Monday, January 30, 2012

Competitive Fighting Game Critique Guy

     I decided to make a blog to just talk about what I think is right and wrong about fighting games on a competitive level. I'll probably end up talkin about other video games that kick ass as well.

     I guess I should say why I think I'm qualified to talk about this in general. I live where there is no top level competition for fighting games but I've been to japan four times and played Third Strike with the best of the best at Gamers Vision arcade and the same for SFIV. I've gone to one real major and that was Final Round in ATL a long time ago. My brother and I placed second and third behind Justin Wong in 3s. I've won a lot of local tournaments in my area, but those don't really matter do they? I may not have been to many majors lately, but that's because I don't like being a room with 299 guys for a whole weekend where winning the tournament wouldn't pay for the hotel and ticket out there. I've been to three Evo's but all before SFIV. I've been to SBO too. I've got family on east and west coast so I've gotten to play at Familiy Fun Arcade and Denjin and at hookups all over the east coast. My views are old and stubborn, because I've been around the scene for a while. I don't play much but online anymore, but I can still hang with the best in the Midwest whenever I do make a trip.

     So, first of all, I'd like to talk about the gap between new school and old school players. New school is anything from SFIV vanilla and on. New school players are very different than old school players in that their fundamentals come from SFIV while old school fundamentals come from, usually, SF2 series. The most glaring difference this creates is preciseness of timing execution. In most 2d fighting games, especially sf2, there were constantly situations where timing inputs was much better than mashing them out. With the leeway given in SFIV's reversal timing and the length of the option select crouch tech window, SFIV has mostly ruled out this precision of timing a player needed back in the 2d age, with the exception of frame traps in SFIV. This makes defense feel very strong in the game when you can mash reversals in the middle of someone's block string. This forces the game to be played at a defensive level most of the time, especially with the safe reversals with 2 bars and the invincible backdashes. You lose a lot of the in your face, fast paced decision making you would get in a more offensive based fighting game like Third Strike.

        Also, another big problem is that combo's in SFIV are too hard. Trust me, I'm all about hard combos, I practice the hardest combo's for fun but bread and butter combos are usually inefficiently too hard. For example, Rufus's bread and butter requires a tough link of lk to hp, which is easier if plinked and doesn't seem to be missed too often by most good Rufus's, but it still doesn't mean it makes sense, especially when you think about the reversal timing the defending player has where he can just uppercut or SPD through a very hard timing link. 3s didn't really have hard bread and butter combo's. I mean, think about how often Daigo misses his Ryu forward fierce into low fierce SFIV combo. It's not that often but it's way more often than he has missed a combo with Ken in 3s. 3s had easier timing on bread and butter combo's but harder timing on where it really mattered and made it fun, defense. You couldn't just mash throw tech while crouching, that's too easy for 3s. You had to predict the opponents timing in order to parry, and actually react to throws instead of crouch tech option selecting all day.

    What I'm trying to get at here is that new school players really don't know what a good fighting game feels like and I feel bad for them for that. It's weird when I hear a new school player say they really really like SFIV. I wish they could feel what the 2d fighting games felt like, how adaptive and strategic they felt. The spacing, timing, and strategy in games like ST, CvS2, and 3s have a totally different feel than SFIV. It makes me realize, I've lost a lot against top level players in both 3s and SFIV, but I most definitely felt outplayed in 3s a lot more often than I felt outplayed in SFIV. Probably because I'd  lose half my life getting reversal ultra'd in the middle of middle of my post-stun, 1-frame link combo.

Well, that's pretty damn long for a first blog post. Until next time check my vids @

My Youtube channel
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- RoBoT

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  1. I have to be honest. I miss just playing Tekken back in the back with my bros and taking real skill to land some shit down on the opponent. Where every match wasn't just picking the best character and using top combos. It was fun.