Is Difference Worthwhile?

Often I start learning a game and find that players are drawn to top tiers - no surprise there. I, however, generally go the other way. I tend toward characters who aren’t used that much. Tiers matter, and I can accept this. But my question is how much do they matter.

I haven’t been playing 3S long, granted, but I have been playing fighting games since the beginning - like most of the SRK community. In each game there are those characters that I just have an affinity for. Maybe I like their look, or their play, but I’m just drawn to them. While this is all well and good, I have to wonder when it gives. Where is the point where using a character on grounds of personal preference just isn’t worth it.

I had been learning Ryu – he is my iconic character of choice when starting a new game – , but he is very methodical. He just seems, well…boring. (Perhaps I’m just discouraged because I consistenly get caned with him?) I wanted to change, but I didn’t know who to. I switched to Sean for kicks (only) until I had the opportunity to watch one of the top players in Australia, a former national champion, unload on my entire arcade with him. He was a beast, and it just made me think.

I’d like to believe that any character can be used effectively (read has winning potential). What say you SRK?

  • Archer

Third Strike is a very balanced game, as far as Capcom titles go. Parrying and the mind games that go along with it help a lot in this. There are well-defined tiers, but everyone has a shot at winning.
I generally pick a character I like the looks of. I used to be a devoted Gouki player, but as I got better I found him stale. I use mostly Q now. Q’s down at the bottom of the tiers, but he’s fun and has the highest satisfaction per victory rate of all the characters. :lol:
Everyone can win, but their “chances” (due to various factors) to do this are not all the same. That’s what the tiers represent.

It’s true that any character does have winning potential, but the worse characters take more work. Putting in effort can sometimes be more fun than using a character who has advantages over most, but in the cases of opposite extremes, it’s not a good idea. Skilled sean players do exist, but if they’re against someone at an equal or greater skill level using a better character, they have a pretty good chance of losing.

Speaking of opposite extremes, many of yun’s moves are safe, very fast (sometimes to the point of denying your opponent time to react), and have high priority. Sean, on the other hand, has extremely slow moves, many of which are punishable, even when fully connected. So “good” sean players often limit their repertoire to a few select normals, ex dragon punches, dashing, and the fake tackle. This demonstrates how limited you are when using a so-called low-tier character. Ryu isn’t such a bad choice, but I don’t advise playing sean with any sort of hope to beat skilled people. Again, I’m not denying that it can be done, but the odds are definitely against you.

I’d say it’s definitely worth applying yourself to a character you truly “groove” with (see sig). If you use a top char but feel like a robot, you may not play as well as a character you truly have a feel for. In games that are well balanced like 3s, any char can win if you really have a feel for them, and can properly respond to the opponent’s playstyle. But the above posters are right, it WILL be more difficult than just picking up Robo-Chun.

An additional benefit of the road less traveled is the WTF factor. When you use chars that don’t get a lot of play, you can get away with a lot more in the mindgame department, as people simply aren’t used to the setups you’re using. Everyone knows not to let Chun get a low mk, but it may have been months since they’ve been hit with a Q reset series. This is a major advantage in a game like 3s.

In summation, play who you feel, and stick with them. You can learn to be X player with Y char every time if you study the match hard enough, it’s just a matter of how strongly you feel about it. Bonne chance.