Should Life Bars Be Shown?

You can tell me if theres a game that does this, but every game Ive seen has the characters life bar at the top of the screen and allows people to know when theyre about to lose the round.

Maybe this is a problem that keeps fighting game tournaments from being bigger spectator events?

Think of it, do you see life bars atop Boxers or MMA? No and so its a big shocker sometimes when you see a guy get knocked out, things can happen at any second, whereas in fighting games you KNOW when a character is close to dying. Sure that makes a dramatic time that in some great matches push them over the top and people remember it for years later. But if the life bar wasnt there the drama would be there more through out the match, especially for people who dont know all the damage points of different moves and life bar differences between characters.

Of course maybe some people would make a lot of casual players unhappy, but I think some people would really like the added tension knowing their character could die at any second after awhile or with a special move. Maybe this could be an added feature game companies do as DLC or in later updates? I think thatd be cool. Theres no reason for games that have had life bars shown not be shown in a new mode. I mean, think of how crazy Super Turbo would be with this.

What do you guys think?

Seeing as fighting games are neither that question is irrelevant

Isn’t the fact you can or can’t see it somewhat irrelevent when most of the top tiers can kill from 1 hit anyway? (Looking at you Vergil)

Also would make some fighters like Street Fighter engaging in fireball wars being well…even lamer to watch :V

There’s already a invisible stun gauge in SF4. That already gives that sense of added tension.

Anything else like meter being invisible would just be plain retarded, while no life bars would only serve to add a unnecessary barrier for new players to climb.

This does nothing in making fighting games more spectator friendly. In fact, you could say that fighting games are one of the most spectator friendly games out there; everything you need to know as a spectator, veteran or completely new, is already being shown. There’s no multiple camera angles and perspective to go through, life bars and meter are clearly present, all the action is already shown on screen.

There’s games that had trouble going “esports” because the game had trouble in those areas.

SFEX3 allows you to turn off the life bars if you want.

The original SNES SF2WW had a code that you could input to turn off lifebars. But it’d only last 1 round or match I forget. But it was a bitch to get to work. Like going into the options menu 28 times in a row IIRC.

Funny you mention because alot of times, many folks in the industry say that fighting games are spectator friendly precisely because you can everything you need to know on screen.

No, that just makes things appear utterly random. If you look at Boxing or MMA, you see two guys going at it in a ring and feel no exhaustion/risk; they see their opponent directly in front of them and feel pain/fatigue as the match goes on. The HUD of a fighting game is not meant to emulate the POV of a spectator*, but the condition of the fighters themselves, hence the HUD to communicate the state of the character to the player.

If you want a truly realistic experience of a bout between two fighters and a spectator, you need 3 points of view, with each one having their own separate screen. In that sense, you run into the same issue as the racing and FPS genres with split-screen play. Then you have to make a perspective for each fighter and the audience (which can venture into first-person fighter territory… [shudders]). The whole thing is a technical and logistical mess to create, and winds up being unintuitive to most/every person that tries to play.

*True spectator view can work, but it would be nearly impossible to do it during a live match. Best way I can imagine would be saving the sequence of the fight as an animated 3-D model that spectators can pause, fast forward, and slow down while moving the camera around to find the best angle.

This reminds me of Bushido Blade, which is why my answer is yes. Sure you can make a fighting game like BB that has no life bars, making the outcome of the duel more random and surprising, but just inserting that into established Fighting Games wouldn’t work and wouldn’t be welcomed. Spectators want to see the life bars, to know how much damage was done in a combo or what attacks are more powerful than others. Not to mention the fun to be had with the Magic Pixel…

I like seeing the health bars. It makes comeback victories extremely satisfying to watch. I don’t think that would exist without health bars, or at least not for casuals.

I’m sick of barriers being put up just for the sake of making things harder. Fighters already have more barriers than most other games, which I know some people get off on, but that also something that makes the genre really hard to get into unless you are passionate about it.

Though technically Bushido Blade is closer to DiveKick in that it’s all about single hits to kill. Even more so 2 which did away with crippled states.

I really like BB 1 and 2. Its so intense, you can die at any second. I wish there was a real 3rd game in the series, it would be really nice.

I mention the spectator thing because for some reason big crowds arent appearing at tournaments. CC this weekend was mostly some pro gamers, some local gamers, and a bunch of empty chairs. I just wish some how people would be able to reach out to the average person who plays games and make them want to see the tournaments.

And I really do think that a mode of play without a life bar being shown in battle would make some games better and more intense.

Except that it’s already been well documented that one of the problems with eSports in general is that it tends to be hard to understand the matches - major exception being fighting games due to the fact that everything you need to know is on screen already.

Also, if you’re going to bring sports in, lets look at other, non-combat sports. Most other sports show scores or placings. Taking away lifebars would be as dumb as removing the scoreboard from basketball. Even boxing and MMA keep scores, the only reason they don’t display them is that they’re only relevant if the fight goes the distance. Getting knocked out or submitted isn’t down to the number of hits landed or some other linear measurement. Fighting games on the other hand are about “points”, more precisely hit points with each attack dealing a certain, set amount of damage.

There should be blood splatter on the screen COD style so you know how hurt you are.

OP this topic is bad, and you should feel bad.

But who’s blood is that?

Well, there are points on screen for what you do, I mean I dont play arcade mode to get a great score on most games, but you do rack up points for moves you do and getting Perfects ect. Some games at the end of a fight give letter scores too like 3rd strike and sf 4.

I need to start another discussion really on what would make people who dont really play the games watch the tournaments. Is that ok?

I think there could be people out there who would like this. There can be tournaments with life bars, and then side tournaments without.

Except these points and scores DO NOT MATTER in competitive play.

I am honestly suprised this isn’t an Affinity thread.

Also who gives a **** about luring in spectators at the cost of making the game worse for actual players.

The funny thing is, the suggestion actually makes things worse for spectators as well

I think there is room for something like this. Let me just say, NOT specifically for the purpose of bringing in spectators.

You could have visual feedback based on the characters stance, colours, effects, etc. to show how “down” they were so you still had an idea for where the fight was at without the exact numbers.

A game like Nurarihyon no Mago Hyakki Ryouran Taisen that doesn’t have a set of life bars to determine victory but a momentum bar could possibly have a system like this. I think a lifebar system fighting game could also use it if done right.

We are all very scared of things being different in our beloved fighting games, but I am oh so glad we moved beyond the laggy, no combo, no mirror match, broken shit we all (mayhaps) started on. There is space for games “as we know them” and new ideas too.

edit: Not really a fan of them, but some wrestling games have systems like this where the health/stamina of the character is hidden, but then when you need to mash to escape something it takes more presses.