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I played the GBA version of IK quite recently and it’s aged pretty well (sort of)! The system of points for knockdowns means that footsies and spacing are kind of legit, and it’s the sort of streamlined experience that indie devs might aim for today. :P 
 

Basically, when’s the IK revival with online lobbies? ;) 

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I second the recommendation of Granblue, it does accessibility so well without compromising the game at all. A top player doing everything optimised and using the full inputs for everything would have an advantage over a player only using the simple ones, but between two beginner/intermediate players you can still get the full experience without having to worry too much about execution.

 

Most players at intermediate and even high level use a mixture of both types of input depending on the situation, too, so it doesn't have that problem many of these games have where the simplified stuff only works at the very lowest level. The majority of characters also have the right balance of being easy to pick up and play but with plenty of depth if you want to go down the rabbit hole. It strikes a balance between accessibility and scope for mastery that few other fighting games have managed to hit. 

 

Outside of all of that it's just a very good game all round, been playing a whole lot of it this year and for me it's the perfect sweet spot between Streetfighter and Anime fighters. It has some bananas anime-style tools but is also more grounded and footsies-based than most anime games. Great roster, looks lovely, well balanced, snappy and responsive to play, caters to a variety of playstyles. Imp is right about the slightly ropey netcode, though it's rarely unplayable if you're playing local-ish people. 

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In other non SF fighting game news, two of my favourite fighting games both got major updates recently. Them's Fightin' Herds 2.0 came out, including their first DLC character and a massive overhaul of the game. It now has a feature-packed replay channel and a preposterously comprehensive set of training mode options. They've also reworked the balance, changed how a number of system mechanics work and added a ton of polish to the presentation both in-game and the menus. 

 

It's had a bit of a bump in popularity recently, but I still believe TFH is the most underrated fighting game out there at the moment. It does everything so right. Immaculate netcode, well balanced, easy to put basic combos together but an incredibly deep well of tech to discover if you're so inclined. You can import other people's combos into the combo trial mode, it has an excellent soundtrack, the game feel is spot on with tonnes of weight behind the hits. It has powerful offense but sufficiently strong defensive mechanics. 

 

If only the aesthetic didn't put people off; it deserves to be more popular than it is. 

 

Trailer for the DLC goat and the 2.0 patch here:

 

 

Then, in perhaps even more exciting news from my point of view, Punch Planet got a new character and a reveal that two more are coming! I thought this reveal would be the last one, and the character select screen previously indicated they'd be stopping at 8. It's reassuring to know that the game has done well enough for them to add two more characters. 

 

Punch Planet is basically my dream fighting game. It borrows so many of the things I love about SF3 and SF4 but also removes a lot of their problems. It has the measured, footsie based gameplay of SF4 at its best whilst avoiding the vortex/hard knockdown/over-reliance on setplay that marred SF4 over the course of its life. It has parries, but they have a button input, cost resources and have a whiff animation, so they don't impact the neutral in the same way they do in Third Strike, and going for them is more of a commitment. They're somewhere between SF3's parry and SF4's focus attack and I think they're a better solution than either. It has back dashes as a defensive option but they're not as overpowered as they are in SF4. It has an FADC/Roman Cancel mechanic but has the easiest input for it I've seen in a game, so it allows you to get creative without mangling your fingers. 

 

I adore the game and truly hope it finds an audience when it eventually comes out of early access. If I filled in a questionnaire detailing what I would want in a fighting game, my results would be something very close to Punch Planet. 

 

The new character made me a bit nervous when I saw his trailer, as he is a straight up Mahvel character, complete with magic series/ABC strings and whacky mobility. The trailer makes him look like he'd ruin the game completely and disrupt what is quite a "pure" fighting game. Then I went into training and realised that he can't finish his magic series if you parry the first hit, his movement options are all special moves with specific trajectories and follow ups, and all of his dirtiest stuff requires you to spend a lot of resources. He also has the worst grounded pokes in the game by far, so his footsies are much weaker than the rest of the cast. He can do Marvely Stuff, but in neutral you can beat him with Streetfighter, and he can only do some of his dumber stuff if he commits a lot of meter to it. His most powerful tools are also extremely punishable on block. It's really indicative of the thought these developers put into the game. They wanted to put a Marvel 2 character in but they have thought about all of the ways he could break the game and addressed all of them. I love Punch Planet so much. :wub:

 

 

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On the low execution front what about Soul Calibur? That's all about timing and positioning and big damage usually. Dunno about the netcode on SCVI, mind.

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Netcode is pretty bad unfortunately, but yeah it's a great candidate for a lower execution game. I really really hope we're on the tail end of having to qualify recommendations with "just to warn you it plays like dogshit online". If Streetfighter 6 has bad netcode why I'll... still buy it and be VERY VERY grumpy about it. I am the very personification of the problem. Strive is an enormous step in the right direction though. It's the first major release that will have netcode on par with re-releases of decades old games and indie games made by teams of 5 people. Well done! 

 

I think Samurai Shodown really missed a trick by not going with easier inputs. The game itself presents a wonderfully pure and distilled version of fighting games and does a fantastic job with the less is more approach. But then the super specials are done with forward - > back - > half circle forward inputs, and they usually have to be done quickly in response to landing a parry, sometimes after a a dash. It's not bad if you're an experienced fighting game player, and I can see how doing the motion can make it a bit more satisfying, but it's also needlessly convoluted when the game is mostly very simple with its inputs. 

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2 hours ago, JLM said:

If Streetfighter 6 has bad netcode why I'll... still buy it and be VERY VERY grumpy about it.

 

6 will have a lot to prove, and not just with the netcode. If they go ahead and release another mainline Street Fighter title with no arcade mode, connection errors during offline modes, no lobbies, no combo trials etc... then yeah, people will be justified in their grumpy purchases. Also maybe don't rush a new numbered Street Fighter game out for Evo. ;) 

I feel like the whole thing with Altimor and SFV showed that Capcom could probably get somewhere with their netcode if they listened to their community a bit and did location testing beyond Japan... but that's a whole other rant. :P 

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Samurai Shodown

While the online is abysmal, I believe it's got everything you're looking for. Big hits, gameplay mostly focused on "fundimentals" and not a lot of daunting systems but in no means is it "shallow".

If you're good with older games, give SamShoV Special a shot. There's a version out there with rollback and it's a great fighter.

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Virtua Fighter 5: Ultimate Showdown rated for PS4 in Korea

 

Game Content Rating Committee

[PS4] Virtua Fighter 5 Ultimate Showdown

Virtua Fighter esports

Sega Publishing Korea Co., Ltd.

2021-03-19

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Some Street Fighter news for a fighting game that isn't Street Fighter. Ryu and Chun Li join Power Ranger Battle For The Grid in May.

 

(I thought they were already in there, but maybe that was for some other, mobile game?)

 

 

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Yeah that was a crossover for the mobile game, Power Rangers Legacy Wars.

 

I had to play Battle For The Grid for a work thing a while back and really enjoyed it despite having zero affinity for the source material. It's basically MVC in different clothes (little surprise given that the design team includes MVC legends Clockwork and ShadyK). Was really impressed by it. It's on Game Pass and one of those things you can just scroll past without noticing but I encourage all curious fighting-game persons to give it a look.

 

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In Guilty Gear ACR "news", Solid Bones from Sajam's discord is holding fortnightly beginner tournaments, co-hosted by commentator, top player and general repository of knowledge Ryan Hunter. They commentate the matches with a view to helping out the players on stream, and even go so far as to go into training mode between each match in order to show the players ways in which they can improve. They're also just being incredibly nice the entire time!

 

 

Also, Ryan Hunter has started doing match analysis for audience submitted replays once a week, giving more detailed player feedback using the replay functionality that allows you to take control of a character at any point to show what might have been. There's so much generally useful knowledge being shared, as well as the character specifics, that for new players this stuff is absolute gold!

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After putting the game down since the Strive beta, I've come back to ACR this week and appear to have turned something of a corner in my play! My execution is better in some ways, as I'm getting fairly consistent at FRCing gunflame, but also haven't actually managed to complete a sidewinder loop all week. I think the thing that's made the most difference though is just trying to slow myself down instead of falling into the trap of always trying to pre-emptively out button my opponent.

 

tqvS4mT.jpg

 

Somehow I'm currently sitting on a 51 game win streak, having not dropped a single game today. Wonder how long I can keep it going before I inevitably run into a Pot player...

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Yeah, I have no idea. I never even would have known about it if I didn't think to check my profile for the number, as it's not something I'm in the habit of doing and not something the game shows you unless you look for it. At the end of the session, I just realised I hadn't lost a game in a while and thought I'd check before I went to bed. Got quite the pleasant surprise!

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I've not looked further into this than seeing the tweet and then some folk I follow implementing it but someone has a mod to play the full console version of Virtua Fighter 5: Final Showdown within the PC (Steam) versions of either Yakuza 6 or Yakuza: Like a Dragon.

 

 

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On 14/04/2021 at 08:49, Nate Dogg III said:

Yeah that was a crossover for the mobile game, Power Rangers Legacy Wars.

 

I had to play Battle For The Grid for a work thing a while back and really enjoyed it despite having zero affinity for the source material. It's basically MVC in different clothes (little surprise given that the design team includes MVC legends Clockwork and ShadyK). Was really impressed by it. It's on Game Pass and one of those things you can just scroll past without noticing but I encourage all curious fighting-game persons to give it a look.

 

 

My son and I spent a Friday evening just downloading a bunch of smaller Gamepass games and this was the one we had most fun with! 

 

 

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Rumours kicking about that Netherrealm are working on a Marvel fighting game. If it's true I wonder if they'll go the Marvel vs DC route, Ed's said a few times it'd be a dream for him.

 

https://www.gamingbible.co.uk/news/games-injustice-studio-working-on-a-marvel-fighting-game-says-insider-20210427?source=facebook

 

I remember folk suggested they'd like a horror movie fighting game from them after Freddie and Jason etc made Mortal Kombat appearances. That'd be so good. Chuck in old B-Movie creatures and some 80s action heroes.

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