October 13th, 8:42 am, Twitter account @ohfivepro shares an exciting announcement: Tōkidenshō Angel Eyes is making its way to the Switch and Ps4 via Arcade Archives on October 20th. The news sparks a wave of adulation and anticipation in the comments and retweets. But why are people so excited about this home console port of Tōkidenshō Angel Eyes?
More Than a Forgotten Gem
Tōkidenshō Angel Eyes, also known as “Angel Eyes,” was a fighting game released in 1996 during Tecmo’s struggle era. It had a tumultuous development, with its initial concept being repurposed from the failed Ninja Gaiden II for the Neo Geo. Despite facing obstacles like artistic struggles and shifting team members, Angel Eyes managed to carve its own path with its unique mixed-media character designs.
A Clash of Styles
Angel Eyes stands out from other fighting games of its time due to its clash of art styles. While some characters are animated in traditional sprites, others are rendered in digitized 3D models. This peculiar combination creates a visually distinct experience that sets Angel Eyes apart. Despite its unconventional aesthetic, the game managed to gain a dedicated following.
Unleashing Its Innovative Mechanics
Tōkidenshō Angel Eyes was ahead of its time when it came to gameplay mechanics. It laid the foundation for the airdasher style, popularized by games like Guilty Gear and Arcana Heart. With its lightning-fast pace, Angel Eyes offered a plethora of airborne options and remarkable mobility. It embraced an offensive playstyle, leaving no room for neutral gameplay. Rounds started with a clash in mid-air, reminiscent of Dragonball Z battles.
The Game-Changing Mechanic
One standout feature of Angel Eyes was its unique approach to damage scaling. Unlike other fighting games, Angel Eyes implemented reverse damage scaling. The longer a combo lasted, the more damage each strike dealt. This unusual mechanic turned matches into intense, fast-paced affairs, with rounds often concluding in a matter of seconds. The game rewarded quick reflexes and skillful execution, making it a favorite among hardcore fighting game enthusiasts.
The Long-Awaited Homecoming
Despite its initial challenges, Tōkidenshō Angel Eyes is now receiving the recognition it deserves. The upcoming Arcade Archives release marks its official debut in the West. Previously, the game was exclusive to Japan, but now players worldwide will have the chance to experience its unique gameplay. The release comes with additional features, including a practice mode, making it more accessible to newcomers.
Tōkidenshō Angel Eyes may have been overshadowed by Tecmo’s other successful title, Dead or Alive, but its innovative mechanics and one-of-a-kind visual style have secured its place in gaming history. With the upcoming home console release, more players will have the opportunity to join the hype and indulge in the lightning-fast, intense battles that define Tōkidenshō Angel Eyes.
So, mark your calendars and get ready to experience the magic of Angel Eyes, a game that has captivated fighting game enthusiasts for decades.