In fighting games, Character Select, also called Character Select Screen or just Select Screen, is the feature where players decide which fighting character they will pick for battle.
In the Street Fighter series, somewhat ironically, the character select screen had debuted in the second game, as the first one simply had Ryu and Ken, and the position of player decided which character would be played. The character select screen usually has the following elements:
- An arrow or another visual marker to show which character has been highlighted.
- Artwork of the character to further indicate who has been highlighted.
- The name of the highlighted character.
- Stats of the highlighted character, which would include items such as weight, height, difficulty, individual stats, among other things.
In older games, characters would simply be represented by a picture and the announcer wouldn't say their names. In more modern games, the character model is used to visualize them. When the character model is selected, they usually either say something or pose. For example, in Super Gem Fighter Mini Mix, Ryu crosses his arms, while in Street Fighter X Tekken, Dhalsim says "Allow me to show you the wonders of yoga", and in Street Fighter V, M. Bison laughs and says "Very good".
Some games ask for extra options to be selected. In all game modes of Street Fighter V, the game will ask for what V-Trigger is desired from the player. In Street Fighter X Tekken the game will ask how much health the player wants to start off within local vs in terms of total health (for example, Ibuki and Ling Xiaoyu have a below average max of 900 while Zangief has an above average total max of 1100, so picking 100% for Ibuki would mean she has 900 and Zangief would have 1100 and lower percentages will be scaled from their top health values so for example, if 75% health is chosen for Ibuki, it would be 75% of 900 and in Zangief's case, it would be 75% of 1100) and what Gem Units from a preset of 5 (as of the latest patch) the player desires to use.
Some games (primarily the Alpha series) were infamous of keeping secrets from within the character selection screen. Alpha 2 Gold, for example, allows the player to select Cammy from M. Bison's character slot despite, Cammy being an altogether different character with a different fighting style and being hidden from the normal selection of characters. Other games need sequences of buttons, such as Super Turbo for picking Akuma and others require the usage of the "random" character selection slot which usually takes the form of a question mark.
Super Turbo also has a hidden option for "Old" incarnations of characters. These characters have unique inputs required for each, they can not tech throws and have no super meter. Some characters such as Sagat are considered much better than their Super Turbo incarnation due to better properties despite the general downfalls of the "Old" characters that they all share.
More recent games allow for downloadable content (DLC). In these games, the initial roster is released with missing characters that will be filled in due time as new characters are released. For example, DLC characters in Street Fighter V and SFXTK, are changed in orientation.
Artistic themes and aesthetic directionEdit
- Street Fighter
- Street Fighter Alpha
- Street Fighter II: Highlighting its 1980s into 1990s era, II utilizes blue backgrounds with a large Aitoff/Hammer type globe to emphasize a feeling of worldwide grand competition.
- Street Fighter III
- New Generation: Emphasizing its next generation escalation, a world map is made to be the entire backdrop, while the continents are raised and leveled in 3D.
- Second Impact: Drawing upon themes found on Gill, the screen is divided in half, with red for the left and blue for the right. A metallic feel and finish is found on the triangle sections for the timer and the character indicator, making for a somewhat industrial but future like 1990s feel; notable is the use of millennium silver, which was in trend for the few years before the coming of the year 2000 in many video games and software settings.
- 3rd Strike: Fight for the Future: The backdrop is a lit gold orange to black shade gradient concrete wall, helping to draw out a feeling of yearning and "twilight" among Third Strike's urban street feel. Titles and words are streamlined with minimalist features, connected with white lines or are cut out within red windows, and written in Impact font. Illegible written words are near the timer, which are believed to be words of encouragement or musing insight, as these themes also are found in the opponent select and continue screens.
- Street Fighter IV: Showcases a backdrop with a dimmed black wall with white scraped paint, going for a gritty and "dirty" feel. Behind characters, a transparent dark red enso is displayed, helping to emphasize mastery and aptitude for that character's artwork and IV's "ki-ink" aesthetic, while the red emphasizes not just power but something potentially fearsome.
- Super, Arcade Edition and Ultra: Makes the use of a tilted painted world map, while barbed wire is elevated and extended above and a red painted image of the diner from the Drive-in At Night stage is overlapped at the bottom, going for a more hardcore feel that communicates that something is happening on the streets.
- Street Fighter X Tekken: Has its character indicator featured on a crushed stone slab, emphasizing a brutal and primal feeling along with matching motifs found on Pandora.
- Street Fighter EX: Backdrop consists of a funneled red and orange gradient, with blue cutoff angles to showcase "a surge of blazing power". A vertical lime green "power meter" with a percentage reading is used mostly for aesthetics, helping to psychologically prime players as they choose their intended fighter.
- EX plus Alpha: Goes for a flashy psychedelic bright rainbow for its gradient, with red cutoff angles to help communicate power of all sorts coming into the fray and a competition that clashes all against one another.
- Ex Plus Alpha Versus, Practice, Trial, Time Attack, and Survival Modes: Utilizes a dark navy black backdrop with the logo muted and white outlines and words to go for an almost futuristic but modern computer OS like feel for a "next level generation hi tech" aesthetic.
- Street Fighter: The Movie: Drawing upon aesthetics found on western competing series Mortal Kombat, character portraits use instead digitized actors on backdrops that further reflect their inner character, while the select is featured on a granulated polished metal wall, with character names studded onto metal plates and a raised emblem of Shadaloo is featured in the middle, helping to show the hardcore nature of Shadaloo's underground fighting underworld.
- In many character select screens, characters related to each other in any way are usually placed near each other (immediately left right up or down), except for enemies, who are usually (but not always) placed on the equivalent spot of the opposite side.
- Street Fighter X Tekken uses character models rather than images and has unique "come in" animations and poses for each character that fits their occupation and personality. For example Ibuki comes in seemingly from a high place, and stands there in a ninja battle pose smiling seemingly looking at the player while Hugo comes in slowly from the side and seemingly looks down at the opponent team.
- Street Fighter V also uses character models as opposed to artwork for the visual display of said selectable characters in the screen. If one moves the camera it can be seen that while they are fully rendered only the viewable area in said screen of the character is shaded.