Nitpick: Super Street Blaz Tekken Arcade Version Extend 2.0
Normally I take the time on Nitpick to discuss something that annoys me in video games. My last Nitpick was a little different because rather than complaining, I praised Journey and Splinter Cell for doing something amazing. I’m back to nitpicking this week but rather than a mechanic in a video game, I want to complain about a practice that has recently taken root in video games, particularly in the fighting genre.
Before I begin, I’d like to note that I love fighting games. I’m actually quite horrible at fighting games but I consider myself to be a big fan of the genre, after all I own a Tournament Edition Fightstick which isn’t all that cheap. There’s just something awesome about beating someone in a one vs one match with crazy moves, supers, combos, and more. However, it’s more about the flash. Fighting games require intricate input motions - especially if you’re using a fightstick- and there are subtle nuances that create the mechanics and systems in a game that sets the best players from the rest. You know that having perfect block strings will get you easily countered and those that know how to do mix-ups, cross-ups, and counters will easily pummel you to defeat. All of these things are what create the thrill of fighting games. It’s just simply awesome.
However, if fighting games are so great what exactly is so bad about them? Let’s wind the clock back almost a decade ago before the advent of online playspace. Fighting games were aplenty. Titles such as Street Fighter, Tekken, Guilty Gear, Dead or Alive, Mortal Kombat and Virtua Fighter are some of the most prominent in the genre. Although they all fall under the same genre roof, they played drastically different from each other. Dead or Alive is more about direct counter moves and reversals for combat while Guilty Gear featured more on sprite-based frame combat. Each franchise brought something entirely new to the mix.
Despite being different they all adopted a common notion: sequels and revisions. This isn’t something that is rare. Every year or two, or sometimes even later, developers opt to release a new version of the game. For example, games such as Guilty Gear has a dozen versions of the game. There are in actuality three primary releases of the game but in between each of these titles there are the inevitable revisions that require purchase. In these revisions are perhaps new characters, slight tweaks of character moves which would either nerf or buff the, and a possible system tune-up. The same situation could easily be applied to Street Fighter and other titles as well. It’s a common practice, especially in Japan, due to fighting arcade games being a very popular activity.
Revisions and sequels that come out yearly are justified. It changes up the dynamic of the game and attracts new players as well as veterans that might’ve gotten bored over a period of time. For fighting games, any minor change can greatly affect the game on a large scale. Despite it being revisions and sequels, there was no particular way to simply update your game so players would have to purchase the newer versions.