Arika president wants to 'change the standard flow of fighting games' with Fighting EX Layer's Gougi system, tournament mode being considered

Massive interview with Akira Nishitani and Tekken chief producer Katsuhiro Harada

Posted by Steven 'Dreamking23' Chavez • December 20, 2017 at 2:53 p.m. PST

Akira Nishitani is the president of fighting game company Arika. Though fans nowadays know him for his work on Fighting EX Layer, veterans in the scene recognize Nishitani best for designing Street Fighter 2 alongside Akiman -- the most influential fighting game ever made.

Recently, the legendary game designer sat down for an interview with Denfami Nico Gamer that was conducted, in part, by chief producer of the Tekken series, Katsuhiro Harada. Though the questions were mainly aimed at Nishitani, Harada also provided insight on the subjects discussed.

As one would expect, the interview was published entirely in Japanese. Thanks to the hard work of prominent FGC member Jiyuna, we have a full English translation of the piece to read over.

This interview is absolutely massive, and the article is filled to the brim with amazing details and perspective from both Nishitani and Harada. Once again, a big thank you goes to Jiyuna for the translation.

The two fighting game developers delve into the mind set behind creating Street Fighter 2, share some of the titles that inspired them, and much more here. Today, we're going to focus on Fighting EX Layer.

In FEXL, players do battle with the aid of the Gougi system. This game mechanic unlocks power ups for the player as different conditions are met, and players are able to choose which Gougi load outs they want before each match.

It's an interesting system, and Nishitani has some big ideas behind it.

One thing cited by the designer is the types of conditions players will have to meet before Gougi is activated. Things like getting knocked down 10 times can trigger a power up, so it might make your opponent think twice before attempting moves that result in a drop.

"Furthermore, if a Gougi activates once, then it will stay activated throughout all rounds until the battle is settled," Nishitani explained. "Therefore, the first round and the last round will never be the same."

The Gougi system isn't meant to be just a simple comeback mechanic. By having Gougi remain active throughout the remainder of the match after it is initially triggered, Nishitani hopes to "change the standard flow of fighting games."

"In some fighting games there are examples of meter carrying over between rounds; but generally even if the rounds change, the game stays the same. I wanted to make it so the game itself changes as the match goes on. Things like 'my opponent now has super armor activated, I have to change the way I attack,'" he concludes.

Though adding more Gougi options to the game post-launch could be a great DLC option -- as it will provide players with even more potential power ups -- doing so could make things difficult for tournament play.

Competitors who opt not to buy all of the add-ons might not be able to get the proper training, and since players aren't using their personal consoles at events, they could run into situations where their favorite loadouts aren't available.

To combat this, the FEXL development team is considering adding a "tournament mode" to the game, one that will allow players to use all Gougi. This isn't set in stone, however.

There is so much more to check out in this interview, so be sure to read the full piece here.

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