After spending a year mooching around Tokyo (student exchange programmes are splendid:tup: ), and occasionally popping into its marvellous arcades and getting my informed-but-woefully-inept peformance punished fairly frequently on a variety of fighting games, mostly 3S and T5 (i.e I know why I kept getting wasted, but failed to learn from my mistakes), I resolved upon my return to the UK to undertake the following task: get myself up to a level of comptence on my games of choice so that when I return (fopefully for good) to Japan, I can walk into pretty much any arcade and be confident in the knowledge that I can hold my own. A pretty tall order, I suppose, but I’m a simple man with few ambitions, so I figured I owed it to myself to try and see this one through.
To that end, I’ve nabbed a copy of SFAE for the 'Box, am in the process of scraping the cash together for a decent custom Sanwa stick, and, with a pal of mine, am in the process of setting up what I hope will be a fruitful 3S bootcamp chez moi, to get ourselves from 3S fans to 3S contenders against experienced Japanese competition. And of course an important part of this process is information gathering, hence this lengthy post.
Some background: my friend and I have been mucking around with SF since the SNES days (when we were both 11 years old, now both 24), but only recently started to play with anything like regularity. For 2 years or so, we’ve sparred on CvS2, without either of us really improving much (I’m under the impression that our basic execution is more consistent than previously, but we always make the same mistakes and punish/get punished accordingly to the best of our limited abilities). Now we’ve got a home version of 3S, I decided it would be a good time to seriously step thing up several gears and become the kind of players we’ve always dreamed of becoming.
Both he and I are shameless Shoto plebians, always have been: him Ryu, me Ken. (Though occasionally my mate will plump for the 'Geef and try and catch me with SPDs, when he’s feeling cocky; I in turn will occasionally bring Gouki out and try and air-hado him into submission) Forgive us, for we are simple creatures, set in our ways etc…:rolleyes: But we desire to rise above our previous ‘efforts’.
Our progress so far - there’s several problems of course, the biggest one I think being the ‘randomness’ of our playstyles that surely marks us out as the novices we are: one round I’ll comfortably pummel my partner with c.MK-Hado combos, but then I’ll lose my momentum utterly and make so many hopeless errors that victory is stripped from me; in another my friend’s ability to pull of that crucial ShinSRK eludes him utterly and I finish the bout with a lucky c.HK. Don’t even get me started on our ropey parrying. Mindgames? How about our classic ‘Ryu in one corner, Ken in the other, both close to death, seconds ticking by while we try to work out how best to end this comical standoff’? There is no plan, no strategy, to any of our bouts; at best, I would call it ‘The Path of Hit and Hope’.
But some of our flaws run even deeper - I for instance find it exceedingly difficult to get my brain working, consitently, fast enough to even pull off a DP anti-air - my reaction times seem hopelessly quagmired. And the run-speed of the Xbox version of 3S causes me no end of trauma. I hope it’s not a case of my genetics letting me down (that would be crushingly depressing)…
Clearly this can’t continue. But how to remedy our months, nay, years of ingrained stupidity that have got us in the sorry state we’re in, and emerge as what SRK forumites would comfortably call decent players? Is it a case of pulling a Yoda and ‘unlearning what we have learned’?
This is where I hope you, the gentlemen of SRK, can shed some light on the matter. How do your get your minds working quick enough to see the opportunities for decisive punishing, to parry ALL of that Ryu SA1, to keep up that pressure, to even formulate a solid strategy? They say practice makes perfect, but if you’re not polishing the right stuff, isn’t is a case of hitting one’s head against a brickwall?
I realise this whole post’s flow is a little woolly, but any useful suggestions/input would be greatly appreciated. We’ve read the FAQs, the movelists, the combo lists, the framedata - useful literature of course, we’re well versed in the language of the 3S community, but actually making it work…
Do you have similar tales of woe that you overcame? How did you go about it? Any bizarre tips from outside the box that made the difference in the end?
Thanks for your time!