If there’s one genre that has been doing amazingly well in the last few years, it is the fighting game. These titles have been exploding in popularity. There are more players than ever, more competitions, and of course more releases. But someone may wonder why such games seem to be doing so well lately. Well, a number of great trends have been picking up lately, to the benefit of everyone willing to take a chance on a fighting game.
Accessibility has been huge in fighting games lately. Many companies have caught on to the fact that a lot of people want to play fighting games, but may not be talented enough to compete with the masters. We’ve been seeing games that cater to all skill levels. Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite has a story mode for beginners and advanced mechanics for those who know what they’re doing. Injustice 2 offers an equipment system that works well for everyone, no matter how familiar they are with the game. ARMS is as simple as moving your hands while each holds a Joy-Con to play. And Arc System Works has been implementing simplified combo systems, which let people pull off great combos by continually pressing one button, and including visual novel story modes in its games for years.
There is also the fun that comes from recent fighting game cross-overs. So many games are getting in on the notion that we really want to see characters from different franchises together. Injustice 2 went big on this, what with it bringing in characters like Hellboy, Sub-Zero, and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. So did Killer Instinct, as it had Rash from Battletoads, Halo’s Arbiter, and Gears of War’s General RAAM in it. Tekken 7 somehow invited Fatal Fury’s Geese Howard and Street Fighter’s Akuma in. I mean, BlazBlue Cross Tag Battle is a big ol’ crossover game with characters from BlazBlue, Persona 4 Arena, RWBY, and Under Night In-Birth. And of course, Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite continues the trend of mashing up Capcom and Marvel series in a fighter. We love this!
We also love when companies take risks. Which is something that has happened with fighting games lately. Nintendo is a good company to turn to for this one. It put out ARMS on the Switch lately. This fighter is unconventional, forcing people to rely more on watching and knowing their opponent than knowing all sorts of complicated combos and special attacks. It even adopts motion controls that work, with each Joy-Con controlling a different arm.
Speaking of ARMS, we can’t mention it without talking about frequent updates it receives. Companies keeping up with their fighting games has also made the genre better lately. Nintendo has been releasing frequent updates that add new characters and things to do in ARMS. Capcom is still definitely dedicated to Street Fighter V, as it is coming up on its third season of DLC characters and is preparing the Arcade mode that will give people with the game a whole new way to play.
Fighting games are doing amazingly well, because the companies that make them are doing their best to make them more appealing to everyone. They are considering people of all skill levels when putting together modes and systems. There are crossovers that bring in pop culture icons. Some companies are taking risks when it comes to gameplay, with ARMS being a notable example. Finally, fighters keep getting updates that add new modes, characters, and balance changes that allow them to remain relevant. A lot of effort is being put into the genre, and it is paying off.