Note: Not one of the best asks, but keeping it on file for later
I dunno. There’s a lot of individual things it succeeds at.
It has a unique ground and air footsie type of game that resembles something between Street Fighter’s (poke, whiff punish, go deep/throw) King of Fighter’s (shorthops beating lows, beating high jabs, beating shorthops) with less blocking, and faster, harder to control, ground movement, with a grab option that’s used more similarly to a whiff punish, and dash attacks used in the place of a throw typically. The characters all have different dash dance lengths and the dash state locks out other options, which is cool. It has shield pressure that’s based primarily on scare tactics and frametraps with few true blockstrings, and no way to get + on block, so no true tick throws. This probably resembles 3d fighters based on what I’ve heard about them, but I don’t have enough experience to say. Like using the threat of a frametrap to continue spamming the unsafe setup for a frametrap so you can paralyze them long enough to let you just grab them. It has combos that vary by how much damage has already been taken, with new options opening up and old ones closing by %, Combo trees that vary depending on your opponent’s DI which you need to react to at each step and the possibility of hitting your opponent opposite the way they expect to trap them in bad DI for a longer punish. It has the dynamic of DIing to escape a combo versus survive the next hit, which can lead into DI traps, as rather than going for a linker attack, you can go for a kill move, where their attempt to escape kills them. In that way, there is also the mechanical skill of DIing as perfectly as possible to attempt to aim yourself at the corners of the screen, so you can sometimes survive longer at higher %s. Then there’s recovery, which is different per-character and usually involves mixups in whether you go high or low at each stage of the recovery, and hang onto your character’s air stall options to either avoid their offstage edgeguards, or bait them into letting go of the ledge, since you can only occupy it with invincibility for a certain amount of time.
I posted this to 8/v/ in the past, and I’ll repost it here: