In our second article in our Vs. series, it only felt appropriate that we covered a genre that is all about fisticuffs and versus action: the fighting game genre. This genre saw a huge resurgence in the last generation, with new entries in the Street Fighter, Marvel Vs. Capcom, Tekken, Soul Calibur and Mortal Kombat franchises, among others. This momentum doesn't look to be slowing anytime soon, with both the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 launching with fighting games.
Which system had the best fighting games at launch? Let's find out!
Xbox One Vs. PlayStation 4 -- FIGHT!
In The PS4 Corner...
The PlayStation 4 launched with two fighting games, one retail and one digital: Injustice and Divekick. Both are decent games, the problem is that both games have already been released before on the PlayStation 3.
Let's start with Divekick. While the game is technically a fighting game at its core, it's only good for short bursts. Sure, there is a large degree of skill involved in playing Divekick, but it's not the type of fighting game you're going to play for hours on end. Divekick is best used as an appetizer to a more well-rounded fighting game meal rather than the main course. The game functions well on PlayStation 4, but also doesn't add anything new that takes advantage of the system.
Likewise, Injustice was also found on the PlayStation 3, among other systems. Rechristened the Injustice: Ultimate Edition, the PS4 version of the game features all of the DLC characters and costumes of the original release, along with slightly upgraded textures.
However, the online is a bit dead, limiting the longevity of the game. Why this is occurring is anyone's guess, but it's likely due to the fact the game is a port and that it's just not available at a large number of retail stores. For some reason, neither Target or Wal-Mart are carrying the game, which limits the number of people who can potentially purchase it. Those that also already own the game on a previous system may not be looking to rebuy it, even with the digital upgrade option.
In The Xbox One Corner...
The Xbox One only launched with one fighting game, but it was a brand new one from an oft requested franchise: Killer Instinct.
Killer Instinct is built from the ground up to take advantage of the Xbox One's power, and it shows. The graphics are amazing, with plenty of particle effects and the action never dropping its frame rate. While the game only features six characters at the current time, two more characters are being revealed later and all characters are unique from one another: a throwback to classic fighting games where a big cast wasn't necessary.
A large fighting game cast isn't the only thing missing though, as the game is missing classic fighting game mainstays such as a story mode and a training mode for all characters (currently, the game only has a training mode for one character). However, the game does allow all Xbox One players to play by giving them one free character, with the rest of the game being purchasable for $19.99, a fantastic deal for what you get.
The online action is fast and fluid with little to no lag, which is great because there are a ton of players. With plenty of unlockables, Killer Instinct is a great start to the reinvention of the franchise.
And The Winner Is...
While this may shock a lot of our readers, the winner of the best launch fighting game is sadly the Xbox One.
While the PlayStation 4 launched with two fighting games, both of them are ports and sadly, Injustice is completely dead online so once you finish the single player mode, that's it. Fighting games live and die on competition, and unless you have local friends and two controllers, the fun will quickly end. Unfortunately, Divekick just can't stand up to the more robust Killer Instinct.
Despite the lack of content, Killer Instinct is a blast. It's easy to pick up and play, the character selection is great, and the price is right. It was made for the ground up for the Xbox One, and the PlayStation 4 has no fighting game that can boast the same.
Let's hope that soon, the PlayStation 4 can unleash its own killer fighting game, as it's the one glaring omission in an otherwise solid launch lineup.
Article by - Joshua Phillips
Insert Date: 12/14/2013