Another one of my “one to watch” posts, this time a small indie freeware title, but one that looks to be having more effort put into it per team member than any of this year’s AAA titles…and Modern Warfare 3.
You see, this is why I love PC Gaming, there is no way this could ever be done on a console, the whole idea of being an open platform means that just about anything can, and indeed will, be made by bedroom coders and small studios. There are people who make things because they want to, not because it pays their wages or the shareholders dividends, but I digress, the drawbacks of capitalism in what is an artistic industry are not what I am here to discuss. I am in fact here to tell you about Mane6’s upcoming game, My Little Pony: Fighting is Magic.
Now unless you have been banished to the Moon for the last year you will probably be aware of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, a cartoon that has become popular outside of it’s target demographic and has spawned more memes than you could shake a stick at. Fighting is Magic is a fighting game in the vein of Street Fighter (and the rest) based on that show. Regardless of your thoughts on the subject matter this deserves a look if only because of the huge amount of effort Mane6 are putting into it, something that can perhaps be best explained by watching one of the preview videos they have on their Youtube account.
Apart from the engine, they are using Fighter Maker 2002, everything is going to be original, they have cast new voice actors, are getting an original score composed and are using all original artwork. Reading through the blog entries and FAQ pages show how much thought is going into the design of this game, a good example is this blog entry about the GUI and the revisions it has been through. They have also gone with a unique (as far as I know [EDIT: OK, further research suggests BlazBlue might be close]) four button control system (light, medium, hard and Magic) rather than just recreating Tekken or Street Fighter with a My Little Pony skin. It is things like this that make me know that this project will be above and beyond what can normally be expected for this kind of project.
I really do hope this project does not get stuck in a “done when it’s done” state for all eternity like the Half-Life 2 mod Black Mesa, the fact that they plan to release with just the six main characters playable initially with more being added later does stand in its favour but all to often these projects fall apart.
If you are a fan of My Little Pony (the new cartoon series anyway), fighting games or both be sure to add http://www.mane6.com/ to your bookmarks so you can keep an eye on it. There is no release date scheduled, as mentioned above they are just saying “Done when it’s Done”. I will of course be posting about this again the moment it is released in playable form (or if they announce anything else that is particularly interesting).
 I’m not getting into the “games as art” debate here either, I mean this purely in the sense that it is creative.
 Sorry, random music link there, but I had to, awesome tune.
 Though in all fairness that does seem to be making some progress now I check their website again. Fingers crossed it comes out before Duke Nukem For… Oh wait…