Some questions from someone new to the fighting scene

hello, just had a few questions whos from different competitive scenes (sc2 and fps) and had some questions about fighting games in general and some in particular about ssf4ae.

  1. Skill gap; How big is it from pro’s to semi pro’s to noobs. do pros loose sets to bad players? is there any cheesy (“gay”) play that lets bad players win? i know j-wong and daigo in particular are constantly top 3, but in general do the better players stay on the top and consistently post good rankings.

  2. Luck Factor: From what i’ve seen from sf and mvc, i notice that theres alot of guessing or mind games i guess. how much of it is actually luck? is it like flipping a coin or more about educated guesses? Are 2d fighters more like poker or starcraft where luck takes a definite factor of the game or is it completely skill dependent like quake.

  3. Amount of Games: So in the last year or so i’ve noticed that SSF4 was released and than SSF4AE and now SSF4 x Tekken, and than MvC2 and now ultimate? and than MK9… Do they usually release this quickly? Is capcom noted as being a company that just wants to generate as much profit as possible? Is there a solid amount of time that each game is played? Will ssf4ae still be mainly used in tournies or will SSf4 x tekken now be used?

  4. Execution: How hard is it to execute combos and in general to play the game at the highest level. one of the reasons i like SC is because hand speed and quickness are a large factor on who’s good and who’s bad (even though theres exceptions because sc2 is so noob friendly) Who in SSF4AE requires the most “APM” or takes the most execution?

thanks to anyone who answers! <3

Good players consistently do better than bad ones, even in a game with Phoenix in it.

So I’d assume every other game is the same, as surely no other game can be as random as MvC3.

If a bad player makes it far into a tournament it’s usually more due to lucky seeding than due to actual in-game performance.

More like educated guesses. Sometimes people catch a lucky break, but as players get more and more consistent you should see less and less of luck being a factor.

Depends on if SFxT ends up being SF4 2.0 or if it plays like an entirely different game (this is more likely).

If a new game is too different from what people are playing, people won’t jump ship to it. (A good majority of SF4 top players didn’t jump over to MvC3 or MK9.) Don’t worry about having to completely relearn a new game because it’s suddenly the new popular game.


maybe el fuerte

  1. Generally, you’ll see the big-name players in the finals of big tournaments. Some exceptions happen (especially with Marvel, I’d say). Sleazoid is probably right with the seeding and such. But when a no-name make top 8, nobody remembers the path he took to get there, they just remember him there.

  2. There’s always going to be some sort of luck. Luck never plays no role. The goal should be to minimize the need for luck by improving your own skill.

  3. I don’t see SFxTekken replacing AE. Its possible it will, but it seems different enough where both will be there. Right now the three big games are AE, MvC3, and MK9. All of them get solid attendance. Some people think MK9 is going to die down after Evo, but I’m not too sure on that. If anything knocks it down a bit, it’d be Street Fighter X Tekken.

  4. Ability to execute combos comes from how much time you put into practicing them. Its entirely possible to play the game well and never use any combos (it’s just going to take a long time to win matches, in many cases). There are some characters with few practical combos (T. Hawk, Dhalsim, Fuerte), but many have a wide range combos. The highest execution character is Viper, no question. Fuerte’s Run-stop-fierce combo takes a lot of work, and that combo is what really makes him shine. Abel pops into my mind too, since his bnb combo has a one-frame link, but that’d just take a bit of learning the timing of that link.

Thank you for your answers. after researching a bit more, while waiting for my fightstick and ssf4ae to get here (having something shipped to arrive on monday instead of friday is one of the shittiest feelings btw) i’ve tried to look at as much tutorials as possible and try to research about the game as much as possible and i have some questions.

  1. First off you said C. Viper, which after looking at tier lists is relatively high. I was thinking of maining fei long because according to tier lists he is the highest ranked character and i dont want to be gimped just because i main a “worse” character. Is the balance good enough so that all characters are relatively even? Should i main fei long and c viper just to make sure i have no bad matchups? Should i learn Ryu as well, as i’ve heard that you should learn him first as he is the most “standard” sf character.

  2. Option Select. Obviously i’m not advanced enough for this to matter yet, but i was just wondering after looking at certain tutorials, it seems like this feature eliminates litterally all of the options instead of frametraps?(idk what those are). How does option select affect the game specifically?

youre going about this all wrong. newcomers and average players need to stop worrying about tiers. it does not apply to them. tiers do not matter at a lower level. you can pretty much pick up anyone you want and win games. you could also pretty much find it impossible to beat the lowest ranked character. match-ups are basically when 2 characters are played at their FULL potential, who has the advantage? then after that, you tally up every match-up and you get your tier list. mind you, new things are always found that constantly improves and changes the tier lists. i’d advise you to learn the basics 1st (even if you decide to main c.viper). worry about the advanced stuff a little later.

Super SF4 was considered the balanced version of SF4. Arcade Edition is considered less balanced and more biased towards rushdown characters.

Despite this, it seems the game is balanced well enough that you can pick anyone from the top 8 and still succeed. Wolfkrone has done notably well with C.Viper. Many others have seen success without picking Yun or Fei… though very few of them were playing non-rushdown characters.

Good option selects do indeed shut down most/all of an opponent’s options (aside from sit there and block), but their applications are limited.

Their impact on the game is significant (an good option select is basically unbeatable and puts the user in an advantageous position) and everyone does them - but they aren’t grossly overpowering and the game isn’t about who has better/more option selects.

A frame trap is a blockstring designed to trap someone who attempts to mash out of it.

A blockstring is a sequence of attacks that leaves the opponent completely in blockstun for the whole duration. When you are in blockstun, any attack you attempt to input will not come out. Players tend to hope that the attacker messes up his blockstring, and mash out shoryukens hoping that they will hit the attacker when they mess it up.

The difference between a frame trap and a regular blockstring is that the frame trap intentionally gives the opponent an opening in their blockstun - but the opening is so small that the shoryuken actually gets beaten out by the next incoming attack.

Frame traps aren’t perfect though - a few attacks are able to squeeze through even the smallest of openings (either because they have invincibility or just start up really really fast) and still hit.

Meh, depends on bad or how scrubby were talking about. You could at least admit the game is rather spammy and not enough options to punish. There’s the I wish I could do something but I can’t or it’s not worth it so I eat chip damage factor. 1 Frame doesn’t matter which character it is, it’s still a bitch to preform. I never feel like I lost to a better player or at least not often anymore so much as it is to that person got away with something.

Hell, you can pretty much choose anyone and still be able to hang in there. Obviously, the lower tier like Dan, Hakan, T. Hawk, and what have you are going to need to work harder in many matchups (though Hawk fairs pretty well against the top tier :D), but they all still have the tools for success, if you know your matchups.

You should play a character that fits your playstyle. Not every fighting game playstyle is represented in AE*, but most are. Tiers are secondary to playing a character that meshes with the way you play the game. Yes, they make a difference, but playing one of the twins when your brain favors a zoning gameplan is probably not the best of decisions. In short, play the highest-tier character that fits your playstyle.

*- For example, I can’t think of anyone with a playstyle similar to Guilty Gear’s Eddie in AE. Actually, make that “in any Capcom fighter but Jojo’s”.

As you noted an invincible move will not be beaten by a frame trap. Unless you’re frame trapping between a move and Seths Shoryu. Which is…actually a suspiciously awesome frame trap. This goes for non-safe jump OSes too, generally[again seth and his instant god modeness] they’re beaten by reversals so be wary.

To answer the OP 1-2: good players will always beat bad and a lot of the reason is that as you get better you minimize how luck factors in. GOOD READS are the key of the day not advanced tech.
3. We’re entering the new boom of fighting games so there’s gonna be a ton of releases over the next few years. Depending on how you feel about competitive merit this is a good or a bad thing, but just know at least that fundementals transfer quite well from game to game. Even from games with overall different gameplay styles like tekken and street fighter.
4. Execution is less important in most fighting games than in SC with some exceptions. Overall if your play is good you don’t need to[although you OUGHTA] hit every possible combo a la Alex Valle. His gameplan is great so even if he’s not doing super complex stuff he can still ace you easily. Viper and Gen are the two most execution intensive chars although for Gen the payoff is much lower.

Play the character you feel most comfortable with, having bad matchups is less of a big deal if you invest a bit of time and learn how to beat them. Its not nearly as convoluted as some people make it seem so don’t worry too much unless you’re on the recieving end of like…sim v yun. In which case there’s always back up mind games like punching the guy in the face…

In the end I’d def say the top 10+ are viable tourney chars so take that as you will.

Please, just pick whoever you like the most (get in training mode, try their moves, pick whoever you feel most comfortable with). Don’t look at tier lists, don’t think about which character is better and which is worse. Game’s supposed to be fun. So enjoy it. =)

There is no such thing as cheesy/cheap. Playing to win is the only true style. If doing something gives you a better chance at winning, then you do it.

It depends on the game. Every game has it’s only learning curve and skill gap. The difference between older games and newer ones is that in older ones the gap between beginner->medium->advanced players is roughly the same. In newer titles though, there is a much smaller gap between beginner and mid-level players, but the gap between these guys and advanced players is arguably as wide as with the older games. So it’s easier in newer games for a mid-level player to get beaten by a beginner, but as with the older games the odds of them beating a pro is extremely low.

FGs are sometimes compared to poker. Every move you make is a gamble, but understanding the rules of the game and your opponent’s tendencies will you aid in making moves that minimize risk/maximize success. Two of the most common ways luck/randomness manifests itself in actual gameplay:

  1. A player makes an unexpected execution error
  2. A player does an unsafe move in anticipation of something that has a very low probability of occurring

Number 1 applies to all vs games. If your opponent drops a combo or misses a punishment opportunity you can consider yourself lucky, especially if they’re not known to make execution errors. Number 2 usually manifests itself as a “hail mary” comeback attempt, but it can apply to other scenarios as well. The funny thing about this is that if it succeeds, people will sometimes refer to it as a “good read on the opponent”. If it fails, people will just call it a random move.

El Fuerte

  1. You can certainly tell the difference between someone who has taken the time to learn the game in comparison to someone who doesn’t know as much. Generally, peoples placings are consistent unless the competition gets better, new tech comes out etc etcc

  2. I feel most fighting games remove the luck factor for the most part. People will say things were lucky, or this was that but the reality of it is you spend the match learning your opponent’s habits and figuring out what they want to do so you can stop it. Countering someone’s attack with your own and beating it out completely comes from knowing move properties and frame data, although every so often someone will take a guess and get ‘lucky’ that it worked, but had they known the properties of the moves they’d know what the result was going to be before hand. Another thing that I suppose you could call luck, but I don’t think of it as such is when some beginning players play they have no rhyme or reason to why they do the things they do and it can lead to someone who is clearly a superior player losing simply because he was trying to play the game on a mental level that his opponent wasn’t so all the information he was trying to put to good use was a waste.

  3. There’s been a huge influx of fighting games coming out. People played MvC2 and Street Fighter 3: 3rd Strike for about 10 years before SF4 and MvC3 came out. It’s just that when SF4 came out it brought a bunch of new players and the fighting scene has been expanding rapidly because of it. It’s hard to guess how many fighting games are going to be coming out and how often updates such as Ultimate MvC3 and SSF4 AE will be released, but you shouldn’t have to worry about the entire game engine and things of that nature switching anytime soon.

  4. Execution is game and character specific, but there are games that require 1 frame links pretty much where you have 1/60th of a second to input the button for it to combo. In SSF4AE, C.Viper is easily the most execution heavy.

In the words of Sanford Kelley “If you want to win, pick a top tier” No but seriously, you should pick a character based on how much enjoyment you get out of playing that character. Take me for example I played Makoto in super when she was bottom of the barrel on the tier list. That didn’t stop me though because I was having the most fun using her. Sure Fei is high on the tier list, but would you have fun using him, and does he fit your playstyle? If so, you hit the jackpot and by all means go for it.

Let’s face it if you’re in it only to win it, you may not stick around long. Because you’re going to lose more then win at the start. So having fun with the game should be priority number one, at least until you learn the game and then you can be all about the W.

lol I think the way Ed Ma put it was freakin’ golden - ‘If that’d failed I’d have called you a scrub, but it worked so I guess you’re pro!’

Thanks for all the responses. From what i’ve noticed as a starcraft player is that it seems like there are ALOT of similarities between the games. Theres a luck factor, but you can minimize it by putting yourself in the opponents shoes and seeing what would be the logical decision on their part and than counteracting that, however it seems like you can catch bad breaks if the opponent is either 1. stupid or 2. playing risky. I liked the gameplay of starcraft, but the amount of time it takes to be good is simply too high for most people. Fighting games seem similar in that respect as well, but i feel like theres less downtime inbetween games (no early game…) and in general its alot more fast pace where as starcraft is only fastpaced during battles or harassment…

Anyway regarding character decision, tier list will have an effect on it because not to offend, but why in the LONG run would i want to play a character which gimps myself? Yes i know in the beginning it will have no affect, until i master a character, but i plan on practicing alot this summer to try to get to at least a solid level, which i think I can achieve. Play style wise I’ve yet to get the game, but im considering Fei Long, Akuma or C. Viper. Fei long as i’ve seen is just supposed to be a super solid character with multiple aggressive options. Akuma is a shoto (is that the word, shoryuken + hadoken?) and i’ve heard from people that you should start with a shoto character just to familiarize your self with fighting games and it seems like hes just solid as well. C viper just seems to be fun and i like being challenged. I heard though that rundown characters (aggressive im guessing) are superior? In most games and in general that the defender has an advantage. Why is this not the case in SSF4AE? I feel like i would rather play a defensive character (not exactly dhalism or sen, but someone who has good zoning and footsies, but has combo potential) as that would seem like they would eliminate the most risk from the game (sc reference there might be wrong for ssf4).

again thanks alot!

Regarding shotos, people don’t say “start with a shoto.” They say “start with Ryu.” Ryu is the most basic, all-around solid character in the game. Most importantly, he has no real gimmicks. You win using fundamentals and solid play, which is what a new player wants to learn first.

E: I’ve noticed that I’ve never heard of Ryu being described without the word “solid.” Ever.

Vanilla and SFIV are more defensive than AE because AE nerfed a lot of the characters who are defensive (not all) by things like damage nerfs (Guile and Sim come to mind), and nerfing their ability to use fireballs to build meter while zoning. My character’s (Rose) best defensive tool (U2) got nerfed to the point where it’s really only useful for trying to walk in on someone to open them up. Then you add the twins (though mostly Yun) who have amazing tools to open characters up. The risk reward has shifted more towards the rush down characters.

FPS games require an extreme amount of stealth, accuracy, reflexes and above all teamwork. Not so much as hide behind bushes type crap but to the point where you move around while being seen at a very low rate while scanning through areas because you sure as hell can’t dodge bullets.

FG games require perception if anything. You have your moves and you try to land them and defend against the other guy’s moves. That’s all there is to it.