Ask @Evilagram:

What do you think of environmental hazards in fighting games? Can they work? Or do they mostly just get in the way?

I don't think they'll work in any fighting game that doesn't have robust movement, as if it were a single player game. Most fighting games, especially 2d ones, do not let you move freely, you only move in terms of the opponent, you don't have a jump button, etc. If you removed the opponent, they would not be acceptable as a control scheme for a single player game.
Smash Bros is the most appropriate game to have stage hazards, because you have full platforming controls that work independently of an opponent, but the problem with hazards is, if they're overemphasized, the focus of the match shifts from fighting each other to avoiding hazards. This is the problem with a LOT of smash bros stages, like 75m, Port Town Aero Drive, Mushroomy Kingdom, Flat Zone, Green Hill Zone, Summit, Distant Planet, Big Blue, Warioware, Brinstar Depths, Mushroom Kingdom 2, Green Greens, Infinite Glacier, Rumble Falls, and a bunch of others.
It's sort of nice when the hazards are avoidable, when they don't dominate the entire screen, and they don't change the flow of the flight to being about just avoiding the giant wave of lava coming at you, but a lot of smash bros hazards are not this way. And honestly, most players don't really want to put up with that, they'd rather focus on the fight, than having success largely determined by a 1-player interaction like avoiding hazards. Even things like Whispy blowing wind on Dreamland 64 interferes with the fight in a destructive way.
Having totally static hazards might work better, but it's kind of untested territory, and I can see it detracting from the match in much the same way.

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Have you tried out PUBG or Fortnite yet? Just wondering what you think of the battle royale formula, and the influence it may yet have on vidya.

I have not.
I think it's an interesting game mode. It manages to stick over a hundred players in the same space and make them all relevant to one another.
I don't think it's really going to have any influence, except spawning a bunch of imitators. Same way MOBAs didn't really have much influence on other genres. We saw a bunch of imitators, but the trend was largely contained to exclusively MMOs. We did see some spilling over into Hero FPS games I guess, with lots of "ability" design with cooldowns, but I don't really see anything from Battle Royale clones that is as likely to spill over like that.

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Can a game with very few available actions be deep? For example the N series which has only left/right movement and jump.

Sure! The idea is, even though you have simple inputs, they can have a lot of compound effects on other objects, or on the player character, or there is a fine-grain range of effects they can have with careful inputs.
A great example of this would be classic Ys, Divekick, or Katamari Damacy.
In Divekick, you can only dive and kick, but you'd be surprised at the range of tactics possible, and the difference that a few pixels can make in flying past one another, or getting a headshot.
Classic Ys is about watching the movement patterns of the opponent to hit them in their corners, and from where they're looking away, and not allowing them to hit you head on.
Katamari Damacy is about managing your inertia and efficiently routing through levels.
To really succeed, games like this need to emphasize precise positioning, having a range of different outcomes based on slight positional or timing differences, and avoid things related to snapping onto other things, because that takes a range and compresses it into discrete values.

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With the success of Mario Maker, what other "Maker" style videogames would be pretty cool?

Probably a bunch of other classic NES games, like Castlevania, Contra, Ninja Gaiden. Would need to be something tile based, with a strong emphasis on level design and elements that play off one another. Bonus would be something that evolved across generations, but that's rare.
Someone already did Megaman, and that looks pretty cool.
The big trouble is it's just not that common for games to have interactions between different entities the way the Mario enemies and objects do. Though to be fair, Mario Maker added a lot more interactions for these things, making it more robust than a lot of the games it was based on.

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Tim Rogers discusses the concept of Overdesign in this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DJE3IDB2N1k It's when a game has enough things going on at once that it's nearly impossible to pay attention to it all. Is Overdesign valuable in games? Can it reduce depth? What makes it un/enjoyable?

Yyyyyuup, that's a Tim Rogers video alright.
Tim Rogers has a tendency in his writing to make up terminology and standards on the fly. I don't think his description of Overdesigned is really on the mark, and I don't think that deliberately overdesigning things is a good design practice.
Overdesign means designed in a manner that is excessively complex; Having undergone excessive design, leading to complicatedness or an unnecessary degree of capability and durability.
Having so much going on at once that you can't really understand it all is a symptom of overdesign, but not overdesign itself necessarily. I'd personally regard overdesign as a universally negative trait.
Part of making interesting games is forcing the player to use heuristics over raw calculation of the solution. By making the problem more complicated than can be reasonably calculated, you can guarantee that people fall back on heuristic methods rather than choosing a purely correct answer.
However you can do this like Go does it, which is completely clear and discrete, yet so complicated that calculating a correct answer is prohibitively expensive; or you can do it like Dissidia does it, where there's so many factors affecting how much damage that you do that calculating a specific answer is practically impossible, just because it's impossible to keep track of all the fine-grain values that go into anything, or the proportions by which they act upon one another.
I don't think being overdesigned necessarily affects depth, but it certainly affects clarity of feedback, which is something that can affect how players perceive the game, which affects relevant depth. If players can't understand what's going on, they're less likely to explore the state space. Realistically, this effect is probably minor.
Fighting Games feature a lot of things that are similar to this in their damage calculations, like damage scaling, counterhit bonuses, and proration/initial proration, and honestly you probably don't know how much damage any given attack does in the first place off the top of your head. However you do know that generally the longer the combo, the less damage each attack does, so you want to fit your hard hitting attacks at the beginning when they'll deal the most damage. You know that supers generally are resistant to scaling to some extent, so you want to tack them on at the end. And using moves with proration will make the whole combo weaker, so you want to avoid them. You have some simple heuristics, so you don't need to know the specifics, as opposed to whatever the heck is going on in Dissidia.
Generally, I think the video just comes off as kind of incoherent, and not really expressing the advantages/disadvantages of that design style, just picking a stance that is controversial looking from the title, then backing himself up and saying he really enjoys it.

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Why is DMC3 harder in the west tho

Rivals of Aether is on sale through HB. What's your opinion on it? What do you think about having no shield but having that weird parry (it stuns you unless you use a jab to trigger it, in that case you can DD out of range and punish), doesn't it ruin the RPS system?

I can't stand it, it works too differently from smash and it throws me off. I don't have much more to say than that.

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Do you prefer the left analog stick above d-pad like on xbox controllers or vice versa like on dualshocks?

I think analog stick is better at 3d games, and dpad is better at 2d games. Having the appropriate one in the top slot is preferable for that style of game.
But I think having the dpad on bottom, like on xbox is REALLY bad for 2d games, whereas having the analog stick on the bottom isn't so bad for 3d games.
So overall I prefer dualshock controllers. They're really good at 3d games, and only lose a little in 3d games.

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Got Nioh on your recommendation, and after a few days it has clicked for me like no other game ever has before. I am beginning to understand the joy of depth in video games with your help. Certain things like Ki Pulse probably would have just annoyed me before. Anyway, what is your favorite weapon?

I'm kind of a lamer, I use almost entirely kusarigama. I plan to try out spears and regular katana, maybe the odachi, more on future playthroughs. The Kusarigama has a tool for every situation if you can manage its stances well. It has decent range, dhalsim range, 2 types of high DPS, fast attacks, and dashing slash attacks. I'm pretty sure they nerfed the high stance light attack since the last time I played, since it seems like the majority of its damage is now on the final hit, which I approve of. It's still a really powerful weapon all around.

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I often hear Smash 4 has improved a lot over time and it barely feels the game you made a couple of articles about shortly after release. Is that true? Has your opinion of the game changed?

https://critpoints.net/2017/01/18/why-im-not-fond-of-smash-4/
This criticism is more recent. I don't think the things I complain about here have significantly changed in the patches since I posted it.
The game's slow, defensive, and movement options are unusually high commitment, except roll dodges. Edgeguarding is practically impossible, so you need to play this janky neutral over and over until you land a kill.
Here's a thing from Zero on Fox versus Bayo.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0D_ZbZO8Z3s
My opinion of the game hasn't changed. I wish this game had never been released so Brawl could have quietly died, and PM wouldn't have been squashed by Nintendo.

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What do you think has been the most innovative game released in the past few years?

Innovative....
Hmm, lemme roll out some candidates.
Ori and the Blind Forest, Nioh, Breath of the Wild, MVCI, Killer Instinct, Undertale, Prey?, Mario Odyssey, Superhot, Mario Maker, and Splatoon.
Ori invented Bash. Bash is probably one of the most brilliant platformer mechanics I've ever seen, in the way it refreshes your air options, gives you momentum in the air, redirects projectiles, and lets you get higher than other air options. It satisfies all 4 of my criteria for depth on multiple counts. Ori also satisfies all 4 of my criteria with a number of its other moves, and has a brilliant save system that combines the convenience of save states with the risk of checkpoints.
Nioh has a stamina system for both the player and enemies that needs to be managed even more carefully than dark souls stamina, yet opens up new ways to exploit enemies. It even has 2 different types of stamina bars for enemies on yokai and human types, that each have distinct behaviors in how they refill and allow you to punish that enemy type. Plus it finds a way to combine the pacing of dark souls with a wide variety of attacks that it ties into the stance system with the ki pulse and flux mechanics.
Breath of the Wild has the chemistry engine, the idea that there are elements that can be applied to different objects and which produce different effects and output other elements based on their interaction. These types of interactions have been seen before in immersive sim types of games, but never unified to the level of the chemistry engine. It also has a unique gear and gear progression system based on the encounter level of enemies rising as you get better gear, making it an interesting bootstrapping experience, similar to minecraft in a way. Weapon durability functions like Ammo with a steady churn.
MVCI dropped the ball, but it still has its brilliant tagging system. Instead of just calling assists, you're allowed to tag team mates at any time, with only a short cooldown as a cost. The teammate being tagged out will finish up their attack before leaving, allowing the two to string together combos and setups back to back, with the weakness that your tagged out character can get caught by the opponent if you're not careful. This tagging system is like assists on steroids, allowing you to use any move on the fly like an assist. James Chen cleverly compared it to purple roman cancel from Guilty Gear Xrd, saying it's like being allowed to cancel your recovery from any move on whiff or hit for free, except you can use it like your tagged out character is a projectile.
Killer Instinct is a little old, but I just saw the GDC talk on how they implemented a machine learning AI, and it's pretty fucking brilliant. I never thought I'd see a fighting game AI with this many factors accounted for, let alone a machine learning version. I wish more games would implement this.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9yydYjQ1GLg

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Most Innovative Games pt 2

Undertale cleverly combines shmup-style dodging of projectiles with turn-based RPG combat, allowing for pacifism based on not attacking, but just avoiding damage. It also has blue and orange attacks, which I've never seen in a shmup before, and has bullet patterns that utilize them in interesting ways.
I didn't play Prey. This is really just a hunch. It seems like it's continuing the immersive sim trend of making things interact with other things, much like BOTW.
Mario Odyssey has the crazy hatjump. That's really all it needs to be innovative. It's technical, it lets you jump long distances. Change direction in midair, yet it's not a double jump, and has fairly high commitment at each stage of the jump, so you need to jump accurately and have only a limited means to correct your jump after you commit.
Superhot, time only moves when you move, letting you react to otherwise fast projectiles and dodge them. Also possessing enemies.
Mario Maker. It took the Mario mechanics we knew and loved, and added a fuckton more interactions between each level design element. Even 2 years later, there are still levels coming out that demonstrate something new about the interactions between the different pieces you can assemble.
Splatoon, you shoot paint, covering the map in paint is how you win, you move faster and refill your ammo by swimming in the paint. These core aspects interact with each other in a really flexible way, so that each is a function of one another. This means that within a match there's a lot of different actions you can take that are useful towards winning, making deciding which to focus on rather difficult. Do you lay down as much paint as you can? Do you kill the opponents so they can't lay down paint? Players have competing desires to accomplish these different tasks in the pursuit of overall victory, creating interesting choices. The relationship between needing to spend ink to create a surface to move faster and also refill ink is in particular really brilliant. Having that double as a means of stealth is really cool too.
It's hard to make a call on which of these is most innovative. I have a bias towards considering innovation as it is useful to games at large, and which of these games have innovations that would be useful for other games to implement? Killer Instinct, Mario Odyssey, and Breath of the Wild have stuff that I can see being useful in other games, maybe MVCI too (I mean, Sengoku Basara has a tagging mechanic used in combos, imagine something like this in a stylish action game). A lot of the other games have mechanics that only seem to work in that particular game, like Splatoon. You can't uproot that and stick it in any other FPS. You can't really stick Ori's bash in any other platformer without it becoming a lot like Ori. I am tempted to label Splatoon as most innovative overall (though I haven't played it), just because of the incredible interdependency of its mechanics. Dunno though, enjoy the selection

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You mentioned that Hollow Knight's airdash on its own was sort of boring, just moving you in a straight line. Whats an interesting airdash?

Something with an arc of some kind, acceleration, deceleration, a hop, a glide.
In Guilty Gear, you have an airdash whose momentum carries you forward as you attack, allowing attacks to chain in ways they cannot off just a jump.
In Melty Blood and UNIEL you have an airdash that's more like a hop forwards. Mario Odyssey's dive could be considered an airdash too in this way, it even lifts you up slightly to let you just barely clear platforms.
The dash could start with momentum forwards that falls off as it progresses, and a resistance to gravity that also decreases as it progresses, so it travels straighter as it starts, then begins to fall like normal as it goes.
It could transition into a glide, or have glide-like physics should the player move it manually.
Ori and the Blind Forest's bash is a really unique airdash-type move.
Morrigan's airdash in Darkstalkers lets her tilt it up or down as she goes.
There's a lot of ways to toy with momentum and gravity. Hollow Knight's movement options are all kind of simple and straightforward, only really becoming interesting when you have a bunch of them to combine. Hollow Knight's double jump is out of the ordinary, being a bit like the jump of the DJC characters from Smash Bros (Yoshi, Peach, Mewtwo, Ness, etc), but this doesn't increase its utility, it more exists to nerf its functionality versus airdashing and wall jumping, so it occupies a distinct niche relative to them (doesn't have as fast startup, so it's slower for climbing and moving laterally), which is fair, and helps make the sum of all of these moves more interesting to use, even if none of them are particularly interesting individually.
At least Hollow Knight doesn't have the teleport from Axiom Verge. That teleport somehow manages to be even less interesting than HK's airdash.

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This is in reference to your answer to that "is fun a buzzword" question from a couple months back. What is depth's relation to how fun a game is? Does a game's amount of fun differ based on the person playing it?

There's no relation between fun and depth, I just like depth a lot, so I try to make people think there is!
Alright, I'm kidding. So if fun is the base human drive to make something inconsistent produce the results you want, then depth is practical in the pursuit of fun, because it gives people many different outlets for this phenomenon. If you have a deep game, then you can fail and succeed at many more things to many more degrees than in a shallow game, so you are constantly going through that loop of what constitutes fun.
Arguably, this is a component in the success of penny slot machines. Penny Slots have a lot of different ways to win, so even if you're losing overall, you're getting a win of some kind every time you pull the crank (or push the button when you get tired of pulling the crank), and this is a big part in why they're so successful at draining people's wallets compared to traditional slots. As for whether penny slots are truly deep or not is debatable, but there is a confluence here.
Depth affords a number of positive design ramifications. It means that if you're having trouble doing something one way, you can try other ways and those may work, resulting in people not getting stuck as easily. It also means that the game can be played in different ways on repeat playthroughs, preventing it from getting boring after a single completion. It means that even when repeating sections, things are likely to go differently than the previous time. These help keep the game fresh over an extended period of time, both for new and old players.
Depth also means that as players improve, becoming more consistent at easy things, harder things move in to fill the place of the easy things the player has mastered. The saying, "easy to learn, difficult to master" is an allusion to the principle of depth, and has been taken as the mark of a good game.
As for whether the fun of a game differs depending on the player, that's a matter of perspective. Different people will be of different skill sets, and so will find games more or less fun based on how much of the depth of the game they can access. Street Fighter doesn't get fun until you get over a certain threshold, so for a beginner, the game might not be fun at all. However if we're going to address how fun a game is in general, I think it's reasonable to consider it in the context of a skilled player. If you want to plan for success, then you need to consider it at all skill levels though, like Smash Bros Melee or DBFZ does.
I've heard people say Tekken is really fun for people who don't know what they're doing, because they can mash buttons and get a ton of different strings and all this crazy shit happens, but trying to learn the game on a low level is really frustrating, then it gets fun again when you get it, and then it gets really frustrating again once you have to learn how to defend and punish every move in the game, and fun again when you get over that hurdle.

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What speed games got ruined the most by update "fixes"?

I'd say either Dark Souls 2 or Bloodborne.
Bloodborne had the forbidden woods skip right at the beginning of the game, which involved a boost jump off a coffin, which I fucking love performing. This broke the game in half, and resulted in me hard locking the game, making my file impossible to complete, by fighting amelia out of order, but I got to fight her and eileen the crow at the end of her questline simultaneously, and after dying a lot, took them both out in the same go. This skip added a lot of nonlinearity to an otherwise rather linear game, and I dislike that they removed the ability to throw gascoigne out of bounds too. It was really tricky to set up and is a really unique quick kill method.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m3fu_LHJ7ps
Dark Souls 2 though, it had 2 big tricks that defined everything, Binoboosting, and parrywalking. Binoboosting let you do this tight input of like, looking through the binoculars, rolling, and attacking at the same time to run really super fast for about 5 seconds. Parrywalking let you run in midair and run through walls, except it left your character model behind, so it was like an out of body experience, but the camera follows your character model, only catching up when the wall is cleared. These made for some awesomely whacky shenanigans in what's now called Broken%, and binoboosting sped up all bosses by a lot (and it's a longer category than the dark souls 1 version). Unfortunately, the DLC came out, so all bosses needed to be played on the current patch in order to actually defeat all the bosses, meaning no more binoboosting, and they nerfed hexes and maces by a lot, reducing the competitions between different routes. There wasn't much use for parrywalking in all bosses, since major sequence breaking wasn't really necessary, and doing minor sequence breaks with it wasn't worth the time it took to set the trick up. I think it could have been useful in the undead crypt to get to king vendrick a bit faster, but the category didn't last long enough for that to ever come to pass.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tCzKh24ZgSk
Shoutouts to Ori and the Blind Forest for not fixing ANYTHING in the conversion to definitive edition, and in fact adding new shit, placed early in the route. Ori and the Blind Forest was made for speedrunners and has left all speedrun friendly glitches in the game across every patch.

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Can having the option of fighting an enemy or running away be a form of depth?

Yes! Absolutely!
But more appropriately, the question generally tends to be, is having the option of fighting an enemy or running past them a form of depth?
NES games are the masters of this. Especially Castlevania 3 and Contra. Enemies in old games tend to have contact damage, they hurt you if you touch them. Then they're set up in places where they block your way. This means that to get past them, you need to brush up against them, potentially hurting yourself.
This design style largely died when games moved to 3d, because it doesn't make realistic/diegetic sense, because 3d games tend to be more based on animations for attacks, because it's hard to see if stuff is touching in 3d.
In 3d games, it's really easy to run past enemies because there's 3 dimensions, you can go over, under, or around enemies, unless there's tightly controlled chokes, which are a lot easier to set up in 2d than 3d, and don't fuck with the camera. And the enemies won't deal damage on contact anymore, so even if they're positioned next to a choke, brushing up against them won't hurt you, and their attacks need to have a reactable startup time, so that they're fair, meaning you can usually run past them before they get an attack off. See: Every Dark Souls speedrun.
Desync pulled a cool trick, having its hammer wielding enemies attack immediately on moving close enough to you, very similar to contact damage. Maybe we could see more stuff like this, but it doesn't seem totally likely, except with special enemy types, in 3d action games. In most 3d action games, you have drawn out combat of exchanging melee blows, and having a borderline contact damage attack means if you brush up too close to them while attacking, then you get hit, which can suck. There were contact damage enemies in Nioh, and these kind of sucked because frequently while attacking, you extend your hurtboxes too, your hands, so reaching forward to hit them caused you to trade blows with them. A smart move would be to test contact damage enemies only against the pushbox of the character, not their regular hurtboxes, but that's another matter.
In classic NES games, fighting enemies or running past them was a question of risk. Fighting them could eliminate them, so they won't bother you, but put you at risk of getting hit by their attacks. Running past them would let you ignore them, so you don't need to hit them multiple times to kill them, just instantly get past the encounter, but frequently their movement pattern made it harder to do this than to actually fight them, so you might risk more damage that way. Ideally these two aspects exist in an equilibrium.
In modern games, this tends to fall by the wayside, making it more risky to fight enemies than just run past them, like recent Ys games, where running past enemies is trivial, but they can be super deadly if fought legitimately. Dark Souls balances it decently. EXP can help incentivize fighting monsters, but that has its own issues.

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Do you think the real entry barier to videogames might actually be the player? At the end of the day, no matter how hard or easy a game is, how good they perform is determined by what they practice, how they practice, and whether or not they have the motivation to learn how to play.

Thinking that way is pointless.
Why are some games more popular than others? Is it because they're necessarily easier? Harder? Or is it a lot of other factors? Brand popularity? Marketing strategies? Graphics? The concept of the game?
Either factors about the game affect the game's popularity, or it's random luck of the draw. Given that there are correlations between various factors and popularity, it can't be purely luck of the draw.
Is it individual players that decide to be interested in any given game? Is there not something about the games themselves that influences this decision to play overwatch or call of duty for hundreds of hours?
The Melee community as a whole is at a much higher base level of competency than it was in 2006. That's why there's the meme about low level smashers going back in time and tearing up the tournaments in the early days with advanced future technology. The worst players are better because the quality of the instruction has gotten better. There are way better tutorials and low level players understand a lot more about the game.
If you put the resources closer to the game, give people better tools, make the game give more feedback about what is going on and what they did wrong, then they will learn the game better.
Individual players have barriers or setbacks, but in considering what can be done to make a game or video games in general more approachable, you need to think on a systemic level, not an individual player level. In large groups, people tend to act predictably, even if it's difficult to predict individuals. People follow the path of least resistance, and it's up to you to make that path the one towards your product.

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You never talk about racing games. Which ones do you prefer, arcade or simulation? What are some racing games with depth? Do you think they are a good vehicle (heh) for deep and interesting gameplay?

Racing games aren't really my thing. F-Zero GX is cool, but I'm no good at it, and I generally am not that familiar with racing game mechanics. I hear simulation racers can get really complicated.
The core of racing games, optimization, are present in speedruns of other games. It's neat to have a wide possibility space to search in order to optimize your route. Racing games, even extreme ones like F-Zero, tend to be flat tracks without much terrain. Just not that appealing from my perspective.

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What's your opinion on FighterZ so far?

Alright, I checked out the DBFZ beta while it was up. I played some ranked, and honestly got my ass scraped. Had like, a 50% win ratio exactly. Feel like I gotta count my losses too.
Felt like I had no idea what the hell I was doing or how anything fit together, but then I watched a vid that explained the universal moves and the basic combo mechanics and it made a lot more sense.
I'm gonna use anime numpad notation, so look that up if you don't know it. 2M and 6M are a universal low, and a universal overhead respectively. 6M is a lot like the 3rd strike UOH, but it can't be hit meaty, and doesn't chain or cancel into anything, so unless you call an assist before using it, you can't combo off it. 2M is a sweep that usually moves forward a bit.
Dragon rush is this game's equivalent of throw, but it has a startup period before rushing forward to grab. It has low priority, so anything with range will knock you out of it. It sometimes loses to normals, always loses to beams, it's a pretty crappy throw. It also serves as your snapback, letting you force the opponent's character out if you land it. Since it has a startup, tick throwing in this game is basically absent. You're only gonna get tick dragon rush off maybe an assist block pressure, or a reset really. Otherwise, you need to make them scared enough to continue to hold block long enough for the dragonrush to start up, and that's probably reactable. This means that if you want to fuck up someone who is blocking, you need to mix them up, high and low.
Also, you can cancel ground pressure into dragon rush or S (Ki Blast) to extend it. Ki blast can be canceled into projectile specials, then super, which sometimes can serve as a weak confirm, however your real damage comes from either confirming into H, or getting a combo off 2M.
So that's the next deal, there's an interesting progression in the combo system that has all these parts that are really easy to tack on to add up to bigger and bigger combos. First you have the L and M autocombos, which do like 2 normal hits, then a unique attack, then for the L combo, it leads into a launcher, then hard knockdown, and for the M combo, it does the 3 hits, then cancels into special, then super. There doesn't appear to be any scaling on these, so they get decent damage, like a quarter to third of someone's health. If you hold back, you can get the unique 3rd hit, without getting the rest of the autocombo. So you can confirm off random hits in neutral, then autocombo your way to victory as an introduction, then you can ramp up to doing L > M > H, which the tutorial shows you how to do. 5H and 2H are your launchers. 5H will launch horizontally and wallbounce, and is usually a big poking move, 2H launches vertically, and is invincible to air attacks, which is important. Then you can do an air combo like L > M > H for a hard knockdown, and then super when you land.

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DBFZ pt 2

Once you've gotten those basics down, you can get a bit more mileage in a couple different ways. First, you can do 2M to sweep, then 5M to launch from the sweep and jump cancel the 5M to follow into the air. Then in the air, instead of doing L > M > H, you can do L > M and jump cancel into another L > M, then cancel to special, then to super. Or, instead of the special into super, you could do 2H, which launches them even higher, and lets you follow up into L > M > special > super. You could also vanish instead of super, letting you combo the wallbounce from vanish into dragon rush for a snapback. You can integrate these combo extensions at pretty much any point for a little extra damage, and far as I know, they're universal across the cast. Even if you don't do 2M > 5M, you can still integrate jumping L > M double jump L > M from the H launchers.
Oh, and the chain system is weird, you can chain any button into any other version of that button, but you can't have the same move in a chain twice, so you can chain 2M > 5M or 5M > 2M, but not 5M > 2M > 5M, which is what would lead to a launch, if possible. This also means you can chain 2M > 6M, the low into the overhead, but 6M cannot chain, so the overhead only combos with an assist.
Beyond that, there's advanced character-specific combos, which involve comboing off specials or using assists or other business to extend, but still, there's a basic template that lets you get a good combo, which you can steadily ramp up through and improve at without adding too much complexity at any given point. It also means you can pick up a new character and figure out how to do basic-bitch combos with them fairly quickly by following this template.
The superdash is a big deal, it's kind of like a street fighter jump, in that it lets you get in, it's safe on block, and combos on hit, but if they're paying enough attention to AA you, there's not a damn thing you can do, and they'll get pretty decent damage off it to boot. 2H is completely air invincible, so if properly timed, it will beat superdashes clean. Superdashes can come out quickly however, and are tough to react to at close range. They deal a hit as they come in, which can be combo'd off. If blocked, then the attacker is not punishable, and they can get out an attack before hitting the ground, making it kind of a mixup scenario on block, which I'd guess is weighted slightly in the defender's favor. Unlike normal aerials, superdash can be blocked low or high, and you can cancel into superdash from L and M, extending pressure. This move is gonna be the noob killer, because of how difficult it is to react to and shut down and how high priority it is. It goes through small ki blasts, but can't go through beams and larger projectiles, so you can use those as a less guaranteed and lower reward anti-air, albeit with less harsh timing requirements than 2H. Superdash also has reasonably high priority vs normals.

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