What makes a fighting game character select screen great... or terrible?

Short answer: Have Rowdy Roddy Piper scream at you to select him

Posted by John 'Velociraptor' Guerrero • April 3, 2020 at 3:09 p.m. PDT | Comments: 35

It's probably Marvel vs. Capcom 2 that holds the title for most memorable character select screen in fighting games, but why exactly is that? The most apparent answer has to be the infinitely catchy music with the ridiculously repetitive single "Gonna take you for a ride" lyric, but there's definitely more to it than that.

In his latest video venture Stumblebee delves into this topic to try to better appreciate the art of constructing a character select screen as well as to answer the question of what makes one better than another.

While it's not at all uncommon to take some time to analyze the various character choices a given fighting game has to offer, it's fairly seldom we sit and think about the nuances of presentation and how much information is actually communicated while players are making a roster selection.

The character that is initially highlighted when the screen loads up is rarely coincidental, as developers want early experiences to be positive and motivate people to come back and play again and again. Stumblebee points out how it's best to encourage users to select basic characters who are easy enough to start with and lay the groundwork for any given game's meta.

As alluded to before, music is a major part of the character select screen experience. As various older titles flash through in the video, we can't help but be immediately taken back to various points in the past where we enjoyed playing games like Killer Instinct, Street Fighter 4, Mortal Kombat 1, and various others.

Do you have a particular favorite character select screen? Check out Stumblebee's video and then chime into the comments with your opinions and reactions when you're done.

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