Friday, January 21, 2011
(Princess Peach Toadstool and Morrigan Aensland drawn by "Twilit-Arawen" check out his deviantART)
For years I've been a fan of Nintendo and CAPCOM; they've spawned some of the greatest games that has ever seen the face of this earth. I've loved titles from both sounds, each one outlining memories that resonate throughout my childhood. Some of Nintendo's being: The Legend of Zelda series, Super Mario series, and the Kirby series. CAPCOM's include: the Devil May Cry series, the Street Fighter series, and the stand alone game, "Chaos Legion".
Supposedly, Yoshinori Ono said that it should be pitched to Nintendo of Japan and Mashiro Sakurai. If this is the case, then that would mean CAPCOM is serious and that a fighting game could come. Everyone has always thought about what this would be like. Mario against Ryu, Link fighting Strider, Princess Zelda matching up with Cammy. Though, with that possibility now somewhat gleaming and that it could finally be a reality, I have but a single question; would this actually work?
-[ Fighting as related to Nintendo and CAPCOM ]-
CAPCOM is the fighting game specialist and their system of how the genre should go is a defining characteristic of what a "Fighting Game" is. Life Bars, Special attacks, Super moves, you name it, CAPCOM has probably got it in their system. The game that caused the most impact was probably Street Fighter II. Introducing so many new things and elements, that it was often called of a "Chess Game" than a fighting game. People have been coming together for years to enjoy fighting games, most of the time with a game by CAPCOM as the main event (Street Fighter III: Third Strike, Super Street Fighter IV, and Marvel vs Capcom 2 for instance). Most people here fight for money, they fight for respect, and ripples as legends throughout their own respective communities.
Fans are now anxiously awaiting even more CAPCOM fighting games titles, such as: Marvel vs CAPCOM 3, and Street Fighter X TEKKEN; The release of Street Fighter III:Third Strike Online Edition (Xbox Live Arcade and Playstation Network) is especially popular at the moment. Hoping and dreaming of other such titles as a new Dark Stalkers, or maybe a revival of the Rival Schools series; or bringing back Street Fighter Alpha to XBLA and PSN.
Sites such as Eventhubs and Shoryuken dedicate themselves to everything related to CAPCOM gaming and are the places to go for strategies for pretty much all fighting games (Save for places like DustLoop, which deals with Guilty Gear and BlazBlue; TEKKEN Zaibatsu, dealing with all things related to TEKKEN; and 8-Way-Run which deals with Soul Calibur), sealing that CAPCOM will always have a fan base and that is set in stone. Willing to host their own tournaments, live streams, podcasts, and even internet episodes such as Mike Ross and Gootecks' "Cross Counter". Combo videos, clothing styles, so much has come from dedication to CAPCOM and their impact on what a fighting game is, songs are even written about their characters and games (Such as "EX Legs" by Lil Shoto, or "Quaterhouse Kings" by RedRapper). Loved and adored by their fans, nearly whatever CAPCOM puts out is a hit.
Nintendo is a family based video game company that released Super Mario Bros., a timeless classic in 1985. This is the first video game I ever played and I still remember it fondly within my memory; blowing on catridges in the 8-bit days, or having to get use to their analog stick and "Z-Button" on their Nintendo 64 controllers. Nintendo is recognized as a Titan in the game industry, they are innovative and leading the next generation with every step forward. They never cease to amaze me with their perspective on games while having their main focus centered around family involvement and enjoyment.
Nearly every major "Revolution" was made by Nintendo. First truly "successful" mainstream 3D game console (Nintendo 64); the introduction of Motion-Sensor gaming (Nintendo Wii, which was soon copied by Microsoft's Kinect and Playstation's Move). But where does that leave us in relation to fighting games?
Super Smash Bros. is Nintendo's answer to the fighting game community; moving away from traditional life bars and motion sensitive special attacks and instead used percentages for damage and made the objective to knock your opponent off the stage in any of the four directions in order for them to lose a "stock". Items and power-ups, stage hazzards, and unbalanced stages made this game a bit random; but still fun and enjoyable.
Also, hardcore sites such as Smash World Forums and All is Brawl have spawned for their love of the Smash Bros. series. In fact, Super Smash Bros. Melee was played for 7+ years or more before Super Smash Bros. Brawl was released (Which is reminiscent of how people are still playing Marvel vs Capcom 2 up till "MvC 3" is released, 10+ years of love for the game), so it's safe to say that their fan base is as strong as it ever has been.
-[ A Clashing of Communities ]-
The CAPCOM (mostly Street Fighter) and Smash Bros. communities have often times butt-heads on websites, at tournaments, and through videos about the legitimacy of Smash Bros. as an actual fighting game. Sure, Smash Bros. is labeled as a fighting game by the category of someone versus another, but is it really a "True" fighting game? Advocates of Smash Bros. say yes, but because it doesn't have "Life Bars" or traditional moves, many players often dispute that it's a party game they are trying to turn competitive.
There has been active, ongoing tournaments for each of these series, even though they do not see eye-to-eye. The "Fighting Game" community, as the CAPCOM gamers often call themselves, fail to recognize Smash Bros.as a series, they often do not co-exist at any particular tournament on any particular day. In fact, I believe the last time they actually did fight at the same tournament was at Evolution 2007.
Smash Bros. Melee and Brawl have seen their face on the Major League Gaming Circuit, just like the Street Fighter series has. Just like there are Evolution tournaments for Street Fighter/CAPCOM games, there's Genesis for Smashers; Devastation for CAPCOM'ers, Final Smash for the Brawlers. The fact of the matter, is that these two communities often handle things by themselves, and rarely does one person who play a Smash game play the other competitively, it's often one or the other.
(Though, Deg222, one of my good friends has played and won Street Fighter tournaments, and has did so with Brawl, also was a competitive Melee player).
With this type of segregation and hostility towards communities and close-minded thinking on both ends of the spectrum, it makes me wonder how a single game would unite the two into harmony. Then again, the TEKKEN and Street Fighter communities don't really see eye-to-eye either, but TEKKEN has such a large fan base that often you have been seeing more of it at major tournaments like Devastation and Evolution 2010.
+Smash Bros. Community Internal Conflict - For those of you unfamiliar with the Smash Bros. Brawl and Smash Bros. Melee scenes, you may be a bit surprised that this game has split the community in two, basically. The reason being that Brawl is a simplified version of Melee, kind of like Street Fighter IV is a simplified version as compared to Third Strike. Brawl adds in a few Advanced Techniques, but is overall slower, removes the main AT's from SSBM, and has horrible online and takes overall less skill.
This caused an outbreak by Melee veterans and rising Melee stars on the verge of the transition into Brawl. Many people who are beginners did like Brawl better because it has better graphics and is essentially an "update", even the not-so-good people at Melee began to shift to Brawl, and eventually Melee was taking a back seat. Co-existing at tournaments became bothersome, less Melee "setups" more ones for Brawl, having to share space and deal with the younger crowd Brawl had attracted made for confrontations and eventually lead to separate tournaments happening at different venues.
Mashiro Sakurai, the lead behind the project; said that he intentionally wanted the game to be less competitive. This is probably due to the reason that Nintendo want their games to be accessible and enjoyable for everyone. What I don't think he realized is that everyone will be competitive in everything, someone always wants to be better, and competition keeps games alive. If it wasn't for the competitive factor, Game Cube would've died long before it's time, I even went and bought a Game Cube, and the only game I had on it was Smash Bros. Melee, so I can see why this was ill-thought out and caused them to lose many die hard fans in exchange for new ones.
However, many agree it's good, you don't want the same people dominating something that is suppose to be a NEW game, but at the same time, you want it to keep it's elements.
At the same time, people are already doing the same thing with Marvel vs CAPCOM 2, and Marvel vs CAPCOM 3. Fans will always be lost in transition.
-[ What About the Actual Fighting? ]-
Looking at it; Smash Bros.and CAPCOM games, just like TEKKEN and Street Fighter, use ENTIRELY different fighting systems. It's easy to guess that dependent on the system, you will have more fan base for it than the other, or one-side and none at all. The remedy for this in CAPCOM's and NAMCO's case was to make two separate games (TEKKEN x Street Fighter, and Street Fighter x TEKKEN), each catering to it's own community while using the popularity of the other franchise's name and characters to try and reel in a few from their circle to try it out. Will this be the case if Nintendo and CAPCOM actually do decide to move forward with the project?
Smash Bros. series are often thought too simplified because you push a direction and a button to do moves; or you "smash" the stick in a direction to do moves, and is often the "Game Cube" controller for this. In reality however, Smash Bros. Melee (the best of the three series) wasn't as simple as you might imagine it.
(Mew2King is one of the top players in the Super Smash Bros. Melee competitive scene, DaShizWiz is the lead Falco for technical ability; this match shows the hype and skill that is often under-looked in Super Smash Bros. Melee)
At top level play, the technical skill and ability; the reading ability, and "Mind Game" ability had to be top notch in order to survive. Many advanced techniques which were removed in brawl, made way for a slew of incredible matches. Among these techniques were Wave-Dashing, which your character slid along the ground either forwards or backwards and increased their movement speed significantly (not to be confused with "Marvel vs Capcom 2" wave-dashing); L-Cancelling, which decreased or removed the lag from aerial moves; and Edge-Hogging, which took advantage of the fact that your opponent cannot grab the edge of the stage to "recover" if someone is already present on the ledge.
However, with GC controllers now hard to find and obsolete, they would have to rely on the Wii Mote for movement, which makes you wonder if this title will ever see the light of day for Xbox and Playstation 3. I also find it hard to see Street Fighter characters taking the 2D plane in a Smash Bros. style game; however, it would actually be very easy; they each have enough special moves and their "Ultras" would work as "Final Smashes". Strangely enough, when you think about it, Nintendo's Smash version would work VERY well, but I think another alternative would be a bit better.
Tatsunoko vs Capcom used a system that was simplified, yet became difficult and hard to master because of the workings and depth created by it. Arcade sticks were made for it, and it was also compatible with Nintendo's Classic Controller in case they didn't want to use a stick and preferred a "pad" alternative. This could prove useful for those that wanted a more Marvel vs Capcom or Street Fighter feel to their gaming experience. I think this would be the best route to go. Simplicity that's complicated would be able to appeal to both communities, and would have an outstanding fan base, as it would bring both communities together and give Wii owners another reason to get an Arcade Stick, which could expand them to trying out other CAPCOM titles. I believe it's a win-win situation, especially since everyone has some faint memory of joy connected to a Nintendo Title.
-[ Final Thoughts ]-
Nintendo and CAPCOM are each Titans in the gaming world, each catering to different audiences, but each side knows very well of the popularity of the other. This could be a huge business move for both sides, knowing that Nintendo and CAPCOM sell like hot cakes, there isn't a doubt in my mind that this would be successful no matter which route they choose to take.
However, I am unsure about how they would do this with a single game and appeal to both communities, it's almost asking for them to split their title up. Then again, the fact that this is just a thought, there's no idea that this will actually happen, and if so, no time soon.
Though, Princess Zelda and Cammy White on one team is a dream of mine, so here's hoping.