Video game spinoffs aren’t as common as you might think and spinoffs based on fighting games are even rarer. Since this was so challenging, I tried to find fighting games that are separate to the main series in terms of story and mechanics while retaining some of the core aspects that make a fighting game what it is. This is what I came up with.
5. King of Fighters: Maximum Impact
Right from its inception, developer SNK Playmore marketed Maximum Impact as a spinoff of King of Fighters and the former incorporates ideas from King of Fighters, Fatal Fury and Art of Fighting, as well as 3D graphics. Other additions to the game include a combo system similar to that of Tekken or Bloody Roar where players are encouraged to launch opponents into the air and juggle them and a story mode where you play as a single character.
4. Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks
Shaolin Monks combines ideas from action-adventure, beat ’em ups and fighting games and the result is something truly unique that deviates from the usual head-to-head fighting game. This is an adventure game where you play as both Liu Kang and Kang Lao as they try to stop Shang Tsung from conquering Earthrealm. Some of the classic Mortal Kombat finishing moves are here, as well as upgradable combos.
3. Soulcalibur: Broken Destiny
Soulcalibur tried to offer a portable fighting experience that beginners could enjoy. To achieve that, NamcoBandai crafted a game that features several ideas from Soulcalibur IV (including characters, gameplay and customization mode.) The result was one of the best fighting games you can play on the go and even when there are some missteps here and there (anemic single-player mode, general lack of modes, nonexistent online versus,) Broken Destiny is as good as it gets on the PSP.
2. Street Fighter EX
As a way of competing against Namco’s Tekken, Capcom had the idea of developing a three-dimensional Street Fighter game and the result was the EX series. Although the 3D polygon graphics might look rough by today’s standards, Street Fighter EX looked great back in the day and more importantly, the fighting system (which combines ideas from Street Fighter II, Alpha and Darkstalkers) was praised by avid fans and critics.
1. Tekken Tag Tournament 2
Tekken Tag Tournament managed to incorporate ideas from the main series, while telling a new story and using a completely different gameplay. In Tag Tournament 2 (which includes pretty much any Tekken characters you can think of,) you choose a team of two characters and you can switch them at any time, allowing the inactive character to recover life and extend a combo. The gameplay is accessible for newcomers, the visuals look stunning, there are dozens of characters to choose from and the tag system is really versatile.