How could Yu Yu Hakusho and Hunter x Hunter function as serious fighting games? After the success of Dragon Ball FighterZ, let's speculate

Following up on our highly successful poll, we take a look at how your favored choices might work if given the good old ArcSys treatment

Posted by Nicholas 'MajinTenshinhan' Taylor • July 10, 2018 at 7:56 p.m. PDT

A few months ago, we ran an unbelievably successful poll here on EventHubs regarding which anime you would like to see ArcSys give the serious fighting game treatment after Dragon Ball FighterZ.

The poll and its results can be found here, and it had an extraordinary amount of votes, surpassing 15,000 total.

Because of how well the poll did, we here at EventHubs thought it would be fun to do speculation pieces on how some of these fighters would play if they were to come to fruition somehow, and because of me being quite familiar with the source material, I took on the role of doing writeups for the series that finished in the top 5 of the poll.

There's a lot of ground to cover here, so this will be divided up into two posts, with this first one covering the 5th and 4th placers, Yu Yu Hakusho and Hunter x Hunter, both of which happen to be works from the same author, Yoshihiro Togashi.

Both of these are quite famous works from Shonen Jump, the biggest manga magazine published in Japan, and have a heavy focus on battles, though Yu Yu Hakusho is more straightforward in this endeavor than the newer and longer Hunter x Hunter.

Without further ado, let's have a look at what fighting game projects for these titles might look like, given the source material at hand.

Yu Yu Hakusho

Games released based on this property: 23
Crossover games this property has been a part of: 3

When it comes to Yu Yu Hakusho as a series, the by far most famous arc is the Dark Tournament arc, in which the teams of 5 square off against eachother in a tournament setting, with the vast majority of fights being 1-on-1 battles, where you score points for your team to try and reach victory in the end.

While the whole series isn't based on the team tournament, it's an iconic arc that has been heavily featured in most games based on the series, and the tournament stage tends to show up as a playable area in crossover games that Yu Yu Hakusho has been a part of.

With that in mind, it feels apt to have Yu Yu Hakusho be a team-based games without assists, similar to King of Fighters, though it'd probably be smart to cut down the player teams to 3 characters since that's a more established type of play in fighting games.

Beisdes that, it'd also be a good decision since learning five characters just to compete in the game would be daunting for players. Plus, the time spent on matches would probably be way too long if you had to go through a potential 9 matchups in just one fight.

Although a type of MAX Mode like King of Fighters has probably wouldn't be a great fit for Yu Yu Hakusho, the multi-tiered meter system with several super moves, as well as enhanced version of super moves for two bars, sounds absolutely perfect for it.

Overall, it's easy to envision a relatively KoF-like Yu Yu Hakusho fighting game, and given the source material, that is probably the best way of making the series truly come to life.

As for the roster, such things would always be up for debate, but you'd obviously need the main four characters of Yusuke Urameshi, Kazuma Kuwabara, Kurama and Hiei.

Focusing on the Dark Tournament would open up the possibility for a lot of interesting fighters with unique playstyles, and we've in fact seen a lot of lesser characters be playable in Yu Yu Hakusho games in the past, although they haven't necessarily been deep fighting games.

Characters like Gama, who mixes paint with his blood and uses it on his opponents to seal their movement, or Ura-Urashima who possesses a mist that will make anyone who breathes it reverse in age show intriguing possibilities for unique movesets and interesting gimmicks, should a developer be up for the challenge.

As for the likelihood of ever seeing such a game, well, never say never, but it's not exactly high up on the list of likely properties. The series remains very popular to this day and is beloved worldwide, but it's also been over for over 20 years. It could happen, but it seems more likely developers would opt for a more currently relevant franchise.

That said, we will be seeing new content for Yu Yu Hakusho for the first time since its end this year, though, so perhaps a resurgence is upon us... ?

Hunter x Hunter

Games released based on this property: 10
Crossover games this property has been a part of: 3

Interestingly enough, the 4th placer in our poll is from the same author as the previous work, Yu Yu Hakusho, namely from Yoshihiro Togashi.

Hunter x Hunter is still running, though at a semi-regular pace, with Togashi doing roughly 10 chapters at a time when he starts serialization, and then going back on hiatus.

This series is also perhaps even more successful than Yu Yu Hakusho, and if nothing else it is certainly more relevant, due to it still being published today, with new material every so often.

One area where Hunter x Hunter lacks in comparison to its predecessor, however, is amount of games. There are very few games based on the property, and if you're invested in it, it's honestly not that hard to see why.

Hunter x Hunter is an extremely complex series, with many intricate plot threads and mind games going on at any time, to the point where even the most straightforward of battles tend to involve much more thinking and strategizing before the encounter than the actual fight itself.

While this makes for a great manga to read or anime to watch, it's very difficult to translate this type of conflict into a game scenario, even moreso if we're looking at fighting games.

It's definitely not impossible, though, with most characters in Hunter x Hunter having very distinct and unique abilities. If you were making a fighting game based off the property, the key would be to express these unique abilities in a satisfying manner.

Probably the best comparison to make for a currently existing fighting game would be Guilty Gear, where characters have extremely particular gimmicks to them that envelop their whole character, such as Venom's billiard balls and Jack-O's minion spawning.

With that in mind, ArcSys would actually be a perfect developer to take on such a project if they were willing, since they've shown time and time again that they're no strangers to making extremely strange characters work well.

When it comes to the roster, there are a lot of interesting characters that show up throughout the series that could be good to place in the game, though mainstays such as Gon Freecss, Killua Zoldyck, Kurapika, Hisoka Morow and Chrollo Lucilfer are must-haves.

Whether a game like this would ever be made or not is hard to say. It's a very popular series, decently big worldwide, it's currently running (kind of), so there's bound to be interest there.

However, as earlier mentioned, there aren't that many games based on the property relative to its success, which is most likely because it's generally skewed towards older readers despite being serialized in Shonen Jump.

Then again, when it comes to fighting games as a genre, they tend to be skewed towards older players as well, so it could be a match made in heaven.

Whatever the case may be, a serious fighting game based on Hunter x Hunter could certainly work if publishers and developers were willing to give it a try, but it feels like a few other franchises are higher priorities if they decide to expand beyond Dragon Ball for serious fighting game mechanics.

Please look forward to the next article in this two-piece series, in which I will cover the top 3 placers in our earlier poll, namely My Hero Academia, Bleach and JoJo's Bizarre Adventure.

How would you envision fighting games based on these properties to work? Anything you think I missed? Let us know in the comments.

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