Hakan as a study in Psychology

I’ve noticed that I tend to play Hakan as a reaction to who I perceive my opponent as. Typically, I either play against 2 friends of mine, or on X-box Live.

I find that the most important thing when playing Hakan over X-box Live, is to try & figure out who your opponent is. Little clues such as which character they choose and their screen name usually give me insight.

For instance, if the guy chooses Ken and has the name “N00BSLAYER5XX”, then I can typically assume that this person is going to be the ultra-aggressive type. You know the type… constantly attacking, constant dragon punches… often wins through sheer luck on some unsafe gamables, but usually not too hard to defeat as long as you stay on your toes. I particularly enjoy when I can control the flow of the match by being even more aggressive than they are, which usually gets in their head. Sometimes they get so overwhelmed by having a giant red circus freak dominating them that they fall apart. Other times, their aggression causes them to be careless and you just have to defend & punish.

The real trick is trying to figure out if your opponent is the technical type. In other words, do they understand the basic “rules” of the more advanced play? Stuff like spacing and blocking a slide from across the screen. Usually, if a person’s PP/BP is high enough, you can assume that they do. But often times, there are technical players with moderate/low ratings, so you should never assume someone is a total “scrub”. I will usually test this by throwing out the random slides with the idea that if it gets punished, it was worth the price to find out.

Then you also have the totally new guy. 90% of the time, these people pick Ryu or Ken (which is understandable as they are the marquee characters and are probably best for someone new). They’re the type who will do completely unsafe dragon punches that will land simply because you’re not expecting them to risk it. That’s why they can be so dangerous - their unpredictability can ruin a more advanced style of play (and I think really advanced players with good reactions can simply react in time, whereas I often need to be ready for it). Fortunately, it’s easy enough to just let this style defeat itself. Play defensively and punish.

This really seems to be the key for playing Hakan online, barring having good enough reaction times to react. While this is important for all characters, I find that Hakan’s gameplay depends so much on surprising your opponent that it helps to understand how your opponent is going to approach you. There’s also a lot of execution, spacing, and footsy that changes based on your opponent’s playstyle.

Does anyone else play like this? For me, Hakan becomes a psychological mind game, whereas with a shoto or rushdown, I feel like I don’t vary my playstyle anywhere near as much unless it’s a character like Dhalism.

brb changing names :badboy:

hahahaha, I bet it’s taken.

Getting a feel for what type of player your opponent is can be difficult online, as you only get one match (unless you or the other person are the type that will challenge the same person over and over online, of course) and it really isn’t always a lot of time to gauge what their style is. However, I feel Hakan gives an advantage to that in the fact that 1) I would say an extremely small percentage of players know the match-up well, especially considering that 2) Hakan can be played in myriad of styles.

I’ve always felt that to win with Hakan you have to be able to predict and stay ahead of your opponent. Knowing each character and match-up goes a long way to that. While you could say this about many characters, I feel it applies to Hakan more because of how diverse his normals and throws allow him to be (especially considering that his normal’s traits change when you oil up).

Very interesting discussion. There are 2 ways I usually gauge my opponent. The first is to see what he does in the begining of the round on the first match. if he goes directly for a jump in I usually play more defensive, but I he cr blocks in the beginning it gives me a free lk oil and let’s me know I can go for more aggresive mixups.

Or, I purposely lose the first round, with my main goal of building up meter. It gives me insight on what his playstyle is, sets him to put his gaurd down next round, and usually gives me a full super bar beginning of the next match. It really catches them off gaurd to see them getting thrown around by hakan after thinking that he’s free when they play me the first round.