Written by Brandon Perry
2D fighting games has been one of my favorite genre of games for as long as I can remember. Starting with playing street fighter & Tekken both at home & when ever i could convince my parents to take me to an arcade. There’s just something about the allure of chaining combo’s that’s always stuck with me. But, that’s not to say i haven’t had a bit of a fall off with fighters in recent years. The DLC machine has all but killed the hype of any new game announcement, with games like Street fighter 5 locking half the roster behind a pay wall (which sucks beyond anything EA has ever done in my opinion) It has really killed all of my excitement for the genre. At least that was the case until March 3rd, 2018… The Day Nintendo Set the internet on fire.
The Smash Bros announcement, reached levels of hype only Nintendo can achieve, & for good reason too. While Smash Bros isn’t a traditional 2D fighter in any aspects, you’d be crazy to deny its viability in the competitive space. major tournaments like Apex happening annually since 2009, & an entry pool of nearly 2000 players between Melee & smash 4 in 2015. So its easy to say the series definitely has legs of it own in the community, but, it was after this announcement that i really started thinking about how the hardware can really change the way these games are played.
“The ease & fluidity in the controls, with both the Pro Controller & Joycon”
I mean think about it, the Nintendo Switch may be the machine to revolutionize the way we play fighting games. It’s Modular nature is already at the forefront of professional smash players minds. The pro-controller is the best game pad to come from Nintendo since the gamecube, & let’s be real, the very real potential of being able to practice the intricacies that come with fighting games (spacing, Identifying hit-boxes, hurt-boxes, & just practicing your “footies”) where ever you want is or should be tantalizing to any fighting game fan that doesn’t yet own a switch. I mean in my opinion it’s just the perfect machine.
Take the most recent example, the Blazblue Cross Tag beta that launched & ended this past weekend. Though the demo is still out there for those that missed the beta, & the sheer joy of actually playing it captivates me. The ease & the fluidity in the controls, with both the pro controller & the Joycons, (both attached to the console or split) is what really stands out. If you’re a fan of the genre then you know that ‘Arc System Works’ makes outstanding games. Now, they are bringing their flagship fighter to Switch day & date with the Playstation 4 version, which is a huge deal that boast well for the future of the genre on switch. If this game does well, it could mean future Blazblue titles, & maybe even a port of Dragon Ball FighterZ (please do this, I’ll buy 6 copies… seriously).
With even more Fighting games on the horizon its gonna be really interesting to see how the switch user base receives them, titles like Street Fighter Anniversary collection having an arcade style tournament mode exclusive to the switch is huge. But, i’d love to see more games utilize the Switch’s unique hardware to easily push competitive play. The focus of couch co-op is great, & the fact that a tournament can essentially be run without any TV’s at its most barebones level, leaves a lot of workaround if the ceiling is an event like APEX. Meaning, I expect to see more homegrown tournament circuits, in college dorms or rented out rec halls, which to me is the best part of the scene. As someone who has a background my states local competitive fighting game community. I’m excited at the prospect of finding more people to share my love of gaming with & create new memories with new friends. So my words of advice to you, would be to give some of these games a chance. With Blazblue & Street Fighter right around the corner, Games like Pocket Rumble, Blade Strangers & Smash Bros without release date, but hopefully coming later this year. There’s no time better to buy a switch & jump head first into what I can assure will be a blooming community.