#NoScrubs: Rage Arts are for n00bs

Sometimes you’ll come across a scrub quote and see that people can unanimously laugh at it while understanding how dumb it is. Other times, people will see a scrub quote and a discussion will begin on it’s validity. While the first is good for a laugh, I much prefer the latter. While I usually believe the scrub quote is wrong, there’s little harm in entertaining it. And this is one I’ve entertained many times before. Today, we are dealing with comeback mechanics. I see that part about “cheap characters” and…not this week. 

For years now, we’ve had to deal with the discussion of comeback mechanics. For those who don’t know what qualifies as a comeback mechanic, it’s basically a system in place to help the person struggling or losing in a match. People have argued that having them in games ruin the integrity of fighting games, as the matches should be more about skill than who has chosen the better comeback mechanic. Others think that the comeback mechanic is good for beginners and for spectating, potentially turning a “boring” one sided match into an underdog tale. For me, I don’t mind if they’re done well. As for ones I think are good versus ones that are bad? Ultra Street Fighter 4’s Ultra meter was a good one, I’d say. While a bad one would probably be Dragonball FighterZ‘s Sparking. I’ll never understand how they thought that was a good idea, but I digress. 

Rage Arts and Rage Drives rank on the more “that’s fine” side of things for me. Rage in Tekken has always been…contentious. Ever since its introduction in Tekken 6, players have seen it evolve from one of the most busted mechanics to a mechanic where you have to make a decision. Do you keep rage on for as long as you can to add damage to your combos? Do you spend it all in a cinematic super? Do you spend it on a powered up version of your regular moves? It’s a mechanic that demands some decision making, but does in fact help you gain an advantage if used correctly. 

Which is why it always makes me chuckle when people go on about how much they hate it. This comment assumes that the winner chose the Rage Art. On paper, that’s usually the worst option. They’re slow, do the damage of a decent combo even if you do it raw, and if you block it then you’re probably going to die. That part is important though; “if you BLOCK. For all this hatred for comeback mechanics, there’s one thing I think people miss: you usually have to be in a losing position to gain them. In most cases, if you continue to go on the offensive or continue on with your game plan, you’ll usually win. Few game mechanics can make such a drastic turnaround so easily, Rage Art one of the least among them. 

Imagine if we lived in an alternate reality where this person just blocked the Rage Art. They’d punish and win the round. Soon they’d be off to the next match all moisturized and unbothered. Instead, they got caught pressing buttons, probably anxious about letting the match slip from their hands. And I get it. We can sometimes choke under pressure. But this reaction only gets people to laugh at you on the internet. I won’t say “don’t send hate mail” because they’re funny. I do ask that you just take a second to think to yourself. Did I block? Did I really tech that throw? Did I miss my punish? If it’s yes, then breathe before you hit up the messages, man. 

As for the greater discussion at large, comeback mechanics can be fun. But I get why people hate them. It doesn’t feel good to lose to X-Factor, Sparking, or *insert busted V-Trigger here*. But if

They are present, then there are ways around them. Fundamentals like blocking, punishing, and general outplaying won’t lose to comeback mechanics and gimmicks. Usually. Just stay solid and hit training mode so you can check the inner scrub we all have inside us.

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