Video Game: Street Fighter EX

This is how fans see the relationship between Capcom and Arika.

In 1996, Street Fighter EX was developed by Arika (a company founded by Final Fight and Street Fighter II co-designer Akira Nishitani) and published by Capcom as an attempt to bring the normally 2D Street Fighter series into true 3D. The game saw the return of Ryu, Ken, Chun-Li, Guile (in his first game since Super Street Fighter II Turbo), Zangief, Akuma and M. Bison. New characters, who are owned by both Capcom and Arika, were also added. These characters include:
  • Hokuto, Japanese Kobujutsu master and archer
  • Cracker Jack (just Jack in later installments), American bouncer
  • Doctrine Dark, Ax-Crazy German mercenary
  • Skullomania, Japanese salaryman turned hero
  • Pullum Purna, Spoiled Sweet Saudi princess
  • Allen Snider, American ex-Karate champ
  • Blair Dame, European Ojou and socialite
  • Kairi, the long-lost amnesiac brother of Hokuto.
  • Darun Mister, Indian pro wrestler
  • Garuda, demon samurai

Two Updated Rereleases were created as Street Fighter EX Plus, adding dark versions of Ryu (Evil Ryu) and Hokuto (Bloody Hokuto), and Cycloid-β (Beta) and Cycloid-γ (Gamma), two cyborg ditto fighters with no faces (Gamma's a wireframe). PlayStation-exclusive Street Fighter EX Plus α added familiar faces Dhalsim and Sakura.

The game played similar to Street Fighter Alpha, but with the addition of side-stepping (albeit only as an aesthetic element of certain specials; unlike, say, Tekken, it was not a universal mechanic), guard-breaking attacks that makes the opponent temporarily dizzy, and special moves and Super Combos that can be cancelled into other Super Combos.

In 1998, Street Fighter EX2 was released with the added feature of using custom combos (another feature similar to the Alpha series). This game also marks the first time that a Street Fighter game with its own sub-series removes characters from the roster as Akuma, Sakura, M. Bison, Pullum, Darun, Allen, and Blair were cut. In their place came Street Fighter II veterans Blanka and Vega and four newcomers:

Street Fighter EX2 Plus brought back Pullum, Darun, and Bison and then added Ryu's rival Sagat, Area (a young inventor with a giant mechanical arm), and Vulcano Rosso (fiery Italian fighter). Hayate was removed from the arcade version of EX2 Plus, but returned for the PlayStation version. EX2 Plus also added Meteor Combos, a precursor to the Ultra Combo system later introduced in Street Fighter IV. Aside from Super Cancels, EX2 allowed for Super Combos to be cancelled into a Guard Break (Cancel Break, which could then be followed up by another Super Cancel if the player had enough/infinite meter) or a Meteor Combo (if the game allowed the player at the time to have infinite super meter or more than three bars). EX2 also added Excel Combos, custom combos similar to the ones seen in Alpha 2 and Alpha 3.

In 2000, Street Fighter EX3 came out exclusively for the PlayStation 2. A tag team system was added, complete with various new gameplay mechanics such as Meteor Tag Combos, but it wasn't well received. Everyone from EX2 Plus (except Hayate) returned, as did Sakura. Ace, the sole new character for the game, was a character that can have moves added to his move list. Guard Breaks were replaced by the somewhat similar Surprise Blow, losing their unblockable properties but able to stun crouching opponents and floor airborne ones as well as costing no meter to use, while Momentary Combos, two special inputs for each character allowing them to cancel from one special move to another unique special with the press of a precisely-timed single punch or kick, were added. EX3 was the final game and the least successful.

In 2011, screenshotsand gameplay footage of an untitled project by Arika for the Nintendo 3DS featured the cast of the EX series. Only time will tell if Street Fighter EX will see a true revival in the future.

Tropes Distinct To, Or Introduced In, This Game:

  • 2D: Contrary to popular belief, and much like IV would do years down the road, the combat system remained strictly 2D, the only changes being the 3D polygonal models and certain moves taking advantage of more dynamic camera angles as opposed to being set purely on a 2D plane.
  • Canon Foreigner: The characters introduced in this series belong to Arika. In Street Fighter EX2, they retconned the backstories of most of the new characters to distance them from the canon characters, while Blair and Allen were actually included in a non-Capcom Arika-developed fighting game titled Fighting Layer that never left the arcade. An interview with Seth Killian states that both Capcom and Arika own the EX characters, and that the only reason why a new EX game hasn't been made was Capcom's wish to have Arika make it happen.
  • Combination Attack: The Meteor Tag Combos from EX3.
  • Easter Egg: EX Plus α was swarming with them, ranging from an alternative version of Hokuto dressed as a Miko to Ryu's headband continually growing larger after winning five consecutive matches to C. Jack's aluminum baseball bat to Akuma's prayer beads breaking apart and flying off of him if struck by a Super Combo. EX3, upon either completing Original Mode eight times with Sakura on Normal/Hard or earning all of the bronze medals, provides the option of having Sakura featured as the narrator of your matches.
  • Fictional Country: If the map in EX2's Arcade Mode is any indication, every stage in the game is set in a fictitious country meant to stand in for a real life one. Stranger still is the fact that Street Fighter heavily features real life locations, with most of the characters (EX cast included) explicitly hailing from an actual nation.
  • Gaiden Game: The Working Title of the first game was actually Street Fighter Gaiden.
  • Gratuitous English:
    • Various characters aside, EX3 featured the mildly Engrishy YOU GOT MEDAL when obtaining medals in Original Mode.
    • Even the naming conventions for some of the music aren't safe. Take Garuda, for instance. In EX and EX3, his theme is entitled "Stronger." That's not bad by any means, but his EX2 boss theme and EX3 Original Mode mid-boss theme are respectively "More Stronger" and "Great Stronger" as opposed to "Even Stronger", "More Strong", "Strongest", etc.
  • Limit Break: The Meteor Combos, introduced in EX2.
  • Mini-Game Credits:
    • The practice session in EX2 Plus with a Cycloid after winning the fight over M. Bison.
    • Beating up random Mooks in EX3.
  • Moveset Clone:
    • Three sets: the ex-Trope Namers Ryu and Ken, Allen and Kairi (who are similar to Ryu and Ken), Zangief and Darun.
    • A case could also be made for Skullomania and Shadowgeist, the later of whom made his debut in the second game.
  • Put on a Bus: Akuma, Blair, and Allen in all the entries after EX Plus α. Hayate was retired in the arcade version of EX2 Plus for unknown reasons (although he was brought back as a bonus character in the PS version).
    • The Bus Came Back: Bison, Pullum, and Darun were also retired in EX2, but unlike the others, they returned in EX2 Plus. Sakura was exclusive to EX Plus α until she was brought back in EX3.
  • Retcon:
    • The original backstories for most of the new characters featured ties to numerous established Street Fighter characters (Hokuto is a student of the Bushin school of ninjutsu, Doctrine Dark was a former subordinate of Guile who was injured by Rolento, Jack is a former Shadaloo enforcer, Allen lost to Ken once, Pullum Purna's family has ties to Shadaloo and Darun is a rival to both Zangief and Victor Ortega). In Street Fighter EX2, all of these backstories were rewritten to downplay and even contradict these connections (such as claiming that Hokuto and Kairi's school is known as the Mizukami style and that Doctrine Dark's insanity was due to him being raised as a child mercenary) once it was established that Arika owned all of the new characters.
    • Even the characters without connection to Capcom characters were also altered: Skullomania was changed from a salaryman to a defector from a dictatorial country in the second game.
  • Shared Universe: With Fighting Layer.
  • Shotoclone: Ryu, Ken, Sakura, Akuma, Allen, and Kairi.
  • Situational Damage Attack:
    • Cracker Jack's Final Punch is a Charged Attack using three punch/kick buttons; depending on how long you charged it, it can deal low to massive damage (more than half a life bar, even).
    • As Jack's moveset is lifted almost wholesale from Balrog, it should come as no surprise that Balrog's Turn Punch operates identically.
  • Sprite Mirroring: Averted; all the characters are 3D models.
  • Tag Team: In EX3.
  • Team Spirit: With EX3's partner matches, if one character was defeated, their accumulated super meter gauge would be transferred to the remaining teammate in what is known as Emotional Flow. At this point, the second character would now be able to hold up to six bars of super meter as opposed to the normal three.
  • Unblockable Attack: The Guard Break. In EX3, this would be replaced by the Surprise Blow, which no longer cost super meter, but could be blocked. It still stunned the opponent, but only if they were crouching; if it successfully struck a midair opponent, they'd immediately be knocked to the ground instead of how Guard Breaks would pop them up into the air for a juggle.