Layer is an obscure 3D fighting game by Arika (the developers of the Street
Fighter EX series), and was licensed to
Namco for distribution in Japan arcades only. Fighting Layer features a completely
unique cast of characters, with the exception of two characters that crossed
over from the
Fighter EX series (Allen Snider and Blaire Dame).
lip-stick are awesome.
and plays quite similar to the Street Fighter EX series, but isn't a
fair share of differences... for one, you can sidestep (by hitting forward + HP or HK).
Fighting Layer actually features quite a few respectable gameplay elements including: safe falls, special/super move cancels,
and special moves that break your opponents guard. While arguably broken, the
combo system is also pretty fun and offers some rather cool-looking combo
possibilities. Aside from a few unique
features, the overall gameplay isn't a particularly complex experience in the
Fighting Layer was at least visually competitive at the time of its debut
(as silent as it was outside of Japan). It certainly wasn't the prettiest
fighter around with its blocky-ish
character models, generic 3D backgrounds surrounded by 2D backdrops, and
laughably bad in-game
At least the game managed to present slightly better visuals than the SFEX
games. It also appears
that several animations from the SFEX series were actually reused in Fighting
Layer, but most attack animations are completely original and don't
look half bad. On that note, there are some pretty spiffy attacks and super
moves to see.
Tetsuo has some epic spiky
The character designs make up a somewhat unique, yet unorthodox roster, and
present some pretty
interesting fighting styles... although, some of which are clearly inspired by other
more well-known fighting game characters. Probably the most obvious example is
Hong Gilson, the Tae Kwon Do kid (AKA Hwoarang
wannabe). Other "stand out" characters include Exodus, a badass(?) lipstick-wearing wrestler
who whips out chairs and tables to beat his opponents with, Janis, a speedy
green-haired chick who looks like she came from The Matrix, and a
shark... yes, there is a bonus boss fight with a freaking shark...
(yes, taking place underwater). They definitely get some originality points on that one.
shark is retardedly hard to beat, and he pretty much just eats you if your
skills in the game aren't considerably sharp.
much to say about the presentation of Fighting Layer... it's pretty
random to say the least, but naturally very "arcadie". There's a wacky announcer who takes
entirely too long to say each character's name (which always makes me laugh).
Cool things about this game? As I stated previously, some of the super & special moves are very well done in terms of
animation, and also look
like they hurt. Probably the coolest part of the game is when you finish
off your opponent with a super move, and the super slow-motion effect
kicks in... making for a pretty epic finale to each battle.
Fighting Layer is another one of those obscure fighting games that you
probably missed, but
then again, didn't "miss" too much. It's an interesting and wacky little
game that seems rushed and "incomplete", but shows some heart in other
ways. If you get a chance to play it, it's worth trying out for sure.
Fighting Layer's character artwork is pretty cool in my book, but I don't
think the character roster really stands on its own. However, I will say that if
Arika ever makes another fighting game (or works a deal with Capcom), I'd like
to see the return of some of the Fighting Layer folks. Ohh, and I
almost forgot to mention... what a weird name for a game.~TFG