So now that I’ve discussed the history and evolution of combos in fighting games, it’s time to talk about combos at their prime. This game represents the high point of combos (among many other mechanics) because before it, combos were relatively basic and still trying to emulate Street Fighter 2. However, combos in modern fighting games (Street Fighter 4 onward) have become ridiculously long and complex, because combos that require a ton of skill to pull off are popular among the main audience of fighting games, the tournament players.
Thus, this game came out in the between era, where combos were short enough for newcomers to perform, but required skill in their timing and usage, thereby making them a challenge for devoted fans. The skill lay in reading your opponent and using your combos wisely; not in how fast you could perform a 20 input combo string. So just what is this game I’ve been talking up? Well if you noticed, I mentioned both Street Fighter 2 and 4, so is the answer Street Fighter 3? Well, not exactly. The answer is none other than:
Since Street Fighter 2 popularized Combos as a mechanic in fighting games, they have been developed and improved upon. Most fighting game series/franchises have something unique about their combos, whether it be the inputs, what they do, when they can be used and what their limits are. Some of these have stayed unique to their origins, but others have added to the overall evolution of combos and have become common additions to the combo mechanic in many fighting games. The latter will be the focus of this post; exploring the additions that have help to evolve the combo.
Combos (short for combination) are an essential part of the Fighting Game Genre. Combos are a series of attacks performed consecutively by the player that, when done properly, will hit the opponent in quick succession, usually leaving them unable to interrupt it. Today, games have in-game lists of all possible combos for every character, and you are expected to be able to perform them. Combos are also the core mechanic in competitive play, to the point that they are intensely studied by “hardcore” players to figure out the positives and negatives of each one.
But, where did it start? Which game created the combo?