Free indie game Vanguard Princess is the creation of ex-Capcom employee Tomoaki Sugeno. That certainly explains the excellent sprite-work, the distinctly Street Fighter-esque gameplay and the overall polished presentation.
If you haven’t figured it out already, the game is a 2D doujin fighter featuring an all-female cast of anime characters with offbeat-yet-creative costumes, over-the-top moves and assorted sidekicks to spice up the combat. The fighting style is somewhat reminiscent of BlazBlue and Melty Blood and it even supports PS3 controllers. It also features network multiplayer.
Vanguard Princess is Windows-only, and getting it to work on non-Japanese systems is a bit more of a chore than it has to be. Possibly the most foolproof method is to change your system’s locale to Japanese. For those who are uncertain, go to Start, Control Panel, Region and Language, change it under the ‘Format’ tab and then reboot. Don’t worry, your system will still be readable. Alternatively, you may use a program such as AppLocale. If you want to find folks to have a ‘Net-match with, fire up your IRC client and connect to irc.mizuumi.net; friendly foes can be found in the #vp channel. To help you along and avoid embarrassment, here‘s a nifty little move cheatsheet that’s also printer-friendly.
It’s a short, sweet and shamelessly shallow button-masher that still manages to charm. Crawl your way over here to fetch your copy (the download is the first link right below the file size).
[As Delano points out in the comments section below, there's actually a patched English version of Vanguard Princess at this here link. – Ed]