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Fighting Games Then and Now

Fighting Games Then and Now

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As fighting games continue to evolve with technology, combat game fans will find it interesting to look at their origin and progression from 1970 to today. 

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  1. Defining Today's Fighting Games
  2. History of the Genre
  3. Design of Fighting Games
  4. Famous Franchises of the Genre
  5. Competitive Online Game Play

When fighting games first arrived to video game consoles in the 1970s, they became very popular among teens and young adults. Fighting games all fit into the realm of combat video games in which users will fight in hand to hand combat in some sort of closed stage or restricted boundary area that makes conflict inevitable. Most licensed fighting games feature multiplayer modes, team challenges, or combat against the computer opponent. Also, most games will feature users playing the role of the characters. 

And, much like choosing a TV show on a streaming service, choosing the characters is half the fun. They are all set up to be nearly equal, so it really comes down to each players' personal preference and fighting style. Choosing a character also comes with important choices on weaponry. Did you want the fighter with the sword? Or the battle-ax? Fighting games have always been defined by these entertaining characters and epic combat moves, and their progression through history is tied largely through these. 

Since the mark of fighting games has always been their entertaining and diverse characters, it only makes sense that the best-known games were centered around the characters. For instance, Street Fighter II was one of the most popular of the early games because of its fascinating, fun, and deadly virtual fighting personalities. The earliest boxing game, "Heavyweight Champ," was popularized because of its realistic style and real-life characters based on the boxing superstars of the time. 

These fighting games, however, had not quite made it to the home systems where people were still playing Pong and other classic games on in-home gaming consoles. Fighting games were popular in arcades throughout downtown malls and gaming stores. Instead of playing video games in their own homes, teens and young adults would make a social event out of it, and arcade fighting games became one of the premier video game genres of the early 1990s. 

As fighting games became more popular, a much larger focus was placed on their look and design. Typically, these games involved intense combat between two or more fighters. Some of these games were strict boxing, brawling, or martial arts, so the designers didn't need to worry about the design and animation of weapons. However, in games that used tools or weapons during the fights, designers had to take into consideration how each fighter interacted with their weaponry of choice, even diving deeper into the persona of the character. 

So, fighting games that utilized weaponry typically had a certain weapon for each character, giving the designers another storyline to expand on. Kind of like Thor with his famous war-hammer, each character's connection with their weapon of choice became an important and entertaining relationship. The designers also had to take into account how to let the player roam about on a virtual 3D stage while trapped inside a 2D screen. Early games were played in a two-dimensional environment until many PS1 games broke the 2D wall and began allowing for side-step maneuvers. 

As the design of these fighting games became an art platform for game creators, some famous fighting game franchises were born. "Fatal Fury: King of Fighters," for instance, took gaming to a new level by allowing players to move side to side during combat, seemingly moving backward away from or forward toward the user. Other power franchises of the 1990s included "Tekken" and "Super Smash Bros," which some would argue are two of the ultimate fighter games in all of the ESports. 

In fact, the "Street Fighter" franchise, as aforementioned, seemed to serve as a guide to the whole genre, defining its success in the early days of arcade play. As in-home console games became more popular, Mortal Combat's finishing "Fatality" move became famous after the first was released in 1992. Along with these famous franchises of the 90s, the "Dead or Alive" series was released and still remains popular in the 2010s on modern consoles. 

While fighting games made their way to home consoles, these consoles were slowly making their way to the Internet. Eventually, these consoles allowed for online gaming, so users began to play interactive games versus each other, both on the gaming console and the computer. Users now can see a list of their friends who are online and join any fighting arena together as long as they are playing the same game at the same time. 

Just like in multiplayer shooting games, users can team up to take on fighting challenges or simply duel each other until a victor emerges. These online matches are made even more entertaining by online chat features that allow users to talk trash in versus mode or talk strategy in collaborative team events. When online gaming was introduced to fighting games, the original arcade, social experience once again returned to the genre. 

Fighting games have come a long way since the arcade days, but the popularity of the genre has clearly never dwindled. Although other genres are becoming popular as well, online game play capabilities have only enhanced the fighting game arena. 

  • 1 ranking-icon-1 MORTAL KOMBAT

    Assemble an elite team of Mortal Kombat warriors and fight in epic 3v3 battles!

    Warner Bros. International Enterprises

    4.2
    4M+ Reviews 50M+
    • 1,103 users said "great gameplay"
    • Free
    • In App Purchases
    • 1M+ Reviews
    • Editor's Choice
    • I’ve been playing this game for a very long time and it’s my favorite mobile game to play but there are a few things wrong with the new update. The first thing that a lot of people including me want back is the old shop. The new one isn’t terrible but it’s not as good as the old one. Also I think that the chances for the rare characters in the Blood Ruby packs should be raised by at least 2% because I’ve been getting those every time a season ends and I haven’t gotten a single rare character out of them. Another thing is the cost for the characters in the Faction Wars store, they are very expensive and Klassic Ermac and Klassic Sub-Zero definitely need to be lowered by at least 250 Blood Rubies. They just aren’t worth it. You could either buff them or lower their prices, please do one or the other. I read another review also and totally agree that at the end of the 100 battles in Shao Khans tower you should get like an elite pack or some souls or something. Please bring back elite pack too. Well that’s all I have to say and if the dev’s are reading this keep up the great work! This game is really good and you guys are awesome! :) Edit: Also forgot to say, please add a new diamond character and make it Noob Saiboat please! Bye :)
      Samuel Dawson

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  • 2 ranking-icon-2 Shadow Fight 2

    Prepare to fight with shadows!

    NEKKI

    4.6
    13M+ Reviews 100M+
    • 2,469 users said "awesome gameplay"
    • Free
    • In App Purchases
    • 1M+ Reviews
    • Editor's Choice
    • I love this game. Its amazing. The fighting is cool the story is actually pretty good even if others think its not. This game is just amazing. Most people complain that its too hard. Well fighting demons was never easy. You got to work to achieve stuff and need to have the skills. Ok well lynx the first boss was a little tough but that's beside the point. Also people complain that the wepons cost too much gems. Well some do but there are perfectly fine wepons that dont cost gems. Also there are complaints that the storys bad. Well its not. Its a perfectly fine story and you dont need a long complex story for a fighting game. Basically you a very cool guy who made a very big mistake and now your trying to right your wrongs. That might be a bigger story than mortal combat ( i have never played mortal combat so i do not have evedince to prove it) also you dont have to pay to win. You just need the skills and the wepons that dont require gems. I really think you should downlod this game and play it if you have the skills and patience to defete demons. Also the background music is really good. This is a amazing game. You should download this. I love this game. And i'll leave you with a queston Was there a shadow fight one?
      spaceninjakitten

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  • 3 ranking-icon-3 I, The One - Action Fighting Game

    Kick them all, make them fall!

    CASUAL AZUR GAMES

    4.2
    44K+ Reviews 5M+
    • 78% positive reviews
    • Free
    • Fresh
    • In App Purchases
    • This game is awesome it makes me feel like a total boss but there is just one problem that I will get to later but I love the characters and the rag doll effect on the game but the one problem is that when I hit someone they will maybe go like 2-3 feet but when someone hits me I fly across the map is what it feels like I love the game and all but I just want that fixed and it will be one of the best games ever on a phone
      banchi boy

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  • 4 Super Brawl Universe

    Join Nickelodeon's iconic characters in the ultimate arcade action game!

    PLAYSOFT

    4.5
    122K+ Reviews 5M+
    • 32 users said "cool characters"
    • Free
    • Fresh
    • In App Purchases
    • This review wont be mainly about the game but rather I have some cool ideas for nickelodeon games that i would like to see you guys make. First off, a nickelodeon crossover rpg would be fantastic, you could either do a nickelodeon version of disney heros battle mode which is a really well made disney rpg. You could also do a nickelodeon crossover version of another nickelodeon rpg called TMNT legends which is a ninja turtle rpg. In conclusion, Super brawl universe is a good game but I think you should expand more on the nickelodeon crossover idea and make a cool rpg that I feel will get alot of love and popularity. Thank you for hearing me out.
      Depositing Checks

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  • 5 Real Boxing – Fighting Game

    Lace up your boots and grab your gloves – Real Boxing is here to knock you out!

    Vivid Games S.A.

    4.3
    554K+ Reviews 10M+
    • 610 users said "best boxing game"
    • Free
    • In App Purchases
    • Editor's Choice
    • Zoom is so amazing like I could chat about it for hours I love it so much is so amazing but the only bad thing about this game is that is a little unbalanced what you mean by it like you don’t really ever lose unless you’re pretty bad I it’s either I’m just really good at this game or this is just over powers and plus they should a multiplayer mode like there is multiplayer mode but you need to invite friends like I would like to fight people I don’t know When I mean by it’s just like when you play call of duty you want to find people to fight against or fight with you against other teams but they should actually just add Multiplayer mode
      nodmanj

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  • 6 Shadow Fight 3

    Epic mobile RPG fighting is back! Your ultimate ninja journey awaits!

    NEKKI

    4.0
    3M+ Reviews 50M+
    • 1,746 users said "awesome gameplay"
    • Free
    • In App Purchases
    • 1M+ Reviews
    • Editor's Choice
    • I played Shadow Fight 2 and comparing this one to the previous I would say it improves in some areas and in others it’s lacking. Some improvements I think is the combat. I personally like the different fighting styles with each faction. Some have strengths and their own weaknesses as well. One think that needs improvement on the the weapon balancing. I feel there are just some weapons that have combos that can be a bit much at times. I don’t really have a problem with the micro-transactions. I haven’t spend any real money into this game and I don’t plan on it. I think people are being harsh about them in this game. It’s a free game you guys. This is how they have to make money. I can’t relate to the people who say this game is pay to win. Of course there is gonna be that super duper legendary armor and weapons that you can only get through buying the card packs, but having the over powered armor sort of ruins the point of the game. Answer this question: If every person you fight is easy and not a challenge, then is the game still fun? I think most of you would say no it’s not. To the others, then you’re gonna have to spend money. In conclusion, this is a great game that shouldn’t be looked down upon for having micro transactions. If you think it’s bothering you that much then just play another free game.
      Baksheesh and

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  • 7 EA SPORTS UFC®

    Fight your way to the top with hard-hitting combat in EA SPORTS™ UFC®.

    ELECTRONIC ARTS

    4.4
    3M+ Reviews 50M+
    • 5,266 users said "great graphics"
    • Free
    • In App Purchases
    • 1M+ Reviews
    • 56 Overall, an okay game. Graphics are what you would expect from a mobile game, animations are good. The gameplay consists of hitting your opponent with weak-shots until you get power moves that deal significant more damage. The problem arises from the progression system. You have to do a lot of
      M A SPORTA & fitness

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  • 8 Injustice 2

    Experience Action-Packed Fighting with Customizable DC Super Heroes & Villains

    Warner Bros. International Enterprises

    4.3
    857K+ Reviews 10M+
    • 3,133 users said "great graphics"
    • Free
    • In App Purchases
    • Editor's Choice