Friday, December 31, 2010

Fighting Game Conveniences

Sometimes, when a new fighting game is under development, game developers will overlook some of the more modern and very useful conveniences. Not saying that it isn't important to put a tremendous amount of focus into the game itself. Whether it's keeping the game balanced, making it consistent, creating lots of depth, less depth, etc. However, it does help to have a few options available for those who do more than just play the games.

For instance, if you look at Guilty Gear Accent Core or even BlazBlue; it has one of the "MOST" in-depth training modes I've ever seen. Nearly every single training option is available to you. This ranges from computer actions, available resources, recording player actions, recovery, etc. KOF's training mode has it so you can record inputs, frame by frame. While not necessary, it allows the community to dissect the game even further, with a lot less hassle of having to program our own resources to do so. Even BlazBlue Continuum Shift has the option to change your control settings directly from the character select screen. This is amazing. Guilty Gear Accent Core has a tournament friendly pause menu. When you pause the game, you can change the control, with several of the most commonly used pre-set control settings in America and Japan. Also available from the pause menu is the ability to return to the character select screen.

Point is, there are a few things that developers could pay more attention to, besides the game itself. Here are just a few of the options that would help make fighting games much more successful.

1) Replay/Record option - Great for uploading videos, tutorial, combo videos, etc. Why wouldn't you have a replay save mode?

2) In-depth Training mode - Tools available from BlazBlue, KOF2K2um, and GGAC's training mode are useful. In both BBCS's and GGAC's training mode, almost damn near every single option is available to you. Opponent's recovery timing, recovery directions, displaying FRC inputs, and so on and so forth. Even the ability to reset character positions by pressing the select/back button. Great stuff! Better yet, VF4-Evo has an option to view inputs and animations by individual frames. Among other superior VF4Evo training mode options.

3) Useful pause menu - When you pause the game, options like: Character Select, Stage Select, Button Config, etc.

4) End of each match option - When a match has ended, provide options to return to main screen, character select screen, re-match, and other useful options are very welcome.

5) Button Config in Char-Select screen - Ala, BlazBlue Continuum Shift, this has proven very useful in tournies.

6) Netplay Lobby Support - If the game has netplay, this would be great. SNK isn't very good with lobby's when playing games like MOTW or KOF2K2um. But it helps to have something on par with the likes of SSFIV or BBCS. 

7) Online Spectator mode - If a game has netplay features, one of the more important ones is spectating. Some players just want to watch, so why not support this? Have an option to switch between active player/spectator. This would be wonderful.

8) Online Player Skip - SSFIV and BBCS have some sort of method of skipping players. Perhaps combine the elements of both, a time limit if opposing player is ready *AND* an option to skip your own turn.

9) Online Training Mode - Also a tool from BlazBlue Continuum Shift, this allows you to play in training mode while you await your next opponent in an online ranking match. This game has proven there's no excuse for not having something like this.

10) MvC2 / HDr Style Button mapping - It's just ever so convenient when you can map your controller/stick from just the tap of your buttons. The maps are LP, MP, FP, LK, MK, FK in that order. So when you're mapping LP, you tap the button you want it set to. Then it automatically moves to the next button map. This makes it quick and easy to map your buttons. This is also convenient for players that have sticks with no button labels on them, or for players having to use adapters/converters.


  1. point 8 & 6. I also think there should be an option to go into training mode while watching a match or in a lobby. Blazblue lets you go into training mode while waiting on a match, but I think if you have a lobby of 6 or 8, the people not currently in a match should be able to go into training mode until it is their turn.

  2. Nice article. I was thinking about the same things recently for what they should do in 3s online edition

  3. I think an online training mode would also be appreciated, but nice read overall.

  4. I totally agree. Not to say that developers are lazy, but, when standards have been set it's difficult to praise anything less than that. Especially when it's minor features like replay save or button config that can make a huge difference.

    Vanilla SF4 had a nice movie/art gallery whereas Super left the option out.

    KOF had a brilliant sound select mode with every character/rival specific sound byte. A step above that would allow the animations to be viewable as well but, I don't think that's been done in any game.

    The major disappointment comes not from the lack of improvement or ingenuity of these features, but from a regressive or disregarded implementation of established options.

    SSFIV should have a clean pause(is that even hard to develop?), start menu camera control(such as in Smash Bros), screen capture, local replay save(training/vs sessions), and viewable tutorial examples with command timing(like in Virtua Fighter or Soul Calibur).

    Even Soul Calibur had replay save camera control(as does non FG Halo 3 etc). SSFIV is a beautifully rendered game, and it deserves such an immersive and exciting feature.

    If a wonderful and relevant executable option exists it should always be used. At the very least it will always make something already great even greater still.

    Great article, thanks!

  5. I also think that a controllable slow motion/speed up rendering feature would be absolutely killer in any fighting game. Especially SSFIV.

    There's a tremendous difference between something like that and the limited slow mo used in the game's existing replay feature.

    There are videos on youtube illustrating this point using super moves and edited clips to simulate this true slow motion.

    Although it might diminish the impact experienced in game due to the brief and infrequent exposure to this effect in regular play. It would be worth it. I'd pay money for it.

  6. I DEFINITELY would like an online training mode.

  7. I can not stress enough for fighting games to be able to pick the choice of song per stage. Guilty Gear Accent Core had this and it was amazing. Could pick whatever song at whatever stage. It was great.