Characters with alternative fighting styles tend to have special striking techniques that are difficult to master, but which can bring grudging opponents to the ground. Usually, when switching styles, the hero switches to a different set of techniques or improves existing ones, because of which his opponents have to adapt to new conditions on the fly.
Many 3D fighting games feature characters with different fighting styles, but some of them stand out from the rest. In fact, such heroes began to appear in the era of the very first fighting games, and over time they managed to turn into a separate archetype that found its own circle of fans.
The developers created Lay with Jackie Chan in mind and came up with five special fighting stances for him, allowing him to switch between different styles of kung fu. His flexible fighting technique allows you to choose the right style on the fly with its advantages and disadvantages – for example, improve combo attacks, while reducing mobility, or increase the power of blows, sacrificing swing speed.
And since Jackie Chan’s martial arts skills can only be envied, they also tried to portray Lay in such a way that he was in no way inferior to the legendary actor. The hero first appeared in Tekken 2 and has not missed a single part of Tekken since then. Interestingly, the archetype he created was later borrowed by other Tekken fighters (like Zafina), but they could not surpass him in popularity.
Vega has come a long way from his first appearance in the Street Fighter series to his version of Street Fighter V, where he was given special fighting stances. In the previous parts, he could not switch between different fighting styles on his own – his glove with claws fell off his hand after receiving heavy damage.
And in the last part of the game, Vega can remove the glove with claws at will to open access to more powerful moves, sacrificing the attack range. And this is a very successful character upgrade, thanks to which it becomes much more interesting to play for him than in previous parts of Street Fighter.
Gen is one of the few Street Fighter characters that visually changes stance when switching fighting style. Many heroes who belong to this archetype, like Zeku or Vega, visually change part of their appearance, but not the stance itself. And Gen stands up in classic fighting stances associated with the kung fu styles of the praying mantis and crane.
Interestingly, in Street Fighter IV, switching between fighting styles altered his movement and jumping patterns, which required opponents to keep a close eye on Gen’s stances to avoid getting a sudden blow to the face. Despite the fact that it was quite difficult to master Gen’s rich arsenal of techniques, beginners could also play for him, thanks to the powerful basic attacks of the character.
Jun Hoon first appeared in The King Of Fighters ’99, where he used taekwondo from the beginning. He could switch between three fighting styles by standing in the appropriate stance – be it classic taekwondo, hawk style or eagle style.
The hero’s design was inspired by Hwaran from the Tekken series, who also owns taekwondo and uses stances named after birds in combat. Each of Junhoon’s three fighting styles includes unique moves, so it’s important to switch between them in time for effective combos.
Tyra made her debut in Soul Calibur III, but the ability to switch between stances appeared in the next part of the series. The developers wanted to make her a more technical character than the rest of the heroes, and therefore endowed her with two fighting styles. We are talking about “fun” and “dark” styles, radically different from each other.
In her “dark” incarnation, Tyra deals more damage during an attack, but can also damage herself. And in her usual (“fun”) mode, Tyra is capable of cranking long combos. Curiously, these modes can switch automatically (for example, if you hit Tyra in a special way or knock down a certain amount of health from her), making any fight with her participation becomes unpredictable for both players.
Nightwing from Injustice: Gods Among Us is a classic example of a hero with an alternative fighting style. He can either fight with two clubs in each hand, or combine them into a long staff. The very design of the character directly indicates that in his arsenal there are two sets of unique techniques at once.
With clubs in hand, Nightwing moves around the arena with increased speed and combines fast attacks, and is also able to throw knives at long distances. When you switch to a staff, the radius of melee damage increases, and with it the damage done, but the hero becomes slightly clumsy. This is a great choice for those who want to explore the features of this archetype, since Nightwing’s design is made as intuitive as possible.
The Creators of Marvel Vs. Capcom 3 has perfectly adapted the variegated characters to the conditions of the fighting game. And the most striking example is Phoenix Wright, whose techniques were equally divided into three styles in accordance with the phases from the Ace Attorney games.
We are talking about the phases of the investigation, interrogations in the courtroom and the final reasoning, each of which has its own movements and blows. Interestingly, during the battle, Phoenix gradually opens up access to fighting styles, so it is recommended to play defensively at first, and only at the end to go on the offensive. The fact is that in its final phase, Phoenix is able to inflict devastating damage on opponents, which is almost impossible to block.
Miss Fortune is one of the most iconic characters in the Skull Girls franchise and stands out for her alternative fighting styles. Her arsenal contains many mechanics, divided into aggressive and defensive playstyles.
Switching between styles, she rips off her head, using it as an additional source of damage. Of course, you will not be able to master all her techniques immediately, but it is definitely worth it. It is important to remember that if the enemy manages to simultaneously inflict damage on her head and torso, then her health bar will begin to fall at double speed.
Leo Whitefeng is known for being able to take opponents by surprise by switching between fighting styles on the fly. In his normal state, he is able to throw knives and hold the defense, dodging attacks and conducting short counterattacks. But the real fun begins when Leo gets into his fighting stance and switches to an alternate style.
This stance allows Leo to move faster and use previously unavailable moves. One of them is a powerful counterattack, dramatically reducing the distance between him and his opponent. And in his arsenal there is an attack that allows you to inflict damage either on the head or on the legs of the enemy – you can block it only if the opponent, in the heat of the battle, manages to guess its direction.
Virtua Fighter implements many combat mechanics related to character stances and a set of techniques tied to each of them. This is most clearly seen in Vanessa Lewis, in which each fighting stance improves either attacking or defensive techniques.
Each of her styles, in fact, turns her into a separate character, making Vanessa one of the strongest fighters in the game. Moreover, many heroes from Virtue Fighter lose the ability to block enemy attacks when switching styles, but not Vanessa, which gives her an additional advantage in intense fights.