Max Disagress with making Fighting Games Casual

Interesting insight on why making fighting games casuals hurt them according to Max.


Max never wanted fighting games to become casual.
What Max has been great at doing (back at the Assist Me days) is to make fighting games feel more appealing to casual players, showing them how to play, making them look less threatening, teaching them about the basics etc.

And I personally agree.
A fighting game can be TOO technical, such as Virtua Fighter, but that doesn’t mean that all fighting games should become the direct opposite and become all casual. It’s a good thing to try and find a balance, making fighting games appeal to casuals in some aspects, but have the gameplay be technical enough to be a good fighting game! That’s what Mortal Kombat has been trying to do, and it’s been working so far.


He’s right on the money. Combo assist? Sorry but nope.

I do agree with the part about determination being the key factor in getting better, but at the same time accessibility does play some part. I could not get into SFIV because of some of the crazy inputs and I still struggle in SFV with charge characters. If these were not in the game I would definitely play them more. What I’m trying to say is just because we don’t need to make fighting games simple does not mean we need to make them overly complicated.

…Combo assist isn’t at all what max is talking about in this video. I imagine he probably likes it a lot, since it’s a method of introducing players to the mechanics of KI in a more approachable way, without taking anything away from the rest of the game. What he’s talking about is developers making their games mechanically stripped down in an effort to capture the casual market.



@CrimsonScorch88 “Accessibility” and “dumbing down” are 2 completely different things, but one is helpful and one isn’t.


Yeah this is being a bit blown out of proportion because he has a more nuanced point to make than simply a single video headline. What he’s getting at is don’t neuter the higher level aspects of the game to somehow “level” the playing field for casual players.


I agree with him. A game shouldn’t be dumbed down to appeal to only casuals. A game can be built that appeals to both. For example: Halo.


What Max is talking about isn’t really a fighting games specific thing: it can and should he applied to all games. Whether you’re talking about Call of Duty or Zelda or even a Souls game: It’s okay to have a basic, easy to understand bread and butter system to get into in your game, but there should also be something with more depth to let dedicated or higher skill players do more. This doesn’t mean “hurrdurr people who aren’t good at games shouldn’t play games!” like the title would seem to suggest. It just means that no matter what kind of game you play, the mechanics should be deep enough that you can eventually get better than you were on the first day.
Fighting games just have an especially delicate balance to strike because they’re simultaneously seen as “button mashing simulators” and “too complicated for the human mind to comprehend”.

I think KI has done a pretty decent job at this, after watching the video. The barrier to entry is pretty low, with all of the characters having similar base combo structure and even the addition of CAM to help people get into learning the mechanics rather than wrestling the controls. On the flipside, the skill ceiling is really high, with characters with complex, risky, and even suicidal aspects to their game plan as well as unique combo options and manuals for each member of the cast, as well as some of the most chaotic and even borderline stressful neutral this side of Marvel.


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They never had combo assist at the arcade… You had to know how to play, otherwise you played something else like PacMan at the arcade…

I’m pretty sure he meant “broken” in the figurative sense, as in compared to a vanilla by-the-book character…a character that has major strengths but is balanced by major weaknesses, not broken as in completely unbalanced.


huh? Of course they dont. Im talking combo assist that is something that only happened through this game. As for pac man i feel sorry for that franchise. It was one of the very first games i ever played. Damn im old. Now back to the topic…

Hey pal…

You completely missed the point…


honestly I kinda feel the same way about KI and it being dumbed down. shadow counter are active way to long now. the window is about as long as hisako’s parries. extending out the window to the last millisecond of an auto double for breakers is frustrating. cause we don’t know if they broke the AD or linker/manual. among other things in the game. I’ve played countless bets that say KI plays differently now. maybe it’s more floaty. I’ve certainly noticed.

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KI has only become more complex since it started, if anything. None of the things you mentioned remove much of the skill required for those mechanics. The change to Shadow Counters for instance was meant to make them powerful, consistent defensive tool across the whole cast for the sake of better balance, not make reactions and reads less important.

KI remains a fast game, and you’re gonna have to offer more evidence that it’s gotten slower than just a personal hunch. S3 feels the same as S2 to me.

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does max have to offer proof street fighter 5 is slower as well? sorry but I’m not hooking up a millisecond stop watch to my buttons and recording it all, just for peeps to say they can’t tell. IG themselves have said they opened up these windows to make it “easier on folks”. has nothing in the world to do with balance as u suggest above.

Yes, he does and so does the whole SF community who are also claiming the same.

Yeah I made a mistake with the Shadow Counters. It was the STARTUP that got normalized, while the window was also increased. However, in looking it up I also rediscovered that they also added 10 more frames of recovery to whiffed Shadow Counters, making them easier to punish.

I don’t think the argument that KI has been dumbed down holds any water. They built up new mechanics and made existing ones harder to execute (like counter breakers) more than they’ve made any easier. And the ones they’ve made easier hasn’t changed that they still require a healthy degree of skill to execute correctly and consistently.

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What’s an example of a casual fighting game or at least one that is aimed at casual players?