2021 has been a scarce year for video games, especially of the fighting game variety so far. Sure, we’ve had Guilty Gear Strive and Virtua Fighter 5: Ultimate Showdown, but over the next few months, we’ll have more 2021 fighting games joining the fray relatively soon. Here’s a list of five promising titles in release order, ranging from anime to boxing, to wrestling, to even a racing game. Let’s get ready to rumble.
Buck Up And Drive
What happens if you combine racing and fighting games together? It’s Buck Up And Drive. Releasing on August 21 for PC systems, this indie game is both a drifting racer and fighting game with two separate modes to choose from. While simple in concept, both cars fight in a vertical arena as they throttle forward on the highway. You can throw projectiles, drift into the opponent for damage, and even dragon punch your enemies Ryu-style. You can even jump in the air and land on top of your opponent. We don’t expect this at EVO anytime soon (except for side tournaments), but it looks like a fun time regardless. It will be out on itch.io first and then will have a Steam release down the road.
Big Rumble Boxing: Creed Champions
The developer of the well-received VR title Creed: Rise To Glory returns with a more traditional take on the boxing franchise. Releasing on September 3, this game will offer a roster of 20 characters from across the Creed and Rocky franchise of films. This will include favorites like Rocky Balboa, Adonis Creed, Apollo Creed, Clubber Lang, and Ivan Drago, just to name a few. Rather than the simulation-focused Fight Night series from EA, Big Rumble Boxing: Creed Champions seems to be going for an arcade experience like Ready 2 Rumble instead.
Developer Virtuos claims that there will be “intuitive, pick-up-and-play controls, robust boxing mechanics, and dynamic boxing styles and combos” within the gameplay itself. There will also be cinematic knockouts that are specific to each fighter’s moves. Big Rumble Boxing: Creed Champions will be releasing on the PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch, and PC.
Melty Blood: Type Lumina
Do you have a craving for a true 2D fighting game like the old days? Melty Blood: Type Lumina might be able to offer that to you when it claws its way to digital stores on September 30. This game is pretty much a remake of the 2002 PC game with a reimagined game system that’s easier to play for beginners to the genre. Fans of the original can still find enjoyment out of this title as its deep gameplay remains intact. The title will also see improvements like upgraded visuals and HD environments that will make it seem more at home on the PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch, and PC.
Demon Slayer: The Hinokami Chronicles
Demon Slayer: Hinokami Chronicles will delight fans of the anime on October 15. Like many games of its anime sub-genre, this fighting title will be an arena fighter. Despite this negative moniker in the community, Demon Slayer: The Hinokami Chronicles seems to be changing it up with a fast-paced battle system and gorgeous animation that looks ripped straight from the anime
It’s no surprise then that CyberConnect2, the developer of the beloved Naruto: Ultimate Ninja Storm series took on this project. As expected from CC2, the game will have a story mode that dives players into the Tanjiro Kamado: Unwavering Resolve Arc and the recent Mugen Train Arc. What makes this even sweeter is that both the Japanese and English voice casts will be reprising their roles for the game. You’ll be slashing your competition when the game hits the PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, and PC (via Steam). You’ll be granted two days early access if you preorder the Digital Deluxe Edition.
The WWE franchise will finally be returning to a mainline title this year, and we’re expecting an October release as prior titles have done in the past. WWE 2K20 was an absolute gong show with plenty of glitches throughout. It was pretty much an unplayable mess as development was rushed on the game. What makes it worse is that a new developer was put on the project months before the game was released. Hopefully, WWE 2K22 will be far better now that Digital Extremes has been given more time to work on the project.
At the time of writing, we know that there will be over 4,800 new or updated animations in the next title, updating the entrances and moves from the superstar lineup. With big stars like Braun Strowman and Bray Wyatt being let go from the WWE, it will be interesting to see which wrestlers make the final roster. It’s hard to tell what the McMahon family will do next with its frequent job cuts.
Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl
As Super Smash Bros. Ultimate begins to set sail with its final DLC character, Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl seems to be continuing the platform fighter hype this fall. Developed by the same team who created the well-received Slap City Ludosity, All-Star Brawl brings in Nickelodeon characters of all eras into the mix. You’ll see Sandy beating up the likes of Danny Phantom and Nigel Thornberry in this surprisingly slick-looking fighter.
With a wide range of characters and over 20 stages inspired by Nick’s history, Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl seems to have a ton of potential. Publisher GameMill Entertainment says on their page for the game: “With unique moves and attacks drawn directly from their identifiable personalities, each brawler has its own style of play for endless action.” We can’t wait to see what Ludosity has cooked up for us when the game releases for the PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and Nintendo Switch. We have our fingers crossed for Team Avatar and Timmy Turner to find their way to the battle.