Combo videos originated from fighting game players wanting to share their discoveries with friends and rivals. People would record the flashiest and most damaging combos they could find in their favorite games – and the entire community would benefit from their research.
As editing technology evolved from VHS tapes to digital capture devices, combovids grew more elaborate in artistic presentation. Nowadays, they’re as much about showing appreciation for a good game, as they are about exploring the game’s combat system and inner workings.
Game developers spend eighteen months crafting an interactive world that players can explore for years, then abandon it in a matter of weeks. To this day, people still talk about Street Fighter II, Streets of Rage 2, Final Fantasy Tactics, and God of War. Yet barely three months go by before both the publishers and the media move on to the next shiny object, leaving the players behind.
Why build a fully functional spaceship manufacturing plant only to label it a bicycle factory? There’s so much about these games that would go completely unnoticed (even by their designers) if not for individual players pushing past the intended limits.
The most interesting part of a game’s evolution happens after the first year – not in the first three months. But you’ll only see that in a combovid.