Had some thoughts on certain features in Fighting Games which I felt were not very good, why, and potentials on how to fix them if they are used again. Decided to share to start some discussion and hear what Features others dislike.
Parrying : First off, 3rd Strike is one of my favorite Fighters. I enjoy the characters and pacing and it has some really good features that set it apart. From a game depth standpoint and the standpoint of someone watching a match Parrying is a really cool feature. It also allows for some extremely dramatic comebacks and can be alot of fun. It also allows for the inclusion of some attacks which would nowmally not be very balanced in a Street Fighter Style game. Without the ability to Parry, Ryu’s Denjin Hadouken would be probably the best super in the game.
It was a good idea, just executed poorly. As I have seen posted elsewhere; it allows basically for you to attack while defending. While offering alot of depth it also rewards a combined turtle/rushdown gameplay. It also brings the fight alot closer together by reducing the effectiveness of longer ranged attacks, reducing alot of zoning elements of the gameplay.
The Just Defend feature in Garou functions much the same as Parrying but instead rewards well timed blocking as opposed to well guessed aggro play. I would have to say hands down that if Garou had two more versions released to tweak it out like SFIII did that it would be the better game by far. Just Defend also plays well into the T.O.P. system and as a result is a very well fleshed out feature.
I firmly believe that Parrying is the reason certain characters are so low on the tiers.
Parrying is fine in CvS2; the timing is made a little tighter to make it less random and abuseable. It also is tied to a specific Groove out of six possible choices. Having a choice of other playmodes which also have their own merits makes it less defining to the game overall. There are other good options to choose from, but you have to sacrifice what P groove offers to get them. 3S should have done this.
In addition to selecting your Super Art you should have also had a choice between two “Grooves”. The feature really is already in the game. Power vs Defense ; You choose to play with EX moves or Parrying. This also fixes another issue. Many Super Arts and Characters are cut down by the need to have access to decent EX moves. When people discuss which SA they select, they usually rate by how well the SA stores SA and whether you can freely use EX moves and still use the Super (ie supers with one long Bar punish you for using EX moves)
By choosing to use either Parrying or EX moves at the start of the match, certain Super Arts which were unplayable before now become alot more useful…as do certain characters.
Another fix I concidered for Parrying is the idea that you can only Parry certain moves. It becomes less “free option” if you for instance cannot Parry Energy attacks or Weapons, and allows for some advantages to be added to some characters if you want to give them the ability to Parry Energy attacks or Weapons. Urien for Example has Metal skin so having him able to Parry Ibuki’s Kunai or Twelve’s weapon arms allows for good character flavour and really good metagame design.
Assists/Strikers ; First off; Strikers/Assists are absolutely crucial and brilliant in the Capcom VS series. They fit the game perfectly and add alot to it. One of the things that makes MvC2 so amazing is the depth in character selection when selecting Assist types and learning to use them properly.
My main beef is that they have no place in King of Fighters. In a game series with much more narrow (read ; less bizzare and oversized/powered) options than the over the top vs series, they are very damaging. They give characters moves they should not have and allow for really abusive game situations…with no drawback (a badly timed assist in MvC2 can get your partner killed). They also forced the designers to spend the time animating and designing a 4th member to each team…with the idea that the 4th character on the team only really needs enough frame data to do the assist. It would have been better design to give each team an assist character which has the only purpose of being used in assists (like in MvC1, only one specific too each team) and then used the design time to give us more 3 man teams that feel less forced.
KoF is full of alot of really good innovations, but should not have Assists (or Tagging).
One thing KoF got right that should have been in MvC2 is the extra Strikers. It would have been nice if there was a hidden 4th Assist mode for each character which was a character not in the game that only came out for Assist and the big Assist Supers, characters that didn’t make it into the game. Might have made some more characters viable as well.
Custom Comboes ; This is the one thing I loathe most about the Alpha Series.
Why does every character have the ability to summon shadows that follow them and hit your opponent? From a pure mechanical standpoint it is a decent idea and loads of fun, but opens up so much potential for game breakage and makes characters alot less unique. CvS2 got V-ism right in my opinion It seems less dominating and because you can still do the characters level one supers during the combo it allows the character to retain more of their uniqueness while doing the combo. But in Alpha 3, there is really no reason to pick anything but V-ism for the most part. This feature is also lame because it is essentially the same as the Super of one of the characters already in the game…only more abuseable. At least in Alpha 2 Rose could CC and do her Illusions at the same time, retaining a degree of what makes her special.
V-ism is good for giving new players something to do. Most new players are likely to do a CC by accident. Capcom should have set V-ism as the default Ism in A3 instead of A-ism and had it labelled as simple instead of X-ism. Not because it is the simplist mode, but because it is the most rewarding for people who have never really played a fighter before. It is more accesible.