Don’t worry about balance in fighting games. 5 Reasons coming up!

•November 29, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Balance, or rather the lack thereof, is the most common complaint in all of fighting games. Every player of every game has their own unique take on it, and with their own ability to win matches on the line, the arguments can get heated. If you wake up in cold sweats at night worrying about what’s going to happen to your character in AE2012, read on to discover why you just shouldn’t care.

1. Balance doesn’t make a game fun.

A few examples of some perfectly balanced games: the original Street Fighter, Karate Champ, Pong. None of which, I imagine, you’d want to play for any great length of time. A game can be plenty unbalanced and still be a ton of fun to play, even competitively. There’s a reason Marvel vs. Capcom 2’s core of only 4 viable point characters was enough to sustain interest in the game for almost a decade: those characters possess a veritable wealth of options and potential for mastery. Conversely, better balance is often achieved by normalizing the obvious strengths and weaknesses of characters, making them play more similarly. You then end up with a game that, while ostensibly more balanced, has less variety in the way characters actually play – defeating the purpose of balancing the game in the first place.

Would you want to play this for 10 years?

2. You don’t have to pick bad characters.

Much complaining about balance is the result of a player’s irrational attachment to a certain character that just can’t compete. Competitive players are in constant search of superior tactics, and advocate doing anything necessary within the rules of the game to get the win. So why do so many players not consider character selection part of that equation? Hampering yourself with an allegiance to an uncompetitive character is no different from forcing yourself to play Ryu without using fireballs; both are totally artificial constraints that you only have yourself to blame for adhering to. The game begins on the character select screen.

3. Balance isn’t static.

It seems obvious that a game’s balance will evolve as players improve and make new discoveries, but some people still act like these things are set in stone. Players who complained about Iceman on week one of MvC2 probably feel mighty silly right now, and even Cable, who dominated that game completely for months on end, is now relegated to the bottom of the top tier. Abel and C. Viper began climbing the ranks in the latter days of vanilla Street Fighter IV, and knowing what we know now, there’s a good chance Cammy was much more competitive than anyone realized at the time. This illustrates a hazard of begging for balance changes – the game gets “fixed” before you even know what needs fixing.


The god of week 1 MvC2.

4. It’s a futile endeavor.

In the history of asymmetric fighting games, exactly none of them have ever allowed all characters to compete on an equal footing. Maj observed that in the “classic” Capcom games a top tier of four characters plus an upper-mid tier of a few more has been enough to support years of competitive play. Given this precedent, why would you expect that the future will be any different? Yes, it’s easier to patch games now, but throughout history fighting game updates have usually just shuffled around the tiers, not actually made them more balanced – that’s the nature of trying to balance a game where one change to address one matchup can have completely unintended effects on the rest of the game.

There’s something very fulfilling about watching a game develop over the course of several years, which has sadly been lost in this modern generation of constant updates. A game is never old enough to declare its balance set in stone, as the ascension of Super Turbo’s Old T. Hawk to upper-mid tier after over ten years of languishing in the bottom tier proves.

5. You probably aren’t good enough.

The numbers you see in matchup charts are, if they have any credibility at all, assembled by top players. The rating for any matchup is thus contingent on both players being able to perform at the level of top players; the same matchup between mid- or low-level players could display a totally different balance. A classic example would be Super Turbo Honda vs. Bison (Dictator), which common wisdom states Honda wins at the low level, Bison wins at the intermediate level, but Honda again wins at the high level.

More importantly, at any level of play below the very top there is a very simple solution to any balance problems you encounter: get better at the game. If you’re that much better than your opponent, even the worst matchup ratings go out the window. It’s only at the very highest levels of play, where there really isn’t much room for improvement, that such concerns are legitimate. So maybe, say, Uryo has the right to complain about his character’s bad matchups, but you probably don’t. Step your game up!

—–

This article was made by a very new blogger on one of the most visited fighting game message boards and blogs. I for one think that this guy is full of &%$^.

F$#% this guy. Cmon, “you probably arent good enough.”  What kind of motivation is that? I wanna shoot this guy.

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BananaKen Weighs In on Magneto’s DLC Costume Controversy, or Lack Thereof

•November 29, 2011 • Leave a Comment

 

Destructoid’s article, and consequently the one on SRK, is misleading. No one in the royal house of Spain has yet to complain about the MVC3 costume. The original source only states that people from the royal house will analyze the usage of Juan Carlo’s uniform, but for the moment they have not taken an official stance on it.

The last part coincides with what the SRK article mentions, but this:

“Magneto’s costume in Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3′s upcoming Ancient Warrior costume pack has raised a bit of controversy in Spain”

is incorrect. In addition, the actual controversy in regards to the usage of the uniform in the comic “The Pulse: House of M Special” was not as much depicting the costume in question as much as it was a copyright issue. As the original source states, the royal house criticized Marvel comics for copying the image of Juan Carlos: the background, his pose, AND his attire. The offending image was removed, but the uniform’s design was never removed from the comics, and as such eventually became one of the DLC costumes for Magneto in UMvC3.

 

Said costume:

Shooter X Fighter Event!

•September 3, 2011 • Leave a Comment

The weekend of September 2nd, in Northbrook, Illinois (near O’Hare Intl. Airport) there will be the Fighters x Shooter gaming event. It is sponsored by Adam “Keits” Heart and Focus Fire. This even is not like the other fighting game tournaments that we all have heard of in the past. This particular event will focus on 2 genres of games. As the name of the event goes, there will be Fighters and Shooters. The main games being played will be Call of Duty:Black Ops, Halo Reach, Marvel vs Capcom 3, Mortal Kombat 9, Super Street Fighter 4: Arcade Edition, Street Gither 3rd Strike Online Edition, and Madden NFL 2012. It will have all the traditional tournament feel. It has brackets, new players, old players, side tournaments, friends, family, you name it.

Coming into the event, there were pre-qualifier events to determine some pre-event prizes as well as free entry into the main tournament. These pre-qualifiers were held at Galloping Ghost Arcade in Brookfield, IL. and Online sponsored by FraggedNation.

The prizes for each game are as follows (Galloping Ghost):

SSF4: AE
1st Place – Free Entrance/Venue to FxS, Day pass at GGA, T-shirt, 70% Pot
2nd Place – Free Entrance/Venue to FxS, T-shirt, 20% Pot
3rd Place – Focus Fire Swag Bag, T-shirt, 10% Pot
MvC3
1st Place – Free Entrance/Venue to FxS, Day pass at GGA, T-shirt, 70% Pot
2nd Place – Free Entrance/Venue to FxS, T-shirt, 20% Pot
3rd Place – Focus Fire Swag Bag, T-shirt, 10% Pot
MK9
1st Place – Free Entrance/Venue to FxS, Day pass at GGA, T-shirt, 70% Pot
2nd Place – Free Entrance/Venue to FxS, T-shirt, 20% Pot
3rd Place – Focus Fire Swag Bag, T-shirt, 10% Pot
3S Online
1st Place – Free Entrance/Venue to FxS, Day pass at GGA, T-shirt, 70% Pot
2nd Place – Free Entrance/Venue to FxS, T-shirt, 20% Pot
3rd Place – Focus Fire Swag Bag, T-shirt, 10% Pot

FraggedNation:

MvC3 PRIZES

1st Place – Free Entry, Free Venue, $50 PSN Card, Focus-Fire SWAG BAG
2nd Place – Free Entry, Free Venue, $25 PSN Card, Focus-Fire SWAG BAG
3rd Place – Free Entry, Free Venue, Focus-Fire SWAG BAG

MK9 PRIZES

1st Place – Free Entry, Free Venue, $50 PSN Card, Focus-Fire SWAG BAG
2nd Place – Free Entry, Free Venue, $25 PSN Card, Focus-Fire SWAG BAG
3rd Place – Free Entry, Free Venue, Focus-Fire SWAG BAG

—-

The Fighter x Shooter event is also sponsored by some big name companies. Madcatz,BGRModsGaming Generations, Fragged Nation, and The Hadou. These companies often offer door prizes and raffles throughout the whole weekend. This even is no different.

Here is a list of the prizes and raffles and giveaways for each game through the whole weekend:

Door Raffles

– Want to win a door raffle? You will automatically be entered when you sign up for a tournament.
Tritton AX Pro Headsets
Madcatz Fight Sticks
Custom Xbox 360 Controllers
Calibur 11 cases
Madcatz FPS Pro PS3 Controllers
Madcatz FPS Pro Xbox 360 Controllers
Madcatz Arcade Fightstick Carrier
The Link JLF Stick Mod
Focus Fire Swag Bags
Xbox 360/PS3 games (Random)
Cash Raffles

– Want to win a cash raffle? Tickets will be available to buy at the event.
Tritton AX Pro Headsets
Madcatz Fight Sticks
Custom Xbox 360 Controllers
Madcatz FPS Pro PS3 Controllers
Madcatz FPS Pro Xbox 360 Controllers
Madcatz Arcade Fightstick Carrier
The Link JLF Stick Mod
Staff Giveaways

– Want to win a staff prize? Then give us a hand at the event.
Tritton AX Pro Headsets
Madcatz Fight Sticks
Madcatz FPS Pro PS3 Controllers
Madcatz FPS Pro Xbox 360 Controllers
Madcatz Arcade Fightstick Carrier
Xbox 360/PS3 games (Random)
Top 3 Player/Team Giveaways

Call of Duty
1st Place – Tritton AX PRO Headsets
2nd Place – Madcatz FPS Pro Xbox 360 Controllers
3rd Place – FF swag bag

Halo Reach
1st Place – Tritton AX PRO Headsets
2nd Place – Madcatz FPS Pro Xbox 360 Controllers
3rd Place – FF swag bag

MVC3
1st Place – Madcatz Arcade Fightstick Carrier
2nd Place – Madcatz Arcade Fightstick Carrier
3rd Place – FF Swag Bag

SSFIVAE
1st Place – Madcatz Arcade Fightstick Carrier
2nd Place – Madcatz Arcade Fightstick Carrier
3rd Place – FF Swag Bag

MK9
1st Place – Madcatz Arcade Fightstick Carrier
2nd Place – Madcatz Arcade Fightstick Carrier
3rd Place – FF Swag Bag

3RD STRIKE ONLINE
1st Place – Madcatz Arcade Fightstick Carrier
2nd Place – Madcatz Arcade Fightstick Carrier
3rd Place – FF Swag Bag
Note: Main stage will be equipped with Tritton AX Pro Headsets!

MADDEN 12
1st Place – Xbox 360 controller, 1600 point card, FF swag bag
2nd Place – Xbox 360 controller, FF swag bag
3rd Place – FF Swag Bag

These are all very high quality prizes and giveaways!

The prizes for each Top 8 placement are as follows:

The cost for each tournament is as follows:

$10 entrance fee per tournament game
$10 venue fee per player (sports, good for entire weekend)
$30 venue fee per player (fighters, good for entire weekend)
$60 venue fee per team (shooters, good for entire weekend)
$10 spectator/casual pass (good for entire weekend)

Player Caps:

Mystery – 128 Players
SSF4AE – 256 Players
MvC3 – 256 Players
MK9 – 128 Players
3SO – 64 Players
COD Black Ops – 64 Teams
Halo Reach – 64 Teams
Madden 12 – 128 Players

You can see the first cap is “Mystery”

The Mystery game tournament is just as it sounds. Each game being played each round is a mystery. It could range from any system to any game. I saw the first Mystery tournament at The Ultimate Fighting Games Tournament 7 back in May and it was very entertaining. They we’re playing games I’ve never even heard of. It sure is a treat for those in attendance and those watching on the stream.

I’ll be modding the stream, both of the fighters and shooters streams. I’m one double duty this weekend! Catch everything on http://www.twitch.tv/focusfirefighters

Question…

•August 30, 2011 • Leave a Comment

A few Focus-Fire Photos. More to come later!

•August 30, 2011 • 1 Comment

Focus Fire Shirt promo

Welcome to the FocusFireFighters blog!

•August 30, 2011 • Leave a Comment

I am Philip Chotipradit. I am the head merchandiser for Focus-Fire.