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Topic: Are Fighting Games Too Hard?  (Read 3775 times)

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Are Fighting Games Too Hard?
« on: December 15, 2015, 12:20:56 PM »

    Offline Kiyza

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Or more specifically, is the barrier for entry too high?

And even more specifically, I'm not talking about relatively simplistic fighters like Smash Bros. (mostly). I'm talking about traditional fighting games, where simply using special attacks consistently is a complicated action that will probably take a few hours in training mode if it's your first time, and that's just what comes standard with the genre. The execution barrier is generally the first hurdle, if you will. Then you need to take your time to memorize long, complex strings of combos and figure out game mechanics, like what attacks will cancel into what and how. On top of that, most fighting games will tend to have complex, counter-intuitive mechanics that are tournament standard, despite not being what the game designers intended (ex. kara throws, priority linking, and even wavedashing).

It's only after you hunker down and repeatedly press buttons for hours, attempting to master something that relies solely on your physical inputs, that you can start to enjoy the game the way the developers intended. Of course, after that, you probably still have to constantly keep learning, but at that point, you're probably going to be fussing with strategy, not inputs. In essence, you are not playing the "real" game until you can do everything mechanically 100% of the time, and that can take weeks to months to do. While other games and genres definitely expect similar time investments, be it Pokemon or Counter Strike, they expect you to make that investment in strategy -- "when do I use this move or weapon", not "how do I use it". There, the steep learning curve happens after the basics, while fighting games typically have a steep curve for the basics and everything beyond is even worse.

I'm not saying I personally dislike this aspect of fighting games, beyond perhaps the fact that it limits how many games I can play at once. If I decide that I'm going to focus on learning Guilty Gear and BlazBlue, then Darkstalkers, Street Fighter, and Smash Bros. are going to have to fall by the wayside (unfortunately true right now). On the contrary, I rather enjoy games that make me work for a win, and it feels great to start getting past that initial hurdle. I'm more concerned with how this affects the genre on the whole and the fact that it can effectively make the games seem inaccessible for a lot of people.

I'm interested in seeing some thoughts on this, particularly if anyone has encountered this problem while playing fighting games, and I'd definitely like to get a perspective from the handful of competitive Smash players too, particularly the ones who play Melee and Project M, where these observations are more relevant.


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Are Fighting Games Too Hard?
« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2015, 01:43:13 PM »
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To me it depends on the game. I find most fighting games easy to get into, as long as I don't try to do those overly complicated combos and special attacks, the ones that  require you to put in 10 to 20 button combinations just to do an attack, which honestly by the  time you complete it you'd have taken less time just doing basic attacks and specials, especially finishers in Mortal Combat.

It's for this reason that I love Dragon Ball Xenoverse, simple button commands nothing complicated just hit RT and unleash a Super or RT and LT and use an ultimate.

Course I won't say I don't like other fighting games, I'm fond of the Street Fighter Series, the Mortal Kombat franchise and the Dead or Alive series (For more than just the jiggle physics.)

The only time I have trouble with fighting games is after I play them for a long period of time and my hands start hurting and I end up messing up usually on the last fight of a tournament.

Are Fighting Games Too Hard?
« Reply #2 on: December 15, 2015, 02:07:19 PM »

    Offline Kaiza

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The opinion I have sprouts from my experience with the fighting games, Super Smash Bros. Melee, Project M, Street Fighter 4, Soulcalibur 5, Persona 4 Arena Ultimax, and a little bit of BlazBlue. A couple of those games listed (specifically Melee and Project M) I have taken seriously and competed in tournaments, usually earning my way to quarter finals. Not meaning to brag...just saiyan xD

Fighting games. The way I see it, can be compared to actually fighting. And yes, I have experience actually fighting in real life. I'm currently training in Muay Thai with the hopes of one day fighting in an actual competitive ring. But I digress...

First you learn the basics; the basics is quite simply how to play the game. How to punch. How to kick. How to hadoken. What a quarter circle is. You start to become familiar with the terminology. What a rekka or ukemi is. Etc, etc.

Secondly, you learn how to weave all the basics together to form combos. This is known as practising in practice mode in most fighting games. Just quite literally beating up a non-moving, lifeless target. In real life, we can compare that to a punching bag boxers use to practice their techniques or simple punches.

Thirdly, you get experience. This is arguably the most time-consuming out of all the steps. In my opinion, I think the time you spend here depends on the type of person you are. Are you a fast learner? Do you learn from your mistakes? In this stage, you fight numerous or even a countless number of opponents. Generally speaking on your first few matches, you get absolutely dominated. Upon thinking about why, you eventually learn through this experience of failure that fighting isn't all about combos - or as most people think - all about the offensive. No, there are various factors that takes place. You need to know when is the right time to guard; when to counter-attack or even how to space yourself from the opponent. All this, is learned through trial and error. Match after match after match. Opponent after opponent. Eventually, the experience teaches you how to 'read' your opponents. You start to pick up patterns that you might see re-occur from one opponent to another. Sub-consciously or consciously, you might even develop your own steps for baiting this pattern out and then punishing it since you can now predict the pattern, enabling you to punish your opponent for his/her flaw.

And through experience, battle after battle, you become a veteran at the game. You've seen things. You've mastered your combos and know when to use them. Also, you (hopefully) gain a sense of humbleness as you have learned that you are most definitely not the best out there...however you have the will to improve. Only those who truly wish to learn seek out their own failures, however small, and strive to fix them.

That, in my opinion, is how one should approach a fighting game. And because in my mind I equate it with the same steps of actually fighting, I don't mind working or putting in all that time to become good at the game. Some people have a natural talent at fighting games.

But I remember one of my teachers told me some time ago, talent can easily be beaten by effort if effort works hard enough.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2015, 02:10:35 PM by Kaiza »
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Are Fighting Games Too Hard?
« Reply #3 on: December 15, 2015, 02:58:36 PM »

    Offline Luke[Dumke]

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I just dislike that there is a gimmick to every fighting game.

Like DBZ fighting games have spam abilities
mortal kombat has juggling.

etc..
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Are Fighting Games Too Hard?
« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2015, 05:25:52 PM »

    Offline brolylss20

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To me it depends on the game. I find most fighting games easy to get into, as long as I don't try to do those overly complicated combos and special attacks, the ones that  require you to put in 10 to 20 button combinations just to do an attack, which honestly by the  time you complete it you'd have taken less time just doing basic attacks and specials, especially finishers in Mortal Combat.

It's for this reason that I love Dragon Ball Xenoverse, simple button commands nothing complicated just hit RT and unleash a Super or RT and LT and use an ultimate.

Course I won't say I don't like other fighting games, I'm fond of the Street Fighter Series, the Mortal Kombat franchise and the Dead or Alive series (For more than just the jiggle physics.)

The only time I have trouble with fighting games is after I play them for a long period of time and my hands start hurting and I end up messing up usually on the last fight of a tournament.
like SuperSaiyanCeleri already said you can enjoy the fighting game when there are not many complex combos which we need to press like 10 or 20 buttons and also remember their order because your hands will start to pain like in a hour or so. but hey if there is one thing which comes out good is that playing fighting games will make your fingers strong as hell :P. otherwise fighting games are pretty fun to play i think specially dragonball AF mugen where if u take broly and transform into ssj5 then nobody can touch u and we can kill others in an instant. and also when we play with our friends and making  them almost cry because they don't know the combos and you keep winning like most of the time.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2015, 05:31:36 PM by brolylss20 »

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Are Fighting Games Too Hard?
« Reply #5 on: December 16, 2015, 01:15:48 AM »

    Offline Roxas

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What Celeri said is exactly how I feel about fighting games in general , it's also probably why they don't last as long with me , after I do all the things I wanted to do with all the characters it loses its fun for a bit until about a month later.

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Are Fighting Games Too Hard?
« Reply #6 on: December 16, 2015, 01:39:16 AM »

    Offline Kiyza

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@Kaiza: I totally get where you’re coming from because I’m beginning to settle into the same mental patterns. I don’t really have aspirations of making it on a competitive level, and if I ever want see that side of fighting games, it’ll probably be because I can’t challenge myself with the AI or online opponents, which is a far cry from where I’m at with anything I play. Despite that, I’m just kind of steadily chipping away and improving, the same I do with any other activity I want to get better at.

I also feel like there’s something else that can be drawn from your statement. Fighting games really just aren’t the genre for most people because they take such a great investment. Even after you get past the first few bumps in the road, it’s still uphill. This is true for most games, but it seems particularly pronounced with fighters.

However, while there are people like us who are absolute nutcases willing to spend hours upon hours in training mode, we’re also not the norm among gamers. Most people get bored quickly when faced with situations like that, and even games primarily played for mastery as opposed to completion will be quite easy to learn the ropes of. You play Pokémon and it’s easy to absorb information about type matchups, status effects, the physical/special split, and so on. That’s really the equivalent of what we’re talking about. Learning the ropes with fighting games can take hours upon hours. Likewise, you probably don’t need to rehearse very much for a first-person shooter. Meanwhile, I’m still learning basic stuff for Guilty Gear XX despite having played for something like 12 hours. Granted, Guilty Gear is complicated by fighting game standards and shouldn’t be taken as a norm (and I'm counting basic combos toward "basic stuff"), but the only people I’ve ever talked to who’ve played it admitted that they had no idea what they’re doing despite following the franchise for years. I’m beginning to wonder how much that’s the norm for fighting games -- people who play the games, buy every new iteration, and still have no idea how to play them.

I just dislike that there is a gimmick to every fighting game.

Like DBZ fighting games have spam abilities
mortal kombat has juggling.

etc..

Video game genres in general have a lot of homogeneity and this criticism can be used on basically any other genre of video game. I mean (and no offense to you), you’re working on a game that does things basically the same way as every other MMORPG, but its distinction is that it has a Dragon Ball skin. If you walk into Mortal Kombat and think it’ll play like Street Fighter with a few “gimmicks” swapped -- or something even more distinct, like Soul Calibur or Smash Bros. -- then you’ll be in for a rude awakening once you make it past the basics. Like other genres, they share the same core mechanics, but what they do with them from there is heavily dependent on the game in question.


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Are Fighting Games Too Hard?
« Reply #7 on: December 16, 2015, 01:45:50 AM »

    Offline Tofu

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Gotta say I've never gotten into fighting games because of this whole gimmick thing. When I play a game, the idea is to enjoy it at it's fullest from the beginning instead of having to learn complex mechanics in order to do so.

For example, I'm currently playing Darksiders and I enjoy just hacking and slashing through all these angels and demons without the need to learn complex mechanics. That's probably why I never got into Mortal Kombat, since people who's actually good at it has game mechanics they've trained through the years and I'm not the kind of gamer that would invest that much time in a game to learn all these stuff. I did so with League of Legends, probably because many friends from school made me get really interested in the game back in 2010.

There's a certain line I heard once about League of Legend's champions: "Some champion are easy to play but hard to master." Same goes for fighting games, they're not hard to play and enjoy, but mastering the games and learning stuff like wavedashing (and many other fighting-game mechanics I don't know of) will take a lot of time in order to be able to compare to the good players out there.
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Are Fighting Games Too Hard?
« Reply #8 on: December 16, 2015, 04:00:17 AM »

    Offline Kaiza

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"Some champion are easy to play but hard to master."

Yes, I agree. Most fighting games...actually same could be said for games in general for this generation...are easy and fun to pick up. I mean - what's so complicated about a button that initiates punches and another one for kicks? It's really just the work that needs to be implemented for the mastery of the game that most people don't like to put in.

I just dislike that there is a gimmick to every fighting game.

Like DBZ fighting games have spam abilities
mortal kombat has juggling.

etc..

Ah yes...gimmicks. Let's talk about spamming for a second though.

Yes nearly every fighting game I played has some sort of 'hadoken spam' or projectile spam that many see as dishonourable. I have always viewed this type of playstyle 'scrub' like or a tactic only 'noobs' would use. That said, I also view it as a challenge for myself. Am I good enough to beat someone using a cheap tactic through the means of my own 'clean' strategy? In my point of view, it's just another obstacle that I must surpass to further my own skills in the game. If I can't even beat a spammer, then what makes me think I can beat someone of a higher skill level?

@Kiyza and I were talking about scrub filters at one point. She mentioned that grapplers are the ultimate scrub filters and I have to whole heartedly agree. Most grapplers I have faced don't actually play using combos and fancy moves. In fact, most just sit there and camp...waiting for you to approach them. Then they use some sort of grabbing move (in P4AU the main grappler Kanji has invincibility frames) to armor or invincibility frame through your moves and grab you. Usually a single grab does quite a lot of damage even though it's not a combo. Quite literally it takes a low level of skill...just sitting there and grappling (though not all grapplers are like this. I have faced some who I respect for their skill). Again, we call it a scrub filter. It's a test of your own skill to see if you can beat someone who uses a 'dirty' tactic. Just another hill we have to climb on the road of mastering a fighting game.
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« Reply #9 on: December 16, 2015, 04:18:34 AM »

    Offline Nia

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Yes, I agree. Most fighting games...actually same could be said for games in general for this generation...are easy and fun to pick up. I mean - what's so complicated about a button that initiates punches and another one for kicks? It's really just the work that needs to be implemented for the mastery of the game that most people don't like to put in.

Ah yes...gimmicks. Let's talk about spamming for a second though.

Yes nearly every fighting game I played has some sort of 'hadoken spam' or projectile spam that many see as dishonourable. I have always viewed this type of playstyle 'scrub' like or a tactic only 'noobs' would use. That said, I also view it as a challenge for myself. Am I good enough to beat someone using a cheap tactic through the means of my own 'clean' strategy? In my point of view, it's just another obstacle that I must surpass to further my own skills in the game. If I can't even beat a spammer, then what makes me think I can beat someone of a higher skill level?

@Kiyza and I were talking about scrub filters at one point. She mentioned that grapplers are the ultimate scrub filters and I have to whole heartedly agree. Most grapplers I have faced don't actually play using combos and fancy moves. In fact, most just sit there and camp...waiting for you to approach them. Then they use some sort of grabbing move (in P4AU the main grappler Kanji has invincibility frames) to armor or invincibility frame through your moves and grab you. Usually a single grab does quite a lot of damage even though it's not a combo. Quite literally it takes a low level of skill...just sitting there and grappling (though not all grapplers are like this. I have faced some who I respect for their skill). Again, we call it a scrub filter. It's a test of your own skill to see if you can beat someone who uses a 'dirty' tactic. Just another hill we have to climb on the road of mastering a fighting game.

Ah, yes... Kanji Tatsumi. The character who makes me (as Labrys) stay on my toes because HOLY HELL THAT FREAKIN' COMMAND THROW HURTS LIKE A BIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIITCH!
Luckily, Labrys has the best melee range, and a good chunk of her attacks ignore defense. Plus, she has a rocket punch.
More characters need a rocket punch.

I'll admit, I've never fought a human who played as Kanji, but if all they do is stay in one place, it wouldn't be hard to win, thanks to the penalty they'd be hit with for being dormant, and because of Labrys' ridiculously powerful back + 1 attack (which at full charge, completely ignores defense and does oodles of damage).
Of course, a good Kanji player (or player in general) would simply try to bait me into attacking and leaving myself wide open, which greatly increases the challenge. 2 or 3 well placed command throws would finish me off in a nanosecond.

It sounds like I really know what I'm talking about, but the truth is, I'm very low on the P4AU skillometer. :P


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Are Fighting Games Too Hard?
« Reply #10 on: December 16, 2015, 04:33:41 AM »

    Offline Kaiza

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Ah, yes... Kanji Tatsumi. The character who makes me (as Labrys) stay on my toes because HOLY HELL THAT FREAKIN' COMMAND THROW HURTS LIKE A BIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIITCH!
Luckily, Labrys has the best melee range, and a good chunk of her attacks ignore defense. Plus, she has a rocket punch.
More characters need a rocket punch.

I'll admit, I've never fought a human who played as Kanji, but if all they do is stay in one place, it wouldn't be hard to win, thanks to the penalty they'd be hit with for being dormant, and because of Labrys' ridiculously powerful back + 1 attack (which at full charge, completely ignores defense and does oodles of damage).
Of course, a good Kanji player (or player in general) would simply try to bait me into attacking and leaving myself wide open, which greatly increases the challenge. 2 or 3 well placed command throws would finish me off in a nanosecond.

It sounds like I really know what I'm talking about, but the truth is, I'm very low on the P4AU skillometer. :P

Ahh well I play Akihiko, a rushdown character with almost no range in any of his moves. So you could see how I used to have trouble with Kanji players. I've gotten a lot better now so they're a piece of cake now...the ones who just stand there that is.

You play labrys yes? Respect to you. I have a friend who plays Shadow Labrys (asterius) and he tells me all the time the cons and pros to playing that type of character. Labrys has really low health so I know what you mean.

You still play P4AU though @Nia? If so, perhaps we can play one day. I play that game quite regularly so I wouldn't mind having a set with you.
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« Reply #11 on: December 16, 2015, 04:37:20 AM »

    Offline Shyruni

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Being a casual gamer myself, I've always had trouble getting into the fighting genre outside of Smash.  Ironically for me it wasn't the combo system as a whole that's always frustrated me, it was any move that involved a joystick.  I couldn't ever get the timing right no matter how much I tried, and I couldn't figure out whether or not was moving the stick too far or not far enough, etc.

I think part of it is as Kaiza said, it's a game you have to learn.  And by having to learn, it means spending TONS of time on it.  I play games usually for the experience, to explore a world and go on adventures, to test my skills, etc.  I rarely spend more than a week on a single title before I look for something new or go back to something old.  So for me, having to spend countless hours just to be maybe "decent" at a fighting game just doesn't feel worth it to me.

It's part of why I love Smash so much.  Not only is more fun-based overall so you can enjoy learning the game more as opposed to hours of grueling pain, but it's so simple.  You click right to move right, you click down to move down, you always have easy control over what you want to do.  Want to throw a fireball?  Just press B and there it is.  In most of the fighting games I've played, to do even some simple combos takes tons of practice and all kinds of strange button patterns that often confuse me.  It doesn't make them bad, it's just not for me.

Also, am I the only one who has played Sonic Fighters (and actually kinda liked it? o-o)
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Are Fighting Games Too Hard?
« Reply #12 on: December 16, 2015, 05:13:28 AM »

    Offline Nia

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Ahh well I play Akihiko, a rushdown character with almost no range in any of his moves. So you could see how I used to have trouble with Kanji players. I've gotten a lot better now so they're a piece of cake now...the ones who just stand there that is.

You play labrys yes? Respect to you. I have a friend who plays Shadow Labrys (asterius) and he tells me all the time the cons and pros to playing that type of character. Labrys has really low health so I know what you mean.

You still play P4AU though @Nia? If so, perhaps we can play one day. I play that game quite regularly so I wouldn't mind having a set with you.
Actually, yeah I still play it.
You have the PS3 version, right?

And yeah, I can see why you'd wanna play Akihiko. He's damn fun, even if he's got the shortest range of all the melee characters.

Also, honestly, your friend has some serious guts playing as Shadow Labrys. She's powerful and all, but man she really relies heavily on her Persona, and he's a big, very easy target, so playing her effectively definitely takes mad skill.

Being a casual gamer myself, I've always had trouble getting into the fighting genre outside of Smash.  Ironically for me it wasn't the combo system as a whole that's always frustrated me, it was any move that involved a joystick.  I couldn't ever get the timing right no matter how much I tried, and I couldn't figure out whether or not was moving the stick too far or not far enough, etc.

I think part of it is as Kaiza said, it's a game you have to learn.  And by having to learn, it means spending TONS of time on it.  I play games usually for the experience, to explore a world and go on adventures, to test my skills, etc.  I rarely spend more than a week on a single title before I look for something new or go back to something old.  So for me, having to spend countless hours just to be maybe "decent" at a fighting game just doesn't feel worth it to me.

It's part of why I love Smash so much.  Not only is more fun-based overall so you can enjoy learning the game more as opposed to hours of grueling pain, but it's so simple.  You click right to move right, you click down to move down, you always have easy control over what you want to do.  Want to throw a fireball?  Just press B and there it is.  In most of the fighting games I've played, to do even some simple combos takes tons of practice and all kinds of strange button patterns that often confuse me.  It doesn't make them bad, it's just not for me.

Also, am I the only one who has played Sonic Fighters (and actually kinda liked it? o-o)
You could try using the d-pad instead of an analog stick (unless you're playing on an arcade stick).

And Sonic the Fighters/Sonic Championship was plenty of fun (plus that kickass soundtrack).


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 So as I pray, Unlimited Blade Works."

Are Fighting Games Too Hard?
« Reply #13 on: December 16, 2015, 05:17:23 AM »

    Offline Kiyza

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Yes nearly every fighting game I played has some sort of 'hadoken spam' or projectile spam that many see as dishonourable. I have always viewed this type of playstyle 'scrub' like or a tactic only 'noobs' would use. That said, I also view it as a challenge for myself. Am I good enough to beat someone using a cheap tactic through the means of my own 'clean' strategy? In my point of view, it's just another obstacle that I must surpass to further my own skills in the game. If I can't even beat a spammer, then what makes me think I can beat someone of a higher skill level?

It should also be pointed out that while new players may just incessantly spam projectiles after they figure out how, since it's a relatively simple tactic, it's not one that necessarily goes away at higher levels of play either. It's just that there's a difference between "spamming" and "zoning", in that spamming is just attempting to play keep-away with no particular strategy put into it, while zoning is generally an attempt to control your opponent's position on the screen -- forcing them out of certain spots and into others by using projectiles to pressure them, among other things.

Most of the games I've gotten deeper into either have ways to get around projectiles that aren't immediately apparent to new players. For instance, in Street Fighter IV, Zangief's Banishing Flat goes through projectiles and his Lariat is immune to them -- which are very useful traits because Zangief has poor mobility, and thus is more vulnerable to projectiles than most players. However, this isn't immediately apparent, and you generally have to seek out additional information on how to use certain attacks this way. Even in straightforward games like Smash Bros., a newer player might not catch on to the fact that Mewtwo's Confusion (his side special) functions as a projectile reflect because its use as a throw is much more obvious.

@Kiyza and I were talking about scrub filters at one point. She mentioned that grapplers are the ultimate scrub filters and I have to whole heartedly agree. Most grapplers I have faced don't actually play using combos and fancy moves. In fact, most just sit there and camp...waiting for you to approach them. Then they use some sort of grabbing move (in P4AU the main grappler Kanji has invincibility frames) to armor or invincibility frame through your moves and grab you. Usually a single grab does quite a lot of damage even though it's not a combo. Quite literally it takes a low level of skill...just sitting there and grappling (though not all grapplers are like this. I have faced some who I respect for their skill). Again, we call it a scrub filter. It's a test of your own skill to see if you can beat someone who uses a 'dirty' tactic. Just another hill we have to climb on the road of mastering a fighting game.

I think we had a slightly different understanding of what I meant by "scrub filter". When I say grapplers function as "scrub filters", I mean they tend to garner ire from players who view their playstyle as "cheap". The old definition of "scrub" (which is what I was using) is really a player who complains about the game being unfair or insists that people should play by his rules and not be "cheap". Because grapplers deal a lot more damage than the average character, they're more subject to this type of whining. Additionally, they tend to be much more difficult to deal with than most characters because they're more apt to take an understanding of the opponent to conquer, not just an understanding of your own character -- even at lower levels of play. My point was that these types of characters cause people who are just going to whine about the game being "unfair" to quit it while more clever players will persevere and realize that beginner grapplers are usually garbage and not very difficult to deal with.

That said, I do think that if Kaiza has distaste for them, it's probably due to the fact that he just hasn't encountered a lot of people who've gotten past that initial curve. Grapplers in general tend to be more difficult to play because they have severe faults in some areas particularly mobility and an ability to deal with projectiles. I'd wager a lot of people simply don't come across many other players that can get past their strategy, and just continue with it because it works, creating a self-perpetuating cycle. But that's just a hypothesis.

Like Nia mentioned off-hand, better grapplers tend to be good at playing mindgames, especially with baiting and punishing, which probably contributes to the issue. It takes quite a bit more mental effort to get over the skill curve.

Being a casual gamer myself, I've always had trouble getting into the fighting genre outside of Smash.  Ironically for me it wasn't the combo system as a whole that's always frustrated me, it was any move that involved a joystick.  I couldn't ever get the timing right no matter how much I tried, and I couldn't figure out whether or not was moving the stick too far or not far enough, etc.

I think part of it is as Kaiza said, it's a game you have to learn.  And by having to learn, it means spending TONS of time on it.  I play games usually for the experience, to explore a world and go on adventures, to test my skills, etc.  I rarely spend more than a week on a single title before I look for something new or go back to something old.  So for me, having to spend countless hours just to be maybe "decent" at a fighting game just doesn't feel worth it to me.

It's part of why I love Smash so much.  Not only is more fun-based overall so you can enjoy learning the game more as opposed to hours of grueling pain, but it's so simple.  You click right to move right, you click down to move down, you always have easy control over what you want to do.  Want to throw a fireball?  Just press B and there it is.  In most of the fighting games I've played, to do even some simple combos takes tons of practice and all kinds of strange button patterns that often confuse me.  It doesn't make them bad, it's just not for me.

Also, am I the only one who has played Sonic Fighters (and actually kinda liked it? o-o)

This is basically what the thread is really about -- the amount of time and practice it takes to break into fighting games.

I'm beginning to think that gamers can be broadly divided into two camps: people who want to play a game to complete it and experience it, and people who want to master it. I tend to increasingly fall into the latter camp because I don't have the money to afford new video games, and fighting games offer me "more bang for my buck" than attempting to 100% an RPG or adventure game since they don't really have a "100% completion" and playing them against other people extends the game. You can find this type of challenge in any number of genres, though, particularly as competitive multiplayer becomes increasingly prevalent.

My concern is primarily with players like you, who don't really bother with the genre because of this particular difficulty curve. In essence, you're barred from really playing fighting games outside of Smash Bros. because it requires a steeper investment, which you don't have the patience for. You're basically prevented from truly playing these games because you don't want to bother with that investment. Then again, the appeal of fighting games on the whole is mastery of the system, so maybe it's more of an ingrained issue with the genre. After all, when Smash Bros. is treated as a fighting game as opposed to a party game (let's not forget that there are two camps for playing it), that's also how it's treated -- a to master, not just to pick up briefly for a quick rush of adrenaline.

That said, like @Nia mentioned, if button inputs are your problem, please, use the D-pad instead of the joystick. How much you tilt a joystick doesn't matter in fighting games outside of Smash Bros. -- it all registers as the same thing. The D-pad is better for directional inputs. It's still tricky, but the nice thing is that once you manage to master inputs in one game, you don't have to learn them again when you decide to play a different fighter.


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Are Fighting Games Too Hard?
« Reply #14 on: December 16, 2015, 07:54:19 AM »
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All I have to say is they're supposed to be hard and hard.... :3

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« Reply #15 on: December 16, 2015, 11:10:26 AM »

    Offline Iceman

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@Kiyza  I agree with you.
Fighting games are hard and it takes time to learn combos and mostly one with faster fingers wins.

That is why I like MMO's with some strategy, skills than just button mash games.

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« Reply #16 on: December 16, 2015, 11:28:11 AM »

    Offline Kiyza

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@Kiyza  I agree with you.
Fighting games are hard and it takes time to learn combos and mostly one with faster fingers wins.

A common misconception about fighting games is that it takes fast fingers to play them properly. It's really not true. I've bothered to lurk in threads on sites dedicated to fighting games and most of them have around average reaction times for a gamer, about a quarter of a second. Meanwhile, a lot of fighting game mechanics require much more precision than that. A frame is 1/60th of a second in fighters, yet perfect shielding in Smash Bros. is a 3-4 frame window depending on the game (and 2 frames for a projectile reflect in Melee), priority linking in Street Fighter IV is a single frame, and a lot of mechanics in Guilty Gear XX have a two frame window for execution, parries and throw breaks included. This is physiologically impossible to do on reaction, but people can do it anyway, so it doesn't seem like there's something that physically limits people from being better players. What separates better players from worse players is largely the amount of practice they put into the game.

That is why I like MMO's with some strategy, skills than just button mash games.

I honestly can't even think of an appropriate response to this comment. That's it, man. I'm out.


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« Reply #17 on: December 16, 2015, 01:59:49 PM »

    Offline Jak

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Something a bit beyond the game itself that bears mentioning, a lot of gamers are adults now. A game like that alienates a lot of them. People like this can't play such games. There's just not enough time. They'll play it some on their days off, spend nearly week dealing with school or work or both getting rusty and then have to go through the learning stage all over again, never getting to actually play the game.

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« Reply #18 on: December 16, 2015, 02:38:27 PM »

    Offline Kaiza

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Something a bit beyond the game itself that bears mentioning, a lot of gamers are adults now. A game like that alienates a lot of them. People like this can't play such games. There's just not enough time. They'll play it some on their days off, spend nearly week dealing with school or work or both getting rusty and then have to go through the learning stage all over again, never getting to actually play the game.

A valid point. Another reason why a lot of gamers who want to get good at the game can't/won't get good at the game because they simply don't have the time due to various factors such as school or work. The same friend I mentioned to Nia who plays Shadow Labrys in P4AU isn't a good player. In fact, he's very inexperienced. But it isn't because he refuses to put in the time, it's just that he goes to school in an entirely different province then his home that houses his PS3.

It should also be pointed out that while new players may just incessantly spam projectiles after they figure out how, since it's a relatively simple tactic, it's not one that necessarily goes away at higher levels of play either. It's just that there's a difference between "spamming" and "zoning", in that spamming is just attempting to play keep-away with no particular strategy put into it, while zoning is generally an attempt to control your opponent's position on the screen -- forcing them out of certain spots and into others by using projectiles to pressure them, among other things.

Most of the games I've gotten deeper into either have ways to get around projectiles that aren't immediately apparent to new players. For instance, in Street Fighter IV, Zangief's Banishing Flat goes through projectiles and his Lariat is immune to them -- which are very useful traits because Zangief has poor mobility, and thus is more vulnerable to projectiles than most players. However, this isn't immediately apparent, and you generally have to seek out additional information on how to use certain attacks this way. Even in straightforward games like Smash Bros., a newer player might not catch on to the fact that Mewtwo's Confusion (his side special) functions as a projectile reflect because its use as a throw is much more obvious.

Thank God someone said it haha xD. I remember quite a few matches I played against people in Project M. I main Link, who uses a variety of projectiles including bombs, boomerang, and arrows. That said, I absolutely do not sit and camp in one spot throwing these projectiles. I consider that dishonourable to both my own skill and my opponent's fighting spirit. I really do think people need to be more informed of the difference between zoning and spamming. Like Kiyza stated, spamming usually doesn't have a proper strategy to it. It's almost mindless if you ask me. Because of this, it can easily be abused but at the same time be snuffed out. Higher level of players can easily punish an amateur spammer. I certainly did so in Project M since everyone loved using Marth's F-Smash.

I think we had a slightly different understanding of what I meant by "scrub filter". When I say grapplers function as "scrub filters", I mean they tend to garner ire from players who view their playstyle as "cheap". The old definition of "scrub" (which is what I was using) is really a player who complains about the game being unfair or insists that people should play by his rules and not be "cheap". Because grapplers deal a lot more damage than the average character, they're more subject to this type of whining. Additionally, they tend to be much more difficult to deal with than most characters because they're more apt to take an understanding of the opponent to conquer, not just an understanding of your own character -- even at lower levels of play. My point was that these types of characters cause people who are just going to whine about the game being "unfair" to quit it while more clever players will persevere and realize that beginner grapplers are usually garbage and not very difficult to deal with.

That said, I do think that if Kaiza has distaste for them, it's probably due to the fact that he just hasn't encountered a lot of people who've gotten past that initial curve. Grapplers in general tend to be more difficult to play because they have severe faults in some areas particularly mobility and an ability to deal with projectiles. I'd wager a lot of people simply don't come across many other players that can get past their strategy, and just continue with it because it works, creating a self-perpetuating cycle. But that's just a hypothesis.

Like Nia mentioned off-hand, better grapplers tend to be good at playing mindgames, especially with baiting and punishing, which probably contributes to the issue. It takes quite a bit more mental effort to get over the skill curve.

Yes you're half-right. I have faced two handfuls of beginner grapplers. Like I previously stated, I once had trouble with them. I however gained experienced and learned, so I don't seem to have that trouble any more. That said, I still find it dishonourable when I fight them and I do not prefer to fight these kinds of players...just like how I dislike Marth F-Smash players. Can I beat them? Of course. It's relatively easy. Is it annoying beating them? Hell yes. I don't really like to play them because I don't have fun playing players using dishonourable strategies.

Then again, this 'honor' I keep mentioning could just be all in my head. I remember you once said Kiyza that there's no 'fair' in fighting games. Something like that.

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« Reply #19 on: December 16, 2015, 06:17:07 PM »

    Offline Kiyza

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Yes you're half-right. I have faced two handfuls of beginner grapplers. Like I previously stated, I once had trouble with them. I however gained experienced and learned, so I don't seem to have that trouble any more. That said, I still find it dishonourable when I fight them and I do not prefer to fight these kinds of players...just like how I dislike Marth F-Smash players. Can I beat them? Of course. It's relatively easy. Is it annoying beating them? Hell yes. I don't really like to play them because I don't have fun playing players using dishonourable strategies.

Then again, this 'honor' I keep mentioning could just be all in my head. I remember you once said Kiyza that there's no 'fair' in fighting games. Something like that.

I did say that, and for a good reason. First, whether or not something is "honorable" is arbitrary. Second, no one else is going to agree to the rules that you're setting down, because they're not coded into the game. Third, why would I avoid using tools that the game is giving me? And fourth, tactics people consider "cheap" are usually not good tactics to begin with.

Let's break this down a little. If you're setting the standards for what's "honorable" and what's not, then you only have control over what you're using. It says nothing about what your opponent is using or considers "fair". This can cripple your own options when compared to your opponent, or put you at a significant disadvantage. I mean, let's say I used a grappler and I decided it was "dishonorable" to use my throws. Well, considering a large part of a grappler's gameplay is based on those throws -- and not just using the throws, but the strategies that revolve around them, both for the opponent and the player -- that puts me at quite a disadvantage, doesn't it? If I were playing a mirror match against someone of equal skill, it's rather unlikely that I'd come out on top because I'm ignoring an integral tool, all on account of it being "cheap".

It's absolutely all in your head, Kaiza. There's nothing hard-coded into the game that say this that or the other thing is a "dishonorable" tactic. Tactics aren't about honor, they're about whether they're good or bad tactics to use, particularly given the situation. It's better to stop thinking about what is and isn't cheap because you can handicap yourself.

Of course, I'd wager at least one person will jump on me for defending this sort of thing because I almost exclusively main grapplers, so of course I'm going to defend their "cheap" playstyle, but I also think that their playstyle is misunderstood by people who fight them as opposed to use them. They generally tend to be more difficult to use than, say, shotos or rushdowns, and the bad tactics are probably a result of newbies latching onto them due to having a high damage output.


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« Reply #20 on: January 09, 2016, 07:54:23 AM »

    Offline Kiyza

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Bumping and revisiting this topic because, in the past three weeks, I've developed an addiction, gained experience points, and bought an expensive controller. Essay incoming, but it might be worth reading if you're having problems just breaking into fighting games and don't understand why.

With a (slightly) more educated opinion, I think that the problem with fighting games isn't actually that execution in them is difficult or they're too complex. Any kind of video game where expediency is prioritized is going to demand a lot from you in terms of speed, and anything played competitively is going to be benefited by learning quite a bit about the game mechanics. They're not really any more complicated than other genres of games, at least in some respects. If you can understand that burns decrease your attack stat in Pokemon, then you can understand that proration decreases your combo damage in a fighting game. It's just more difficult to think and concentrate because of the pacing of the games.

Part of the issue is that many fighting games simply do not have a good tutorial to help ease you into the game. On top of that, even if there is a tutorial, it often won't be in-depth enough to genuinely help. If you want information on any of the game mechanics, you have to either experiment or learn to hunt for it yourself. This means that games that should be accessible and easy to pick up, at least relative to other fighting games, are actually more difficult to ease into than games that are more complicated and have solid tutorials. Under Night: In-Birth and Darkstalkers 3 are pretty easy to pick up on a mechanical level, but they don't have any kind of in-game tutorial. Meanwhile, Guilty Gear Xrd, which is probably the most complicated fighting game that's currently being supported and developed, has one of the best tutorial I've ever seen in a video game, to the point where the game will actually explain fighting game terminology and slang and has challenge and mission modes that will teach you practical combos and skills.

Many mechanics that are almost universal in fighting games seem unusual to a gamers who have never touched them, like pressing up to jump, back to block, and double tapping forward to dash. We're accustomed to those being mapped to actual buttons in other genres. If you're trying to learn to play a traditional fighter after playing Smash Bros., it's going to be awkward at first because those are all mapped to buttons or simplified.

By far the biggest problem with the accessibility of fighting games, though, is the simple fact that they're not designed with a conventional controller in mind. Most fighters stem from an arcade pedigree, where using a joystick and a 4-6 button layout is the norm. Take note that most console controllers (and all standard ones for current systems) have 4 face buttons. Because of the shape of the thumb and the lay out of buttons, this makes it quite difficult to press certain combinations of buttons at once. By remapping the buttons, you can mitigate this to an extent, but you might start playing musical chairs if you want an optimal combination. For instance, in Darkstalkers 3, you have to press any two punches or kicks (depending on the attack) for an improved version of your default specials, a punch and kick of the same strength to activate a character-specific special called Darkforce, and many super moves require you to press three punches or three kicks at once in addition to the input itself. If you want to optimize this, you'll probably start playing musical chairs with your button layout -- even if you use button macros, which allow you to press one button and have it count as multiple. Street Fighter IV, despite being one of the most accessible fighting games, is terrible about this because throws and Focus Attacks are mapped to punch and kick combinations rather than one button (like throws in Darkstalkers). This means that you pretty much have to map a three-button macro to comfortably use a lot of characters, but those are even more of a pain because it means you'll be using the left shoulder buttons and... argh. It's even worse in games that require four button presses at once, like Marvel Vs CAPCOM 3, and I don't even want to talk about how much of a trainwreck Guilty Gear can be in this respect.

Directional inputs for special moves, the dash input, strictly angled jumps, and anything that involves pressing more than one button at the same time are some of the other things that are made with the arcade controllers in mind. Even series that weren't originally made for the arcades, like Guilty Gear, use these control schemes because of tradition. For instance, if fighting games were made with a pressure-sensitive control stick in mind, you could have various walking speeds depending on how much you push the control stick forward. You'd also be free to angle your jumps any way you please and have full control of momentum in the air. Not coincidentally, you can see both of these features in Smash Bros., which is currently the only major fighting game series that was designed with console controls in mind.

That said and done, actually using an arcade stick solves or improves pretty much all of the issues with complicated inputs. I'm not at all accustomed to using a joystick for anything but a few old shoot-em-ups like Galaga and Xevous (and even then, I hold the stick differently for those games), but it took about ten minutes for me to figure out how to do every motion I needed to with a stick. My only execution issues right now are actually hitting the diagonals consistently on their own (making things like jumping at an angle difficult rather than special moves), and I could probably fix that by popping open the stick's case and swapping the octagonal gate I'm using for a square one.

Arcade sticks aren't miracle cure-alls for fighting games, though. You're still going to have to learn the mechanics, memorize attacks, and learn how your character works, but they help to make one of the most significant barriers to entry more manageable. Ironically, though, they don't solve any real problems with the accessibility of the genre because arcade sticks themselves are just as much inaccessible as the controls and mechanics.

That's because of two things. The first is that gamers flat out do not know how much of a difference an arcade stick will make in this respect. Even if there's a good tutorial in a fighter, you're definitely never going to have a game come out and say "Hey, we didn't develop this game with your controller in mind, so you should go buy a new one!" A lot of really popular videos explaining how arcade sticks work are also somewhat dismissive about their importance and don't highlight the advantages of using them, so it's not common knowledge.

The second issue, which is arguably more important, is that arcade sticks are expensive. A passable one is going to run you $100 bare minimum, a nice one is probably going to cost closer to $200, and it's often difficult to find one in stock on a familiar retailer in the first place. Because there's such a small market of fighting game aficionados, and they usually only need to buy a stick once, there's no reason for manufacturers to lower the price. The ones I've had hands-on experience with are also quite well and expensively built. The one I use has die cast parts, imported buttons that match parts used in arcade machines, and is larger than a keyboard.

The sheer cost of an arcade stick means that, under most circumstances, people probably shouldn't consider buying one unless they either play a number of fighting games casually or want to play them competitively. However, $200 spent on a stick isn't necessarily money down the drain if you decide that it's not for you, because after market prices for sticks, even used ones, mean that they can net you a reasonable "refund" price (or even a profit in some cases) if you don't want it. The problem is that, even with that taken into account, the start up costs are beyond what a lot of people can afford.

The alternative, of course, is creating fighting games with console controllers in mind. While this seems like a great idea on paper, it's quite difficult in practice. Developing a fighting game is expensive and balancing a fighting game is nightmare mode. The market is arguably overflooded with fighters at this point in time, and there's a limited number of people who are going to continue to play the game for a long time, which is vital to its success since they're made with multiplayer in mind. On top of that, a game with simplified controls quite simply isn't going to appeal to the actual demographic that plays fighting games. They've already rejected titles like Rising Thunder and left them to more casual players. With arcades no longer a thing in America, unless a trendsetter like CAPCOM decides to make a fighter with console-oriented controls, most of the genre is probably going to be doomed to a niche market and playerbase by design.

If you actually read that, you deserve a gold star.


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« Reply #21 on: January 09, 2016, 09:19:01 AM »

    Offline Tensa

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A bunch of points made, and very accurate to be honest, but in my opinion I think it depends on how one see's and works with the game, free time is also required of course, but if the player likes to do things simplistic and wasting no time for small and short also quick combos that's great, there's also the players who love to be completely fast paced but at the same time accomplishing the more complicated combos within their barrage of attacks, I would say i'm more of the latter, but the thing is I practice instead of simple instinct with my fingers straight from the beginning, if you're something of a gaming prodigy you'll have it down within like either a first or second try or you might even just get it instinctively during a fight without any practice.

With that mentioned, practice makes perfect for some, and things just come instinctively. So like I said, I think it depends more on the player and how they work with the game but the whole free time issue is still a thing that would have and is a thing that needs to be conquered.
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« Reply #22 on: January 09, 2016, 03:20:11 PM »

    Offline Kaiza

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A bunch of points made, and very accurate to be honest, but in my opinion I think it depends on how one see's and works with the game, free time is also required of course, but if the player likes to do things simplistic and wasting no time for small and short also quick combos that's great, there's also the players who love to be completely fast paced but at the same time accomplishing the more complicated combos within their barrage of attacks, I would say i'm more of the latter, but the thing is I practice instead of simple instinct with my fingers straight from the beginning, if you're something of a gaming prodigy you'll have it down within like either a first or second try or you might even just get it instinctively during a fight without any practice.

With that mentioned, practice makes perfect for some, and things just come instinctively. So like I said, I think it depends more on the player and how they work with the game but the whole free time issue is still a thing that would have and is a thing that needs to be conquered.

Hm. I understand what you're trying to get at. It's something I like to call "gamer's touch". In detail, "gamer's touch" is when you've played games (could be in general or specific category) for so long that you're immediately above the beginner level by instinct if you start playing a new game.

That said, I feel as though fighting games are different. Sure you can get the basics down but I don't think fluid or optimal combos will come naturally to anyone. Plus, an important part of fighting is experience. It's like playing Super Smash Bros. and only facing level 9 CPUs. You might think you're the shit for whooping AI butt but when it comes down to it, you'll have 0 experience fighting humans who by far fight differently. That's where all the practice comes to it where you just play match after match against people online and such. Of course that takes time like you said, so I can see that being a problem.
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« Reply #23 on: January 09, 2016, 08:44:16 PM »

    Offline Tensa

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Hm. I understand what you're trying to get at. It's something I like to call "gamer's touch". In detail, "gamer's touch" is when you've played games (could be in general or specific category) for so long that you're immediately above the beginner level by instinct if you start playing a new game.

That said, I feel as though fighting games are different. Sure you can get the basics down but I don't think fluid or optimal combos will come naturally to anyone. Plus, an important part of fighting is experience. It's like playing Super Smash Bros. and only facing level 9 CPUs. You might think you're the shit for whooping AI butt but when it comes down to it, you'll have 0 experience fighting humans who by far fight differently. That's where all the practice comes to it where you just play match after match against people online and such. Of course that takes time like you said, so I can see that being a problem.
Yeah, It's basically that. I also understand what you're saying. as far as I know, there's only one person I know who's a true gamer with the Gamer's touch, one day playing that game and he'll have the most complicated combos down and memorized possibly even a whole lot of game knowledge included. I may be guild leader but I feel as if i'm just a fill in of some sorts compared to him, as for the whole experience issue, I highly agree a lot of new players begin to build too much confidence when and while doing quest/Killing CPU monsters, and then reality hits them when they try PVP for once. I'm sure there are those who straight away jump into PVP for better experience too though.
"Use what you have and try your best to overcome your obstacles, so that you may defeat your enemies and protect all that is dear to you." -Tensa

Are Fighting Games Too Hard?
« Reply #24 on: January 10, 2016, 07:10:18 AM »

    Offline Zellion

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I prefer when there hard. It forces me to learn how to play.. And when watching youtube contest vids, or play online, I always appreciate the skill a whole lot more.

I may sound snobish and a tad naughtyword, but most games that are named fighting genre, I don't actually class them as one. For example, as much as I like most anime based fighting games, I wouldn't actually call them one. I usually call them action games.. I just don't feel that fulfil the criteria fit to be called one.