One of the most dreaded moments in fighting games is the instant when a match turns into a one-player affair. Touch-of-death combos, outrageously long blockstrings, and other terrifying tactics make it possible to turn a multiplayer contest into a single-player exhibition. The most egregious of these tactics is the infinite combo. As the name indicates, an infinite combos is one that doesn’t end – or, rather, that ends only when the victim dies.
This is the subject of a recent video from self-described “fighting game video essay man” Stumblebee. Instead of simply harping on infinites, he takes an admirably nuanced and in-depth approach to the subject. As he says, sometimes infinites have no redeeming qualities, but at other times they can be the only thing that makes a character viable or even contribute to a game’s overall aesthetic.