Infinite combos, love them or hate them, are something that’s almost unavoidable in many fighting games. Whether one as outrageous as Street Fighter X Tekken or one that’s as restrained as Street Fighter IV, you just can’t seem to get away from them. Kotaku‘s Stephen Totilo recently got to talk to Capcom’s Seth Killian about why infinites aren’t as bad as most people think.
Seth explains that infinites, far from being an indicator of a bad game, can actually indicate that a game is good – because it suggests a certain amount of freedom in the game’s system that allows for some creativity.
I take them as a necessary sign of a good game, because what it suggests is a certain amount of creativity and a certain amount of freedom to do things that the developer didn’t intend. That’s one of the best things about a combat system.
Seth also explains the competitive mentality of trying to push and break the system to find these combos.
For a lot of players, including guys like me, the first thing I do when I sit down with a fighting game is [try to find out] what’s the stupidest thing I can do to the opponent? What’s the worst thing I can do? ‘Oh, this move looks like it might combo back into itself. That’s going to be a bug. I’m going to go right for that.’ For a lot of players, there’s an attraction. The infinite combo is sort of like the goal.
Of course, not everyone enjoys infinites, and they move on to talk about mechanics like damage and hitstun scaling. Here, Seth does his best to break down the scaling systems of Capcom games like Marvel vs. Capcom 3 and Street Fighter X Tekken.
The most interesting bit however has to be near the end where Seth talks about what he considers a good infinite combo. Here he brings up the example of El Fuerte’s “Run, Stop, Fierce” loop,m which exists in every incarnation of Street Fighter IV. According to Seth, an infinite like this is good because it’s hard enough to do and involves a lot of risk, yet at the same time gives the character a good offensive option.
“We left it in,” Killian said. “We felt this was a useful tool for El Fuerte. The executional bar is quite high…that is to say it’s hard to do, it’s very difficult. There are combos that are hard to do and you’ll struggle to keep doing them continuously. You may put yourself at some risk if you’re going for an infinite combo and drop it.”
You can read the entire article over at Kotaku.