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It is one thing to play a fighting game like Street Fighter where you battle out computerized opponents. In time, you eventually learn the tricks and techniques of the computer, and you can usually conquer the opponent once you get enough practice in. But when you’re playing other real players who, like you, have been practicing their moves and tactics for some time, the level of excitement and competition multiplies.
I used to be a major video game player, until I had a family and then only turned to video games in times of high stress. It is usually now an outlet that I use when I just need to set my work down and forget about the world for a while. So, I was very excited to stumble across a very cool fighting game online this month called Hero Fighter that I could install and play right on my laptop.
We’ve covered a number of places where you can play fighting games online at MakeUseOf before. Simon previously covered three pretty cool games including Manga Fighter for kids, the Lost Saga, and of course the very cool Toribash fighting game. Hero Fighter is a bit different than these in that it’s an arena game with no real plot other than taking out your opponent using whatever means at your disposal. And it’s a very cool way to relieve stress.
Hero Fighter is a desktop download for Windows, and it includes a second add-on “Room Server” that’s packaged up with the install. When you launch the game, you’re presented with the option to either start playing immediately in single-player mode, or you can connect to a network game.
I wanted to warm up a bit, as it’s been quite some time since I’ve had time to play fighting games online. After clicking on the key settings and adjusting them to my preferences, I clicked on Start Game. After setting up myself as player 1 and adding the computer opponent, game play (in easy mode) started up.
The first thing I noticed about gameplay is the quality of graphics. The background, objects and all of the scenery are well done, and the effects of hitting objects, like logs or rocks, are realistic. I also thought the soundtrack was pretty cool too. After a few swings, the computer apparently got pretty fed up with me and went into a full charge, as you can see here. A couple more swings of my hefty sword and he was down for the count. I was victorious in my very first round, and feeling pretty good about myself.
Feeling pretty confident, I went back to the main menu and chose network mode. Connecting is pretty easy, you just select the official room list first and you’ll see a list of available servers.
I was thinking there wouldn’t be anyone online because it’s so late here, but then glancing at the list I remembered that we’re talking a global gamer world here. There were a few folks online in Hong Kong and Germany – and people coming online and offline constantly. After browsing down the short list of servers available this late at night, I decided to join the folks over in Hong Kong to show them what a western boy is capable of.
A few things that I noticed about network play is that your latency is heavily dependent upon the location of the server you choose – so try to stick to your own country if possible. However, even playing on a Hong Kong server wasn’t too bad. Game play was relatively smooth, even with six players hacking it out against each other.
The moment I entered the battlefield with these seasoned gamers from Hong Kong, I immediately entered into a charge against an unsuspecting player that had just run off-screen to the lower right. Now, if you look up and to the right of me, there’s this innocent looking red-headed girl holding a huge spear. Well, she wasn’t eyeing me because she thought I was cute. Within about four strides, she was all over me, and within five or six swipes of that spear, I was flat on my back – game over. So much for that!
One thing that I can tell you about this game is that it is easily one of the most addictive network fighting games that I’ve ever played. The controls aren’t overly complicated – it’s basically four directions, guard, attack and jump. The secret is practicing with getting the timing and placement just right. The game is so intuitive and easy to learn, that a few rounds with the computer in single player mode, and before long you’ll be battling out in tournaments as well as the best of them.
Have you ever played Hero Fighter? What do you think of it? Do you play of any other fighting games online that are as good or better? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.