http://www.gamefaqs.com/boards/730873-guilty-gear-xrd-sign-/70952891 This thread. Oh Lord.
I was discussing Xrd last night with that friend who’s way better at fighting games than I am.
His sense is that the new characters have a skewed ratio for effort versus reward, except for bedman who is as hard as a guilty gear character typically is. Leo is okay, because he’s easy, but not great as a character, where Sin and Elphelt are just derp.
His other remarks are that Daisuke Ishiwatari being put in charge of Xrd after another guy did AC lead to a lot of dinosaur-like decisions designwise, like danger time being put in because Daisuke liked the button mash sequences in Samurai Shodown. Also the general reversion to a lot of #reload moves which aren’t as versatile and cool as the AC moves.
His other remark is that he hates the Roman Cancel slowdown, because it makes the game more positional, set-play, knowledge based rather than reads and footsies.
His comparison is between how YRC is used in Xrd now to how FRC was used in GG AC: YRC is used to force respect and both players can react to it trivially, FRC is used to create opportunities that you must act on RIGHT NOW. So one creates mixups, one shuts down your opponent’s options and gives them a chance to react to yours.
Human reaction time is a constant we have to design around and consider carefully, both the average (18 frames), and the upper limits of it (13 frames).
That’s the unique thing about fighting games, frequently occurring unreactable decisions multiple times a second. You don’t really get that in other genres. In RTS, you have hidden information and micro, so there’s counterplay, but in actual encounters, most micro maneuvers don’t really counter your opponent, they’re more about efficiency. You focusing on a fight raises the efficiency of your troops, which helps in critical encounters. In FPS, it seems like there’d be a stronger opportunity for counterplay, but the counters are also soft. Because both of you can shoot and hit successfully at the same time without impeding each other, it’s again about efficiency. The counters are soft, based on terrain and weapon choice. About getting your opponent into a range where you can DPS them really well but they can’t DPS you as well.
And in fighting games, that stuff is a delicate balance, to make a game that has it all and makes it all work. His base point is, the current designers don’t really know what they’re doing and the game is only good because it’s built on top of a rock-solid foundation.
The thread is whatever, a lot of ad hominem insults towards Mike Z, but some people make legitimate arguments for and against his points, and that’s pretty alright. I disagree with some parts of Mike Z’s post, but that’s alright. I mostly cite it in my articles as where games criticism could be. It’s making intelligent evidence-based arguments, which is way better than a lot of other stuff. People won’t agree with all of it, but that’s fine. At least we’re having an intelligent conversation about game design.