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Daigo Umehara explains why only buffing characters to balance fighting games doesn't work

Posted by Dakota 'DarkHorse' Hills • May 18, 2022 at 6:44 p.m. PDT • Comments: 18

Current fighting games are more balanced than any point in history before, but that doesn't mean there aren't still issues with some characters being too strong / weak — and certainly doesn't stop players debating how they should be fixed.

The legendary BST|Daigo Umehara recently received a fan question asking if it's possible to balance a fighting game by only buffing characters, and the longtime pro has a pretty poignant response.

Using the Season 1 version of Chun-Li in Street Fighter 5 as an example, Umehara explains the slippery slope of trying to make everyone as powerful as her.

"Let's say they buff Alex so that he's as good as Chun-Li," said Daigo via FGC Translated. "And then say Alex happened to be stronger than Chun-Li. Then, they tried buffing Chun-Li again, which then made Chun-Li stronger than Alex again. If this keeps happening, the game will become too unsophisticated."

A situation like that would create a revolving door of top tier characters with a power ceiling that's constantly rising with updates.

That could / would reach a point where the game itself changes on a fundamental basis and could go so far as deciding the winners of rounds from a single exchange according to Umehara.

He goes on to express that making fighting games more explosive and flashy doesn't automatically make it more interesting or less boring.

You can check out Daigo's full thoughts on character balance below thanks to FGC Translated, and if you want more of The Beast in your life, head over here to see the competitor discuss the highlights of his 25-year history as a fighting game pro.

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