First off, I want to get a couple of things straight before I start spewing out questions. I posted something like this on gamefaqs like a couple of weeks ago but I got flamed to hell and called a scrub by pretty much everyone even though I believe I worded myself pretty well and with respect. So here goes.
I am not the greatest player out there.
I do not have the time, due to work and such matters, to play much SFIV. I’ve been playing SF since the turbo days but for the same reasons as now, I never really had too much time to play. Because i’ve been playing for so long though, I know all my fundamentals and I find myself holding up quite decently to the B+ and A ranks. I watch tourneys, I play a couple of other fighting games, and I do well with a variety of characters. I can do 1 frame links, I don’t jump in mindlessly towards shotos and I know my footsies, so no, I don’t believe I am a ‘‘scrub’’. Oh, and I main claw, just putting it out there I guess.
Ok that’s out of the way now.
I get about 3 hours a week to play, so as usual I go online and face the imminent barrage of kens, ryus, akumas and a few others. I know that’s just what it is so I never really expect to see crazy variety when I play online. Its been in the last few weeks that I started thinking of what I’m posting here, mainly because for some reason I have almost exclusively been facing ryu and ken players. Out of 20 matches on average, 16 have been of such characters. A spinkle of cammy, fei long and akuma here and there but mainly the iconic shotos.
But why is this so prevalent? I could answer my own question as I think I know the underlying reason but I wanted to know what all of you people think about it. It is astronomically easier to win, play mindgames and pull off more damaging/dizzying combos and kara grab the day away with ken than it is with vega…that is what I discovered when I just started casually picking ken about a year ago before dropping him. But is that the only reason as to why he is picked? Because it is easier to do everything and just win in general?
When super first came out, the 10 new characters were crazy popular and everyone was trying them out. Everyone was trying EVERY character out. About a month later, things had gone down the vanilla path again and the opponents I faced went back to being mostly ryu and ken. I can say the same for AE and I infer it will be the same for ultra. Here’s the thing: Capcom goes through the trouble of making up new characters, going through hundreds of designs before finalizing the characters, making up a move set, balancing the moveset, giving the character a theme, a story(ok maybe not so much a story), and you get the idea. I picked vega because I though he looked goddamn cool when I first saw him in the original SF and I stuck with him for that game and for IV.
So what is the main reason that fueled you to use such characters in the first place?
A) You thought they were cool
B) You found it easier to win
C) You enjoy using the character…however I can tie this to B), as I doubt anyone dislikes winning a lot.
Either way, in my experience as someone who is not serious yet not casual, I find this mostly hurts the community, or more accurately put, affects the potential community. I have only 2 friends who play SF at my level, and i’ve tried to get several of my other friends(by several I mean nearly everyone) to learn, but they ironically quit because of what i’ve been talking about. Because when they’d try to play online, they would quickly get bored and annoyed of only facing the same characters. It is hard to get new people into a community if the most prevalent characters are undeniably powerful yet easy to use, which results in just way too much frustration for many when they are just trying to play with a character they picked because it was the one that caught their eye, be it the design or character theme(one of my poor, poor friends really wanted to start out as guy). It is also not very hard to understand why more of these overused characters keep rolling in. Because new players either can’t win or just get too frustrated by being beaten by the same characters over and over again, they end up picking those characters themselves. The same effect can be seen on melee where everyone picks fox/falco, on sfIII with chun li and ken and pretty much any other fighting game.
So to close I reiterate: If you do pick these characters just to win more easily, good for you, I am not insulting anyone for it. I will ignore any and all comments that are unpolite. I will not get into a ‘‘just block the shoryuken’’ sort of discussion because I see torney players eating fierce shoryukens, rekkas and spiral arrow all the time, furthermore those discussions never end well. And I hope you guys dont TLDR this!