Wednesday, June 9

The Prodigal Son Returns

I swear to you, I am good at Street Fighter IV. When I stopped playing online I had a win rate of over 60% in nearly 200 fights. In my opinion that is somewhat respectable. Naturally I had expected that my skill level would translate somewhat faithfully into the upgraded Super Steet Fighter IV. Well I was wrong. On my way to 100 fights online I have achieved the disgraceful success rate of just over 27%. I try my best to compete with the speed and strategy of my opponents and almost always come up short. Have I gotten worse? I honestly don't think so. I'm employing the same tactics, and I can pull off most moves (except for full circles and double angle charges) when required. From what I can see, two things have changed:

1) Logistics
As previously discussed, the matchmaking system employed by SSFIV pairs you up with local combatants unless you insist on taking the fights to other regions. Now I find myself participating in fights without any hitches in connection and fighting a different breed of opponents. The increase (not exponential, but noticable) in the fidelity of the connection for almost all of the battles I have fought in has taken away any breathing space afforded by lag.

2) Changing attitudes, evolving strategies
I've been playing Street Fighter for nearly twenty years now, and each iteration has had it's own quirks and exploits. Further to that, my contemporaries have always employed similar (if not identical) tactics to my own. In Street Fighter II, it was all about heavy (fierce) hits and projectiles. If you weren't throwing hadoukens across the screen, you weren't winning. In Alpha 2 and 3, my eldest brother discovered medium strength attacks and the game changed somewhat, with an emphasis on speed. While special moves and heavies continued to rule, the smart player could engage in fast, close-quarters combat to try and even out the life bars after copping a super combo. In the VS series (X-Men VS Street Fighter, Marvel VS Capcom), success depended on your ability to super jump, land chains of light hits and build up your hyper combo meter. In one of the last 2D fighters I had the privilege to enjoy religiously with company, Capcom VS SNK 2 asked my fellow players and I to make several meaningful choices before we even got to lay our hands on each other. Choosing the amount of characters to fight with, and how powerful they would be (ratio) and then the gauge system you would fight with. Forcing your opponents into corners was a solid strategy which would often result in victory. Timing was also a key factor in any successful bout, with Dramatic KOs being the order of the day. In Street Fighter IV, I earned many wins by pinning opponents to the ground with projectiles. Aiming to have players land on hadoukens after jumping, or colliding with them after they rose from the floor (after being knocked down).

With Super Street Fighter IV, players have taken to the following: (what I have dubbed) ultra juggles, throws (so many throws), light hits and light special moves. An ultra juggle happens when a player knocks me off my feet, forcing me into the air slightly, then unleashing an ultra combo. It's a usually a light special (such as a shoryuken) which forces me up, and then I will have a nice, big projectile waiting for me on the way down. I am often a victim of throw spamming (I know, I'm a bad sport). Its not like I am turtling though. For those of you who don't know, to turtle is to block for the majority of a bout. I could be midway through a Sumo Headbutt, only to be intercepted and thrown. It completely destroys my momentum and my enthusiasm. Finally, the reason why players are using light hits is obvious: they're fast, you are less vulnerable to counterattack and light hits get priority over a great many moves. I can't adapt though, I'm playing just as I did when I played Street Fighter IV. It is a different game, and my usual tactics just do not work anymore.

The only saving grace is hitting with a Metsu Shoryuken, it is the most visually stunning super move in the franchises storied history. It is animated so well, and the sound of your opponents jaw crumbling is enough sweetness to help swallow those bitter defeats.

What is your favourite fighting game? Have you ever found that your strategies don't carry over to a sequel?


  1. I haven't touched a fighting game in ages, but the one I most played was Dead Or Alive 2 on Dreamcast. Loved that game.

    Nobody would hate me for wanting Bloody Roar to somehow make its way back into the spotlight with a deep and violent moveset lurking below the surface? Speaking of which, Bloody Roar 2 was just released on the US PSN. It'd be great to play on the PSP!

  2. DoA2 was awesome, sexy times!

    I never played either of the Bloody Roar games, but the historian in me wouldn't mind giving them a crack.

  3. CvsS2. Easily my favourite fighting game of all time, however it is closely followed by Rival Schools (OH MY GOD THAT GAME WAS AWESOME!!!!) and Alpha 3. Alpha was such a balanced game.

  4. Street Fighter 3, just because of Remy. Bring him back. But Ken is every fighting games greatest character, period.

    Followed by SFA3 and CvS2 (MvC2 is rad school just for Sabes).

    Although MK Gold just for the sheer amount of characters.

    On a side note I bought Inifinite Undiscovery for $9, I've always wanted to try it and hopefully at $9 i wont want to kill myself if its horrible.

  5. What does that name even mean? Infinite Undiscovery...if we break it down, does it mean an eternity without any particular breakthrough or triumph? Sounds like a JRPG to me - at least in the narrative department.

    Sorry, I just have no time for the cliches and tropes of that sub-genre anymore. I gave Crisis Core the flick because it was just so bad, story and character-wise.

    Ahem, back to fighting games. I want a new Zero Divide!

  6. Yes it is a JRPG, but they are so rare on PS3 its nice to be able to play a huge amount of RPGs on 360. I imagine I'll be underwhelmed Taz, but $9 wont kill me.

    Tris loved Crisis Core lol. Hell I would have if i had a PSP still.

    I want all Street Fighters to be DLC on PSN dammit.

    I will say with no doubt that Street Fighter is the greatest franchise in fighting history, followed by Tekken and MK.

    I know everyone will critise MK but I can be honest in saying even though I cant play one without wanting to vomit (long Story) I believe the memories it has provided as well as some cool as characters its awesome. By the way everyone look up Mortal Kombat Rebirth in You tube or go to this link and watch, totally rad beans.

  7. Nice to see Warner Bros. splash the advertising cash for the new game. I can't see them making a new movie, but if they can find that sweet spot and make the fighting just a little bit less constipated, I'm all in for a new MK. Streefighter features the finesse of Cirque du Soleil, whilst MK is like glassing some c*nt in a carpark.

    I'm too hard on JRPGs. Used to love the utter pants off them, but living here now has killed any enthusiasm for the genre as I'm crushed under the continued onslaught of piss-poor characters and tired anime/manga cliches across the board. Some good designs, granted, but I've had enough saccharine nonsense. Funnily enough, I can bear the laughable machismo of most grunting meat-ax shooters, but cannot cop the banality of JRPGs.

    In effect, it's easy to enjoy Steven Seagal's On Deadly Ground or JCVD's Hard Target, but try sitting through a Danielle Steel straight-to-DVD adaptation. With fairies and a gut-clutching Occidental take on Judeo-Christian mythology.

  8. Taz, that is the most beautiful comment about the Street Fighter VS MK debate I have ever seen. Kudos!!!

    I loved the almost beat-em-up gameplay of Crisis Core. The story went to crazy town before too long.

    Rubes, I liked MK3, 4 and Deadly Alliance, but at their best, MK games are button mashers. Word though, all the Street Fighter games should be available for download from the PSN. FYI - Virgin Interactive owns the PAL license for most Capcom classics. Apparently Richard Branson wants the Resident Evil and Dino Crisis games on the PSN. Awesome news!!!

  9. "Richard is the GFC affecting you?" - Reporter

    "What no, I'm Richard Branson!" - RB

    "Where are you now Richard? Some kind of bunker?" - Reporter

    "Ha Ha! I'm in space, I'm Richard Branson!" - RB

    That trailer was actually a pitch for the new MK movie, and I will be there opening night, looks brutal as. Love how they have changed the mythology to be based in this world like an underground tournament and not super natural.

    I think American RPG makers are over taking Japanese ones, point and case Mass Effect 1&2, best RPG's in history.

    Looking forward to a little SF'ing this weekend.

    And yes Taz best description of SF v MK ever lol

  10. Gents! New MK gameplay trailer -

    Looks like a finely-tuned 3D version of MKII. Bring on the ridiculous gore!

  11. sweet ill watch it tonight.

    youtube be banned at work

  12. Reubes, you will love it. It's gone back to being single plane battling, so no Tekken-esque side-stepping. Looks fantastically over-the-top. Old levels are back, like THE PIT and such. And Kung Lao can saw you in half with his razor hat. Length-ways. Starting at your balls.

    Bring on MK.

  13. "Length-ways. Starting at your balls."


    I am getting psyched over it.