The SRK Rollback: Best of 2016 — The Year in Review

By on January 1, 2017 at 10:00 am

Welcome to a special Rollback: usually a frame-by-frame look back at the past week’s most notable news and our favorite SRK articles, this time we look back over the entire year of 2016. Here’s our top 16 headlines and editorials on Shoryuken from 2016.

Zavian “mushin_Z” Sildra, Editor-in-Chief:

Frame 1:
Does Street Fighter V Still Need an Arcade Mode?

A controversial question that I still fall into the less-vocal minority on; while I still want to see Street Fighter V improve its single-player, casual-targeted content, I would be much happier to see that take new, innovative forms. So far, though–we haven’t really seen either result.

Frame 2:
Both Handheld and Stationary: The Nintendo Switch is Finally Revealed

Slightly amazing Nintendo kept as much about this contraption under wraps as they have, for this long. This console looks to be pretty much what the Wii U concept was supposed to be; it has a robust list of developers on board, so I look forward to hearing about what fighting titles–and others–will make it onto those tiny cartridges.

Frame 3:
Fantasy Strike Is Coming to PlayStation 4, Playable at the PlayStation Experience

The concept of low-execution-threshold fighters is one I hold interest in; this unusual upcoming fighter is proving divisive on both its visual and gameplay design choices. Check out our hands-on impressions and our interview with creator David Sirlin as well.

Frame 4:
Street Fighter Doesn’t Need Saving, Because It Isn’t Dying

The title of Keegan “Interrobang?!” Spindler’s editorial says it all, in this appeal to sensibility–in the competitive sense at least, Street Fighter is bigger and better than ever. I look forward to new heights of hype in 2017.

Frame 5:
The First Street Fighter V Capcom Cup Champion is USA’s NuckleDu

After an unprecendented all-American Grand Finals against Evil Geniuses’ Ricki Ortiz, Liquid|NuckleDu became not only the first Street Fighter V Capcom Cup champion, but the first American to win Capcom Cup.

Sam “Trilby” Foxall, Assistant Editor:

Frame 1:
injustice_2_batman_vs_flash_750Battle Defines Our Favorite Superheroes in the Injustice 2 Announcement Trailer

I thoroughly enjoyed the original Injustice, despite its character balance issues near the end of its life span. With NetherRealm doing a bang-up job with Mortal Kombat X, Injustice 2 should be the DC fighter we’ve always wanted.

Frame 2:
csx4-pluiaa5sb7The First-Ever Evo Japan Has Been Scheduled for January 2018

Evo heads to the birthplace of fighting games, with the announcement of Evo Japan for nearly a year from now. With the games list still shrouded in mystery, we on the SRK team can’t wait to tell you more about it!

Frame 3:
mvc-infiniteMarvel vs. Capcom Infinite Revealed at PlayStation Experience, and Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 Coming to PlayStation 4

Marvel lives! After multiple leaks, rumors and scuttlebutt from all four corners of the Internet, seeing MvC:I officially announced on the PSX stage was fantastic to see. With UMvC3 also getting a re-release, it’s truly time for Marvel.

Frame 4:
2GGaming Announces the 2GG Championship Series for Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, Complete with $100,000 Prize Pool

2GGaming have been miracle workers for Smash 4 this year, putting on plenty of banner events with their Saga series. The fun will not stop in 2017, with the new Championship Series promising 12 new Sagas with a massive prize pot. Take notes, Nintendo.

Frame 5:
zero-sagaThe Curse Remains Unbroken at 2GGT: ZeRo Saga

After a year of upsets, breakouts and steadily mounting excitement, ZeRo Saga was a fantastic end to an awesome year for Smash 4. The Curse held, MKLeo was crowned victor and I cannot wait for what 2017 has in store.

Keegan “Interrobang!?” Spindler, Features Editor:

Frame 1:
nako_vs_chun_750Balancing Act: A Look at Street Fighter V and The King of Fighters XIV’s Opposing Balancing Philosophies

It’s always fascinating to look at the ways that a fighting game can be approached by both players and developers. d3v breaks down how much of a difference those design philosophies can make in one of my favorite articles of the year.

Frame 2:
Bayonetta4The Myth of Character ‘Honesty’

Here’s one for those of us who love using a good character, despite the haters. Trilby, SRK’s Assistant Editor himself, lets us know just why there is no such thing as a dishonest character.

Frame 3:
STREET FIGHTER V_20160705113206Street Fighter V’s September Update: What If This Had Been Street Fighter V at Launch?

This is one of my favorite articles this year not just because it highlights how improved an experience Street Fighter V has already become, but also how unacceptable a state it launched in. mushin pulls no punches, holding SFV accountable for all its problems, while still showing that there is definitely hope for continued improvement.

Frame 4:
blazblue-central-fiction-aug2016-screenshot7Is the ArcSys Cycle Hurting Its Community?

If you didn’t know about the ArcSys Cycle before, you do now. Woocash explains the problems with the current cycle of Guilty Gear and BlazBlue games from ArcSys, and does so with the sort of passion that is quite contagious. Here’s hoping that ArcSys are paying attention.

Frame 5:
Super Smash Bros. for Wii U Villager SwimTop Player Privilege and Tournament Logistics – Is Floating the Solution?

It may have died down quickly for now, but it’s tough to escape the feeling that the issue of floating top players though pools is one that may return again soon. This year, we saw plenty of upsets in titles across the map–who would have foreseen RZR|Infiltration and Tokido both going winless during the Capcom Cup, for example? Will they be enough to silence the crowd?

Final Frame:
infiltration downloadOur Evo 2016 Street Fighter V Winner is Infiltration

Even more than the epic battle that was Capcom Cup in Anaheim, Evolution 2016’s Street Fighter V finals at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas suddenly rocketed the scale of what a fighting game event could look like way up–and the finale to this spectacle was champion RZR|Infiltration’s succinct reply to the question of how he managed to finally beat RZR|Fuudo in the Grand Final: “Download complete.”

Editor’s note: The views expressed in this article and the selected posts are solely those of the writers, and do not reflect as a whole. Editor-in-Chief. Street Fighterin' since there was only a "II" in the title.