From Smash to Street Fighter – The Fighting Game Shift Struggle

The release of Street Fighter V was hotly anticipated, as Street Fighter IV’s long road to reviving fighting games on console. Now, the actual release has been harped on, due to the severe lack of content found within the game, from character roster and extensive story modes, to different modes and character specific training. However, the gameplay does pick up a lot of this slack, but this is not a review. As a seasoned Super Smash Bros player, I have largely avoiding taking 2-D console fighters seriously like Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat, and King of Fighters. With this iteration, I have decided to finally tackle this franchise that has defined fighting games since the dawn of video games.

Tech-Skill, where art tho?

Super Smash Bros is a game built upon a legacy of games, namely platformers. So when anytime picks up a control and takes hold of a character, say Mario, you move around like Mario.

Kirby flies like Kirby, Yoshi hovers like Yoshi, and Donkey Kong hits like Donkey Kong. While other characters are adjusted to the fighting formula, the core mechanics lie in controlling a platforming game with the characters you like with the goal of beating the crap out of your opponents. This is part of what makes the game so approachable; it gives an air of familiarity to anyone who has touched the games.

With Street Fighter, you have to learn what makes each character unique. Learning the basic inputs, their special abilities, their weight, movement, and overall flow of the gameplay is just an ounce of understanding the game. It doesn’t mean squat if you can execute a heavy hitting if you can’t find a way to break your opponents defenses.

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It’s Just You and Your Opponent.

Another main factor that separates Super Smash Bros from Street Fighter is stage selection. In Super Smash Bros, some stages are considered neutral, such as Battlefield and Final Destination, which feature mainly flat surfaces, non-moving platforms, and no obstacles.

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In Street Fighter, stage selection is aesthetic, so with that, the major focus is your opponent. Most of the mind games begin on this screen select.

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Managing the tools comes next. With most Smash Bros characters, all of the abilities are accessible right when the match begins. In Street Fighter, as you battle and take and inflict damage, you increase your EX gauge that allows to perform stronger versions of your attacks and hard-hitting special arts. Strategy involves managing this meter, time, and focusing on positioning your fighter to overwhelm your opponent.

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As a Smash player, most of my adjusting to Street Fighter is managing meter and executing. In my experience, Super Smash Bros conditions you to learn character match-ups, utilize the stage, choose effective moves, and understand every habit you have ever had. Street Fighter has many similarities in understanding the player and matchups, but there is a greater importance in carrying over momentum from round to round, as opposed to the stocks and lack of meter that give you a fresh start in each minute of Super Smash Bros. As I struggle in the online realm of Street Fighter V, I remain humble in the continuous learning curve that is brutal as it is rewarding.

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