One-Dimensional Mechanics in Fighting Games (And How to Fix Them) | Video Essay - lightslingergame.com

One-Dimensional Mechanics in Fighting Games (And How to Fix Them) | Video Essay

Eddventure
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Like: 4522
This video essay discusses certain fighting game mechanics that struggle in terms of depth, and how they could be improved (or if they should be removed).
Thanks to everyone in the discord server for discussing and providing Ideas for discussion points in this video, and thank you especially to UmbraRuby for addressing me to the the topic of L cancelling, and thank you to Derfla for providing the Smash bros. Melee footage!
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375 Comments

  1. Just recently discovered your channel. Theres so much good content!

  2. I always thought L-cancelling was closer to a bug since it wasn't really an intentional mechanic

  3. ffs is that the unabomber manifesto like 40 seconds in

    ted kazynski would play a shoto btw

  4. I'm a smash player and totaly OK with the fact that L canceling is stupid. But you didn't mentioned the fact that missing it can be punishable,

  5. I push blocked my cousin in a fighting game and got a full combo that killed

  6. L cancelling is great. Hand problems are not an argument against it as a mechanic, only an argument for placing it on a different button or designing more ergonomic controllers. There are loads of arbitrary execution checks in games. Theres no reason to take those out, it's what separates video games from chess. Just like tight link windows for combos in conventional fighters. You have to time it properly depending on if you hit, whiff, or hit shield. Yes, it takes practice, and will be a barrier for entry for new players. That's not a bad thing. It's one of the things that makes games satisfying to learn as you literally have tangibly better frame data as you improve. The feeling of learning how to do it consistently over time is great and you just take that feeling away when you strip away these "pointless" skill checks.

  7. Tekken KBD is so boring, especially in low level play (yeah I'm bad) when I need some way to escape button mashing of characters I don't know how to fight or against intermediate-high level players who pressure you because they know you don't have past the last six months walking backwards in training mode… Yes I know there are other ways to escape button mashing or pressure, but man, keep your space in a 3D game is already soo hard is It really necessary to have a good match?

  8. Taxes are one dimensional and should be patched out soon

  9. Hey I'm creating my own fighting game and I was wondering if my main mechanic the "mp gauge" was a good idea.
    The main thing about this is doing supers. The big super takes away 80% mp and the mini supers take away 50%(they still deal a lot of damage but the mini supers deal way less than the big super)
    There's also EX Guarding which can block anything and not deal any chip(unless the opponent spends their own meter) and the big takeaway is that everytime they block a normal or special move it takes away 3 mp
    EX moves also exist and each EX move takes away 6 mp
    EX trump cards(trump cards are basically burst and roman cancels in one) you basically spend 25% mp to get another trump card
    And finally EX mode which provides(how much mp you have depends on how long or short it lasts) instant EX moves, instant EX guard and super mode(super mode is basically when you do a big super in EX mode you can do a mini super after it)

  10. Not defending L-cancels. The world would be better without them but calling it a mechanic is a little unfair. Melee is notorious for oversights simply due to how the game's systems work. We all hate it but it wasn't a conciousness thought of the developers most likely.

  11. L cancelling is so useless they removed it in the game after melee lol

  12. L-canceling was a bug, why are you treating it like the developers put it in the game.

  13. I haven’t played guilty gear myself, but the danger mechanic seems very interesting. It turns something that would have reset neutral into an intense scramble for a hit.

  14. Games like brawlhalla and especially melee have too many skill checks that are nothing but that I swear

  15. Was L cancelling even intentional, because half the "features" in melee are bugs/exploits found by the community

  16. Honestly from what I'm hearing l-canceling does sound boring because yeah, there isn't a scenario where you should avoid l-canceling, so if you don't do it you're already playing worse than other competitive players.
    Most other mechanics, even the ones that seem unfair to low-skilled players like OS, fuzzies, etc. have at least one counter that gives a player the caveat of "Should I do this or could my opponent read me and take advantage of my decision?"

  17. I like how he mentioned L-cancelling but not brawl's tripping. props to edd for not going for the lowest hanging fruit, but instead making some damn good content

  18. im dissapointed that you skipped over how to fix danger time.

  19. I personally enjoy the Danger Time in GGXRD the most. So much wack shit can happen with my friends and it feels so satisfying to land a combo during it.

  20. Specifically with your example of the lost advantage in Granblue, I see a big issue. You won neutral several times against a grappler (Ladiva) and then were punished for being close and predictable with a wake-up super. I'm not saying that the super meter isn't one dimensional, but the super does high damage because he's a grappler and has to work hard for that super to land. Using another character to examine these flaws might've worked better to express your point.

  21. THANK YOU SO MUCH for calling out some of the execution BS in melee. There are so many issues i have with melee as a compteitive fighting game, the fact that you see maybe 4 characters at top 8, the insane skill requirement that only exists because of melees rushed development, etc. So many insane skill checks. I tried getting into the game a few times and every time it just felt janky and unnatural. All the movement and tech is based of of glitches and exploits so everything just feels wrong (Other than wavedashing, that stuff is lowkey kinda fun to do and pull off)

  22. I agree but l cancelling is not gonna kill you or destroy your hands its just a boring part of smash that you have to get used to in order to play the game fully

  23. FINALLY Someone calls out one of the worst mechanics in melee/brawl

  24. Honestly I really like danger time, it's a batshit insane mechanic that is always hype to get even though it can easily lead to a match getting completely changed. It is a bad mechanic if you see the game as an entirely competitive game that is all about who's more skilled, but god damn its so fun, the interactions during danger time are always so cool and a breath of fresh air

  25. zone attack option select in for honor was rather uninteractive and one-dimensional too

  26. I don't get why melee pros should have to quit playing because of handy shoes

  27. Okay, so I do really like Granblue Versus, but I completely agree with these complaints about the meter. The first time I played it a lot with my fighting game buddy it became very apparent how much fun is taken away from the game once the super meter gets involved. Any situation where we both had super was when the game was at its absolute least fun. The game just turned into us being afraid and cautious when approaching because we both knew that super was an annoying threat. At that point in the match super would kill either of us, turning it into a completely different and slow paced game. (Other issues with GBVS showed up too but I just wanted to add my word about the meter.)

  28. Honestly any kind of super meter that offers no kind of meaningful management aside from "use super when full" is pretty bad. Whatever the first fighting game to invent EX moves was (Second Impact I think), I thank it whole-heartedly for adding meaningful meter management to fighting games.

  29. for me, l cancel is something that makes ultimate players less likely to play melee, and im happy about it, also with 100+ hours in melee, it is like auto l cancel, like it becomes 100% consistent, no thinking required

  30. I feel like the Skullgirls Mobile “UNBLOCKABLE” super mechanic is ridiculous. I remember once I had landed a combo with 56% HP remaining as Filia and my opponent was playing Annie with 8% HP. He wakes up on “Photobop”, an unblockable super that deals 25% damage & sets up for combos, proceeded to land a basic string, and won the game. One way this could be fixed is by just not having unblockables exist in the first place. Another way is make them all leave opponents in non-damageable positions.

  31. Mentions Smash
    Oh, time for tripping!

    Goes into L-Canceling and its physical detriments.
    I… I was not expecting that.

  32. I do want L cancel gone but there is one time it affects normal gameplay. It keeps fox slightly more ballenced

  33. as a part of the melee community, I think L-Canceling has that nice fun part to it. I’m around mid level in the game so when I pull of an L-Cancel combo it feels AMAZING. I very much agree with the hand injury part though. I have felt my hands in pain from playing melee alone. also you said that a part of competitive melee was awful in every way, how did you not get smited by the community?

  34. I can definitely understand your point about Granblue's Super Meter. I think the specials having cooldowns adds a bit more depth to the game where it comes to strategizing when you want to use your EX specials, but at the same time, it renders your meter useless aside from getting a high damage move you can use once the meter is full.

  35. Blocking is one dimensional because I wanna mash

  36. Wow, you really upset smash fans with this one lol

  37. I had a thought about L cancelling:
    What if there was a meter that could be used for normal stuff like supers but you could also spend a lowish amount like 10% to do an L cancel?

  38. I didn't think I'd find myself agreeing about l cancelling but you bring up a lot of good points about it, my only real counter argument is that I find it incredibly fun and satisfying to do. I think rather than remove it entirely it should rather be reworked into something that you have reason to not do at certain times (maybe l cancelled ariels have less hit stun or something to that effect idk I'm just spitballing) so you actually have to think about whether or not it's a good idea to use it.

  39. Kind reminder that Melee wasn't designed to be played the way it is today. L-cancelling was not designed as a pointless skill-check. It just is lol.

  40. But Melee "mechanics" aren't actually mechanics tho, but exploits with how the game is made, something like XBR and button combos on Halo (and also another reason why it has real life consequences, if it was a mechanic, obviously they would have made it in a way it wouldn't harm players)

  41. Smash player here, absolutely agree with your take on l canceling. Not quite sure if we can pin hand injuries on l canceling ping specifically though but it definitely doesn’t help.

  42. I've heard people make the same arguments around Korean Backdashes in Tekken. They can be painted in the same light as L canceling, a mechanical skill that can gatekeep newer players to a key component of the game: Movement. Should you have to perform this unnecessary crouching motion? Or should the game just let you cancel backdashes into itself?

    Personally, I think there are plenty of skills required out of players just as a barrier of entry. It's so easy to call something like L canceling or KBD's into a "Useless skill check", but in reality, it's anything but. If that were the case, everyone could do KBD's with the same speed, and never misinput an L cancel. They'd be able to hit hard links with no problem, and things like hitting electrics wouldn't be impressive anymore.

    Everyone at the highest level of Tekken seem to be able to break throws without thinking. Does that make it a "useless skill check?" I mean, at that point we can go through the entire list of mechanics a game has and just deem them as "useless skill checks" once we have mastered them to the point of muscle memory.

    In conclusion: Sure L canceling is a dumb mechanic, but then again, smash is a dumb game. Play Tekken.

  43. Melee's L-cancelling is actually pressing shield before you land, tricking the game into thinking you want to shield immediately after landing, so it shortens your endlag, but when you aren't pressing shield once you land, it doesn't activate shield.

    Great video, though!

    An excellent dive into what makes certain mechanics bad.

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