Playing fighting games on PC wasn’t really an avenue I put much thought into pursuing. Up until recently, I didn’t have PC hardware capable of running video games at all. Even if I did, the PC has played second fiddle to home consoles as the tournament standard ever since the fall of the arcades. Home consoles were easier to set up while providing players with a standardized battleground. Consoles don’t have issues with game performance varying from one PC to the next or having to worry about driver support for every possible controller option. As someone who took fighting games seriously and competed at IRL tournaments, I was going to take the tournament standard every time.
Things are…different now. I haven’t competed in an IRL tournament in a few years. Even if I wanted to, the entire fighting game tournament scene is in flux due to the ongoing pandemic. Also, I finally have a PC capable of running fighting games. If I were to ever give fighting games on PC a chance, it would be right now.
For a long time, I perceived fighting games by Arc System Works as being too complex for me. Initially drawn to their work by how amazing the BlazBlue games looked, my mind melted when I struggled to grasp the game’s intricacies. Guilty Gear games up to Xrd might as well have been rocket science. Love watching the pros play these games, but I have no clue where to being learning how to play.
Their penchant for designing characters that function wildly different from one another while layering on tons of system-level mechanics for fighters that were inpenetrable to me. Even now, after a decade of serious fighting game experience, it would take me a ton of work to just feel competent at any of legacy Guilty Gear or BlazBlue games.
In recent times, Arc System Works have gone a long way towards finding a better balance while also pushing the limits of anime-style graphics. Between their tireless efforts to improve (and Capcom’s well-documented struggles), I think that Arc System Works is the king of fighting game publishers right now.
Though it hasn’t been that long since I posted one of these, I’d actually had that configuration for a few weeks beforehand. This time, I’ll try and stay on top, posting these closer to when I rejigger the setup. At most, I’ll do these once a month for however long I’m interested in writing them. Here are a few new pieces I added!
For the past few weeks, I’ve seen the name Granblue Fantasy Versus floating around the fighting game community websites I frequent. However, I didn’t really bother investigating until recently, as there’s a beta for the game happing right now. And oh my goodness, I should have had this game on my radar sooner.
Street Fighter Month concludes here on In Third Person! Though Street Fighter has always been perceived as the leader in fighting games, is it still deserving of that title? Thank you for joining me in this battle!
Street Fighter will always hold a special place in the fighting game community. Street Fighter II pioneered the genre. Street Fighter III was the game that kept the hardest-of-hardcore fans engaged during Capcom’s fighting game drought. Street Fighter IV ushered in the modern era of fighting games, laying out the blueprint for how to design a competitive fighting game for modern times.
But has it been deserving of that position in a post-Street Fighter V world? Not to specifically throw shade at that game, but in these last few years, the Street Fighter brand got weaker while others got stronger. On top of that, certain games may have stronger claims to the throne than you may think. Let’s discuss!
Improving at fighting games is one of the steepest mountains to climb in all of video games. You have to contend with complex special move inputs, combos, complex gameplay systems, difficulty that changes based on who you fight against, an online player base that will take turns stomping you into the ground, and no one to blame but yourself each time you lose. Furthermore, the path to improvement usually requires help from outside resources, such as guides, video tutorials, or coaching, as even the most robust in-game teaching tools won’t prepare you for everything you’ll face in the real world.
Though I put a ton of time and effort into training, I credit Street Fighter III: Third Strike legend and one of the FGC’s pioneers in content Gootecks for helping me grow as a player. Dating all the way back to his audio-only podcast from ages ago, his tips and advice really set me down the right path. Without his indirect guidance, I don’t think I ever would have gotten to the place where I am today.
When I got to a point where I felt like I had knowledge of my own to pass down, I started the Universal Fighting Game Guide. I wanted to pay it forward like Gootecks did for me. Feeling like there wasn’t enough information out there for beginner-to-intermediate level players, I wanted to write the kind of guides I was looking for to answer very specific questions I had. On top of that, I wanted to write guides that worked for a wide swath of fighting games, as so much knowledge is transferrable from game-to-game.
I was hoping that a handful of people would find my work useful. What I didn’t expect was the massive and ongoing success it has achieved.
Did you miss out on the Dragon Ball FighterZ beta on Switch? Fear not! I’ve got almost two hours of footage from a hi-res capture and a lengthy stream with my brother! So far, it looks really close to the PS4/Xbox One versions and it plays great!
When I first started following the world of fighting games seriously in 2009, I stumbled across a weird sentiment that a number of older players in the scene had with regards to Street Fighter IV. I got the sense that a number of the best players from Street Fighter III: Third Strike had their issues with the latest installment, choosing to stay behind while Street Fighter IV became a global phenomenon. At the time, I didn’t think that the particulars could be such a dividing factor that top players would abandon being part of the fighting game resurgence to stick with a “dead game”.
It’s 2018 now, and the shoe is on the other foot. Fighting games are bigger than ever, with Street Fighter V leading the pack. However, my personal qualms with the game, along with my nostalgia for “the good old days”, caused me to hop off the hype train around mid-2017. Since then, I’ve found myself bouncing around from title-to-title, looking for a place to engage in cyber fisticuffs in hopes that maybe I can find a new “home” someday.
In the Dragon Ball universe, Piccolo has always been an impressive and resourceful warrior in his own right. No human fighter would stand a chance against him. However, he also exists in a universe where he’s outgunned by mythically strong fighters that could blow up a planet for the fun of it. Despite his best efforts to get stronger and smarter, he routinely comes up short against the best in the universe as he simply doesn’t have the raw power to keep up.
In the world of Dragon Ball FighterZ, where fighting game developers have to balance their rosters out as much as possible, Piccolo’s skills as a fighter come through with his tricky move set and devastating damage potential. However, one hole in his arsenal prevents him from being one of the best combatants in the game.
Achieving perfect balance in a fighting game is essentially an impossible task. As long as a fighting game features unique character designs, there’s always going to be instances of certain characters seemingly being better than others. Still, the closer we can get to the equilibrium, the better the game will be, as players want a game where every character is a viable option.
A few months into Dragon Ball FighterZ and we’re now getting a clear idea of who is good and who isn’t. At this point, about 1/3 of the cast basically isn’t in the game, whether you track usage among online players or in tournament play. If you want to get more cynical, there are borderline characters like Gotenks, Piccolo, and Captain Ginyu that may not be worth the effort, either. There’s still much work to be done in order to get these characters to the next level.
Now that we have a better understanding of how the game works, let’s analyze some of the bottom tier characters in terms of why they currently suck and how they could get better in the future.