The art of the infinite combo

Ever met one of those incredibly irritatinggamers who find one move that works and just do that for the entire match? Us too - online in DOA. But he was mortified to learn we knew all the parry moves. Hehehe. But what if his move had been impossible to parry or avoid? Welcome to the world of the infinite combo, where even skilful use will win onlythe hatred of your peers. And a lot of matches, so it's your choice.

An 'infinite' is a string of attacks that leave no chance of your opponent blocking or recovering between blows - and can potentially go on forever. Usually these sorts of cheap tricks are ironed out during beta testing before the game ever hits shelves. But with today's massive moves lists, it's inevitable that one or two will fall through the gaps - famously (possibly) this week in Street Fighter IV.

So join us as we take a look at the art of the infinite combo and its various guises.

This is the most annoying kind. Two moves that never give the recipient a chance to recover. Do them over and over again until the fight is won, then feel thoroughly ashamed of yourself.

Example: Divada in WeaponLord

Some infinites are extremely hard to pull off due to the complex nature of the command string needed and the timing for each hit. As a result, some infinites are only really possible when the game is played on a PC emulator as you can assign the command to a keyboard macro. But why anyone would want to do that is beyond us. Note - in the example below the fighters' energy bars and the timer are set to infinite, hence no KO, even when the combo meter goes off the scale.

Example: Cyclops in X-Men vs Street Fighter (emulated)

If you do play on an emulator, itmay not be running the game in the pixel-perfect state the developer intended, resulting in glitched combos from borked collision detection and what-not. But glitches aren't solely reserved for emulators. The following glitch in Killer Instinct 2 is present in the original game and allows you to attack your opponent from anywhere on the screen, allowing Ultra Combos with any character.

Example: Jago in Killer Instinct 2

Let's face it,using any of these makes you look incredibly cheap. So you can at least try to mix things up a bit and put in some moves that keep a combo going. Like this guy.

Example: Swordsman in Tales of The World: Radiant Mythology

And just in case you thought proper fighting games were the only kind prone to this phenomenon, have a look at the end of Metal Gear Solid on PSone. We love the way Liquid's speech still sounds calm even though he's getting his face beaten to a bloody pulp. "Nice shot" indeed!

Example: Solid Snake in Metal Gear Solid

PS3 and 360's mammoth mammaries side by side

16 years of hurt in one scorching video

Fighting fit characters and their bypass-baiting moves