Street Fighter 6 will finally make button-mashing an effective strategy

Originally published at: Street Fighter 6 will finally make button-mashing an effective strategy | Boing Boing

The minute a masher encounters someone with even an entry-level comprehension of fighting games, they’ll lose

In execution this is not entirely true (depending on the fighting game). A player needs to have a decent understanding and execution of attack and defensive timings, and how to punish certain types of attacks or patterns. Someone with basic understanding of a fighting game might be somewhat aware of these concepts but would not be able to consistently execute against a button masher. Would know because i’ve been in situations where this has happened and the button masher did decently well against people who had more experience but didn’t have a solid understanding on their timings and attacks.

That said i don’t think the mode is necessarily a bad thing, i can see how it could be useful in party/gathering scenarios and it would allow for people who aren’t normally into the fighting game scene to still have fun and feel like a bad ass while playing with their friends. In tournament settings i doubt this control option would be allowed so it seems like a non-issue to me for the most part.

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I’m an unashamed button masher, and I still remember playing a friend-of-a-freind at Soul Calibre. He was reasonably good, but he got increasingly annoyed that I could hold him to a draw without ‘knowing how to play’. :slight_smile:


Somehow Soul Caliber was the only one that ever made sense to me, the mapping of the buttons and directions to physical moves made sense intuitively. Most games the input sequences feel arbitrary. That and the Rock, Paper, Scissors matching of moves and blocks.

Street Fighter with a turbo controller was also fun.

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You’re not wrong.

Spacing, whiff punishing, neutral game, footsies, air to airs, etc are all massively important concepts that determine success in a fighting game more than execution.

However, I believe that the minute you become aware of such concepts is the minute you graduate from a pure novice. 99% of people that play fighting games don’t even consider how much skill goes into any given match up; they just mash.

In my experience, a player with just a fundamental knowledge of whiff punishment alone will BODY a masher. God help them if a player understands two fighting game concepts.

Core-A gaming has a great video on this…Why Button Mashing Doesn't Work [Family Man Edition] - YouTube

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I like it. It’s a more advanced version of the context-sensitive action button that Nintendo used for their first two generations of 3D adventure games. (Zelda. I’m taking Zelda.) I’m sure it’s been used elsewhere, but that’s where I first encountered it. This is just the more fun version.

The other striking (pun not intended) thing about it is that it’s a nice accessibility option, too. There’s a community of people out there I’m sure will appreciate this greatly.

I recall reading somewhere that in order to help attract people to the game, some version of Street Fighter II allowed for certain “shortcuts” in the execution of special moves. They did not work 100% of the time, and the intended effect was that someone who was unfamiliar with the controls would experiment until they found the correct command. Oh, and spend the coins to do that in the days before training modes.

Capcom also tried out ways to lower the execution barrier for console ports in the late '90s through mid-2000s. Capcom vs. SNK 2 even got the EO subtitle for “easy operation” on Xbox and Gamecube for the alternate control scheme that gave you special moves with the flick of an analog stick. Punch and kick intensity being tied to the pressure sensitive shoulder buttons/triggers seemed like a step back to the 1st Street Fighter’s cabinets.

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I think I watched a video about the Street Fighter 2 thing you mentioned. Like 1 out of every 100 button presses would result in a special move. Brilliant idea. Sure the attract screen would show that special moves were possible, but that intentional “glitch” helps players believe the moves can actually be accomplished by them.

Did you ever try the EO versions of the game? I should give it a go, but in my head it throws the rhythm of the game off to move my fingers away from where they’ve been comfortable since the 90’s. Guess I shouldn’t knock it.

Capcom has repeatedly experiment with simplifying controls. Tatsunoko vs Capcom had three attack buttons and a combo could be completed by mashing them in ascending order of strength.

I do have a copy of Capcom vs. SNK 2 EO for the Gamecube. It has been a long time since I revisited it, but I recall that under GC-ism (EO-ism on XBox), while the direction you tilted the C-stick determined the special move, it was the degree of the tilt which controlled the strength of it. That part might have been easier to control on the right analog stick of an XBox controller than the small C-stick on a Gamecube controller. I would try for a jab shoryuken, but overshoot.

I never did play Tatsunoko vs. Capcom, but Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid has similar controls. Three strengths of attacks, a special button, two assist buttons. Daniel “Clockw0rk” Maniago and Long “ShadyK” Tran worked for nWay on that game, bringing a lot of MvC2 experience on how to use the assists, but execution of specials just requires neutral, towards or away on the stick/D-pad. You can also get a target combo with most characters by just pressing the three attacks in ascending order (there are DLC characters I’ve never played, so I don’t know how they control).

The Street Fighter series is known for generally being more complex than that, but I think these days my preference is for control schemes which work well on a wider variety of controllers. I also wish Divekick didn’t have certain Fighting Game Community in-jokes, because I think that could be a great entry point for people into the genre. “Fraud Detected” doesn’t really welcome a new player, but they got so much game out of just two buttons.

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It seems to me that entry point for fighting games now are arena fighters and Smash Bros. Not so much the control schemes but the familiarity of characters, although both requiring less work than a quarter-circle on the pad/stick doesn’t exactly hurt.

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