Character Confusion


Hi, I was just looking to get some different opinions and maybe some validation of the choices I’ve made so far.

I’m about 7 months in since I started taking Street Fighter seriously and began to train every day. I play through arcade modes on hardest, play versuses against the CPU with my handicap set to 50%, spend time in training mode, and play with my girlfriend. I have yet to make the jump to regularly playing online (I did when I was about 2 months in and it didn’t take too long to break 1000BP, but I just decided I wanted to really get a FIRM grasp before I took my game online), but I want to get confidence and a solid hold on my character(s); and decide which character(s) I should take!

For the first 5 months or so of playing I definitively mained with Vega (though who I took as 2nd/3rds bounced around quite a bit). I got to the point where I felt really comfortable with him and could use most of his moves on reaction without having to think about it. I could consistently pull of doing his -> cr.lp -> -> ex fba combo, as well as linking 3 cr.lp together, comboing after an EX RCF, doing cosmic heel into scarlet terror – you know, the stuff you need to know to play Vega. I liked him partially because of nostalgic reasons (i remember always taking him when playing SF2 as a child); but mostly because of his mobility in walk speeds and dashes, his long reaching pokes, his backflips, and his mix of gimmicks and fundamentals. While taking him I never really TRAINED with a 2nd or 3rd, I messed around with some different people and learned their BnBs but most of the time if I was playing the game I was Vega. I was so sure that I was going to stick with him that I even modded my stick to be a custom Vega stick, not only in appearance but functionality: I moved my base 6 buttons to the last 6, plugged the hole that was previously the A button, and wired Back to be where the X button previously was for the purposes of Back-Linking.

I don’t know if it was constantly reading/seeing that “Vega is not a solid player” and “Vega does not have the tools to play at a tournament level, you have to be THAT much better than your opponent to stand a chance” or if it was just that I felt like I had him pretty figured out but…
At a certain point I started to pick up Akuma. I can’t really remember making the decision to, I just sort of stumbled onto him and fell in love with his power, versatility, and having the invincible reversal and TRUE wakeup setups that Vega lacks. Now for the last 1-2 months I have been training with Akuma, and I feel like I’m doing fairly well with him so far. And it has made me neglect Vega. I haven’t had much if any trouble learning his links and learning his basic throw and cr.HK setups. The biggest thing transitioning from Vega to Akuma was using FADC more, but I’ve gotten pretty okay at it (I can do whatever -> hadoken -> FADC -> s.hp -> L SpinKick -> H Shoryuken fairly consistently; as well as doing L Shoryuken -> FADC -> M Shoryuken -> FADC -> H Shoryuken -> FADC -> EX SpinKick in training as a way of practicing my FADCing). I have been practicing with Ryu some as well just to reinforce fundamentals, sometimes it is better to play as if you were Ryu while being Akuma in terms of keeping things simple. Now that I have gotten comfortable with Akuma, I kind of wish I would have just taken Shotos from the start; and now I’m thinking that I want to main with Akuma.

Hence my confusion. I really like Vega and I feel confident with him (and though I’m not QUITE as good as I was when I was training daily with him, it certainly wouldn’t take much to get back to that point if I wished), but I do kind of feel like Akuma is head-and-shoulders above him in a lot of ways. Maybe Vega would be better suited to take for fun and during casual play and whatnot… Also I have gotten used to playing on the last 8 buttons and have been doing so even with Akuma, but if I decide to main with Akuma maybe I should revert my stick back to stock layout? Not only that, but I’m not really sure that either Akuma or Vega would make a good 2nd to the other.

The characters that I have trained with the most and feel most confident with at this point, aside from Vega and Akuma, are Guile, Decapre, and Ryu. I have not spent an EXTENSIVE amount of time with any of them, because as I said, I bounced around quite a bit for quite a while. Every week or two I would decide that I was intrigued by a different character and would try to pick them up on the side, but a lot of them were just little phases. It’s so hard to decide when there are so many unique and interesting characters!

Based on my situation, anyone have any suggestions for me on who I should try to focus on as a main and as a 2nd (that would maybe cover some of the bad matchups of the main)?