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34 Cliches of Christmas
Down to Forward + Punch = Fireball
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on November 22, 2007   |   Episode 1 (Show Archive)  

   

It's that time of year again, a time when Defunct Games celebrates the holidays by posting a daily theme article that should inform and delight gamers all over the world. This year we're taking a look at the video game cliche, the type of thing we've seen time and time again in all generations of gaming. Is this cliche realistic? Does it need to go away? These are the types of questions Defunct Games will be asking over the next month. Join us as we celebrate this joyous season with the 34 Cliches of Christmas!



This artist rendition makes Ryu's blast look more like an energy ball. But don't be confused, down to forward + punch is the international sign for the fireball!
As Seen In: Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat, The King of Fighters, Killer Instinct, and, let's face it, every other fighting game you can think of.

What Is It? Back in the days of 2D fighting games it was common for the different pugilists to throw magical artifacts at their opponents. The most popular was the fireball, which just so happened to be summoned and thrown using the fighter's hands. And how did they do it? Simple, they pushed down to forward (a quarter circle) and then pushed the punch button. While most people will remember this move from the Street Fighter series, the truth is that just about every other fighter on the market took the idea and ran with it. So if you're ever in a jam, remember the basics: Down to forward followed by a punch. Who knew

Okay, so there is a man who can shoot fire from his hands. That man is the mighty Gob Bluth!
throwing a fireball would be so easy?

Is It Realistic? Let's just get one thing out of the way right off the bat; since nobody can actually throw a fireball from their hands, there's really no way for this cliche to be realistic in any sense of the word. And even if you could shoot fireballs from your hand (which you can't), chances are you wouldn't do it by pushing down to forward on a D-pad. If anything you would summon all of the anger you have and direct it to your hand, which would then create a fireball that miraculously does not burn your hand off, but does fly across the room and hurt somebody else. Thankfully nobody can do that, this world has enough crazy weapons to hurt each other with, we certainly don't need people throwing fireballs whenever they get angry.

Is It Overused? These days you don't see as much fireball throwing as you once did, perhaps that has to do with the switch from 2D to 3D. For the most part the 3D fighters of today are fireball-free, instead they focus on characters who punch and kick each other in realistic ways. From time to time you will see a character throw a fireball, but it's usually not done by pushing down to forward. Generally speaking I'm fine with this cliche, even if it isn't very realistic and was at one time overused.

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