A3: Beginner


Better late then never…
I was always interested in the alpha series, but I never got into it. It seems like an advanced SF. Basically I’m all around new to this game, and I don’t know much. I didn’t find any other threads with beginner A3 stuff. Things I need help on are;

-Game system
-Any technical stuff…like CC, tech roll, etc.

I don’t even know how to recover from the air !!!
Plus what’s the difference when you press lp+lk etc etc for VCs?
Right now I guess I should fool around with A-ism to get a feel of the game, then move on to the other ones.

As of now, I use Cody…that’s it. I’m also interested in Balrog, Guy, and Rose.

Another question…Why do ppl call the DC version trash?
What’s the difference? Is it worth practicing on? I have both versions (Arcade, DC). But no pad for the Arcade version :frowning:

Last…Where can I find A3 videos? They seem hard to find.



Iwould highly recommend James Chen’s systems faq. It’s like the US bible to sfa3 imo. SFA3 is a very complicated game and Chen explains it effortlessly and in detail. Reading that alone will improve your game.

It can easily be found on gamefaqs.com and it’s at the bottom of the a3 faqs.

Hit me up if you need any specific Rog tips or strats:)



Can I ask you something? Why did you alpha counter soo much at Evo? Often times, it seemed like you did it for no reason. But then again, I know nothing about a3. :slight_smile:


The only time I did it for no reason was the first round against Gief. I was being cocky. Basically saying, “what’re you gonna do? Go ahead and come guardcrush me. I have zero fear of Japanese players.” It certainly wasn’t strategic(in the traditional sense of the word) but I kinda wanted them to come try and chump me since I had Rog.

I just do things like that to display an attitude. The attitude there was: “I don’t need defense to attack you. Go ahead and try attacking me if you can get away from my offense.” I intended to chase them down all dayin order to show the aggressive side of American play.

The first round was merely me having fun showing them the damage of the AC making them think twice because I may randomly use it. I was attempting to condition their attitude. So, in that sense, you could call it strategic. That was intended for them to come at me hoping I would waste my meter, in turn, eating a lot of shit cause I didn’t feel like backing up much.

The rest were intended strategically. For the strategic implementations of the AC look through the Alpha 3 thread. I explained the strategic benefits of Rog’s AC aside from mere damage.

Hope that’s what you were looking for:)



Haha you’re awesome.


James Chen’s systems guide and Kao Megura’s FAQ, both on www.gamefaqs.com.

yes i know they’ve been mentioned…


Yeah, Chen’s FAQ basically owns anything else you’ll ever read, unless you get your hands on some official japanese stuff…and that’s only better because they have pictures, and show you random, mostly unimportant stuff (red flash, how many dots each throw is, etc. still want one though…damn…).

Judging by your avatar, you play CvS2, so I’ll try to explain it in those terms, even though I don’t know much more about CvS2 than you do about A3.

A-ISM is C-Groove, sort of. No rolling or dashing or anything (except for those who have manual rolls or dashes), and you can’t super cancel, but everything else is the same. Alpha Counters still suck. A little better because they’re good against V–ISM, and a few of them (Dhalsim, Rolento, etc) are actually good, but worse because you can use them less often, since your Guard Crush meter is shortened for the rest of the round after you use one, and building meter is harder.

Most characters who are good in A-ISM are better in V-ISM, with a few notable exceptions: Dhalsim, Rolento (debatable), Chun Li, Gen, Guy, M. Bison, Balrog, and a few others who are debatable also (Cammy, Mika, etc). As James Chen stated in the CvS2 single play vs standard ratio mode thread, you’re generally more required to know your character in A3, especially in A-ISM, since your character is probably much worse on paper than the one on the other side of the screen.

X-ISM is basically K-Groove, only everything that makes K good is taken away. None of the low jumps or anything, you take more damage, no just defending or air blocking. You do take more damage tho. You also take twice as much block damage, and you can’t aplha counter. Hm. Anyway, you do a little more damage per hit, and there are definitely good characters in X, without question…but most of them are better in A and/or V. Good X-ISM characters are Chun Li, Dhalsim, Rolento, Gief (still ridiculous), Cammy (sorta), Ken, Balrog, Ryu, Rose, blah blah…the big problem with X more than anything else though, is how badly V-ISM counters it. So, while your X-Ken may genuinely be a very good character, you can’t expect him to win 50/50 against anyone in the top tier. On paper. Your potential to do damage can shoot way up though, if you happen to choose a character with good priority (ie X-Chun Li or Dhalsim), due to crouch cancels, and other assorted evilness.

V-ISM is A-Groove, I guess…only the rules for VCs (CCs, but in A3, “CC” is often reserved for “crouch-canceling”) are much more strict. They do much higher damage though, and about half or more of the characters in the game are better in V than in other modes. V-ISM alpha counters generally suck, but they’re needed less often, also. Also, the invincibility when you activate is longer, closer to a good level 3 super, which is one of the things that makes it so good. Basically everyone in the game has a VC that does over 50% damage, but nobody has a good midscreen. A lot do…
VCs can be activated whenever you have 50% meter or more.

A big difference also, is that ISMs in A3 actually change the way your character plays to some extent…in V-ISM, you have control of your close/far normals, like Dhalsim can in ST. So you if your character has a standing far roundhouse which would be abusable if you could use it while closer (ie sakura), or vice versa (like Ryu), you get to abuse that now. This changes characters a lot, and contributes to V-ISM being good almost as much as anything else.

X-ISM can’t air block, and sometimes has different specials and normals…ie Ryu loses his hopkick (which is bad), but gains his elbow rush (which is okay), and his fireball is faster (which is good). Vega only has his flipkick (which is actually a lot better than it is in CvS2…invincible) in V, and so on… With a few exceptions, most of the things available in in X are available in V (ie that Ryu elbow rush), with the exceptions of a very few number of specials.

As far as the more technical stuff, to recovery flip, hit PP in the air after being hit (doesn’t work vs sweeps and a few other things…read Chen’s guide), and roll on the ground and then get up somewhere else, press 2k before you hit the floor (doesn’t work vs sweeps or throws).

activating V-ISM with the different button combinations determines how fast the shadow which follows does so…in A3, the last shadow actually hits. VC1 (jab+short), it hits right away, VC2 is a little slower, and VC3 is a full second later.

DC version sucks for a couple reasons…#1 is the speed issue. Turbo 2 (default speed) is a little too slow on the DC version, and T3 is too fast. Also, VC invincibility upon activation is shortened (more like level 1 super than Level 3). It’s okay to practice A or X-ISM, I guess, but not much else. If you’re testing actual combos in V, I guess it’ll work.

There are A3 vids at thelemmings.net, and there were some good ones over at Cornertrap.com from the SummerJam 2 tourney.



maybe i’m thinking bout something else when u say “midscreen”…


Thanks for the info so far guys.


I heard you get more priority in your normals…is this true?

It seems like everyone uses V-ism for obvious reasons…does A-ism stand a chance in tournament play?

I notice you can’t link alot of normals in this game compared to the CvS series.

I’ve notice if you have a full V-ism meter, you go right threw projectiles if you are guarding…does this work for projectile supers? While you’re blocking, can you activate your VC?

Any other general tips are welcomed.


Re: Re: A3: Beginner

actually no…what I mean to say was “but not everybody has a good midscreen…” oops…


It is possible that some moves in X-ism do gain some priority, but for most characters, what you give up in A or V ism isn’t worth it.

There are definitely tourney worthy A-ism characters. TS posted most of the better characters in A. Although Dhalsim is by far the front runner.

Linking of normals is different for the isms. X-ism still has the CPS chains so linking from jab to fierce is relatively common for most characters. In V and A, it is definitely character dependent, and you’ll just have to experiment and find out, although the timing is much more precise in A3.

As for you going through projectiles in V, as far as I can tell, the only way to do so is with VC activation, unless you’re using Cody’s dodge (which I don’t think will work against supers).


Cody can dodge projectile supers.

  • i started the rumors that normals have more priority in X-ism, because i was getting my ass handed to me by an X-Rose. no proof of it yet (in the All About Z3 books anyway), but nothing says it isn’t true either.

  • very few real links exist in A3. besides the CPS chains, the two i remember are A/R/K’s c.SP > c.SK, and Fei Long’s c.FP > c.JP (i think. all i know is it’s an ST link too).

  • other than that u have the counterhit system that makes counterhit links possible. ie c.SP (counterhit) > c.SP > hadoken.

jus wondering.
what happened to the A3 thread…?


Thanks for clarifying. I never know since I’m almost always playing in V-ism, or with characters that don’t have fireball supers in A or X.

It is known that certain normals have different properties in the various isms. The most known one is probably Gief’s splash.

A lot of the quicker characters can pretty easily link a cr. jab into a cr. forward or a cr. strong (but I think that they have to have the machine gun ability that James Chen mentions in his FAQ) in A or V.


it is extremely difficult to get moves to link in a/v without landing a counterhit(counterhit puts opponent in a longer hit reel making the next attack very easy to link, no matter which attack it is). its just as tough to land a link in X without using the cps chain system. even some cps links are difficult to pull off. like with x-ryu, to link a c.short into a c.fierce, you press c.short, c.short +c.fierce. reason why it links is that it fools the game into thinking you are doing a chain, c.short can naturally cancel and chain into another c.short. so when you do c.short+c.fierce, it thinks you are doing another c.short, but a c.fierce comes out instead. you can do the same with jab also. so you can do s.jab, c.short+c.fierce or c.jab, c.jab+c.fierce.

hope i didnt confuse you with that explanation, its an old trick that appeared back in the hyper fighting days when c.short x3, c.short +c.fierce,fireball became a popular combo with shotos. keep in mind, the cps link system only works in X.

also to note with A-ism that can compete. a3 has evolved so much that a-ism can definitely hang with V. crouch cancelling really helps A out a lot, as it helps out with X too. like with A-ken, if i get one air to air counter hit with j.fierce, i will take 80-100% life off. thats just one example. also, alpha counters are naturally better in A as opposed to V. plus you can get 3 AC’s with a full meter as opposed to only 2 in V. so you can stuff a lot of guard crush vc’s and unblockable vc’s. granted you lose a chunk of guard for the rest of the round, but if you are a good player, it shouldnt be a big deal. opponents will only do a vc like 2 times in a round at the most. but you still need to be wary of your guard meter. and use your ac intelligently.

A can fight V just fine. a couple years ago it would have been different, but the game has evolved. a lot more playable characters. dont get me wrong, V is still the best. but A still does very well. X has its uses. but its mainly good against A. no air block and lack of ac make it very weak against V. but you dont have to land many hits vs V to be victorious, so thats a plus. but you still gotta work hard. dont always count X out. ive won tourneys with x-ryu against a slew of good players that all use V. it was a bitch tho. heh


Ok, i’m sure this has been talked about before in the “other” a3 thread, but…how do you play v-ryu?

i mean, all i hear about is how good his hopkick and axe kick are, but then i hear other more knowledgable people tlak about how overrated those moves are, while they are good moves, cant just be thrown out like some people make them out to be.

is it me or do i suck at v-combos b/c i can’t even do his frigging hopkick->fb->cr. mk->fb corner VC.

anyhow, do i still play ryu the way he’s always been? i mean, his fireball recovery is aite, but i really miss the cancelability of cr. rh. and i’ve noticed his dp gets stuffed by sweeps somehow…

bread and butter VCs (including his midscreen) would be appreciated, and tips on doing them would be even better :smiley:


first of all, your dp is getting stuffed by sweeps cuz you are using a jab dp. jab dp’s dont stuff low attacks, but can stuff mid and high attacks. use strong or fierce dp to beat sweeps every time.

ryus hopkick is good. its always been good in the alpha games, and its at its best in a3 cuz you can cancel its recovery frames into a special. but timing is very precise. b+rh is very good, any top player will tell you that. its good priority, its main use is to finish off a poke pattern, it does very good guard damage.

ryu’s advanced hadou rave isnt easy. takes a lot of control and dexterity, and lots of practice. you gotta know your stick well so you dont hit d/b and accidently do a red fb which fucks it all up. it takes a lot patience, but it’ll come to you eventually. just dont expect to get it off everytime within 1/2 hour, it wont happen.

ryu doesnt really have any solid midscreen vc’s, he has em, but they definitely arent really worth it. save em for the corner or do his midscreen confusion vc’s with vc2. im not 100% on the confusion cuz i dont use v-ryu, so i’ll let a v-ryu player pick up on that if they read this.


Wattup everyone! Umm I’m having trouble with rolento’s VC. c.short, st.medium kick, st.fierce punch, jump(the one thats not normal), whiff medium kick (I think), medium punch, repeat. I had practiced it on the DC, but had little to any luck in connecting the medium punch after the whiff. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Also which version is better psone or dc:D


im not a v-rolento player but i dunno why you would want to wiff any attacks on his corner vc. psx a3 is better than the dc version, but its still a peice of shit overall


i guess its weird for me cause i used to be able to do the hadou rave on a2 and really well…anyways, about sweeps beating dp…actually it happened when i used fierce, but i’ll just tally that up to once in a lifetime

yeah i got the timing for special after hopkick, but i’m having problems with air space control. i guess i’m just having problems with the speed of the game for some reason :-/.

about b+rh…is there something i should do if it hits on counter? i mean…it sorta juggles and stuff

anywho, thanks for the tips, maybe a v-ryu specific player can help me out more…