Fighting EX Layer

Fighting EX Layer is an upcoming PS4-exclusive fighting game by Arika, the developers of the Street Fighter EX series and Fighting Layer. The project is lead by original Street Fighter 2 creator and co-founder of Arika, Akira Nishitani. The game was originally teased as an April Fools joke in 2017, with the company showing actual in-game footage. (I knew something was up, because the game engine was clearly real. Arika wouldn't purposely play with our emotions for no reason, because many fans have been asking for an Arika fighting game successor for a long time now. I only wondered when Arika would decide to reveal the game that they're actually working on.)

Sometime around 2014 or 2015, Arika released some developmental footage of a fighting game project for the Nintendo 3DS, featuring none other than Kairi and Hokuto. Sadly, the 3DS fighting game project never finalized, but Arika kept developing their 2.5D engine and clearly never forgot about the SFEX characters that so many of us love. Interestingly, the cancelled 3DS project features some of the same updated mechanics found in Fighting EX Layer.


Returning SFEX favorites get new threads and some new moves. 

Fighting EX Layer borrows some familiar mechanics from the Street Fighter EX series. The game features two settings: "Classic" which features familiar Street Fighter-style special move inputs, and "Progressive" allowing for simpler commands. Players who used Arika's characters in the Street Fighter EX series will feel right at home, as many moves (and even animations) are practically the same.

The "Gougi" system offers players a unique way to play their character, offering unique options for power-ups during gameplay. By completing certain tasks while fighting, players can unlock special abilities and buffs during the fight. For example, the Juggernaut Gougi can activate "super armor" and the Infini Gougi can activate bonus meter gain and even infinite super moves. The Gougi system's design aims to change the flow of matches, enable players to have different ways to play depending on their Gougi.

Turrraining Mooodo! Very SFIV-esk. Character models look sturdy.

Arika confirmed that the PlayStation 4 Pro version will run at 1080p with "shader level 3" while the standard PS4 version will run at 720p with "shader level 1". The game will include trophies. Unfortunately, there will be no legacy controller support. Arika also said if the game sells well enough on PS4 in the first month, there's a chance for DLC characters to be released (Vulcano Rosso, Pullum Purna, Area & Sharon). Arika also said if the game sells well on PS4 it's "possible" they will consider bringing it to Steam (however there are currently no plans for a PC version).

The graphics are pretty crisp and sweet... The hit sparks give KI a run for their money, too!

Stay tuned on FightersGeneration.com for full coverage of Fighting EX Layer. The PS4-exclusive beta test took place on December 11th, 2017 and ran for 2 weeks. The online beta featured 6 playable characters: Kairi, Garuda, Skullomania, Darun Mister, Allen Snider, and Shirase.

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Page Updated: June 1st, 2018
Developer(s): Arika
Publisher(s): Arika
Designer(s): Akira Nishitani
Platform(s): PlayStation 4
Release Date(s): June 28th, 2018
Characters Allen Snider, Kairi, Shirase, Hokuto, Skullomania, Darun Mister, Doctrine Dark, Garuda, Blair Dame, Jack, Shadowgeist, Hayate, Sanane

Featured Video:

Related Games: Fighting Layer, Street Fighter EX, Street Fighter EX2, Street Fighter EX3, Killer Instinct (Season 3), Tekken 7, Injustice 2, Dragon Ball FighterZ, Blade Strangers, Blazblue Cross Tag Battle, Street Fighter 5: Arcade Edition

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First Impression:

The original Fighting Layer was a very obscure arcade-only 3D fighting game released in 1998. I only got around to learning it about and later playing it in the mid 2000's. I never thought (in a million years) I'd be creating a TFG profile for pretty much a sequel to Fighting Layer (but starring SFEX characters instead). On that note, the title of this game is a bit... odd. I was thinking something like "Arika EX" or "Arika Fighter" would've been just fine. As a matter of fact, the title I'd choose for the game is, specifically: Arika Fighter EX Layer Plus Alpha. Now that has a nice ring to it.

As one of the first ever 2.5D fighting games, Street Fighter EX had an undeniable influence in fighting game history. Something about the SFEX series is just so nostalgic... and many would say it's an under-appreciated gem in the years following its release. One of the driving forces behind this nostalgia is, of course, the memorable character designs. Needless to say, it's awesome (and almost unbelievable) to see the likes of Allen Snider, Darun, Kairi, Garuda, and the fan-favorite Skullomania returning to the limelight once again.

Say what you will about this game in its early stages... but this is clearly a fighting game made for old school fighting game fans, first and foremost. And if you've been keeping up with the trends, this isn't always the case in all fighting games of today - which now star a lot of household names and superheroes. That said, Fighting EX Layer looks to pack tons of fan service and nostalgic nods to gameplay and visuals... but hopefully, it will provide something unique and different to the current climate of the fighting genre. 
~TFG Webmaster

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