Author Topic: The Judge's Letter  (Read 13318 times)

Dark Geese

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The Judge's Letter
« on: December 15, 2010, 08:15:54 PM »
Per popular demand and in reference to this particular youtube video:

I am posting the Judges Letter about Why KOF and other games are neglected in the USA. I have received permission by nilcam to post this thread so I am posting it. Hope it is an enjoyable read for you all:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H_RSa6FWo1U

Part I:

Okay, I'm gonna get straight to the point. Fighting games such as KOF, AH3, MBAA, and other titles are clearly neglected The United States. Before the release of SF4, the US was already a weak country in terms of fighting game players, and skill level. These more japanese-oriented fighting games (where the company's primary business interest is Japan) were already weak in numbers before the release of SF4. But as of SF4's release, and unforeseen popularity, the game has now established itself as the #1 fighting game in the US. And has recently proven that some of our top players can compete with big names from Japan, which is widely recognized for having the strongest players in almost any fighting game.

I am going to attempt to explain why KOF, and possibly other lesser titles, are either neglected, or not played seriously in the US.

1.) Street Fighter series
   Lets face it. Street Fighter 2 is often credited for the control scheme that some of these fighting games use. So it is often credited as the first fighting game, and other titles following such a control scheme are "Copies" or "Wannabes". When you have both Street Fighter and Capcom holding such titles, it can immediately flock attention to the Street Fighter series.
   Next issue would be the plane SF is played on. Generally in SF games, jumping forward is not a very good tactic. You often limit a good number of your options and abilities by jumping forward. And you can often leave yourself wide open to be knocked out of the air, and possibly giving the momentum of the match to your opponent. Jumping forward to weaker players is possibly considered an easy way to move forward and possibly open up your characters best combo and pressure abilities.
   Several other fighting games do not limit aerial combat in such a way. KOF in particular gives you 2 different heights, and 2 different speeds you can jump with. Other games give you other options while jumping that can assist you both offensively and defensively. The added plane of aerial combat often makes the games seem faster paced, or harder to play because these are more options the opponent possesses that you have to take into account, and possibly counter.
   How does this relate to the low popularity of KOF in the US? Well, though KOF possesses a very versatile jump system, it is still an over-exaggerated form of forward movement. But due to the low arcs and fast speed of certain jumps, you feel that jumping forward can be one of your strongest offensive tools. Not equating in the fact that you can still be knocked out of the air, or punished for your often thoughtless attempt at getting in on the opponent.

2.) The NeoGeo system
   SNK at some point made a revolutionary arcade system. The MVS. This arcade system allowed you to put multiple games into one arcade machine. Which saved a lot of arcade owners' money. SNK eventually made a home console version of the MVS known as the AES. This home console took all of the arcade feeling from the MVS and brang it to your house. The system came with arcade sticks as the main controller. The games were not "Ported" or "Optomized" for the AES. They WERE the actual arcade games. You could so much as purchase converters which allowed you to use arcade MVS games on your AES console, or vice versa.
   With the full arcade experience at home came a near arcade level price. The console in it's early years ran for $600, and games were so much as $200 individually. The pricetags scared away a lot of fans of the games. Who were realizing these fighting games are now coming to your console and thus being more convenient to play. SNK made the Neogeo CD console which used CD's for the software titles, to offer their titles at a lower price point. But the orignal Neogeo CD suffered from long load times, which were somewhat fixed in the later released Neogeo CDZ. But at that point in time, other consoles were moving forward past the technology of the Neogeo system.
   SNK did not drop the 16-bit Neogeo system. They ran with the system all the way from 1990 to 2003. Other systems became more powerful, and eventually, the support for arcades had died in the US due to the ease and often money saving console ports of arcade games.
   SNK at some point around 2000 went bankrupt, and had to go under another company name, and eventually bounce back to then becoming SNK Playmore. Around this time they barely realized that they need to put the Neogeo system to rest.
   To top all that off, sometime before SNK's bankruptcy. The Neogeo system was very well emulated. And allowed others to enjoy Neogeo games on their computer for free. The company thus loses money and sales.

   Now why did I (poorly) explain the history of the Neogeo system? Because it is a red mark on SNKp's card. In the US we have a bad tendency to judge a book by its cover, because we believe we can base it on the knowledge available to us, and other people's thoughts. SNKp in a few ignorant minds is regarded as a "Failure Video Game Company", with no support to their argument. These people are seriously judging SNKp fighting games now, based on bad business decisions they made years ago. Which is very stupid and gives the games and company a bad name in the US. I will get more in-depth on this later.

3.) Japanese Culture vs US culture
   US culture is very strongly based on convenience when it comes to an individual's decisions with time and money. Generally, Video Games aren't really something that benefit you for the time you put into them. A Japanese individual will more often base his decisions of time and money where he feels he should. There is a higher emphasis on "Whatever your craft or trade, master it" in Japan. Where in Japan a player who dedicates himself to getting stronger in a game will take the losses, travel, and constantly play. A US player will look at the time and money he has to put into getting stronger, and determine that it is either wasteful, or not very convenient.
   Because we don't realize this, we tend to put the Japanese on a pedestal. And through our own laziness and ignorance we determine that we cannot defeat the Japanese, or properly progress in their direction.
   KOF and other titles are not as simple to understand on an intellectual level. And being that we cannot quickly and conveniently grasp the game, we toss it aside because we do not want to put in the time and money. Which would eventually produce the wins we desire.
   It doesn't help that information for a game like SF4 is so available and in your face. One can simply ask for information online (while not attempting to look up said info on his own) and be somewhat promptly answered with the information he was looking for, and maybe a quick bashing on him not looking it up like he should (which he could easily ignore). This displays the convenience factor when a player would like to gather information online for a fighting game. Some people may find it difficult to watch professional level KOF matches, and look up info on the characters that interest them. But from that info, you cannot properly determine the reasoning behind a player's actions in a matchup. Which leads to the next point.

4a.) The 1v1 character system
   The 1v1 character system is, and will always be, the more convenient and easier form of fighting game to get into. You merely invest your time into one character. And with some form of diligence, you will produce a stronger understanding of your characters' particular strengths and weaknesses. And understand matchups better because you are not factoring in abilities other characters you play possess. The 3v3 fighting system KOF possesses does not properly follow such standards. You MUST understand more than one character well if you want to produce wins. This is not simple, and can require much more time put into the game. Because you now have to determine which characters you would like to play, and sometimes even factor in the position a character is in your team, and their capabilities based on their positioning. This also hooks on to another strong argument against competitive KOF.
4b.) Tier Lists
   Lets face it. Tier lists are sometimes good for gauging characters capabilities, and matchups. But we tend to use tier lists and the common occurence of higher tier characters in professional teams as an argument against KOF. If you use a weaker character in a fighting game, you generally are going to have a harder time beating characters that are much stronger. At that point it is up to you to utilize all of your characters' strengths at their maximum potential, and lower the possiblities of one of your characters' weaknesses being exploited by the opponent. In KOF, this can take a lot of time invested into the game. And those who seriously want to maximize their winnings will often opt out for a character they believe has less weaknesses and more strengths. Because the speed KOF can be played at means your characters' weaknesses can be exploited very quickly, and you have to get yourself out of such a situation faster than the opponent who put you in it. A lot of players seriously bash the game because it is generally in a player's best interest to play higher tier characters, if said player desires to maximize their winnings. So new and old players will either not play a character because they believe they cannot reach that character's full potential through tactics and knowledge, or drop the game because they feel it will still not produce them the wins they desire, regardless of the fact that the player likes the character or not. David Sirlin once called such a mentality "Scrublike". They are making up a set of false rules to abide by, instead of playing the game with the intention of getting better and maximizing your wins when necessary.

5.) Community (WARNING: MOST CONTROVERSAL SUBJECT)
   The community behind these lesser fighting games in the US generally has to struggle through their low poplation, often spread out community, games lacking good netplay (or any at all), and even stereotypes. Shoryuken (SRK) forums is one of the largest online fighting game community websites. But it can be very difficult to raise interest in the game that you fancy. To properly get past negligence SRK offers to these lesser fighting games, they often opt out to make their own forum where the primary focus is said fighting game. This form of segregation is actually good because those who seriously possess an interest in the game will come and read what input other players offer. And those not interested can merely choose not to do so. A lot of community members will try to unnecessarily push their fighting game out to the bigger mass that is SF and the Vs series. Sometimes even calling for a petition that their game is chosen as one of EVO's main games the next year. This is not a very good decision for the community. It shows that the community simply wishes for a boost in interest and numbers without actually proving why it deserves such attention. Anyone can call their game good, anyone can call their game skillful. But if they don't prove that it is worth either of those titles, it may not be worth the attention of those who want fighting games with a stronger and larger population community behind them.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2010, 11:37:35 PM by nilcam »

Dark Geese

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Re: The Judges Letter
« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2010, 08:56:38 PM »
Part II:

The KOF community has time and time again had quarrels about the state of the community and how to move it forward. WITHIN THE COMMUNITY! Instead of playing, and proving themselves to be a community worth being a part of. You even possess members who do not play the game at all, but merely read the never ending arguments that community members have.
   You have members like "Emil" who have a strong interest in the KOF series, and possess very vast knowledge on the game, how its properly played, and matchups. However Emil has expressed multiple times how he is disgusted with the KOF community in America. And that it is being polluted by a scrublike mentality due to the players lacking knowledge and experience. He has even forced himself onto players that obviously do not play the game seriously, and just don't quite understand what it takes to win in the game. At times, members like Emil can show a favoritism to Japanese players. Siting that they are stronger than us, and the content they put out proves it. In a community this small in the US, you can't really do too much judging without referring to match videos and how the player acts within the community.
   Then you have members like "Dark Geese" who feel initiative and dedication is what it takes to get better at the game. He taps into the community of Mexico which is generally stronger than the US, and uses that as a catalyst for improvement. Dark Geese feels that KOF players need to step up and put the time and money into getting themselves better at the game. Whether it means learning Spanish, getting a Passport, and going to Mexico for you improvement. Or tapping into the closest outlet for KOF competition near you. He believes a REAL passionate player will put the hours and dollars into it instead of complaining why it is not convenient for them.
   You have these two kinds of members and others constantly partaking in an ongoing war about how the community should move forward. When they haven't quite realized if they stopped talking about moving forward, and just moved forward in unison. They could get the attention and interest they desire. These new players looking to find a new fighting game generally don't wanna play if the community they have to deal with is full of people who either don't understand the game, or can't stop arguing amongst each other. Which can breed stereotypes and possibly a bad image against the community.

KOF (and maybe other fighting games) are often neglected in the US for these reasons. There may be more underlying reasons. But they lay on the perspective of who is watching and judging this community.
This argument is coming from a KOF community member who is not good at the game at all, and has negatively contributed to the community.
I do not foresee the KOF community really moving forward unless the latest KOF title (KOF XIII) possesses very good and stable online play. Even if you outline to them why their community is small and neglected.

These are just my thoughts I am sharing.
- the_judge

sibarraz

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Re: The Judges Letter
« Reply #2 on: December 15, 2010, 10:45:54 PM »
Very interesting reading, which has lots of good points

Even though I one to discuss one, the part of the AES

I mean, sure, your are right with the part that northamericans bash the game just because is SNK, amongst others things, but the problem is, that SNK hasn't made the things better to not look like a failure company, I mean, after 2002, SNKP has made lots of stupid errors in the western market, you must consider that snk is and always will be an arcade company, so even though their library post neo geo is very good in my opinion, lots of players couldn't play them because the politics of scrubs like sony, who don't wanted to publish games like XI, NGBC and others at the time of their releases, oddly enough, it seems like MI2 was somehow slightly popular there, but people lost a lot of touch with SNK games in this decade, then we had SNK, who makes lots of decisions that made them look bush league in the eyes of the more casual players

So yeah, even though the judge is right with the fact that the extended existence of the AES tarnished a little the name of SNK, is not really one factor to consider in this list, hell, thanks to the MVS/AES some casual players and hardcore gamers that I know still had faith in SNKP, because they loved the characters and the games from the 90's, if weren't for the Neo Geo, lots of players would look to SNKP as en even bigger joke than they already think that it is

But in the rest of the points, yeah, he nailed it right

At least here in chile (or south america) KOF is still a name that took the attention of more old players (newbies are guys who will not give it a chance, except guys who doesn't had other options than play in an arcade) and is still a name recognized by some people, I think than in a 95% of the chilean arcades, there must be an AES, and the probability than is a kof between 98-2002 is very high
« Last Edit: December 15, 2010, 10:48:20 PM by sibarraz »


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Re: The Judge's Letter
« Reply #3 on: December 16, 2010, 09:36:37 PM »
Damn really interesting...

I think it's kinda sad that the USA SNK scene is just full with fingerpointing people that don't step up to do anything, while the people that do make moves and put time and energy in the games get put down for doing just that. It's really discouraging sometimes.
"Do not place so much importance on winning. The fight itself has value."

Dark Geese

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Re: The Judge's Letter
« Reply #4 on: December 17, 2010, 04:53:59 AM »
It is very discouraging, hence I focus the majority of my time in other locations...

migrations

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Re: The Judge's Letter
« Reply #5 on: December 19, 2010, 10:25:51 AM »
I like to think in a more positive light about things.  Maybe the US community isn't too great, but the KOF community as a whole remains strong on GGPO and theres always great competition and people to learn from on there.  

Besides this #snkplaymore is a great IRC chat with lots of people that know a shit load and are really willing to help out.  One great thing about the KOF community is that KOF fans are like fighting game snobs, we aren't okay with simple fireball-uppercut characters with the same moves every year.  Because of this snobbery :) our community may not be as big as the Capcom community, but it seems to me to be much more mature and less polluted with random scrubs.

I like the fact that KOF is a bit niche, and with KOF XIII on the consoles, we have a chance to get pretty excited about something (Online net play is the key factor I think).  I'm pretty new to the SNKPlaymore community in general and as a new player I have a passionate optimism for the future of KOF games, and no matter what others do or say we'll always have good competition via GGPO and each other.


  
« Last Edit: December 19, 2010, 10:44:31 AM by migrations »

sibarraz

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Re: The Judge's Letter
« Reply #6 on: December 19, 2010, 04:15:23 PM »
Eh, I don't know, imo in all the communities are scrubs, the difference is that some of them speak in english and the others in spanish

At least here is a good please to post, but sometimes I read lots of scrubs from here or other US forums

PS: I fucking hate mexican KOF youtube fans, they made look KOF fans like morons


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krazykone123

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Re: The Judge's Letter
« Reply #7 on: December 20, 2010, 07:00:23 AM »
I thought the letter was funny, especially the community part.

It is very discouraging, hence I focus the majority of my time in other locations...

Why did you get discouraged? explain in detail, I wanna know.

Besides this #snkplaymore is a great IRC chat with lots of people that know a shit load and are really willing to help out.

True, I'd be lying if I said I didn't learn a few things when I was on the #snkp chan back in early 2009.

Lygophilia

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Re: The Judge's Letter
« Reply #8 on: December 20, 2010, 07:20:00 AM »
A relative and myself had something similar to this in discussion from game play today, difference in King of Fighters and Street Fighter. This was one of the reasons why I wasn't interested mostly in Street Fighter anymore, because it had less of what King of Fighters had.

I did think that the third Street Fighter series had a valuable change from game play, because of having different stragedies to perform, which was discontinued by Street Fighter 4. That encouraged me to stay with other fighting games like this one, which seemed to have been fortunate.

Xxenace

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Re: The Judge's Letter
« Reply #9 on: December 21, 2010, 02:13:26 AM »
this was a really good read


although i hate that i don't have a way to contribute to any KOF community the most i can do is pick up a few people who would want to try out a new fighting game

BiGGDaddyCane

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Re: The Judge's Letter
« Reply #10 on: December 21, 2010, 04:51:23 AM »
Understand everything. Great read,

By the way, Had a argument with emil on SRK & damn is he a brick wall of stubbornness, that ambitiously backs  his opinions up mostly by invalid statements. He's a good guy, a good KOF fan but, his stubbornness overshadow's his attitude & opinions towards other KOF players outside of the Korean heritage. He puts them on a pedestal.

Anyways great read this, letters should be posted up front page on more fighting gamer websites IMO. Reach out to as much people as it possibly can.

nilcam

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Re: The Judge's Letter
« Reply #11 on: December 21, 2010, 06:33:25 AM »
First, thanks to The_Judge for writing out such a thoughtful analysis; thanks to Dark Geese for posting it; and thanks to Desmond Delaghetto for PMing me about this.

The_Judge brings up a lot of good points regarding the KOF community in the U.S. I see the fractured nature of the KOF community to be one of the biggest problems we face. We are fractured along many lines such as which game to play and how to build the community. It's quite sad when a community of people with similar interests cannot set aside their egos long enough to consider other points of view. I like that there are many ideas floating around regarding community building. I respect the approach of Dark Geese and Desmond and also feel that bringing new players in on a local level is very important. The more local competition we have, the more our community will grow both in quantity and quality.

One major problem we had that Dream Cancel addresses is the lack of documentation and information. IRC chat is good for real time advice but does not provide a record of that information. The community's work on the wiki and game threads is a treasure trove of relevant information. Once the information is collected in one easy-to-access place, teaching people to play becomes much easier.

although i hate that i don't have a way to contribute to any KOF community the most i can do is pick up a few people who would want to try out a new fighting game

Dude, I have to disagree with this. Everyone is capable of contributing to the scene is some manner. With all of the discussion here to participate in and the amount of work going into the wikis, it's easy to hop in and add some information to an unfilled page. Hell, adding in the basic template (throws, command moves, specials, DMs, etc.) is very helpful. It just takes a bit of effort. There are lots of games to cover once the 2002UM and 98UM wikis are filled.

jinxhand

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Re: The Judge's Letter
« Reply #12 on: December 21, 2010, 10:38:22 AM »
The way I see it, if anyone has an SNK fighter in their hands and plays it, they can contribute... I personally would like to not just put up info on the wiki/threads, but to have actual discussion... I tend to notice some of the threads (including ones I start) look like mini-wikis with no discussion... I personally have a pretty busy schedule, but still manage to put something to the Dream Cancel table, all while trying to level up in KoF... I know I have ways to go with Billy Kane, Heidern, and some other characters, even after tons and tons of matches with them... So the crap I come across I'm gonna put up on the threads for people to read and discuss... Sure, it might get disheartening seeing that you're the only person posting on a thread, but that's where determination and dedication kicks in...

And to you lurkers on this site: Make a friggin' account NOW and get involved!!! I'm not beefing, I just want you cats to stop "window shopping"...

Dark Geese

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Re: The Judge's Letter
« Reply #13 on: December 22, 2010, 02:02:05 AM »
Wow I did not expect this much reaction to the post, but that is great, and it is great to know that the moderators will make sure that people reply in a respectful manner. That is one thing I must again thank the Moderators/Admins for, for making sure things do not go AWOL and I am VERY SURE you all have a "good idea" of what I am talking about lol (not gonna mention any "other sites").

Thank you to all the admin and staff, this is the way it SHOULD BE. As I tell people who ask me about the letter and what the Judge says, everyone is not going to agree on everything, there are going to be disagreements, but it is HOW you handle those disagreements, that is the key!

In regards to about it being very frustrating, this type of stuff here that I deal with is another part of the problem:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9s-RVzmxJ3U&feature=email&email=comment_received

It is unfortunate that I see a lot of this in the USA, I feel this is hindering the growth of the community. I understand not all videos are going to be high level, but people have to understand that people post videos for other people to learn. However; with that said, there are still those that seem to feel empowered by degrading other people's videos when they do not fully understand the situation, what is going on in the players heads, or how this further detracts others from wanting to post videos!

Also to go even further, these people act as if they are at a high level of play that would justify them to make such claims, when in truth they are not, and further when offered a challenge to prove their claims, they back away, do not accept, and continue to do the same thing over and over again.

About #snkplaymore, in my own personal experience I cannot recommend the place because I am well aware of who runs it, what they are about, their M.O., and how despite what good they may have done for the community, it is without question overshadowed by the bad that they have contributed and continue to contribute on a consistent basis.

Bigdaddycane- I will tell you this much about Emil, as frustrating as it may be talking to him, he is coming around trust me on this, I talk to Lecter on a consistent basis (who talks to Emil) and he is coming around, so much that he also is not sure whether Hummer is going to win in Mexico or not....so that should tell you something, he is finally coming around...

nilcam

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Re: The Judge's Letter
« Reply #14 on: December 22, 2010, 02:30:36 AM »
Dark Geese-

I want to say thanks for the compliment regarding the admin and staff but the real credit goes to the Dream Cancel community. Looking through these posts, I see that not a single comment was modded or edited by anyone other than the original poster. This illustrates the mentality of this community - we're open-minded and open to ideas. I just wanted to hop in and say that.