I, as someone who lives in basically the middle of nowhere (Perth, Australia, you probably haven’t heard of it, its a bit too indy), and doesn’t really get enough money to travel to events (though I am saving my heart up for Evo next year), am a librarian in every fighting game I try to play. There’s a (relative to every other game in Perth) large community of players for SF4 here, so while I get practical experience in that, everything else I get to play with one or two people and librarian the rest of the information for when I do travel, or play online, or play against new people, or whatever, so I don’t get lit up for free by the 97% of the roster I haven’t played against. For instance, there isn’t exactly a wide range of Vampire Savior players here. Shocking, I know. So I fall back on mizuumi and Japanese videos, and though its definitely no substitute for actual play, it suffices.
But despite this being the largest game out at the moment, its really hard to actually be a librarian for it if you run entirely off this website. The character specific forums, with a few exceptions, aren’t exactly the best organized places to find information, so if you don’t know what you’re specifically looking for and are armed with the search bar, its hard to find what you’re after. Same thing applies to youtube: unless you know the few channels that upload the specific players you’re after, searching for a character that isn’t one of the mainstream ones (i.e. the ones you probably get practical experience against anyway, e.g. Yun) won’t reward you with anything too amazing. Maybe even just some scrubs playing on XBL with their friends if you’re particularly bad at searching for things. It also doesn’t help that, for most obscure characters, their best player is going to be Japanese. If you’re not good enough in the matchup already to know what’s going on, then you’d probably turn to the commentary for help, as that normally works out in major tournaments, except here, the commentary is in Japanese and thus provides no help to you.
At this part in a post, the person would normally have already provided a point, and asked a question about said point, but I’m pretty good at rambling about things. So, even though no one’ll be left reading this, partially because of the title that wasn’t good enough to describe anything (I couldn’t think of anything specific), and the fact this has gone on too long, I have to wonder: why doesn’t someone for SRK provide a service where they reupload Japanese ranbats with English commentary and post them front page? I can’t imagine them getting less support than ‘Funny Comebacks with Guile Theme Playing 8143’, and there’s certainly a larger range of top players and characters in Japan. If there was an official SRK youtube channel doing this, as well, it’d be a lot easier to find videos of top level play, even without the dub service. I’ve commentated a fair few things in my time, but no one likes a one-man commentary team, so I can’t really do anything to help on this topic. Plus, it’d help smooth out the graph of top level videos uploaded vs time, which spikes hugely around the relatively sparse majors (for obvious reasons), with not many players just uploading footage of them having friendlies.