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So, why don't Nintendo fans like fighting games? [roundtable]
 
I've come to the realization that fighting games fans don't play Nintendo systems. I'm not sure why, but they don't. And the Nintendo fans that do own Nintendo hardware, don't care for the genre. Unless it's Smash Bros. of course, where Nintendo nostalgia and fan-service figuratively burst from the screen. That's irresistible to a Nintendo fan.

But traditional fighters? Nope. Street Fighter, King of Fighters, Guilty Gear, Mortal Kombat. Dead or Alive, Tekken...none of these series have done well on Nintendo platforms. Except when the games came out on SNES, anyway. And the one exception when Soulcalibur II on Gamecube outsold both the PS2 and Xbox versions. But we can probably thank Link's inclusion in the roster for that.

But...WHY? Why don't Nintendo fans like fighting games? Nintendo gamers are usually quite open to a variety of genres (mostly because Nintendo themselves offer many different games in many different genres) but for some reason, fighting games just don't stick with modern Nintendo fans.

I had a theory that since the N64 didn't have many fighters (really good ones, anyway) that fans of the genre just gravitated to the Playstation since that's where the games were. And then never came back. But the N64 had nearly zero RPGs, but that genre is still very popular with Nintendo fans today. So that theory is bunk.

Another theory I had was that fighting games are kind of repetitious, and require practice for moves, button inputs and strategy. But then, the same could be said for Monster Hunter, and that's kind of taken off on Nintendo platforms. Heck, a lot of that applies to the still-very-popular Smash Bros. series. So that doesn't make sense either.

Then I was like, do Nintendo fans - in general - just not like competition? Like, they prefer to work together in a cooperative manner, rather than go head-to-head? But then I remembered that, besides the popularity of Smash Bros., games like Mario Kart and Pokémon feature fairly heated player-vs-player modes, and sell by the boatloads. So again...I'm at a loss to understand the fighting game aversion.

So... I turn to you guys. This site, this community...pretty much doesn't care for fighting games. Save for a few of you. If you don't like fighting games, can you explain to me why? I honestly just want to understand. If you DO like the genre, then....well, I guess this thread isn't for you. Still, any input would be greatly appreciated. Thanks everyone.

tl;dr version: WHY DON'T YOU LIKE FIGHTING GAMES?

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Posted: 02/07/14, 05:50:25  - Edited by 
 on: 02/07/14, 05:50:14
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I love the idea of fighting games, of learning frame counts and playing mind-games, but learning combos and super combos and shit is just too tedious for me to ever even BEGIN to care. Which is why I love me some Smash Bros. and especially DIVEKICK! Divekick's friggin' amazing. Two buttons, all sudden-death mind-games, no combos.
Posted: 02/07/14, 06:11:27
Xbob42 said:
I love the idea of fighting games, of learning frame counts and playing mind-games, but learning combos and super combos and shit is just too tedious for me to ever even BEGIN to care. Which is why I love me some Smash Bros..
Me in a nutshell.
Posted: 02/07/14, 06:17:06
Hard to say. Might be that they're obtuse, might be that I find the movement restrictive... just some guesses, I couldn't pin down exactly why I'm not a huge fan of them. What I do know, though, is that the vast majority of fighting games are identical, so if I don't like one, I don't like them all. On the flipside, I REALLY enjoy fighting games that actually try to be different, like Smash Bros. and NIDHOGG. Again, it would take forever to psychoanalyze myself to figure out why I like those more, but it's pretty safe to say that Mortal Kombat With Hammers isn't going to change my mind on traditional fighting games. Make something new!
Posted: 02/07/14, 06:17:25
I'm really not sure, because I had a great time playing Street Fighter II back in the day. I think it's just a genre that I lost interest in over time, most likely because I never really invested the time needed to really get good at them. That, and my friends who I'd play multiplayer with weren't big on fighting games either, so I ended up mostly playing other types of games. I remember renting one of the Mortal Kombat games that came out for GameCube (Deadly Alliance?) and no one was really that into it, and by that point it had been so long since I really played any fighting game, that I had trouble getting into it as well. I don't think I've played another fighting game of that style since.

Long story short, probably because I didn't play any fighters for such a long time. N64 being light in that department probably played into that a lot; that was my only console during that generation, and most of my time was spent playing Goldeneye, Smash Bros., WCW Revenge/Wrestlemania 2000, etc.
Posted: 02/07/14, 06:35:32
Xbob has a point, I bet the learning curve of some praised fighters is what intimidates players. I used to be really into fighters but that has come and gone with arcades. Also, N64 only needed one good fighter and it was...



It had such a fun combo system! Flowing from special to linker to special to ender, etc. was good stuff. And racing to complete out the combo gave you a cool slow-mo of the combo to really piss off your opponent.
Posted: 02/07/14, 06:36:08
Dang, I totally missed this. Alright, here's my answer from the other thread...

That's a good question.

I guess I can answer from my own perspective: at a certain point, a game feels more like work than fun. Now, I'm kind of crazy so I really love super hardcore white-knuckle challenge, generally. Ultra V-Rated in Joe? Bring it on! Time Trials in DKCR/TF? Yes, please! But for whatever reason, the challenge involved in learning how to play a fighting game really well is simply frustrating to me rather than enjoyable. It feels like I'm actually working at a skill, and I can certainly see how that'd be rewarding…but at the same time, I feel like that amount of effort would be better spent elsewhere (like learning an instrument or a new language or something).

The other thing is that there's a clear goal in hard games like Trauma Center. With fighting games, you might be great one week, but then someone will come up with all sorts of counters to the way you play, so you have to shift your strategies, and it's just this never-ending hill of effort when it comes to the real competing. It's rewarding to feel yourself get better in a game, for sure, but that element still feels a lot more like memorizing button combinations and counting frames and it's just kind of overwhelming. It's also why I never cared much for ultra-competitive Smash Bros playing, even though SSB is one of my favorite series (for reasons that don't apply to other fighting games).

That said, I can certainly see the appeal and am glad the genre has its fans, but it was simply never really something I could get into.


I'd also like to add that I think they're simply harder to get into and take more time to feel rewarding after the initial "button-mashing phase." You really have to put in some effort to get the most out of it, while with most adventures and platformers--even the difficult ones--you can still get a lot of enjoyment from the earlier stages and such. Also, fighting games aren't very varied by nature, so if you don't really like it from the get-go, there's not going to be like, a crazy mine-cart stage later in the game that'll blow you away or whatever.
Posted: 02/07/14, 06:38:34
I can't answer the question; I like fighting games. I suck at them, but I like them. On the Wii U, I have Tekken Tag Team 2 and plan on getting Injustice at some point. Anxiously awaiting Smash Bros like everyone else.
Posted: 02/07/14, 06:42:18
I don't play fighting games because usually you have to put time into it learning combos and whatnot, and staying on top of your game. I enjoy fighting games casually but even then it might be too much to get into sometimes when you are a new player.
Posted: 02/07/14, 06:45:32
Yah, I would cite the combo issue too. The fighting system in Smash Bros might be relatively simple, but it still manages to have a lot of depth to it. But the initial simplicity it's built on allows you to play more on instinct than you might with a more complex system.

I love me some Street Fighter, but to the extent where I would play 'seriously'? No. Smash Bros requires a comparatively smaller time investment to get to that kind of 'competent' level though.
Posted: 02/07/14, 07:11:06
For me it is a variety of reasons.

A. I don't really play many 2 player games anymore... I'm usually gaming alone or in a party situation where we gravitate towards 4 or more player games.

B. I've never been the type to get excited by learning a bunch of complicated techniques in a game. I prefer games where the controls are simple and the challenge comes from the design.

C. Because of this, I kind of feel like most fighting games don't really add much to the genre... when you're playing them casually they all sort of feel the same. I'm sure the diehard fans could tell me why this is wrong, but I'm not diehard so...

I do try to get into them still from time to time. I own Street Fighter IV 3D, Tatsunoko Vs. Capcom, Guilty Gear X2, etc. But I feel like each new one I buy I play less than the one before it...
Posted: 02/07/14, 07:17:37
I think it's as simple as absence. Like a number of genres, fighting games largely forgot Nintendo for a long time. SNES had its share, but from then on fighting games on Nintendo systems were an afterthought, if that. The difference with RPGs is that they very much a NES/SNES-focused genre until being dropped for PlayStation and PS2. And now that their new home is portable systems, the ball's back in Nintendo's court. On the flip-side, fighting games made their name on both SNES and Genesis equally, then never gave equal rep to Nintendo again.

As for why Nintendo systems don't get fighting games, could be a number of things. The recent fighting game resurgence is extremely online-focused; Nintendo is not. Also, the fighting game community is very public and streams a lot of content. Like many hypercompetitive people, fighting game experts often get frustrated and/or mouth off while playing. Nintendo traditionally isn't crazy about giving its fans microphones, especially those prone to saying naughty words.


As for me, I like fighting games, but there's a pretty wide gulf between beating the CPU and being competitive online, and it takes a lot of commitment to bridge that gap when you don't have dedicated sparring partners. I'm not willing to put in that much for most games. And playing fighting games online is infuriating if your latency isn't perfect, anyway.

That said, I do like watching pro-level fighting game matches a whole lot. Especially Smash, which not only breaks from the Street Fighter mold more than most fighting games, it also avoids a lot of the pitfalls fighting games fall into. Watching Melee (or especially Project M) at a high level is not only extremely impressive, it's slick entertainment.

But really, do we need more fighting games than Smash? I think it's an all-around better competitive fighting game than most fighting games that get competitive attention. It has a smoother track from beginner to expert, tons of potential for mindgames, a dramatic balance between risk and reward, awesome character variety (if not always balance), and THE BEST combo system (in Melee, particularly). And hey, it's ALSO a hell of a party game!
Posted: 02/07/14, 07:19:13  - Edited by 
 on: 02/07/14, 07:38:01
I don't like fighting games, for various reason that sort of fit into each other in some vague way. I suck at fighting games, for one thing; I'm so bad at them that I don't enjoy trying to make myself play them. I don't like having to memorize random combos and stuff, which is a big reason why I do enjoy Super Smash Bros. I don't like combo-based gameplay in general, even in other genres (one example that comes to mind being in Resident Evil's Mercenaries mode, which I otherwise love, but I don't like having to string together enemy deaths fast enough in order to keep a combo going. I prefer to play tactically and at my own pace). I also am not really into competitive gameplay in general; I almost always play single-player games, so games that focus mostly on multiplayer don't appeal to me. This also extends to games in other genres that focus on multiplayer, such as certain shooters, though I love single-player shooters. I guess it comes down to the fact that I just don't find the genre outside of Super Smash Bros. to be any fun to play.
Posted: 02/07/14, 07:46:03
X-pert74 said:
I don't like combo-based gameplay in general, even in other genres (one example that comes to mind being in Resident Evil's Mercenaries mode, which I otherwise love, but I don't like having to string together enemy deaths fast enough in order to keep a combo going. I prefer to play tactically and at my own pace.

That's a good point. I too don't like chain-combos like that, I vastly prefer combos that continue without me getting hit, as 1.) they mean I get punished for playing poorly and 2.) I'm not punished if there simply aren't any enemies left to kill because I wiped them all out, why would you punish me for that?!
Posted: 02/07/14, 08:05:19
I love fighting games though I am a (how would you say not a casual but not really hardcore) player of them. Especially 2D fighters. Though I like them I don't have the energy to go super deep into them. For instance, I really enjoy Street Fighter III but I can't parry to save my life and I am not going to take the time to learn either.
Posted: 02/07/14, 14:16:35
This thread became both enlightening and kind of depressing for me, ha ha. The overall sense I'm getting from your answers so far is basically, fighting games are too hardcore. Pretty much everyone mentioned how they didn't want complicated button inputs, didn't want to put in the time to learn them, and felt that the competition aspect of the genre to be off-putting. I don't mean to sound...I don't know, snobbish (?) but that's what I read.

Equally interesting, that (with the exception of @chrisbg99) most of you guys feel that fighting games are either casual, button-mashing games to be played without any real investment, OR require super dedicated, high-level study of the game to know each frame of animation, each combo, for each character. Is there's really no middle ground? Do you guys do that with all your games? Does everyone EV and IV train your Pokemon???

Seems Nintendo fans only like simple-to-play games, I guess? (which doesn't make sense considering Monster Hunter's popularity around here...

Hey, did you guys ever get a chance to play Power Stone? What did you think of that (those) game(s)?
Posted: 02/07/14, 14:30:21
I don't like fighting games, including Smash Bros., actually especially Smash Bros., the way the characters control irks me. Not a Sakurai fan period.
Posted: 02/07/14, 14:42:56
I personally found Power Stone to be absolute crap. Insanely hard to tell what was going on.
Posted: 02/07/14, 14:52:56
This seems like an inaccurate generalization. Didn't Street Fighter 4 3DS sell a million copies? This board isn't really representative of Nintendo fans as a whole and even if it was, it's got you and Dynablade so that's a decent number when extrapolated from.

And I don't think the implication that Nintendo fans just like Smash Bros. because of the nostalgia is accurate. I have lots of nostalgia for Street Fighter too but the games aren't nearly as fun or well done in my opinion.
Posted: 02/07/14, 15:08:57  - Edited by 
 on: 02/07/14, 15:09:56
I enjoy fighting games and own several of the games you mentioned on other platforms, as well as Tekken Tag 2 on the Wii U. I'm just never dedicated enough to get any good at them.
Posted: 02/07/14, 15:14:06
I was MAD for them in my teens. But fighting games need to be learned which is something I rarely have the time (or the enthusiastic friends) for any more so it's really only worth the effort if I know there will be a big pay-off.

Enter, you guys + Smash Bros 2014.
Posted: 02/07/14, 15:53:33  - Edited by 
 on: 02/07/14, 15:54:16
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