Perpetual Comeback- The New Trend of The Fighting Genre?


Some reference on perpetual comeback from Sirlin’s site

You may have noticed by now that a lot of the new big name fighting games have a feature in their game system that helps the losing player, and gives him an advantage in some area.
Maybe it’s to make the battles more exciting, by making the option for a comeback somewhat easier.
Let’s look at some examples-

SF4- The most obvious and extreme one is SF4’s ultra gauges. Because this one is so extreme, many players seem to dislike it.

Tekken 6- Players complained about the rage at first, but now in its nerfed form I don’t know if people think it makes the game better or worse, or if it changes it at all.

Blazblue- Once you have somewhat low HP (how much HP depends on the character) your super meter begins to slowly fill up by itself. Overall it seems like this one is the least powerful feature compared to all the other games.

KOF XII- The CC gauge seems to recharge a lot faster when you take damage, then when you deal it. CCs can lead to some serious ass kicking so it gets the leading player to start turtling.

Daemon Bride- The more you get hit, the stronger your attacks become, or something like that. (I don’t know the exact details)

What do you guys think about this new trend? Love it? Hate it? Don’t base your answer just on the extremeness of SF4’s feature but consider all the other examples I gave as well.


Used to think it was terrible but I haven’t really had any bullshit moments so I don’t know. In principle I’m against it.


After SF4 I can say I had so many BS moments because of it, but I think that games like BB and KOFXII seem to have done it just right…
In KOFXII even if you don’t actually score a counter hit for the CC, just the sheer threat of it when you are flashing gets you some space and gets you on the offensive so you can at least get some damage done from mixups and throws.


Don’t forget… It started with SVC.


I dislike it but not strongly so. Would absolutely think a game is better for not having such a mechanic but there are other mechanics that can make a game much worse.


In the eyes of a player, it’s not that big of a deal because it doesn’t really change the way someone plays. It’s kind of like being taxed more because you make more money. Just because there’s a slight disincentive to play to win doesn’t mean you should stop winning.

In terms of game design, I can’t think of a very solid reason to put it in a game.


i think that it started in some samsho, but im not sure


^The rage comeback started in SS I’m sure of it


I can think of a reason to put it in a game. Comebacks are exciting, especially when you’re the one coming back. The public loves exciting games, especially when there is always a chance (even if that chance is only in your head).

Good reason? Maybe, maybe not. But a solid reason? Solid enough for a developer who wants to sell their game to a solid chunk of the public.


The original guilty gear had 2 life bars and when the first one was gone, you could do your super as much as you wanted. Of course if you were horrible at stopping it, the other player could just instant kill you whenever they wanted and automatically get both rounds on you.


i’ve never liked this concept. Whats the point of actually gaining a life advantage again? you work so hard to establish a lead but then the game works against you by giving the other player a huge tool to make up for getting their ass kicked.


yeah i remember it, it was fun, but at the same time f’ed up :looney:


I think the best ‘perpetual comeback’ mechanic is and has always been to just make damage relatively high o_o.

High damage means the losing player doesn’t have to work as hard to regain their advantage. Plus matches are faster and more interesting that way.

Not to say games with lower damage aren’t fun or that their comeback features don’t work well. It’s good to see games experimenting with different mechanics to try to accomplish something. After all, that’s how things evolve and we learn what works and what does not.


i don’t think it mattered much. everyone in the game had some kind of infinite.

GG1 is more a historical curiosity now. still its crazy fun.


Oh yeah, that’s right.

On topic: It’s makes things a lot more interesting, tactical and tense, but it can f’ the game up. It may actually encourage the players to receive damage so they can use the comeback move, which is kinda dumb. I think it was handled well in SS though, because there’s a time limit there. Yes, it still gives the damaged player an advantage, but it can be overcome.


The change it causes is in the dynamics of the match. Like I said in the KOF12 example- You can be very offensive and rape someone but once he gets that flashing gauge you will be forced to play runaway/turtle until it ends, and he will get his chance to be offensive and maybe even make a comeback.
In SF4 though, you’ll have to be super careful for the rest of the match.

In SF4 you can just try to absorb hits with focus which is kinda like taking damage on purpose but with a chance to recover it, and sometimes it’s totally worth the ultra guage it gains you.
If there was no focus attack, and the next hit would make you “ultra-ready” people would have been walking forward into fireballs for sure, because ultras are so strong and worth it, but then again that’s only because SF4 took it too far.
In the other games mentioned, it’s never worth it to take damage on purpose.

But then it’s not really a “perpetual comeback”. Both you and the opponent who is leading on life have the same option for high damage. Actually you can even say the opposite- You are now fighting against the timer as well.

It’s not always a “huge tool”. It can also be a nice tiny boost like in BlazBlue.
Actually as tiny as it is in BB, it discourages you from playing turtle or runaway for the rest of the match, because the opponent gets super gauge while you wait. So you are forced to still be offensive and finish the job. When you think about it, it’s a really good idea.


I can’t believe I forgot TvC… where the damage you took turns into Baroque power, making your moves safer and gives you access to much better combos and setups.


i don’t even like supers so yeah i think these comeback mechanics are shitty


The more ultra meters and rage type gimmicks there are the more lame games become in my opinion. There are already smarter systems that give chances for comebacks like dizzies for example. Why not give the losing team in baseball corked bats or heavier balls if they are down? Or give losing soccer teams smaller goals?

Games shouldn’t reward losing they should encourage smart play. In ST you can comeback from any moment with a few hits. In 3S you won’t auto lose to chip damage if you can parry the attacks from your opponent. In Virtua Fighter the game is designed so that if you can think ahead of your opponent a few moves you can secure a round with a few correct moves even if you have only a sliver of life left…



playing well gives pretty good chances for a comeback