Fighting Games are Too Hard?!

Not the video but scroll down to Suika Ibuki’s comment. What is your opinion on that?

The fact of the matter is that Fighting games are simply a genre that will NEVER be crazy popular. During the golden age of arcades it was, but that was a different time. The reason is quite simple actually.
It all comes down to time needed to be put into the game in order to mastery it. In order to get to a level you can be considered ”Decent” will require hundreds of hours Practicing in training mode, Hard wiring moves and combos to muscle memory, Getting beat up by experts, learning about matchups and game mechanics so you can master every single maneuver in your arsenal, Et cetera et cetera. Then you need to learn how to use all of those to actually win against someone who also knows about them.
The problem is, None of this is fun. Doing the same combo over and over again against a dummy foe in training is not fun, staring at the same screen is not fun, going on a never ending losing streak is not fun, reading up on matchups only gets you frustrated, and so forth. And while you’re doing this, you know that there is an avalanche of other genres you know you’d enjoy much faster. Many, many who try just say ”fuck it”.
fighting games are not the only games that have this problem. Like dark souls, as it also has a learning curve and the game will kill you until you start to physically get ill, but you learn it AS you play through it. Someone who has beaten dark souls definetly knows how to play, and even has a chance against every foe who happens to invade his game.
Alas, Fighting game can never have this luxury, as Computer simply, not matter how hard it’s difficulty is, cannot replicate how an actual human being fights, because every player is different. Heck, the player might even know of a mechanic or an exploit the computer does not! You can tip the odds against the player when dealing with A.I. but this is a very bad idea, making the match feel unfair. And every battle in Fighting game is fair. Or at least mostly.
You could simplify the game. But in doing so you also remove depth. I once asked when i was very young ”Why don’t combo’s just happen when you hammer the same button?” Which is because, then every combo is the same, which is boring to play, and even more boring to watch. There is of course fighting games that have comboes you can do with one button, But that’s only the first part. removal of mechanics that exist in every fighting game Hardly works, because if you do, the game feels boring.
Thus, Fighting games are a genre that 75% of gamers do not have the time, patience, or desire to learn them. 25% of people who do, half succeed, other give up. I myself belong sadly to those who tried but failed. I do however, Find fighting games extremely interesting, fun to play with friends and Watch experts play.

My opinion is, maybe they’re right.

There’s a funny parallel that was pointed out to me recently between the world of esports and real sports. Fighters get paid less than team players. MMA is less popular than Baseball, Football, and Soccer. Basically all individual sports are less popular than team sports. In video games this is true as well. Fighting games are way less popular than MOBAs or CS:GO. Arena shooters are less popular than team shooters. The most popular game mode in most shooters, like call of duty is team deathmatch.

Maybe this is just human nature and we’re kind of doomed to this? Maybe it’ll change now that individualism is on the rise? Who really knows?

The other thing is, this guy overestimates how hard it is to actually get far enough into fighting games to play them competently. I don’t think it really takes longer than a month to learn all the moves your character has and get competent enough at movement and inputs to blow up a button masher.

I think that fighting game makers, if they try, if they put it into the budget, can improve the learning devices players have for getting into these games. They can’t make good CPUs, but they can make training dummies that teach you specific skills. Maybe it’s impossible to make fighting games crazy popular, but there’s a lot left undone to push the popularity of the genre right now. We could be trying harder, or at least trying smarter.

Here’s a video a friend linked me on the subject today. I think it’s rather interesting.

Also I don’t really want to give up, because Smash Bros exists with crazy universal appeal, because Tekken apparently sold 44 million across the franchise, making it the best selling fighting game franchise.

The least we could try on the community end is shifting the narrative. If the story that a world champion who can do every combo with every character can be beaten by mashing the buttons is so popular, then can’t we come up with other stories? Can’t we come up with more wombo combos and moment 37s? Can’t we tell the story of the kid who, for just a few moments, figured the game out and won? Can we show something about people and the game that’s authentic and exposes a little of why the game is so nice? Can we sell the game as easy to get into instead of hard? Simple to learn, difficult to master?

Not every set has hype commentary or changes the way people see a game, but this video made a story out of something otherwise innocuous.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s