SNK is a Japanese company best known for the Neo Geo gaming system and a flood of fighting games. Its latest creation, SNK Heroines ~Tag Team Frenzy~, answers the question: what if you gathered only the developer’s female characters, put them in silly fanservice outfits, and forced them to fight against their will? Okay, that sounds creepy, but this game doesn’t shy away from doing what it takes to achieve its appeal.
Die for Valhalla isn’t just a name: death will occur often in this cartoonish 2D brawler. Inspired by Castle Crashers, indie developer Monster Couch’s game pits you and up to three friends against waves of enemies. There are a few takes on the genre, including roguelike elements and a possession mechanic, but the question is how Die for Valhalla fares with these twists.
The first rule of Punch Club is: you don’t pull any punches. In this port of a 2016 game, you manage everything about a fighter’s life except the actual fighting. He handles that all on his own. Instead, you’re in charge of training him, feeding him, managing his social life, and keeping him happy. He’s essentially a Sim, except you can’t kill him by enclosing him in a toiletless room. Jokes aside, the concept is an interesting take on the fight simulation genre. However, a flaw with the execution decays the entertainment value.
Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 is the sequel to the original 2015 fighting role-playing game based on the long-running anime, Dragon BallZ. If you’ve played through Dragon Ball Xenoverse, you’re already familiar with the intense 3D fighting gameplay. In fact, the game is very similar, incorporating nearly the same story and quests from the first game. While this may turn off players seeking a novel experience, DBXV2 is still the big update that fans were hoping for. And just like the characters in the show, Xenoverse has powered up and is as entertaining as ever.
The 3D fighting game ARMS marks Nintendo’s first new major property since the team-based third-person shooter Splatoon. Both games serve as examples of genres that the Big N hasn’t dabbled with much until now. In ARMS’ case, Nintendo has given nearly a dozen colorful fighters stretchy arms. Though this sounds like a gimmicky callback to old “Stretch Armstrong” toys, a large slice of strategy and a helping of the company’s trademark charm go a long way in breathing vigor into this novel arena fighter.