Expanding the appeal of the genre

I am largely making this thread in response to Gamespot Thinks A New Standard Must Be Set To Fix The Fighting Game Genre, sans the pseudo-journalism.

In recent days, I had been thinking about the likelihood of the Fighting Game genre shooting itself in the foot and entering another Capcom `dark age’ if recent trends continue. Think about it: the companies do not develop these games to make the tournament players happy, nor do they care how much hype we have for any particular game. The bottom line is all that matters. If, hypothetically, Marvel vs Capcom 3 had bombed (clearly it did not, but stay with me), it would not matter how many of us grew curly mustaches and cried ``But… it’s Marvel, baby!’’, the guys at the top would have cut future support and any possible future development.

To use a more realistic example, Soul Calibur V. The Soul series has never been a huge draw (beats me why), and Namco had originally planned to scrap it after SCIV. Due to an overwhelming community demand for a new game, they greenlit a sequel… which was met with a lukewarm (at best) critical response and seems to be a commercial failure. The tournament players seem pretty happy with it, having finally got the technical game they wanted back, but with the cost being poor sales they may have planted the hatchet on the series.

Whether you want to admit it or not, the casual crowd is important. They will never attend a tournament, they are unlikely to be a meaningful match online (if they play online at all), but they make up the majority of the sales. If Capcom, Namco, SNK, etc continue to ignore the casual crowd, I believe the genre’s days are numbered. The tricky thing is how to capture the casuals without alienating the hardcore audience. In honesty, I suspect it is not that difficult, and Gamespot’s article hit on one of the critical aspects: rewards. Soul Calibur V was heavily criticised for its lack of endings in Arcade Mode, a genre standard that acts as the absolute most basic reward necessary for casuals.

If I pick up a new fighting game, the first thing I do is try all the characters, decide on a main and begin working on combos and game-plans. I am sure the story is not too different for most people here. The reward for playing is getting better. I guarantee you there is not a single potential-casual-customer who gives two hoots about that. In fact, that is the very opposite of rewarding for them. Until very recently, Fighting Games always had a critical feature that is sure to interest casuals: Gallery Mode. By playing the game, you unlock things. With a little tweaking, there can be some fantastic unlockables. I remember one of the Soul Calibur III unlockables was a video of people doing crazy things (eg a Seong Mi-na player repeatedly using Taunt to dodge attacks). As the article writer said, making the SFxT free DLC into unlockables rather than downloadable would have made casuals AND the hardcore happier (I bet most of us wish they had more colours to choose from), and I believe Blazblue has colours unlockable from the Gallery Mode (correct me if I am wrong) which demonstrates it is not so alien an idea.

The other critical component missing is a bridge between casuals and competitive gamers. This lack of a bridge means most casuals end up as scrubs, something none of us like. The games do not teach new(er) players how to play. The basic game Tutorials only teach you unique systems, but neglect to teach you fundamentals such as linking or advantage/disadvantage. Mission Mode is utterly pointless in every game I have tried it in. It surely would not be hard to replace these pointless missions with proper BnBs, so as to teach new players practical combos they WILL use online. If the games made any effort to teach the casuals, we may see the community grow, and the proportion of scrubs decrease. That is a win-win situation no matter how you look at it.

However, the responses to the linked page show the Fighting Game Community is hostile to the prospect of casuals invading their territory. This attitude could very well prove malignant and lead to the slow and painful death of the community. We where already given a second chance with this recent rush of new games, so it is our opportunity to invest' in the future of our games. I am not suggesting you go out andadopt a newbie’ — feel free to, if you want — but merely to be open to new ideas and the possibility of sharing the games we all love, rather than turtling until the timer runs out.

I don’t understand why more fighting games just throw together some side scrolling beat em up single player mode. 2D fighters and beat em ups share so many mechanics it just seems like such an obvious option. That and beat em ups lend themselves to a narrative much better than fighting games do.

I think the resistance is that you kind of have to put the characters into an isometric plane, or the game gets really really dumb as a beat’em’up. Even without that it doesn’t always work as well as you’d think, play any tekken force mode.

The best 2 ‘additional contents’ I’ve seen in FG’s are the MK9 challenge mode and the conquest mode from Soulcalibur2 arcade (which might as well have been made for the internet, it would have been absolutely perfect)… oh also actually, tekken ball was an amazing example of what you can do with a little extra thought.

I had a ton of not serious FG friends who really liked T6’s Scenario Mode, even though it was kind of mediocre

That requires a bit more effort than a simple beat um up, but it’s a simple idea and would go a long way towards getting more casual players in

I don’t mind unlocking stuff if they keep it to small things like artwork, movies, music or what have you. I hate having to unlock stuff for customization. Annoying as hell.

I remember Guilty Gear Isuka had a beat-em-up mode. That mode was fun. I personally would love to see more modes like SCIII’s Chronicle of the Sword and Alpha 3’s World Tour.

I’d like to see a beat 'em up mode in a fighter that works like Guardian Heroes - you are still on a 2D plain so traditional fighting game motions are possible, you just have a “plane-switch” button that lets you jump in and out of the fore and background.

There’s tons of stuff that can be done to give casuals some fun, without killing the fighting system itself for the hardcore. I found it amazing that TvC had so many mini-games in it, yet they didn’t even put a Survival Mode in MvC3.

As for unlockables - costumes. They don’t affect gameplay (ideally…), but you can use them in gameplay, so it’s really the best way to do it. Other unlockables that could work would be like GUIs (unlock Vanilla MvC3’s GUI for UMvC3? I’d do it!), announcers (I want CvS2 announcer back. For the lulz.), hit sparks, sound effects, voice options, customizable background music, etc. They’re things that don’t affect gameplay, but they are usable IN gameplay. I love art galleries and all that (and I don’t want them to go away, trust me), but you can’t use them in gameplay so in the end it feels a bit empty.

I don’t, under any circumstance, want unlockables that affect gameplay. Whether that be ‘gems’ or it be entire characters, meanful options should not be locked out. It makes tournament organizing that much more of a hassle. I’ll never forget the time I went to a Vanilla Marvel tournament and Taskmaster wasn’t unlocked so I had to go with Dante/Felicia/My Uber Fraudulent Dr. Doom. No one should have to experience that.

i respect the living shit out of everything you just said

for every 10 casual players, mabye one will ever really give a shit in a deep way, but all ten start at the same level

no casuals means eventually no hardcore

and i think you made a good point, finding a bridge between the two is the key

in a way fighting games ARE that bridge (or at least they have been through their success) yet at the same time many people seem to be pushing to cut out the other half

people want exclusion because they want the power to control their environment, because they think it will make them safe or happy, but once theyve excluded everyone theyll just be weak and sad and lonely

i think the answer is us

i think the biggest reason someone starts down the FG path (a path to badass brotherhood and manly self improvement) is because there was some super cool older brother or cousin or uncle or neighbor who sat the down and said “this right here is the good shit, let me show you why”

remember back when your best bud told you about fatalities in mortal kombat, or showed you how a heavy dragon punch lights the guy on fire, or the first time you ever got raging deamon’d and you thought your brain had melted
and it was like “daaaaaaaamn, the world is a cool ass place”

i think the answer is in that feeling

I was going to make a similar topic, but for a different reason.
To me, the most pleasant (ergo important) change FG devs could do, is to release a game for fucking once, that isn’t archaic in structure.

I want:

  • Online-Rematch, no return to lobby BS, let’s go again, why the fuck is this not in every game yet?!
  • Lobbies that allow me to quickly forfeit my turn, quickly kick someone
  • A matchmaking system that remembers my settings and has a “search again” option
  • Replays of every game, online and off
  • Character-based leaderboards
  • Replays downloadable from people on those leaderboards (should they have opted to upload them)

I’m out of time to write more stuff, but these few measly features are so fucking small, I can not grasp why they’re not in every game coming out today.
It’s like in FPS game evolution people were like “oh, we could allow the player to manually reload” and the feature receives huge praise, but then the next game coming out doesn’t have it. That’s what FGs are like. Sick of this fucking braindead, consumer-milking genre sometimes, I’ll be honest.

Once they got all that essential shit together, they can start worrying about content and the other garbage that makes up 99% of current products.

your perspective makes me sad, probably the whole glass 99% empty angle

how about “god its an awe inspiring miracle that anyone (including myself) still knows what a fighting game is, but each of these things would be an improvement on this already great thing”

if you had said that id be all like “awesome sweet contribution, i totally agree those things would make FGs better, and i want that to happen and if a game does some of those things ill buy it just to show support for that idea” not that you necessarily want that or care about my opinion, id never assume that kind of thing

Casuals can eat a dick. Audience expansion is the exact reason why the quality of fighting games (I’m looking at you Capcom) have regressed since the release of SF4. I would rather go back to the days of the early 2000’s & mid 2000’s, when we were lucky enough to get netplay of any fighting games, even if the code was shitty.

If I had it my way, fighting games would only feature the standard modes, and nothing else: Arcade, Versus (local), Netplay, Training, and Options. And to top it all off, the GUI of the menu will be akin to the test mode on the arcade boards, text over a black screen.

if i had my way fighting games would all be final fantasy 7


if i had my way, i would ban you

I don’t mind the Capcom dark age. Other companies have continued to release good(better) games while capcom was too busy focusing on other shit, they being present or absent is not relevant to whether FGs are gonna be played or not.

Frustration’s a hell of a drug.
Or something to that extent

about this, you are so correct

i bet, based solely on the fact that we are both on this website, if i knew you irl, id probably think you were a pretty cool dude

ill keep you in my prayers, and pray you get evrything you desire so that you dont have to be mean and angry any more =D

ps- i would like to add that you do not have your way =D

You have a basic misunderstanding of how these things work.

Game quality has only increased over the years. The difference people think of has everything to do with the love of the familiar and the fact that people can make ANY game deep and interesting if they put work into it (and will take flaws as advantages if they’re emotionally commited)

thank you for existing and saying this

-Quest Mode which was pretty much a story mode except the story was you’re a VF player and travel to arcades to beat the competition. The last arcade housed the marquee VF4EVO players at the time (in AI form).
-Items to customize your character or change main menu screen which you unlocked by points earned in a store, completing “side quest” in Quest mode that you set (break X throws, land X hits combo, win by timeout, beat a player named XXXXX), completing the trials (each character, completing the tutorials (beginner, intermediate, advance for each character), completing missions, and random matches that were “prize matches”.
-Tutorials, Missions, Trials, Encyclopedia of FG terms, etc
-Also had alternate modes of play like seesaw, hyper speed, iron man, low gravity, etc
-Training Mode is the best training mode of all time. Combo Recommendation, Frame +/- display, …

Game was like $20 greatest hits title when it came out then (VF4 came out before it, this was like this games UMvC3) and is now on EU PSN store.

Of course, no one actually cared about this when it was delivered, but now that it isn’t, we need it.

Wish you assholes cared sooner about this stuff and supported VF so we could have a disc release. Not expecting the same volume of this stuff on VF5FS because it’s a DL title :confused:

in my honest heart of hearts, I don’t really believe that a new property can make any reasonable amount of sales.

I’ve come to the depressing conclusion that nothing other than nostalgia titles can succeed, unless they keep prices mysteriously low