Behold The Single-Player Fighting Game

Did you know people made single-player fighting games? I played one last week.

The Kotaku editorial database indicates that before Kamen Rider is released for the DS this year, Yie Ar Kung Fu may have been the only single-player fighting game ever made.

After all, why would anyone make a single-player fighting game? Isn't that just a brawler?

Ah, but they do exist.

After I checked out the new Matt Hazard game last week, a rep from that game's publisher, D3, let me try the company's Kamen Rider: Dragon Knight fighting games. There's one coming to the Wii, one to the DS, both based on a several-decades-old Japanese series that has a Power Rangers aesthetic.

The Wii one is two-player. Nothing too weird there. It's made by Eighting, developers of Tatsunoko Vs. Capcom. It's well-documented that I shouldn't try to sound knowledgeable about fighting games, and it's doubly sketchy that I actually beat the other reporter in attendance when we played the Wii version. What I can tell you authoritatively is that Dragon Knight uses a card-system for its fighting. You can strike, block, doge and jump with standard presses and waggles. But you also go into battle with a hand of cards that are associated with powers, including some Dragon Knight-specific summons attacks. The cards drain a meter that is refilled as you fight well. So.. the flow involves you using the card moves, then fighting enough to activate them again, with the added strategy of picking which card to play when.

I was about to skip the DS version, figuring it was more of the same. But then the D3 rep said it had this unusual quality, not that he suggested it was a selling point.

Behold The Single-Player Fighting Game

The DS game is made by Natsume. Both games have a single-player mode comprised of challenges that the player against one or more fighters from the show. But... the DS game only has single-player.

I was befuddled as to why they'd leave out a second-player option. I was told it's because the design of the game is more focused on leveling up your own character. The more you fight, the more powerful your character gets, in stat-progression ways that supposedly would make it hard to balance for multiplayer gaming. So the DS game may look like it's simply another fighting game with another twist.

But you'll be playing this fighting game alone, if you play it.

Which is kind of how I played Street Fighter II.

Which is why I stank at Street Fighter II.

This is different, yes?