Maybe it is time to really learn how to play?

I originally chose Sakura in vanilla SFIV because she was weak and relatively fast. It seemed like a good way to stay interested in offline matches against my friend (whom I would regularly defeat).

I stuck with her when I started playing online because she was relatively ignored and I did not want to be forced to learn the dial-a-combo sequences that would be necessary to even be a mediocre Ryu/Ken. Man, I sure did lose a LOT (like 90% of the time) when I first started playing online.

Fast forward to a few years later… I am a low ‘B’ rated Sakura with a ~65% win percentage… but my wins come through brute strength. I don’t dash. I don’t use combos, I don’t option select, I don’t FADC, I don’t use cross-ups and I certainly do not ever use MK or MP (pad player).

I don’t really care about raising my win percentage, but I would like to hold my own better against players who exploit the decidedly non-balanced nature of the game (dial-a-combos that do 35%+ damage with relatively safe set ups… Ken Masters I am look at you, among others).

Playing as Dan (and eventually reaching C+ with ~50% wins) has shown me that its still possible to put up a good fight with a character who has limited offensive tools if their vitality is high enough… but I’m not sure that learning ‘tricks’ or resorting to dial-a-combos will make me happier when I’m facing Balrog or Dictator.

What do you think?

Combos and crossups are a part of the game, if you choose to never use them you’re only hurting your chances of winning or raising your skill level. I’m aware you can win with pure footsies but its a pretty unnecessary handicap to put on yourself.

Are you saying you consider using combos cheap? That’s the vibe I’m getting from your post.

Yes. That is pretty close to what I’m saying. I understand that they add a layer of depth to the game, but I think that their relative ease for the more powerful characters lends them to easily to abuse.

We all know that the game is not evenly balanced, what I am saying is that a 30%+ combo should not be as easy as a single punch into a fierce EX shouryuken. Opinions will vary, but I am not sure that I prefer SFIV’s system over something like the old Tekken games (Tekken had its own problems, of course).

Different people play the game different ways. I won’t ever fault a player for beating me by controlling space or having better relfexes/reactions (or even luck)… but I see okizeme (to a limited extent), dial-a-combos and the ridiculous differential between movement speed/range to be a weakness of the way the fight engine is designed. So yes, I considering repeatedly exploiting that kind of defect or imperfection to be cheap.

As a contrast… I don’t think that using the same 23,432,234 hit combos are cheap in a game like MVC (which I do not play), where glorified button mashing is part of the intent, and where character or contextual weakness/imbalance is mitigated by being able to select multiple characters and switch them in and out.

Maybe I just don’t understand the SFIV system enough to appreciate it.

what in the blue hell

Okay, start here:
Then read everything here:

Refusing to use half of the mechanics in the game (or combos of any sort) is going to prevent you from ever being able to win half of the time, unless you only care about winning against people who have just picked up the game for the first time. Dashing is not cheap, combos are not cheap, and cross-ups are not cheap. They’re in the game on purpose, and refusing to use them doesn’t make you more “honorable.” You need to fix your perspective, and if you don’t, don’t expect to be able to win with any kind of consistency.

I’m going to say something here:
You’re not going to get any kudos points from anybody by doing this.
If I spend 3 hours in the lab to get a single combo down, you do something stupid, I’m going to do that combo and punish you. You play to win, or you play for fun. Pick a side, but you’re coming here, asking advice from those who play to win. Also: What Keres said.

I agree with the top posts, you need to implenent all the mechanics to win with Sakura or any character really.

Learn these hitconfirms with Sakura (hitconfirm is a string of moves that allow you to register you’re hitting the opponent before you move onto bigger moves) > cr.lp > cr.hp xx ex tatsu/shouken > cr.lp > xx hp shouken > cr.lp > st.lp > xx hp shouken

And punish combos would be

cl.hp xx lk tatsu > xx ex tatsu -> otoshi/reset
cl.hp xx lk tatsu > xx mp/hp shouken
cl.hp xx lk tatsu > cr.hp xx lk tatsu > xx ex tatsu/shouken (works on most characters)

Learning combos is essential for Sakura, she needs to capitilize on the opponent’s mistakes and make them pay for it with her high damaging combos. If you don’t want to play a combo-heavy character then I would recommend another character.

The others have touched on your other stuff, so I’m only gonna reply to this one part:

Dan’s not a bad character. Low-mid tier at worst. If you’re trying to prove that low tiers can win, Dan isn’t the character you want to show that with (go to Youtube and look up Wildcat’s Hakan, he’s amazing).

With that said, I think you should learn how to play with all of your tools and all of your options. You may only play for fun, but if you truly like the game, then you owe it to yourself to at least try to get good. IMO, anyway.

Start by learning your BnB combos and learning how to mix people up after a knockdown (including baiting and punishing). That alone will carry you a long way before you decide to learn the more advanced stuff.

I’ll go look up my stats (where are they on Super Arcade edition?)
I am probably closer to 70% than 60% in terms of wins, but that percentage falls to 50% or below when I’m facing B opponents. I think I’ve only ever beat an ‘A’ player less than 5 times.

I understand the perspectives you guys have on being a well rounded player (meaning learning the combos)… I guess my disappointment/frustration is with how crucial they are to high level play. If you aren’t doing 20-25% combos on reflex, then you aren’t going to last long with a low health character like Sakura against skilled opponents. That bit doesn’t make the game any more fun for me… even when its me dishing out the combo damage.

I guess I will start with movement (when to use dash). Should I bother attempting to get good with the left-hand shoulder buttons on a pad, or is it not worth the effort?

Play Super Turbo instead of SF4.

You shouldn’t even be worrying about percentages at this point, especially when you need to focus on your fundamentals. Go check out the footsie guide in the Saikyo Dojo of the forum. After you get that down then you should start practicing combos and other advanced techniques.

Sakura does have below average health but it’s not the reason why you keep losing.

Lastly just because you beat someone online with a B or an A doesn’t make you better than the other person. Winning online really doesn’t mean anything, it’s basically casuals with letter rankings.

The OP screams “I’m a lazy bum, but I want people to see me as a special snowflake”. This guy can consistently perform combos and successfully apply fundamentals without being able to use his hands. NO EXCUSES…

No, it’s time for you to stop playing. Reading your post actually made me feel sick. I am disgusted that people like you exist.

Oh Chaos, not you too

Tarzanman its really up to you. If you don’t want to raise your w/l ratio then you don’t need to add anything more to your game.

I don’t know what the hub-bub about this cartoon is either. So, I’m going to watch a few episodes to find out. I did come across this:

This is now a pony thread.

Don’t understand why this became so popular all of the sudden. I remember when My Little Pony looked liked this.

It seems I have, unintentionally, started something here lol. I’ve never seen that show; it just seemed like a funny picture to me.

You mean I just watched a 20 minute video of all of the songs they sang in season 1 for nothing!!!