What’s Deep as a Fighting Game?

I’ve seen you claim that fighting games are probably the pinnacle of depth. How much of that would you say is related to them being multiplayer–depth being squished out by players themselves? what about strategy games or good competitive shooters? Any SP game you consider to be as deep as them?

Dante from DMC4 is more deep than any individual fighting game character ever. Maybe not more deep than an entire fighting game, but more than any single character in one. The number of options and ways he can combine them are absolutely tremendous. DMC3 dante with the style swapper might be even more deep than that (considering he has more styles, more moves in individual styles and more weapons, he’s almost inarguably deeper), though, shit, something about the way he’s animated manages to make his style swap combos look less impressive. Maybe the lack of color flashes and hud notifications.

Some speedgames are ludicrously deep, like Mirror’s Edge, Half Life 1 and 2 (amazingly in completely different ways), Mario 64/sunshine, Dark Souls 1, ocarina of time (I say reluctantly), Ori and the Blind Forest, Ratchet and Clank, Super Monkey Ball, Metroid Prime, at least one castlevania game, at least one sonic game, F-Zero GX. Though I’d be hesitant to put them on the level of a fighting game.

RTS games absolutely go toe to toe with fighting games, they might be even more deep than fighting games, I don’t really want to make a call there.

Go is up there with fighting games, no doubt, probably chess too (though you could argue that the development of the meta has shifted the relevant field of depth into a smaller range).

Quake 3 and UT 2004 are close, but I think fall a bit below fighting games, less options, less complex neutral.

But I mean, there’s a reason I play fighting games, and it’s because they’re the best games around. They’re games that I can put more research into than any other and have more to verifiably show for it. They’re games that I can confidently say I don’t understand completely and have a lot left to learn, where Dark Souls is one I think I do understand completely.

And is being multiplayer part of why fighting games are so deep?

Being Multiplayer is a part of that, a lot more fine interactions are tested in a multiplayer environment that can’t be tested in a singleplayer environment. Player psychology is a very real thing that can be played with and experimented with to produce favorable results. In a singleplayer game I don’t have to consider my opponents adapting to me, I don’t have to consider common habits that some ice climbers players have and others don’t. I got 2nd place at a tournament last monday, facing an ice climbers player twice, probably the third best ICs in the state. The first time I beat him 3-2, the second time I beat him 3-0. I realized between those games that if I stayed on platforms, he’d eventually get the climbers out of sync, as his offense was too weak to overwhelm me and that was my chance to attack, separating them, and that he loved to shield to bait me into a shieldgrab, but I could run up to him and grab him, usually getting a free followup and there wasn’t a lot he could do to stop me, and he definitely couldn’t wobble me. So the game changed from me poking him a lot and getting wobbled, to preying on split up climbers and fthrow fsmashes. In a netplay match I lost in marth dittos the first round, then won the next two by counterpicking to snake, pure intuition that the player was unfamiliar with the character despite it being an amazing matchup for marth. In street fighter I recently realized that I need to just walk into their range and hit them with mediums sometimes, I need to start comboing into spiral arrow off my light jabs, because I usually get a few of those for free off my pressure setups, but the grab afterwards is less free, and they don’t do much damage by themselves. In multiplayer games, it’s a constant cycle of improvement and thinking about common player tendencies.

This is why icyclam’s claim that bots are better because they’re harder is such bullshit, because human tendencies create depth in the form of bringing game states into relevance that normally wouldn’t be, and computers simply cannot recreate that.

Local top PM players Kysce and Flipp went to Shots Fired 2 recently, teaming in doubles, and Flipp’s Snake plants C4 all the time, leading Kysce to say, “Got ’em!” whenever he does. However Kysce knows Snake well enough to know that sometimes he doesn’t have the stick, but it looks like he does, so he says “Got ’em!” even when the stick isn’t on them, and this occasionally confused the other guy, even enough to make them kill themselves or irrationally shield or airdodge when they weren’t really in danger, opening them up to attacks. I played a friend in third strike, and jumped when I hear him do the fireball motion. AI doesn’t have that sort of internal model of self or other, and Desk’s video on SFV survival shows it. Survival mode itself shows it.

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