologies, and yet they now battle each other in the most direct way possible. But the premise of crossing over multiple fighting games into one massive battle royale is far from new; the basic idea has been around nearly two decades now.

In that time we've crossed over numerous successful franchises and companies, including some unique combinations (I'm thinking about Claire from Resident Evil, Tron Bonne and Servbot from Mega Man Legends).  But anybody know where this trend started?

Oh yeah, they got started in 1994! And with one of my personal favorite brawlers, King of Fighters!

KoF got its start, of course, from its parent company SNK asking the question "Who is the best fighter of them all?" Back in 1991, Street Fighter II was the unquestioned captain of the arcade-thriving fighting genre, reviving the dying arcades with the sounds of quarters clicking and the shouting of fans and champions. It wasn't the first fighting game, as there had been plenty before that; the original Street Fighter being one and Yie Ar Kung Fu being an early example.

SNK's roster of brawlers was already fairly rebust by the time SFII hit the scene. But after that, SNK shifted their focus to cash in on the fighting game craze, bringing advancements across their titles that the SF franchise would latter adopt, like the idea of a "super attack" (taken from Art of Fighting in 1992) and a chargeable bar for said super (starting with Samurai Showdown and the "Rage meter" in 1993).

But the biggest idea that came from SNK was to mix every character possible together in one major tournament, which formed the backbone of King of Fighters '94, dwarfing the competition in terms of character count, special moves, and tangled storylines.

After years of updates, balances, new character additions and other enhancements (which it might've borrowed from the minor improvements to each "new" SFII incarnation), the folks at Capcom finally took the idea and ran with it to the level we see now. They teamed up with the X-Men, then the whole Marvel universe, even SNK itself to crave the largest crossover of franchises ever. Now, with the newest tech and company cooperation, we've found ourselves with a mix of characters from both 2D and 3D fighting planes, something I honestly didn't see coming.

With the flood of crossover games stretching back to the early 1990s, what's your favorite? Are you partial to X-Men vs. Street Fighter or screaming for more info on Tekken X Street Fighter? Or an even better question, what's the crossover you've been dying to see?

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