Saturday, June 7, 2014

Talking About Ultra Street Fighter IV – Part 1?

So, I'm not sure what this post is going to shape out to be, but if you haven't heard, the Ultra expansion to Street Fighter IV was released this last Tuesday, June 3rd. I just wanted to talk about some things and also promote some of my own videos to see if I can get some feedback from anyone on my play style and maybe get some pointers. This isn't a review or a coverage of everything new in the game, just what I have done and some impressions. In fact, if you aren't familiar with Street Fighter or fighting games in general, then you'll probably just want to skip over this.

So, USF4 features some new characters. Hugo, Rolento, Elena, and Poison are ported over from Street Fighter X Tekken and a brand new character, Decapre. When I first saw the reveal for Decapre, I thought that this was just a bullshit character. I was so mad and just disappointed. A cross between Cammy/Vega and it's a charge character? I didn't get it and I had no interest. In fact, I had 0 interest in USF4 until I started watching the recent balance change videos on Capcom Fighter's YouTube channel. After getting USF4 and playing it for a bit, I'm actually pretty excited. In fact, the one new character I'm using the most and trying to learn more about and practice with is Decapre. I don't know why. She pretty much relies on moves that pop up and are followed up by her godlike air throw. Then, on knockdown, she focuses on a mix up game with a charge teleport that leads into attacks. I'm not really sure why this character is sucking me in. Maybe it's because I'm learning something new and it is rekindling my old passion for the game. Who knows?

I don't really like the additional characters added. Hugo is too slow and his move inputs piss me. He has a command grab that is 360 + Kick, but also has another command grab that is 180 + Kick. Usually, the wrong one comes out. It's annoying and makes me not want to practice with the character. Then there is Rolento. I don't like his damage output, I don't find the pole bounce/roll mix up game appealing and he just feels really stiff to play as. Moving on to Elena...I can't grasp her. She's not a character you can just jump in with, at least that's what I think. He odd pokes and high/slow jump arc just confuses me. I'm too all over the place. The only character I would put some work in from the SF x Tek game is Poison. She has awesome normals, a projectile, overheads, rekkas; she's like the total package.

My personal struggle with Street Fighter can be explained in a simple timeline:

- Vanilla SF4 comes out and I play it constantly. I learn so much that I never knew and played daily.
- Super SF4 comes out and I continue to play daily and I'm pretty sure this is when I was at my peak. I felt formidable and was a few steps away to at least starting on the road from going to an above average player to a good player(not elite, but who knows what could have happened).
- I just stopped playing the game. Other stuff happened, I got new distractions like other games, comics, etc.
- SSF4 AE comes out, I play it for a bit, then drop it again. My skills are deteriorated and I'm nowhere near the skill level I once was at. Can't tech throws consistently, can't link combos consistently, I fuck up on inputs too much. I am pretty much stuck at this level.
- SSF4 AE 2012 comes out. Still stuck at the same lower level of play, only really play with Scorpius Jones offline.

Basically, I stopped being consistent and stopped practicing that a lot flew past me. I don't even know if I can keep up with normal, every day players any more. It would require me to get back into a groove and I don't know if I have time for that. But I still love the game. I want to at least play like I know what I'm doing.
I'm thinking this: In the past, I never really played Ranked Matches online because I always felt I learned more from constant Endless battles and talking to other players about how to improve, characters, etc. Literally, when you pick up a fighting game, you're going to get the shit kicked out of you for A LONG TIME. The trick is to not get discouraged and keep at it. If you do play Ranked, just don't give a fuck about points. Keep chopping that wood until your game just increases more and more. I need to go back through this process. I need to get the shit kicked out of me and so I can relearn what I have learned. I suck at crouch teching so bad now, it's ridiculous. I get nervous, I either think too much or don't pay attention enough. Complete noobie status. I need to be reprogrammed back to when I didn't panic(at least, it wasn't very often) and I could focus on strategies and tactics and not have to worry about my inputs.

I can't guarantee anything, but I'm going to try this with USF4. I'm going to try to practice every day and fight people online. Right now, I want to try using the following characters during this process: Balrog, Decapre, Dan, and Guile. Balrog because he was my main for a really long time during my peak and there was a reason I played him. Decapre because I wanted a new character in there and I am really enjoying learning how to use her and how to figure out match ups. Dan...look, I REALLY like his changes is USF4. And Guile because I've played him since vanilla.

USF4 now has Red Focuses, double ultras, and a great new feature that allows you to upload your fights to your You Tube channel. Well, I want to share some of these vids here. I'll give some small background. I would really like any fighting game/Street Fighter enthusiast out there to watch these and give me pointers. Any feedback would be great.

Match #1 – Endless Battle

Ok, before you watch this video, know this. This was my first time taking Decapre online. Before I fought this guy, I lost 8 straight matches to a guy that used Decapre/Chun Li. Then this guy beat him. Then I beat this guy twice in a row(weird, right?) I really like my performance in Round 1, Round 2 ends in a way that makes me laugh, but it wasn't really serious. I take this fight as two people just screwing around with a character trying to figure things out.

Match #2 – Ranked Match

Only things you need to know are this: 1. I literally turned my 360 on and went straight into Ranked. No prep, nothing. Just went and picked Dan and said fuck it. 2. I have never fought against Elena at all before this. I had no clue what to expect.

Good games to both these guys.

I know this is kind of a wordy post and it is more of a blog post then other stuff I've normally done, but I just kind of feel that if I put myself out there in a personal setting, more people can relate. So far, I'm really digging USF4 and I want the passion to reignite and continue. I would also like to post more random SF posts about, well, anything that I find while playing, whether it be ranting, asking questions, pointing out funny things, promoting upcoming tournaments, anything. But I have no clue if I will or not(hence the “Part 1?”)

So, leave a comment below or on the YouTube vids with any feedback and let me know if you have any pointers. I'm a big boy and I can take the harshest of criticisms.


  1. It's been too long since I've properly commented on a Tom Badguy post. Time to change that.

    I've put some time into USF4, and while I wasn't exactly scrambling for a chance to play it, I still think that the update's managed to breathe some life into the game -- much more than I expected. Not that I'm complaining. I've seen some success with Poison, and I think I'm going to add her to my (admittedly shallow) pool of characters. I want to do the same with Hugo somewhere down the line, but...well, I'm not 100% convinced on how effective he'll be in the long run. Plus I already did my time playing as a bottom-five grappler with T. Hawk, and I don't know if I've got it in me to start over with a new one.

    Anyway, your matches. Now, I don't know much about Decapre or Dan (or SF4 in general, which begs the question of why I play it), but based on those videos I think I can make some observations. It looks like you've got a handle on putting pressure on the opponent -- especially by working in those throws -- and you're not recklessly jumping into enemy attacks, which is always a plus. Having been on the receiving end of many a beating, I know that a smart offense like that can help score a win.

    But that feeds into something that really sticks out to me. It seems like you've got a habit of jumping back (jumping roundhouse, I'm guessing?) when you have the chance. You caught your opponent a few times, but it tended to shift the momentum -- not enough to deal you a loss, but enough to give the opponent a chance to breathe, and potentially come back harder than ever. I know that being right on top of pressured opponents in the game can lead to some misfortune -- wake-up Ultras, DPs in the middle of your attack strings -- but unless that back jumping roundhouse is a part of your strategy, it just seems like a weird thing for an offensive player to do.

    But other than that, I think you're in pretty good shape. I guess the big thing for you would be to get familiar with Decapre and her combos so you can maximize your damage, but that'll come over time (and with trips to places like Eventhubs, of course). So just keep it going.

    Also, the new Half Pipe stage just WILL NOT get out of my head. Just thought I'd mention that.

    1. Voltech, you are a god among men, sir. Thanks for the comment!