As is tradition with all major Japanese developers and publishers, SNK decided that an announcement of a countdown to the announcement was the best way to state that they have a new game. These kind of things are popular in Japan though we in North America have often derisively dismissed them. That being said, we were still left with the news that SNK is coming out with a new game right on the cusp of their SNK Heroines release.
That, however, does not answer what it could be and anyone with an inkling of SNK’s catalogue also knows that this could be anything. The people currently working there have gone on record as wanting to do a new Garou, a new NEO-GEO Battle Coliseum and even something out of left field like a new World Heroes, a license that they didn’t start but now own the rights to.
So I’ve listed in all of my knowledge of SNK’s back catalogue, five Plausible Possibilities and five Prepostrous Prospects.
Yes, I’ve been playing DQXI recently, why do you ask?
Garou: Mark of the Wolves 2 - The far-in-the-future follow-up to the Fatal Fury series ended on a cliffhanger with Rock Howard joining up with Kain R. Heinlein after learning that his mother is alive. We also have unanswered questions as to who stole the Kyokugen-Ryu dojo board, Andy considering Hokutomaru his rival, what is even Freeman and will Hotaru ever get through to Gato that they’re family or will he just keep on being a douche?
Thing with Garou is that it is very much a large fan favorite that would be a different product than the rest of SNK’s fighting games as a strictly 1-on-1 affair as opposed to the 3v3 and 2v2 formats of KoF and SNK Heroines respectively. In addition, Garou was much darker than the rest of SNK’s other games, so the fact that the page is mainly black hints at this. Twitter sleuths have also found that there are similarities in the font used in Garou and the font used for “A new dawn rises” on the webpage.
A New IP Entirely - This was completely dismissed out of hand by practically everyone that’s a SNK fan which is understandable, but the allure of making their own creation, even as a nostalgia fueled company, cannot be understated. They have many IPs that are out there, unused so while plausible since that kind of thing is always plausible, and “A new dawn rises” could just mean a new IP, this is not among my favorite possibilities.
A new Samurai Shodown - The series that has been kept alive through SNK’s tumultuous years as a Pachi-slot manufacturer with entries such as Samurai Spirits Sen and something like 9000 pachi-slot machines based off Samurai Shodown. Sen wasn’t particularly well received by anyone, but a new Samurai Shodown with the same 2d-but-in-3d as KoF and SNKHeroines have would certainly satisfy those looking for a more precision-based, less combo heavy fighter.
Metal Slug 8 - Thanks to a very strong showing on Mobile with the tower defense title and all the anthologies releasd, fans of the run ‘n gun shooter have been salivating at the idea of a new title in the series. Popularity wise, this would be among the top choices, but the genre of run ‘n gun simply isn’t that popular outside of old arcade heads and the few who discover themselves an affinity with these titles. I believe SNK will return to the Metal Slug series... but it will not be the game announced on Monday. It’s still very plausible though!
KoFXV - We know it’s happening. I personally do not believe it will happen so soon but it is definitely among the most plausible titles you could put there. KoF has always been their baby, and the set-up between Shun’ei and Verse still needs resolution. KoFXIV has been very well received, and allowed them to work on SNK Heroines in order to re-use the assets. However, I still believe it’s too soon - KoF is still going strong everywhere except in the US, it’s still part of the NEO-GEO World Tour so perhaps when that gets done, they’ll announce the fifteenth King of Fighters tournament.
Athena 3 - I have two videos to show you as to why this will never happen.
This is the SGDQ race between Dragondarch and Brossentia showing just how BAD the actual Athena video game is.
The second video is the English version of the Psycho Soldier theme as heard in that game. SNK wants us to forget it enough that they included the Japanese version of the song in the SNK 40th anniversary reveal of that game.
And this is why we will not be seeing Athena 3.
Buriki Two - A bizarre 3d fighter where the joystick were the moves and you controlled your characters with two buttons and where KoF guests Gai Tendo and Silbur first appeared. A truly experimental fighter that has yet to be emulated properly. Few people remember it, fewer people remember that Ryo Sakazaki as Mr. Karate II was in the original.
Neo Turf Masters 2 - I want this game. This is arguably one of the best golf games ever made for any system. Simple to learn, impossible yet somewhat realistic courses and an exciting soundtrack that should resonate with fans of Metal Slug. I just do not think that SNK are interested in making a new golf game, especially with the original people working on it no longer at the company. Still, we have a good port of the original thanks to HAMSTER so at least there’s that.
Crystalis 2 - I want this more than anything else on the list, but I do not believe SNK is ready to make such a grandiose adventure again. At least not right now. Maybe later, if they ever regain their former glory (they’re on the track to do so, but action/adventure games these days cost a pretty penny to make) they can make a really good follow-up to a game that was released... what, 30 years ago? As it currently stands, I sincerely doubt that we’ll see this happen, as much as I would want it.
Legend of Success Joe 2 - Far be it from me to leave off the most impossible game that SNK would ever follow up. Based off the supremely popular Ashita no Joe boxing manga, SNK pushed out arguably the biggest licensed turd they possibly could and then had the gall to localize it in the worst way. This is a game that has never been enjoyed by anyone who’s had the misfortune of playing it, and is best remembered as a cautionary tale on blindly worshiping a developer.
So, this is my list of possibilities, but we’ll know in 4 days. What about you? Anything you feel I may have overlooked? Anything you firmly believe it can’t be? Don’t hesitate to chime in, we’ve got 4 days of waiting.