I’ve been wondering what it takes for a fighting game to become part of mainstream high level competitive play. I suppose there are obvious answers like balance, access to the game, sponorship, etc. but there isn’t really a right answer.
Consider KOF98 (or any good NG game) - it’s a balanced game and arcades have/had this game in stock, and there are console ports (DC / PS / PS2) of this game. Yet the game is not played competitively in America. There isn’t much of a NG community in America even though cabinets exist and were/are popular (at least IMO). What is the root of this paradox? Is it like soccer where America seems to hate what is loved by the rest of the world?
It’s strange that certain games that are popular in the US aren’t popular in Japan. For example, MVC2 and A2 are so called American games. What exactly caused this to occur? Also 3S (SF3 series) was dominated by Japanese play. It wasn’t even popular in the US until the USA/JP tourney where America got owned hard. There was a shift after this, but why? It’s not like mvc2 increased in popularity after japan lost to usa.
There are countless other questions (e.g. why did SC3 die out, what’s the issue with doujin fighters, what happened to CFE?), but the main question I have is:
Will Hyper SFA get the exposure and play of SFAC?
I don’t think HSFA is any more “broken” than MVC2 / SFAC. That is, I think the game can be played at a high level without banning ISMs / characters.
Basically sums up most of the reasons why some good games dont get as much play as they deserve. Damn shame really, because the Vampire series is a mindfuck gameplay and character wise despite the designs of the characters.
Japan definitely played Alpha 2, there’s a video of a national tournament where Ohnuki wins with Chun. They just immediately dropped it for Alpha 3, which is their usual pattern.
I wonder if part of this comes from the fact that Japan prefers games based on offense, while the old-schoolers in our scene (i.e. the people who run Evo/SRK, and others) still want zoning and defensive battles.
The lack of SNK love can be explained very easily: Most of their tournament worthy games came in the late 90s, when the scene wasn’t large enough to support anything besides Capcom & Tekken AND arcades were already in decline! Remember, the Neo was one of the most expensive consoles ever, and the cost has only grown over time as its cartridges have become prized collector’s items; thus, with the shift to console, it was even less viable to build support for them. I think now, with SNK finally porting a lot of its old-school stuff to the PS2, you will start to see some tournaments.
SC3 was just a badly-designed game compared to the previous installments, that one should be no surprise.
Hyper SFA suffers similar balance issues as Hyper SF2 - old-school (in this case, A1 Ken & Guy) is depressingly overpowered. And it’s not an arcade game, thus Japan will never use it in majors, thus never getting videos out there to draw any interest.
sorry but you guys don’t know for sure what is overpowered in HSFA. you can guess that CE=overpowered, but CE has drawbacks also. it’s such a young game that which is overpowered now will be scrub tier in 5 years of competitive play (assume people play the game. lulz)
the arcade perfect ng carts were expensive, but the kof series came out on ps1 and saturn (i recall i owned 95, 97). also i recall cabinets were everywhere. i think ng cabs are still everywhere. it’s just that people don’t play the game.
Well i can tell you exactly why Neogeo Titles never made it to Evo, and why the scene is stunted. As most of you know SNK went bankrupt in 2000-2002 i believe. Critical time really, considering the B4+5 and evo2002 occur within this time frame. SNK USA shutdown so there was no legal distribution of the latest games at time in the US, which would have made it very difficult to acquire enough equipment and games to run large tournies for Neogeo titles.
Games like Garou and Kof2002 came out during this time period, so they never really got a chance to take off in the US. And by the time SNK got put all back to together it was too little too late. The last fighters on Neogeo were Kof2003, Snk vs Capcom, Samsho5 special, rage of the dragons and matrimelee. All of which were less than stellar titles. Although Samsho 5 special is really good, if you like that style of fighter that is.
To make matters worse Capcom had churned out 2 of their best titles during this time, Mvc2 and Cvs2. Which pretty much filled up the void SNK had left, pretty much killing it off in the US. SNK lovers might want to specifically blame Mvc2 as it was so popular at the time. No where else in the World did mvc2 really take off. Maybe this allowed SNK to creep back in, in other countries.
Also you gotta look at the cost. MVS carts are generally cheap even when new at the time compared to other boards. You got MVS slots and arcade owners only needed to buy new games, not cabinets and jamma boards. Alot of countries can’t afford all this fancy new stuff from Japan, so MVS was a cheaper option, so maybe thats why KOF is so big in China and Mexico. Western world didn’t have the money problem so they could always afford the latest big budget games on offer like Tekken, virtua fighter, mvc2, cvs2, guilty gear, etc.
Finally the Neogeo console, as already mentioned was really expensive, even games today are still expensive for it. Capcom’s fighters were always on the latest consoles, saturn, psx, dc, ps2. Which made them alot more affordable to the average gamer, who probably would have been teenager to early 20s at time. These people who are still in study and don’t have the kind of money needed to kit themselves out with an Neogeo AES. Sure you could alot of SNK titles on the standard consoles, but these ports were atrocious iirc.
MVC2 is all about the superheroes from American Comics. Japan has manga, while i would have thought traditional american comics like spiderman and xmen would have popular it would probably be a niche market over there. Of course its the reverse in America, so naturally MVC2 would get more play. What i don’t understand is why MVC2 never really took anywhere else apart from the US. Maybe the rest of the world can’t take it seriously enough.
Anyone have any thoughts or theories on this?
As for 3s, that game imo is extremely lucky to get such a revival. It seemed like everything just happened right for it at the right time. A big exhibition at evo, where the Japs showed everyone how to really play the game. Couple years later you get the Daigo Parry, which has been seen the world over. And 3s online via annivesary collection brang it to mainstream consoles, even has online for xbox.
SC3 was poor, although the arcade edition did alot to rectify the mistakes, once again too little too late. And the arcade edition hasn’t been released on console either.
Doujin Fighters are free, some of which are based on copyrighted material. Alot have chibi look to them, with some pedo undertones. Doesn’t go down well with the mainstream in the west. Other ones are simply too weird or boring. You do get the odd good ones those (when compared to the rest anyway). Melty blood, Big bang beat, Monster, etc. However its hard for these games to make the mainstream in japan (only MB so far) let alone the rest of the world. By mainstream in Japan, i mean arcades.
CFE failed due to Capcom’s laziness, mostly recycled sprites from previous games, just made it look like a total rush job. However the game is fairly balanced and would be a good tournament game if it wasn’t so boring.
HSFA will not get the exposure of SFAC. For one, its nothing new. Alpha1,2and 3 have all been released on previous consoles. And as far as most players are concerned, alpha’s time has already come and gone. From a certain standpoint you could say CVS1 and CVS2 replaced Alpha. More isms (grooves), more characters. 3s was on the dc though, but jap only i believe, and before the time it got popular around the rest of the world. The Arranged mode is even more broken and messed up than hsf2, cause the games aren’t all based on the same systems like in hsf2. alpha1, 2 and 3 all have extremely different system mechanics and they just don’t gel well, this doesn’t even include all the extra isms they threw in. Plus you have to unlock which may escape alot of casual gamers.
I took the time to right that for you, and thats all you can say?
Did you even read it? if you did then you would know its not because CFE is boring.
Also did you just ignore what i wrote about HSFA? If a fighter just becomes a case of necessary counter picking, then thats not a particularly good game. At the end of the day it doesn’t matter what one person thinks of a game, its what the community as whole thinks, at least when it comes to multiplayer games. Sure you can think HSFA is amazing and balanced. Alot of good that will do you if you got no one to play though.
Capcom has been recycling sprites and rushing out shit for years before CFE. What is mvc2 except some mugen bullshit. CFE didn’t die cause it looked like shit. If people actually cared about how fighters looked like over balance and gameplay people would play shit like DOA (or some good looking 2d fighter with shit gameplay). If people view CFE’s gameplay as boring, then it will not grow.
As for HSFA, people are playing the game. There is tourney interest and tourney footage. The problem is it looks so broken that people are discouraged from playing it. As for CVS2, it hasn’t replaced Alpha. CVS2 replaced CVS1. People still play Alpha 2 and Alpha 3 - albeit not very many people. The problem is no one sees a future in HSFA, SFAC. The only game that people know will stay is ST. It’s the game that people are still playing and will continue to play regardless of SF4, SFA4, 4S, etcc.