21 02 2009

Street Fighter 4’s arrived. A bit too early, in fact; I’d ordered slower shipping so it’d arrive with my MadCatz fightpad. That thing’s a beauty — it’s got six face buttons (my fingers work VERY well with face buttons, not so well with triggers) and a Sega Saturn like d-pad that can emulate either of the analog sticks with the flip of a switch. Brilliant! But it’s not here yet and that means enduring my first SF4 sessions on the regular 360 controller, which is pants.

There’s one core problem with SF4… the Skill Wall. There is a point in the game where you simply cannot defeat the AI / a human opponent, because they simply outclass you. You don’t have mastery of hitboxes and combos, you don’t have crackerjack timing, what have you. Once you hit that wall, it’s over; you rarely have a hope of winning, and in a game where the only thing you do is fist each other until someone falls over, winning is kinda core to the experience. Without it it’s just thrashing about in futility.

The skill wall is pretty close to the n00b position in my case. I have years of fighter experience, but I always play them intuitively… I watch the pacing, I try to guess what they’re gonna do, then I attack. I don’t pay attention to dial-a-combos, I don’t parry very much, I just try to land some hits based on what my gut tells me to do. And that works fine on, oh, 15% of the population, but beyond that you may as well just walk away.

I’m gonna try to actually sit down and learn the Fiddly Bits once I get my REAL controller, but I still wonder how much spin the game’ll get in my drive in the long run. I played Soul Calibur 4 for all of a weekend, for instance, until I realized I’m probably never unlocking the Apprentice because I’m not good enough. How far will this go? Time will tell.




One response

25 02 2009

Just use Zangief…
From tournament play I’ve seen, ‘Gief’s tactics are: EX Banishing Punch to move in, Clothesline to counter, then when you get close, SPD, crossup, SPD until tender.
He’s finally a godly character after all this time.
Also, you’ll never get good at a game if you give up too soon. No matter how much I practice, I’ll never be competitive level, but I can still have fun. With some games it took me hours in practice mode to even do that well, but it was worth it.

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