When it comes to general arcade games, there’s a company that seemed to have been on a roll for quite some in the past. Sega and Capcom were some of the biggest names in the arcade scene, but SNK usually out-classed the both of them. Many of SNK’s arcade games have been more memorable than most arcade games out there, ranging from Metal Slug to Samurai Shodown, even to King of the Monsters if I’d go that far.

Metal Slug was SNK’s pride and glory, some of the best damn action games you’ll ever find.

When it came to fighting games, though, SNK tried a little too hard to be innovative and focused less on content. And due to that, their fighters were never hotspots for mass market appeal.

One of the biggest appeals of Samurai Shodown was the introduction of weapon based combat in the then-modern fighting game genre. It had a different pacing and atmosphere than all the other fighters on the market which were mostly inspired by 80s martial arts flicks. So if you played one fighter, you played them all. And this was SNK’s curse. Their Fatal Fury, Art of Fighting, and even King of Fighter’s games all suffered from the “Simpson did it” syndrome. Everyone of their fighters were shot down in favor of Street Fighter, going so far as to call every one of their games ripoffs.

And not one fuck was given.

SNK proclaimed that they are a company that makes hardcore games. And this was them announcing their eventual downfall. This day in age, making hardcore games equates to closing house. SNK caters specifically for the nerds. All you need to know about a company is to check what kind of content they put into their games.

SNK was an arcade company focused on what any arcade company would. Spectacles and gimmicks. But at the same time, they always had some decent content in their games. Nowadays, you can just smell how much they’ve catered to the nerds via their fighting games. King of Fighters is the only thing they bother with….and creepy ass cell phone dating sims featuring their characters in creepy self-insert fanfics where fans can make believe that they gettin some, but I digress.

All the tit-less white women you could have.

Many of the new elements they introduce in their fighting games are just new “fighting game mechanics”. They add and tinker with the game rules, make a few adjustments to move sets, add a few terribly designed animu shit stain characters, and that’s about it. SNK’s fighting games are the epitome of what almost killed the genre. Complexity is never a good thing for video games. One of the worst elements of Street Fighter was adding complexity to video games in general. SNK basically co-opted the complexities of Street Fighter and kept adding bullshit. SNK’s fighters have so much bullshit that only the nerds would adore. Look at their latest KOF game, KOF13. This game has just enough bullshit to make anyone question “why do I need this crap”?

Samurai Shodown 6 has a groove system whereby you can select different versions of yur fighters which will have different abilities……bullshit.It doesn’t drastically alter the character’s special moves or anything dramatic, just different universal fighting systems.

Guilty Gear has some weird launcher where the background changes and you get an air-combo system where you have to press several button sequences to get a awesome chain link…….bullshit. There’s also some combo breaking system where hitting 2-3 buttons…bullshit.

TvC has a Baroque cancel system that I still don’t understand. Bullshit.

I left 2D fighters behind for the 3D fighters like Bloody Roar, DOA, and especially Soul Calibur simply because they used to be bullshit free. They took the good parts of SF2 and stuck with the basics, and even evolved the basics to be holistically the fundamentals of combat. No relying on silly universal fighting systems to win your matches, you actually need to know when to attack and defend. No stupid Alpha Counters that reduce meter or any of that bullshit micromanagement, no silly chain link system or “air game” or any of that bullshit. 2D fighters have crappy content to even begin justifying it’s bullshit. If you don’t want bullshit, you go to the 3D fighters. Yes, that includes Virtua Fighter. It’s boring, but it is bullshit free.

I feel that I have been spoiled by MK9 as it is currently the only bullshit-free 2D fighter I have on PS3. So many Japanese fighting games have bullshit, I’m starting to assume why Injustice was the #1 selling game for a while was more than just it’s content. But in general, 2D fighters just have too much bullshit that nerds swear you need to learn in order to win. Ain’t nobody got time for that bullshit. Niggas just wanna jump in and have some fun kicking someone’s ass. None of this bullshit involving complex, meter depleting counter systems, astronaut level commands for a Haoh Shokoken, or any of that bullshit.KOF13 is the latest incarnation of bullshit. Drive Cancels, Dream Cancels, Critical Counters, Hyper Drive Mode, Alternate Guarding, Neo Max, chain links, and the audacity to put in 2 different meters the player would have to pay attention to. None of these elements make the fights more exciting, it’s just bullshit for the nerds to read into and obsessively learn and perfect for the desire of winning an EVO championship. If this is your first fighting game (you poor thing), you would know jack shit about this universal fighting bullshit that you will never even care for.

I don’t even know why they bothered with Drive Cancels. See, first you need to hit the opponent with a special attack, and it has to connect. But before the very next frame, you have to quickly input another special move to cancel out the first and go into the next for a few more points of damage. WHY BOTHER!?

But then, my audience of 3 would react “so what? Just don’t use the bullshit!”

But if you were a new comer to the fighting game genre and this is your first game? You have a handy tutorial on-hand! You learn the basics such blocking, rolling, running, short hops… short hops!?Then you’re IMMEDIATELY put into learning about the gauges. Instead of properly teaching you how to do a special move (which would be handy), you’re told to do a Desperation move or an EX move to demonstrate the properties of the gauges. There is no special move tutorial (which gauges need) and so you’re left wondering “wait… what the hell kind of command is down, diagonal, forward, down,diagonal,forward, LP+HP!?”See, the newcomer is taught that he needs to learn bullshit just to be good at the game. Because the tutorial assumes the game is being played by a fairly competent street fighter player. But that means this game is only intended to be played by experts and not newcomers.

It is the nerd’s wet dream match of the century.At least SNK tries to compensate with content, but it’s animu crap.

See, since 96, SNK decided to go full Japanese with the game’s story. The first 2 games were pretty basic as some psycho makes a tournament just to increase his collection of statue fighters Han Solo Style. But since then, they’ve focused on gods, cloning, pointless rituals, battles of destiny and fate, etc. Not to mention that half the rosters are filled with douche bags and bimbos.

40% of the roster is filled with assholes like this guy.

SNK’s biggest problem is character familiarity and appeal. Sporting rosters over millions of characters that aren’t very recognizable beyond Terry and Mai for obvious reasons, the lacking variety between tropes becomes apparent when everyone is just a smart ass or an air-head who likes to strip tease after a match. Shonen anime is filled to the brim with douche bags. For some reason, Japan thinks douche bags are cool and awesome, but they come off incredibly obnoxious. The guys behind the Fast and the Furious franchise probably had no other inspiration than anime for having a cast filled with douche bags. Not to mention completely unrealistic. Douche bags don’t have a strong sense of confidence. Is SNK employed by no one but teenage girls!? They’re usually the idiots that think douche bags are awesome and sexy, and think they’re just hurting inside and usually have a sense of good in them. Combined with how much skin the douche bag men show, this has to be the case.

Yes, I know this balances out the bimbos, but this is just creepy. It’s like watching “the Covenant” without knowing it was made for women.

Hardly do these characters look like fighters outside of maybe Shen Woo. And that’s a big problem, why? Because KOF in general kept designing characters like these until it looks like they don’t make actual fighters anymore and just make models fight to the death.

The only characters that look like they belong in a fighting game are Terry, Ryo and his family, Daigo, Raiden, Joe, and that’ pretty much it. You could get a jist of their fighting styles just by looking at them. But the four aformentioned male strippers? How was I supposed to know K-Dash takes cues from Bruce Lee?

When you take more cues from anime than actual martial arts films, you have characters with very confusing and disorientating fighting styles. The only people I bother playing are the Art of Fighting characters (due to nostalgia, mind you.) Everyone else just feels alien to fighting games. Which leads the King of Fighters games to rely on gameplay as a selling point. Instead of learning the confusing characters, the gameplay is what you need mastery over.

This is BAD for fighting games. Fighting games are interesting because learning the CHARACTERS and beating ass with them was a fun experience. Having interesting characters and destroying people with those interesting characters is one of the greatest moments in a fighting game. Look at Mortal Kombat. An interesting game with loads of interesting characters. Sure we had to wait until Gen 7 to get a decent MK game, but better late than never. Virtua fighter is shit, but the characters look like they belong in a fighting game (except Aoi. Aikijutsu characters suck). Tekken….. uh… kinda? Street Fighter before SF4 with those animu shit stains. And did we really need El fuerte?

KOF has this problem in spades, and it seems exclusive to KOF in general. Fatal Fury, Art of Fighting, Buriki One, any SNK fighter that isn’t KOF seems to have proper looking fighting game characters. Why does KOF continue to make stupid characters like this?

I grow limp from the poor character design as the series evolves into trite animu bullshit.

Damn, I’ve been saying animu bullsiht waaaaay too much. I apologize for anyone who’s annoyed.

I digress. While KOF13 is not a bad game, it certainly has very little appeal. The “large character roster” gimmick is no longer beneficial to the series and has shown it’s age with incredibly idiotic character choices, bad move sets, and the only thing they can show for it is half-naked women. SNK needs to go back to the principles of the Fatal Fury series as it is grounded in the standards of fighting game conventions, especially garou. Characters look like they belong in a fighting game (except B.J. in the purple dress.)

Really, all I want from KOF and SNK in general is to cut the bullshit. I want to master the CHARACTERS, not the universal fighting gimmick or meter whiffing.