Can fighting games/games in general be timeless? Are they?

I’ve been thinking about this for a while, and I was debating with myself whether individual fighting games can be something that can be played for a long time, something that our grandchildren will be playing.

What inspired me to make this thread was a topic started in the HD Remix forum about SF2 possibly dying. The SF2 series has been getting competitive play for almost 20 years now, how many video games can say that? very few, if any. The problem is that 20 years in the grand scheme of things is very small. Games such as chess, and go, and even other board games have lasted for decades, centuries, and even millenniums. Now lets get this straight, I’m not comparing fighting games to those types of games in terms of the technical areas; the styles and rules are too different on the surface. What I am comparing though, is that these are both games (board games and video games), and when one area lasts longer than we are alive, then it would seem expected that the other will do the same.

Now, I know why individual competitive games die off (CvS2, Alpha series, outdated Tekken, Soul Calibur, and VF games, etc…); reasons are that a new version replaces them, where the game has significant changes, but the base of the games design stays the same (Tekken, SF2 series), or the game loses its player base (what is the point of playing a game competitively when there is no one to play it with?) The first one is obvious, but why does the second one happen? why does a game like CvS2, which has more to “figure out” last only 7 years (and could have been less than that), whereas Super Turbo was still going strong for 15 years (prior to the release of HD Remix, a game that is more new than ST, and has the same base).

Are these in a way, just games? maybe it is the how the game eases on newer players trying to get in the game (the more simple the initial hurdle, the better, but the game needs depth, as well, or it will suck, which is why board games are still popular). Or maybe is that games get stale (which is a complaint about why CvS2 is dead and why 3s is on that path). Starcraft is about 11 years old, and is considered a national past time in South Korea, but with SC2 on the horizon, it will be interesting to see how that comes into play.

By the way, if anyone got confused when I say individual fighting games, I mean games such as Super Turbo, MvC2, etc. Not the whole genre, but each game by themselves.

I think you’ve been spending too much time in Apoc’s thread.

Pretty sure we’ve had this topic a dozen times over anyway.
Games are embraced by a different crowd. Gamers tend to be the type who want constant evolution and progression in their hobby. That’s why you’ll have people move on to newer games that they hate rather than stick with older ones that they love. Though, occasionally, you do see players really devote themselves to a game like VER ditching CvS2 to go back to Alpha 3.

Depth is not the issue here. I mean we have people who devote their entire lives to bowling or darts.

As for Super Turbo lasting longer, that one should be obvious. It was the last update of the first SF series. People respect the foundation.

I think the problem fighters have in comparison to RTS and FPS games is that people just don’t understand them past “do moves and combos”, and I just expect this to get worse. Really, in the last 10 years, how many people have come up that can really break these games down? Very few of the new guys can hang with Valle, Choi, Wong, Ricky and a lot of the people born from the California/New York arcade culture in terms of basic fundamentals (tricks and system-specific stuff don’t count). What happens when the vets retire for good? Is the new generation really gonna be of the same calibre when there’s no stable offline scene to support growth, and the online scene is still questionable at best and unplayable at worst?

This isn’t like sports where the old guys stick around to coach scores of young guys and pass the game on when they can’t or don’t want to play anymore. Even if they wanted to, it’s notoriously difficult to verbalize a lot of the concepts, let alone teach good spacing to someone from scratch, and it requires them to lose **a lot on their own ** rather than contributing to a team (in however small a manner) where they can still feel some sense of accomplishment. That’s why shitty FPS players have no problems jumping into a big FFA or team game and getting a few kills here and there, but they’re far more hesistant to sit down and play you 1 on 1. Same goes for people in Starcraft UMS games, pub’ DotA games, CoD, WoW especially, hell all of the big games of the last decade or so.

The support structure just isn’t there for it to last forever. At least not over here.
I mean you do have people trying to teach, but about 99% don’t know what the fuck they’re talking about or at least not well enough for it to be the “right answer” – just something that will probably work at a particular level against a particular person. Hell, I could sum up a ton of stuff on the strategy forums here with “bad advice” and “misinformation.” It’s just not the right people who are teaching. Occasionally, you get guys like Middlekick, Buktooth and Xenozip who really know their stuff, but a lot of the time, the stuff that gets posted is just junk. I was guilty of that for a long time. Hell, a lot of the stuff in my own LB2 guide makes me cringe. Not saying lower and mid-level players shouldn’t be able to share ideas, but you don’t hear enough of the right voices on here and other communities.

It’s a complicated issue. On the one hand, you show people the intricacies of what you’re doing with basic things like movement/frame disadvantage/advantage, and it makes what you’re doing a lot less special; on the other hand, you never tell anyone, and, given enough time and frustration, most people never understand nor care why they lost to you. I’m not saying people should be spoonfed; that shit annoys the hell out of me, but it’s like cradling a plastic bag when you’re the only one who knows it’s full of money.

Why would people respect fighters as something timeless when most don’t understand it past hitting buttons in the first place?

the average person sees fighters as something monotonous, repetitive

All types of games can become repetitive after awhile.

I can’t understand how anyone can gobble up pellets and ghosts, jump over barrels/goombas, and shoot down enemies level after level and have fun. Not my kind of thing.

With fighting games, there is usually always something to learn/master.

Games of all types live on when:

1: There’s a score/time to beat.
2: A tournament to be won.
3: Good times/memories to be had.

Games die or are forgotten when nobody (a community of people) cares anymore.

The problem with fighting games is there is too much choice. Choice is a good thing, imo because I’d rather play 5 versions of SF than 1 version of Pac Man.

EDIT: I also have a belief where players tend to favor certain games because they’re better at it.

Example - 3rd Strike player hating on SF4 for whatever reasons (parrying? characters?).

A game doesn’t suck, maybe you suck at it?*

*Some games really do suck. I know that =)

I can still enjoy IK+ on an emulator for an hour or so. But SF1 sucks, it’s like playing a bad version of SF2 with only a couple of characters.

It should also be pointed that video-games (properly said) are commercial digital products, unlike physical games. Companies sell the game, not what you need to play the game, like Chess. Video-game companies do not develop a non-virtual game and its rules and then sell the equipment needed to play, they develop the whole (virtual) game. Its lifespan is limited to the product itself. You can’t play without that product. It won’t be commercially available at large scale forever (so a scene can live/arise/etc). Generations from many centuries from now won’t be able to play games like, say, Blazblue (I’m not saying it is a bad thing :rolleyes:). If anything, the classics (like SF2) will be available for (commercial) download as a novelty.

Honestly, I always think about these questions too. We were born and lived in the beggining of the video-game industry. It is today bigger than the movie industry. I can’t see it dying soon. I think most of the games we have played on our lifetime will probably be forgotten in 200 years. Well, I just don’t know… speculation is bad. We shall see.

I’m sorry if my post is confusing, but as you can see, I’m confused myself and English is not my native language. Still, I hope I could have been clear on what I think.

And yet these are the same people who play halo and think it’s the best thing in the world. It’s either shooting, meleeing, or throwing a grenade. Yes definitely not repetitive or anything…

Emulation + netplay.
Also I suggest you to read main objective of MAME development team

Bah I’m too lazy to read all of it to be frank, BUT I think the only “games” that will be timeless are Chess and Go. I’m honestly not trying to be an ass or jerk by any means.

Chess, Go, and other boardgames don’t evolve with console generation or better graphics or change the gameplay. They don’t need a TV, AV input, HD input, or even an RC adaptor yet countless books and stradegies have been written for them. They even have super computers vs grand masters.

If anything, it seems Starcraft and Counter-Strike 1.6 are the “timeless” games of gaming’s generation so far.

The biggest problem with games being “timeless” is that they only run on certain systems. When the last of that console system is gone/ruined, the games can never be played again.
Except for emulators.

I don’t think any modern games will be ‘timeless’ simply because 3D graphics technology is always improving. There will always be a newer, better looking version of whatever you’re currently playing on your PS3 or Xbox 360. There’s nothing ‘novel’ being released on the current systems that won’t always be around in some form. In other words, there are no ‘Motor Toon GPs’ or ‘Jumping Flashes’ that will be worth revisiting 10 years from now. Gaming has moved from the golden age to the assembly line.

There are timeless games that kids still play. Naming them would be a waste of time because everybody knows them. I see kids with Contra code shirts and Mario Bros. shirts. They buy and sell 8-bit and 16-bit games on eBay and they know how to run emulators. Those games stand the test of time because there is no modern equivalent. It’s like a film from the '50s or '60s. They have an aesthetic that can’t be duplicated.

Some but not all. Go back and play the first Virtua Fighter or Tekken. It’ll drive you crazy. As soon as you try to play, the world will crack open right in your living room, demons will fly up and start eating your flesh, finally a geyser of menstrual blood will spew into the troposphere in the form of Avril Lavigne’s face and recite the screenplay of Patch Adams for all eternity.


why are people so impressed with graphics? It really doesn’t affect game play mechanics. Go look @ DOA anything. The game is a joke due to bad engine mechanics yet, it has amazing graphics. The reason why a game stays is because of how well it plays, not the way it looks.

The games we’re playing today might have historicak emphasis on it, but to have people still playing MvC2 in 2100? I don’t think so…

Needless to say look at Final Fantasy and the Street Fighter franchise in general, very little has changed in those 2 games(series) since concept and they still retain popularity and make sales. I think in years to come Call Of Duty will be held in the same standard(even tho im not a huge fan of it) just look at massive following it has to this point, they could make 10 more of them an just change lil bits here an there and folks will buy it.

Fighting games are owned by for profit companies, so they’re objective is not to make a great game. They want to make a game that will sell. If they ever stumble across the perfect formula (or have they already?) It will have to be replaced soon after.

Imagine if chess was privately owned. As soon as sales started dipping we would see:

“Chess 2!!! Now with twice as many squares and two queens per player!”

Eventually we will have to make Street Fighter esque games indipendantly and pass them down.

Btw this topic has been swimming in my head. Thanks for bringing it up!

Time doesn’t betray games…but games, also, mustn’t betray time.

anything genuinely good can become timeless. if its just a gimmick or just has the latest graphics/special effects, or is a flavor of the month, it will be thrown out with the trash. course there is also luck involved since it involves alot about peoples perception, and fighting game players are still gamers so they are often attracted to shiny things and scared of anything different…

I think fighting games are timeless. They just appeal to our basic desire for violence and competition.

Hell, what do you think gladiatorial arenas were for? Roman Street Fighter.

If you ask me, the pure existence of proves than, at least SF, is timeless.