For a long time I thought my deficiency in performance in fighting games had to do with its multi-combo button style fighting and for awhile I thought that was the case since I was decent at Smash bros. I have friends who are into Smash, so naturally I ended up buying it for that reason alone and that forced me into buying their arbitrary and obligatory online service for Switch. I also have friends who are into Warframe, just not on the Switch and b/c I was forced into buying online for that, I'd figured I'd try out Warframe for Switch. I thought aiming was rough on controller sticks (or at least the Switch, I have a pro controller and that didn't help much), so I decided to jump back with friends on Warframe on PC after a long hiatus and it got me to thinking a bit about movement mechanics in games.
The more fluidity in movement you give to the player, the more power they have. The less effort they have to put in to accomplish this movement, the easier it is to learn. What I'm saying isn't new, many people have said it. So to get to the point here, fighting games need to do better in this area. There's a reason Smash tends to be more popular than your Street Fighters and Mortal Kombats it's because it's easier to learn not only in terms of fighting mechanics, but in terms of movement.
And here's a shocker, I think Smash needs to improve on that too. Lets step it back a bit tho, I mentioned Warframe earlier and I feel that at the moment, it gives players a sense of complexity and power in its movement using 2 buttons, jump and crouch. Both control either horizontal and vertical movement. Combined, they can used to essentially dance around levels due to the game's pace and fluidity. You can crouch to gain momentum then jump to whisk yourself around. Aiming down sights while doing this slows your fall, allowing you to be more accurate with shots. Compared to other shooters like Destiny or Gears of War, games that require you to use cover or suck your thumb in a corner to regain health, you can essentially dodge fire while continuously doing damage and making progress towards your objectives.
Am I saying all shooters need to be like Warframe...no. There's something to be said about grounded movement mechanics and keeping the player on their toes (literally), but I'd argue that Warframe and even Vanquish innovated the shooter by making the player feel skillful by it's fluidity and simplicity. They may not be tactical in the traditional sense and they aren't exactly tense games but in terms of power fantasy, they certainly are a cut above the rest.
I think we need a Warframe for fighting games, or rather, we need more accessible fighting games. They are a hard genre to get into for many people and it kinda doesn't have to be that way. More fluidity and less input for movement would be appreciated. TL;DR: It feels clunky having to push the stick twice in one direction to get your character to dodge or move faster. I understand that's a staple in fighting games and fighting games are PvP in nature, but it doesn't feel satisfying, at least to me.I may not have a solution, but in Smash's case, there are two buttons essentially being used for 'jump' (on the default control setttings), why not give the option to hold down one of those buttons to gain momentum? It would be similar to the slide in Warframe. Less input for the same result. That's just one example.
I understand part of the joy of fighting games is learning combos, which is fine, but movement shouldn't have a learning curve, it should just feel natural. There needs to be a sense of momentum and fluidity to it, which is what the genre lacks. Thanks for reading and try not to throw rocks at me for my opinion piece. :)