EVO is this weekend, which means the best fighting gamers in the world are squaring off to see who is best. But even the best fighting gamers out there are not immune to these 10 Worst Ways to Lose at a Fighting Game. These are the loss conditions that get people to flip tables and throw controllers. These are the loss conditions that ruin your fighting game fun. Calm yourself as you read the 10 Worst Ways to Lose at a Fighting Game.
The dragon punch motion isn’t the easiest motion in fighting games, but it’s absolutely necessary to high level play. Dragon punches are invincible on start-up, so if you use them as soon as an opponent attacks you, you will beat their attack and counter with your own. However, even professionals can drop inputs sometime, and if you screw up your dragon punch when executing it, it can be the difference between winning or losing a match. It’s easily one of the 10 Worst Ways to Lose at a Fighting Game.
Speaking of execution, in 2D fighters back is block, but up-back is a backward jump. In fighters where you can’t block in the air, this means that your basic defensive maneuver just bought you a ticket into a one way juggle combo if you press the stick just a little bit further than you were supposed to. When this causes fighting gamers to lose a match, they tend to recite the mantra, “OH, COME ON! I WAS BLOCKING THAT!”
Super Moves are the most damaging and most versatile moves in fighting games. Thus, players tend to throw them out randomly. Unfortunately, most supers tend to be unsafe. If your super gets blocked then you not only have wasted your meter, you have set yourself up for a punishing counter. This is the sort of situation that lead to the glorious EVO moment #37 when Daigo Umehara perfectly parried Justin Wong's telegraphed super for the win.
When you are left with just a sliver of life remaining, opponents tend to barrage you with a series of quick safe moves in an attempt to score that one final hit. Some characters, like Cammy in Street Fighter X Tekken, can set up frame trap after frame trap with their jabs, pinning you to the wall and making it unsafe to do almost anything. All it takes is the opponent pressing one button over, and over, and over again, and yet it still makes pro gamers incredibly salty.
Grapplers like Zangief, Potemkin, Tager, and the like have supers that deal an incredible amount of damage in one throw. Granted, these moves are jumpable, teachable in some circumstances, backdashable, and even sometimes interruptible with simple jabs. They are perfectly balanced and avoidable and yet the sheer amount of damage they do, which is less than the damage of a normal combo from any other character, makes people pee their pants with rage!
Speaking of combos, Touch of Deaths or TODs are one of the most infuriating aspects of modern day fighters. Combo systems are so complex, that one single attack could lead to a combo that kills an opposing character. If this happens, the opponent doesn’t even get to play, and if a game has enough of them, it tends to die as a competitive e-sport. Just more proof that TODs are one of the 10 Worst Ways to Lose at a Fighting Game.
One of the core strategies in fighting games is “runaway,” where a character simply puts space between them and the opponent and fires off projectiles in order to whittle them down. While this is a perfectly valid strategy, it’s also infuriating because it’s completely non-interactive. Either you close the distance on the opponent and win, or they just keep you at a distance all match and you don’t even get to do anything.
Newbies tend to play fighting games on infinite time. Why? Because losing due to a clock running out is incredibly frustrating. Unfortunately, the clock is entirely necessary. Without a clock constantly ticking down, there is no reason to be defensive, since you have to win by attacking. It degenerates fighting game play into nothing more than a button mash fest, which makes sense because that’s what newbies do in fighting games anyway.
So here’s the scenario: You and your opponent are both at the end of your life. The next combo will win it. You play a nail biting neutral game for what feels like hours before finally you get the final hit. Yes! All you have to do is finish your combo and win. Unfortunately, you don’t finish your combo. You drop it and your opponent hits you back for the win, all because you couldn’t remember your timing. You have no one to blame but yourself.
Ah, chip damage. You see, every special move in 2D fighters takes a very small amount of damage off of your life. So if you are getting closer and closer to the end of your health meter, chip damage can easily kill you. Unfortunately, in current day fighters some characters have attacks that take up most of the screen. So getting down to your last sliver of life is really just a lie. The game is already lost, as your opponent can just throw super after super at you hoping that only one connects for the win. Chip damage is by far #1 in our list of the 10 Worst Ways to Lose at a Fighting Game.