If you visit our social media a lot, you probably know that all four members of GirlGamerGalaxy visited Gamescom in Cologne Germany last August. During our visit, we met some awesome people and played many cool new games. This article will focus on the fighting game genre in particular. Especially the fighting games I (Purdey) played at Gamescom. Ready? Fight uh no I meant Read!
Why I Love Fighting Games
Why fighting games? Fighting games hold a special place in my heart. When I was just a little girl I played a lot of Street Fighter with my dad. So I have fond memories of me kicking my dad’s butt with Chun-Li while he tried to electrocute me playing as Blanka. And when I grew older and became a very busy adult, I learned to appreciate games more that I could play for a short amount of time. During breaks for example or at a party with friends. During the years I evolved from a buttonbasher to a slightly more skilled player (I think) so nowadays I appreciate fighting games even more.
Which Fighting Games did I play during Gamescom?
Gaming events are known for announcing and showcasing new games. Gamescom is not different in this aspect. I played the following upcoming fighting games at Gamescom: Tekken 8, Mortal Kombat 1, and Naruto x Boruto Ultimate Ninja Storm Connections. Three completely different games. Let’s take a closer look at these games to see what’s new about them and if I would recommend them.
The Tekken franchise developed and published by Bandai Namco Entertainment has been around for quite a while now, The first game was released in 1994 and now almost 30 years later Tekken 8 is announced to be released in January 2024. The game won the award of best Playstation game in the Gamescom awards and I had the honor to play a few rounds at Gamescom (mostly with Lili). My thoughts? I loved it.
The new heat system drew my attention immediately. With this system, players can enhance their offensive power for up to 10 seconds shown by a ‘heat timer gauge’. How? By the ability to use some special moves and combos and thus deal extra damage. Tekken 8 also introduces a new control scheme where the ‘easy combo’ and ‘assist’ features of Tekken 7 have been combined and evolved to show recommended moves. Which, in my opinion, might make the game more accessible for new players. All new things aside, all in all, the game still feels like a true Tekken game so I was very pleased playing. Especially since I won from my GirlGamerGalaxy colleague ;). I would give it a 4 out of 5 stars.
Mortal Kombat 1
Mortal Kombat 1 from Netherrealm Studios / Warner Bros. Entertainment won the award for best Microsoft Xbox Game during the Gamescom Awards. Another awarded fighting game! This game will be released on September 14, 2023 (shortly after this article is published) so maybe this article will give you some inspiration to buy it. During Gamescom, I had the opportunity to play as Kitana and Sindel. Yes, I always select a female character in the Mortal Kombat universe. Sindel happened to be revealed as a playable character in MK1 during Gamescom Opening Night Live. Which made me very happy because I love a good hairwhip!
Why the name MK1 and not MK12? Ed Boon Co-Creator (or is it Ko-Kreator?) of the Mortal Kombat franchise explained that MK1 is the beginning of a new universe created by Liu Kang and not the continuation of the MK11 universe. So I guess that is going to make an interesting story mode (which I wasn’t able to play yet). But what about the things that I could experience during Gamescom? The character design looked awesome, the amount of blood was overflowing as always and the possibility to perform a fatality or brutality was of course also present.
What was new?
I experienced some taunting during my matches. Only afterward I found out that crouching four times will result in the character performing their taunt which makes them more vulnerable to a counterattack. Oops! The biggest notable difference in MK1 are the Kameo fighters. After selecting your main fighter you get the opportunity to select a ‘Kameo’ fighter. This fighter has your back. During a fight you will be able to use this fighter for a quick grabble or attack. Which was unexpected at first but super fun! In conclusion, MK1 has the same vibes as the former Mortal Kombat games but with some cool extra new features and designs that will keep it interesting. I give it a 4,5 out of 5 stars.
Naruto x Boruto Ultimate Ninja Storm Connections
Another game from Bandai Namco Entertainment that was presented at Gamescom is Naruto x Boruto Ultimate Ninja Storm Connections. The game will be released in November 2023 and as an anime lover I had to play it. To be honest I am not that familiar with the Ultimate Ninja Storm series but what I do know is that this game has the biggest roster in the series because new playable characters will join all past characters.
I have to say I really enjoyed myself playing the game. I selected Naruto, Hinata and Itachi for my team and just went with it. The fights look awesome and I was really reliving the anime series through the gameplay. This game is probably all about the story mode. So a short playing time at Gamescom doesn’t do it justice. Hopefully, I can spend more time playing this awesome fast-paced fighting game in the near future. Happy 20th Birthday by the way Naruto! For now, I give the game a 4 out of 5 stars.
Fighting games at Gamescom the conclusion
It was a good Gamescom for fighting games, the genre is still thriving. I mean two Gamescom awards and a lot of big booths to showcase the new games? And I probably missed some awesome new fighting games, expansions or DLC’s.
Did I really miss something exciting? Please let me know in a comment! I want to know the tea 😉