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October 1, 2010 Comments (0) Views: 4814 Forum, Videogames

Forum Buzz Highlight: Are Fighting Games Too Complicated?

ryu hadouken

We all have memories of plopping our collective butts in front of the TV, controller in hand and swearing each time Ryu did spastic crouching then a punch instead of shooting out the glow-ey, spammable damage-ey goodness that is the hadouken. The braver among us took this humiliation out in public in the arcades and suffered claw hands and lighter pockets for it. Most fighting games built upon this framework for special moves but is it really necessary?
Here’s what the forum had to say!

  • I can see how making something ridiculously complex would keep the newbies from playing but at times it feels like a superficial cover to excuse a horrible fighting system.If I had to make a fighting game, I would have the standard block-beats-attack-beats-grab etc. thing but the moves would be mapped to a couple of buttons. Like, weak punch, strong punch etc. but instead special moves would be done by holding the trigger button and any of the regular attack buttons. To prevent spamming, I’d just make attacks hit for less or flinch for less if you use them too much.
  • I have several views on this issue.One is:
    Doing moves really isn’t that hard once you learn them. You learn them once, and you never forget them. It stops being part of the difficulty after a while. Spend a little time practicing the motions and you’ll never have to think about them again.
    However, my second view is:
    The motions DO present a big barrier. I did a little non-scientific experiment a few months ago. Using mugen, I changed some characters so that all the special moves were tied to a different button, and there were no normal moves. To my surprise, my friend, who normally hates fighting games and has no fun in them when playing with me, was doing GOOD. She was using Morrigan, and zoned with fireballs, and when I’d try to jump, she’d uppercut me. It sounds simple, but that was something she would never have been able to do in a normal fighting game.
    Taking into account both my previous points, there is a dilemma. On one hand, the motions are difficult for new players, and do present a barrier that in some ways is unnecessary and prohibits them from playing to their full potential. On the other hand, if every move can be activated with a simple button press, the game changes COMPLETELY. What if your opponent was able to uppercut EVERY TIME you jumped? You’d never jump. What if Zangief could instantly SPD you at a moment’s notice? He’d be a lot deadlier. Part of the game is reaction time and execution, and when you remove the majority of that, the entire game changes, sometimes in unforeseen ways.
  • I can appreciate that but I’m really not interested at all at tying muscle memory to certain button sequences. And even when you do learn them, you still fail to do them a couple of times. It just ruins the fun for me. The fun part of fighting games for me has always been the mind games, quick timing and setting up combos not the learning how to cast fireballsSo any fighting game that makes it easier to do special moves while simultaneously punishing spammers and has a decent meta game to it will get a Yay from meAnd honestly, if I had to lose in fighting games, I’d rather be able to attribute my loss to “that guy used his moves better” than “that guy was able to do all the moves” or “if only I didn’t fail at using fireballs”.
    As for the 3rd view, I’m all for changing the head game of a fighting game. Like how in Tekken, it doesn’t make sense to jump to dodge anything or in some fighting games, you benefit from playing a good defensive game. You just need to add a couple of tweaks to make it more enjoyable. Sort of like, always providing a way for the opponent to close space, punishing/prohibiting spamming of moves or rewarding good plays.
  • As easy as it is in every other game? I really don’t understand the ‘difficulty’ of motions unless you’re new to fighting games, or are trying to play on a default system pad. (though there are pros using default ps3 pads, though that’s more because of SF4’s retarded input lenience. You can do a circle clockwise and get a shoryuken)Also, as a sidenote to people who complain about needing a stick or fightpad, you can’t expect to be able to do moves as well as you would on a dedicated fighting game pad/stick, just like you shouldn’t expect to have the level of control with analog sticks in an FPS that you have with a mouse. You’re getting a game built to work on a specific set of hardware ported to different control methods, it won’t be flawless.
  • I actually really like the leniency of SF4 because I am generally incompetent at fighting games although I love playing them. It removed a lot of the difficulty I had with Street Fighter and I can finally play Fei Long and Cammy without worrying too much about whether my HCF, UF moves are actually going to come out. They just do now. Grapplers also became a lot more accessible. It’s a great boon to new players and sucky ones.I understand that fighting games weren’t built for a standard gamepad but it’s not unreasonable to expect that a game you just spent $60 would be playable without requiring expensive accessories. I think it’s a stupid business decision to limit your audience that way. It just restricts growth and accessibility. An inability to grow the audience is what led to the fighting game coma of the early to mid-2000s. For Dragon Age, Bioware redid the UI for consoles and I’d bet the game was a bigger hit because of that. I don’t know what can be done to console ports of fighting games to make them more console-friendly, but the leniency of SF4 was a definite step in the right direction.
  • Well as I mentioned, there are pros who use standard pads. You just can’t expect the same level of control with one as you can with a dedicated peripheral, though I think that goes without saying. You can definitely play with one, and I didn’t mean to sound like you CAN’T, because that isn’t true. I just wanted to point out that those controllers weren’t made for fighting games, and these games weren’t designed with those control methods in mind (mostly, some ports have alternate methods I’ve described in the paragraph below).The leniency in SF4 is overkill, to the point where it can actually cause you to do moves you DIDN’T want to come out (such as a teleport instead of an ultra for Bison). The other option is to add the ability to map moves to the right analog stick (Blazblue has this). The problem with that is it doesn’t allow you to do all the different strengths of each move.You can’t really ‘magic’ away motion commands without isolating some audience (mainly the arcade), or removing core gameplay. How would you handle the multiple strengths of moves without motions? Can you come up with a way to handle that using only one button, and not exceeding the current 6 buttons (for sf games, anyway)? Excessive input lenience and using the right analog stick are only duct-tape solutions at best. Input lenience is good to a point (try playing super turbo, that shit is STRICT with inputs, it’s frustrating since it has very little lenience), but if it goes to far it causes more issues than good. Having specials set to one button would either require a bunch of buttons, or I don’t even know what. It just wouldn’t work for current SF games, or even future ones if they stick with the 6-button format.
  • I think the problem with mapping special buttons is not that it can’t work, I just think that the games that used it just weren’t thinking about it. Of course if you’re just going to tack it on like a handicap or a random ez mode feature, it won’t be fun at all. If a game were to actually build itself with that premise in mind, that all moves are super easy to do, you’d just make up with it in mechanics.Like off the top of my head, add a parry system that if you press the defend button at the exact moment a special move would hit, you absorb it in your super special bar (I think a SF did this). Normal moves won’t add onto it though. Also, make successive special moves do less damage if used in a row. Have normal moves do around the same amount of damage as special moves or just a bit less to encourage their use. Then, have a dash to close distance.

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