I started out playing Dictator late last year on pad, and was getting decent results online with him back in Super. When I moved to stick, I wanted a challenge… so I picked up Akuma, a character I’ve always liked.
It took me months to get decent execution for combos, FADC stuff . Literally, I’ve been practising since March, trying to understand Akuma’s set ups - just generally getting the character to flow.
But I’m getting beat down every time I go online and face even decent players. Actually I’m getting obliterated. The worst part of all is that I’m assisting these other players with these losses. I can see what they’re doing. I can’t react fast enough and by the time my hands start to move half of Akuma’s life is gone. My late reactions just leave me totally open for big damage. Then, when I get the chance to dish out damage of my own - dropped combos, missed supers and ultras and before you know it I have a double digit loss streak. It was so bad today that I probably won ten games in about three or fours hours. It just wouldn’t come together. Worse, I got angry and then everything went to hell.
I need help identifying what are the fundamentals for the character that I should focus on (and fundamentals in general), because honestly I feel as if right now my knowledge of the character is flawed. I know I need to go back and work on my execution for sure. My defense… well, it’s not the worst but it could be a lot better. I know that will only really come with the pressure of matches.
So, how do I get better at this game? And by extension, this character?
Without showing video footage of your play, you’re going to receive pretty ‘general’ advice. That said…
Don’t let this game piss you off (it will try very hard). If you get angry, take a break - even a 5 minute breather.
Watch some videos of top level players and see how they move, what they do on their wakeup, what they do on their opponent’s wakeup, what combos/normals they use a lot, etc.
Play offline. I say this for a few reasons. First, offline play is the way the game is meant to be played, and it’s nice not having lag/dropped inputs to blame for a loss. Second, and less often mentioned, is that you get to meet people and socialize while you play. I find that I get much less irritated when I’m playing with people I know than when I’m facing an anonymous avatar on XBL.
Play Ryu. It’s hackneyed advice by now, but I myself have picked him up recently because he forces you to use shoto fundamentals and basic FG fundamentals to win games. After playing him for just a few weeks my zoning and AA game is already noticeably better. Once you have good Ryu fundamentals, adding Akuma’s mixups, speed and damage will make you nothing short of deadly.
Play often. Lose often. Learn why you are losing and rectify it.
You may want to poke around in the Newbie Saikyo Dojo for more advice on how to improve. But, there is no substitute for experience. Hope this helps.
@ Steve - it’s not just ticked me off, last I checked I was standing in a river of salt. Lol.
I’ve been doing the match video thing. I can see the logic behind the player’s decisions without having to get them pointed out anymore, and they have been incredibly helpful.
Unfortunately, the scene in my country is pretty much underground. Outside of a younger brother (who I’d have to say is pretty good), I don’t have much offline competition or really the time to seek it out. The thing is, I played him just yesterday and was leading him 13-12 with a combination of Bison/Akuma before I decided to start playing with other characters. He usually kills me even if I play those two. So I can see I’ve gotten better, but then today - argh. it was Man Utd vs Arsenal all over again, and this time I was Arsenal.
I’m tempted to make a character change for a while, honestly, just so I don’t feel like I’m spinning my wheels. I feel like I’ve hit the proverbial rookie wall, honestly.
I’ll consider the Ryu route, but he’s just so boring as compared to Akuma.
I will try to get in more time playing, and more practice time as well. I don’t need to be the best right now, but at this stage I’d prefer to be at least able to react and punish stuff with confidence rather than thinking about three options and executing none while poking my opponent in the face with a jab and eating a huge FADC combo.
Acolytic: I am trying to use all of the SF fundamentals when playing Ryu - zoning, consistent AAs, proper spacing, whiff punishing, pushing into the corner, etc. I basically try to play Super Turbo style.
Gelohk: Day-to-day fluctuations in skill/success are inevitable and meaningless - just make sure that, say, month-to-month you’re improving.
As far as Ryu vs Akuma, Akuma is absolutely more exciting to watch and play, and his combos are possibly the most enjoyable in the game. That said, consider the wise words of one Alex Valle, when asked about what flaws he sees in new players:
“Fundamentals is the art of controlling space with your character through movement and attacks. You see many players today just trying to land combos on a skilled player but fail to create opportunities for them. This also goes for players throwing out fireballs at the worst times or always mashing DP when someone is near. Players should research/ask questions about their flaws to whoever they are losing to.”
It’s tempting to hop right to Akuma to learn all of his combos, to learn his vortex and to be able to pull off those clutch, game-changing Raging Demon cancels - I’m afraid that I may have done that somewhat myself. By stripping my toolset down to something comparatively simple, I am making myself learn and apply those fundamentals, because I need to in order to win against worthy competition.
Better reactions and combos will come after a lot of practice and experience.
@Steve - you’ve given me some more stuff to think about. I’ll see how I can use them to up my game.
I must add I’ve always been a defensive type of player, and I think part of my problem has been trying to adopt a more aggressive playstyle. It leaves me second guessing myself. Perhaps the change I’m trying to make should be more gradual than the large push I’ve been trying to make all at once. It might be better to shade towards my natural tendencies for a while.
Something else you mentioned too - I think I’ve crammed so many tools in the toolbox in such a short space of time that I can’t use any of them efficiently. I may be okay with some - but I’m not good with enough of them.
Ok, now I’m definitely going into practice mode tonight. No more online matches today, just going to work on some stuff.
What this boils down to is familiarity with the matchups. As you play against different characters, you’ll start to pick up on visual queues more quickly that will allow you to better counter their attacks. In essence, you’re hesitating during the match because you’re still trying to figure things out.
Don’t worry about win/loss or points for now. Just concentrate on getting better at reading the opposing character. Know what options he has on wakeup so you can use the correct counter, but don’t necessarily think “offense” means you have to land a hit all the time. Most players online KNOW that Akuma has to keep the pressure going to win matches so they’re looking for you to keep attacking. A little trickery goes a long way sometimes, just ask JR!
Well what I did in the games I’ve played since is slow things down, try to watch the other character and I’ve tried working people into the corner more. Standing still for just a sec at the start of a round before doing anything has worked wonders. I’m also working on using my normals more, and I’ve spent some time just trying to frustrate people into making mistakes I can exploit. I’m trying to set up at just about the range that if they jump I can get a simple anti air fierce and apply pressure from there.
All in all more patient play, sitting on a life lead if I have it, and not getting completely reckless if I’m down.
The matchup thing… yeah boy. I have serious problems against any half decent Ibuki or Abel for example, but I’m working on those things when I get the time.
As for trickery… DF into super never gets old. And so many people fall for it it’s ridiculous.
You sound like me. Its gotten so bad that I have thrown my $150 Q4RAF and $200+ VLX many times in frustration. I was beginning to think I’d totally lost all fighting game competence until I recently got to play CVS2 and A3 on arcade. Its the game bro, especially playing online (which is the only option most people have).
Same thing happened to me yesterday. I was doing better when I knew less about Akuma lol. I need to go back and focus on just 2-3 fundamentals and build on that. Trying to do everything all at once is a fail-boat.
It didn’t help that every third game was lagged to Sh*t when I know my internet is perfect.
Well, more patience and more practice mode, guys. Haven’t had much chance to play matches recently, but been trying to maximise what little time I’ve spent in training mode. Working on anti-airs, BNBs, and I got me a pretty good coach. Been trying too to break down why I win and why I lose, and then work on each thing as I go. The one thing I really would like to practice is my defending and I don’t really think I can do that outside of matches. it will come though.
Glad to hear you are seeing progress. Sorry i didn’t respond to your XBL message. Let’s chat some on MSN soon.
I am conflicted about learning more than one character when you’re still at a beginning/intermediate level. In a way, it is helpful, especially with a basic character like Ryu, but I really think that if you spend more than 5% of your time dicking around with random characters, that time could be better spent playing your main.
Well, when AE dropped I seriously considered playing Yang, so I spent quite a bit time with him, but I’m back to Akuma full time. I still want to get good with Yang, and I’m still intrigued by Guy regardless… but those things will come in time. When I’m confident that I know Akuma’s basics well enough, I’ll start to diversify my character selection again. I’m still convinced Yang is secretly the best character in the game, and it wouldn’t hurt to have a character like that as a secondary.