Little Update: Just a shout out to the7k and MMF who sent me this tip too but I did not check my email before checking Japanese news sources.
UPDATE #2: We can add Spelunker to the list of titles that NESiCA is adding. It was on the same image that unveiled the release of KOFXIII Climax and Skullgirls. You can read more about Spelunker here, which gained a bit of attention in recent years as a PS3 download release.
Japan continues to be the place to find the latest in arcade fighters, helped by the existence of arcade download networks like Taito’s NESiCAxLIVE. Taito held some “new product business meetings” yesterday and among the new games coming to Japanese arcades through the network are a couple of fighters, one of which is an intersting development.
Bringing King of Fighters XIII Climax (the upgraded arcade version) to the network isn’t a big surprise as recent KOF games have been using Taito’s hardware and there already are KOF titles available on NESiCA, such as KOF 2002 Ulitmate Match and KOF98 UM.
The real surprise is what’s called Skullgirls. This is a fighting game developed by Reverge Labs, an small company based in California. They are one of the very few developers to take a crack at producing an original fighting IP, a difficult task when most attention goes to names like Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat, Tekken, etc. Skullgirls was released to home platforms such as the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PS Vita and the game was even featured at EVO 2013 (something that is also notable considering how long it too The King of Fighters to be officially represented at the event). The game itself can be thought of like Arcana Heart but with a gothic meets 20s/30s retro edge to it. It was a fighting game that seems to have gained a solid following but it had no arcade presence whatsoever. That now will change in Japan at least as the game becomes available through NESiCA this year.
I have noticed this game before although I have not played it, just seen a few things online and heard a couple of gamers talk about it at the arcade. It seems like it would be a good fit for a full arcade kit release here in the Western hemisphere (assuming they could offer a few enhancements like a couple of new characters, new levels, etc. Otherwise it would have to have a very low price tag to be worth it over the cheap home versions). Time will tell in that regard and whether or not this arcade version gains any traction on the scene there.