Late Hit Loving

Real Talk By: KJ (Kris Jones)

With the recent rules developing in the NFL, no one thought that It would trickle down into the video games we love. Well, it did. NFL Blitz a simple arcade title brought simplistic fun. A lot of its entertainment factor, was due to a feature that seemed minor, but actually made the franchise a hit among game players. I’m talking about those Late Hits. How many times did a play go sour you wanted to have back? How about the computer playing on a Zeus-super level, giving the user no chance to win. Under those grueling situations, at least you could slip in some pain between each play.

Single Player Satisfaction

The world of NFL isn’t the only place where its great. Marvel vs Capcom 2 is a bona-fide classic. Remember pushing the Select button after the fight was over? Slipping in an extra kick or grenade while your opponent lay powerless, equaled the icing on the cake. MVC3 doesn’t allow it. After the match, it immediately goes to the winning characters cut-scene. Hell, even in Tekken, sometimes the computer will slip in an extra attack after you’ve been KO’D. There’s something about getting it in. It’s a feeling of closure. Something we all love as human beings. It’s Like pouring A.I. on Prime Rib, or Ketchup on fries. Satisfying especially when closing out a Boss Battle in that fashion. Finally knocking the hell out of Issac Frost in Fight Night 5, had this Player truly feeling like a champion. Definitely hit him as much as I could before the game cut me off. The Shank series rewards playing for the overkill as well. Pouncing on enemies the game recognizes as dead, doesn’t mean its over. The title allows the person to keep the combo going as long as they can, adding to the game-play tenfold. THQ is looking into a feature for WWE 13, that will allow the player to continue a dramatic beat-down after the bell has rung. Late hits Lead to extended play, and a little time to brag.

Late Hits in Multiplayer

The overkill window should be short. If I lose against a human player in a fighting game, the last thing we need to see is the person doing multiple combos. Its embarrassing having a Mortal Kombat fatality performed on you, but its sure is cool to watch. Late hits can be a love-hate thing. It has to be balanced for full enjoyment in multiplayer plain and simple. Street Fighter 3 is a great example. Upon scoring the KO, SF3 allows the player one solid extra move to throw in before the game cuts you off. Laying A beat down in gears is satisfying for the person delivering the whooping, but being on the other end can be excruciating. It needs to exist, but it has to be controlled.

Whether you like Late hits or not in this medium, you cannot ignore its influence. Games such as Street Fighter 3, Marvel vs Capcom 2, Gears of war 3, UFC Undisputed and countless more have all jumped into the mix. I know it’s too soon to panic. With the removal of official overkill hits in Popular franchises such as MVC and NFL Blitz, It makes me wonder if games may gradually become pillow-soft experiences. Just a thought. Not necessarily a major concern for now, because other developers continue to bring the pain. It’s just a little observation. Maybe your tastes are a little more civilized when it comes to this topic. I love hate hits, and Overkill’s in my video games. Yea or nay?

Any games you would include?


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