You don’t see me posting in this forum, and I’m a new comer in SFIII: Third Strike and fighting game in general, but I’d like to say my opinion about many many posts in wich I read about parries being “the great equalizer” or “comeback tools”.
I think it is only a big generalization, because we are aware that there are some characters that are and will always be top tier even if the parry exist. Especially Chun can get advantage of the parry to execute SGGK, while other characters can only resort to basic option parries. So, it is not really an equalizer, because in some cases it unbalances the games much more.
Also, I don’t think parry is ALWAYS a comeback tool, because it is very risky to attempt a parry if your oppnent know what is doing, and I’m going to explain why.
I think the parry is simply a tool to avoid your attacks to be predictable. If you are predictable, you get parried. This is why newbies in general may dislike parries: they can’t mix, do the same things over and over and get parried. I’m a noob too, so I experience this on my skin every day. So the game encourages to mix the things a lot, and force your opponent to block low (not to “guess”), reacting to overheads or throw attempts, and wait for the opportunity to get out of troubles in a smart way, rather than a random parry. Random or guessed parries are often risky, because if you guess wrong you are taking big damage from combos or Super Arts.
Also, it is where the game really shines, it is far from being repetitive, and also encourages you to learn advanced techniques with your character in order to add things to your mixups and being less predictable, and opens the game to a certain degree of personalization. Of course, all the modern fighting games are more or less oriented to mixups, but the parry mechanic amplifies this concept, while the slower pace (slower if compared to other games like Guilty Gear or Kofs) give your opponent the time to think and react.
Of course, there are situations in wich random parry is less risky, especially against a meterless opponent (but there are chars that are dangerous even meterless), so the risk/reward balance may vary, and shoul’d always considered before trying a parry or soimething risky in genral.
I’m writing this to encourage people to play this very deep, interesting and exciting game, and helping them to have a much better understanding of it and its universal mechanics, and also to give them a clue on how to avoid the initial frustration of being totally out played by more experienced players.
Feel free to comment, of course, and to correct if needed.