Hard to Blockables

Whenever I’m watching someone do a high-low unblockable in a tournament, the announcers go “that wasn’t a ‘true’ unblockable, but a hard-to-blockable.”. I don’t get it. What if the first active frames of the assist and the player are the exact same frame? Is it still hard to block or just plain unblockable?

High/low unblockables are technically blockable. Per frame, only 1 hit can happen to each character on screen. This means that during a high/low “unblockable” set-up, the defending player can block a high in one frame, then a low in the next frame, or vice versa.

Still, if a high/low set-up is executed correctly, it is extremely unlikely that a player can escape it. First, tthe player won’t know which attack is hitting first in most cases. Then there’s the issue of execution. 1 frame blocking is not easy by any standards.

The way the game is programmed you always technically have at least one frame to transition from high to low block, and as such, most unblockable setups are technically blockable. This is why when you set the dummy to guard all, you can’t open it up with a high/low unblockable.

However, this is actually nigh impossible for a human being to do, so those setups are still basically unblockable. It is also very hard for a human to time everything so that the low and the high hit at exactly the same time, as such, there is usually slightly more than one frame to switch blocks. Therefore, technically, these are hard-to-blockables, rather than true unblockables. There are true unblockables in the game though.

Is there hitstop in this game? (I.e., the game freezing for a couple of frames as the hitsparks animate). If so, don’t you get more than 1 frame to change from high to low/low to high?

There is hitstop, but the way hitstop works is that the 2 objects involved in the hitstop freeze, while the other objects act normally. Since high/low unblockables in this game always involve 2 objects (point character+assist, point character+projectile), hitstop won’t really help. Aside from that, hitstop in this game is really tiny, so it wouldn’t help too much even if it had an impact.