Sunday, August 26, 2012

What A Real Fighting Game Challenge Mode Should Be

In today's Fighting Games Challenge Mode has pretty much been reduced to, "Hey do this combo we tell you."  While at first glance it doesn't seem to be a big deal. To a lot of players its easy. At the same time these challenges provide some difficulty.  The problem with "Combo Challenges" is that not only is the game attempting to teach you combos you will probably never use.  It's killing a lot of creativity in my opinion.  For one example Blazblue CS not only had a tutorial mode to teach you what's good to use for each character.  The game's challenge mode threw in combos most of which you've only seen at tournaments or early combo videos.  I honestly feel that isn't the way to go with Challenge Mode.  Its as if the creators among many people are implying is:
  1. You must play like the pros in order to get everything you can out of the character you're playing. 
  2. Being creative or playing your own way is not the way to play said game and you need to play like everyone else. Or just lose.

An Example of a Game's Mission Mode

While its appreciative that these combos are listed out there for us. Unless you think outside the box most players will not be able to see things such as what links together, what's safe, What's unsafe, How do I defeat "xxxx" character, and the like.  

By Playing KoF XI's Mission Mode You find out that Shen Woo can deflect projectiles in rapid succession

What I think is a true challenge mode is performing certain task in a match. What type of challenges I want?  Well I would want stuff like "use xxxx move to win the fight", "Create a combo that does x amount of damage without using x", "fight under these conditions".   While I know there's some people out there that would say, "Just make up your own challenges." I honestly would rather have the game itself put such challenges in there. For me I feel that makes me a better player.  One reason being is that its something to do rather than just play online with others or play arcade mode.  Story mode is alright but its generally set battles.  Score Attack is alright with the AI but eventually I'll learn that and I'm not really fighting with what I think would be true handicap.  By throwing in a list of challenges instead of combos you'll spend a lot more time playing the game.

An example of someone making up Challenges of there own

The best games I've played with a challenge mode I speak of.  Soul Calibur's 1-4 had such a thing.  While you didn't realize it you were learning to deal with specific situations that would appear in normal fights. Guilty Gear X2 and Guilty Gear XX AC+'s mission mode forced specific situations on you forcing you to find a way to win a match.  What was happening in the midst of all that the game was teaching you to use specific moves like Dead Angle, Aerial only moves, learn your own combos and the like.

A mission Mode Forcing you to step up your game quite a bit and to learn something that works

These kinds of examples are what makes a real fighting game challenge mode.  Challenges that pretty much say, "Press these buttons in this order." Isn't honestly a challenge in my opinion as you're kept inside the box. I also find that there's very little replay value in such a mode with very little reward.  While both can be done with persistence and tenacity.  I find actual (more specific) challenges far more rewarding. Providing much more freedom and allows you to learn a great deal more.