The Cinematic Super

The Art of Fighting: Ryo’s Ryuko Ranbu: 3.8 seconds


Supercombos were once a way to lure eyes toward an arcade machine and put quarters into slots, and SNK tried to create flashier animations in order to one-up its rival, Capcom. The company created the supercombo to begin with, and it is particularly known for the “Ranbu Super,” in which a single hit leads to a canned attack series that ends with a powerful blow. You could call it the predecessors of the cinematic moves of today.

Bloody Roar 2: Uriko’s Surprise Cat Pounce: 7.0 seconds


GamesBeat Summit Next 2022

Join gaming leaders live this October 25-26 in San Francisco to examine the next big opportunities within the gaming industry.

Register Here


As studios began to favor polygons over sprites, developers came to favor using cutscenes since they could basically animate whatever they wanted in between the first and last hits. The Bloody Roar series was fairly popular at the dawn of the new millennium, which was a simpler time when people could transform into animals and battle each other without making snarky references to young adult romance novels.

Skullgirls: Valentine’s Dead on Arrival: 13.5 seconds


That isn’t to say only 3D games are prone to long supers, though. Skullgirls’ resident nurse, Valentine, runs in, tosses her opponents in a body bag, and performs a premature autopsy on her unsuspecting foe in the cult favorite’s most elaborate attack. Developer Lab Zero Games even patched in an option to skip some of the animation.

Street Fighter X Tekken: Xiaoyu’s Cross Art into Jin’s Devil Beam: 16 seconds


Before the recent Version 2013 update, Street Fighter X Tekken had a lot of problems with timeouts. Although the developers ultimately didn’t take action on it, a lot of players wanted the timer to freeze during Super Arts and the tag-team Cross Arts because almost every cast member had one involving cinematics. They still serve as a way to attract newcomers to the genre, however, and one franchise understood this fact from the very beginning.