- It's a sad thing that the 2D fighting game is quite unwell in the West - and I'm not really sure why - possibly because $60 is just too much to pay for niche imports, and retail games that sell for $20-$30 (a better price point for many import fighters) and are low-profile just won't make their money back easily.

[Although having said that, newer Guilty Gear titles are rumored to be getting a U.S. release soon through Aksys, and Fatal Fury: Battle Archives Vol. 1 just got confirmed for PS2 by SNK. UPDATE: Also, KOF XI and Neo Geo Battle Coliseum are coming to the States, ta for heads-up Corey.]

Anyhow, the latest intriguing Japanese arcade fighter (likely to come to consoles in some fashion, too) is Arc System Works' Battle Fantasia, and HDRLying has a good overview of the game, which is made by the Guilty Gear creators.

What's particularly interesting: "Battle Fantasia is a vastly different game from ASW’s offerings in the past. The is far slower than the likes of Guilty Gear, and far cuter than either Hokuto no Ken or Guilty Gear. Also unlike the two, Battle Fantasia is entirely polygonal. Much like Capcom’s shortlived Street Fighter EX series, Battle Fantasia acts like a regular 2D fighter, despite its polygonal graphics." So fighting on a 2D plane with 3D art - neat.

Looking around online, Insomnia.ac did a brief preview of the arcade test late last year, and on YouTube, a Japanese user has a bunch of videos of the game in action - though they're a bit blurry. Also, hardcore fighting game blog 'Super Nohoho Fighter II X' has been translating the controls and manual, which are both complex and interesting - though as always, their complexity is a bit of a barrier to entry for the non-hardcore.