Tough Love Arena, a free to play fighting game with rollback netcode, entered beta today.
Tough Love Arena is a 2D fighting game featuring cute stick figure characters. Its graphic style is taken out of notebook drawings, and its sound effects are made by someone pretending to make sound effects with their mouth. The game is charming, but it also has the building blocks to be a great fighting game. There are currently three characters, with an alternate skin on each. Noodle and Rice serve as the zoner archetype characters. Beef and Pork, who serves as the shotto characters. Onion and Garlic are the characters with the biggest combos in the game. While there isn’t much character diversity in the game, there are extensive tutorials, offline and online play, and detailed frame data for fighting game fans looking to dive deep into the game.
The biggest feature of Tough Love Arena is the rollback netcode. Rollback netcode is when players’ inputs arrive during an online match. If their input doesn’t match up with the game’s prediction, the game will reset back to the previous frame, then replay inputs from both players. This experience allows for minimal lag, which is crucial in fighting games when players need to input buttons less than a second to win or lose. This netcode is implemented in fighting games such as Mortal Kombat 11, Them’s Fightin’ Herds, and the upcoming Guilty Gear: Strive.
The best way to play fighting games is attending tournaments in real life, but with COVID-19 forcing everybody inside, the focus on fighting game netcode became a focus of discussion. Games like Street Fighter V, Tekken 7, and especially Super Smash Brothers Ultimate’s netcode have been criticized for laggy matches, something that the developers have tried to improve over the course of 2020. Old games such as Super Smash Brothers Melee and Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus R have had rollback code implemented in 2020, which has caused resurgences in those games. Tough Love Arena having rollback netcode will help grow its community as it runs through beta.
Tough Love Arena is now in beta, and players can play for free at toughlovearena.com. It is a simple game to get into, with the depth to explore expected from a fighting game. Its unique visuals and style should set it apart from the other fighting games, and having rollback netcode will help with smooth online matches.
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