Thursday, February 02, 2006

Fighting games to become obsolete?

So I'm trying my best to keep updating this blog so that you people will keep returning for the crumbs of entertainment/knowledge i'm leaving. Either that or so you can watch me implode one post at a time.

I was talking to another videogame designer the other day on a internet message board about DOA4 and how hard the AI is and how that is a dis-service to the average player. Fighting games are already a niche market. Making the few that do come out even more un-inviting is not helping matters at all, regardless of how many fanboy panty shots there are. His point was that fighting games are so niche that all it will take is something like GTA to have good combat and pow, there will no longer be a need for fighting games. Players will get their 'fill' from playing GTA.

At first I agreed with him but the more I thought about it, if GTA had a basketball as good as (insert some really good basketball game I have never played) I think people would still buy said basketball game. Fighting games are dying (are dead?) and there is no denying that. There are still a few franchises that knock homeruns as far as sales are concerned every time they step up to bat - Mortal Kombat, Dragonball Z, etc.

So i ask you readers if GTA had a combat system as good as Tekken would there still be a need for the next incarnation of Tekken?


omar kendall said...

That's a pretty strange contention to make on the part of your opponent. I think there's a flaw in the notion that people will buy only the barest number of games to experience whatever gameplay outlet in which they are interested. GTA has cars and crashes, has that precluded the viability of Burnout? It has shooting; should everyone stop making first-person shooters?

Structurally, I think there are a lot of things wrong with fighting games that are directly leading to their demise - you mention AI difficulty, and I definitely think that's one of them. I would also offer that as Western gaming gravitates more and more towards Western developed games; the fact that most fighting games come from Japan will also continue to hurt the genre's positive growth. The art and gameplay styles aren't necessarily suited towards both markets equally.

Still, I think there is hope. EA Chicago seems to be committed to developing fighting games, with both Fight Night and Def Jam probably sticking around for years to come. Other opportunistic developers will undoubtedly try their hand at the fighting game genre, and who knows, maybe some of them will succeed.

Great topic.

joey nguyen said...

if a GTA style game had a tekken fighting engine, would there be any need for tekken?

to be honest, i dont think a GTA style game could function with the tekken or similar engine as its primary fighting engine.

i've always thought a great idea would be to remake SF2:WW as a GTA style game, with a grip of mini-games (updated versions of breaking barrels etc) to make people happy and nice graphics to make people happy - however i got stuck thinking about combat.

the reason why God of War is so fun to me is because the fighting engine is so fluid, while still being complicated, so fighting stuff is always pretty fun. i think by incorporating a fighting game inspired combat system into a free roaming game, there is a lot of trouble with length of fights (is an average round in tekken too long for an average game player, if fighting each enemy in the game was equivalent to a round? if each enemy fight was shorter than that, is there reason to explore moves, etc?), and with directional movements, i.e. which way do you start an electric motion if you are moving in a 3d plane?

personally, i always thought the best solution would be to have "boss fights" incorporating a full-fledged fighting game system, still on a semi 2d plane (like tekken or sf), while keeping the bulk of the combat free roaming. i dont think the 2d combat system is able to be well adapted as-is to a GTA style game.

- eks

Shin Ace said...

I don't think I'll ever be able to give up fighting games. There's just something about fighting human players, watching and learning from matches, as well as having goals.

When I play GTA, I don't think to myself "I need to learn to not miss that combo" or "I wonder what happens if I combine this with that?". On the contrary, I can pick up the game whether it is 10 am or 10 pm, play a few missions, and then completely forget about it.

I play fighting games life SFA3, CVS2 and MVC2 multiple times a week with human players. They are always challenging me to be faster, stronger, smarter. That is what appeals to me. If you watch a group of new players try a game like mvc2, there will quickly be a dominant player. However, the rankings change with time, and said dominator needs to fight for his throne. This is something you just don't see in 1p only games like GTA. The only genre to come close is first person shooters. Even then, the last FPS I've played was Quake3, and that's years ago.

If anyone here has played Blades of Steel(for Nintendo), you will quickly remember that it is an ordinary hockey game, but with a seperate fighting game engine built in. When a fight is begun, the game stops and each player controls a fighter. It's a basic punch and block engine, but it was fun. It carried over to the hockey game itself, leaving the loser with a missing player. I don't know about you, but I had more fun winning the fight than winning the game. There was also that halftime scroller shooter. Fantastic ideas at the time, but there was no room for evolution of tactics. The game quickly grew stale.

If it wasn't for fighting games, I would only play the odd game of Need For Speed.

With that said, I do not think that fighting games will dissapear tomorrow. On the other hand, any parent buying their kids a console will likely get an Xbox and Halo. The sheer number and popularity of such games will slowly dissolve the aging fighting game scene, even if they release a GTA style game with a tekken type of fighting engine.

NKI said...

Does GTA have a Versus Mode where you can just fight? If so, then yes, I think it might take over.

But if not, then definitely not. If the fighting engine were so good that the fighting game fans abandoned traditional fighting games, you would still have a problem. There would be tons of people (like myself) who only want to play the fighting part and don't want to have to play through an hour of non-fighting parts in order to get to it.

Unless the game featured some kind of Versus Mode where all you do is fight, I wouldn't see it killing the fighting game scene.