Fighting games have never been hotter, and the PS3 is the console of choice for the fighting game crowd. (If EVO, the biggest fighting game tournament in North America, can be considered a reputable source, that is.) But what if you are new to the whole fighting game scene? What if you have just picked up your first PS3 and grabbed a Madcatz TE stick from your local GameStop, yet you still have literally no idea what a dragon punch is? What game should you start with?
Well look no further because Cheat Code Central is here to tell you all about the top five fighting games on the PS3.
Street Fighter IV is easily the biggest fighting game on the market right now. Regardless of whether or not you like it, you have to applaud it for bringing fighting games to a totally new generation.
Street Fighter IV is the fighting game to play if you are looking for a crash course in the fundamentals of the genre. Long combos take a back seat to good spacing, quick reactions, good responses, and matchup knowledge. Combos also heavily rely on links and timing. In fact, there are many elements of this game that come down to exploiting artifacts of the system. Option selects, priority linking, and kara throwing are all necessary skills for playing the game at high levels. If you don't know what any of that means, you might want to pick up Street Fighter IV to learn.
Street Fighter IV is widely regarded as one of the simplest but also hardest games to learn. Its online community is still active today, though you might have to deal with more than a few people taunting you as you learn how to play. It doesn't really have a tutorial to speak of, but it does have a series of challenges that teach you basic combos and moves. In short, consider Street Fighter IV if you really need to get down to basics.
Whereas Street Fighter IV can be considered a chess match, Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is more like boxing. There is still strategy involved, but it's far more based on speed, adrenaline, power, and fear. It's three-on-three fighting unlike anything you have seen before.
Simply put, Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is fast—very, very, very fast. The game uses a four-button control scheme (along with two partner buttons), and simply progressing from Light to Medium to Heavy to Special will allow you to tap out simple combos. However, even these combos can threaten to kill a character outright.
X-Factor is a brutal power-up that can cancel any move you are performing while simultaneously recovering your health and increasing your strength and speed, making characters even more deadly. A host of other glitches and tricks will allow you to reset damage and hit stun scaling, and find even more new ways to kill a character in one touch.
Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is a very punishing game, and one simple touch can decide an entire match from the outset. There isn't a tutorial to speak of, but once again, each character has challenges that go into some of their basic combos and special moves. Pick this game if you want to constantly be on the edge of your seat while waiting for the screen to blow up in absolute carnage. If you want to test your reactions while seeing if your actions-per-minute can compare to a Korean playing StarCraft, then Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is the game for you.
Just like in the 90s, Mortal Kombat is everything that Street Fighter isn't. Instead of holding back to block, Mortal Kombat has a block button. Instead of chaining together moves that cancel into each other, Mortal Kombat has Tekken or SoulCalibur-esque dialable combos. Instead of relying on quarter circles or charge moves, every move in Mortal Kombat is simply two direction presses and a button. Instead of knocking your opponents unconscious, Mortal Kombat has you ripping out their spines.
Mortal Kombat is a surprisingly fun game that is easy for newbies to get into, but it's filled with an amazing amount of depth for the pros that want to push the game to its limits. The tutorial in MK is actually quite good, going into both overall system mechanics and character-specific strategies. The easy inputs make every move other than Fatalities simple to do, and the Fatalities are pretty cool looking. If you can manage to hold in your puke, that is.
Most importantly, Mortal Kombat is the fighting game that finally got its feature set right. It has tons of unlockables, a very robust online mode, and the first good story mode in a fighting game that I can remember. If you are looking for an unconventional fighter with a violent twist, then this is the game for you.
Mortal Kombat faded into the background around the time that 3D fighters became all the rage, and Tekken stepped up to be the big fighting game alternative to Street Fighter. This rivalry persists today, so much so that Street Fighter X Tekken is coming out soon.
Tekken is probably the best example of using 3D space in a fighting game. The combos are long, the reliance on frame data is massive, and the characters are hugely varied and interesting, each using a different real-world fighting style. (Or, you know, boxing kangaroos.) Playing Tekken will not only test your reflexes, but also your aggression. The game rewards players who keep the pressure on with long combos and skillfully thought out hit strings. Get on a roll and you'll be pounding your opponent up against the wall for hours.
If you are more of a fan of 3D fighters than 2D fighters, Tekken is easily the best choice for you.
In the days of the PlayStation 2, a new 2D fighting game came out that had beautiful high-resolution sprites, tons of frames of animation, lots of intricate systems, and a huge cult following. That game was Guilty Gear. But then someone thought it would be a good idea to convert the franchise into a console RTS, and, well, it didn't do so well.
BlazBlue was the spiritual successor to Guilty Gear, and it inherited most of what made Guilty Gear great. The combos were long and fun to look at. The system combined few buttons with lots of direction inputs. There were bursts that got you out of combos, teching that let you recover, cancels, instant kills, and more.
Successful play in BlazBlue requires deep knowledge of the system. Not only do you have to know what type of block is correct, whether or not things are unblockable in the air, and what hit properties moves have, you also have to work around the damage and hit stun scaling system while being wary of your opponent's bursts. Not only that, but every character in BlazBlue has their own "Drive" system that makes each one operate differently from everyone else. Some characters magnetize you, others steal your life, and still others are two characters controlled at once.
Pick BlazBlue if you want a game with lots of intricate systems that complicate the gameplay.
By Angelo M. D'Argenio
CCC Contributing Writer
*The views expressed within this article are solely the opinion of the author and do not express the views held by Cheat Code Central.*