Gouken Self Reflection Thread



We already have a Gouken Frustration thread and the Gouken Improvement (Frustration #2) thread, so I thought this one might be useful.

There’s only two more months until Super IV comes out. Most of us have been maining Gouken for months now and trying to get somewhere with him, despite his flaws that have been mentioned over and over again.
Discuss your accomplishments with the character or the goals that you tried to accomplish with him. Did you get what you wanted so far with your Street Fighter IV Gouken run? Is there anything that you wish you could have done with him at casuals, money matches tournaments etc. that you haven’t done yet or plan to do in the next two months? Would this be a character you would heavily consider maining again for Super? Anything else you guys would like to share?


For my part, I have to say Gouken is my best character by miles.
He just clicks with my playstyle (keep away - hard zoning - occasional big punish), and I do not see any character in Super that will be able to do the same things.
If anything, Gouken is a few tweaks away from being a dominating character, and since he is considered low tier (just because the Japanese play in arcades, imho), he is probably getting some.

Same old questions:

  • Will Kongo stay breakable, seeing as Dudley’s counter is not?
  • Will the input overlap crap be fixed in any way?
  • Will Gouken get either a link into c.hp/sc.hp, or a proper low move > lp.hado combo (I mean, one that REALLY combos)?

If we get all 3, Gouken starts winning Evos and nationals.
2 out of 3 makes him viable as a high tier option, seeing that all new characters are rushdown types which Gouken eats for breakfast.
1 or zero, I change main and whine about the missed opportunity to not have a shoto-dominated game for a change, because we all really know that Ryu is going to be the top char in Super by far.


hey good reply Prado, but about this statement, I don’t really agree with him being a potentially higher tier than he really is. I really do think he’s mid tier and can’t get any higher, even if there are some Japanese players (Desora). Console characters have been here for a year now and the community has established who stands out and who would be bottom 5. Gen players have shined like Yeb, Evil Rahsan, and Jibbo and there are many unknowns that do well in tournaments as well. Same goes for Cammy. Fei Long has good showings too. He can do more off of c. jabs and has a good reversal. Rose, Dan, Sakura are bottom 5 :frowning:

As for me, I’m on a long hiatus and probably won’t be playing Gouken again until Super comes out. I still play at my arcade, but there are no console characters, so I’m just playing Chun Li and experimenting with the other characters. I’m a little bit dissatisfied with my own Gouken. I spent a lot of time playing online and with my local scene and trying to learn the matchups and setups. You guys and the forum helped too (Sephiroth, KillaKelly, Rawn, Neville, and many more THANK YOU!)

IV was the first game where I tried to play a game competitively and seriously. My town expanded out from our little arcade cave and played throughout the norcal region. I played like shit in many of the tournaments I’ve been in and I have been frustrated a lot from thinking that maybe I didn’t fully understand the characters and matchups, tournament jitters, character flaws (not getting a reversal due to that stupid overlap) etc… It helped me realize that tournaments aren’t really my thing, and although I understood the character, everyone else in Norcal understood their characters too. But I’ll try to play and get better for Super though.

I’d play Gouken again for Super if I can do more footsies and get something out of c.jabs. I hate doing c.jab x2 and then doing something stupid that doesn’t combo like a c.strong xx demon flip or hadouken or more jabs and shorts. I do like the character design though. badass character, just needs some fixes.


My experience with Gouken has been bitter sweet. I’ve never felt so satisfied after a win using a character and I’ve never felt so frustrated after a loss using a character.

I’m definitely using him as a main in Super, but if I really have a 2nd or 3rd main or so will depend on what tweaks he actually gets. Looking at the vids of Juri ALOT of her normals and specials seem to be safe on block and they look as if they have high priority, so you can bet your ass you’ll see alot of her. One of my main reasons for using Gouken is I wanted to use a character that not many people use… right now every other fight I’m facing a Ryu, Ken, Akuma, or Sagat… not taking any thing away from those players but you kinda get tired of facing the same match ups on a regular basis.

Overall, I think playing with Gouken has made me a better player defensively because all of the constant blocking, teching, and counter opportunties you have to look for. Mirror matches have actually helped me more than vs. battles because I get to see holes in my game and certain ways I can be punished for it. You also get to see different styles of other players which you can incorporate what you liked about thier game into yours.

I did accomplish what I set out to do considering I started playing champ mode very late, I stil got to G1. Now most of my time is being spent ironing out the kinks in my Stick and working on my execution. I’m still not 100% on Tatsu to Ultra, and corner Palm . Ultra. (hope to have that fixed by the time super comes out). My rule is if you can’t do it 9/10 or 10/10 times then you are not good at it.

It’s going to be a joy and a pain picking apart the new frame data hopefully it will be more ways to punish people. esp if I get my wish to be able to combo link from lp, lk, mp, and mk… I think that would solve the issue of being able to normal link to EX Palm, and making him OP. If that and a few of the other tweaks I am looking for are made (tatsu hit box and parry recovery) then I will still use him exclusively.

I didn’t participate in any tourneys, not too many in my area that I am aware of and they use PS3 at EVO. I’m getting my stick modded so it will work with PS3 and XBOX and I’ve been putting in about 30 min - 1 hr a day getting comfy with it (I must say some things are a hell of alot easier with a stick). Based upon the great Goukens I faced here… I wasn’t quite ready yet anyway. I have stepped my game up after every loss I faced which is what we should all be aiming for, but I think my greatest accomplishments have came from coming here, mixing it up with you guys and increasing my knowledge of the game. Taking that knowledge back to practice mode then to the fray has been invaluable.

I think we will be even better in Super with the different online modes it has to offer. Can’t wait!!!


I’m 90% done with using Gouken. My time will be spent playing other characters as my main and Gouken simply doesn’t have great tools to be effective against a slew of the cast. While I find he is one of my better characters (maining since I unlocked), he has some really poor matchups and I don’t believe anything in SSF4 will “fix” him.

My final straw are his option selects: his are pretty pathetic. Compare his option selects against other shotos and its clear why he’s a C-level char at best.

Fun? Yup. Good damage? Yup (until SSF4 nerfs all ultras). Juggle machine near a corner? OH HELL YES. Being nearly crossover “free” for every char that can do it? YUP :frowning:


I spent alot of timing complaining about fixes, but Gouken has GREAT tools for dealing with opponents, he just needs a few more tweaks to apply them all. He has a lot of upside when you consider the possible tweaking to the system.


Gouken’s tools are lacking:

  • He has a hell of a time against anyone that pecks a ton. Balrog, shoto pokes and Cammy can really lead havoc to gouken because his pokes are slow.
  • Stupid link: s.MP into c.MK with an actual match? Everyone would prefer to use s/c.HP for any/all combos.
  • No crouches pecks/links that lead into BnB. Every other shoto has it and he’s the master!

Playing as Bison, Balrog or other shotos and I’m simply knocking down, crossing over and going for the easy option selects to neutral jumps – none of Gouken’s toolsets have one hell of a time against this. Read on other characters – Gouken is nearly “free” on cross over attacks.


The point is that cl.strong is a hit confirm. Regardless of how difficult people find performing links are, it’s definitely possible with practice and incidentally leads to Gouken’s strongest mixup OR guaranteed damage on hit, I can attest to that. Gouken does have the pokes into combos you speak of, they’re just different from the standard cr.forward xx Hadouken. He has ways of safely poking and getting good damage by buffering inputs.

I think I said it in another thread, characters that try to run a train over Gouken are the problem. The best strategy is to realise this early on in the fight and take control of the screen to force mistakes, the same way Dhalsim does. The difference is that once you get the knockdown, run the train over them instead and don’t hang back like Dhalsim would.


That’s why the tweaks would be great for Gouken. What if he get’s a 3 frame jab and a way to link his lp/lk and mp/mk attacks/2 in 1’s… that would be huge.

You are correct his biggest weakness is when someone has gotten in too close but one of his biggest strengths are keeping people away and punishing them for the mistakes they make trying to do so.

-Goukens Close HK deals very well with netural jump and Dhalsims close teleport. (I’ve been walking into the opp and then doing it to ensure the step kick doesn’t come out. Maybe another tweak could be to press back and HK for the axe kick.
-His links could be better, that is a very hopeful tweak- he’s still not C- Tier b/c he doesn’t have great links
-He doesn’t have the jab game into Ultra and all, but all of the rest of his tools do. His keep away game is great and when he punishes you, you have worry about getting back in
-Cr. FP is great AA
-On hard knock down his mix up / safe jump game can be a problem. Even for Shotos, esp when you condition them not to srk after a few dive kick stuffs.
-Dealing cross ups, you either block, dash out, or kongo. Balrog has a bad cross up game as well that part is what it is. Your best option is to just block and ready to be tech, until you can be on the offensive again
-He has a 3 frame forward throw that sets up his zoning or wake up game.
-Backdash could use a fixing- please tweak it

I see what you are saying but Gouken can’t be played like the other shoto characters. I just keep it in mind that Goukens not going to out jab anybody, besides Abel lol. His normals and frame data is GARBAGE and he’s still not C Tier.

His tools aren’t the problem. It’s the frame data that’s the problem. We’ve all asked for it, but Gouken would be waay to powerful if he could jab link to EX Palm or FP Palm. I do think he should be able to go to hado, tatsu, and lp/mp palm from there… this will make him A Tier Alone.

I’m looking at his move set as the tools, his frame data and linking possibilities are more-so tweaks than tools ( I guess they contribute to his overall tools), so I do understand your view and feel your pain.


Gouken is a shoto. Most other shotos can go from a c.LP/LK into something meatier for BnB. Gouken can’t. He has a great peck string that has several c.LP into a finishing s.LK that puts him far enough back where he can’t get hit with anything – a fine poke string, but not worth being scared against. Take ryu/akuma with c.LP, it can lead into c.MP/HP into BnB – BIG damage off a tiny peck. At best, Gouken lands a meaty jump in and goes right into s/c.HP -> BnB (yes, I do this often). If you don’t land meaty, there are a bunch of reversals that you have go kongo guess on (typically I go low) or prep to tech throw someone.

Gouken can space well (I’ve won plenty with air fireballs, it’s hilarious), but he has a tough time keeping people off of you. Try this as Sagat: 2x c.lk, lk tiger knee. What can gouken do to stop this loop? You can’t FA the pecks, can’t kongo the tiger knee, no variation of palm will stop it and you can only EX tatsu to stop/trade. Keeping the space against Sagat is the only way to win, but once he gets in (as he can), it’s tough to shake him.


Curious… why not fierce palm? It sends the opponent flying off, giving him a chance to regroup. Which is part of the balance imho … i.e., not having a lockdown offense (like a Bison scissor kick trap).

My own thoughts? I’m pretty open-minded and want to give all the new characters a thorough testing, but will most likely keep Gouken as a main if he doesn’t get nerfed too badly (the ultra damage reduction speculation is definitely a nerf with respect to vanilla Gouken’s current design :arazz:). I’m already used to working around his holes. Bring it!


If he could do HP palm then only way to not do EX would be to increase the start up on the EX… not unless there is another way around it then, yeah include it.


Learning the game on Gouken wasn’t a particularly easy task I’d say. His big frame, and lack of significant options against characters like Sagat and Blanka were frustrating at first. But now, I’m blocking and crouch-teching a lot more, I wait for that opening on the rushdown Sagat to make my comeback, whereas before I’d just be pissed because my button mashing didn’t help (gimme a break I’m pretty new.) And I learned to use and not abuse my fireballs.

Now, a couple weeks ago, I picked up Rufus, and it was like someone poured gasoline on the little fire I had going with my Gouken game. Holy fucking shit. I love this guy, and I’m pushing back those rushdown players who were pissing me off. I still have a lot of love for Gouken, but if I want to get to any level of serious competition with him, he’s gotta have some better choices for defense other than a breakable counter and a slow backdash. I’d still use him for casual play, as most casual events I’ve gone to I’ve gotten props for being the one Gouken there. :smiley: (maybe there’s a reason, haha)


I stay on my opinion that Gouken needs two of his three problems addressed to be top tier.
All three would be broken, one or zero leaves us with the same character in a game where most have improved.


Gouken was one of the main reasons why I bought SF4. Went through the whole process with mastering him. I started with Curiosity, to Frustration, to Understanding, back to Frustration, to a Complete Understanding of his Limits and Strengths. Placed 5th in my first major regional with him. Came back and followed that up with 7th at another one. My last tourny for SF4 with Gouken is Final Round. I got everything out of him that I wished for. I haven’t mastered him but thats something I don’t think I could ever do with unless this was my job. All in all a great experience with him. If they make the changes that have been discussed he’ll be even more deadly and less dependent on ex.


I guess it’s all subjective at the end of the day. But two of those things are stuff that are supposed to be functional to begin with. Having jab links… I’m sure some compromise can be done without him killing the opponent right away. That’ll probably be Makoto’s job :slight_smile:


Well, what exactly do people think are his ‘three main problems’?

Jab links isn’t a problem that necessarily gets him beaten in matches. Jabs are there for hit-confirming and he already has a move to hit-confirm with, one that most seem to neglect.

His problems, in my opinion, are that his ‘get the fuck off me’ move is totally dependant on your opponent’s moveset and he can’t crouch tech throws. If you were to sum it up, his problem is that every action you take with him is a big risk, with a reward that really isn’t worth the risk. All his moves are entirely situational and he generally only has one solution to any given situation, and that’s why he’s got so many tools. You’re forced to take these risks because you can’t rely on his core mechanics that every other character can.

I’m not shitting on anyone here, if jab links into fat combo is what people think will make him better that’s fine by me. Personally, he needs his very very basic, system-based stuff sorting first.


He just needs to be tweaked period.


Well, his wakeup bailout is also heavily dependent on the assailant NOT crossing you up, not just their moveset. EX tatsu whiffs completely if they’re simply not in front of it when you hit it. When you think about it, it’s about as good as the counter in that they have to actively be doing something stupid to get hit by it. Worse, actually, since counter will at least catch crossups. It sucks just as bad as using it as an AA, which is basically what you’re using it for on wakeup.

Hitconfirming for jabs is more about having a hitconfirm that A) Is actually quick enough to be feasible in more situations and B) possible to do just outside close move range. With most characters a throw after a jab that connects is a fuckup, but with Gouken a forward throw after jab hits is the most damage you’re ever going to do off that move. Without links, or at least worthwhile cancels, your options off a jab that hits are the same as when they’re blocked. So it’s not really the desire to have a fat combo, but a desire to make anyone care about being on Gouken’s ass; it’d be a godsend if he even had a 3-hit jab link that did 200 damage but at least gave him a better position.

From there, i think it’s a huge problem that in addition to not linking, he can’t cancel into anything worth a damn either. Things would be noticeably different if cr.mp actually comboed into fireballs, or even if that piddly c.rlk did. He suffers because unlike most characters, all of his useful cancels are off big, slow moves. Gief gets 3-frame cr.lk into either ex hand or lariat, both being knockdowns and decent damage. Chun gets cr.lk into EX legs. Even Guile can usefully chain SBs, and these are core parts of most characters. Gouken just gets his staple fpxxsenku, and for most cases, his simple cr.rh. Without those sort of knockdowns off of pokes, Gouken can’t reasonably change or attempt to control the flow of a match.

So yeah. He has that cl.mp hitconfirm/blockstring/cancel. It’s nice. It’d be nicer if it weren’t attached to a move with 5 frames of startup and a serious range dependency.


Jab links are kind of necessary… the game rewards jab hit confirms too much to ignore. People say Gouken is a punisher specialist. Sure, but lots of characters inflict heavy damage through a jump-in or attacking a whiffed move as well. Having Gouken relying on getting his damage mainly through your opponent screwing up big-time doesn’t cut it in this game. I’ve often faced opponents that never let you get a way inside for a fierce punch > BnB. Or opponents that almost never jump-in (i.e., no anti-air setups). Maybe I just suck as a sportsman for complaining, but it seems unfair when your character can herpderp into god-like damage from a jab hit confirm and you have to hope he leaves himself wide open in order to catch up.

Nobody reasonable is asking for retarded damage off a jab hit-confirm. But imagine how much more his demon flip game would become if he could implement a few jab links. Most of his specials (like rush palm or tatsu) knock the opponent away. So I find a fair balance in this since your opponent isn’t getting locked down by some bull**** loop that other characters have.

I can personally get by without jab links, and wouldn’t care that much for them if Gouken did not get lamed out so much. Though I still think having a couple of them are necessary for a fair matchup under competitive play.

On top of the high-risk / low-reward style of play you mentioned. I’ve often read my opponent’s actions clearly, but for whatever reason get out-prioritized, or too easily reversal’ed into stupid amounts of damage. General frame tweaks could prevent a lot of this, which I agree with.