What makes a casual game competitively popular? Why did Smash blow up?


#1

Disclaimer: I’ve never played any of the games I mention in this thread, apart from some of the Naruto ones.


This thread is actually about Smash. I don’t know anything about Smash, so I was wondering why it got so big competitively when other casual FG games like Powerstone, or various anime-show fighters like DBZ, Naruto etc, never did.

Does Smash have superior gameplay to these other games? Or is it some other reason? Or just a historical accident of some kind?

Edit:
Let’s get some definitions out of the way so we don’t argue semantics. For the purposes of this thread, Smash is a FG. Heck, Virtual On or Gundam VS is a FG. Guardian Heroes is a FG. Catherine is a FG :slight_smile:

As for “casual”, I define it by the intentions of the developers. If they are aiming towards a younger audience, a broader audience, a non-competitive audience, or an audience that they don’t expect to devote a lot of time and practice on the game, then I call it “casual”.


#2

lolsmashbroslol

for your information

Spoiler

smash isnt a fighting game


#3

Probably because of its wide appeal. It was a pretty unique game when it first came out, and really drew in a big crowd of casual players who liked it. Some of them wanted to make it more competitive than your average 4 player party came, and so tried to bring it out to the tournament scene.

I just think Smash, is the most popular casual “fighting game”, MUCH more popular in comparison to anime fighters or stuff like that. Whenever you get that many people interested in a game, inevitably, some of them are going to turn hardcore.


#4

Smash isn’t a fighting game, not a traditional one anyway. Also, while it may be a party game, it’s competitive and not casual.

Some obstacles in the way of casual games from becoming competitive include lack of balance, randomness, non-consecutive path of improvement, some element FGC members refer to as “dat bs” or glitches, etc.


#5

There’s so such thing as “casual”.
There are only better games and worse games. Better players and worse players. People who love the games more and people who don’t love them as much.

Also a “fighting game” depends on the set of rules you choose to go by when you define the genre, because the purpose of giving something a name is to be able to transfer your accurate thoughts to others. Clearly we focus on a very specific type of multiplayer action games which includes rules like 2D camera view, 2 types of defense, character automatically facing opponent etc. etc.


#6

serious answer: the scene is what makes a game casual or competitive. if no ones playing it, it’s obviously not a competitive game


#7

VS.

No one is playing it but it’s a competitive game.


#8

Shrug, let’s get some definitions out of the way so we don’t argue semantics. For the purposes of this thread, Smash is a FG. Heck, Virtual On or Gundam VS is a FG. Guardian Heroes is a FG. Catherine is a FG :slight_smile:

As for “casual”, I define it by the intentions of the developers. If they are aiming towards a younger audience, a broader audience, a non-competitive audience, or an audience that they don’t expect to devote a lot of time and practice on the game, then I call it “casual”.


So it seems one theory is that, because Smash is so massively popular in the first place, it became competitive because a certain critical mass was reached due to a certain percentage of its players wanting to be seriously competitive with it. I guess a necessary precondition is that the gameplay is sufficient to allow some level of competition.


#9

Then DFO is a fighting game:
[media=youtube]mG1gCz_o_J8[/media]


#10

For the purposes of this thread, yes, yes it is.

If you abstract it enough, Tennis is a fighting game. The only reason its not, is because we dont associate hitting a tennis ball back and forth as “combat”.

To be clear, what I’m calling a FG in this thread is a game that allows player vs player combat, where the control focus is on one main character per player (to differentiate between FG and RTS) and where there are no AI targets or other primary objectives during matches (to differentiate between FG and MOBA). Since I’ve never played Powerstone, Gundam VS, Smash, or DFO, I don’t know if they violate any of these rules. But from videos they dont seem to.


#11

Um, no. Tennis is a sport.

And the game ElderGOD linked is just an awesome multiplayer beat em’ up.


#12

Any game that has a player fighting another player is competitive. I think you’re looking for “tournament worthy” or something.


#13

I meant Tennis video games. And I dont see how DFO is much different from Guardian Heroes, which I have already classified as a FG for the purposes of this thread :slight_smile:

Competitively viable / competitively popular also works.

Can we please move on from semantics now? Although maybe my question has already been answered, if noone else has any different opinions.


#14

SSB: 4.9 million
SSBM: 7 million
SSBB: 9.4 million

Number of copies sold. That’s possibly more than the entire Street Fighter series added together.

Then something is wrong if you don’t respect Melee as a legit competitive game (Brawl is a different matter…), considering how hype that game is and how it’s actually quite execution heavy at high level.


#15

Where’s that vid… alright here:
[media=youtube]vXgpGBbh5r8[/media]

I am not trying to turn this into a SSB discussion, but I think that’s a good example of kind of what Nick said. I think the community ultimately makes the games they play more competitively the more they play it and “develop” it. It’s a hard topic, because defining a “competitive” game can bet taken in different ways. Mario Party could be a competitive game because they are people competing against each other?


#16

I wish I could change the thread title so it said “competitively popular” rather than “competitive” :confused:

So far, it seems like being “popular” and supporting competitive play are the only conditions necessary for something to become competitively popular?

Has there been any FGs released that sold as much or more than Smash but never took off competitively? I guess certain games like Gundam VS never really took off in the west but they seem to be popular in asia. Also, maybe sports FGs like Fight Night?


#17

You’re over-analyzing it. Developers hardly had influence on what we did to their games.


#18

What are you trying to say? That gameplay doesnt matter?

Or are you replying to my “intentions of the developers” statement? Because that was purely about how I define “casual” vs. “not casual”, as a convenient label.


#19

Developers are fighting game gods that know all possible combos, even those that don’t exist.

More random videos:
[media=youtube]CAExmXrSlYY[/media]
[media=youtube]cWnpVPWvwvc[/media]
[media=youtube]90W59GvSJ9s[/media]


#20

How many games has broken the 5 million mark, let alone how many fighting games have broken that mark? All MK, SC (except SCV) and DOA games sold well but the scenes of these games never took off. SCV’s scene has taken off and that game was a sales flop. So people wouldn’t still be playing the SSB games if there’s not a certain amount of quality in it.