New character and game announcements headline the news coming out of EVO 2017

EVO 2017 also proved to be full of surprises — some, not so much surprises, but confirmation of previously leaked announcements — in terms of news relating to fighting games. Most of these were delivered in between grand finals on Sunday.

Here’s a rundown of all the news that came out of Las Vegas this weekend…

Hot-rodder Abigail joins the Street Fighter V roster next week

It was long rumored that Abigail, one of Final Fight’s boss characters, would be making his way to Street Fighter V. Even more buffed out this time around and looking pretty different from his original arcade incarnation, Aby towers above big man Zangief as yet another grappler with plenty of unique tools at his disposal, such as an armored charged move that should work wonders when trying to close the gap against a nimbler opponent.

Abigail will be joining the increasingly packed Street Fighter V cast as part of the season 2 character pack on July 25th.

Capcom is also releasing a new stage arena alongside this monstrosity, based on one of the more iconic screens from Final Fight, the Bay Area. There’ll also be a new costumes for Guile, Ryu and Ken, as well two other new stages, the Ring of Fire (which was where the SFV grand finals took place in-game) and Suzaku Castle.


Geese Howard is the next guest character to grace TEKKEN 7

Following in on Akuma’s footsteps, Art of Fighting and King of Fighter‘s big baddie Geese Howard will be stepping into the Iron Fist Tournament for a go at Heihachi and co. The news comes after a long-running rumor mill that started a some mysterious business meetings between TEKKEN producer Katushiro Harada and some Arc System Works developers. Who knows what will come out of those? It seems SNK beat everyone to the punch of this one…

What’s safe to say, though, is that Geese is sure to shake things up when he takes the stage later this year as part of the TEKKEN 7 season pass.

The title list for EVO Japan is out, to be held in Tokyo early next year

Japan’s cold January days are sure to get heated up in Tokyo next year, as EVO Japan’s premiere edition comes to town. The title list was just announced this weekend. It includes:

Guilty Gear XRD Rev 2
King of Fighters XIV
BlazBlue Central Fiction
Super Smash Bros. WiiU
Street Fighter V

It’s a solid lineup for sure, although the inclusion of ARMS might be a bit baffling, but then again, it’s proving to be quite popular among players from all shapes and sizes. And remember, there was a time when Smash Bros. was shunned from events such as these only to be introduced and turning out to be some of the biggest turn-outs EVO has ever seen.

Trunks is the newest announcement for Dragon Ball FighterZ, closed beta sign-ups coming soon

Trunks is one of Dragon Ball Z’s most beloved characters, so it comes as no surprise that he’ll also be featured in Bandai-Namco’s upcoming fighting game that’s being developed by Arc System Works.

The interesting bit of news to come from this, though, is that there’ll be a closed beta coming soon, with sign-ups starting on July 26th. But that’s not all — there are going to be two other still-to-be-announced fighters alongside the current seven, who will be revealed on July 21st by Japanese magazine V-Jump.

Hype is already through the roof on this game, as our E3 preview can attest!


Skullomania and Darun Mister revealed for upcoming Arika_EX fighter

Street Fighter EX‘s Arika also had a few surprises ready to go for this year’s EVO. Among them, alongside of the announcement of their newest fighting game that started out as a potential April Fools joke, but proved to be very much real, still-to-be-officially-named Arika_EX, they revealed two characters from the roster.

They’re fan favorite Street Fighter EX veterans, happy-go-lucky Skullomania and Darun Mister, who proved that he’s still the over the top grappler who likes to bounce fools off of his abdomen that we never knew we loved so much before watching that trailer.

Arika_EX will be coming out sometime next year, with a beta coming before the end of 2017.


Arc System Works announces Jubei for BlazBlue Central Fiction, and a new crossover title 

Year in, year out, BlazBlue is always a blast to watch at EVO. BlazBlue Central Fiction was no different, as its grand final proved to be an incredible show of skill and entertainment for sure.

Arc System Works followed it up by announcing a new fighter, Jubei, the cat swordsman, that will be coming to the game, as well as a brand new crossover title, BlazBlue Cross Tag Battle, which will bring fighters from the popular Persona 4 Arena games, as well as UNIEL and of course, BlazBlue together at last to brawl it out.

BlazBlue Cross Tag Battle will hit shelves sometime next year. Here’s hoping it’ll be as fun to watch as the previous entries in the series.


Jedah set to join Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite cast

After a short Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite gameplay demo featuring Guardians of the Galaxy’s Gamora between grand finalist and second place winner Ryan “Filipino Champ” Ramirez and Capcom’s own Peter “Combofiend” Rosas, it was revealed that Darkstalkers’  own Jedah will be joining the cast in the upcoming entry in the long-running clash fighter franchise.

The reveal is still very much in line with the previously leaked character list posted on NeoGAF, which still leaves plenty of room for more “reveals” to come in the next few months leading to Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite‘s release on September 19th. I had the chance to check it out during Warner Bros’ Summit 2017 event in Sao Paulo last week, and while it’s certainly a much slower game than its predecessors, MvCI feels like a proper brawler.

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