The Strange History Of Star Wars Fighting Games

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Fighting Games are one of the most popular competitive gaming genre out there. Big franchises like Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat, Killer Instinct, TEKKEN, Virtua Fighter and so on. But for some time people have wondered what it would be like if there was a fighting game set in the world of Star Wars. Being able to engage in a lightsaber duel between a Jedi and a Sith.

Well, what if I were to tell you that already happened? That there do indeed exist certain games where you can live out your dream of lightsaber combat. Let’s take a look and see how many times Star Wars has dipped its toe in the fighting game genre.

The first example and perhaps the most well known is Star Wars: Masters of Teräs Käsi releasing in October of 1997 for the original PlayStation. The game is a 3D fighter similar to the TEKKEN series. The game takes place during the original trilogy and features many well known characters from Luke to Leia to Han Solo and even Darth Vader. There are even newer characters from the assassin Arden Lyn, to the Gamorrean Guard “Thok” to the Tusken Raider “Hoar”. The game is considered terrible due to the clunky controls and high difficulty. 

Video courtesy of Cinemassacre on YouTube.

The nest example was actually a canceled title. The game was being developed by Studio Ginante, a studio made up of former Mortal Kombat developers. After the moderate success of their game Tao Feng: Fist of the Lotus a pitch was being made for a Star Wars themed fighting game. The game would have seen the layer take control of various different force users for one on one lightsaber combat. However due to financial troubles Studio Gigante closed its doors in 2005 before the project could move forward. 

Video courtesy of Dave Freeman on YouTube.

The next big example would be the tie-in game to Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith. While primarily a single player game there does exist a versus mode where you can battle either a computer or another player in lightsaber combat. The mode consists of 9 characters, including special appearances from Darth Vader and Ben Kenobi from A New Hope.

Video courtesy of Dankest inferno on YouTube.

The next major example was an extra mode in 2008’s Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, more specifically the Wii version. This multiplayer mode allowed players to take control over a large number of force users from both the prequels and original trilogy in addition to all new characters. Despite being touted as different characters all play relatively the same, especially 10 variations of Starkiller.

Video courtesy of Longplay Studio 313 on YouTube.

Later that same year we finally got a full on Lightsaber battle game with Star Wars: The Cone Wars – Lightsaber Duels. The game was a Wii exclusive with the Wii motion controls being the default control scheme. The game is set in the early seasons of the Clone Wars animated series with its own story mode with the ability to play as multiple Jedi and Dark Side users. There is even an exclusive character, a robot assassin called EG-5. 

Video courtesy of JDGamerWalkthroughs on YouTube.

Around this time Bandai Namco released the 4th installment in their popular weapons based fighting game series Soul Calibur. And as a special cross-promotion with Star Wars: The Force Unleashed the game featured guest appearances from Starkiller, Darth Vader (PlayStation 3 Exclusive) and Yoda (Xbox 360 Exclusive).

Video courtesy of That Sage Guy on YouTube.

Finally the last official Star Wars related Fighting Game was with the Wii version of Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II. However, instead of being a more traditional fighter this mode barrows heavily from the popular Super Smash Bros. series from Nintendo.

Video courtesy of DBPirate on YouTube.

It’s a shame that there hasn’t really been a fill fledged Star Wars fighting game in quite some time. With all the various Jedi and Sith it would be quite the sizable roster of race users.

There was a fan made game called Force Combat for PC. But that’s the closest we will get to a new fighter for some time.

Video courtesy of Lastjawa on YouTube.

What do you think? Would you like to see a modern Star Wars fighting game?


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