By Carbon64 36 Comments
One common argument I come across when I defend fighting games is that they do not offer enough single player content. As an advocate of single player experiences and fighting game I found myself reluctantly agreeing. Even games that rely on their multiplayer like Call of Duty or Anarchy Reigns still offer some kind of single player campaign. So why do fighting games stay away from expansive single player experiences?
I do understand that fighting games like to add multiple gameplay modes but, I have found most of them to be either insubstantial or just more of the same. Fighting games have even made advancements in their story with BlazBlue and Skullgirls but, it still boils down to 1 v 1 fights. These gameplay modes usually include arcade, story, survival, online, and training modes. While fighting games have been trying to make advances in their story modes of late they still boil down to the same 1 v 1 fights in the arcade modes without any variation. So how do we fix this? While there are some games that have made strides towards a fighting game that can appeal to those that like single player experiences such as the world tour mode in Street Fighter Alpha 3 and the mission mode in Soulcalibur whereas you would complete different tasks in a 1 v 1 fight. These modes did add more variation to the game but, they did get repetitive after a while as they were still fights against the same characters you would fight in arcade mode. Super Smash Bros. Brawl actually took things in the right direction with its Subspace Emissary mode which tuned Super Smash Bros. into an action platformer complete with bosses and an expansive storyline.
Now while I did not enjoy Subspace Emissary for various reasons it did show a single player experience can work in a fighting game if it still maintains its same overall feel. Since the Super Smash Bros series even in its multiplayer mode has attributes that can be found in an action platformer the transition in Subspace Emissary wasn't too drastic and the developer did not have to create a whole new game. However, most fighting games are not structured like Super Smash Bros. and don't include platforming elements so what can we do for those games? Well most fighting games do share attributes with the beat 'em up genre. Yes fighting game developers could make the single player mode for their fighting games a beat 'em up adventure much like those we used to play at the arcade like Streets of Rage and Battle Circuit. The fighting game wouldn't have to sacrifice their gameplay mechanics either because they fit easily into the beat 'em up genre.
Well most fighting games do share attributes with the beat 'em up genre. Yes fighting game developers could make the single player mode for their fighting games a beat 'em up adventure much like those we used to play at the arcade like Streets of Rage and Battle Circuit. The fighting game wouldn't have to sacrifice their gameplay mechanics either because they fit easily into the beat 'em up genre. So what do you think about fighting games? Are they fine the way the are or should they try to add more single player experiences? Let me know in the comment section below.