Are comeback mechanics necessary (and does the community want them)?

I don’t know if this is the right place for this thread but I am putting it here because MvsC3 the newest game this applies to.

For many years, the fighting game landscape existed perfectly fine without any specific reward for getting beat. Then SF4 came out and included a meter that gets filled by losing, specifically for the purpose of mounting a comeback.

Now MvsC3 has a similar mechanic and I am very curious as to why CAPCOM seems to think this kind of thing is wanted or necessary. I don’t know why skill can’t be the deciding factor here and not some gift powers given to the losing player.

What do you guys think about the general idea of a comeback mechanic? Why should there be a reward for losing?? Why should the last guy on a team (or the player with the least health) get any bonus at all? Does it really make any game that much more exciting??


I’ll be the guy who says K-Groove.

However, I do certainly wish that X factor didn’t get stronger, since a level one is plenty sufficient for mounting a comeback. No need for a 180-200% boost for being the last person standing.

Placebo effect, comeback mechanics make you think you have a chance at coming back and that makes you keep trying until the very end.

I am not wanting this to become another X factor debate thread. I do want to get a sense of what everyone here thinks of the idea behind any comeback mechanism or reward to losing players.

Also, who told CAPCOM this is a good enough idea that it makes it into SF4 and MvsC3? I would like to understand why CAPCOM regards this kind of thing so highly. MvsC2 (even as broken as it is) did just fine without giving any kind of comeback powers.


Having some ability for a comeback is a good idea especially in a game such as this where 1 good offence can win the game. There needs to be a little more uncertainty than that to keep things interesting. Guilty Gear and Blazblue, both games where 2 or 3 combos can win a match have the burst system that resets the pace of the match without offering any real advantage to the burster so there is no advantage to being beaten up and 1 sided rush downs can often be avoided.

The problem with recent Capcom fighting games is that the comeback mechanic is a little too extreme. Rather than reset the pace of a match it offerers extreme advantage to the loser and provides an insurmountable hurdle for the winning player.

In BB a burst means ‘ok I just gotta get in 1 more time to win I can do this.’ That’s fine it just spices the match up a little by artificially creating 1 new 50/50 situation

A SF ultra or MVC3 XFC means 'damn I’ve got to keep away for 20 seconds OH GOD THE HAIL STORM chip damage or in SF4 OH GOD 1 HEAD BUTT into ULTRA etc. The comeback mechanic is such a friggin hurdle that it becomes the focus of gameplay.

IMHO a simple fix for xfactor is only have 1 lvl and that level lasts 10 seconds this way it becomes a resource to use as a part of your strategy rather than a nuke for the losing player.

I absolutely loathe comeback mechanics that not only take options away from the person winning AND completely change the match.

IE: Comeback done right: Rage in T6. It’s there, it’s annoying, but it doesn’t change the actual match.
Comeback done wrong: ultra in ssf4. If i’m OWNING this chun li and she gets her ultra 1, i can’t throw fireballs at her anymore. so wait, i lose an option for doing the right thing and trying to win the match?

X-Factor is some bullshit. Not in a good way.

Is it an xfactor thread or a generic comeback mechanics thread? If it’s not MvC3-specific, that seems like you should delete it from here and repost it in Fighting Game Discussion. Or have me move it there. :smile:

I put this thread in here because it’s relevant to MvsC3. Since MvsC3 just came out and is the second game in a row from CAPCOM that has this “feature”, I thought this would be a good a place as any to have this discussion.

If a Mod wants to move this topic then they can go right ahead.

I’m all for giving players more tools/options to work with. After all, a good competitive game should make it so that there are plenty of resources available, in order to make it so it’s more of a thing that the one with the better strategy wins.

So, I’m not at all opposed to a “come back mechanic”, provided if it’s done in a conducive way. The aforementioned “Rage Mode” from Tekken 6? T.O.P in MOTW (if you put at the end of your life bar, if that’s what you preferred)? How you were able to have access to “(Super) Desperation Moves” in various SNK games, once you were low on life? I can vibe with all of those.

I don’t like them personally,especially if they are easy to land.They water comebacks down to just one good read and then landing a successful crossup or mixup=comeback. Would you call Abel Ultraing through a fireball for 60% life and then command grabbing them on wakeup a proper comeback?In this instance the game did half of the work for them.

I want someone to work for their comeback.Make at least 3 good reads and outpoke me alot before they can take my 80-100% lead.

Notice how there are no ‘Evo moments’ for SFIV yet? Because a comeback in this game isnt as amazing.We all know why the full parry in 2004 is a respected and indisputably amazing comeback. I guess I am being hypocritical here because this moment was just one good read.However, the execution level balances this out.It also involved alot of spacing and range games on the screen that is a result of high level play for years.It wasnt just an SRK through a blockstring into Ultra for 50%.

It goes back to the old debate of mindgames vs execution.Should someone who has better execution win over someone who can out think them but cant do flawless combos? In my opinion that’s a stupid debate anyway because if you’re at the point where you can read people’s minds in competitive play then you’ve probably been playing for a while anyway and are therefore an experienced player. I don’t know any experienced players who cant do all of their characters combos so why water them down in the first place? That’s right because the game is meant for casual players to get into aswell.We just have to accept that games have to have these watered down mechanics in them these days to strike the balance between hardcore and casual players.

I think these modern games are still worthy of competitive play though.They have plenty of other factors in them that take skill and I know top players work around the bullshit and find solutions which is what I like about fighting games.

actually comeback mechanics arent new, plenty of games have many mechaics that can in a way or another serve as acomeback mechanic
cvs2 with the K groove, infinite lvl 1 supers with the S groove
some kof games had bonus for the chars when are low on health
garou with the top gauge
BB that makes your heat gauge fills automatically when you are low on health
GG with the guts system, that makes you take less damage the less health that you have
some can say that supers on sf2
comeback mechanics arent a bad thing if done properly

K-Groove isnt forced on you.Its a system you can choose to play the game in but you are willingly sacrificing aspects of your character/team. Other grooves that have those aspects do not have a comeback system.

Supers in SF2 are balanced because everything in that game does so much damage and characters have alot less ways to land them.Guile or Gief landing their supers in ST is hard work.These comeback mechanics are done right I agree with you there. I dont know BB or SNK games so I’ll take your word for it.

Don’t forget the rage mechanic in Samurai Shodown, but yeah, fuck S-Groove Ryu in CvS2.


After Daigo comeback EVERY fighting game should a way to feature an amazin comeback in front of thousands and sell the game to the ones that didnt even play fighting games but “want to be like Daigo”


heres a come back mechanic: playing the game and hitting the other guy and not letting him hit you. get fuckin real everybody.

Placebo effect is a lot stronger when you aren’t actually taking a placebo.

Don’t think there is anything inherently wrong with them, although I think certain implementations of comeback mechanics are less interesting than others. Generic power ups like x factor or rage are boring to me. When the player is awarded a tool like an Ultra or lvl3 super (k groove), it skews the balance of the mixup game, which to me is more interesting than the character simply being better in all regards because they activated some super power mode.

I’m not sure which game had this first; where, once your health reaches a certain level, you’ll receive less damage than normal. It’s in SFA3 (1998) and the CVS games I think, and possibly the SF3 games, but I suspect some form of this exists in SF2.

Additionally, Fatal Fury 2 (1992) had its DMs which were only possible when life was low, and Samurai Shodown 1 (1993) had the Rage Gauge.

The only good comeback mechanic is the mechanic that’s given to the person losing AND the person winning.

SF2 definitely reduced the damage you took when your health was low, I remember T. Akiba’s site has a detailed breakdown. I was picking apart Vampire Savior’s damage calculation routine in MAME the other day, and not only do you take less damage when you’re behind, but you deal more damage, too.

A comeback mechanic should not reward someone for losing. The Super Attacks in SF2 can only be built with offensive pressure, not by getting hit. So it’s more like the opposite of a comeback. It’s more like an over-the-top attack that is used to finish the opponent off when they’re low on health and/or cannot survive the chip damage after a knockdown.

If a comeback mechanic was not easy to combo into or hit-confirm or otherwise spam, and if it didn’t automatically do huge damage but actually had to be used wisely, then that might be a good thing.