I don’t know if it’s something that I just don’t get. Now, this may be because I’m not the biggest ‘serious’ fighting game fanatic in the world, having only recently started playing Street Fighter in the last year or two, with Street Fighter V being the first in the series that I’ve actually gone out and bought, but I don’t understand the obsession with the online play, specifically the enjoyment from playing randoms.
I understand why you would do that, but I’ve always found that fighting games work best when you can hear every sigh, pant and rage-induced shout when you land that well-executed Critical Art. The enjoyment, the rush, the “knowing he could actually turn around and punch me any second now”, it’s all absent when playing online. This is especially relevant in Super Smash Bros which is, whilst being a truly wonderful fighting game, an incredible party game where you thrive on the environment around you. Moment-to-moment gameplay, no match being like the last, and being there with your opponent is what makes a fighting game for me, and that will never change.
Whilst the above has been said, however, I will admit that I spent a good four hours playing online with Team NG’s Dave, our resident Street Fighter expert, and whilst I only won 1 set out of 21, I had such a blast, despite not being in the same room. I guess the voice chat helped, as I could still hear the laughter and glee when Dave would juggle me around like no-body’s business, but it still wasn’t the same. I still wanted to look him in the eye and show him the pain I felt. The pain he caused. Picture messages will have to suffice next time.
Ultimately, it may just be down to my preference in gaming. I’ve always preferred local multiplayer, whether it be competitive or co-operative. Gaming is a social experience, and yes, there are some games that are suited to solitary conditions, such as JRPG’s, but I still find it hugely entertaining talking about it and comparing takes on certain plot points. Mario Kart 8 on the Wii U has been hugely enjoyable with friends, and a particular favourite of mine for local multiplayer is ZombiU, where one person places Zombies around a level, and the other simply just fights to stay alive. There’s a dynamic introduced there that just wouldn’t work online, probably hence the reason they took it out for the Playstation 4 and Xbox One ports. Maybe other people prefer sitting at home and playing with people on the internet, but I’d much rather lose in person and enjoy it than fight online and win.
What do you think about this? What do you prefer; Online or Local? Let us know whether Nick is alone in feeling this, or whether he has like-minded individuals on his side that prefer to hear the grunts of their opponents as their duke it out.