01
Jan
09

It’s a Fightan Game New Year. [Orange Farm Archive]

I talk about fighting games occasionally on this blog.  I mostly play Melty Blood: Act Cadenza verB, Crucis Fatal Fake, and most recently Scarlet Weather Rhapsody, and have tried out a bunch of doujin or new games to keep up to date.  I also know up until two years ago, I hated fighting games with a passion.  A lot of people I talk to say they dislike them, so maybe I can I change your mind.  My New Year’s resolution is to get some more people into fightan games!

03

I think this post will have something for everyone.  Whether you hate fighting games, are a casual player, or a hardcore combo whore, I think there’s something to enjoy in a fighting game.  Though lets consider this Komidol’s 5-step guide to starting and playing fighting games!

It’s been three months since I’ve started this blog and I’m still establishing myself in the community.  What kind of blog is this?  An anime blog?  A news blog for things that are new?  I don’t know what I’ll be considered (if I’ll be considered for anything in the future…wayyyy off from ABA).   However, as I said before when I started blogging, this will be a blog for anything that’s of interest to the otaku community.  From visual novels, to anime, to their related franchises and games – or anything that perks my interest.  I’m going out on a limb and assume most of you are anime fans – and this is fine.  So I will try to record the communities responses as things grow.  But the reason I started playing fighting games is because a friend introduced me to Melty Blood.  As you most likely know if you’re reading this post – Melty Blood is on the lower end of high popularity in Japan and based off the Visual Novel Tsukihime and consequently it’s expansion – Kagetsu Tohya.  As such, it had an anime styled theme.

street_fighter_ii_snes_hadoken

Hadouken!!!

The only real experience I had with fighting games as a kid were Street Fighter II and DBZ Budokai back in the day.  Of course, all I liked seeing the special moves and techniques of the characters.  Now before I get started, I think it’s essential that I sort of explain basic universal fighting game terms.  These will probably help you read guides to fighting games and understand the babel of the community(and understand this post).  You can skip this little section if you’ve played fighting games, I wrote it for CFF a while ago – so it pertains to the specifics of that game, but here’s a small large excerpt…

Now despite that, the normal fighting game mechanics are simpler than you might think they are.  As I was saying…I knew little about fighting games.  Living in America, disgracefully and stereotypically, I thought it was an interactive way for people to play their comic book characters, or elites of their franchise.  But Melty Blood was different.  The character style – especially Kohaku & Ren – appealed to me a lot.

That didn’t look like the Tekken/Mortal Kombat/Super Smash Brothers I had seen around.  Needless to say, it grabbed my attention.  Melty Blood opened the gates for me to enjoy a lot of fighting games.  The capability of online play – thanks to Mauve –  helped greatly.  I started with Melty Blood Re-Act, playing a friend, and soon migrated to the net, where I got my ass kicked.  And where I still get my ass kicked, I should say… In any event just playing Melty Blood didn’t seal the deal.  Far from.  Getting into the franchise behind it, playing Tsukihime and other type moon games, and enjoying Kohaku’s character is what really got me into it.  To anyone who hates fighting games, here’s what I suggest to you.  Take a reccomendation for a fighting game that seems attuned to your style or find a fighting game from a series you enjoy.  There’s two types of people who play fighting games, and they work quite well together.  Competitive players and casual players.

Competitive players are the people who make your guide sites, make combos, post videos, and take the game very seriously.  These people are more commonly seen at tournaments and there the ones you hear about the most.  They tend to know alot about the game and are very high in ability.

Casual players range in ability and see the game as just that – a game.  They tend to just have fun with it, learn the basics, and go with that.

Now, this is not to say a casual player cannot defeat a competitive player, or that a competitive player is not a social able player that cannot play casually.  It just tends to be that fighting games grasp the instinctual way of releasing aggression – and I believe that to be a very good thing(though it can easily go the other way).

So.  There you have it…

-Step 1: Pick your game and character. For me, this is a big thing.  Some people simply enjoy the mechanics of a fighting game, and those people normally become competitive players.  However from mine, and I believe most players perspectives (atleast 80% of a fighting game fanbase), you want to play the character you like and become good with them.

00eawle0 Step 1 didn’t take me very long.

I believe it takes a certain type of person to play a fighting game.  You must enjoy competing, and fighting another player.  Very few people play fighting games to play the computer.  There are two ways to play.  You can play the game or play the player(this is true in many games).  While you almost always need a mix of the two to a degree, most people focus on one.  I focus on playing the game and preying on opponents mistakes, as I think most players do.

The next thing you want to do is learn at least one combo with your character.  Combo’s are present in most fighting games.  The idea is you turn on hit into a large amount of damage.  This is where competitive or casual players tend to break off.  More competitive players tend to learn as many combos as they can, so they can turn any hit they get into a combo.  Needless to say, learning how to block and your characters moves are the first thing you should learn.  I know there are certainly exceptions to my little rules and steps from here on out – especially Super Smash Brothers – but I will be focusing on the perspective of a traditional 2D fighter and maybe a bit of stereotypical 3D game play.

Learning your first combo can be either a fun or frustrating experience, especially if you learn it yourself.  Though I must say, seeing your BnB (Bread and Butter) combo hit your opponent is always a sign of relief, as it can set off set the tension to a small breath of relief, since the fight will go in your favor.

1229288544057 So, here is step two…

-Step 2:  Form an attack and defense strategy. Learn your character’s capabilities, moveset, and at least one combo.  Learn how to block and counterattack.  Every move has a purpose, time, and place to use it.  Do not ignore any of the moves your character has in their moveset.  Every move has a time, place, and purpose, and spamming your better moves will make you predictable and easy to “punish” (as in you will get combo’d yourself after a miss, block, parry, or counter – depending on the move.)

Let me say, I am by no means a combo whore and consider myself a competitive player of Crucis Fatal Fake, high casual MeltyBlood Act Cadenza player, and low casual Scarlet Weather Rhapsody player.   The length of your standard combo is game dependent.  Melty Blood leaves us a great example of a traditional fighting game.  It’s 2d, has walls(the corner), specials, ex-shields (similar to the parrying old fighting gamers know), grabs that go through blocks, and combos that trail off damage after ~10 hits.  It’s an excellent example because you can either go either 30 hits into your combo for an extra ~1000 damage (most fighting games have health values for characters ranging from 8000~15000) or keep the basics of a combo around 8-12 hits for your standard 2000-4000 damage (again, values are very game specific).  There are games – such as Fate/Unlimited Codes that make high combos (anywhere from 30-100+ hits) their main selling point.  Consider this a match between a more combo reliant player and a casual player.

Whether or not you enjoy comboing is up to you.  I certainly don’t, as being a primarily casual player I do not dedicate a large amount of time to sitting in practice mode and practicing combos over and over.  I will say, once you learn one, it becomes easier to learn more – especially if you understand the notation from my excerpt above and seek out guides and strategies. I also have nothing against somebody who enjoys the combo aspect of the game, and it is something that comes with the genre.  To me I like to work on the speed of the fight, the impulse, and something called the “mix-up”.  The mix-up is a point in a fight where it’s difficult to follow where your or your opponent’s character is, or many attacks are being exchanged, blocked, and are at a point where counter attacks and parries are possible.

Obviously, a competitive player is dedicating more time to a game and learning more combos.  They are also probably better in taking advantage of a mixup and have more options to initiate a combo and shift the fight to their favor.  They’ll also have more options to break your defense strategy.  This brings me to step three…

-Step Three: Find someone to play with. While online play is eventually an essential step if you want to play competitively, and a likely step if you easily want to find more players – I advise you start out playing with a friend, or someone else who has yet to play the game.

I highly recommend playing a friend who you don’t fight with alot.  I’ve played fighting games with a lot of people and for it to stay a game and not become an all out war, you need someone laid back to play with.

blaz02

BlazBlue is lookin’ good for next gen 2d fighters.

Now, I know most people who start playing fighting games are the competitive type, and they started learning to get good to beat what ever friend showed them the game.  While that person can be your person to play with, I’m sure you can also find someone else to start playing with.  Next, learn to deal with move spam (as most players find a very good move of their character’s and spam it).  If you’re getting hit by a spam move, it’s your fault.  You need to learn how to block and expect those moves out of your opponent, and in tournament play you need to learn how to do it fast.  While your learning though, it’s good because newbie move spamming will teach you the ways to defend.  In 2D games this is normally blocking, parrying(ex-shielding for melty), counter-attacking (that is finding a move that “clashes” with the move your opponent has, it having a higher value called “priority”, and being the attack that hits), or hitting them with a projectile or long range attack before they hit you.  It is notable that in 3D games, while the above may or may not be present, side stepping is an alternative form to defending.  Usually the moves that are combo openers in 3d games are side steppable, and each character has a range of attacks that hit a character that is side stepping. Anyway, next up is step four.

c0052350_4949e29ceae84

Step 4.  Guess which one you are.

-Step Four: Expect to lose.  A lot. You’re going to lose.  Even if the game just came out.  For a few reasons.  One, you’re probably playing someone who has played the game before.  If this is not true and it is a new game, fighting games all follow a basic pattern – so a combo whore from one game may be adept at finding a combo quicker in a new game.  Chances are though you’re going to start playing an established game, with alot of players and a community base already available.  Even if this does not happen, and you do step three incredibly well, you need to start going out and finding better players after a couple weeks of gameplay.  This will get you experienced in the game – as there will always be someone who mains each character which you may or may not be used to playing.  It’s good to go through the arcade and story mode a few times, so you’re atleast slightly in touch with what each character is capable of doing.

1206105093814

And finally, you have a choice.  Whether you want to become casual or competitive.  The true definitions of these are blurred, but I think it comes down to two things.  Do you want to play or do you want to win.  If you want to play, casual.  If you want to win, competitive.  If you’re competitive, you better start learning everything you can about the game and it’s characters.  If you’re casual, you can do it at your own pace.  As I said above, nothing is stopping the two from fighting or playing each other, or a degree of ability of one being better than the other.  I will say, competitive players tend to be better, spend more time playing, know more combos, and analyze the game’s mechanics in every way.  A casual player most likely enjoys the game for the attacks and meme’s of the series.  It is possible to be both at different points.

I used to be competitive at Melty Blood and am now a casual player.  Because I am very much so an MMORPG whore, I will also say this.  Both have types of players have their options.  And there are advanced or prestige classes available for both.  I have drawn you this horrible picture to demonstrate.

-Step 5: Choose your path as a casual or competitive player once you’ve learned the game. img0

*Normal Players can become Competitive players and vice versa.  Rage players are those that will try and try to be really good, but never in fact do so, because they get so pissed, throw their controller at their monitors – breaking them, get angry and beat their waifu, divorce them, and never pay child support.  You can decide if I made this up or not.

As I said above, the two can clash a lot, but great communities are build from having a good influx of both.  A large amount of casual players will keep a community alive, with reason to be there seeking information so they can learn about their characters.  Competitive players can be useful in either teaching new players, writing down and making combos, creating videos, hosting or participating in tournaments, and a variety of things that make up the backbone of a fighting game’s community.

ss_06_s

Saber sure can cut stuff.

Much like a swordsman feels for his/her sword, a racer feels for his/her car, or a mechanic feels for his/her tools – you should be on a certain wavelength with your character.  Whether they’re designed to be a combo character, you enjoy their background story, or their attacks fit your style – you should know the in’s and out’s of your character.  That’s part of the fighting game spirit. So, some of you may be looking at where to start.  There are a few popular fighting games and I can only comment on what I know – so here’s a list of games that have a strong community or a good place to start right now.

Tsukihime Based – MBAA Melty Blood Actress Again(Arcade):  The Sacred Red Moon

MBAC ver.B v1.03A w/ Mauve’s Caster & Tools  (Melty Blood Act Cadenza ver. B – PC): Melty Bread

1230135374896

MBAC has a great community…Until you call someone a tourney fag.

Touhou Based – Like trading card games?

SWR v1.06 (Touhou 10.5: Scarlet Weather Rhapsody – PC): The SWR Wiki

Fate/Stay Night Based – CF/F v1.11 (Crucis Fatal/Fake – PC): Community Crucis

F/UC PS2 Port (Fate/Unlimited Codes)

If you’re into the chibi thing, you may enjoy Gleam of Force v1.10

Magical Girls?  Nanoha?  Magical Battle Arena is for you.  And of course, it’s expansion if you want Vita ;).

nanohaebuster1wh7

Watch Clannad?  Did you try Tomoyo Fighter Perfect?

There’s also the Guilty Gear series, and Big Bang Beat 1st Impression, if you’re into traps.

So what’s the point of my 2800+ words?  Basically, there’s a fighting game out there for everyone, and once you find the right one, it’s a fun experience and normally intelligent communities surround the game.  If you’re a competitive person it’s a lot to miss out on.  I think many people have the experience of playing in an arcade as a kid, getting 20-something hit combo’d in Streetfighter or whatever, and never playing again because they saw it as that guy spent way too much time learning some button sequence.  There’s a lot more to it than that, and I’m out to break a common stereotype.

Give one a try.

1228882460717 Please?

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8 Responses to “It’s a Fightan Game New Year. [Orange Farm Archive]”


  1. January 1, 2009 at 5:15 PM

    I was on Yahoo and found your blog. Read a few of your other posts. Good work. I am looking forward to reading more from you in the future.

    Tom Stanley

  2. 2 Kairu Ishimaru
    January 3, 2009 at 9:54 AM

    Did I hear someone say ‘hadouken’?

  3. January 20, 2009 at 9:15 AM

    Pretty useful post you have here XD
    I’m more like a casual player anyway.
    *bookmark and promote this*

  4. 4 komidol
    February 20, 2009 at 12:10 PM

    We appreciate it, Riki :3

  5. 5 komidol
    September 20, 2009 at 7:34 AM

    ITT Me talking when I was a scrub.

  6. 6 Joe Highland
    February 5, 2010 at 11:47 PM

    Melty Blood = Pwn!
    Although I play Guilty Gear a lot more myself :P


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