From the recent Spyro and Crash Bandicoot remakes to reboots like DOOM and Quake Champions, games inspired by nostalgia and the golden age, have gradually made a return to the current gaming sphere. Critical Depth Games and Headless Chicken Games took this one step further to create an original experience that draws inspirations from arcade-style fighting games of the 90’s, Super Combat FighterAt PAX West 2018, we talked with Creative Director Richard James Cook (Surviving Indie, Pixels and Polygons) on the games current roster, the importance of couch co-op, and the struggles of working on green screen. You can check out the full interview below:

Meet Your Fighters

Players can jump into a single-player Story Mode to enter a competition created by the main villain Victor Voss, a tech guru who has been overtaken by the ancient warlord Aman Shahn upon finding an ancient artifact that makes him stronger. Players can currently choose from two characters, with more joining the roster later on. The first is Armand Manfist, or Armando Manfisto, a feisty pyro who seeks to control his powers. The second is the Ninja Team, followers of Grandmaster Leeroy Yamasaki who have mastered the “art of friendship.” They are as in sync as a boy band from the 90’s, but unlike them, they can throw their brethren to take out opponents in battle.

As an indie studio, Cook used himself and some friends to create various characters in the game; with himself as all the members of Team Ninja.  Despite not having any formal training the characters movements are pretty realistic, and to some degree, makes me cringe to think these are real people beating the crap out of each other.

Choose Your Way

While the story seems pretty cut a dry, beat the competitors get to the boss at the end, the developers have added branching stories that give you the choice to side with good or evil. These choices will allow you to fight different competitors and bosses, with multiple playthroughs allowing players to unlock content dependent on their decisions. In the story mode Feature Breakdown, Cook confirms that all of the content in the game could be accessed through gameplay alone, that DLC created later on would be provided through free updates.

The More Modes the Merrier

One of my favorite aspects of this game are the various modes the developers have created to pose different challenges for the player. Every mode forces you to think differently to avoid damage from your opponent, damage from the stage, and sometimes both at once.  From what we’ve seen, there are currently six modes available; Normal Fight, Rain Mode, Sponsor Mode, Blood Bath, Pit Mode, and Giant Mode.  While Normal Fight is pretty straightforward, you pick your fighter and play against the PC or another player, the other modes provide a variety of obstacles. In Pit Mode, the players cannot deal any physical damage to each other but are forced to strategically force their opponent off the edge of the platform into the pit below to end the match. In Giant Mode, it’s a race to smash the blue orb first, which turns the player into a giant on the map. Once they have this skill they can either keep their opponent from smashing the orb and kill them with giant fists or when their opponent turns giant, see who can beat the other into submission.

My personal favorite I was able to demo was Rain Mode, in which bloody decapitated heads rain from the sky. In this mode, you can take physical damage from the heads that relentlessly fly from the top of the stage at random intervals.  It becomes a test of luck and skill as you attempt to avoid your opponent’s blows and being hit from the heads of what I can only imagine are your defeated enemies? Time will tell.

Can I Play?

At first look, this may just seem like a Mortal Kombat clone; but picking it up and playing it offers something for everyone. Experienced players and Mortal Kombat veterans will enjoy mastering the move sets of characters who thrown their opponents, and sometimes their teammates, across the map. Even players who have never or rarely play fighting games will be able to enjoy the silliness of going Godzilla on their opponent or throwing them into a table.  While demoing the game and playing against the dev, someone who has played fighting games much longer, I never felt discouraged or at a complete disadvantage.

Super Combat Fighter’s Kickstarter is now live, with rewards like collectible cartridges to being a bloody head in the game (there is a lot of blood in this game). While it is still in early development, the devs have already announced cameos from Jonathan Holmes from Destructoid and Ernie Reyes Jr. (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II, The Librarians). If funded, the game is set to release on PC, PS4, Xbox One, with a possibility of coming to Nintendo Switch.

About The Author

Christine M
Sr. Community Developer/ Staff Writer

About me: Christine "smollbirb" Marten is a recent college grad that has been playing video games since she was gifted with her first NES console in 1999. Known as LuxAterna on Steam, she started as a games journalist in 2012 and has been writing about games and the industry since. In college, she acted as the president/clubmother for the gaming club, and hosted her own gaming radio show called SoundWave Games. When she is not gaming she can be seen cosplaying at conventions, working with non-profits that fundraise through video games (like Extra Life and Child's Play), acting as community manager for The Senpai Project, playing League of Legends with friends, or serenading passerbyers with her violin skills on the streets of NYC. She will literally play anything that is thrown at her (but please don't throw to hard she is smoll). She enjoys indie games and horror games especially, and her favorite series of all times is Kingdom Hearts. Her third love, after video games and violin, is puns. Although it is a dangerous life she makes them whenever she hears the opportunity to do so. Christine hopes to bring her own spin on storytelling to the GAW community as she continues to seek out whatever the world has to offer!