Chances are you’re much too casual of a reader to appreciate the depth, complexity, and skill required to appreciate fighting game articles.
Firstly, I’d like to start off by explaining my background involving fighting games.
Like many others out there, it’s been only recently that I’ve considered myself a “hardcore” fighting game fan (I try for the sake of my own dignity to use that term sparingly). I was an only child growing up, so video games were pretty much my big thing. Of course, I was a kid, and while I owned a few fighters here and there like Tekken 3, Soul Calibur II, and the Smash Brothers series, I never really held fighting games in any different light than the rest of my collection of games. It was only until recently, like so many others, that I fully grasped the potential depth, challenge, and excitement of fighters, with the release of SFIV and MvC3. Now, one thing I might add is that I’ve never been one to play games poorly; I like to win (imagine that). The reason I’ve always loved games is because they’re something I can excel at, time and time again. Through my teenage years, I was a die hard FPS player, and I loved kicking ass online. I was always good, and could pretty consistently land myself in the top 3 on the end-game scoreboard. However, every so often, I would meet somebody who would absolutely wipe the floor with me, and it would completely infuriate me. Thing is, I loved it, because it would give me the initiative to step up my game, to become better, so that in the future, when I ran into someone with that skill level again, it wouldn’t be a problem for me. I would be able to once again ensure success.
It’s that competitive element that has recently drawn me to fighting games in such an intense manner. Like no other genre is there such a deep, complex, challenging, and out and out FAIR way to compete with another player. No power-ups, no power weapons, nothing but you and the guy standing accross the screen from you, armed with a massive, diverse, and balanced set of kick-ass moves, just like you, and you’re both ready to kick ass. And in that context, when you know your moves, play smart, and deliberately and successfully walk away with a victory, that’s a really amazing feeling. To expand on that, fighting games offer the ability to REALLY stick it to your opponent, with the inclusion of flashy combos and devastating super moves. In this sense, fighting games allow you to play with style, and that doesn’t seem to happen too much in most other genres. To me, this is from where the deepest satisfaction comes from playing games like this. The feel of finally mastering my favorite character’s move-sets, then finding impressive and effective methods of defeating my opponents is an unparalleled feeling of achievement within the realm of video games.
So don’t get me wrong, I understand why fighting games are the way they are. I understand how they work, and I love it. But I’ve been thinking about a few things recently that have me absolutely stumped regarding the evolution of fighters. I’ll break it up into categories, I suppose. That way my shoddy and over-worded writing might be a little easier to ingest.