I’ve been viewing a bunch of character-specific threads for SSFIV for strategies, match-up information, and perhaps most importantly, videos demonstrating good players using the character. Specifically, Guy has been a popular click for me lately, as I’ve been playing him here and there on XBL trying to get better.
As of now, Guy’s current reputation is that he sucks. One of the most popular threads in the Guy forum is “pathway to perfection: the guy improvement thread”, followed by another one titled “profound & pointless”. Same with Makoto. The consensus seems to be that she is nowhere near as good as her 3S counterpart, and that she just doesn’t have the tools to survive competitively.
Do these characters really suck, or do they not? If they suck so much, then how is it that players are doing well with them?
Recently, Alex Valle placed very highly in a tournament using a mix of Ryu and Guy (top 3 I believe), and his team won the 3v3 tournament. There’s also a set of him playing against PIKACHUAKUMA’s Akuma (JR Rodriguez), and he beat him 21-8 using Guy. On top of JR being an amazing Akuma, isn’t that supposed to be a horrible matchup for Guy?
FlashMetroid also has tons of videos of high-level play, kicking some serious ass with Makoto, who is supposedly just terrible.
What follows this footage, of course, are comments such as “I’m so glad I main Guy/Makoto/(character) now!” or “I used to think (character) sucked, but now I’m going to pick them up because I saw this” or “Damn, this makes me believe I can win tournaments with (character) now”.
Am I missing something here? I see nothing wrong with being inspired by seeing good game play, but how can a single match completely change your opinion on whether a character is total trash, or worth playing? Guy and Makoto, in particular, seem to have the “bad, until proven good” syndrome, where everyone thinks they suck until “someone good” uses them.
I also don’t get why everyone thinks they’re such terrible characters. Yes, they have their strengths and they have their weaknesses, but so does everyone. If I wasn’t exposed to the popular opinion that Makoto was so bad, then option-select.com’s spectacular Makoto video would have convinced me that she was top tier.
I guess sometimes it takes seeing someone very skilled using an underrated character, but I just have a hard time believing that any character has to be “proven” good. You’re either successful with a character, or you are not. If you’re not, then you practice more and harder, play more opponents, and if all else fails, play as someone else who better suits your preferences or play style.
Why is it that people have to see someone succeed with a character before they pick them or play as them? “Well, he did it, so I should/can/will do it too!” It just doesn’t make sense to me. I’ve been playing fighting games for years, and I don’t think I’ve ever picked a character based off of how well someone else has done with them.