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.