Yatagarasu, the indie PC fighter, by another name.
It’s not without irony I report that at the Sony Playstation Vita preview event, across the table from Legend of Raven, an upgraded port of indie PC fighting game Yatagarasu developed by two former King of Fighters devs, a copy of Divekick—the fighting game community’s inside-joke-turned-into-actual-game—was on display and being pushed heavily by Sony marketing execs. Both games appear to be making an attempt to simplify fighting controls, but whereas Divekick reduces fighting game combat to a two-button scheme to satirize the technical wizardry of endless precision button combos that mean he-who-combos-first-wins, Legend of Raven is aiming for more accessibility and playability. In short, it's more of an actual fighting game.
The Sony rep on hand told me it uses Street Fighter III as a model, giving the player high and low, weak and strong punches and kicks, and upper and lower blocks. At character selection the player has the option of selecting one of two special attack combos. Once selected, these special attacks come in two flavors, one which could be performed at any time and one that does a much greater deal of damage after filling a energy bar. Anyone familiar with how energy is used in Street Fighter III will be comfortable here.
There are eight characters to choose from, with big burly pixel-art dudes and tinier samurai sword-toting girls. After selecting the character and their special attack, you also got to select your commentator, one of several professional Japanese fighting game players, though an American pro player is said to be in the works too.
As you beat your opponent down, or the other way around, the tiny avatar pic of your selected commentator appears beneath your health bar with a tiny dialogue box, though it looked like the actual dialogue was still in development and they were currently using a placeholder. Not that I wouldn’t have been able to report what was said, since the demo was entirely in Japanese.
I found the controls intuitive, and gameplay fast and fun. I did pretty well against the computer for a while, up until the point that actual skill—you know, blocking,and anticipating enemy moves—was necessary. Then it wiped the floor with me. The game looks fantastic, with the character art and animation exactly what you'd expect from veterans of the KoF franchise. The animations are nuanced and beautiful, a great asset for a 2D fighting game.
Legend of Raven looks great, and the controls for the PS Vita are intuitive, making it easy to jump in and play. The game is slated for release on PSN later this year.