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The Fan-Made ‘Batman: Gotham Knights’ Is the Arcade Fighting Game You’ve Been Waiting For

As much as I love the Marvel vs. Capcom games — especially the third one, which allows you to create the Mike Haggar/MODOK team-up that we’ve all been dreaming of — there’s always been a part of me that wished Capcom would team up with DC instead to make a Batman game. It seems like such a natural step, what with it being centered on martial artist with an extremely colorful cast of allies and enemies, but the two games that have come closest, the Super NES’s Justice League Task Force and the more recent Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe, have been somewhat terrible lacking.

That’s why I’m keenly interested in Batman: Gotham Knights, a fan-made fighting game using the MUGEN engine and completely original sprites to create a Capcom-style fighter witha cast of 20 characters — including two Batmen, two Robins, the Joker, Harley Quinn, Black Canary and others! And I know I say this a lot [Editor's note: He does], but judging by the work-in-progress trailer released on YouTube, it might be the best thing ever.

I was tipped off to the game’s existence by former Great Comics That Never Happened artist Rusty Shackles, who loves fighting games in the same way that most people love water, or oxygen. And like me, he was most excited by the amazing details the creators put into the game. For me, the high point was the pre-title “Winners Don’t Use Drugs” screen, replacing the one that was burned into my memory by FBI director William F. Sessions with one from the GCPD’s own Commissioner Gordon:

Plus, while it goes by pretty in the video, the image they chose for the “Exit” option is pretty fantastic.

There are other great touches, too. Keeping the Dick Grayson/Damian Wayne Batman & Robin team as one character rather than separating them is an inspired choice, and any game whose roster includes Etrigan the Demon is something I want to play just on general principal.

And considering that these are all custom sprites, you have to respect the amount of work that went into it, especially when they went so far as to make two Versus Screen versions of Two-Face, for use depending on whether he’s the player or the opponent.

There’s no set release date for the game yet, but I’m seriously excited about it. I mean, if nothing else, as far as fan-made super-hero games go, this one beats the heck out of Marvel Brothel.

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