Priority in Fighting Games

So E3 is here and Marvel vs Capcom Infinite had trailers shown off last night. Needless to say they have caused some…mixed…reactions. I had a debate about it and thought it was worth posting about with full on details. You’ll see what I mean shortly.

First off, let’s look a Marvel vs Capcom Infinite since it’s the new baby. As we all know, Capcom is pretty much the granddaddy of fighting games and as such generally, has good gameplay.

Marvel vs Capcom Infinite

It looks smooth, it doesn’t play like a hot mess, and most can enjoy the gameplay even if the roster is hit or miss. Good in motion but then you start to look closer and well…

KILL IT WITH FIRE!

Yeah up close it’s not so hot. Then there is the matter of the voice acting being off, the music has no consistent trends in instrumental choice (remember this for later) but is at the very least memorable, and cutscenes being like such…

Blinking optional

Now, this is where the actual debate comes in, just because the story and voice acting and up close look of the characters aren’t so great the fact it has good gameplay is what matters most. But this is where I start to make people not like me. I don’t think it does, not entirely. Partly because they are actively promoting the gameplay as the main thing and like their previous marketing has kept the story and gameplay trailers entirely separate. They want you to care about the story and be drawn in by it so it should be held as such. Now why is this such a big problem when fighters have historically not been the best at stories at all?

The one game we’d expect to have no story has a surprisingly good one

Netherrealm Studios, the guys behind the Mortal Kombat series (the series focused heavily on just eviscerating your opponents as violently as possible) since Mortal Kombat 9 has been doing great story modes. 9, X, Injustice 1, and Injustice 2 all have worthwhile stories and even get expanded to be better through comics.

Cutscene in Injustice 2
Versus intro in Injustice 2 using in-game models

Not even comparing graphics, the animations are smooth as hell and the voice acting is on point.

But now for the flipside, while NRS is really good at PR and cutscenes and voice acting they still have awkward controls and clunky gameplay animations at times. Namely, in their defeat animations where they fall to the floor, immediately shoot up to their feet, then fall back down. It’s really awkward and takes away from the win when other fighters you’d just stay down. The music is also not the most memorable at times. In this case, the story takes more precedent over the gameplay while Capcom takes the reverse. So which is better using this logic then? Well, we aren’t done quite yet! Because there’s another fighter out there who’s reasserting itself into the fray!

Welcome to the King of Iron Fist

Tekken 7 is balanced in that it has a really good story and equally good gameplay. It’s the whole package; it looks good both in and out of cutscenes, the music has kept the same techno vibe it’s had for years and remains memorable and just sounds good, and the gameplay remains stellar.

Image result for Tekken 7 Alisa
In-game model
Image result for Tekken 7 Alisa
Cutscene model

Tekken is the full packages so why should we give something that wants to be taken as a full package a pass like gameplay overrides any criticism? Perhaps we’ll find a fighting game that really does just blow us out of the water with gameplay and no story in the form of a surprise hit with people.

ArcSys delivers great visuals in Dragon Ball Fighter Z (also Guilty Gear)

So with that all said; I don’t want fighters to fail if hey don’t have both gameplay and story, I don’t want to just hate games because of the ever mounting small issues that begin to ruin the experience, but I also don’t want to just give it a pass and ignore things. I’m an artist and a writer so things like this will stick out to me and if we can have a better more balanced game we should aim for those and not just settle because of name recognition. Otherwise, how will you learn and improve? Either way, the decision is yours which you go for but I think we should be able to acknowledge the pros and cons of things we like without treating them like they’re perfect.

Image result for Sonic the Fighters
Except Sonic the Fighters…let’s just…pretend it never happened…

 

 

 

 

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