Character selection limiting my progress?

I’ve been playing both SF4 and MVC3 for a year now. I’ve also played some 3SO and KOFXIII since they’ve been released. I usually like to play patiently and punish people as hard as possible and I think that’s the reason I always seem to like the big, strong characters (Honda, Gief, Hulk, Sentinel, Hugo, etc.). My friend says I’m good with my characters but my play is very one dimensional. While my defense is good, my rushdown and mixup game is really weak. Does my character selection limit my progress? Should I try to play a different type of character to improve my rushdown?

Do I read this post correctly that you’re turtling with Zangief?


If “progress” is improving your skills as a player of fighting game X, then picking a character who is poorly suited to your playstyle can slow or limit your progress.

If “progress” is attaining increasingly better competitive results in fighting game X, then picking a character who is weak in the game can slow or limit your progress.

:clown: MEEP MEEP

Not really, I just try to play patiently. Zangief is the character that usually reveals how bad my rushdown really is. If people play the match correctly, I have no idea how I’m supposed to apply pressure to open them up. I have the same problem with Honda, it just isn’t as bad as with Gief.

This is pretty much what I mean by progress. Only difference is that I’d like to improve my overall fighting game skills, not just learn one game.

You can certainly practice your offense game by simply making a more conscious to practice those skills, regardless of whether or not you lose. Although characters like Honda and Zangief don’t lend themselves to be highly offensive, they can still be played aggressively. An often used example is Mike Ross, who plays a very jump happy, aggressive style of Honda, and not usually the type to hold down-back for 99 seconds.

On knockdown, try to go for more cross-ups. Cross-ups puts you in a very unique situation land damage, since your opponent is forced to react to what YOU’RE doing, not the other way around. Start by doing a series of chain attacks, if your opponent is mashing on a DP they stop blocking, and you’ll be able to hit them. Both Honda and Gief are able to combo off of their chains, it’s difficult, but doable. Or start off by doing simple tick throws. into throw. or into command throw. Alternatve this by doing a few light attacks, and then jumping in with another cross-up, etc etc.

My student had very similar problems in the beginning, where she would just play on auto-pilot as Honda, and only get damage from pokes and anti-airs, but she’s learning how to be more creative and comfortable with Honda’s movesets, and using them in a way that always keeps her opponent’s guessing as to what’s going to happen. You can do the exact same thing if you really do your best to play outside your comfort zone, and open up your skill as a player by trying some new playstyles. Think of it like exercise, you’ll never get your weaker muscles stronger if you just do the same old repetitive workout everyday, you have to change up your habits if you want to be a more well-rounded player.

It’s hard to critique without seeing your playstyle. Do you have any videos? If not, hit me up and let’s play some matches, perhaps I can give some advice. I’m no pro, but I know enough to get by.

That guy’s been trolling NSD across countless alt accounts forever, don’t mind him.

Some people have too much time on their hands, I guess.

Just… stop… please.

Thanks for your advice, this seems like the right path to take. As for Mike Ross, I just don’t understand how he gets away with some of the stuff he’s doing. I just get anti aired and countered all day. Maybe he’s just that good at mindgames and footsies shrug.

Don’t have any vids and can’t really play online all that much. My internet is connection is ass.

As for my original question, I still kinda want to know if there’s anything to gain from playing different kinds of characters. Many people like to say that playing multiple games can increase your skill level and broaden you skill set in a way that’s not doable with just one game. Does any of that apply to playing different characters?

Edit: I also feel that trolling the newbie forum is really low :confused:

There’s actually a rule against it IIRC, so just report it and ignore it. EDIT: I’m dumb.

Back to your question; there is a lot to be learned from each character. I’ve learned stuff playing as Chun that will never help me now that I’m maining Hakan, but it still gives me a better fundamental understanding of the game. I better understand not only my own options, but also the tools that are at my opponent’s disposal. However, when I buckle down into a hardcore training mindset in preparation for a tournament or something, I stick with one character.

I know that’s sort of an indirect answer, but hopefully it gives you some insight. Also, even if your connection is laggy, it can be leaps and bounds easier to identify the things that you need to work on by critiquing an actual match. If nothing else, try to record some casual matches even if it’s with a cell phone camera. Again, it’s better than nothing.

Good luck!

It can go both ways. Playing characters you have trouble beating can help you learn their shortcomings, helping you in the long run. Playing a character that is focussed on rushdown can also help you to learn playing offensive with your main. At the same time, this is taking off learning time from stuff specific to your main, and can possibly hurt you if you use too many of the newly learned skills (crass example, you main Dhalsim, then play around with Rufus and then get the idea to play your Dhalsim like Rufus, using his head drill as a divekick).
In general I’d say playing around with multiple characters increases the speed at which you learn “the game”, while decreasing the speed at which you learn “your character” - but the latter is not that important at an early level, plus it keeps motivation high (it’s pretty boring to play the same character for 2000 games in a row imo), so go for it.

You could also try out classic turtlers (eg Guile) and see whether your estimate (good, patient defense; weak rushdown, mixup) is correct - you should instantly feel at home with turtlers and have far more success with them.
It’s quite possible that you are actually misjudging your own abilities and simply lose to people “who play the match correctly” because you’re worse than them in general, not because you picked a character that didn’t suit your playstyle.
I don’t really understand how you got from “playing extremely patient, punishing mistakes, being bad with getting in and mixups” to play grapplers; that seems pretty nonsensical.

This times a billion, if you want to improve as a player, you have to take your focus off of winning for a while, and place it on reaching specific gameplay objectives in your matches instead. Once you have down the new techniques, then you can incorporate them fully into your playstyle and worry about winning from there.

Man, and all this time I have been doing overheads and grabs for damage? I must be terrible, thanks NSD.

PM sent. We don’t need to devolve this thread into an argument.

Thanks for your answer, you gave me a lot to think about! About Zangief… Well I was originally told that a grappler should be played in a defensive manner and against some players that works fine. One of my friends plays Yang and against him I can quite easily just block and punish or just counter with lariat. That probably has more to do with his skill level than anything else though. I see your point and now understand the character a little bit better.

Who was accusing you of trolling? If you got that from my post, I apologize. I wasn’t talking about you.

I’m not sure how I feel about this. At the end of the day, how you play any one character is your own prerogative; if you want to play a defensive grappler, knock yourself out. However, certain characters gel with certain playstyles better than others. For instance, you’re not going to be able to zone very effectively with Zangief. Rushdown Dhalsim (though possible) is rare. Grapplers in most instances need to be in their opponents’ faces in order to deal damage. If you sit back and play defensively and your opponent gets the lifelead, you’re in trouble. At that point they have no reason to come close to try to deal damage to you because they can simply run out the clock and win.

Also consider that a lot of the stuff he’s doing, he’s doing because his opponents don’t expect it. Playing a proper rushdown takes a LOT of experience, patience, and a true understanding of your character. You can’t just mindlessly jump in on your opponent, you have to do it when you’ve trained them to think that you WON’T jump.


It’s amazing how much of being successful at this game relies upon being successful at the meta-game, if that makes any sense.

I think you misunderstood what you were being told. Zangief definitely has to play “patient” in the sense that he eats a lot of chip damage from fireballs, slowly gaining ground, looking out for unsafely thrown fireballs or other mishaps. Patient in this sense means that you approach your opponent in a non-reckless way - not getting angry at him zoning you, not jumping around like an idiot.
What you described sounded more like “sitting back doing nothing, waiting for him to come at me” and there’s very little reason for most characters to do that (since Zangief melts most peoples faces when up close) - they’re very happy with you chilling back.
Really, the description of your playstyle seems far more fitting to someone like Guile. He actually forces the opponent to come at him, punishes unsafe approaches, and when they’re in, he blocks and tries to get away again.

“Block and punish” will stop working at a level where people don’t spam out unsafe specials anymore, by the way ;b

I didn’t feel like your post was directed at me. Dagon flamed me, but it’s resolved.