After analyzing the issue of downloadable content from the developer’s perspective, as well as how to escape the plateau, Novriltataki and the Chemical Lovers are back with episode 19 of their “Exploring Fighting Games” series, this time tackling the subject of properly understanding tier lists.
When Street Fighter II first introduced a unique cast of 8 distinct playable characters back in 1991, Capcom created an inevitable power gap between the fighters, as their unique and individual gameplay styles meant that they could not all be truly equal in power when matched up against one another. As natural competitive spurt began to grow among the community, players began to try and decide which characters were the absolute best in the game, giving birth to character rankings known as tier lists.
Though lists are ideally created with the use of a calculated and researched match-up chart, displaying which warriors have the best and worst individual spread across the entire cast, most players simply create them off of personal feeling and power estimation — making them fallible, since it is not always based off pure battle data.
Norvil examines what determines a match-up score, as well as using titles such as Marvel vs. Capcom 2 and Super Street Fighter II Turbo to explain the differences between games with both tight and spread-out gaps in character strength, as well as advising players on how they should approach tier lists and theory in order to use them constructively.
You can see the full video below. (Upcoming Episode 20 of EFG will focus on which type of controller to use for your favorite fighting game.)