Fighting (from the English. Fighting – fight, fight, duel, wrestling) is a genre of computer games that simulate hand-to-hand combat of a small number of characters within a limited space called the arena.
Fighting games are close to beat ’em up games, but there are differences between them. Thus, in most fighting games, the player does not need to move through a long level and cannot go beyond the boundaries of the arena, and the battle consists of an odd number of separate rounds and is not continuous. Less significant and optional features of the genre are the use of numerous scales to depict the vital signs of characters and the drawing of fighters in the arena in profile.
An important feature of fighting games is their focus on competition rather than cooperation between players, which makes games in this genre suitable for eSports championships. Usually, fighting games provide the player with the opportunity to fight in a one-on-one mode against a computer opponent or another player, less often they allow three or four opponents to fight at the same time in one arena.
Fighting games, being an arcade genre, gained popularity and were popular mainly in those countries where there was a developed network of gaming halls with arcade machines, primarily the USA and Japan. As the market for video game consoles expanded, fighting games were also ported to them. On personal computers, games of this genre are poorly represented – not least because of the specific control focused on the joystick or gamepad, and not on the keyboard and mouse.
The history of development
The very first fighting game is considered to be released in 1979 on arcade machines, the game Warrior, developed by Tim Skelly (Tim Skelly). The game, which was a duel between two knights, used monochrome vector graphics. The processing power of the arcade machine was insufficient to simultaneously calculate the movements of the characters and the image of the arena, so the characters and the score of the game were projected over the arena drawn on the body of the machine.
Karate Champ (1984) was one of the progenitors of the fighting game genre.
Over the next ten years, fighting games as an independent genre did not have much popularity and were considered one of the varieties of the Beat ‘Em Up genre, practically merging with it. Examples of such fighting games are Yie Ar Kung-Fu by Konami and Karateka by Jordan Mechner, creator of Prince of Persia. However, back in 1984, Data East released the game Karate Champ, which laid all the most common foundations of the fighting genre: a limited arena, dividing the battle into rounds, and awarding points to the player depending on which of the available strikes he hit. adversary.
The heyday of fighting games began with the release in 1991 on arcade machines of the game Street Fighter II from Capcom. Street Fighter II featured almost every principle, technique, and system that modern fighting games are based on. Among them is the ability to perform complex tricks by combining joystick movements (“a quarter circle forward”, “half a circle back”, etc.) with button presses; interrupting the animation of one technique into another, which allowed for continuous chains of techniques and served as the basis for the concept of combos; a relatively large number of characters with different fighting styles; and some other ideas of game mechanics used almost unchanged in modern 2D fighting games.
Shortly after Street Fighter II, several more similar games were released. One of the most notable competitors was Mortal Kombat, which pioneered mid-air combos (juggle in gaming parlance) and digitized, as opposed to hand-drawn, character and arena art. SNK’s Fatal Fury came out just a few months later than Street Fighter II and had several sequels, while Sega’s Virtua Fighter was Sega’s first fully 3D fighting game.
In 1994, the first game in the The King of Fighters series from SNK was released, a feature of which was the ability to play as three characters at once, pre-setting the order in which they enter the arena. The King of Fighters was the forerunner of tag team fighting games. In 1995, Capcom released the game Street Fighter Alpha, which added two important character abilities to the gameplay: blocking enemy attacks in the air and counterattacking from the block. After these innovations, the process of adding new details to the game mechanics that significantly affect the gameplay slowed down: the main mechanisms were already invented and needed only debugging.
With the development of fighting games, the popularity of the Beat ‘Em All genre, whose golden age came in the 1980s, began to slowly fade. But, paying tribute to old traditions, many developers of modern fighting games include modes reminiscent of Beat ‘Em Up games. Examples of this include Tekken Force in Namco’s Tekken 3 and Arc System Works’ Guilty Gear Isuka’s Boost Mode.
2D and 3D
With the advent of three-dimensional games of the fighting genre, two-dimensional fighting games did not give up their positions and continued to develop . However, the choice of graphics had an impact on the mechanics of the game, and differences in gameplay began to emerge between 2D and 3D fighting games.