Stage Hazards

What do you think of stage hazards in fighting games? I don’t like them but I don’t know why. I might just be a scrub.

I am fine with them as long as they are predictable and don’t make the entire game about them.

Much as it may surprise you, I played smash bros casually for many many years before becoming competitive. I played on stages with hazards a lot. I even played with items on at one time in both melee and brawl.

Among the stages with hazards/gimmicks I liked Mute City, Port Town Aero Drive, Brinstar & Brinstar Depths, Pokefloats, Fourside, Big Blue, Onett, Peach’s Castle, Green Greens, Shadow Moses, Delfino Plaza, Mario Kart, Eldin Bridge, Norfair, Frigate Orpheon, Halberd, New Pork City, Skyworld, and Castle Siege. I liked that most of these telegraphed what was going to happen before it did. I liked playing around the unique difficulties of each stage. It was fun.

I don’t think stage hazards work as well in traditional fighting games because things like platforming don’t work as well in them. Smash Bros has a separate jump button. It has air control. It has a robust movement system on the air and ground that traditional fighters don’t. Also you’re allowed to walk through opponents in smash, and side switching happens a lot more often. Characters are smaller proportionally. It’s just better overall.

Over time, the stage hazard systems get less interesting to me, due in large part to how much they interfere with the normal flow of the match, the part I want to explore and improve at. Also most of these stages had serious balance issues, which is the real reason I don’t play on them anymore, that and I just don’t tolerate as much jank anymore. I didn’t like the slightly reworked versions of Skyworld or Temple: M that appeared in Project M while they were legal. I don’t like a lot of the technically legal stages that are in the top row of the PM netplay build. Making a stage that really feels totally right to me now is a lot harder.

The other issue is, a lot of stages with hazards suck. Like Distant Planet has lame hazards. And Summit. Stuff can come out of nowhere and occasionally you just get wrecked.

I liked how PSASBR allowed you to turn off hazards. I didn’t like how all the stages would go through the hazards just once in sequence and never repeat them ever again.

In Injustice I think it’s some cancerous shit.

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