Fighting Games, Single Player Mode: No Thanks

Destructoid reports that Capcom senior VP Christian Svensson is pushing for stronger single player “story mode” in Capcom’s fighting games.

The strategic marketing group here has for quite a while been pushing for our fighting franchises to have more and better single player content, of which full fledged story modes are one component. How and when those requirements manifest in our future roadmap, I’m not prepared to speak about at this time.

A pretty wishy-washy remark in general, I wouldn’t really make a story out of it, but it did get me thinking if that is something I truly want. Of course I would prefer a great story mode to go along with a great fighting game, but everything comes at a cost. Mortal Kombat 9 in 2011, a game I loved, had a fun and excellent story mode. I played it exactly once and had a blast. Took me about 6 hours total I think? Then I proceeded to play the game with my friends and online for another 250 hours. Never even thinking about single player again.

Do you see my point? The single player was a flash in the pan. It hardly meant anything to me. I wouldn’t have even noticed if there was no single player. Fighting games, by definition, are not a single player affair. You play them online or you play them with your friends but the purpose isn’t to “beat the game” it is to compete with other players. Does rock, paper, scissors have a single player mode? Does poker?

When a company is developing a fighting game I want them spending 100% of the time polishing the gameplay, balancing the gameplay, and finally, adding as many characters as possible to add variety to the gameplay. I want the 300+ hours I spend FIGHTING to be as enjoyable as possible, I could care less about the 6-8 hours I experience single player.

Oh and while I am at it. Don’t FORCE me to play single player buy locking half the characters and making them rewards. I spend $60 to play with my friends. Recently I purchased Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 which had a single player they obviously spent a ton of time on. I wish they hadn’t, because of the 80 characters in the game only 20 are playable until you start completing the single player. Closely followed this game’s production and there is a large list of characters that didn’t make it into the game such as: The Sound Four, The Edo Kages, The Seven Swordsman. All of these were speculated to be in the game, but didn’t make it. Why not? It’s because they spent 6 months on the single player.

Let me know if you know of such a game. The elusive fighting game with a truly worthwhile story mode. I’ll play it! There has only been a single time. Only one game had a single player mode so good I played it more than once. Naruto the Broken Bond.

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