Pushblocking, etc.

Some other random thoughts came to mind, so I apologize in advance if this post structure is completely chaotic. This little online journal was intended more for me than the people spying on it in the first place!

Pushblocking is, in my opinion, a wonderful yet widely untapped mechanic. I don't play Marvel vs Capcom 2, but I have played it enough to understand it at least, as well as some X-Men versus Street Fighter. I've also played quite a bit of Jojo's Bizarre Adventure, Vampire Savior, and I do also enjoy playing Juni in SFA3 (though I'm more partial to Cammy).

What these have in common is pushblocking, which I feel can compensate for a lot of otherwise really bold/problematic game mechanics. I honestly feel Jojo's and MvC2 would not be playable without this mechanic, and I also believe V.S benefits from it greatly as well.

I'm currently of the opinion that it was a much needed mechanic in some other 2D fighters that simply don't have it. For example, if BBB implemented pushblocking they could have done a lot of really wild things, like making ground-based moves not blockable in the air (which they currently almost all are, including supers) and given the game much lower airdashes and maybe even short jumps and such. Ground overheads could have been given to more of the cast, and the existing ones wouldn't have to have been so slow, either. All because of pushblocking.

What does that have to do with aerial dynamics, well it has to do with the "strength" of the air game in general. I want to say that a game like MB suffers from the problem of having characters in a game that have entirely too good air movement and air attacks, plus air blocking and no guard meter, compounded with the fact that the majority of the cast don't have particularly reliable anti-airs and weak/impractical projectiles. For characters like Miyako and Ren, it's simply far too foolish to even bother fighting on the ground when they can fight so well in the air. But then fighting in the air just means bouncing around like an idiot, trying to get above the opponent and push the right button at the right time. It boils down to "You thought I'd move here, but I didn't! Fooled you!" and "You thought I'd try that again, but I didn't!" kind of game.

I would say that this wouldn't be so much of a problem if there was no airblocking or there were better ways to lock the opponent down in the air with a air block string, and/or air blocking heavily drained some sort of guard meter to the point where it would be practical to do air-to-air guard crushes.

However, those are really rather extreme mechanic rearrangements. Pushblocking might also be pretty extreme, but such a mechanic doesn't have to be either free or limitless like it is in Jojo's and V.S. It can be limited either by blockstun duration, timer, or possibly even meter, and it could certainly be limited to ground-use only.

To me, the benefits to pushblocking are rather interesting. No doubt, I feel it definitely works in every game that it's in, and not in bad ways at all (IMO).

My favorite benefit is being able to pushblock against jump-ins, which hinder the frame advantage and stage-area advantage awarded by overpowered jump-ins. Though another benefit that I rather enjoy is forcing players to be creative with their attack strings and mixups. Tick throws, overheads, and staggered attack chains become not so freely spammable in games with pushblocking, though they are certainly not completely nullified either. Even in Jojo's and V.S where pushblocking is free and limitless, the mechanics of breaking down the opponent's guard are not nullified at all, but rather players just need to find new and interesting ways to hit the opponent. In other words, they have to actually think instead of just spam high/low/throw all day randomly and mindlessly.

I've always wondered what Guilty Gear would be like with pushblocking implemented. Considering that momentum and damage is so heavily integral in that game, my theory is that it would benefit from it a lot. For example, Testament barnie string (exe beast) into high/low/throw over and over and over until you finally block wrong and he gets to damage half your lifebar or more, ending in a knockdown that enables him to use a meaty projectile that awards enough frame advantage for him to do it again.

But, I digress.

The problem with pushblocking though, is that it doesn't actually benefit everything under the sun. Certainly SF3:3S wouldn't gain much benefit to that kind of mechanic other than hurting Yun and Yang. But that would just mean that Chun, Ken, Dudley, and probably Makoto would dominate the rest of the cast. If anything, I would think pushblocking would hurt 3S a lot more than help.

I also have no idea how it would actually effect Garou:Mark of the Wolves. I want to say positively by hurting B.Jenet, Kevin, and Terry. But that would mean that Gato would dominate even better than he already does, in addition to Grant dominating as well.

Anyway, pushblocking is just something that's been on my mind a bit.

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