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30 Genres of Christmas
Fighting Games
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on December 24, 2009   |   Episode 29 (Show Archive)  

   

It's that time of year again, a time when Defunct Games celebrates the holidays by posting a daily theme article that should inform and delight gamers all over the world. This year we're counting down the days until Christmas by looking at 30 different video game genres. From the most popular games to the tiniest niche titles, everything fits into a genre and we're going to be there to shed absolutely no new information about that genre in this month-long feature. Join us as we celebrate this joyous season with the 30 Genres of Christmas!



I'm going to officially give up if in 2011 Capcom brings us Super Street Fighter IV Turbo!
How Do You Know You Are Playing a Fighting Game? Have you ever noticed that the game you're playing only has two players on screen at once? Or that there are a half- dozen buttons set up just for punching and kicking? And what are those quarters doing on the cabinet? Whoa, where did that fireball come from? Hey, are you beating up a car? Well, in that case, then it sounds like you are playing a Fighting Game. This unique genre gives you all the sensations of a real street fight, only now you don't have to clean up any blood and rest between rounds.

Patron Saint: The world's greatest schoolyard fight.

Typical Story: Legend says that once every ten years the ghost of a long-dead martial arts master rises from his grave and puts on a tournament to see who possesses the right skills to take over his legacy. From the sandy beaches of Mexico to the cornfields of Kansas to the Moon, this ghostly figure sets up individual fights to look for fighting mastery and the superior skills one needs to be a world champion. He has yet to find that one man or woman that can take over for him. But that isn't going to stop a ragtag group of fighters from attempting to knock each other out and take on the ultimate challenge.

What Sam the World's Worst Historian Says: "For the past three decades Fighting Games have led the industry at both sales and innovations. It all started back in 1981, when Atari released their first version of Street Fighter. Thanks to

Apparently Raiden's (the lightning god) true weakness is falling from a great height!
its overwhelming success (quickly becoming the biggest console game of all time), Atari quickly followed the game up with Street Fighter II: The World Warriors. This old school game featured polygon graphics and a special three-player mode that allowed for online play. This game was so popular that Sega licensed the game and released it on both the Genesis and the Nintendo Entertainment System. By the 1990s, Atari was on a roll, giving us Street Fighters III, IV and V. At this point the series had moved on to the arcades. Thanks to a vibrant arcade scene, Street Fighter hasn't been on a console in over a decade. Thankfully games like Capcom's Samurai Shodown and Sega's Mortal Kombat have filled the void left by the almighty Street Fighter."

Not a Fighting Game: Have you played Mortal Kombat Advance? Oh sure, it looks like a standard issue 2D Fighting Game. It gives you a list of more than a dozen characters, offers plenty of moves and even gives you different difficulties to play through. There's just one problem, somebody forgot to program the actual fighting into this Fighting

Of course the Soul Calibur women wear next to nothing, isn't that the most comfortable way to have a sword fight?
Game. The game is an absolute mess, featuring glitchy special moves, an unbearable frame rate, inconsistent attacks and no actual control over your character. The game is so bad that I've actually had a computer opponent do a finishing move on me BEFORE the match even started. If you were holding a gun to my head and forced me to choose, I would likely say that Mortal Kombat Advance is indeed a fighting game. But I would probably think twice about just taking the bullet to the head.

Then vs. Now? There are a lot of arguments for why Fighting Games were better back in the day. For one thing, there were actual arcades where people gathered around and played the newest, hottest fighters. The 1990s also gave us some of the most memorable Fighting Games, titles that are still being played to this day. It was also the era that defined what we could and couldn't do in a fighting game, laying down rules that still go unchallenged. There's no question that these arguments are convincing, but I don't think the case is that open and shut. Sure we don't have arcades anymore and fewer people play these games, but you can always find people online ready to play (which is cheaper than going to an arcade). What's more, the fighting games that do come out are often worth playing, unlike half of the me-too titles that hit arcades in the 1990s. And while most people play modern fighters with the standard controls, we have a good selection of high quality arcade sticks made specifically for the hardcore fans. That's not to say that fighters are better today, but for me it's a real toss-up over which era is top.
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