With all the speculations on VF4 game play itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s hard not to wonder about the future of fighting games. Which is somewhat amusing to think there are countless of flight, driving, living, dating, combat (you add the list) simulators, but there is not one fighting simulator. Before going on, let me say if you think VF is a fighting simulator, allow me quote an individual(forget the name),Ã¢â‚¬Â if you think vf has anything to do with real marital art at all then you are self-deluded.Ã¢â‚¬Â The reason why fighting games is unrealistic today (I believe) goes back to the mother of all fighting games: Street Fighter. Street Fighter, specifically SF2 brought the concepts of COMBO and BLOCKING that every fighting game has adapted in one form or another. Many people do not realize this but in real hand-to-hand fighting the Ã¢â‚¬Å“SF2Ã¢â‚¬Â notion of blocking and comboing do not exist. The block/combo of todayÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s fighting games is a simplification of defense and momentum in a fight. In a real fight you do not combo your opponent, instead you press on your offense with the momentum gained. Think about how silly it sounds if you tell your friend, Ã¢â‚¬Å“yea this guy was flirting with my girl and I comboed him!Ã¢â‚¬Â And as for blocking, next time you are in a bar try it when some 250-pound dude take a swing at you. Now VF games have adopted many of these momentum attacks in forms of: strings, staggers, counters, reversals, dodging, back dashing. Some cases like strings or staggers, you press on the attack with your own momentum, and others such as counters, reversals, dodging, back dashing, you destroy your opponentÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s momentum by making him miss or reversal his attacks all together. As far as Ã¢â‚¬Å“cannedÃ¢â‚¬Â combos are concerned, VF has surprisingly few of them. However float combos play a big role, which is unrealistic. This notion also extends to defense. The best example in vf would be Aoi. Let us take a second and give her a weight of 100-pounds and say Taka weights a conservatively 300-pounds. Say Taka runs into Aoi at 7 miles/hour, whatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s the force exerted on Aoi? If we take this concept into account weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll see that Ã¢â‚¬Å“blockingÃ¢â‚¬Â isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t really an option for Aoi. If my memory serves me correctly, Yu SuzukiÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s initial concept of Aoi is a character without the ability to block. That is not to say she is a character without defense. She has superior abilities to reverse, dodge (all forms: side, back and duck under), and redirect attacks than anyone else, which is really something more applicable for someone her sizes. Now on other side of spectrum we have Taka who is completely opposite of Aoi. He would rely on his sizes to overpower his opponent in the form of taking the hit and strike back with great force, which is why he has special knockdown, dodging, and damage properties. WhatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s been said about Aoi and Taka can also be applied to a lesser extend to Lion and Shun. They are all non-mainstream characters that are funky one way or the other. If you look at all the characters added from vf1 to vf3 and think in term of realistic fighting you can vaguely visualize SuzukiÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s VF vision, as well the obstacle he faces. Everyone agrees in order for VF4 to live up itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s name the game play must be revolutionary. Here are some stuff I thought up: It would be interesting to see a phased offense/defense system. By this I mean: Say Lau attempts a punch at Pai. The result could be phased. Phase 1, this is when the punch is early stage of execution, if Pai reacts at this stage the punch is deflected giving Pai some momentum over lau (you can think in term of frames). In Phase 2 is when Pai reacts in late stage of execution, at this time Pai may attempt to Ã¢â‚¬Å“blockÃ¢â‚¬Â the incoming attack but does not have time to deflect the attack and in the process she will take a significant amount of damage (maybe Ã‚Â½ or something who knows). Momentum (frames) might be even or LauÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s advantage. Now the Last Phase is where Pai simply didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t react in time and eat the punch for full damage. Pai is floored or Lau has advantage after. WhatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s interesting is that if both pai and lau are experienced, the game play can revolve at phase one, meaning Pai deflects and counter attacks which Lau deflects and return fireÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ etc etc. This is what Pai and Lau were doing at the end of the VF4 demo clip. I think it would be very exciting. The same concept can be applied to throws as well. Phase 1, a perfect escape, where the escapee has advantage or something. Phase two, escapee takes some damage. Phase 3, err.. TFT knee.. ppk, slide. =/ Again this is just 1 of a combat system. As far as how to get it to work, who knows? Maybe they can give a choice between the regular guard system or something radically new. The possibilities are endless. Now as far as 3D movements, it is doable with just the joystick and the defense button. Dropping the Dodge button isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t necessarily a bad thing. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d prefer dropping the old high jumping method. And have the 8-way stick controlling free movement. Maybe they can do something where outside melee range your stick controls movement freely, but once in range youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll switch to a fighting mode and have limited movements. Whatever the case might be in order for VF4 to be a great game it must be something groundbreaking in term of game play, because in 2 years down the road no one is gonna wuuu yaaa about the graphics as it was in the days of VF3. Keep your fingers crossed.