Don’t Diss a Genre You Don’t/Refuse to Understand

I said I wouldn’t review any more videos of other critics, but I couldn’t stand to watch this one and say nothing. I’m reposting here, mostly because I think it goes a ways to explain the differences between traditional fighters and smash. If you’re a smash player, please play other fighting games too. Please stop sticking to one insular franchise.

This video is bad on multiple levels. For one, you’re putting one of your favorite games over a genre you don’t play and don’t understand. You’re attempting to argue why Smash is better than fighters when you don’t know the shortcomings of fighters in the first place. For two, your description of Smash itself is basic and you exclusively use clips of Ultimate instead of say, Melee or Project M, which are deeper games. If you want to understand game design, maybe you should actually play some fighting games instead of saying, “oh, I was born with double jointedness and the ability to curl my tongue, I’m inherently deficient and can’t ever possibly play a fighter”. Learn more about your damn subject matter. Fighting games are one of the most experimental genres with pure mechanics ever and you just gave up on it!

Combos are different in Smash than other fighters in that they change based on percentage. Higher percentage means more hitstun and knockback, so there’s a relationship between how much time it takes to get out another attack, and how much time it takes to catch up with your opponent when they’re sent flying. Higher percentages give you more hitstun, so more moves will link, but the additional pushback means you need to spend more time chasing your opponent, and eventually each move has a breaking point where it will begin to combo, and cease to combo as it pushes too far away. Otherwise, they’re pure juggles which you connect with movement inbetween without any fancy cancel rules, a lot like Tekken.

Many combos in Smash do have complex inputs and strict timing! Just not in Ultimate (except on characters like peach who still have their hover cancel from Melee)! Many characters in Melee and PM have vastly different styles of input that need to be mastered as a part of their neutral and combo game, like waveshine, shorthop laser, double jump cancel, wavedash, missile cancel, bomb recovery, moonwalk, dacus, etc.

And many combos in traditional fighters are about positioning, relative to the stage, your opponent, etc. In Guilty Gear, Ky can only get both hits of his stun dipper slide if he hits with the tip of the slide. On round start, if he hits with crouch S, it pushes the opponent just enough for stun dipper to combo. He can chain far S into downforward H, but that requires him to be far enough to hit with far S, and his opponent need to either be crouching, or get a counterhit for the combo to work. Sin has combos that require his opponents to be standing, otherwise his moves will whiff. Most characters have corner-only combos in all fighting games, because juggles won’t push the opponent as far away in the corner as elsewhere. Not to mention that many combos are designed to do things like side switch or corner carry at the cost of damage, to get an additional advantage in the future.

As for DI, Smash Ultimate and Smash 4 have the weakest DI in the franchise. They reduced the effect of base DI to 9 degrees from 18, and they added launch speed influence, but only for horizontally angled attacks. This means for most characters and most combos, DI has a marginal effect. Combos in Smash 4 and Ultimate are rehearsed much like in any other fighting game. A good comparison would be to Soul Calibur, which also has DI, and also has combos that work regardless of it, with a few that capitalize on certain DI. In SC, you largely want to DI away from your opponent to make it harder for them to follow up, then DI in and around when they’re going to ring out you, which is almost as simple as smash ultimate DI, just in Soul Calibur, you can DI in 8 directions instead of 2.

In Melee and PM where the DI isn’t nerfed, and hitstun is naturally higher, combos can be longer, but less guaranteed, every hit is a mixup. Many combos work regardless of DI, but not for long. And because DI is more flexible, it creates left/right DI mixups, where DIing versus one direction will be ineffective if the opponent hits you the other way, in addition to the more standard weak hit/strong hit mixup, where you need to judge if the opponent will try to continue the combo with a weak hit, or kill you with a strong one. Marth can even intentionally hit with the weak part of his blade in Melee because it has an angle that sends further out, which kills many people who try to DI out to avoid the Ken combo.

Plus, the knockback indicator in training mode of ultimate doesn’t indicate DI, you know. It indicates how much knockback the move would deal with 50 extra percentage and 50 less percentage. PM has a knockback indicator that shows DI. Given this clip is the only clip showing the knockback indicators when you’re talking about DI, I think it indicates you don’t really know what you’re talking about.

As established earlier, many combos in traditional fighters only work in some situations. Even in basic-ass Street Fighter V with its simplified combo system, one of the simplest characters, Cammy, still has a variety of combos that are good in different situations. You get certain combos off your divekick, crush counter, frame traps, whiff punishes, V-trigger. She even has 3 different sequences of normals she can use to confirm with, s.MP s.HP, c.MP c.MP, and b.MP > HK, which differ in strength, speed, and amount of commitment. And she can choose to end most combos with either uppercut or spiral arrow, to get damage or knockdown pressure.

I think it’s patently ridiculous that you’d say it makes the game easier to learn while raising the skill ceiling, considering you’re so afraid of traditional fighter combos that you don’t know what a cancel or link is.

I’ll agree that smash has unique stages, obviously, though even traditional fighters have the sub-goal of trying to walk your opponent into the corner, where you get stronger combos. Not to mention that Tekken has stages too, with differently shaped walls, breakable walls, and breakable floors to take advantage of. Same in the other 3d Fighters.

Edge guarding is certainly unique to smash, though it’s deeper in Melee and PM due to the air dodge being more limited, and ledges not having you auto-snap to them, plus people being able to edgehog, making a more complex rock-paper-scissors than the 2-frame trick, which basically no one takes advantage of in smash 4/ult anyway. There’s tradeoffs in risk/reward between on-stage and off-stage edgeguards, as well as edge hogging, where in ultimate you really only have off-stage edgeguards, and recovering versus those is made a lot easier by the neutral air dodge which lets you jump and sail through opponents, which is why edge guarding offstage is not that common among pros. Leffen called them out for that recently, especially since it’s more viable in ultimate than it was in smash 4 where air dodge was better.

The thing is, Smash DOESN’T contain most of the concepts from other fighting games. You don’t know how other fighting games work, so you’re making things up. Shields in Smash force the attacker to be minus on block, but limit the defender’s options to just grabs, dodges, and jumping attacks (unless you perfect shield), much like moves that force crouch in Tekken limit the defender to while rising moves. Since the attacker is always minus, it means that block pressure present in other fighting games isn’t really present anymore, except in limited circumstances like jab1 into jab2, or a move with very little frame disadvantage into a fast followup, making pressure in smash less about the attacker subjecting the defender to a mixup, and more about the defender playing a game of chicken with the attacker, where they get a free shieldgrab or roll out if they win. You don’t get circumstances of characters hitting with plus frame normals, then walking up and hitting with plus frame normals again. You don’t have the low/overhead mixups present in other fighting games, because the shield is mostly omnidirectional, even if it can be tilted a little. You don’t have hit confirms, where you link/chain safe normals together to verify that you’re hitting instead of getting blocked before canceling into an unsafe move. You don’t have meter or resources on the vast majority of characters which can be spent to different ends. There’s a lot of styles of movement and types of moves present in other fighting games that aren’t highly represented in smash, like airdashes, utility teleports, assist calls, setting traps, slow projectiles, puppet characters, stance cancels, etc.

Smash DOES add a bunch of new stuff, like the complex grounded movement system of dashes, runs, walks, turns, and wavedashes that have varying tradeoffs. Like having facing direction affect your attacks on the air and ground. Like having a more dynamic version of Tekken’s forced crouch blocking system, where the attacker frequently at disadvantage, but only a little, so you can steal your opponent’s turn with the right move, but they can predict and counter that with their limited out of shield options, instead of the street fighter system where they can always use their fastest moves from block. It has the entire offstage game, and a dynamic system of advantage where you’re constantly trying to push your opponent into checkmate scenarios where you can beat all of their options on reaction. It has a weird and unique neutral game based on extremely fast movement and evading blows narrowly to whiff punish them reactably, where it’s not just about distance, but relative positioning above and below too.

I think it’s insulting that you’d use Prog’s quote, which applied to Melee but not Ultimate, when you’ve been using Ultimate clips throughout this whole video. The clip was intended to describe the way Melee’s combos are improvisational and vary constantly as your opponent tries to escape them in different ways with the complex DI system, the way you can capitalize on things like edge cancels to extend them, when Ultimate has done so much to blunt or remove those things.

If you’re going to continue making game design videos, do some damn research of your subject matter. You don’t know about fighting games, and you don’t know about Smash. You’re voicing an uneducated opinion, trying to preach to the choir of other uneducated people that their uninformed opinion is right with information they knew already. The purpose of a video essay is to say something new that people probably didn’t already notice or know about. If you don’t want to take the time to understand the thing you’re talking about, then don’t bother shoving another video on the heap.

28 thoughts on “Don’t Diss a Genre You Don’t/Refuse to Understand

  1. Lou Nowell February 17, 2019 / 4:04 am

    With all due respect, it doesn’t sound like you’re very experienced with Smash either? Nothing you said was all that wrong, but talking about Melee and PM in the same breath is kinda scrubby – PM’s balance is horrendous, and the game is full of auto-combos (instead of DI’ing, you change character – certain match-ups were flat out impossible to win, like using Jigglypuff vs Bowser thanks to his heavy armor). It was made by a team of mid/low-level Melee/Brawl players, and it plays as such.

    “airdashes, utility teleports, assist calls, setting traps, slow projectiles, puppet characters, stance cancels” – all of these things do exist in Smash.

    The big difference is the use of an analog stick instead of using the outdated 8-axis arcade stick. A traditional fighting game (with normal-sized characters who move around sensibly instead of dash-dancing spastically) that featured complex DI, multiple walking speeds, tilting attacks, etc… would instantly breathe new life into the genre and eclipse both the Smash games and archaic Capcom fighters.

    But people want to play with “muh fight stick”, and so the genre stagnates. Soul Calibur is nice, though. And I like what Arc System Works are doing, even though they’ve still got one foot in the past.


    • Chris Wagar February 17, 2019 / 4:49 am

      The hell do you mean it’s scrubby to mention both in the same breath? The hell are you complaining about PM’s balance compared to Melee of all things? Melee has some of the worst balance in fighting game history, with only a relative semblance of balance near the top of the tier list.

      PM’s balance is pretty damn good honestly. We have C and D tier mains represented with regularity in our top 50. Even the worst characters, like Bowser and Kirby, are still really strong. Jigglypuff vs Bowser is a 5:5 matchup, dude. Bowser is so big and Jigglypuff is so maneuverable that it made landing rests extremely easy, even if Bowser could wall her out with bigger normals.

      The autocombo complaint was true in 3.02, but we’ve been beyond that for years now. All the major non-DI dependent combos have been worked out of the game, except in a few cases like metaknight and yoshi up air chains.

      I’ve beaten (lower) ranked players in both Melee and PM before in bracket. I’ve been competing in both for years.

      While the analog stick affords a simplicity and nuance of control that an 8-way stick does not, it’s definitely not a major deal. Traditional fighters already have tilts, they’re called command normals. The smash clones like Rivals and Slap City realized that having tilts and smashes on separate buttons was a better idea for precision of control than trying to distinguish moves based on how far you tilted the stick, even if 1 attack button is arguably more intuitive.

      There’s nothing wrong with dash dancing spastically, that’s one of the goddamn best things about smash, that you can do footsies at such a fast pace, and that there’s a whole complex movement system that has tradeoffs based on what type of movement you’re using.

      Hop on discord and netplay me, assuming you’re west coast USA.


  2. Lou Nowell February 17, 2019 / 5:14 am

    Melee’s balance is phenomenal among the top 8 characters, that’s all that matters. Games with 50 characters where everyone is viable have inherently less consistent results (look to Smash 4, in particular Mew2King’s explanation of why he chose to pursue Melee over Smash 4).

    I’m Australian, been playing competitively since 2010. I’ll believe everything you said about PM, I played it since release (I remember when it started as “Melee Falco in Brawl”) but not up until the last patch so I can’t speak definitively on it.

    I don’t think that giving every character attacks that were on the level of spacie shines was the right way to balance the game – on top of making Fox 1 frame easier to short hop with (could be misremembering this), it felt like it took out a lot of the finesse in exchange for turning everyone into a major glass cannon. There aren’t many (if any) characters in PM that feel simple yet complete in the same way, say, Melee’s Pikachu does.

    They all have glitz, glam and gimmicky new moves – in some cases the devs would completely change a character’s playstyle on a whim. ROB, in PM, had to play exactly the way JCaeser wanted to play ROB because he strong armed the development. The character is bloated with small adjustments, while some other characters feel like they received less focus and you only have to adjust to a few broad strokes.

    Balanced Brawl aimed to make every character Diddy Kong-strength (meaning a few chars, Meta Knight, Snake – got nerfed slightly), and they made only tiny changes. Sadly didn’t take off, but I always found it more fun and balanced than PM.

    “While the analog stick affords a simplicity and nuance of control that an 8-way stick does not, it’s definitely not a major deal. ”

    It’s less about tilts, more about precise air control and DI. Noobs don’t like trad fighters cause they get stuck in jump animation and say “this feels old” – flat out.

    Half the movement techniques you fawned over (waveshine, shorthop laser, wavedash, moonwalk) either stop working or became a whole lot less interesting with an 8-way arcade stick. It really is the secret ingredient, far and above anything else, that made Melee a surprise hit.

    “There’s nothing wrong with dash dancing spastically”

    Actually, if you ask a fighting game player who isn’t into Smash (or anime fighters) why they don’t like it, it usually has something to do with the absurdity of playing a Donkey Kong game competitively (Aris/AvoidingthePuddle is the poster child for this mentality still surviving to the present day). Melee doesn’t look like a “fight” the same way Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat, Tekken, Soul Calibur, etc… do – it looks like the martial arts equivalent of micro machines

    I *love* Melee and dash-dancing, mechanically, is orgasmic. It’s just not aesthetically pleasing, and it pigeon-holes the genre into copying Smash (just like the wrestling-ring/percentages system – nothing wrong with regenerating health in the style of Vampire Savior, but smash clones are always smash clones through and through).


    • Chris Wagar February 17, 2019 / 5:32 am

      I’ve been playing PM since Brawl+ (hyperbole). 3.02 was crazy gimmicky and characters had bullshit overpowered moves that took away from the core gameplay. 3.5 scaled it back a lot so everyone needs to play with the melee fundamentals without a gimmick to sidestep it. The current engine matches melee a lot better and the balance is genuinely good


      • Lou Nowell February 17, 2019 / 5:42 am

        Hmm genuinely was not aware, might give it a look now 🙂
        I thought about mentioning Brawl+; automatic l-cancelling made it way less satisfying to combo, probably primed me to be skeptical of PM before it was even in development

        [hopefully this posts as a reply, not a whole new comment – not sure what the deal is there]


      • More May 14, 2019 / 5:00 pm

        Was hoping you’d elaborate more on his comments about the analog stick and what it does for Melee vs. 8-way controls.


        • Chris Wagar May 15, 2019 / 1:06 am

          Okay, a number of actions in Smash allow you to aim almost 360 degrees, like all the up Bs that can be aimed, and airdodges. All left/right movement is proportional to how far you tilt the stick (walking/running/air drifting), and DI is relative to how perpendicular the angle you tilt the stick is.

          Additionally, a ton of actions are modified based on how far you tilt the stick, like determining whether you walk or run, dashback or slow turnaround. Smash or tilt. Later smash games added a shortcut for running by double tapping, much like 2d fighters. Indie platform fighters usually have 2 buttons for tilt and smash attacks instead of binding them to the same button.

          So, can we accomplish everything smash does on just an 8-way dpad? Yeah. Newer smash games offer it as a basic input option. We lose a little obviously, but it’s workable.


  3. MiningEngineer February 17, 2019 / 8:51 pm

    Video essays of this type are intended to educate people who don’t know the subject matter well, not to “say something new that people probably didn’t already notice or know about”. This is a “fighting game design 101” video. Not intended to dig into minute detail.

    You’re weirdly angry that there’s people out there that still need to learn the basics. Not everyone is ready for these jargon salad articles. The video will resonate more with the average smash player than your article will, because the average smash player hasn’t played 20 years worth of fighting games, and doesn’t know what half the jargon you use here means. It’s an opportunity to attract new recruits to take the next step, with the basics in hand, people can start digging through the concepts you’re covering here. This type of video isn’t a threat to you guys at this level, it’s an opportunity to grow your base. Everyone has to crawl before they can walk.


    • Chris Wagar February 17, 2019 / 9:30 pm

      The title of the video is, “Why Smash Bros is the best fighting game series”.

      It’s making a claim and an argument. The threat is that it reifies many people’s beliefs that smash is a better fighting game because it is easier to pick up, instead of challenging them to try out traditional fighting games. Everyone plays smash already, and this video doesn’t introduce anything to them that they didn’t know already, except maybe DI. It paints everything in such broad strokes that it barely says anything at all.

      Anything I wrote in my article can be explained more simply. The video does not expand the base of traditional fighting game players or Melee/PM players. It doesn’t even really say anything about Smash Ultimate.

      I’m irritated that someone is making a qualitative claim, that one thing is better than another, without any knowledge of the subject matter.


      • Jeff Bezos March 2, 2019 / 6:07 pm

        Polemics is inseparable from content. Read Kierkegaard


        • Chris Wagar March 2, 2019 / 10:02 pm

          Are you disagreeing or agreeing with me? This could be read either way.


          • Jeffy B March 7, 2019 / 12:42 pm

            You are taking the core argument “smash uh good” out of the context of the video provided. I guess my question is why are you blogging? Are you attempting to rise the level of discourse around video games? If yes, then I’m sorry to say, but to quote Curtis Yarvin quoting Idiocracy, you sound like a fag and your shit’s all retarded. Refutation via aesthetics. Your claim is invalid because I didn’t feel like thinking it through ect. This article is as much preaching to the choir as much as the YouTube video because the target audience DOES NOT interact with this sort of shibboleth piles. If you want to improve the level of video game discourse, you seriously need to work on your rethoric. Of course, if this blog is some sort of blog blog, ie. you just write this to get it off your chest, then sure, I have no qualms with this sort of rationalist-adjacent rant.


            • Chris Wagar March 7, 2019 / 6:24 pm

              That’s a fair point. I blog because I write a ton, and a blog is an easy way to get it out. I know video is more effective and always planned to pivot to that, but I haven’t gotten around to it.

              This particular article is here to get it off my chest. It was also left as a comment on the video itself, which the guy saw, then visited my discord. I also posted it to the blog because I thought I made some good broader points that I should chronicle.

              I know what I need to do to change the system, I’m just not for a variety of reasons. You can say I’m full of shit for that reason and you’d be right. I understand what I have to change, but I have larger priorities right now.


              • main_gi March 23, 2019 / 5:19 am

                I prefer written content. While I wouldn’t necessarily mind video, I could write a whole article about YouTube having perverse incentives for content creators and designers (this is why you see so many videos ‘latch’ onto topics for kickbacks from people interested in the game that don’t provide any value to people who have already played the game, which disincentivizes original design thoughts). Plus requiring work for narration, visual effects, relevant background footage, and music and all that.

                What about getting into game development? People like reading developer blogs and developer commentary. I hope you’ve at least considered it (it’s the path I personally want to take to get my own ideas noticed).


  4. Jim J February 18, 2019 / 2:28 am

    Offtopic question. What do you think of Sekiro deflect mechanic (action block)? Don’t you think it forces the game to concentrate on timing too much, stripping off the importance of positioning and repositioning? It’s like devoting the whole game to the counter mechanic


    • Chris Wagar February 18, 2019 / 3:10 am

      I mean, that was Metal Gear Rising. It might be a problem, it might not, we’ll see. I did an article on the problems with Parrying, try searching for it.


  5. Zera February 18, 2019 / 11:15 pm

    If you think Melee and Project M are deeper games than Smash 4/Ultimate, I’d love to see you talk with Richard Terrell of Design Oriented. He holds the opposite is true.


    • Chris Wagar February 19, 2019 / 12:16 am

      I’ve spoken with him before, known him for years. He thought *Brawl* was deeper than Melee and told me that I don’t value balance (It’s way lower on my priority list than depth/fun). He doesn’t like PM because he thinks it made every character play like Fox by giving them combos and making them fast.

      He’s disrespectful of other people’s expertise. Derails other people’s conversations if they’re not communicating the way he likes. He insists on his own terminology, and his own meanings for terminology in defiance of existing norms or popular usage, without any gain in lexical clarity, like insisting on calling wavedashing, “wavesliding,” for no practical purpose.

      He doesn’t care about depth, he doesn’t have a stable concept of depth to begin with. He cares way more about balance and clean feedback to an extent that he’s willing to restrict what games can do mechanically (prefers lower action frequency and avoiding the use of cancels). His arguments are basically always based on a personal sense of aesthetic for how a game should be designed, in defiance of what players enjoy, claiming that their taste is wrong. In many cases for smash, such as dash dancing and perfect wave landing, he’ll argue that it’s bad because it looks silly, rather than any basis of merit.

      He’s a nintendo apologist who thinks nintendo does stuff better than other people, even when they’re poorly copying other games. He thinks the original is bad, and the Nintendo version is good. He thought Brawl was better than Melee, but he’ll continue to think each Smash game is better than the last one, even when they make changes to be more similar to Melee and he’ll justify every feature they remove, like shield dropping, or edge canceling with some absurd argument about how they weren’t clean, created imbalance in the characters, or looked ridiculous. I haven’t even heard him comment on the removal of shield dropping and edge canceling yet, I just know he’s would do it because it’s totally his MO. There’s all sorts of seminal games he hasn’t played and he has some absurd excuse about how hardcore gamers have some idea about the definitive games experience that he isn’t obligated to to take part in for who knows what reason.

      I don’t associate with him anymore because he’s been a dick to me repeatedly (though I’ve been a dick to him too, not gonna lie) and I don’t want to deal with it anymore. I’m not interested in talking with him again.


      • dandre3k March 25, 2019 / 5:04 pm

        “he doesn’t care about depth”

        Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.


  6. PlayerP March 22, 2019 / 6:16 am

    “If you’re going to continue making game design videos, do some damn research of your subject matter.”

    I must say, this is quite an ironic statement given how much this blog focuses on Smash Bros, yet gives almost zero attention to the series’ defining feature according to Sakurai: 4-player gameplay.

    Honestly, after reading your PlayStation All-Stars article, I’m curious whether you actually have done any research in the Free-For-All genre (brawlers, deathmatch, etc).


    • Chris Wagar March 22, 2019 / 6:28 am

      You’re kidding, right? What is there to say about 4-player gameplay? Any competitive game with more than 2 teams becomes the “vote who wins” game. Whoever can make an alliance wins, or whoever avoids fighting while the others fight. I’ve talked about 4-player gameplay in Smash Bros in the form of team doubles and how that augments the game.

      However there aren’t really any gameplay systems in Smash bros that appear in 4 player gameplay that don’t appear in 2 player gameplay, so I don’t know what your point is, unless you REALLY want me to talk about how port priority affects which knockback is taken when 2 players hit a 3rd player at the same time.

      I’ve played smash casually before, with items on all stages, there isn’t much to talk about there. If you think there is, then please elaborate. However, it’s absurd to imply that I’m somehow lacking a significant amount of knowledge because I don’t talk about a mode of gameplay with all the same features as the mode I play, just with a cutthroat game dynamic.


      • PlayerP March 22, 2019 / 7:56 am

        “However there aren’t really any gameplay systems in Smash bros that appear in 4 player gameplay that don’t appear in 2 player gameplay.”

        As I suspected, the answer appears to be ‘very little.’

        FYI, there are quite a few gameplay systems exclusive to 3+ player gameplay. I’m not sure if you realize that you literally named two in your first paragraph (collusion, avoidance), which themselves can be even further branched (kingmaking, cooperative vs non-cooperative). Even one of the most well-known moments in competitive Smash history, the Wombo Combo, isn’t mechanically possible in a 1v1 match.

        And implying that stages/items have no significant impact on Smash’s gameplay systems is too ridiculous to even warrant a response.

        Seems pretty clear to me that yes, there’s a myriad of gameplay systems in Smash (or n-player games in general) that you’re wholly ignorant of. Whether you want to remain that way is obviously your choice, but denouncing these dynamics as ‘cutthroat’ sounds a whole lot like someone dissing a genre they don’t/refuse to understand, doesn’t it?

        That was really the point of my reply. Smash is primarily designed as a 4-player game, and choosing to ignore that in your analyses of it (or games like it) makes you no better than this YT author.

        Don’t be a hypocrite. Do some research.


        • Chris Wagar March 22, 2019 / 8:25 am

          Kingmaking, collusion and avoidance are dynamics, not a gameplay system or mechanic. Please bring up a game mechanic present in 4 player that isn’t present in 2 player. I brought one up with port priority. Can you bring up another?

          I mentioned those things because I do know about them. You can’t cite me intentionally bringing things up to prove I’m ignorant. I brought them up because they’re tactically degenerate. They result in the outcome of a match not being decided by skill with the game mechanics, but rather politics. You can’t use wombo combo as an example of me missing something, because I have brought up teams before on this blog and the unique things you can do in teams matches. I even literally did an article on the wombo combo.

          Cutthroat is a technical term for multiplayer games with 3+ teams. There’s a whole variant of Billiards that is literally named Cutthroat for this purpose. This wikipedia article on the variant mentions this in the second paragraph.

          I don’t cover items, 4-player, or the banned stages because competitive players don’t play with them, because items and free-for-all detract from the core mechanics.

          You don’t have grounds to argue that I’m ignorant of these because I don’t cover them, especially when I’m literally demonstrating knowledge of them that you’re repeating back to me. You further don’t have grounds to argue that I’m a hypocrite for choosing not to cover a topic. Did you know about the port priority thing for multiple players hitting the same target in smash? If you didn’t, isn’t that an indicator that I’m well aware of mechanics even outside the topics I normally cover?

          I’m literally not being a hypocrite here by not commenting on something. Otherwise I could just as well call you a hypocrite for not commenting on RTS games. I’m not proclaiming that some thing I like is better than something else I have no experience with. You’re being nonsensical.

          I don’t think you understand the mechanics of smash very well. You’re coming across as a bit of a “casual elitist” with statements like, “Smash is primarily designed as a 4-player game”, who seems to be trying to denounce me based on a grudge or something, like I rubbed you the wrong way. What’s your deal? Why are you so irritated? Why are you so insistent on calling me ignorant when you’re literally citing things I brought up as examples of me not knowing things, and you’re ignorant to terms like, “cutthroat”?


          • Not PlayerP March 23, 2019 / 4:33 am

            They are dynamics as well as gameplay systems and mechanics. The fact that it has a name should make you realize it’s a mechanic.

            Ridiculous also is the fact that a game’s match is decided by skill and politics. It’s irrelevant. You could just as easily say that intentionally losing is also politics. That argument is just as bad as Extra Credits’s “all games are political” video.

            Oh, really? Why didn’t you capitalize Cutthroat then?

            Look, who decides that those things are core mechanics anyway? I bet some competitive players are still playing with them. And they must not be very competitive anyway if they refuse to play with rules that increase the game’s variety.

            Of course not. Port priority is not even an interesting mechanic, it’s just a bunch of tiebreakers that do not expand the depth of extra players. You’re also a hypocrite when you refuse to talk about other games tangentially related to Smash. If this is a game design blog why aren’t you talking about all forms of games? That’s ignorance at work.

            Lol. You think I’m irritated? I just came from the recommendations of some design video talking about how we could have more interesting secrets by using the first letter of each paragraph and got here. 🙂


            • Chris Wagar March 23, 2019 / 4:36 am

              Goddamnit. Alright, gave me a laugh. Good shit.


          • st0pnsw0p March 23, 2019 / 4:53 pm

            >I don’t cover items […] because competitive players don’t play with them, because items […] detract from the core mechanics.

            Only thing I don’t agree with—or rather, I don’t think it says anything meaningful because it’s basically a tautology.

            The rulesets used in competitive play help define what is and isn’t a core mechanic in competitive play. In competitive, items would detract from the core mechanics only because the ruleset used defines them as not being a core mechanic. In a ruleset that includes items, items wouldn’t detract from the core mechanics because they would be a core mechanic.


    • That Guy March 22, 2019 / 8:37 am


      It was believable for a moment but you made it pretty obvious with your 2nd reply.


      • Chris Wagar March 22, 2019 / 8:40 am

        Am I seriously being trolled? I feel stupid now. Am I allowed to call Poe’s Law on this one?


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