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A character archetype is a term used for to classify a character by their physical attributes, strategy, or gameplay characteristics in an asymmetrically balanced game. They are commonly seen in fighting games (in this case, for Super Smash Flash 2), which are normally designed to use certain recurring archetypes that are balanced against one another.
The purpose of the archetypes is to help inform the player of the kinds of characters that exist in a game, so that they may choose a character that suits their playstyle and be able to plan strategies against their opponents.
Typically, character archetypes can be defined in a general sense by a set of various axes. Examples of such axes include the following:
- Offensive vs. Defensive
- Close range vs. Long range
- Ground vs. Aerial proficiency
- Strength vs. Mobility
- Combo ability vs. KO power
- Range vs. Speed
In general, there are three main categories of archetypes : offensive, defensive, and undefined. Each of those, in turn, has their own unique/specific kinds of strategy; meaning that characters can fit into more than one archetype because of variations in their mind games and game-play styles.
Offensive characters are the ones that possess better tools for approaching and chasing down opponents. They usually attack relentlessly without giving any breathing room.
These are the characters that have little bit of everything( projectiles, melee attacks, chain-grabs, etc.), and have very few (or none) outstanding moves.
Once a pressure character start a combo, the combo will be delivered for a quite long time. Pressure characters rely on forcing their opponent(s) to make a mistake, then punish them severely with damage racking combos and setups. Usually, they rely heavily on mind games and reads.
Like pressure characters, opportunists patiently wait for their opponent to make a mistake before attacking. But instead of racking up damage, they deal powerful attacks that can kill opponents early. Like pressure characters, they usually rely heavily on reads and mind games.
Just like the name implies, these characters can pack a punch, but can be killed early because of their weight and low accelerated falling speed.
Like glass cannon characters, these characters are very powerful, and can last considerably longer on stage because of their weight and high accelerated falling speed. However, due to these attributes, they are also easier to combo and chain-grab.
Defensive characters are the opposite of offensive characters, in that they usually avoid their opponents and bait them into setups to exploit their weaknesses from a distance before delivering a punishing blow.
These are your typical stage defenders, in that they will use their many projectiles and/or disjointed attacks to out range players in order to keep control of the stage. Very good at wearing down opponents.
Bait & punish
Like catching a fish with a fishing-rod, these characters tease and weave in and out of their opponents space. Once they got them to react, they then swiftly punish them for it. Very good at reacting and punishing.
Being more slow, these characters rely on waiting for their opponents to approach them (by using a mix of projectiles and high priority moves,) then punishing them from doing so. Usually play very safe and damage opponents from afar/when they approach.
Unlike most projectiles that disappear quickly after being fired, these characters use their long lasting projectiles to trap and hit-stun their opponents to deal damage racking combos and kills. Great at comboing and camping.
These characters can play it as safe-as-possible while inflicting as much damage(or time consuming spacing) as they can before the opponent finds a way in. Good at stage control.
These characters move sets mostly revolve around or combo into their grabs, as their grabs are very powerful/useful to set up more combos. Very good at punishing whiffed attacks and weak approaches.
These characters have attributes that are different from offensive and defensive game-play or can be used as either or in a given situation. However, most of these characters tend to incline towards another category, meaning this can be considered a "subcategory" between offensive and defensive archetypes.
Unlike most characters, precision characters require more skill, as they have the option for using a move for either comboing or killing, but usually requires a sweet spot to KO.
These characters have moves that can either be for damage, killing or a little bit off both, but the moves are not the same when used multiple times, and are rotating.
These characters can use their attacks both offensively and defensively, and cannot be defined by attributes alone.