Lunchtime Discussion: The Price of Fighting

It’s a fact that gaming is expensive, that’s pretty obvious. With Modern Warfare 2 leading the way into the ‘premium’ price territory, and other games bundled with peripherals starting to get towards the territory of ‘I can buy this game or eat for the next month’ surely you couldn’t consider a simple fighting game over-priced? Well lets see, the likes of Tekken 6 and Street Fighter IV weighed in at the normal price of a full game, and that seems fair to me. Of course the cost for a fight stick is a little harsh, but then again you can use the same stick for pretty much every title.

On the other hand I can see the obvious counter arguments. With an arcade mode and a versus mode being at the core of pretty much every title in the genre, you may feel a little like you’re getting ripped off with a full price game. Sure Soulcalibur fleshes it out by adding the weapon modes, but these are pretty obvious variations on the first two. Games that include ‘Team Battle’ modes, such as the Tekken series and the upcoming Super Street Fighter IV, actually add a lot more variety as you don’t get the normal pick and counter-pick that you get playing out in a standard versus mode. They also allow a lot more than the simple two player play that these titles are normally limited to, letting you get a large group of friends involved in one on-going fight. If a game has these three core modes I’m more than happy, on the other hand I will still buy a game is some are missing.

Then there’s the argument that the titles are short. I can’t really argue with that. I remember showing Soulcalibur II to a non-gamer (I think it was a girl I was trying to ‘befriend’ – and no Davs, I won’t tell you who it was) in my first year of Uni, blowing through the Arcade mode in about 15 minutes and her saying “Is that it?”. I was a little embarrassed by the comment. If you stick to core fighting game modes then yeah, that sort of is it. Of course the developers have realised this and tried adding extra modes. Soulcalibur II in fact had one, the ‘Weapon Master Mode’ which was kinda like some weird RPG thingy that you played through to gain weapons (Soulcalibur III and IV had similar things as well).

Then of course there was Tekken 3 which tried to add value with ‘Tekken Force’ and ‘Tekken Ball’ – presumably called that in case you forgot what game you were playing. Tekken Ball was ok, I remember Tekken Force being awkward to control and incredibly difficult to complete – but I might just suck. Now Tekken 6 has Scenario Campaign, which you have to play through to get the stories and unlock characters which is… well just plain wrong. Namco seem to have gone too far in trying to add value, and it makes me sad.

So what do you think? Do fighting games give value? And if not do you really think they give any less value than titles like FIFA? Would you be happier if they were all priced around the reportedly budget price of Super Street Fighter IV?