Hello everyone! With Persona 4 Arena out now, and all the coverage for it looking so great, my girlfriend and I are interested in getting into fighting games. I've played some in the past (I loved BlazBlue, and got decent at the original Street Fighter IV) but she has barely touched the genre. Do you guys have any suggestions for relatively simple (i.e. not BlazBlue) fighting games, especially ones with good tutorials, to get us started out with? Thanks!
I'd say MK because I find using quarter circles and fancy stick moves hard. MK's all about direction presses which is pretty easy to get the hang off. Also I think the campaign in the latest one is quite good at increasing the challenge so that you have to improve as you go along the story, and I got a lot better at MK and other fighting games because of it.
Good tutorials? The lesson mode in P4A seemed pretty good actually from what I've seen. I haven't actually tried it though.
In terms of mechanics, SFIV is probably the most straightforward and universal. A lot of what you learn in SF carries over to other fighting games.
I wouldn't recommend starting with MK. The game is relatively simple but the skills you learn there are almost entirely MK exclusive.
Good tutorials? The lesson mode in P4A seemed pretty good actually from what I've seen. I haven't actually tried it though. In terms of mechanics, SFIV is probably the most straightforward and universal. A lot of what you learn in SF carries over to other fighting games. I wouldn't recommend starting with MK. The game is relatively simple but the skills you learn there are almost entirely MK exclusive.
This is a good point. Street Fighter 4 is easy to get into and is a good training tool on the fundamentals of 2D fighting games.
I'm not much into fighting games but I didn't have much trouble getting into Dragonball Z Budokai 1, 2, and 3. Especially the third one, which got fairly high ratings for a DBZ game and I still dig it out to play with my brother every now and then.
Anyway, it was deep enough to make me feel like I'm not mashing buttons but it's hardly complex. It's on PS2, though, so you'll have to have one of those or an old PS3.
MK is a good tool for just getting her used to execution/performing moves, but not much more. Like others have said, SFIV has a lot of the basic concepts for other 2d fighters. Plus you said you know how to play SFIV already. The best tutorial for any type of game is a human teacher, and it's better to teach from a source of familiarity I think.
If Persona 4 had a mode where it was just the four face buttons and no throws, reversals, evasives or all out attacks, it would be perfect to learn on. Maybe turn off specials too.
One thing I think Persona is missing that BlazBlue had was a tutorial explaining defensive basics. Defense is 70% of playing fighting games. BlazBlue taught me about overheads, and how to deal with them. As soon as she understands like "oh he went mid-overhead-low so I have to block stand-stand-crouch" then she can move on. Then it's learning the characters and who has faster normals compared to who, who can get inside, when and what moves to punish with (this is my problem, I don't know the exact moment to start counter attacking). After that she can graduate to learning the specials, when to do them, learning about armor and what it can pass through and what it can't (also something I'm just learning). Then the proper times to throw, to use your reversal with which character, and then learning how other people play.
When she can go "this guy is playing Kanji and jumping into the air a lot, so I have to use an anti-air dragon punch like my furious action or my special to stop him from catching me" then she's made it.
P4A seems like good place to start as well since it has visual cues that show why you got hit by a certain moves (different colored exclamation marks for high and low attacks, etc) but it seems like the characters are actually quite complex. I don't know how hard that game will be for a new player.
MK is a good one to pick up the basics quickly, but if you have a 3DS I can really recommend DOA Dimensions. The story mode actually stops the game and says "You do this kind of move here/ when this happens" and lays it all out very clearly. I went from knowing nothing about that game to being kinda OK at it just through going through all of the tutorial stuff in the story.
I'd like to echo the duders suggesting MK. Those have always been pretty accessible and has some easy to use combo's. Street Fighter IV is also good but to me that can depend on what character you use. The Ryu and Ken's are easy to grasp but charge characters like Guile and Vega always gave me trouble in using effectively. I picked up Persona 4 Arena yesterday and it seems a hell of a lot easier to get into then Blazblue. The lesson mode was very helpful to me and the challenge room on characters also have demonstrations on the moves they ask you to perform. So it will show you good position on where to use the combo and will let you suss out some of the timing on it too. The auto combo system is good as well, for doing some decent damage with little effort. It has a HP penalty but thus far it hasn't really boned me up that bad.
Mortal Kombat is probably the best place to start though.
I'd say to go with Tekken, not only is it the most accessible, there is a dedicated community around that ensures you will always find other people to play at all skill levels, there is incredible depth at high level play but it is easier to jump into and start pulling off all the moves than with something like SSFIV, where if you haven't played fighting games before then performing the ultra moves might be a bit tricky. Super Street Fighter AE 2012 has better tutorials though, but really you couldn't go wrong either way, both will be around for a while so your time will be well spent learning either game :)
Marvel vs Capcom 3 is a good choice. Supers are simple to pull off and you can have a good time just button mashing. Mortal Kombat is fairly simple as well with easy to pull off specials and X-ray moves. The SoulCalibur series is very accommodating to new players but has depth. The Dead or Alive series is also easy to get into.
Also if you're interested in P4 Arena just try it out. I'm sure it's not so complex that you two can't have any fun with it.
Mortal Kombat easily. It's all just directional inputs and there's a dedicated block button. When MK came out I played it a bunch with all of my roommates of whom none had previously played a fighting game and they all had a blast because they could actually execute special moves.
It all depends on how deep into them you want to get. If you just want something relatively easy to pick up and play, but don't really want to get too deep into the genre in General, then Mortal Kombat would be for you. Combos and special moves are fairly easy to pull off, and there aren't as much theory and knowledge that is needed to be half-decent.
However, if you two are looking to learn fighting games to a fairly deep level, then you're probably going to want to get Street Fighter 4. With SFIV, you'll be able to learn fundamentals that carry through most 2D fighting games. Although it doesn't really have that great of a tutorial in game, it's the most played game in the genre right now, meaning that finding all of the info online is really easy.
Thanks for all the responses everyone! I have MK and SSF IV (and SSF2THDR, actually) already, so we'll probably get started with those. Skullgirls, MvC3, Tekken 6, Soul Calibur V, and Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown are all on my shopping list now, with Persona 4 Arena next time I can afford it. So many good things to play!
When we're a little more experienced with the genre, I'm looking forward to checking out more technical things like King of Fighters and Third Strike.
Once again, thanks guys! I love the moment-to-moment tactical thinking of fighting games and it'll be a lot of fun easing into that again.