Bullza wrote:That seems like an over simplification. Far Cry 5 is a FPS where you shoot...but you also drive cars, fly helicopters, find collectibles, hunt animals etc. I recently went through FFVII again and you also drive bikes, race chocobos, snowboard, play arcade games etc. There's nothing they can really do about sports though.
Batman Arkham Knight has combat sections, stealth sections, driving sections and detective sections. Grand Theft Auto V has all sorts and so on.
Fighting games are a bit more limited but there's also the Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm games. Aside from the fighting, they also have a Village to explore, side quests, shops, collectibles.
It just breaks up the monotony.
Here's the issue with this: not EVERY game (hell, not every GENRE) does this kind of variety well. Video games cost a LOT of money to make (more so particularly now) and development time is limited. Including the kind of broad gameplay variety you're talking about here sucks up a LOT of resources and time. And what often usually ends up happening is you end up with a game that offers a lot of gameplay variation, while not being particularly any GOOD at any one of them.
So on a surface-level, it might seem great that a game offers you things as diverse as driving, shooting, stealth, brawling, puzzles, RPG, simulation, strategy, etc... but all that content ends up coming across as IMMENSELY hollow and shallow because none (or very few) of them are given much in the way of substance or polish on an individual basis. So instead of a game consisting of one or two very solid and in-deph gameplay styles, you wind up with a game that's an overcrowded and overstuffed assortment of like half a dozen gameplay modes, none of which are particularly any good on their own.
The Arkham games are actually a very good example of this: while the stealth segments are brilliantly done, most of the other gameplay modes suffer by comparison. It took the brawling/beat em up portions a whole game or so before they felt reasonably fleshed out (the "free flow" combat system had an excellent foundation in Asylum, but was still VERY undercooked and didn't feel more fully developed until City).
The driving segments in Knight also have the germ of a good game in them, but are similarly underdeveloped like the beat em up portions were in Asylum. And the detective portions are just about completely useless across the ENTIRE series, and actively drag all of the games down by interrupting the gameplay for these dumbed down, challenge-free exercises in pointless, game-padding tedium.
This was also probably the BIGGEST problem with console fighting games during the early/mid 2000s (circa the PS2/Gamecube era). So much
ridiculous emphasis was put on all these different varied gameplay modes and non-fighting content that very oftentimes the actual core fighting game itself suffered from lack of attention or development time put into it. Stuff like Smash Bros. ended up pulling it off more or less successfully (but that's also partly because Smash isn't a "traditional" fighting game in the first place), but a LOT of other fighting franchises did not, and ended up with shallow, simplistic fighting games surrounded by a whole ton of useless filler.
This was made all the more egregious in that the games often FORCED you to play all the other modes, because they'd wall off almost ALL of the core fighting game's content (most of the playable roster, fighting arenas, hell sometimes even the characters' special moves
) behind "unlockables", making it so that you had no choice but to complete hours upon hours of what ended up amounting to the gameplay equivalent of chores and busywork before you could even touch the main fighting game that you bought the fucking game for in the first place.
Basically, this design philosophy often ends up becoming the video gaming personification of the old saying "if you can't dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit".
Reigning the focus back in more towards one or a set specific number of gameplay modes and mechanics actually allows for there to be a tighter focus on the game your playing actually being something of depth and substance, something that's worth your time and practice and keeps you coming back for more.
What you said at the end there about all these other modes "breaking up the monotony" is something that I find telling: if the core game that you're playing is monotonous (to the point that you need it overstuffed with a ton of other random junk just to keep you from getting bored), then either its not a very good game to begin with, or you're just not that into its genre in the first place.
In the case of the former, obviously we should just be demanding better of our games in general and not settling for mediocrity (especially out of "brand loyalty" or whatever). In the case of the latter though; games of a particular genre shouldn't be obligated to bend themselves over backwards to the point of actively dumbing themselves down just to appeal to people who aren't even particularly all that into them in the first place (and likely never will be).
If you're the sort of person who finds fighting games (or games of any other particular genre) to be boring and monotonous, and need for them to add in a ton of other nonsense or water themselves down in a certain way in order for them to be palatable for you... then I think its better for people like that to just not play games in that particular genre altogether, and let them simply work on their own merits for the sorts of people who DO enjoy them actively for what they are. Not everything is (or should be) made for everyone.
For a game like FighterZ, it doesn't NEED the extra content to work: its a brilliantly designed and excellently crafted competitive fighting game, one that houses immense degrees of depth in its combat mechanics. It has years upon years upon years of life to it all on the basis of just its core fighting mechanics alone, and like other classic fighting games, its the sort of game I know I'll be coming back to for many, many more years to come.
People have been calling FighterZ (rightfully so) a spiritual successor to Marvel vs Capcom 2: a game that was originally released in 2000 and that myself, my friends, and a LOT of other gamers the world over ended up coming back to over and over and over and over again like crack addicts for well over 15 solid years. And all without almost ANY other gameplay modes beyond just the core fighting game itself. Same thing applies to a TON of other fighting games like those found in the King of Fighters and Street Fighter franchises: scores upon scores of gamers STILL play Super Street Fighter II Turbo (released 1994) and King of Fighters '98 (1998 natch) decades on: all of them with barely anything else to them content-wise beyond just an insanely dense as hell core fighting game. For a competitive genre like fighting games, that's really all you need.
The story mode for FighterZ is an utter slog, and I only forced myself to trudge through it A) several months after I'd already bought and been playing the game and B) just to get enough in-game Zeni for some lobby avatars that I wanted. Its completely inconsequential and utterly beside the point of a game like this. FighterZ is a game for people who just want a good, meaty fighting game for them to sink their teeth into, to compete against other players, develop their own unique strategies and play styles, and dig out cool and clever new ways of playing the game for hours and hours on end.
Basically, FighterZ (like Super DBZ before it) is the anti-Budokai.
If that in and of itself isn't enough for you, and you need some kind of "carrot hanging on a stick" in front of you just to keep you interested in playing it: then both this game, and this genre in general I'd argue, are just not for you to begin with.
We already had roughly ten years and a whole console cycle (and a half) of that type of "Chex Mix/Grab Bag Minigame"-style of fighting game ruling the roost. All it ended up doing was MASSIVELY watering down the genre and largely alienating its core player base for years and years (while putting off tons more people who COULD'VE been potential new core players if they were given a worthy game to hook them in in the first place) in favor of serving the whims and fancies of the sorts of people who aren't particularly enthused or excited that much by the genre in the first place.
That era of fighting game is over and done with, and as a hardcore fighting gamer, I'm very immensely happy for it. There's like almost a dozen DBZ fighting games in the vein and style of Budokai for people who want such things: FighterZ is the first and sole "real" fighting game that Dragon Ball has gotten in over 10 years
: lets have more of this for a good long while more before we all start clamoring for a return to the days of "RPG-lite minigame modes and gratuitous unlockables over substantive fighting mechanics and competitive play".