As per a new patent published recently, Bandai Namco wants to help players unfamiliar with fighting games better learn the proper way to play them.
A new patent (cheers, SegmentNext) will read player inputs and match it against frame data in-game, telling players whether they need to speed up their inputs, or hold off from mashing in order to execute the moves they're aiming to perform.
Fighting games, generally, have windows of time when you're supposed to input the next direction or attack during a combo string – and these windows can often be quite small and difficult to find for novice players. Connecting combos in real-life matches, then, can be even harder.
The new patent will give some sort of in-game notification to players, telling them why they've missed the window for the attack they were (likely) going for, or informing them why the opponent's hit was a counter.
Also, the tech will be able to digest and learn player habits, and can then recommend characters at the character select screen that would suit their playstyle the most. If the game notes that you like to pile on the pressure and overwhelm your opponents by throwing out varied and unpredictable moves, it may nudge you towards rushdown fighters, for example.
Perhaps the most impressive thing identified by the filing is the way the tech will learn from pro level players – the tech wil have the ability to see how high-end fighters input their attacks, and monitor the timing and spacing they use, before showing that to newcomers.
Given the huge improvement we've seen in fighting game tutorials lately, it's pleasing to see Bandai Namco push things forward even more. The company published Guilty Gear Strive, which had one of the most robust tutorial suites we've seen in fighting games for years. Here's hoping that philosophy of breaking new players in via easy-to-parse in-game activities paves the way for a new generation of fighting games.