Gamespot’s Maxwell McGee posted an interesting article about fixing the fighting game genre. The article primarily focuses on the lack of gameplay modes beyond the basic modes we’ve seen over the past twenty years. Maxwell fears that the fighting game genre is reaching its limits with fans and sales of the most recent releases outside of Mortal Kombat are used to support his claim. According to Maxwell, fighting games need to evolve and developers should look at Starcraft II as an example of how to balance single player and multiplayer content.
Despite Street Fighter x Tekken being a much more accessible fighter, Maxwell argues that there’s no reason to play the game since there is no reward system. Instead of releasing gems, color packs, and quick combos as free DLC, he thinks that Capcom should have created an in-game economy system similar to MK9’s – a game that he considers the gold standard for modes in the genre.
You can read the entire editorial over at Gamespot. Here’s an excerpt:
So, what should the new standard be for fighting game modes? In a perfect world, the selection for all fighters would include the following at a minimum:
Arcade: default game mode that lets you fight your way through the roster to the end boss
Story: narrative-driven mode focusing on presentation and storytelling; main single-player offering
Mission: meaty helping of challenges that put a twist on the mechanics and offer significant rewards
Training: instructional suite for all skill levels; combo demonstrations with timing indicators required
Versus: offline competitive versus mode, including survival and tournament modes
Online: online versus mode with tournament support, spectating, and replay sharing
Again, this list represents the base level of game modes each fighting game should include. Extras, such as minigames, cosmetic items, and character customization, are also acceptable (and encouraged) but are not as essential as the staples listed above. Then there’s the issue of DLC. At best, it can extend the life of a fighter and instill extra value, a la Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition. At worst, it locks out a significant portion of the game, thus hurting its value. The debate still rages over a unified theory of DLC, and in all likelihood there are plenty of knuckleheaded strategies to come.