Fighting Game Recommendations for Dark Souls Fans?

#1 Posted by plaintomato (598 posts) -

I love Dark Souls, and Demon's Souls, and of course I'm looking forward to Dark Souls 2. I was wondering if anyone could recommend a game from the fighting genre that might appeal to Dark Souls PVPers?

I'm asking from a pretty uneducated place. I remember trying to get into Tekken 4 back in the PS2 days, and when I got to the point where I realized that good players were doing crazy stuff like buffering moves by entering input strings far in advance of the moves actually happening on screen - I just gave up. I didn't want to be memorizing and regurgitating input strings and combos that felt more like entering a series of GTA cheat codes than fighting. I wanted to be watching, thinking, defending, attacking and reacting to my opponent in a moment-to-moment immersive way.

So I haven't played a fighter in FOREVER and it's pretty certain I don't have a clue what I'm talking about. For all I know, fighter fans might say any good fighter is about "watching, thinking, defending, attacking and reacting in an immersive way". I do know that a lot of Demon's/Dark Souls fans are fighting game fans.

Can anybody point out some fighters that should or should not appeal to Souls fans? I'm hoping there's a fighter or two with that deliberate, connected feel that the Souls games have. I'm hoping for something more about reading your opponent, testing and reacting to your opponent - and less about entering combo strings like your controller is a typewriter.

#2 Posted by TobbRobb (4579 posts) -

When it comes to reactionary combat, I think Dead or Alive or Street Fighter play along those lines a lot. Though a lot of it is prediction and gamesense. And you will still have to learn basic combos and practicing inputs no matter what. Now, if you want something that REALLY plays closer to Dark Souls, you have to go further back, to times before internet on consoles and play some Bushido Blade.

#3 Posted by ShaggE (6321 posts) -

You might like Bushido Blade. It's distinct in that a single properly executed hit can kill your opponent. (other games like Deadliest Warrior do this as well, but Bushido Blade was the best at it).

#4 Posted by StingerMK2 (386 posts) -

Bushido Blade is the correct answer...

#5 Posted by StarvingGamer (7985 posts) -

For all I know, fighter fans might say any good fighter is about "watching, thinking, defending, attacking and reacting in an immersive way".

You've answered your own question. Yes, there's a lot of memorization/regurgitation in combo-heavy games like Tekken, but being able to pull off large strings is only one tiny (and possibly the least important) facet of skilled play. That said, if you're looking for a quality fighting game where the barrier to competency is lower, your best bet would be to play either MK9 or SFIV, although each game can be daunting in its own way.

While MK9 utilizes strings and buffers, it plays significantly differently from Tekken. Each character only has a handful of strings, and only a select few of them have any real value in competitive play, making it a relatively easy task to learn the toolset for a single character. Combos tend to be shorter, and the buffer system means that the manual dexterity required to pull off optimal combos is generally lower than other fighting games. If you find a character you like, it won't take much work to get to the point where you're focusing more on the fighting and less on getting your hands to cooperate.

SFIV, on the other hand, is much more about single strikes and jousting with your opponent. While that likely sounds more up your alley as a Dark Souls player, the execution barrier can be significantly higher because of the reliance on links when performing combos. A simple but slightly inaccurate definition of a link is two attacks that only combo together when executed within an incredibly small input window. A majority of Street Fighter characters rely on 1-3 frame links in their combos. This means that you have to be able to be consistently accurate within 1/60th of a second at times, or risk leaving yourself wide open to a counterattack. On the bright side, this also means that there is a common DNA across all characters making it significantly less frustrating to dabble and experiment with the roster.

#6 Edited by Fredchuckdave (5325 posts) -

Fighting games aren't immersive except for maybe the MK9/Injustice story modes or something, and most fighting games aren't slow and deliberate like Dark Souls but I guess SFIV is the closest. If you want something faster that's also reaction based then KoF XIII is superb.

#7 Posted by plaintomato (598 posts) -

Thanks for the responses guys. I'll probably give MK a go then...though these posts make me disappointed that Bushido Blade faded away and Deadliest Warrior never got the attention it needed to be developed into a legitimate quality title. I found Kengo but it looks pretty universally unloved.

What do fighter fans think of Undisputed 3? It looks like a different bird. I tried searching for fighter-enthusiast opinions but "fighter" as a genre word doesn't work well with UFC related searches.

#8 Edited by PandaBear (1300 posts) -

Can I please get some real-time strategy game recommendations based on my love of Lumines?

#9 Posted by plaintomato (598 posts) -

@pandabear: Ouch.

I'm asking from a pretty uneducated place... I do know that a lot of Demon's/Dark Souls fans are fighting game fans.

Forgive me for not being the bottomless fount of fighter knowledge that you must be. At least you had a clever quip in lieu of any real insight.

#10 Posted by PandaBear (1300 posts) -

@pandabear: Ouch.

@plaintomato said:

I'm asking from a pretty uneducated place... I do know that a lot of Demon's/Dark Souls fans are fighting game fans.

Forgive me for not being the bottomless fount of fighter knowledge that you must be. At least you had a clever quip in lieu of any real insight.

Hey that's ok buddy! I mean you're right to assume a punishing action-RPG like Dark Souls would appeal mostly to fans of fighting games (???)

Dead or Alive 5 for proper countering and defensive skills, Tekken Tag Tournament 2 for being fun and accessible but challenging.

#11 Edited by Sinusoidal (1283 posts) -

Bah! Dark Souls online is pissing me off right now. I just started playing a few days ago, and - since the game is two years old now - everyone I encounter has perfect builds or excellent equipment at low levels and inevitably destroys me in a flurry of blows, one big smash or a torrent of status effects. My sad sack of a busted rapier/Iaito DEX build with too-much-str-since-I-didn't-know-where-I-was-going-early-on doesn't stand a chance.

I thought I stood a chance once, against some guy with a huge sword in the Blighttown swamp. I thought, that thing must be slow. NOPE! Hadn't even thought of hitting the parry button when his comically huge sword plummeted through my skull, 9/10s dead in one hit. A stupid Soul Arrow finished me off when I ran away to heal and regroup. Probably should have stood my ground and parried again.

That said, the online is truly a unique thing. I don't think you're going to find a fighting game quite like it.

#12 Edited by ArtisanBreads (3733 posts) -

We all know the correct answer is Def Jam: Fight for New York AKA "The Dark Souls of fighting/wrestling games"

#13 Posted by Immortal_Guy (108 posts) -

Divekick.

...I don't know if I'm joking or not. Divekick does have no combo memorisation, and puts a lot of weight on reading and reacting to your opponent...

#14 Edited by BBAlpert (1369 posts) -

@tobbrobb: @shagge: @stingermk2:

Edit: Er... what happened to my post? What I tried to post was basically "What do you think about the assertion that Bushido Blade is the best Star Wars fighting game ever made (in that a well made Jedi lightsaber duel game could conceivably resemble Bushido Blade's 1-hit kill/injure system)?"

#15 Posted by EchoEcho (815 posts) -

Bah! Dark Souls online is pissing me off right now. I just started playing a few days ago, and - since the game is two years old now - everyone I encounter has perfect builds or excellent equipment at low levels and inevitably destroys me in a flurry of blows, one big smash or a torrent of status effects. My sad sack of a busted rapier/Iaito DEX build with too-much-str-since-I-didn't-know-where-I-was-going-early-on doesn't stand a chance.

I thought I stood a chance once, against some guy with a huge sword in the Blighttown swamp. I thought, that thing must be slow. NOPE! Hadn't even thought of hitting the parry button when his comically huge sword plummeted through my skull, 9/10s dead in one hit. A stupid Soul Arrow finished me off when I ran away to heal and regroup. Probably should have stood my ground and parried again.

That said, the online is truly a unique thing. I don't think you're going to find a fighting game quite like it.

This has been my exact experience with Dark Souls PVP thus far. I joined up with the Forest Hunter covenant and let the game summon me into PVP for about an hour straight, and I think I only successfully killed one person on my own. Any other time I "won", it was because someone else got summoned into the fight (or invaded) and stabbed the person in the back while I was distracting them.Granted, a good number of my deaths were due to latency issues; people sliding right through my body, setting them up for an instant backstab. Lost a couple of potential victories to that bullshit.Seems like if you really want to get into the PVP in Dark Souls your character has to be built for it, and I'm just clearly not.
More or less on topic: you might want to give Soul Calibur a try?

#16 Edited by MikeFightNight (1075 posts) -

@plaintomato: Are you going to be playing against the CPU primarily, random net play or friends with little experience in said FG also? As someone who plays just about every FG that comes out I would recommend DOA as a starting game. One thing I've come to terms with in most FGs is combos being the barrier to entry for most. If you want to damage your opponent for whiffing an attack or using an unsafe move on block a juicy combo will not only help you win the round but will more importantly teach your opponent a lesson. If all you punish with is a jab they will learn nothing and keep playing recklessly. Combos need to get to that muscle memory point where you don't think about button presses anymore and are left to think about the much more fun parts of FGs.

DOA has easy combos to perform, so you can get to the fun stuff like reading your opponent, defense, wake up and neutral game much faster then other FGs. With that said I find a lot of DOA's mind games come from RPS (rock, paper, scissors) Other fighting games have this RPS element but in DOA it is a concrete idea. Throws beat holds, strikes beat throws, holds beat strikes. I am not saying it's random however, you must still read your opponents tendencies to do well.

DOA is a 3D fighter and since you mentioned Dark Souls I think you would like it. DOA5U is also free to play and is the same as DOA5 so you have nothing to lose. Soulcalibur is also a good 3D fighter which is much easier to pick up then Tekken.

In the end it also comes down to what you want out of the game and who you'll be playing. Any FG can be a bad experience if your competition is more advanced then you. Find a friend new to the game or send an invite to a random net opponent you have had close matches with. Then play each other and level up together. You learn more this way then by only fighting randoms where they or you perform gimmicks to win a match and then move on. Fighting randoms is still important to see different characters and play styles though. The fun for me about FGs is seeing how you and your opponent adapt to each other over long sets.

#17 Posted by plaintomato (598 posts) -

@plaintomato said:

@pandabear: Ouch.

@plaintomato said:

I'm asking from a pretty uneducated place... I do know that a lot of Demon's/Dark Souls fans are fighting game fans.

Forgive me for not being the bottomless fount of fighter knowledge that you must be. At least you had a clever quip in lieu of any real insight.

Hey that's ok buddy! I mean you're right to assume a punishing action-RPG like Dark Souls would appeal mostly to fans of fighting games (???)

Dead or Alive 5 for proper countering and defensive skills, Tekken Tag Tournament 2 for being fun and accessible but challenging.

I was trying to decide if you were born with infinite knowledge and simply unable to comprehend that there are other people who have to start somewhere else, or just born a douchebag. But maybe you are just a little dim. How you interpret "I know a lot of DS fans are fighting game fans" to mean "I assume a punishing action-RPG like Dark Souls would appeal mostly to fans of fighting games" is beyond me, so let me take a moment to help you out here with a hot tip: some gamers have an interest in more than one genre, and sometimes interest in one thing can lead to interest in another thing even when those things are not the same thing. Crazy, I know.

To everyone else, thanks for the actual input. I'll give MK and DOA a go.

DOA has easy combos to perform, so you can get to the fun stuff like reading your opponent, defense, wake up and neutral game much faster then other FGs. With that said I find a lot of DOA's mind games come from RPS (rock, paper, scissors) Other fighting games have this RPS element but in DOA it is a concrete idea. Throws beat holds, strikes beat throws, holds beat strikes. I am not saying it's random however, you must still read your opponents tendencies to do well. DOA is a 3D fighter but since you mentioned Dark Souls I think you would like it.

Thanks @mikefightnight - sounds like exactly what I was fishing for, with some similar elements to some of the things I like about the Souls games.

#18 Posted by TobbRobb (4579 posts) -

@bbalpert: Bushido Blade with lightsaber mods would be the greatest Star Wars game of all time. For now it shall stay Jedi Academy with cheats and g_saberrealisticcombat 1 going.

@plaintomato Yeah @mikefightnight pretty much summed up with actual words why DOA might fit the bill. View this as extra confirmation, and depending on where you are located I might want to play some DoA 5 with you. :P

#19 Posted by plaintomato (598 posts) -

@echoecho said:
@sinusoidal said:

My sad sack of a busted rapier/Iaito DEX build with too-much-str-since-I-didn't-know-where-I-was-going-early-on doesn't stand a chance...

That said, the online is truly a unique thing. I don't think you're going to find a fighting game quite like it.

This has been my exact experience with Dark Souls PVP thus far. I joined up with the Forest Hunter covenant and let the game summon me into PVP for about an hour straight, and I think I only successfully killed one person on my own. Any other time I "won", it was because someone else got summoned into the fight (or invaded) and stabbed the person in the back while I was distracting them.Granted, a good number of my deaths were due to latency issues; people sliding right through my body, setting them up for an instant backstab. Lost a couple of potential victories to that bullshit.Seems like if you really want to get into the PVP in Dark Souls your character has to be built for it, and I'm just clearly not.

Most people still playing Dark Souls have been through countless builds to figure out a play-style they like, then figure out how to make it competitive with efficient stats and upgraded gear that they like, and then take the time to get good with it AND understand the strategies of other builds. Actually, using and getting decent with all of the common PVP builds goes a looong way towards understanding how to beat them. So yeah, if you're at a place where you are talking about your "character" (singular), the PVP is going to be frustrating. You have to not mind dying a lot in order to spend time just focusing on a thing in order to develop it, you have to care more about picking up a skill than winning or losing. Combine that with all the wait time to actually get a good match and...well, it can send you looking for something that is designed entirely around PVP match-ups.

For me, the robust single(ish) player game is what made Demon's/Dark a lot easier to stick with compared to getting into a fighter - but the PVP is what kept me coming back and investing far more playtime than I've ever put into any one game before.

#20 Posted by IrrelevantJohn (1026 posts) -

I agree with @mikefightnight with DOA5 being an entry point into fighting games. Rock, paper, scissors man!

If you want a fighting game that looks (not really at all) like Dark Souls, I think Soul Calibur 5?

#21 Edited by SoldierG654342 (1733 posts) -

I don't know, Virtua Fighter maybe? Too bad no one is playing Final Showdown anymore.

#22 Edited by edsone (214 posts) -

@plaintomato: as a big fighting game fan myself there're plenty of games to recommend but all comes down to what you like/dislike and how accessible do you want the game to be.

It seems like you don't want something too hard to pick up and play but at the same time considering you enjoy Dark Souls and the reasons you provided you sort of want a deep game. It's hard to put both together sometimes.

Maybe you should try Soul Calibur II. The series' been going downhill since then but Soul Calibur II still the pinnacle. The way it plays might appeal to you. It's accessible but was has depth. Considering Namco will soon be releasing the online edition you might want to wait for it.

In a way I just want to say to pick up Virtua Fighter 5: Final Showdown. It's deep and it's the fighting game I see personal styles more clearly than others. I remember a interview with a famous player who said it best. He said the unlike Street Fighter that is very match up based, Virtua Fighter is more like you're really against another person. Problem with Virtua Fighter is, it takes a long time to get used to it. Can be frustrating and unforgiving for some time. Also, it's hard to focus on more than 2 characters considering how deep it is. It's also fairly balanced compared to most fighters.

As far as 2d fighting games go however maybe you should try Street Fighter IV, it's also technical and a bit slow.

If you like some over the top fighting, a deep system, and accessible gameplay you can also try something like Guilty Gear (or other arcsys game). People say it's too complex and they're right. Still, 2 people who never played a fighting game before can still have fun. When you get to the technical stuff however can be overwhelming. Blazblue also pretty good and the characters all play very differently from each other making it very interesting.

Now, as far as favourite goes, my personal top 5 nowadays would be something like this (not in order):

Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike

Blazblue (the latest)

Virtua Fighter 5: Final Showdown

Soul Calibur II

Mortal Kombat 9

There are a lot of other good games out there, even the ones I'm not into (Tekken or KoF for instance).

#23 Posted by Nasar7 (2598 posts) -

@shagge said:

You might like Bushido Blade. It's distinct in that a single properly executed hit can kill your opponent. (other games like Deadliest Warrior do this as well, but Bushido Blade was the best at it).

Bushido Blade is the correct answer...

If only Dark Souls let you kick dirt into your opponent's eyes.

#24 Edited by gokaired (478 posts) -

Darkstalkers 3: the series is a horror fighting game but it has anime sensibilities in it's design

SoulCalibur II and V - Sword Fighting games the best so far (well IV may be better than V)

MK 3 and 9 - Best of the 2D MKs

KOF13 - It's a really technical and hard fighting game that requires a lot of skill yet is easy to grasp most of the commands

BlazBlue series (play the latest) - It's easily accessible and has a cool story and interesting characters

When they come out Killer Instinct and Guilty Gear Xrd -sign-

#25 Edited by PandaBear (1300 posts) -

@pandabear said:

@plaintomato said:

@pandabear: Ouch.

@plaintomato said:

I'm asking from a pretty uneducated place... I do know that a lot of Demon's/Dark Souls fans are fighting game fans.

Forgive me for not being the bottomless fount of fighter knowledge that you must be. At least you had a clever quip in lieu of any real insight.

Hey that's ok buddy! I mean you're right to assume a punishing action-RPG like Dark Souls would appeal mostly to fans of fighting games (???)

Dead or Alive 5 for proper countering and defensive skills, Tekken Tag Tournament 2 for being fun and accessible but challenging.

I was trying to decide if you were born with infinite knowledge and simply unable to comprehend that there are other people who have to start somewhere else, or just born a douchebag. But maybe you are just a little dim. How you interpret "I know a lot of DS fans are fighting game fans" to mean "I assume a punishing action-RPG like Dark Souls would appeal mostly to fans of fighting games" is beyond me, so let me take a moment to help you out here with a hot tip: some gamers have an interest in more than one genre, and sometimes interest in one thing can lead to interest in another thing even when those things are not the same thing. Crazy, I know.

To everyone else, thanks for the actual input. I'll give MK and DOA a go.

@mikefightnight said:

DOA has easy combos to perform, so you can get to the fun stuff like reading your opponent, defense, wake up and neutral game much faster then other FGs. With that said I find a lot of DOA's mind games come from RPS (rock, paper, scissors) Other fighting games have this RPS element but in DOA it is a concrete idea. Throws beat holds, strikes beat throws, holds beat strikes. I am not saying it's random however, you must still read your opponents tendencies to do well. DOA is a 3D fighter but since you mentioned Dark Souls I think you would like it.

Thanks @mikefightnight - sounds like exactly what I was fishing for, with some similar elements to some of the things I like about the Souls games.

Awww c'mon pal, let's not fight. I mean your logic is flawless of course... but as you say gamers like all kinds of genres, so by your own logic a lot of Dark Souls fans are also in racing games, just as puzzle fans are into real-time strategies or first-person shooter fans can love RPGs. Saying "hey I like Dark Souls what fighting games would I like?" is as ludicrous as saying "I love Gran Turismo because I can customise my car, what sort of MMORPG would I like?". Fighting games are so specific and the differences between them all can be very small but critical at the same time... your question is incredibly broad. If you asked for a similar genre game I'd get it, but this... hey whatever.

#26 Edited by ShaggE (6321 posts) -

@bbalpert said:

@tobbrobb: @shagge: @stingermk2:

Edit: Er... what happened to my post? What I tried to post was basically "What do you think about the assertion that Bushido Blade is the best Star Wars fighting game ever made (in that a well made Jedi lightsaber duel game could conceivably resemble Bushido Blade's 1-hit kill/injure system)?"

I can definitely get behind that. As a guy who dislikes Star Wars but loves lightsabers, I'd buy a Bushido Blade inspired Star Wars game on day one, haha.

#27 Edited by plaintomato (598 posts) -

@pandabear: You should probably just give it a rest. It's hard for you to sound intelligent when your primary focus is on being a dick and trying to manipulate things in order to justify that particular personality flaw. Nice tries though. Peace.

#28 Posted by PandaBear (1300 posts) -

@pandabear: You should probably just give it a rest. It's hard for you to sound intelligent when your primary focus is on being a dick and trying to manipulate things in order to justify that particular personality flaw. Nice tries though. Peace.

Ok :_(

#29 Edited by Gantrathor (198 posts) -

I haven't played it before, but I remember listening to an interview about Blade Symphony a while back.

It's a 3D sword fighting game where all attacks have realistic physics associated with them, so weapons will collide mid-swing and bounce off walls and stuff like that.

There's a trailer on the page I linked.

Hopefully someone who's played it will see this and say if it's any good or not.

#30 Edited by HerbieBug (4212 posts) -

@immortal_guy said:

Divekick.

...I don't know if I'm joking or not. Divekick does have no combo memorisation, and puts a lot of weight on reading and reacting to your opponent...

Souls game PvP is usually one or two hits = win, with a lot of dodging around before that. So yes, I do think Divekick is an appropriate recommend. And absolutely Bushido Blade. From there, I'd say the next way to go is super turbo (Super Street Fighter II Turbo). And after that... just pick up a grappler in any modern fighting game. All fighting games have a slow speed close range character that needs to play defensive/baiting and mistake punishing game until they get into position to land their high damage attacks.

And speaking of Bushido Blade, I really think that game does things in a way in which new fighting games could take a lot of inspiration. Divekick clearly hit on something in their marketing about simple mechanics/very high damage attacks. While that game went way too far up its own ass with the in-jokes and insular character designs that meant nothing to those outside the small inner circle of fighting game enthusiasts, and failed to capitalize on the thing that created so much pre-release buzz, the opportunity is still there for another fighting game to run with.

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