A Quick Rebuttal to ‘Why Fighting Games Are Hard’

In response to Core-A Gaming’s request for feedback on what I consider the hardest part of most competitive fighting games:

 

The really arbitrary button inputs. I don’t have a whole lot of experience with fighting games outside of Mortal Kombat and, more so, the entire Smash Bros. series, and what keeps me from becoming invested in most fighting games is just how arbitrary attack and combo inputs can be. In MK at least, combo inputs can vary greatly from character to character. This creates an arbitrary, almost QTE (Quick Time Event) scenario that doesn’t encourage me to learn more than one or two characters. It’s seriously frustrating.

Core-A makes some good points, but he never really addresses this issue head-on. Another problem with traditional fighters is movement. Maybe it’s just because Smash 64 was the first fighter I really got into, but the lack of movement combined with the overly complicated move sets just makes fighters like MK feel stiff and unrewarding, even when I’m winning.

Maybe more traditional types of fighters just aren’t for me, but all of Core-A’s points are, dare I say, represented stronger in Smash – especially Melee – than traditional fighters. Smash puts less emphasis on robotically memorizing inputs and more on actually interacting with your opponent(s) in a dynamic and engaging way. It also has a lower bar for newcomers, but still rewards players for going the extra thousand miles and committing to that more robotic method of ingraining split-second reaction times.

I realize that ridiculously long or complicated button inputs allow for more diverse move sets. I just can’t get past the arbitrary difficulty level or unnecessary complexity; I think those elements stubbornly stick to the fighter genre’s roots out of some misplaced sense of tradition or nostalgia – or in other words, they sell well because they’re ‘classic’ – and not because they offer any sort of higher-tier gameplay.

As they say in every other field of art: less is more.

 

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