At the beginning levels, combos in fighting games are relatively easy. If you can press a button after landing a jump-in attack, in most games that’ll give you a two-hit combo and a feeling of satisfaction. But you’ll need much more than that if you want to be competitive. That’s where things get tough, because advanced combos typically require precise timing. If fighting game tutorials taught that timing, that would be one thing. But the most that players get is a list of commands without any indication of the overall rhythm or pace of the inputs. As a result, any newcomer has to figure out all of the timings for themselves through a painful process of trial and error.
Recently, several people in the community have floated the idea of fixing this by adding a rhythm game to the training modes in fighting games. By presenting a combo’s inputs in a scrolling area (along the lines of Dance Dance Revolution, Rock Band, or Beat Saber) rather than in a static list, developers would be able to communicate the proper timing to players in an intuitive way. No major developer has embraced this approach as of yet, but now, thanks to a community member who goes by Starsky, we know what it would look like. Starsky made a brief rhythm video showing a combo for Chipp Zanuff, his main character in Guilty Gear. As of this writing, his simple, six-second clip has over 3,500 retweets and 8,700 likes, which strongly reinforces the need for large developers to embrace this type of approach.
Watch Starsky’s clip below, then follow him on Twitter for more fighting game goodness. And if you’re a developer or a modder yourself, take note: after netcode, this might be the innovation that the genre needs the most.
I put together a rhythm game style combo tutorial video for Chipp’s corner bnb to help with people struggling with the timing, which I definitely did pic.twitter.com/rao95do9Nw
— ★sᴛᴀʀsᴋʏ★ (@starrrsky) October 8, 2020