I don’t play fighting games but, option selects seem lame. Are they?
Yeah, kinda. I mean, you can cover multiple options with one input, lets you hedge your bets really hard. 3-way option selects are even crazier. For example, the command throw YRC/air throw option select in Guilty Gear Xrd is basically an unblockable, which is bad because unblockables are bad.
But on the other hand, there’s usually a way out of option selects, or a way to prevent the situation from being set up on you. Like the throw tech OS in SFIV could be beaten by frametrapping the person, so they’d throw out a short, which would get trapped between two moves, and frametraps were really good in the low pushback environment of SFIV.
It kind of comes down to whether there should be an option that covers both the things an OS does, because a ton of options cover two or more options from your opponent already. There’s a ton of options that you can say, “it doesn’t matter what you do in this situation, as long as it’s one of these, I win.” Like using Spiral Arrow or a Fireball in neutral, as long as they don’t block or do a grounded attack, they get beat.
In KoF, close C or close D usually result in a fast close range attack with a decent amount of frame advantage, so you can use the button with that attack to throw, and get an OS between throw, which is a close range powerful unblockable, and this close range powerful attack should the throw not work, catching them both ways. The same option select exists in Guilty Gear when you press forward and heavy slash plus another weaker button, except it’s obviously not as damaging. Stuff like this allows you to effectively attack and throw at the same time, and with a good attack to boot, so the natural interplay of throws losing to attacks generally doesn’t apply. Of course if they’re going to try to do this, they need to move in on you, giving you the chance to attack them anyway, so it doesn’t beat everything.
Like yeah, option selects are kinda lame, but once you know them, you can work against them. Just like option coverage. It’s just another part of learning the game.
So… why are unblockables bad? My experience with them mainly comes from Soul Calibur, and in that series, unblockables not only universally have ridiculously long wind-up animations, but they also put a huge, flaming effect on your character for the duration of the animation so you know it’s coming. I can’t see anything wrong with that ideology towards unblockables, but I assume they affect 2D fighters differently.
The unblockables in this case are instantaneous. Unblockables are not necessarily bad, but it’s kind of dumb to have options that overwhelmingly win across situations. Normally you can beat throws by jumping, but unblockables hit you in the air too.