How to choose the right fighting game for you

To choose the right fighting game for you, start by choosing what looks good. This requires you to watch the games. This could be through whoever is streaming it, watching or attending big tournaments, or even helpful YouTube channels. Going to their locals is perhaps the best way to get used to different games and get other people’s perspectives on them, be able to ask questions in real time, and even participate in the rotation.

There are so many moving pieces within a single fighting game that even two games with many superficial similarities can be downright divisive for certain people. But before we can compare games, we have to divide them into categories.

We all want to act as objective analyzers of the game, but at the end of the day, we want to play a game that we enjoy watching. A game needs to draw you in however it can.

The more realistic look of 3D games like modern Tekken and Street Fighter appeal to those who want to see realistic gameplay alongside iconic fighting styles.

On the other hand, there are bombastic animations and sprite works from games like Persona 4 Arena, Marvel vs Capcom 2, which are still playable and accessible.

This is a highly qualitative personal decision, but easily one of the most important for most people.

SamSho is a neutral city

SamSho is a neutral city

© SNK Corporation

In most games, you will spend a large part of your time in neutral. Deciding the speed and type of nutch you want to play is key. The act of approaching or avoiding your opponent changes drastically depending on the game.

Speed ​​ranges from games like Samurai Showdown, with its slow, methodical heavy sword slashes in neutral, to anime games with air dashes that bring you right into your opponent’s face like BlazBlue and Guilty Gear.

There are so many ways neutral looks different between games. Team games and tag games have assists and active switching, and many other titles have their own unique mechanics like KOF15’s armored Shatter Strike.

For many people, the neutral game IS a fighting game, envisioning the iconic Street Fighter running game when they think of the genre, so it’s an important piece to consider in your decision. Like a large part of the game, it will define much of your experience and reflect what you are willing to face as a player. If you don’t want to engage in fireball wars and would rather go straight to the punches, maybe you could pick Tekken instead of Super Turbo.

After gaining neutral, unless you hit a deathtouch, you probably have a bit more work to do. The transition to a pressure game from neutral is absolutely necessary for a complete offensive arsenal, and the type of offensive pressure a game has is a decisive characteristic for many players.

There are games like SFV where enforcing the frame advantage with additional blocking moves and punishing overly respectful opponents with holds sets you up for a big damage combo when they get nervous and don’t respect your frame traps. Tekken is also a game that focuses primarily on setting up your pressure, as described by Anakin here.

However, that’s not to say that it’s all you can do in those games. Mishima’s characters in Tekken exist to mix the opponent’s block with their Spinning Demon bass (better known as hell sweep).

Some games are created almost entirely out of mix-ups. Guilty Gear characters employ the frame advantage, but that game is about 50/50: either blocky or as okizeme. Skullgirls, Marvel vs Capcom, Blazblue Cross Tag Battle, and many other team/tag games use assists to serve as cover for the main character to move around and deliver mix-ups or keep risky options safe.

Figuring out the kind of pressure you’d like to hit people with will make the decision on which game to play much clearer.

DBFZ arrives with roster depth

DBFZ arrives with roster depth

© Bandai Namco

It’s also important to recognize that character choice can change everything you know about how a game feels. Games like Guilty Gear have immense switching between characters to the point where there is basically no frame of reference when switching characters.

A big draw of the genre is trying out which style is the best, and often that comes down to character choice. Is Ky’s combination of screen control and extra frames better than Millia’s fast moving and mixing?

Often it has nothing to do with the tier list and is based solely on play style. A great way to get into gaming is by doing your research and seeing which character will fit the way you like to play fighting games. If you like Frieza’s ability to zone with projectiles, then the Morrigan might be a good fit for Marvel vs. Capcom, or Dhalsim in Street Fighter.

Or, you can choose entirely based on the aesthetic of the character. Picking whoever catches your eye and taking the time to learn their game is a very respectable route to take. Do cool warrior monk stuff with Jago in Killer Instinct, or fly over dolphins with May from Guilty Gear, whatever suits you best.

The right level of execution in a fighting game has been debated for literally decades, but the truth is that it’s an important decision for a lot of people. The run levels of some games are so high that you’d have to push yourself for hours to get a bread-and-butter combination, but the beauty is that it does appeal to some people, and it’s something a portion of the player base has no problem with. to support. with.

However, the developers have listened to these discussions and addressed them in multiple titles like DNF Duel and GranBlue Fantasy Versus (GBVS) and in less overt ways in Dragon Ball FighterZ and Guilty Gear Strive.

In GBVS, there is a button that will perform different specials when combined with different inputs, such as down + special, forward/backward + special, etc. You can make the entrances with your original move, like a dragon strike reversal with 623H, but the special button makes it easier to get a newer player intentional while seeing your game plan on the screen. In order not to overload it too much, the special button version usually has a longer cooldown (not to be confused with cooldown).

The developers continue to tone things down a bit on things like combo execution, but when done right, it doesn’t take away from the complexity of fighting games on any level.

Practice/Single Player/Netcode

Guilty Gear has great practice options

Guilty Gear has great practice options

© Arc System Works

A fighting game may have the most compelling gameplay of all time, but that doesn’t matter without the infrastructure to bring players together and keep them engaged.

More than ever before, online network code has become a hot topic. As more players and tournament organizers started doing things online, the ugliness of lag-based netcode affected some of the most popular games.

Thankfully, the developers have since been given the green light, and most major games already have a rollback or are in the process of getting one.

It’s not just about playing online though, sometimes you’re only as good as your tools, which means you need a full training mode to get the most out of your lab time. This is a part of the genre that is still hit or miss, so you want to make sure your training mode has all the moving parts that will allow you to deal with fake setups and hit your punishing DP combos every time.

However, from a beginner’s point of view, possibly the most important part of this pick is the tutorial and accompanying teaching tools such as challenges and quests. Guilty Gear Xrd is an example of a great tutorial, as well as quests. It uses an obstacle course to teach you the basics of movement and attack placement to hit targets around the screen as you move, and mission mode teaches you one or two practical counter options against every character in the game.

All of these play a role in choosing the right fighting game. After all, the FGC loves to see new faces playing, so you’re sure to have a great time no matter what you choose.