Tips on switching from 2D to 3D

I’m about to get this game in a hour or so (or whenever I decide to get my lazy ass up from my living room and into my room) and I wanted to know what are some general do’s/don’t when transferring over from SF/Marvel(2D) into VF5(3D)

I have never played a 3D game except maybe Soul Calibur when I was like 9 and I obviously didn’t know anything about strategy or depthness pertaining to FGs. So what should I know about general movement?
The reason I’m getting VF5 is because it looks fun and because I’m a HUGE Shenmue fan and since Shenmue was initially a VF RPG project I thought I show SEGA some love and purchase the game…so yeah…tips?

Personally, I recommend watching the Ultra Chen Show featuring LA Akira. They touch upon the habits that 2D players may apply to 3D and how they can adapt their 2D knowledge to 3D. They also touch upon starting out in VF, the flow of the game, and how to react to a variety situations.

In addition to what $haolin said, one thing I notice is that 2D players try to constantly attack when they first pick up a 3D game. This is kind of natural, because they’re used to applying blockstrings in 2D games, and it can be jarring to find that 3D games treat offense in very different ways. In 3D games, it’s very important to pick your spots, know when you have the initiative and know what your (and your opponent’s) options are at all times. Just think about the difference between c.lp in SF4 and low punch in VF5. In the former, if your c.lp is blocked, you can usually maintain pressure because in most cases you have the advantage, but in VF5, a blocked low punch means you’ve more or less given the initiative to your opponent because you’re at -5, and now you have some choices to make: Evade? Fuzzy guard? Go for a sabaki?

The above examples are simplifications, sure, but for me they illustrate the differences pretty well. Hope this helps!

A few very important things:

  • The building blocks of VF are the single High Punch (P(G)), Low Punch (d+P), elbow (f+P), and your characters throws (P+G for example). You can also toss in one low poke into the mix if you want, but these are the basic building blocks of your attacks and while it may sound silly now, you will get much stronger in this game by simply mastering these really easy attacks. An intermediate player can defeat a beginner with just these attacks. A high-level player can beat A LOT OF PEOPLE with just these attacks.

  • LA Akira said it best on the UltraChen episode: “VF is a game about taking turns. You have to respect your opponent’s turn to attack, and they have to respect your turn to attack. That said, after you have mastered this, the game then starts to become a fight to 'steal turns.”

  • In a lot of 2d fighters, you will be locked in your opponent’s turn until the end of their sequence/trap. And they will be locked for as long as you can hold the sequence. In Virtua Fighter, it is NOT LIKE THIS, you cannot hold pressure very long without being very good at guessing or reading your opponent. Turns will change ever 1-3 attacks! REMEMBER THIS!

  • The general rule for understanding the turns is… If I successfully attack, it is again my turn to attack. If I fail to attack (my opponent blocks it, I whiff, etc…), it is then my opponent’s turn to attack–and I should defend. If I successfully defend, it is my turn to attack. If I fail to defend, I should defend again.
    Or to sum it up simply: When I am successful, I can attack again. When I fail, I better defend.

  • Get used to “buffering” your responses. The basic example (that everyone should know by heart) is that when you block a low punch (which you can block high or low, because it is an Ex Low attack), the general attack option you have right away is to elbow (typically f+P for most characters). “Buffering your response” means inputting the elbow BEFORE you recover, not after. Most 2d fighter players will be used to waiting for recovery, like linking a combo. In VF, you have a few frames before your character is fully recovered, so use those frames and input your elbow as soon as your block makes contact with their low punch. Again, BEFORE recovery, not after!

  • This gets out of beginner territory but… once your opponent shows they know how to defend an attack when they are at disadvantage, throws become a bit more valuable and become a valid option. Do not throw people who just always attack, do not throw mashers. Attacks beat throw in Virtua Fighter (unless the throw was guaranteed). But throws become an option after your opponent shows they know how to defend against attacks. Using the above example, you blocked your opponent’s low punch, so you elbow, and now your opponent blocks the elbow. Well, the next time that situation happens, you can now block their low punch and then throw them because they were probably blocking in anticipation of your elbow ^^ Learn to watch what your opponent does ^^

Obviously there’s a lot more, but I’ve found that the above concepts are so important but are the trickiest things to understand coming from other fighting games. VF is a ONE MOVE AT A TIME GAME. You won’t be able to level oppression for your opponent very long.

That said, once you get the hang of the game and your rivals get the hang of the game, you will be in for a very rewarding fighting game of constant mindgames and rapid exchanges :slight_smile:

A lot of 2D players forget that there is side stepping. I say practice a lot of side stepping along with spacing and you will be on a good start to learning 3D games.

Its important but not like the most important thing. Just something useful to know. Since most 2D Games do not have a side step.

What I notice a lot is people trying to own space / build meter in VF. Stop attacking from half the screen away, you’ll eat a counter hit.

On sidesteps, I would advise you be cautious. While VF is a 3d fighter, it is designed very differently from the Namco 3d fighters.

The best comparison for VF sidesteps to me, would be KOF dodges.

VF’s evades are designed to be good when used defensively, when you are frame-trapped more or less. They can be too risky with virtually no reward when you just do them out of nowhere or as a hard-guess on your opponent’s attack. They are an alternative to blocking, but they should only really be done when you’re already pressed into defense.

That said, there are advanced techniques to leverage aspects of them. But those techniques are not as important as understanding the general block and poke flow of the game, the spacing game, understanding whose turn it is to attack, and later learning how to steal your opponent’s turn to attack.