Okizeme: The moment during a fighting game when your opponent is knocked down and you get to attack them as they stand back up. The defender’s options are limited, so the offensive player gets to attack with all sorts of mixups or apply any mind game they choose. Some options include attacking with a basic meaty, doing a cross-up, or trying to bait their opponent’s desperate dragon punch by simply doing nothing and blocking. [Infil’s FGC glossary]
Magazine: a publication issued regularly containing articles, stories etc by various writers [Cambridge dictionary]
For regular readers of my irregular indie column on SuperCombo, niche fighting game enthusiast Mike Levesque a.k.a. Mr. MKL might be a household name (here’s his Twitch channel, just as a reminder). During the past few years, Mike has supported and showcased fighting games in all their shapes and forms, as long as they were niche, indie, obscure or a combination of both. I had the pleasure of cooperating with him in several occasions, such as when, together with Ninjinister and GuileWinQuote, we all tried to crack down the mystery of the Laptop Arcade Player (pour one for us, if you remember that). Even more importantly, Mike was among the main organizers of the Indie FGC Developer Round Table, which gave room to small developers to discuss the status of the industry.
So, it might not be a complete surprise that Mike has decided to step up his game once again and dive into yet another niche-fighting-game related venture. Enter the Okizine!
Okizine is a portmanteau of the two words I’ve opened my article with and it’s the perfect name for what Mike put together: a 24 pages booklet (digital and printed) chock-full of information tidbits about fighting games, interspersed with some retro ads for modern indie games (such as MerFight, Heatwave and Motionsickness). The pages are styled as a video game magazine of the late 90s/early 00s, with colorful pictures and a captivating style that immediately brought me back to the days of printed media.
We can’t let the dinosaur rest, can we?
The first issue of the Okizine is focused on an old acquaintance of ours: our friendly coelacanth engine 2D Fighter Maker 2002 and all the modern games being made with it in the 2020s (my heart is seriously aching while writing this line). The reason behind this choice is simply: this engine – want it or not – is still making the rounds and being actively used in 2024. There’s no Arm Joe, no Guru Guru Tengu Showdown that can stop it – the curiosity around it will probably never die. So, I cannot help but commend Mike’s choice to start his run with this peculiar niche topic. The selection of games discussed in the magazine is pretty wide, ranging from Robot Heroes to Angels of Battle, while gliding on Inaho Town Dynamite Bomb or classics like Axel City and even delving into more obscure Japanese games that can be still downloaded via DLSite.
Tell me more!
Okizine is available both as a digital PDF (for 3CAD$) and as a printed booklet (for 15CAD$) on Mr. MKL’s own Gumroad page. The printed version is available for international shipping too for a small additional fee. If you want to support Mr. MKL even more, you can also join the Discord server of the Digital Basement or follow him on Xitter or YouTube. Mike’s intent is to make the magazine a platform for indie developers, artists and communities in the FG scene that traditionally don’t have one, and is already working on the second issue.