Arika teases Prayer to Death as their new April Fool's game, Fighting EX Layer receives limited update on Steam

Is it real? Who knows. Is it a fighting game? Who knows

Posted by Dakota 'DarkHorse' Hills • April 1, 2020 at 7:06 a.m. PDT | Comments: 20

We're now three years out from when Arika first teased on April Fool's Day what would end up becoming Fighting EX Layer, and it appears the team is back at their old ways once again.

Yesterday, the developers teased a video unrelated to FEXL set to release at midnight on April 1 in Japan which has since been made live to "announce" Prayer to Death though there's not a ton of details about what it is or if it is indeed a real project.

Prayer to Death's introduction starts out with some exposition for the setting taking place in 20,200 AD where the world has been thrown into war due to the discovery of the "ether" which is said to be a fix for humanity's energy crisis.

The Ether War appears to be fought by android / cyborg warriors who bear a striking resemblance to something from Mega Man or Hard Corps: Uprising — hell, Betelion looks like a re-imagined Guts Man.

There's not much else to go off of aside from these character renders which admittedly look pretty cool and the text at the very end of the video which says '2 Player Match' with extra emphasis on the '2' and 'L'

Unlike FEXL, Prayer to Death (if it is real) appears to be a sprite-based game judging by the one frame of the game seen in the last second of the trailer which shows two characters facing each other on a 2D plane like a fighting game — though we ultimately don't know what genre it may be aiming for exactly.

Producer Ichirou Mihara then followed up with a few other details including a look at one of the characters not shown in the trailer with Arteta along with seemingly revealing the fighters may be called "Live-metal."

The amount of work put into the teaser and the final screenshot at the end suggests this may be something similar to Fighting EX Layer's initial reveal which was used to gauge the interest of turning the project into a full game.

Prayer to Death image #1 Prayer to Death image #2 Prayer to Death image #3 Prayer to Death image #4 Prayer to Death image #5 Prayer to Death image #6 Prayer to Death image #7
Click images for larger versions

Speaking of FEXL, Arika had another April Fool's Day release in store with a new update for the Steam version of the game which remixes the game's mechanics in ways which seemingly make it more like Street Fighter EX with some crazy combo potential.

The patch notes for this temporary beta version reveal the removal of Gougi decks, chain combos, hard attacks and more while making guard break a universal move and changing up how EX Arrow can be used.

Players quickly began sharing their new beta-specific combos which appear to show a very relaxed combo system that allows for looping certain sequences and linking a bunch of normals together even after specials.


Click images for full versions

This April Fool's version of the game won't be around forever though, as Arika stated this test will only be available to play until April 7 and won't be appearing on PlayStation 4 or in the arcade.

The purpose of this test is unclear though this does seem a bit reminiscent of the developer's previous April Fool's "joke" which was a test version of a mobile port of Fighting EX Layer that never really went beyond that.

What does all of this actually mean for what Arika is working on? It's hard to say, but it is promising that the team hasn't abandoned the FEXL project just yet after facing some serious financial issues regarding continuing its development in earnest.

Perhaps the success of Tetris 99, another title by Arika that gained massive popularity on the Nintendo Switch, has helped bolster the company to produce another one of their own projects again.

It'll be interesting to see if Prayer to Death turns into anything that we'll actually be able to play at some point, but until then you can check out the teaser April Fool's trailer below. The patch notes for FEXL's beta version can be found here.

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