Anime style Fighters: Heaven or Hell?

Anime style fighting games have been the most numerous type of fighting games coming out in over the last few years, many of which are have established or are establishing a line of series. To name but are few…

Guilty Gear XX series
Melty Blood
Sengoku Basara X
Hokuto no Ken
Arcana Heart
Akatsuki (yes, arcade release)

And theres even more waiting in wings as doujin games, just waiting to make the leap to arcade just like Melty Blood and now Akatsuki have.

My question is though, why haven’t these games taken off in the UK?

Guilty Gear, the industry standard at the moment has good sized scene in the UK, but it feels rather stagnant. Like the scene itself hasn’t grown much over the last few years, but seems stable enough. Its been awhile since we had a UK release for the series, but we finally have AC on the Wii. But do you know anyone who owns AC on the Wii? Surely anyone in the UK who was interested in AC would have imported the JAP/US PS2 version ages ago. Would anyone say AC being avaliable on the Wii has brought in new players to the game (by which I mean competitively of course)?

So taking AC as an example is my original question simply answered by lack of UK releases for these games or is there something else?

Anime/manga in general has been on a massive rise now for years now. And anime/manga fans are no strangers when it comes to importing. So why arent they hooked on these new titles. Are these anime fighters too complex? Possibly (I’ve already talked alot about this, check my topics - Problem of Execution and Future of fighting games). Or is it simply cause these games arent based off popular mangas/animes?

Other fighters like DBZ and Naruto sell loads, obviously cause they are much more recognisable and provide lots of fan service, which is something other anime style fighters obviously lack. The fan service is something which was missing from HNK which maybe one of the reasons why it wasn’t a hit, or maybe once again, a lack of a UK release really hurt it.

At events you don’t see much love for anime fighters. Last year for Rebirth 2007, only 8 people entered the HNK tournament. There was a hell of alot of talk prior to the event about the game, with quite a few people showing interest, but ultimately only a fraction put their money where their keyboard was. Maybe it was just far to broken to be taken seriously competitively, but according to the latest news about game, its not only a 1 character game anymore.

Also you don’t see many other anime fighters at events other than guilty gear. I’ve seen Melty blood a few times on ps2, but if its not the latest version (PC), it likes playing an older version of GGXX; no point. I didn’t see Arcana heart at SVB at all though. Being one of the latest releases, I thought there might have been a bit noise for game to be at SVB on a casual setup. Maybe people are just too embarrassed to admit they like Loli.

Loli has alot of stigma attached to it. Playing a loli is kind of like a taboo i guess, something some people do, but don’t really want other people to know or talk about it. Maybe that stigma is rightly deserved. Little girls, big heads, no tits - no doubt if it was popular in America, Jack Thompson would blame games like Arcana Heart for creating pedophiles.

Hmm I think i’ll leave it at that.

P.S. I was referring to UK events, i do not know if the same things apply at US events.

back when i used to attend events and was interested in tourneys and RBS the genral attitude of GG was " nah man this game is shit blud bare air dashing tings happening on screen"

i knew loads of people that hated GG, i can only speak of GG because when i was into all that shit that was on only game in that style out, but look at all the games you said they have a few things in common, chains air dashing ALOT of defensive options, i honestly think alot of people just find the game to overwhelming to learn.

I just think that style of game just dont do it for alot of uk people, you will always get small pockets of people that will play that style of game or just play anything in general but i honestly belive alot of them just dont really care enough to attend events

however i do think a game like atasuki would be quite popular, but how many people know about it? lack of exposure also a lack of being able to embrace new things hurt alot of fighters, again i can only speak of when i was into all that shit but i can imagen nothing has changed at all

I’m not sure why you think Guilty Gear, Basara X, Blazblue and Akatsuki are “anime fighter” but looking for individual reason each of these game failed might be a better start.

Strong Arm Alchemist

Well, if we are purist, mostly all fighting games from Japan are “Anime games”, even Street Fighter/KOF/whatever.

But about the “why the Otaku crew dont like these games?” question, its just because of the complex stuff, as you say, DBZ and Naruto games sells (or pirated) very well because of the easy-to-learn systems (yeah i know that some people plays these games in a competitive way, “easy to learn” doesnt mean that is easy to master).

Just for an example, some weeks ago i played DBZ Budokai 3 with some friends who are Anime-fans (Otaku) and they just love to see the cinemas and launch a Kame-Hame-Ha by just pressing foward+button, then i say “hey guys, lets play GGXXAC” and no one was interested because “its too hard to play”, they barely can make a QCF and a button… its the reality of the scene of those DBZ/Naruto/OnePiece/whatever fighting games: Those games are supported by people who likes the characters and the graphics of the game, not because they are fighting gamers or something. Hell, i can ever say that all those games that you mentioned in your list in the Anime-fans scene are just excuses for Cosplay with all those people who say that “loves Guilty Gear” but never play it and appears in events cosplayed as Ky or Sol, it happens all the time, and they are mostly the crew who devours the “merchandising stuff” of those games.

Its a little sad considering that i like Anime games and i play mostly all fighting games because i love the genre in general, i dont care if the characters are oldskool, Anime, loli, furries, 3D, digitalized characters or whatever, if the game got a good system, im there.

Non-doujin anime fighters (the doujin are packed with little girls and character designs that are annoying. I find it hard to understand why the majority of doujin games made are chibi-shit about under-developed schoolgirls, and not awesome, masculine shit like Baki or Tough…something that’s already ABOUT fighting.) are great…as long as the emphasis is on the fighting, and doesn’t include stupid shit like having to play fuckin’ beatmania with the buttons after you connect with a super in order to have it actually work (Naruto, DBZ, etc). An anime fighter should have a ratio like the following. The fighting part of the games is where most companies fail, cuz it’s like they’re trying to toss casual gaming genres into the game or something. Bust a super…time the button presses to make this move work right, even though you’re already nailed your opponent with it, and the cutscene should just go ahead and show the pwnage! I suppose these idiot developers think this kinda shit’s fun. It’s a distraction. I remember a fighter where when you tagged somebody with a super, you had to play some Mario Party-esque shit to determine whether your character actually did the super, your character failed and was left vulnerable for a second, or both characters just rebounded from each other with no damage. Man, that was some serious bullshit.

One thing’s for sure and that’s HnK is not lacking in fan service, the game is literally packed with references to the series.

Question is, does that even matter to the UK scene? There are probably few heads who have seen the OAV but in comparison there’s even fewer who have seen/read the actual series. Compare that to countries where it was actually shown (Japan, Europe) and loved and you get the type of players who will learn the game no matter what.

Personally, I have no problem with the intermediate-level strings in HnK and the execution required but compare that to - say - Alpha 3 (where v-ism execution isn’t exactly a world apart) and I can’t do shit. I can’t be bothered to learn anything because I have no interest in the game.


Pretty much. "anime fighter’ isn’t a useful distinction anymore. Even Alpha was considered an ‘anime fighter’. The new wave of fighters aren’t anime fighters – they’re ‘pressure’ fighters (Besides Blitz. Which isn’t much of an anime fighter either but whatever).

The new focus on fighters is crazy rushdown. These games focus on rushing down and mixing your opponent up with less emphesis on spacing and positioning (though they still exist). This is the opposite of (non-Darkstalkers) Capcom games. “Positional” games are really lacking these days and that crowd has little to play in that respect (as opposed to more Street Fighter/Older KOFs).

So the reason to look at isn’t “why ain’t kids like the animes!” it’s about how the focus in new games have changed – and this change is usually a much more confusing one with tons of systems and a high execution requirement. These games are generally less excessible than Street Fighter but Japan doesn’t care since they eat the new games up.

So… Uhm. the real answer is “Get everyone to play Blitzkmapf” – Yeah, thats it. Lets all play Blitzkampf!

Spacing etc. is still important. I wouldn’t say the games are focused on rushdown, per se. More like they’re focused on having a lot of options and complex systems. Creates a barrier before you get to the actual gameplay.

I always thought that “Anime game” meant “game based on an anime, and featuring said anime’s characters”. Like Naruto, Dbz, Hokuto No Ken, Bleach, Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure, etc…and then you have your doujin(shi) games, which are games based on fan-made manga, your Melty Blood and it’s schoolgirl-filled, chibi-looking bretheren.

no. the spacing/positioning is just different. it’s not “less” or anything like it. you still have “sweet spots” and all that stuff. it’s just a little harder to understand and comprehend than in the oldschool games.

Of course spacing is still important – but not in the same way – not when the speed and movements involved are so fast and dynamic.

Anyways, if you look at these systems they all facilitate two things. The options to help maintain pressure and options to make sure such pressure can be escaped from in some way or another. The games have robust systems to support the breakability of the games offensive engines.

Either way though I think we can agree that these newer games do not stress the values of older games and have their own unique focus and feel – which is layered behind a berlin wall of knowledge and execution.

While they exist and are relevant, are you truly going to tell me there is nearly as much emphesis on them? Spacing and position used to be everything. Now it’s something. Something is still a lot, but it’s role has definitely diminished. Even if it’s ‘different’ at a 1 to 1 ratio, is it even quite the same thing anymore?

yup that’s what i am saying. BTW i’m only talking about GG here. i won’t get into MB and AH which are almost 100% pixie character games and i don’t know enough about them for this argument anyways.
GG has all the spacing/positioning oldschool games had, in a new form, plus new ways of spacing/positioning, plus all that rushdown and mixing up patterns you pointed out.

if you can give me an example of something in spacing and positioning that oldschool games have and GG doesn’t i’ll be glad to hear, and ofcourse, answer.

Oh, I couldn’t give you an example because, if you choose to, you can sit there and fight for small positional aspects of pixels. Sometimes with some characters you have to (I play Johnny :open_mouth: ), but the reward for these options are much less then the rewards for other options, usually. You are not encouraged to use them because they are limited in effeciency by the sheer speed and movement of the game.

Spacing/positioning CANNOT have the same importance because you’re busy doing other things as well. It’s not like I’m saying this as if it’s a bad thing, but it serves as a turn off for people who care about these elements. I play and love games on both sides of the fence and I have to acknowledge that these games play differently and they focus on different aspects in different amounts.

are you sure?
when i play eddie vs testa and eddie vs pot matches i focus on staying on one of the sweet spots (which are different in every matchup ofcourse) 90% of the time cuz that’s the safest way to get the chance you need to start doing your thing. sounds like “encouragement” to me…
other options involve trusting your yomi and taking risks, which is something you have to do in 3D games or in 3S, but not in games like GG where just like SF2 you can “fight for being the one playing safe”

what are those other things? rushing and attacking? you need to get a chance for that, and there’s alot of positioning going on there as well.

Actually I was able to think of a few examples.

Playing E-Honda in ST against Ryu. My life and death depends on very exact positioning thats difficult to achieve so I can possibly jump in and not get smacked in the face/swept on reaction when I try and jump in. I NEED this postion – or a mistake – to possibly get in and do some damage. TO do this I’m waiting for a gap so I can fine tune my positioning just enough to safely escape.


I’m playing Johnny against Venom, and Venom is doing gay-ass ball stuff to feel the screen with horrible balls. I am STILL waiting for a gap, but what happens when I get one? I jump out and double jump/air dash/air FD/Whatever I can to try and escape. spacing isn’t massively important here. They change my options, but I HAVE options. I can make use of spacing – maybe jump juuuust outside his air throw range in the hope she takes the bait and whiffs, but generally I already have some decent options.

In Guilty Gear you also have some great ways to negate your opponents positioning. FD, bursting, DAAs. When you get in a bad position in ST you have almost no options and your opponent has a huge advantage. This makes positioning and ST very interesting.

In Guilty Gear, when you’re locked down you have a ton of options to try and get out – but they’re all both powerful and punishable. This makes the positioning less important (you can lose it very easily) – but you can punish these multitudes of options if you plan for it – and thats really interesting!

Yeah, Guilty Gear has positional/spacing stuff and it can be really important – but positional advantages are not as powerful and can change hands very quickly. As Johnny I have to worry about the range I try and keep my opponent at – But my opponent has a million and 1 ways to get past that position. and I have to have other aspects of my game in mind more so than what normal range I want to keep them out – because I won’t have them there for nearly as long as I’d like.

Rushing and attacking. Mixing up your offensive patterns – the full time activity of Guilty Gear of blocking. You need a chance to do your thing, but theres a lot more ways to accomplish this than exploiting position. You have a lot of options at any given time to get a chance to cream your opponent. You have mobility to exploit, plenty of ways to bait your opponent or try and force them to make a mistake – and poking/zoning/spacing. And once someone gets their momentum on and you start doing your thing the on, there isn’t as much of a battle over positioning but a battle of options and which ones are safe/are baited/whatever.

Edit: I fear this may go on forever. :frowning:

As much as I don’t like Sengoku Basara X, that game is NOT an anime fighter, calling it so is full of so much ignorance. It’s just a fighting game spinoff of a Capcom beat’em up based on historical Japanese figures just jazzed up tenfold. i.e. It’s a fighting game based on Capcom’s ripoff of Koei’s Sengoku Musou.

I would say the new generation not anime fighters is becoming more difficult to get into the gameplay thanks to the difficulty of learning the system and stuff.

Really people just wanna play and fight which if your learn the system just leads to mind games. Thats the difficulty in new generation figthers They are more technically difficult and how do i say this…the gameplay is sorta random.

arcana 1 might have been a “pixie” game perhaps, with the exception of maori, kira, and kamui, but arcana 2 deinetely is not. there’s several different character archetypes that DONT play like pixies at all…besides the characters i listed, catherine, petra, clarice do not really play like pixie chars at all (check youtube matches of them, if naything.)

And spacing is still hugely importan in this game too…just the difference bwtween something like, Arcana and ST, and th Arcana has more movement otions to keep the offensive flow going, and it has more options to help you out on defense as well (clashing to stop high priority spammable goves, refined GCFS ala SVC - aka GCFS done correctly and NOT retarded risk reward scenario) free movement with homing cancel, and refined arcana usage to help out with homing options…its a much more refined system than the first game. anyone who thinks the game is all rushdown pixie is either uninformed or ignorrant - especially considering one of the most powerful chars in the game right now (clarice) is a zoning character with HUGE space control.

though i wish the loli stuff wasnt in there, because some people cant get past that barrier, which is the reason why they won’t play the game.