Learn Footsies to Make Your Ground Game Not Suck



  • SUPARNOVAXSUPARNOVAX 必殺技 Joined: Posts: 5,808 ✭✭✭✭✭ OG
    Sagat's damage in SF4 wasn't broken. Ivan the Ooze in that Power Rangers fighting game is broken. More broken than Akuma in ST. You guys are just throwing shit around for the sake of it.
    "Defeat is a state of mind. No one is ever defeated until defeat has been accepted as reality. To me, defeat in anything is merely temporary, and its punishment is but an urge for me to greater effort to achieve my goal. Defeat simply tells me that something is wrong in my doing; it is a path leading to success and truth." ~ Bruce Lee
  • PuFFPuFF Dan Marino Joined: Posts: 2,119
    Sagat's damage in SF4 wasn't broken. Ivan the Ooze in that Power Rangers fighting game is broken. More broken than Akuma in ST. You guys are just throwing shit around for the sake of it.

    Fuck Ivan Ooze.

    Mountain Dew is delicious. No matter what Tweleve says.
  • Tao JonesTao Jones Industrial Average Joined: Posts: 189
    Hey Maj...is there any way you can make a printer friendly version of your handbook (obviously the video examples would be nullified) that I could take to work and read when I'm bored? I don't get much time on the computer or when I'm at home to do a lot of reading.
  • MajMaj CvS2 Combo Collector Joined: Posts: 2,073
    Been meaning to write this for a while now, but i kept putting it off because i knew it would be long:

    The Social Aspect (of Fighting Games)

    It's got more than enough words on its own so i'll keep this short, but the community aspect of the "fighting game community" is easily the main reason i've stuck around for so long. I can't guarantee that our community is for everyone, but i think everyone who got into SRK through SF4 owes it to themselves to at least check out what Street Fighter is like offline. Go to SRK's Regional Matchmaking forum and see where the players in your city gather to play. I bet you'll have fun.

    Hey Maj...is there any way you can make a printer friendly version of your handbook (obviously the video examples would be nullified) that I could take to work and read when I'm bored?
    Might take me a little while, but i'll definitely look into it sir.
  • MajMaj CvS2 Combo Collector Joined: Posts: 2,073
    For anyone who might have missed them, longtime SRK community veteran Koop has begun writing an excellent series of tournament survival guides (part 1 and part 2). He explains how to travel for major tournaments in great detail. To complement his efforts, this article will explain why traveling to major tournaments is worthwhile.

    Traveling to Tournaments

    Please forgive me if i'm starting to sound like i'm pushing Evo every chance i get. I can only speak from personal experience here, and i've had a blast every single time i've gone - regardless of whether or not i entered any tournaments.
  • craigUKcraigUK Joined: Posts: 10
    Hi Maj,

    Im usually a non-vocal member of SRK.
    I have to break the silence to say Thank You ! These articles are brilliant.
  • MajMaj CvS2 Combo Collector Joined: Posts: 2,073
    Thank you sir. Glad i could help. (Wow, you weren't kidding about not posting much. "Posts: 2")

    Well, continuing the focus on tournaments, i wrote an article about some of my personal tournament experiences. Namely, the handful of times i've managed to reach the grand finals of a tournament and what exactly happened at that stage.

    Tenebrous Tournament Tales

    I hope you'll find them at least somewhat interesting. More importantly, i hope you'll share your own along with lessons learned. I'm looking forward to hearing them. Nothing beats actual factual experience, right?
  • MajMaj CvS2 Combo Collector Joined: Posts: 2,073
    A couple of people asked me to write this, and i was hesitant at first, but it did give me the opportunity to discuss some topics that i'd been meaning to address.

    The Role of Damage Scaling

    Basically, SF4 gets a bad rap for its heavy damage scaling and input leniency, but i don't see any problem with either of those design decisions. SF4 matches certainly don't run the longest of the games we've played.

    Execution-wise, SF4 isn't that much more lenient than SF3 was, and it's still difficult enough for newcomers to have to spend hours practicing special moves in Training Mode. It's definitely a step in the right direction though, in terms of striking that balance between welcoming new players and placing enough value on clutch execution.

    My general stance on input leniency is that more is better - as long as it doesn't get in the way of itself. Admittedly, a few SF4 characters have that problem, but it's not nearly as bad as people make it sound.
  • MajMaj CvS2 Combo Collector Joined: Posts: 2,073
    One last strategy article before Evo!

    Tournament Pre-Match Scouting

    Happy 4th of July and good luck to everyone heading to Vegas for Evo2k10 next weekend! If this is your first major tournament, just relax, take in the atmosphere, and have fun. It's always a great experience.
  • SystemSystem Joined: Posts: 508,676 admin

    Excellent post, thanks for writing that all out it is very helpfull.
  • PutterPutter Richard Joined: Posts: 63
    This has helped me with my footsies game a whole lot. Great reads, thanks for writing them.

    ...and it's only now that I realize there's more here. Wow, I have a lot of reading ahead of me.
  • MacenKraceMacenKrace Joined: Posts: 17
    Thanks dood! This helps my game a lot. Currently at Chapter 3, cut I'm making real progress.
  • MajMaj CvS2 Combo Collector Joined: Posts: 2,073
    Here's a follow-up to an article i wrote about Damage Scaling. I've wanted to write about this for a while now:

    Where Do Combo Videos Fit In?

    There's still a lot of discussion about the role of combos in fighting games, so this is my take on it. I think they serve a clear purpose in match play, but they're not what i would call core fundamentals.

    Combo videos are a little different because they've evolved into their own niche, but it's still impossible to separate them from their roots in the fighting game community - as a means of exploring and understanding game engines.
  • BaGHeeRaBaGHeeRa Joined: Posts: 7
    thanks to all authors for these guides...have helped me step my zangief up alot!!
  • MajMaj CvS2 Combo Collector Joined: Posts: 2,073
    Being part of the fighting game community and having internet access, it happens to all of us from time to time. We all get sucked into heated forum arguments about which character is superior in head-to-head battle.

    That's right, i'm talking about ... Theory Fighter!

    I'm sure everyone's going to skip over this article and go right back to theory fighting, but it was worth a try.
  • Spaghetti_TimeSpaghetti_Time Joined: Posts: 13
    The word of the day today is...

    Winning shows how far you've come. Losing shows how much further you have to go.
    Don't fight to live. Live to fight.
  • SpanktastikSpanktastik Old Schooler Joined: Posts: 4
    Wow, thanks for this. Really gave me some crucial tips, to my ground game. (I loose @ DreamHack Semi-Finals, cause of my bad Ground game)
    I am Alpha And Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirs of the fountaind of the water of live, freely.
  • L_A_CL_A_C Joined: Posts: 12
    need posts

  • MajMaj CvS2 Combo Collector Joined: Posts: 2,073
    What? Why'd you pick this thread and not some GD thread about a movie or something? Anyway, i wrote a general article about leveling up in fighting games.

    Five Milestones that Change Everything

    Figured it might serve as a good introduction in case anyone asks what the genre is all about, or for anyone who?s stuck at an early stage (which happens too often due to execution barriers).
  • MajMaj CvS2 Combo Collector Joined: Posts: 2,073
    This one's pretty straightforward:

    Fundamental Wakeup Defense

    It was originally titled "Block More on Wakeup" so that should tell you what to expect.
  • scarsofzsaszscarsofzsasz Hunter Smith Joined: Posts: 221
    Great article. Any help to the community is always appreciated.
  • BuffaloBillyBobertBuffaloBillyBobert Joined: Posts: 131
    I can't begin to tell you how much better this guide made me.

    It also made me scared of jumping. Good shit, Maj!
  • Chuck ChainzChuck Chainz Joined: Posts: 19
    I read this a while ago and was surprised how informative it is, now i have to go and read through it again because i found my self in a ground game rut with Ken :sweat:
  • MajMaj CvS2 Combo Collector Joined: Posts: 2,073
    Time to get back to work on writing strategy articles, starting with a basic overview on ...

    Hit-Confirmation Methods

    Though i'm sure people will post like 20 more techniques in the comments area by this time tomorrow. I've heard my share of creative/bootleg tricks, that's for sure.
  • zack1989zack1989 Joined: Posts: 75
    thts wonderfull really....
  • MajMaj CvS2 Combo Collector Joined: Posts: 2,073
    Wrote this as a clarification of one of the first footsies articles:

    Using Combos and Block Strings as Bait

    I hope it helps.
  • DevilKnightDevilKnight Joined: Posts: 773
    Yo Maj, I only just lately started reading some of your stuff (thanks to a podcast from Juicebox), it's really useful and is helping me re-assess my approach to playing this game. Unfortunately I've only read about 4 of your chapters on footsies so far, and it seems you've written a whole lot of other stuff now too. I've a question about one scenario that bugs me a bit about the Akuma vs Ryu match-up in SF4.

    Akuma generally wants to get in closer to play footsies, since that's where Akuma can open up more options and advantages over Ryu and get the sweeps to start his vortex; but when I'm trying to approach to start those footsies up, it's rare against solid Ryus that I get as far as baiting any sweeps and stuff since I often get hadokened in the face or pushed back on block 2-3 times. Shit makes me wanna jump in but you get mixed results from that and I shouldn't want the opponent to have that kind of effect on my options.

    Tried lately to incorporate focus absorb, front dash a little to help but it requires precise timing to get right and recover quickly, which I'm only beginning to get half-decent at but there's also the fact that online delays can mess up my timing with that too.

    Ryu's HP fireball has a speed advantage over Akuma's, and a far superior EX version so you can only trade with him for a limited period of time. At which point Akuma tends to revert to his neutral jump game to try and counter the advantage, but this doesn't work on the Ryu players who know well how to neutralise it.

    It's a little general in the matchup-wise details, but since it's an issue of the fireball being a like footsie shield that you can't properly react to at that range; I'm wondering what sort of other answers you know of for this scenario.
  • MajMaj CvS2 Combo Collector Joined: Posts: 2,073
    Crazy, i had no idea Juicebox mentioned my footsies articles. I never have time to listen to podcasts but i checked those out and enjoyed all of 'em.

    Anyway my advice is to watch relevant matchvids and see how experienced tournament players cope with that problem. Also you should probably ask Juicebox himself. He knows way more about SSF4 matchups than i do, and he always provides his email address for questions at the end of his podcasts.

    (Also it's way too fucking difficult to find a decent matchvid on a channel that isn't full of blatantly stolen vids. Why do people think it's a good idea to support u2b users that upload SBO/Evo rips?)
  • DevilKnightDevilKnight Joined: Posts: 773
    Thanks for the video response, it allowed me to think about taking a look into the mentality of the Ryu player before he throws a fireball when I plan to Demon Flip/jump in, although in this case Daigo shut it down after game one. One thing that makes him an outstanding Ryu is his ability to play and control a match without requiring any fireballs; and that allows him a greater comfort in taking a flexible approach to however a match-up is going. Whereas many players can fall in the trap of playing in the relatively safe 'pocket' of the fireball shield, and become uncomfortable with a match where the fireballs are getting baited or shut down.

    Another thing Daigo showed in this vid is an uncanny ability to take a micro step back at almost the exact instant that ToXY input cr.HK. Guessing that stuff can't be taught.

    Gonna try and keep up with these articles and podcasts.
  • MajMaj CvS2 Combo Collector Joined: Posts: 2,073
    I wouldn't go so far as saying "can't be taught." You can learn anything that Daigo does. It might be harder for you though. Everyone has different strengths and natural abilities. Not everyone can be a Daigo clone. Maybe your talents are better suited to emulating Tokido or Justin.

    My advice is don't worry about stuff that you can't do or what character style you can't use. Focus on what works for you and get better at it.
  • DevilKnightDevilKnight Joined: Posts: 773
    Think I might have something for you Maj.

    There's something about Street Fighter 4 footsies that's useful to know. I don't know at the moment if you have already written about this; but if you haven't, it's something that could be worth a mention in one of your articles. One of the useful things to come from release of the games hitboxes is seeing the absurdities of the extended yellow hitbox on each attack. This is the one that sticks you in blocking animation if you are holding back even when the attack whiffs.

    After watching some youtube vids of strong players using footsies in SF4, I started incorporating a whiffed standing or crouching jab myself as a kind of twitch before a low poke (or any poke) and noticed my footsie effectiveness immediately seemed to jump from it. Strong players have probably picked up the strength of this instinctively, but the hitboxes shine some light on why it works.

    Balrog standing jab: http://otersi.com/00_interesting_frames/balrog_slp.png

    Ryu's standing jab: http://otersi.com/00_interesting_frames/ryu_slp.png
    and crouching jab: http://otersi.com/00_interesting_frames/ryu_clp.png

    Keep in mind that the small dot beneath the character marks where their hitbox was centered when the attack began. In Balrogs standing jab, he very briefly lunges foward for it, then retreats again, so his yellow hitbox actually extends further beyond Ryu's than it appears and goes well over half-screen. These boxes explain why you can't back out of a focus charge to make it whiff. Like focuses, the yellow boxes in normal attacks last longer than just the active frames of the attack. Effectively, by spamming jabs you can remove the opponents ability to step away from you. A single jab or other normal achieves this momentarily at practically zero risk.

    So when you and your opponent are spacing in and out of attack range and they want to back outside your sweep/poke reach, a quick jab whiff (or two) before your sweep or poke freezes them in a standing block and they stay inside the range of your attack. Now with their intention being to be backing away, rather than low-guarding the attack, they are somewhat likely to be swept as they continue to hold back for their desired retreat. The quick whiff can basicly be used as a way to help whiff-guard your sweep or limit the opponents movement temporarily and exert some influence over their spacing.

    It's yet another silly design choice in the Street Fighter 4 engine. There's no doubt in my mind it was put in place to give horrible players a shield from being spaced out of reckless attacks by players who understand footsies. But just like the leniency in the input system, it's the dedicated players who will study and dissect the system to understand how it works and be able to find exploits to create and advance new tactics for the community to use. And so the ability gap continues to exist in a fairly large form.
  • MajMaj CvS2 Combo Collector Joined: Posts: 2,073
    Man, i thought i talked about that already but i can't quite find it at the moment. That's actually been around since SF2, although it wasn't done with a bigass yellow hitbox.

    But yeah that definitely plays a factor in footsies, though as more of a dirty trick than anything else. I'll make a note to write an article about it, but it might take a month or so because of my schedule.

    Anyway i don't think you should worry about that gap too much. That's there no matter what competitive arena you walk into. The people who have been around for a long time will always have the advantage of experience, but your motivation and your enthusiasm for the game can trump that.

    When you hear old-timers talk about SF4, a lot of times they can seem grumpy like they don't like it as much as their favorite game. But that's natural. Everyone has the game that made them fall in love with fighting games, and that's the game that they played to death. Two or three releases later, they'll have experience, but they won't have that same desire to explore every little detail. Haha, i should probably write an article about this too.
  • MajMaj CvS2 Combo Collector Joined: Posts: 2,073
    Okay, here it is sir:

    Manipulating Proximity Blocking

    I might add a few matchvid links later, but it's pretty straightforward.
  • MajMaj CvS2 Combo Collector Joined: Posts: 2,073
    Here's the other article i mentioned wanting to write:

    Enthusiasm vs Experience

    Just some thoughts on that gap between SF4 newcomers and the players who have been playing Street Fighter since forever ago.
  • TerraZeroTerraZero Joined: Posts: 21
    I've been going through your articles and I've got to say they have been extremely helpful in overall understanding of fighting games as a whole. I apprecciate the emphasis on helping newer players acclimate to the finer and more subtle aspects of the game.

    Really great stuff. Keep it up.
    MvC3: Dante/Dr. Doom/Akuma; Wesker/Magneto/Dormammu

    SSFIV: Ryu, Sagat

    SSFIV AE: Ryu, Yang, C. Viper
  • xroflmaowtfxxroflmaowtfx AKA Tai Joined: Posts: 68
    this is a great thread. thanks for the learning resources :)
  • kazer64kazer64 Joined: Posts: 14
    Play honda and you will learn footsies very quickly or lose XD
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