I’m going to attempt to be constructive. Fair warning, I’m blunt.
Check out VF4 Evo Quest Mode. This mode is my favorite single player thing in a fighting game outside of a sound test. It tries to emulate real life by giving you “arcades” to go to play other “players”. I think the AI was based on human players to an extent. There was a lot of stuff to collect and unlock (stickers, prizes [G or items to wear], orbs, in game challenges) and they had a few different modes outside of the standard VF play like SeeSaw (both opponents start at half life and you gain life when you dealt damage), lightning battle (game was faster and moves cancelled into other moves).
It’s great because isn’t typical “story mode”, it tries emulates the VF arcade experience.
"The Lives of Others"
Interesting. I would bring up team battle and team tourneys but you seem to be talking about playing together at the same. You’d probably know what I’ll mention about how fighting games are meant to be like “1-on-1” fights like boxing/bloodsport/martial arts/etc. but that’s not really a reason. I’m not saying not to try, but the genre is not like RTS or FPS where it’s inspired by squad/military, which are naturally cooperative.
VF4 Evo solved this, Skullgirls is going to do it again.
“Every title in the ‘Super Smash Bros’ franchise, including the humble Nintendo 64 debut, contains a short instructional video that covers the basics of the game. Why hasn’t the competition done the same?”
What? That little demo showing what each button does and special actions was in some (most?) arcade fighters. It’s a shame these kind of died, I still like to leave a game running at the “PRESS START” screen to see if there’s any videos. Console games come with manuals in the case (I’m guessing I’m one of the few who still read/look through them before putting the game in system).
"Fight For the Future"
Obvious statements are obvious. Yes, we’ve pointed out that fighting games are like the last genre that don’t include anything tutorial and probably the genre that needs it the most and yes, it’s been pointed out there is much in the way of casual appeal.
Tacked on MP in shooters is annoying, I hate the “shooters need MP” thing people believe. Multiplayer is great but single player experiences are great too.
My own opinion on this “design flaws”:
Half of VF4 Evo should be the standard in terms of tutorials/instructing users.
Casual fluff would be nice, like character profiles, unlockable art, sound test (<3), challenges, story mode, etc.
PUSH BUTTON BUTTON CONFIG
Online needs to improve cough GGPO cough. Still seems like online is put in as an after thought or consoles+fighters+online is just not mixing right now. We’ll see when Skullgirls drops, a game made to be played on GGPO from the start.
Next gen, I’m hoping FG developers pressure MS/Sony to allow them more freedom. I really like how a GGPO lobby is set up, where you can challenge or spectate whoever is in there. It would cool to make a room with like 8/16/24/32 people and be able to challenge who ever is free or just chat up. Maybe we’ll see this in the near future though…