Fighters: Philosophy, Design, Execution, Community. Also, Smash Bros. (intro) - Destructoid

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I'm a 21 year old guy in Idaho. I've been playing video games as long as I can remember, starting with an old dusty NES, some Mario, and Battletoads. Now, I'm just another gamer, it seems. And while it's a little uncomfortable being associated with video games simply by virtue of being young and male, I can't argue with the accuracy of the stereotype. That said, I'm a gamer, not a guy who plays games. It's a large part of my life and who I am. I'm not here on DTOID because I have a pastime or a hobby. I'm here because I have, for lack of a better word, a passion.

But I can't seem to think of anything useful to say about myself, so I'll hope my posts give some insight.
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It's no secret to the people who know me, but since I'm not as active around here as I should be, I figure I might as well lay it out for everyone to see: I like fighting games. A lot.

And it's not just the casual "it's fun to mash and watch dudes on screen punch each other" kind of way, either. I'm actually capable.

Anyhoozit, the idea came to mind to put some attention on this and see what I could say about it. At this point, I had this memory of reading some old Cblog (Wry Guy, as I recall, but I could be wrong) discussing the "revival" of 2d fighters, with BlazBlue, Street Fighter 4, and King of Fighters 12 releasing in quick succession.

It may or may not have been on THAT Cblog, but on SOME Cblog, which is why I thought of it, I remember reading some comments discussing Super Smash Brothers, at which point somebody (Wry Guy? I think so. I dunno.) pointed out that Smash Bros is a very different game, and that many of the fundamentals don't really apply. Apples and Oranges, to put it succinctly.

To this I call foul. Not out of some butthurt nerdrage because I like Super Smash and goddammit if anyone badmouths it. No, I agree that they're different games, but "Apples and Oranges" is a little too far.

This isn't the reasoning for them being similar, but it should be.

Fighting games follow the basic cycle outlined in this title. Devs come up with the general idea of what they're gonna try and do. Then they build the system and characters to do it. They release it, and we as gamers pick it apart and push the limits. Then they modify their ideas for subsequent games, and it starts over again. Philosophy, Design, Execution, Community. Repeat.

So it is at this juncture (Fancy talk, mmmyess) that I've taken it upon myself to put my opinions out on the matter. In each installment I'll say what I can about one of these four things, what it means for traditional fighters and Smash, and how that relates to you and I.

Philosophy: Final goal, what they wanna make and why.
Design: Strictly Mechanics/what they made
Execution: Metagame, player habits, etc. AKA how it's played
Community: all of us peoples and how we react to things.

Bottom line: I hope to bring some honest, detailed, and unbiased comparison and contrast. ("hope" is a pretty operative word here.) What the games do and don't do similarly. Why we should care. I'm going to look at the Street Fighter series and the Smash Bros series, since Street Fighter is A) the de facto standard of fighting games for the mainstream and B) the one I'm most familiar with. Smash Bros because, well, that's the point. Looking at how the 'serious' fighter relates to the 'dick around with your friends' fighter.

Yes, Street Fighter is also occasionally fond of dicking around.

So here I ask for input from you, the readers. Anything you want to make sure I cover. Anything you want me to consider. Any questions you have. If you think what I'm doing is stupid and pointless, well, okay. That sucks to read, but I wanna know what you guys think, so go. Let's hear what there is to say.

That means you, and that means now.
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Living the dream since March 16, 2006

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