Question about complexity of 3 different fighting games


Before I start, let me explain my FG background. I started playing SF2 when I was in elementary school on the Sega Genesis as well as Mortal Kombat. At the time, SF2 was my favorite game ever because I loved the combo system in comparison to the mechanics of MK. After SF2 and probably MK3, I haven’t played any fighting games. I recently got back into them after playing SF4 at a friend’s house. I’m currently interested in 3 different fighters although I haven’t played any of the older releases of 2 of them:

  1. MK9
  2. Soul Calibur V
  3. UMvC

Since I’m really a newbie (after abandoning fighters for so long and playing 3rd person shooters and role playing games), which of these 3 fighters would I probably find the least complicated to begin with? Could you order them from least complex to most complex?


It depends of how good you want to get


  1. SCV
  2. MK9
  3. MVC3

But thats just jumping into the game at beginner level, once you want to get better all 3 are going to have different skills that you need to learn. Meter works differently in all 3, one is 3D, one has a superjump screen. Unless you just want to mash buttons all three are going to take some work to level up in so you might as well pick the one you like playing the most since it will be the one you are the most likely to put time into.


Thanks for the reply. If you added SFxTekken where would you place it on the list? Also, do you think they’ll be re-releasing it with all the DLC characters?


Hi Legion Quest,

I’m in the same boat as you, I’m just starting to play Fight Games seriously. (After casually enjoying them for many years).

The Ps1 game “Pocket Fighter” may be a good ‘trainer’ for you. . A lot of the competitor-level guys will probably have a laugh about Pocket Fighter, but; it’s helping me “get a feel” for fighting games. It’s finally clicking “when he does this, I do that”. . . This game is only 6 dollars on PSN.

Anyways, back to your original question. I believe SC5 would be the easiest. (I don’t have much experience with MK, and I have “attempted” play MvC enough to know that it’s “crazy hard”).

I have a fighting game buddy in town who owns SC5, and I can tell you (one casual fighting gamer to another) you’ll love it. I don’t know how the “top tier” SC players feel about it, but, I’m planning on picking it up soon. There is some good info on SC5 over on 8 way run .com.


Your question is totally subjective, and a lot of people here are going to tell you that games with a high learning curve are easy just to stoke their own ego, which is all well and good, but doesn’t help you at all. If you are really loving and having fun with a game, the difficulty isn’t going to be an issue, because you are going to want to put in the time to learn and get good. My advice would be to spend time with the current crop of fighting games, and see what clicks with you; don’t worry about being ‘good,’ because if you are enjoying yourself, results will come.


It’s a highly subjective question, since it depends on what you mean by complex. Do you mean it’s complex to play at a high level due to execution? Or do you mean it’s complex due to the fact that you have to each match-up to a very detailed level? Complex as in the ability to be creative with your combos?


Thank you everyone for the info and help.

Thank you for the question. I mean a combination of both control complexity (I’m not a big fan of the SF 6 button system or the VF button and direction system for 100’s of normal moves) as well as combo execution complexity.


All 3 games that you listed have a 6 button system, except for MK9, which I believe is 5? SC5 is similar to VF and Tekken, where there is a button+direction system for the moves, resulting in a command list that’s about 5 pages long.

Sounds like you’re more inclined towards 4 button system, like KOF, GG, BlazBlu. Although those games have extremely high combo execution complexity.

If you want simple controls, with low combo execution, I guess you could consider the Smash games? Although they’re not exactly the standard fighting game archetype.


Whats bad about the 6 button scheme?


[FONT=Helvetica]Nothing is wrong with it, but I’m new and doing combos with a 6 button system is harder. As for MK, its really 4 buttons, I don’t consider block to be a button.

eltrouble, thanks for the input on SC. I guess I’ll stick to 2D fighters. [/FONT]


I think I’m going to start with MK9 (I know a lot of fighter fans hate the game). Then I’ll go on to UMvC.


I Liked mortal combat as a kid but i think after 3 it kinda started to go down hill for people.specially with all the other fighters that would come kinda just hit free fall mode but MK9 is great and really brought them back to a level of respectability.


Unless you’re playing on a 4buttonPad, I’d challenge that opinion. To have a similar complexity as a 6button scheme, 4button games usually choose very strange stick movements (like 632146 or 2363214 for a single special move) which in turn increases the actual execution barrier.


LQ, you said you were looking for a game that wasn’t too complex with controls or combo difficulty. I really think Pocket Fighter is the game your looking for.

There is a “punch”, “kick”, “special”, and “taunt” button. Pressing P+K will throw your opponent, qcf qcf p is Ryu’s Might (Super) Combo, and there’s a ton of other stuff that will carry over to “real” Street Fighter.

All combos start with punch. (basically PKPP, PPKK, etc). So you’re going to have no problem with controls or combos. . . It’s also a lot more fun to practice your hadokens, and shoryukens in Arcade Mode of Pocket Fighter, than it would be in SF4s training room.

Because of the 3 button control layout, you really don’t need an arcade stick to play pocket fighter. (They taunt button is actually the “start” button in the arcade game, so you can’t really call it a “four button fighter”).

Sorry if it came across like I was “derailing” your topic. I think you and I are on the same skill level, and Pocket Fighter really has been a great “trainer” for me. But, there’s nothing wrong with getting the game that you really want to play and just “jumping right in” :slight_smile:


I actually find the opposite is true, 6 button system makes a lot of sense to me, but then again I’ve been playing SF on and off since I was about 7.

Nothing wrong with the 3d fighters. In fact, their control scheme is pretty easy to learn, but knowing how to utilize each character’s variety of moves will take time, not to mention knowing OTHER character’s movesets to learn the matchup. It’s a 4 button system, but requires more complexity of left-hand motions to execute combos and movement.

If you like MK9, then go for it. There’s a lot of depth of strategy and execution to play that game, but it’s just not as popular as Capcom or Namco games are. I say as long as you have a decently strong community in your local area, you can go quite far in that game.


I’m going to go a little more in depth in explaining why I don’t fully support the Capcom 6 button format.

I’m not against creating 3 degrees of punching and kicking power/speed. The problem is that this is incorporated in places where I don’t really see it creating any added strategy except by introducing unnecessary complexity. I mean specifically incorporating 3 degrees of power/speed in special moves and jumping moves (jump kicks and jump punches). I don’t really know why one would use the weakest form of Ryu’s Shoryuken flying upper cut move (using the weakest punch to end the control stick move) if he can go for the strongest degree of the same move and inflict more damage. The only time this makes sense is probably if one is spamming a jumping opponent with fireballs, suddenly releasing a slower moving fireball might cause the opponent to land on top of the fireball and thus get hit by it.

Just so no one gets upset, I’m a fan of SF, and my first fighting game ever was SF2 on the Sega Genesis.


eltrouble, I rented VF5 for the PS3. I’ll admit it was fun to play, but I could tell that to perfect any character I’d probably have to put as much time into the game as I would have to to train as a professional tennis player. I don’t have the time to learn and incorporate into my game the hundreds of moves each character has. I guess 2D fighters are easier in this regard.


I don’t. 2D Fighters are just less obviously hard. To “perfect” someone, you still have to work assloads. You can’t get around that (aside from accepting that you won’t ever perfect your char).

Different strengths of buttons have different kind of properties. Varying fireball speeds make it more difficult for your opponent to react. LP SRK has the lowest recovery so you may use it to ‘guess’ without eating a 500 dmg punish, MP- is your go to AntiAir/Reversal because it has the most invincibility, and HP deals the most damage so it’s your choice as a combo ender.
Jumping attacks still have very varying properties, eg for Juri@SF4 her LK is a crossup that can land in front, MK is a crossup that lands behind, HK has the most range and damage (eg being the normal of choice when doing a jumpback antiair), LP is the quickest so its useful for air resets, MP juggles so its your go-to air-to-air for big damage, and HP is an ambiguous jumpin that knocks down and avoids most reversals for easy ‘safejumps’. All of these buttons got a use.

You still have varying strenght buttons in pretty much all 4 Button games, its just Weak/Strong instead of Weak/Mid/Strong. All this does is take away an option, and to not have less options this pretty much forces 4 Button games to (see above) include very strange joystick movements for specials, increasing execution difficulty.


I’m going to go into why your argument is flawed.

It adds a LOT of strategy to the core gameplay of SF2, if you ever played SF2 at a competitive level, you’d see value in this. This is similar in saying how a new player thinks that the light and medium buttons are absolutely useless, since the hard punches and kicks do more damage. While they are correct, that single hits do more damage when using fierce or roundhouse, it utilizes a very shallow and base level of thinking. Let’s go through the various uses of all 3 versions of punchs and kicks.

Ryu’s jab uppercut has the most invulnerability in ST, as well as the shortest recovery time. This makes it the most reliable for a clean anti-air with little risk of trades, or being beat. It is also safe on block if you can space it out properly, and due to its short recovery time, means that most characters can only sweep him after a whiff, which isn’t too damaging. The fierce version of uppercut, however, does more damage, but has less invulnerability frames, and has an extremely high rate of recovery, which means a more damaging punish combo if you whiff it. Also, jab uppercut builds meter faster, and safer, from a far distance.

His fireballs all change in speed with the different versions. This is absolutely crucial for Ryu’s fireball game, since the ability to change the speeds of his fireball alters the pacing and tempo of the match, as well as limiting the options of your opponent in specific scenarios. A fierce fireball is quite easy to jump over, whereas a jab fireball can often throw off the timing of your opponent, and allows for Ryu to slightly walk forward in anticipation of a jump-attack, or just to gain more real estate on screen.

Ryu’s short tatsu builds meter quickly, while also giving him the ability to gain ground on his opponent. Many opponents can often fall for his short tatsu into jab uppercut bait, and if they’re scared into blocking low after a short tatsu, you can follow up with a throw, an overhead, or cr. chains to push your opponent into the corner. The roundhouse version of tatsu does more damage, but it also moves Ryu a greater distance, which enables him to escape certain dangerous situations, i.e. T.Hawk’s dangerous st.jab ticks into command grab.

So then, let’s get to his footsies game. His cr.shorts can be chained very quickly, which can give you good information as to how your opponent reacts to close-up pressure. It will tell you whether they just like to block, or whether they mash buttons or reversals, or if they constantly stand up to tech the throw that never comes. It’s also used to push his opponents away, create distance, and/or reset a potentially dangerous situation. It can also be used to bait out your opponent’s counter-poke, so that if they whiff it, you can punish it. His cr.forward has a lot of range, and is great for cancelling into his fireball to push the opponents away, as well as poking your opponent with a good low attack. His sweep has decent range, starts up fairly quickly, but has a lot of recovery, so if you whiff it, you’re prone to being punished. Utilizing all 3 of this attacks is important in his ground game, and this is all before we get into how he’s able to use his st.punches to counter specific attacks (Cammy’s hooligan throw), or its use as anti airs (jab and st.strong are very good anti airs).

That’s just for one character, a very basic character, similar examples can be found in any of the 16 cast members for ST. There’s no such thing as a useless button in the SF 6-button layout, you just have to learn how to use them properly in competitive gameplay. Trust me, they’re not there for looks.

Well then, I guess you should stick to 2d fighters for the time being. Either way, it will take some time to play it at a competitive level, at least to the point where you’ll start to perform well at tournaments and such. Playing fighting games, ANY fighting game, is like playing chess. Except in fighting games, everything happens in real time, and you and your opponents start off with a different set of chess pieces to play the game. It’s up to you to figure out the rest, everything from your own strategy and execution, to deciphering your opponent’s most likely options and how their play style will affect those options.

There’s a reason fighting games have such a high learning curve, it requires dedication and work to be competent at it. It’s not going to be like modern COD games, where you can just pick up a controller and intuitively pick up the game within a week or two.


Yeah. :\