Is the Nintendo Switch a Secretly Decent Console for Fighting Games?

Save for the Smash Bros. series, Nintendo hasn’t been much of a player in the fighting game scene since the SNES days. Once Nintendo alienated fighting game makers with cartridge-based systems and controller designs that didn’t lend themselves well towards the genre, they left for greener pastures.

To this day, if you want to keep up with any of the juggernauts in fighting games, the Nintendo Switch still isn’t the console for you. However, if you’re looking for some under-the-radar hits, retro titles and the inevitable release of Smash Bros., the Switch might be worth a look.

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EVO 2017 Starts Today!

The biggest open fighting game tournament in the world begins today!

From July 14-16th, the Evolution Championship Series brings thousands of fighting game players from around the world to compete in nine of the biggest games. This year’s lineup includes:

  • Street Fighter V
  • Injustice 2
  • Tekken 7
  • Guilty Gear Xrd: Rev 2
  • Super Smash Bros. Melee
  • Super Smash Bros. for Wii U
  • BlazBlue: Central Fiction
  • King of Fighters: XIV
  • Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3

If you’re not in Vegas to watch the action, fret not! You can watch on the following Twitch channels:

EVO

EVO2

EVO3

EVO4

Capcom Fighters

Tekken

NetherRealm

I’ll be glued to the computer all weekend watching as much of the action I can. Get hype!


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Universal Fighting Game Guide: Gimmicky vs. Intelligent Tactics

Gimmicky fighting game techniques are about as old as fighting games themselves. When I first stepped up to a Street Fighter II machine back in 1991, the first character I ever chose was Blanka, as I thought I could cheat the system by simply mashing the punch buttons to trigger Blanka’s electricity move. At the time, I thought it was a fool-proof tactic…for about 5 seconds. Instead, the computer systematically picked me apart as I wailed on those punch buttons, thinking the electricity move was bound to save me eventually.

While gimmicks may have their place in extremely specific situations, they’re not a substitute for solid and intelligent play. In this month’s Universal Fighting Game Guide post, we’ll talk about the difference between gimmicky and intelligent tactics.

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Universal Fighting Game Guide: Meter Management


Back in the old days of fighting games, you only had to worry about one meter: the life meter. As long as that meter didn’t run out, you were golden. However, as the genre progressed, so to did the number of meters you were required to manage. Today, almost every fighting game has some sort of super/EX/resource meter that grants you additional moves at the cost of the resources in your meter. In this edition of the Universal Fighting Game Guide, we’re going to cover resource meters and how to leverage them to your advantage.

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Universal Fighting Game Guide: Throws 101


Since the hey day of fighting games, the throw as a maneuver has received a lot more heat than it deserves. In the early days of Street Fighter II, I remember going to the arcades and hearing other kids talk about how the throw as a move was ‘cheap’ and that people shouldn’t use it in fights. Even now, I still get hate messages on XBOX Live and PSN about my use of throws in a fighting game, regardless of what game I’m playing.

Particularly around entry-level fighting game players, there’s a weird dichotomy at work where there’s a group of players who think throws are super awesome and will exploit them at every turn, and another group of players who actively handicap themselves by not using throws because of some phony gentleman’s rule that’s reached urban legend status. In this edition of the Universal Fighting Game Guide, we tackle the art of the throw, which is a key element to almost every fighting game ever made.

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Universal Fighting Game Guide: How to Improve Through Losing

The fighting game genre is defined by the process of at least two competing parties fighting each other to determine a winner and loser. As someone who has been playing fighting games seriously for the past few years, I’ve lost thousands of matches in virtually every way imaginable. I almost beat Arturo Sanchez in AE 2012 until I choked at the very end of the final round. I’ve been destroyed by Marlinpie at Marvel vs. Capcom 3 in a tournament. Most recently, I lost a match in Street Fighter X Tekken to an opponent who beat me by pressing only one button. Regardless of the circumstances around any given loss, the feeling that came with losing sucked every time.

In this installment of the Universal Fighting Game Guide, we’re going to focus on the least desirable outcome of any given match. Though the act of losing always spawns some level of anger, sadness and frustration (or in fighting game community terms, ‘salt’), it doesn’t have to end there. Losses today can be leveraged to help you gain wins tomorrow. Instead of simply getting mad, let’s talk about how to use losing as a means of getting better.

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Universal Fighting Game Guide: How to Read Frame Data

frame_advantage

(UPDATE: Part 2 of the frame data sub-series of posts is now live. Click here to learn more about frame advantage!)

When most people play fighting games, they don’t think about the underlying mechanics that drive the on-screen action. Odds are, all they care about is whether or not they’re beating their opponent to a pulp. That’s all well and good. However, competitive fighting game players will go to great lengths to find any sort of advantage on their opponents. This can include learning advanced combos, specific tactics, or as deep as understanding the raw mathematics that drives how a fighting game works.

Yes, I did say mathematics. You see, behind the action are a series of mathematical constants, variables and calculations that drive how everything works. Most people never think about this side of a fighting game (or any game for that matter), but the math is there, whether you actively recognize it or not.

In this entry into the Universal Fighting Game Guide, let’s take a high-level stab at talking about one element of the math that drives a fighting game, which is frame data. Certain off-the-shelf guides will contain frame data for your game of choice, though online sites will likely be your best bet to find this type of information. To the untrained eye, frame data charts look like rocket science. If you’ve never tried to read frame data (or have attempted it and failed), this crash course in the basics may help.

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Universal Fighting Game Guide: 5 Tips to Help You Come Back From a Huge Life Deficit


EVO moment #37 is to date, the most legendary fighting game moment of all-time. Odds are, even if you don’t actively follow the fighting game scene, you’ve seen the above video of Daigo, playing as Ken, making the most unbelievable comeback against Justin Wong’s Chun-Li, which ended with an unreal example of dexterity.

In this installment of the Universal Fighting Game Guide, let’s talk about the comebacks in fighting games. More specifically, tips to help you come back from a huge life deficit. We’ll use the classic EVO moment #37 video and the full match video to break down some overarching tips that you can use to turn the tides like Daigo did years ago.

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Universal Fighting Game Guide: How to Transition From Control Pad to Fightstick

For most of my fighting game playing life, I played fighting games with a control pad. It was what I was most comfortable with and I had no interest in learning how to play these games with any other control method. However, in 2010, I felt like I was ready to switch to a fightstick. There was a steep learning curve to it, but I’m glad that I ultimately made the switch.

I know there are a lot of people out there making the transition in hopes of upping their game. Making the switch isn’t an easy process, but I’m hoping that this post may help you ease into a fightstick if/when you decide to give it a go.

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Universal Fighting Game Guide: Tips to Overcome Bad Character Match-Ups

In virtually every fighting game, certain characters will have inherent advantages against others. More often than not, this is just the end result of character design factors that end up dictating how easy or difficult it will be for character A to defeat character B. In some cases, you may have to put in some elbow grease as the weaker character in order to win. Other times, trying to overcome a bad match-up can feel almost impossible.

Is it ever really impossible though? Let’s talk about what bad match-ups are, why they happen and things you can do to beat the odds.

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