The problems with story modes in fighting games

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JacktheArchitect

Tue, Jun 1

To begin with, I will be talking about Mortal Kombat 11 story mode in particular, though, something tells me it can be more or less a universal thing. This thread is to share some frustrations I had with its narrative in the first place, but it would also be interesting to discuss ways in which fighting games can have better story modes - I'll make a separate thread in this topic for this. 

So whilst playing MK11 campaign, I couldn't help but notice how hard it tries to be a movie. It has a decent direction and virtual cinematography and presents itself like a popcorn blockbuster. My problem with this approach is that... Well, it's not a movie. You still have to fight in the story mode, and that's where problems begin. 

1. The plot has to take any even slightly viable excuse to make characters fight. It seriously damages the story quality

2. The fights become less memorable, because they are treated more like a filler in the story, where the outcome is clear: the one you are playing as will prevail. It takes away the tension from the plot. 

In the end, how many people really played the story mode in MK or any other fighting games? It seems to me that most, people would just go for gameplay and watch the story on YouTube if they wanted to. What do you think?

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vaporknight

Tue, Jun 1
SeraphinoRage:

You are literally the first person I see with an opinion like this. I would much appreciate if you elaborated. Tekken 7's story just feels butchered, splintered into nonsensical fragments, and this - with 70% of the cast cut out from the story. Like, who tf is Katarina? What are her relationships with Gigas? She never makes it to the story, and so are many, many others. The one barely intelligible thread in this story (Mishima business) is woven out of boring as hell static frames with the useless journalist. How can it be better than MK11?

I really did like the direction, cinematic action and the way in which fights are built into the story way more. Transitions are way more seamless, so that a kick in the cinematic can just transition into an actual gameplay in an instance, so you have to be on edge all the time. It is way cooler than MK's "putting popcorn away, grabbing controller" thing. You are involved, 100% of the time, not counting the journalist's fragments. Also, Tekken 7 tweaks the gameplay to support its story, like in...

SPOILERS BELOW 

The ending, where Heihachi is fighting Devil Kazuya and he has a very low health bar, but his armor is buffed so badly, that he just can't die - he refuses to. And all of it with his rage on. Now, that feels climactic. It uses gamplay to actually tell the story

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SeraphinoRage

Tue, Jun 1
vaporknight:

No, it is actually good. I find it way, waaay better than MK11 story

You are literally the first person I see with an opinion like this. I would much appreciate if you elaborated. Tekken 7's story just feels butchered, splintered into nonsensical fragments, and this - with 70% of the cast cut out from the story. Like, who tf is Katarina? What are her relationships with Gigas? She never makes it to the story, and so are many, many others. The one barely intelligible thread in this story (Mishima business) is woven out of boring as hell static frames with the useless journalist. How can it be better than MK11?

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vaporknight

Tue, Jun 1
SeraphinoRage:

It is very much applicable to the Tekken 7 story mode. The game itself is just amazing, but my God, the story sucks

No, it is actually good. I find it way, waaay better than MK11 story

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SeraphinoRage

Tue, Jun 1

It is very much applicable to the Tekken 7 story mode. The game itself is just amazing, but my God, the story sucks

1
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blankstare

Tue, Jun 1
Biggus_Floppus:

You see, the funny part here, mate. "Fighting" part also kind of suck in fighting games story mode. In a way, that it is a wasted potential. There is almost no learning and difficulty curve I've seen in enemy encounters of story mode in either MK or Tekken, for example. On the contrary, match-ups along the story could have been organized in such way that you always face an enemy that teaches you a new mechanic, like zoning, ducking, defensive game etc, and the final boss can be a test of all your skill. By the end of the game, newbies could come out of the story mode, fully equipped to choose their main and dive into the competitive play

Agreed. In my experience, there hasn't been many great match-ups in story modes. An exception that I know is fight against Shao Kahn in MK9. You are pretty helpless against him when you play as Liu Kang for the first time. The next time though, you play as Raiden, and one advantage you have is teleportation, which allows you to make a full combo against him. We are also meant to believe that Raiden is much more capable against Shao Kahn in the story, so gameplay actually supports that

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Biggus_Floppus

Tue, Jun 1
DaddyDo:

Well, you don't ask for a good story mode in racing games, because you know you're not buying it for the story. Same here, except that the story comes as a nice bonus to the actual fighting. I don't think being critical of it will help much. If publishers see story modes to be redundant and low in demand, they can just stop making them in the first place

You see, the funny part here, mate. "Fighting" part also kind of suck in fighting games story mode. In a way, that it is a wasted potential. There is almost no learning and difficulty curve I've seen in enemy encounters of story mode in either MK or Tekken, for example. On the contrary, match-ups along the story could have been organized in such way that you always face an enemy that teaches you a new mechanic, like zoning, ducking, defensive game etc, and the final boss can be a test of all your skill. By the end of the game, newbies could come out of the story mode, fully equipped to choose their main and dive into the competitive play

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nietstopsgroningen

Tue, Jun 1
anta_baka:

It's not going to happen as you can cut story mode into marketable trailers that end up selling the game. More that, people are still attached to the character roster, so they'd like to see them interacting with each other, going through the development, making babies (Jacqui, Cassie) and so on

> see them making babies

Pls no. Though, I really love Jacqui

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anta_baka

Tue, Jun 1
DaddyDo:

Well, you don't ask for a good story mode in racing games, because you know you're not buying it for the story. Same here, except that the story comes as a nice bonus to the actual fighting. I don't think being critical of it will help much. If publishers see story modes to be redundant and low in demand, they can just stop making them in the first place

It's not going to happen as you can cut story mode into marketable trailers that end up selling the game. More that, people are still attached to the character roster, so they'd like to see them interacting with each other, going through the development, making babies (Jacqui, Cassie) and so on

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DaddyDo

Tue, Jun 1
Sussus_Amogus:

> Lower your expectations

Doesn't feel like good advice to me. Take that everybody thinks like this, we'll have NTR and others lowering the bar till we will only have hot mass-produced garbage for 80 bucks.

Well, you don't ask for a good story mode in racing games, because you know you're not buying it for the story. Same here, except that the story comes as a nice bonus to the actual fighting. I don't think being critical of it will help much. If publishers see story modes to be redundant and low in demand, they can just stop making them in the first place

0
Author avatar

Sussus_Amogus

Tue, Jun 1
DaddyDo:

Honestly, can not relate to it at allr. I think, story mode in MK11 was fantastic. Yes, the way the story pulls the conflict out of nothing can come off as cheesy at times, but hey, it is a Mortal Kombat game, they have always been cheesy. Just lower your expectations a bit, and you sure as hell will be able to enjoy it

> Lower your expectations

Doesn't feel like good advice to me. Take that everybody thinks like this, we'll have NTR and others lowering the bar till we will only have hot mass-produced garbage for 80 bucks.

-1
Author avatar

DaddyDo

Tue, Jun 1

Honestly, can not relate to it at allr. I think, story mode in MK11 was fantastic. Yes, the way the story pulls the conflict out of nothing can come off as cheesy at times, but hey, it is a Mortal Kombat game, they have always been cheesy. Just lower your expectations a bit, and you sure as hell will be able to enjoy it

-1