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Bad single-player modes are limiting the growth of fighting games

May 26, 2018 1 min read

For the past decade or so, fighting games have both fascinated and intimidated me. I poke into online matches now and then where even in the lowest ranks, I regularly get destroyed by players with exponentially better skills and strategies than my own. I'll admit I'm just not good at playing them competitively, and while I could theoretically develop the requisite skills with enough patience, it's not in my current interest to take hundreds of soul-breaking online losses in that process.

I enjoy these games much more just sticking to fun, single-player modes, which is why Super Smash Bros. Brawl is my favorite fighting game. It’s also why I've barely played Pokkén despite having hyped myself up for it for so long, nor have I touched the Deluxe versionPokkén's single-player campaign is too exhaustingly padded and too poorly written for me to enjoy, even if I came into it expecting to love it.

Yes, it’s true almost everyone plays fighting games these days just to compete against other players, competitively or casually or somewhere in between. That’s good, but the issue I take is in the growing negligence of other audiences. If these games don’t offer anything else that makes it worth the purchase, that leaves their “real” barrier of entry so high it becomes a huge risk for new players to simply add them to their libraries.

Bad single-player modes are limiting the growth of fighting games screenshot