Fighting game is a video game genre in which the player controls an on-screen character and engages in close combat with an opponent. These characters tend to be of equal power and fight matches consisting of several rounds, which take place in an arena.
Players must master techniques such as blocking, counter-attacking, and chaining together sequences of attacks known as "combos".
Since the early 1990s, most fighting games allow the player to execute special attacks by performing specific button combinations. The genre is related to but distinct from beat 'em ups, which involve large numbers of antagonists.
The first game to feature fist fighting was arcade game Heavyweight Champ in 1976, but it was Karate Champ which popularized one-on-one martial arts games in arcades in 1984. In 1985, Yie Ar Kung-Fu featured antagonists with differing fighting styles, while The Way of the Exploding Fist further popularized the genre on home systems. In 1987, Street Fighter introduced hidden special attacks.
In 1991, Capcom's highly successful Street Fighter II refined and popularized many of the conventions of the genre. The fighting game subsequently became the preeminent genre for competitive video gaming in the early to mid-1990s, especially in arcades. This period spawned numerous popular fighting games in addition to Street Fighter, including successful and long running franchises like Mortal Kombat, Virtua Fighter, Tekken and WWE 2K
The genre's popularity stagnated as games became more complicated and as arcades began to lose their audience to increasingly powerful home consoles near the end of the 1990s, though new franchises such as Dead or Alive and the Soul series achieved success. In the new millennium, the genre remains popular but retains a much smaller proportion of enthusiasts than it once did, due to the increasing popularity of other genres and internet multiplayer gaming.
Fighting games are a type of action game where on-screen characters fight each other.These games typically feature special moves that are triggered using rapid sequences of carefully timed button presses and joystick movements. Games traditionally show fighters from a side-view, even as the genre has progressed from two-dimensional (2D) to three-dimensional (3D) graphics.
Street Fighter II, though not the first fighting game, popularized and standardized the conventions of the genre, and similar games released prior to Street Fighter II have since been more explicitly classified as fighting games.Fighting games typically involve hand-to-hand combat, but may also feature melee weapons.
This genre is distinct from beat 'em ups, another action genre involving combat, where the player character must fight many weaker enemies at the same time.
During the 1980s publications used the terms "fighting game" and "beat 'em up" interchangeably, along with other terms such as "martial arts simulation" (or more specific terms such as "judo simulator").
With hindsight, critics have argued that the two types of game gradually became dichotomous as they evolved, though the two terms may still be conflated.
Fighting games are sometimes grouped with games that feature boxing or wrestling.
Serious boxing games belong more to the sports game genre than the action game genre, as they aim for a more realistic model of boxing techniques, whereas moves in fighting games tend to be highly exaggerated models of Asian martial arts techniques. As such, boxing games and wrestling games are often described as distinct genres, without comparison to fighting games and belong more into the Sports game genre.
Although Street Fighter II was not the first fighting game, it popularized and established the gameplay conventions of the genre
Fighting games involve combat between pairs of fighters using highly exaggerated martial arts moves. They typically revolve around primarily brawling or combat sport, though some variations feature weaponry. Games usually display on-screen fighters from a side view, and even 3D fighting games play largely within a 2D plane of motion.
Games usually confine characters to moving left and right and jumping, although some games such as Fatal Fury: King of Fighters allow players to move between parallel planes of movement.] Recent games tend to be rendered in three dimensions and allow side-stepping, but otherwise play like those rendered in two dimensions.[
Aside from moving around a restricted space, fighting games limit the player's actions to different offensive and defensive maneuvers. Players must learn which attacks and defenses are effective against each other, often by trial and error. Blocking is a basic technique that allows a player to defend against attacks.
Some games feature more advanced blocking techniques: for example, Capcom's Street Fighter III features a move termed "parrying" which causes the attacker to become momentarily incapacitated (a similar state is termed "just defended" in SNK's Garou: Mark of the Wolves).
In addition to blows such as punches and kicks, players can utilize throwing or "grappling" to circumvent "blocks". Predicting opponents' moves and counter-attacking, known as "countering", is a common element of gameplay.
Fighting games also emphasize the difference between the height of blows, ranging from low to jumping attacks.Thus, strategy becomes important as players attempt to predict each other's moves, similar to rock-paper-scissors.
An integral feature of fighting games includes the use of "special attacks", also called "secret moves", that employ complex combinations of button presses to perform a particular move beyond basic punching and kicking.
Combos, in which several attacks are chained together using basic punches and kicks, are another common feature in fighting games and have been fundamental to the genre since the release of Street Fighter II.
Some fighting games display a "combo meter" that displays the player's progress through a combo. The effectiveness of such moves often relate to the difficulty of execution and the degree of risk. These moves are often beyond the ability of a casual gamer and require a player to have both a strong memory and excellent timing. Taunting is another feature of some fighting games and was originally introduced by Japanese company SNK in their game Art of Fighting.
It is used to add humor to games, but can also have an effect on gameplay such as improving the strength of other attacks.
Sometimes, a character can even be noted especially for taunting (for example, Dan Hibiki from Street Fighter Alpha).
The player's objective in a fighting game is to win a match by depleting their rival's health. Mortal Kombat even allows the victor to perform a gruesome finishing maneuver called a "Fatality"
Matches and rounds.
Fighting game matches generally consist of several rounds (typically "best of three"); the player who wins the most rounds wins the match. Fighting games widely feature life bars, which are depleted as characters sustain blows.
Each successful attack will deplete a character's health, and the game continues until a fighter's energy reaches zero. Hence, the main goal is to completely deplete the life bar of one's opponent, thus achieving a "knockout".
Beginning with Midway's Mortal Kombat released in 1992, the Mortal Kombat series introduced "Fatalities" in which the victor kills a knocked-out opponent in a gruesome manner. Games such as Virtua Fighter also allow a character to be defeated by forcing them outside of the fighting arena, awarding a "ring-out" to the victor.
Round decisions can also be determined by time over (if a timer is present), which judges players based on remaining vitality to declare a winner. Fighting games often include a single player campaign or tournament, where the player must defeat a sequence of several computer controlled opponents. Winning the tournament often reveals a special story–ending cutscene, and some games also grant access to hidden characters or special features upon victory.
In most fighting games, players may select from a variety of characters who have unique fighting styles and special moves. This became a strong convention for the genre with the release of Street Fighter II, and these character choices have led to deeper game strategy and replay value.
Although fighting games offer female characters, their image tends to be hypersexualized, and they have even been featured as pin-up girls in game magazines.
Male characters in fighting games tend to have extra-broad chests and shoulders, huge muscles, and prominent jaws. Custom creation, or "create–a–fighter", is a feature of some fighting games which allows a player to customize the appearance and move set of their own character. Super Fire Pro Wrestling X Premium was the first game to include such a feature, and later fighting games such as Fighter Maker, Soulcalibur III, Mortal Kombat: Armageddon, and Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 2 adopted the concept.
Fighting games may also offer a multiplayer mode in which players fight each other, sometimes by letting a second player challenge the first at any moment during a single player match. A few titles allow up to four players to compete simultaneously.
Several games have also featured modes that involve teams of characters; players form "tag teams" to fight matches in which combat is one-on-one, but a character may leave the arena to be replaced by a team mate.
Some fighting games have also offered the challenge of fighting against multiple opponents in succession, testing the player's endurance. Newer titles take advantage of online gaming services, although lag created by slow data transmission can disrupt the split-second timing involved in fighting games.
The impact of lag in some fighting games has been reduced by using technology such as GGPO, which keeps the players' games in sync by quickly rolling back to the most recent accurate game state, correcting errors, and then jumping back to the current frame. Games using this technology include Skullgirls and Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike Online Edition.
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