The above video is from YouTube channel GamingCapsules, and brings up some interesting talk about the potential of a new Art of Fighting game. This is all twitter speculation at the moment, of course, but Yasuyuki Oda talking about potentially taking AOF and turning it into an action game would be pretty cool. SNK is no stranger to taking their properties into different formats, either as Samurai Spirits made the transition to RPG back in 1997. Let's also not forget that the Ikari Warriors themselves have transitioned from action game heroes to fighting team in the King of Fighters series, with a countless amount of other characters from other games taking a similar path in more recent years.
The thing that would make a side scrolling beat-em-up a fun idea would be both the visual scaling which was featured in both AOF and Samurai Spirits / Samurai Shodown and the series' visual damage mechanic, which showed bruises and cuts on the characters as they take damage. Features like these would make for great scenes where large groups could crowd around Ryo and Robert and then zoom in for one-on-one based fighting. Even with the emphasis on high definition graphics, the detail from the battle damage would make for an amazing spectacle!! "
Of course this isn't a new idea at all; Splatterhouse 3 despite coming out a year later than the original AOF, did this with a large degree of success, breathing life into it's own franchise, and expanding the lore of the game. AOF could easily do the same if it does try this formula, while introducing a whole new generation of fans to series regulars and SNK cameos that you know will happen. SNK is in an interesting position compared to their rivals at Capcom. The creative force there seem hungry, and they really want to make the fans happy. The DLC in KOF 14 has been pretty minimal, and hopefully when character releases happen, they won't be as overbearing and such a blatant attempt at milking as SFV's seasonal DLC releases have been.
Going forward, Be it new fighting game, Action game, Beat-em-up, or otherwise, SNK surely have the hyped fans behind them in whatever they do.
- I'll See you next bossfight!