A.B.I.torial: Why Do Fighting Game Stories Suck?
SugarPunch Design Works
Fighting games are a beloved piece of video game history and culture. But why are their stories so awful?
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Also Cassandra got replaced in Soulcalibur 5, normal Pyrrha uses her style.
11:08 through 12:12 – Oh don't mind this guy, he's just basically explaining what Dragon Ball Z/Super SHOULD HAVE BEEN as a sequel to Dragon Ball instead of the eventual farce it became where everything hinges on Goku and/or Vegeta……
21:28 – But more importantly, these games cost sixty goddamn dollars a pop. As Street Fighter V at launch has demonstrated, a fighting game without a story mode (among other glaring omissions) is more than a rip off, it's highway robbery at gun point.
I'm happy I rewatched this. I forgot what you said about joke characters victories.
I think my favorite story mode to this day in a fighting game… has to be in the Senko no Ronde games.
The first Senkoro was lower budget because the company wanted to port it to the Dreamcast, but suddenly Microsoft actually PAID for having the game, this also helped because of the online play (There is still people playing it too!)
Anyway, the story mode is basically just what you do in the Arcade mode, the thing is, every character already has an established route with characters, they will not randomize like they do in other fighting games, because they all tell a story and they ALL interconnect with each other, it's also incredibly narrative because fights happen while characters are talking to each other… Essentially an anime!
Not only that, you NEED to do certain hidden actions (They all have a guide at this point) like letting your opponent enter in Final Boss Mode, YOU enter in FBM, or both enter in something called "Vanish" (A last hit opportunity), there is just stuff that NEEDS to happen in order to get the actual "good ending", otherwise, you get an ending that actually leads to another story.
This actually got incredibly better in the sequel (Senkoro DUO and the reboot, Senkoro 2), where it is a Visual Novel similar to that in BlazBlue, but in Senkoro, there are different teams all doing different things with some similar or different purposes, and they literally tell you that meanwhile one of the teams is talking, the other might be attacking them soon as they speak when you enter said chapter.
And just like that Jin episode, there are certain special circumstances, like Lili, a character that cannonically CANNOT enter to the robots anymore because she will enter into a maniac mode due to story things, but she needs to escape, so she enters into Fabian's Rounder, and YOU CAN'T ATTACK ***AT ALL***, but you have buffed shields thanks, until Fabian in the canon can get into the robot and stop this to happen.
Or, where some characters will team up to each other and defeat the same final boss, but each one of them gets a different song, a different dialogue, and a different purpose to be there.
Oh, there is also bad endings, and outside of a joke one, all of them are pretty… brutal in a way or another, characters die and you literally never see a single piece of blood, yet, it hurts sometimes to watch how he/she died and why.
Or how the Pre-Final Boss "Karel" gets special interactions with certain characters, a different dialogue AND A DIFFERENT SONG FOR THE SECOND PHASE.
Each character interact with each other when possible and when cannonically speaking, they know each other or some regard similar to that, is just the absolute BEST example of a fighting game attempting to have a lore both inside and outside of VS Modes, because, just like other games, certain match ups get special vs songs, special dialogue and other things to tell you those characters cannonically attempted something like that at some point, in a way or another.
Pretty nice video, and if you ever get the chance to play AT THE VERY LEAST Senko 2's Story Mode… please do! I will ensure you, it will be a nice trip.
Regards from quite probably Senko's highest fan outside of Japan… And from Mexico!
"Devil Jin" still uses the Mishima Style Fighting Karate.
Thank you so much
I disagree with your conclusion that the format of older Soul Calibur storytelling is inherently "bad design" but is lacking to subjective framing. Each edition in the series has a self contained narrative where the character that the player chose is the one who triumphed in the end. it is also enjoyable to see which ending/combination of endings from the previous game was made the basis for the story of the next with a new set of self contained narratives. This way, the cast is not constrained to a strict canon by keeping a variety as colorful as the cast. It lives up to the SC mantra "A tale of souls and swords eternally retold."
11:58 aaaaaand subscribed
Re: the point about Videl beating Freeza, they do explain this in the story mode. Android 21 builds some kind of machine that keeps the fighters power repressed to a certain level and they can only access a portion of it when possessed by a human soul (I.E. a player), but even the amount they can access is limited compared to their usual levels. The “waves”, as they’re called in story, prevent galaxy breakers from accessing their full potential and allow for weaker fighters to compete. It comes down to technique and skill rather than pure power and speed.
Of course, in the actual anime/manga….Yeah videl couldn’t even beat a late stage Dragon Ball villain on her best day, much less a Z villain. But to say that’s why you don’t like Deagonball is like saying that DC comics suck because Batman can’t punch Superman’s teeth out without kryptonite.
Is 30% that low? I mean, tracking the achievements, less than 39% beated DS1R on steam, less than 31% completed DS2SotFS on steam and less than 38% finished DS3 on steam.
when you think about it, jack-7 doesn't even appear in Tekken 7 Story mode. Only Jack-4 & Jack-6
So I just noticed you are during the Baccano ost. Damn good taste
Fatal Fury was Simple but Great.
Man (Geese Howard) Kills main Character's (Terry Bogard) Father (Jeff) in front of him as a kid.
Main Character (Terry) and his Brother (Andy) return 10 years later as adults to kill Geese in Vengeance.
After killing him that mans Brother (Krauser) comes for his Vengeance.
Terry kills that man too.
Terry adopts the son of Geese who killed his father in an attempt to stop the cycle of vengeance.
It's a Simple Vengeance "You killed my Master" trope but it works as a grounded plot about back alley brawls and not outlandish gods, nations, or global conquest etc.
SNK did all that later on KOF :/
They should just ask any Anime writer who has ever worked on storyboards for any Anime Tournament Arc to make something compelling. But yeah that would actually take effort. Yeah after seeing the cringey Marvel vs Capcom shitfest made by fanfic writers.
Months later but… also, since I myself like fighting games, characters and story (my favorite genre is RPGs).
I would't play story mode in any fighting game almost and my reason. I know is not that great, and if it wasn't for the achievements i would't touch them to be realistic
Mk9 and Tekken 6 are my favorite campaign mode
more fighting games should have story modes like brawl's subspace emissary where the gameplay is wandering a large map fighting hordes of enemies. i played through that so many times as a kid
6:41 from what I understand (correct me if I'm wrong) lambda DOES have very similar animations(maybe even identical besides color) but the functions are different, lambda is more close range while nu is long range(or something among those lines)
Alright it’s decided. I need to buy grand blue just to main lowan
(Spoilers for Blazblue)
I've always wondered what would happen if fighting game rosters were unaffected by the events in the story outside of introducing new characters, powers, and forms. Say for instance: Terumi is playable on the next Blazblue game and in VS matches, certain characters react to him either as if he were always there and they still didn't like him, as thougy this were a simulation considering he's supposed to be dead, or as though they're surprised he's here considering…well…he's dead. He's still not around for the actual story mode canon, but he's playable and you can put him in fun VS scenarios, just with new context. I haven't played a whole lot of fighting games I don't know if there are any examples of this happening.
About that 3 million of 11 million players completing story mode of MK, that doesn't mean a lot unless compared to other rates of similar games.
A lot of players don't finish every game that they buy
ggst’s story doesn’t suck tho! It’s literally a mediocre 6 hour anime movie. Kinda sick tho ngl.
doesn't the fighter z story equalize their power for the fights? that rant was kinda dumb if that's the case
Cuz who cares?
You think we’ll ever get a chance to play as the villain(s) against the hero(es) to establish their dominance in a fighting game story mode, instead of having us go through the “you won but you actually lost” gimmick….?
So that's why Frieza lost to Goku on Namek. He threw out a raw level 3
you dont like dragon ball z
on dragon ball winning against a stronger opponent is a thing
I think Overwatch's design is perfect. Build the world, develop the characters but do short cinematics of events rather than a full length story. The events paint a broad idea of the overall story without doing all the heavy lifting of a long form story. And they achieve the part that's actually important, teaching you about the character.
Dragon Ball Z Budokai wasn't a popular fighting game with the FGC for obvious reasons. But it has a great story mode for a lot of the reasons you were praising other FG story modes for. Like in some fights where the character has been gravely injured, they have less health in the playable fight like when Gohan takes a grave injury to his arm against Cell and he starts the final fight with half of his health. Honestly it's probably my favorite story mode in any fighting game besides SSBB. It's such a shame the traditional fighter Dragon Ball games pretty much never had a good story mode again besides arguably Burst Limit which nobody played. Most of them were serviceable, but Budokai 1's story mode was legitimately good.
MKX and M11 might be the only game I can say actually had a good storymode because it had a lot of character interaction and their characters don't come off as just cliché anime or 1 dimensional fighting game archetypes (which I think Street Fighter suffers with a lot) but actually descended from the storyline itself, and they did its fight-to-cutscene transitions a lot better than most fighting games usually do. It also doesn't use half ass slide shows for character dialogue and it doesn't have most of their characters completely independent of each other for most of their presentation in the story.
That and my annoyance just with how overly cartoonish and cheesy the English voices are with Street Fighter's characters in my opinion.
They really don't, but I'll watch this video anyway because I enjoy your content.
I can't lie; I miss the days when completing story mode with certain characters unlocked special characters.
I also wonder what are the stats for all main fighting games on completing story mode. Is MK11's an anomaly? Is it similar to other games or far better? What is it compared to older games?
I’m surprised you didn’t SFIV’s “Fight your Rival” mechanic, because many (including me) have pointed out how it’s a good way to integrate both story and gameplay. After 6 matches, the player gets a unique cutscene with their special opponent, and even during the fight, you get to hear certain sound bites among the characters. This means that not only does the player get to fight, but the characters are allowed to naturally interact.
So we should just play glorified pretend?
3:20 Don't most people not even finish most games they buy in general? This could explain those numbers
Guilty gear's story is amazing tho
GG Strive and Xrd: Why pretend?
What if instead of a story mode, a fighting game diverts those resources to custom animations at the beginning and maybe end of a match depending on the characters and stages, so you get a feel of the relationship between those two characters.
well the story for mk11 kinda sucked too, but thats the same with like 90% of 2020 media.
My favorite fighting game story mode is from Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 (shut up, I’m counting it for this conversation)
The final fight against Sasuke in particular really hit me emotionally, going through various points in their lives and letting you control the fights
The fight scenes in Mk11 were pretty good and memorable, reminded me of those classic martial arts movies.
The story of fighting games, as said by many, is YOUR story. My life has a tournament arc that spans about 3 years because of blazblue
I know the memes about smash not being a "true fighting game", but i think brawl's story mode could have been a good addition to this video
Soul Blade's Edge Master mode did the story/campaign mode in a fighting game the best.
I may be in the minority here but I actually thing Guilty Gear Xrd and Strive got it right with story. I think too much is done to try and integrate the fighting game mechanics into the lore of the characters. At the end of the day, all I want is background and some extra material to form attachments to my characters with. I care about the characters in fighting games. There are many characters I don't play because I don't like their story. My biggest issue with MK's story is how cheap the combat felt. It was unnecessary. So just cut it out and give me the cutscenes because as the video pointed out, many of us just want to see the "movie" that comes with the game.
Thank you for this video but Not so much the fact that you feel fighting game stories are bad, which as it shows they are, because you acknowledging that they do have stories when I know a lot of people even to this day that feel that fighting games don't have stories. 👍🏿👍🏿