Everytime I see a news story about NFTs dying, I smile a little. The more I learn about NFTs and see them in action, the more I’m baffled by the fact that they persist. The fact is they’re crashing and burning right now as we speak. How did society allow this scam to get so huge? Regardless of mankind’s hubris when it comes to NFTs, right now we have an…interesting topic of discussion. I knew one day NFTs would find their way into fighting games. As a matter of fact, they already have: Blokkbots and MetaFighters immediately come to mind. Here’s the difference though, those were shit. Go look at the trailers from both those games and bask in the hideous glory of those awful games.
Given that they are the titles that set the framework for NFT fighting games, it’s clear that the market isn’t completely figured out. But one game hopes to change that and become the next Metaverse game changer. Enter, MechaFightClub, a robotic cockfight NFT game from Irreverent Games. They chose the name because you’re not supposed to take them seriously. So far, they’ve accomplished that goal as far as I’m concerned. You’re wondering “what sets this new game apart from the others?” Well, I can’t say the quality yet. All we have is a model of a robotic chicken with different skins, a hallmark of NFTs . One model with slight alterations is the NFT BnB. At least the model looks good.
Aside from that, it messes around with some technology that seems interesting. No, not the blockchain. AI technology, and how it’s applied to this. From what I gather, the AI will grow and adapt according to its fights and experiences from training. Which, on paper, sounds pretty awesome. The closest I’ve seen to something like this was Super Smash 4, where you could teach the AI strategies that it could use against other players as you level it up. This sounds like an evolution of that. With this tech, Irreverent claims that each co–uh…rooster will have it’s own personality, intelligence, and fighting ability. Imagine if this sort of tech is implement in fighting games. CPU battles would be so much more worthwhile. Consider: a training room where your training dummy learns your habits, fights like you, and helps you to view your flaws in a new light. Scenarios like this make me glad it exists.
Yet, no matter how cool the technology is, I hate that it’s attached to this NFT stuff. Who knows if this will ever cross over into other games? This is something that could change how players train, and it’s showcased within this game for the “Metaverse.” That’s another thing; this game (seemingly) is exclusive to the Metaverse because of course it is. One can only hope it stays there, because I’d hate to see that nonsense bleed over into console gaming. I’d hate to be playing ranked in a game with crossplay, only to run into some cryptobro that wants to play the match so they can make their NFT more valuable.
Despite my worries, if market trends continue, this game won’t stand for long. NFTs are seen with indifference at best and scathing hatred at worst. On a regular day, I wouldn’t give this the time of day. Another blockchain game for the pile, right? But this game has ideas that could have real implications in the fighting game space . This type of technology has the potential to transform how we learn fighting games, especially if it extends and allows you to do things like download different AIs or anything similar.
But here it is, going to waste on a dying trend. I hope other companies see this and try to emulate it. I like seeing new possibilities like this, especially for fighting games where innovation can be the most difficult. I hope this game rots, festers, and sinks with the Metaverse. But, I hope the ideas live on and make for better experiences. A part of me is even intrigued to see it be more that some lofty idea from an inexperienced studio. I reluctantly look forward to what Irreverent games can do.