My experience with SF4 and KOF 13 and my opinion about flaws and possible improvements


first of english is not my first language so i’d like to appologise for my bad english in advance.

i started with SF2 back in the days where it took quiet a while till i got my shoryuken timing down. later in playstation days i played battle arena toshinden, soul edge, dead or alive 2 but for the most part i played tekken (started with tekken 2 and ended up with probably all parts up to part 5). so while i’m not unfamiliar with 2D fighters i played far more 3D fighters until recently.

first street fighter 4 and later KOF 13 on steam brought my attention back to 2D fighters. i think capcom did a good job converting from 2D to 3D Graphics while sticking to the 2D mechanic and KOF 13’s sprite work looks very appealing too. so basically the look of those 2 games, curiousity how 2D fighters evolved from back in the days and a promising online experience got me back into 2D fighters.

for some reasons i can’t get into 2D fighters like i could with tekken or 3D fighters in general. one reason beeing that i don’t have friends that are interested into the genre thus i have to rely on the AI which gets boring realy quickly so i ultimately only have the online and trails mode. now i don’t want to get to deeply into how bad the whole online experience with those two games is cause it got mentioned alot befor and apperently ignored for the most part by developers for what ever reason.

another reason is the timing for combos these new generations of 2D fighters require. i’ve been spending a considerable amount of time with both SF4 and KOF 13 and alot portion of that time with the trails mode of those games (since there is not much left to do if AI fights and online disqualify) in hope it could improve my combo performance. for KOF 13 i got around 330 hours of playtime according to steam and probably alot more on SF4.
out of all the time spend i only got to complete all trails of 4 different characters sofar ( Street fighter 4 with Zangief, in King of Fighters 13 with King, Hwa and Leona). i see that advancing in a skill based game takes its time and i’m ok with that but out of all the trails i did i can not execute a single one of them even close to consistently. alot of those trails feel so counter intuitive in timing that i can spend a full day to complete them and once i did it doesn’t feel like a achievement but rather like luck. sometimes i can not even tell what i did different to the 100s of attempts prior to the successful one and if i come back the next day and reattempt that trail it almost feels like starting over at zero.

IMHO this is caused by:

  1. those “short cuts” that seem to be implemented in alot of the new 2D fighters which are nothing else but different input commands for the same moves (apperently necessary cause in alot of combos the original inputs for a move would result in a unwanted move/super/ultra… which makes those “short cuts” look more like a work around solution and rises the question if the combo shouldn’t be designed different in the first place). unfortunately there are usually no tutorials or notes about them in game or in the manual leaving the player to guess or search online.

  2. hidden inputs in such trails like for example a dash thats not mentioned in the combo but necessary so the next hit can connect. again those can only be guessed by observing the demo of the combo (if the game has such a feature, wish games would try to evolve with tools like a forward/rewind slowmotion feature for better observation and/or write the complete combo down so the player doesn’t have to guess.)

  3. the above already mentioned counter intuitive timing caused by (i’m no expert but i assume so) 1~3 frame links coupled with barely existing hit stun and or to small buffers for inputs which forces a particular rhythm on you without much space for individualisation. (IMHO the biggest issue with SF4 and KOF 13)

now reading the board a bit lately, ppl usually answer that the trails are unpractical and only there to show whats possible and i think thats a wrong approach.
i think there is no need for a self torture chamber in fighting games but there is a need for proper guides and tutorials that explain and teach all mechanics of the game and in the end improve your performance. i think developers should merge the trails mode and the practice mode.

  • i want to know whats the potential dmg output of the particular trail i’m currently practicing.
  • i want to see my inputs in trail mode so i can figure out where i possibly made a error.
  • i’d like to see the complete inputs written down without hidden dashes and the proper work around short cut that suits the particular trail.
  • I’d like to see assisting tools like individual sounds for each button press that indicates when the window for a input opens and for how long it is active to get a better feel for the rhythm and timing of a combo (i think its already been done in the Tekken series, maybe Tekken 3?)
  • i even question if there shouldn’t be a way to assign your own inputs for particular moves maybe with restrictions (the new assigned move has to match the number of directional inputs of the original move like switching shoryuken motion for hadouken motion for example. maybe with exceptions like assign a motion with 1-3 less directions to one move but have to assign the saved directionals to a different move… you get the idea.
  • I’d like to be able to up/download user generated custom combos for trails, maybe with some sort of rating system for difficulty and usefulness

imho the big challange in fighting games or competitive games in general should be to master your opponent, not the controlls. I’m not asking to tweak controlls towards the super casuals, there are already games for those like dive kick and smash brows.

all in all it seems to me that the requirments to get good at this type of games got way higher compared to what they where back in SF2 days but the tools to assist you achieving those requirments barely evolved leaving especially new players to the francise or genre frustated with the product.

i’d also love to see the concept of league of legends applied to the fighters genre where new fighters get released over time which you can purchase with points acquired by playing and skins for those fighters which can be purchased with real money. (and i mean exactly this concept, cause anything that requires real money for new characters would inevitable result in pay to win situations.)

this got a rather long post, i hope the formating is not to much of a text of wall and ok to read.
what are your thoughts on the subject 2D fighters? are there any newer 2D fighters that don’t require super tight timing while not beeing super flashy like the marvel titles and not as casual as for example dive kick?


the trials in alot of the games are usually combos you wont use in game…KOF 13 mostly for sure


If you look for a guide on how to play character X, you won’t find it in game. It’s the same in Tekken, which you do seem to like. There’s no tutorial there either on how to use let’s say Armor King, what his best moves are and in which situations to use them. In order to find that out, you either spend time in training mode or search info online and pray that it is correct.

Can’t give advice on SFIV as I haven’t played it in ages, but I guess you’ll find decent guides in these forums.
For KOFXIII I can recommend the dreamcancel wiki and the SRK wiki (which is surprisingly good for KOFXIII). Both are better starting points in learning basics for a character than their trial modes.
Also search for DandyJ’s tutorial on youtube for the gameplay of KOF itself (how to use hops, how to counter hops, etc…). Can’t search right now as youtube is blocked here.


Umm, there are many combos in the trials that you can use in game… Link combos especially, like Mai’s and Terry’s links… Granted, there are some stronger combos, but if you’re starting off in the game, you can definitely use the trial combos…


Wrong. The majority of trials in KOFXIII either present combos that are far too impractical or not optimized at all, thus it is not a good idea to rely on them. This is due to issues that might relate to low damage output in general, consuming way to much meter for minimal damage, or a particularly oddball combo that you are more than likely not going to see in a real match. In fact, the trials in KOFXIII are SNKP’s way of asking: “Hey dude! Let’s see if you can actually do this combo!”… much like how trials were meant to be in the first place for most fighting games. A better place to look for combos for KOF are on dream cancel or any other website that showcases more optimized examples of the character’s combos and/or options. Last, in KOF, the player isn’t going to be overly reliant on links, as the game does not really revolve around them (this is NOT SFIV).


Speak for yourself man… I

Many is not the same as majority… Just saying…

I made a reference to links because outside of hit confirms and the like, there are some links that are vital for some characters’ “comboability”… I’m used to playing the older KOFs especially, where Max Combos had the same timing as certain links you would find in other games-- this is my opinion anyway… Obviously KOF isn’t all links…

If you’re starting out trying to learn a fighter, you’re not going to be going straight for the most grandeur of combos, especially if it’s your first in that specific series, or you haven’t been playing said game in awhile. If anything, those trials, while I will admit can sometimes become “impractical”, there are some which can help you understand the game, be it how to combo (chains and links), move properties, etc. Real talk, I can’t tell you how many Takuma and Kyo players I came across who were using nothing but trial combos, because that’s all they had going for them. Eventually they learned more, but trial combos were the stepping stone to a portion of their game.

Of course a good portion of those combos aren’t going to be the “best” combos, hence me saying this earlier:


And of course, like everyone before has mentioned, DreamCancel is your best bet so far. There are other sources of info (EFnet, Orochinagi, etc). Youtube’s your best friend, too…


Many. Majority. Doesn’t matter. The point is that the KOF trials in general are not going to help the new player, especially in the long run if they do intend to get better at the game, even if they were used as a short term reference. There are already all kinds of resources available for learning combos and the system mechanics/fundamentals in itself, assuming that the new player is smart enough and willing to track down the information accordingly. Every guide and combo insight offered from the said resources for KOF are far better than what is presented in the trial mode and even its own tutorial mode. The intent of the trials in KOF are to test the players execution in specific scernarios.


Whatever the intent, I know trial mode helps others, and for some it does not. That’s all I’m saying…

Tuts and combo vids are obviously better (combo vids can be debatable though)…




Dandy J’s KOF tut


he has a point the trails do atleast give ya a heads up on chars and there move property’s and all the sub systems, so later when ya see a proper player do a combo, it helps it kinda click to understand what they did n why… wish more games would release trails 6 months after a game came out and kinda flushed out and designed by actual top players as dlc, since they like to push dlc



A) How does your inability to execute kof13 trials objectively have to do with anything whatsoever, because to be honest, for intermediate to advanced level players, a lot of that stuff isnt that hard. Not to mention, most of the HD combos can be shortened and simplified for bigger damage, or similar to equal damage with less execution. If you are just doing the trials for the joy of completely combos and testing your skill, then the hardness of them does not matter. If you had issues with any combo up to trial 5 in most of the kof 13 trials (there are some that are quirky, even for early trials) then you might not just be that good in general, need to learn more, and keep practicing.

kof trials arent there to help the new player? uh wut. what game are you playing. most of the trials up until like trial 5 are typical bread n butters, and then the rest are HD combos that can become a bit impractical and or useless, as there are easier, sometimes more damaging HD combos to do, but they open up your mind to what your character is capable of doing, and then you can freestyle that to your own will. completely disregarding the existence of the internet and youtube videos, if all you had was kof 13’s trials to help you understand your bnbs, HD combos, and potential of your character, you would be set. if you need to understand the fundamentals and mechanics of the game, there are other in game tutorials to teach you all of that also. kof 13 is pretty stacked in its trials, tutorials, and practice options to allow you to understand a lot about your character and the game without ever having to go to youtube or dreamcancel wikis.

anyways, back to the other person

B) Well to be honest, shortcuts in fighting games is not a new phenomenon at all. sf4’s were just different then the usual in a way, combined with how things in the game worked differently then before, people made a bigger deal out of it then need be. at least thats my opinion in hindsight 5 years later

C) Thats just new user error. plus like you said, the game gave you a demo to follow. i could understand your frustration if at the very least there wasnt a demo to teach you, but they have that. the rest is just calming your mind and being like oh duh, hes hyper hopping to do that. its better for you that they dont walk you through that process, because it develops your critical thinking for the game. you will be much better off learning through simple deduction, rather then being hand held through it all, because you will start wondering what else more you can do, rather then just following directions, following the rules like a robot.

D) Anything above a 1 frame link is easy as cake. like i consider that objectively easy to do. 1 frame links arent really that hard either, you just have to spend time learning the timing. you say youre a tekken player, and if you were of any level of decent at tekken, you know about just frames, and thats not very different from learning the timing for various links in 2d games at all. i say that as someone who has been playing tekken since tekken 1, competitively since 5, and didnt really get back into 2d games until 2009 and beyond. the higher levels of play of tekken are very demanding on your execution and reactions, even as a non mishima player, so 2d shouldnt be but so (a bit foreign, but not greatly) foreign execution wise, unless you werent too great at tekken before you started testing other waters.

I dont feel like replying much to the rest. i say that respectfully. so i will end it with a general response to how you ended things, which is, if you think sf2 and tekken execution is easy as cake compared to kof 13 and sf4, you might be playing those games wrong. high level tekken is very demanding, ESPECIALLY if youre a stick player. sf2 is pretty strict on its inputs and reversal windows.

To be honest i think your thread should have been about how to improve your execution, and you could have gotten tons of help. If not from everyone, i would have hit you with paragraphs and links galore on how to better your execution at these games. when it comes to execution, bottom to the top, pad, stick, shitty sticks, etc… i can kick some shit for you, because i know how that feels sometimes.

but in hindsight, from somebody first starting tekken serious with tekken 5, and thinking doing ewgf was like the hardest thing ever that i could get maybe one out of every 60 times, to now being able to light dash on the 2p side, ewgf consistently on the 2p side, and wave dash/almost light dash on the 1p side, and ewgf and otgf with normal consistency (i really need to enter a ttt2 tournament sometime this year. i have no idea why our communities ogs are so behind skill wise on that game), ON STICK, i can tell tell you the smallest things that i changed in my execution gave me HUUUUUUUGE RESULTS. i was almost sad i didnt figure this out earlier, but i am also a grown man with bills, work, friends, etc…, so it came when it came, and im glad i finally got to a point of execution where i can literally pick up any game now and be fine.

ive gone from a shy mvc2 player with weak ass tri dashes, to doing sj.Hp storm infinite loops while playing my friend online in xvsf, in a comparitively short amount of time considering the little bit of time i actually put into this fg shit compared to some people, and most of that was from practicing smart, yada yada.

when it comes to execution, kof 13 is pretty easy man, you just need to learn some execution basics. i literally just downloaded sf42012, so im not sure of the links in that game, as i only played vanilla sf4 for 2-3 months. but, well, lemme stop. i dont wanna get into a whole history lesson on my execution and how i got there, but i think you would be better suited making a thread on how to better your execution, rather then look for a game to cater to your inability to do certain things. doa5 ultimate, injustice, and mk9 might be a good choice for you if you are being too challenged by sf4 and kof 13.

but ultimately you will fair better learning how to defeat what is defeating you right now when it comes to execution. it lessens your learning curve for future games so much, when worrying about executing anything is the least of your concerns.


apperently its not just me cause if you look around you’ll find other boards and threads with simiular issues even on srk. and for each of those threads you can assume a bigger amount of ppl that don’t even bother making a board account to discuss or seek advice or a solution and just drop the game and move on.
and as previously already mentioned i’d like to see a Trail mode that trys to teach instead of just challenge.

just because they are already present for a while and people familiar with the genre got used to them doesn’t mean they are the only or best way to handle the problem. and it certainly isn’t a excuse to not mention them no where in a tutorial or manual on the game.

i don’t agree on that. if a particular movement is required to connect the combo it is part of the combo and it doesn’t make sense to me why it wouldn’t be written down. even the learning effect seems better to me if the full combo is written down, that way the player could notice right away “hey there is actually enough time between moves to squeez in a dash or a jump” opposed to the guess work by watching the demo (did he realy dash after that move or is it just part of the moves animation…).
your reaction seems more like the one of a person whos familiar with the genre and already used to missing inputs in combo trails that you have to guess on your own by watching a demo or search the web and accepted that fact.

thats a opinion of your own and very subjective one. if you walk up to lets say daigo and ask him about 1 frame links he’d might tell you they are easy as cake. looking back 10 years of experiance of timing your inputs the same way ofcourse it appears easy to you but if you think back to when you started you might remember it beeing pretty strict and tough. in retrospective once you already overcame a certain problem or acquired a certain skill things always seem easier then they initially where.
on the other side during searching the forums for advice i also see alot of threads about too tight timing/execution requirements in 2D fighters most likely from people that are new to the genre.

i remember a KOF 13 trail where i had to do a specific link, i think it was with billy something like d+LK, f+LP, d+LK, hcf+LP+HP… i attempted to link f+LP, d+LK for atleast 1 hour without success. then i tried if i could get the link with motionjoys autofire function and see if this works, set the input timer to 1ms/1ms and even then it wouldn’t always connect.
after that i checked youtube and found a video of vesper arcade demonstrating this trail. i was focusing only on the sounds of his button pressing and got the trail down within the next 3 attempts.
i think if even autofire fails sometimes it gives a pretty good impression of how tight the timing and importent finding the right rythem is.

regarding tekken i can hardly tell how good i real was/am since at the time i was playing it i only had arcade mode and a hand full of friends to compete against. but the thing with tekken and 3D fighters in general is that i never had the feeling that i’d completely miss out on one of its core game mechanics and was forced to resort to cheap tactics to exploit weaknesses of the AI.
i can’t remember that i ever had a issue in tekken with linking normals, the buffers and hit stuns always seemed generious enough to find your own rythem with your inputs while at the same time always leave a chance at certain points for your opponent to get back with the right block or role/dash to the side. also tekken has no form of meter management, even if you’d “drop a combo” you still have all your options open and could just reattempt that combo while in a game with meter you’d drastically lose your chance for a comback just by droping a meter combo.

there are already alot of threads and other sources like youtube videos regarding improving execution which i was already digging thru (and I’m grateful that they exist).

the purpose of this thread was more intended to point out possible flaws of todays 2D fighters (or maybe old once too, as i said i only recently picked up the genre again with sf4 and kof13) and how developers could approach new ways (or old and forgotten ways) to ease the learning curve. all that from the point of view of new players.

the reason why it might be good to idea to view the subject from the point of view of a noob is cause a too steep learning curve with too few moments of accomplishment in between ulimately lead the majority of people drop the product and never look at it again.
and this effects everyone in the player base of a competitive game for example by not finding a opponent for hours searching online or just running in to the same opponents again and again which might have a too high or low skill lvl for the players to be a challenging and enjoyable experience. (preconditioned a decent online mode ofcourse)

i don’t know about you but i love it if i only feel like playing for 30 minutes, turn on counterstrike or league of legends and find a game within a minute or even a couple of seconds. fighting games could be among those type of games (short match times with multiplayer) but aren’t (atleast in my experience) due to

  1. lousy implementation of online modes (which companies hopefully will figure out sooner or later)
  2. a too steep learning curve that fail at delivering that little sense of accomplishment every now and then to keep the player interested.

the game experience of the average new KOF13 player could look like this:
playing a little bit around in arcade and practice mode to get familiar with the mechanics and a feel for the game-> attempting online -> searching for hours without finding a opponent OR meeting a experienced KOF/SF player -> getting your ass kicked with a super/ultra/hyper drive combo that drained your half or in KOF your FULL life bar -> realise you need to learn HD combos to progress -> spending 20 - 40 hours in practice/trail mode (and thats a very optimistic guess i fear) trying to get atleast one of those combos down -> realising that you barely succeed one HD complete combo out of 100 attempts and finaly move on to a different game.

Mortal combat is not my cup of tea, i played DoA2 and i found it rewards pure mashing a little to much. and i haven’t heard anything good about online for either of them.


well you have st if you wanna play a “simpler” game with no heavy emphasis on hard links, and more of an emphasis on spacing, normals, and specials (even then, high level st players will destroy all semblance of fairness you thought that game might have had for you). but to be honest, being bad at a game or genre isnt a valid excuse for companies to simplify fighting games anymore then they already have over time. ggpo has a ton of “easier” games on great netcode if you wanna chill on your couch and play vs some friends online and just fuck around for hours.

noobs need to learn. i dont understand why some new generation players since sf4 vanilla cannot seem to comprehend that it takes time to be good. i mean, youre going to have to go back pretty far in fighting games to play something without a lot of executional demand, and even then, many of those games at a higher level still demand it, and you will still get scraped just as hard by someone who is experienced.

maybe im just getting trolled, but it seems like you legit do not understand why youre not good, and think its unfair that you get beaten by more experienced players. for every one of you that just started playing fighting games the past 5 years at some point, and think this is too hard, there is another one of you that picked up the game, practiced hard, and got god like. rayray is a nice example. mvc3 was his first game to my knowledge, and look at his skill level now. he was even pretty good in vanilla towards the end of its life before umvc3. if he can pick up one of the harder games for a noob to play, and master it in a short amount of time they way he has, then anyone can get good.

when it comes to online play, yes, many agree for fighting games its pretty hit or miss, but if you have kof 13 on steam, you should be fine if you are fighting opponents with good connections. netcode isnt magic. even playing older games on ggpo, if you are outside of america, we’re probably going to have some issues. if youre connection isnt that great for varying reasons, we’re probably going to have issues. yes there are and have been some titles that regardless, the netcode is buns, kof 13 console, tekken 6, with maybe 1 or 2 magic people that you somehow can play with almost flawlessly, and it sucks with everyone else.

if learning the establish fundamentals of execution in fighting games that have been in place for over 2 decades is too much of a learning curve for you to practice, then maybe sticking to online rpgs, karate champ, and first person shooters is better suited for you. outside of dive kick, you are not going to find a game with abc execution and experienced players arent demolishing you into the cement. maybe older samurai showdown titles might be good for you, for outside of ss4, the rest are just heavy spacing, normals, specials, and supers, but no long extended links to really learn (there are links though). the samurai showdown series generally is just basically old fashion footsies and tools with no heavy emphasis on combos, resets, and links. combos, resets, and links exist in the game, but not in the same way as in other snk, capcom, etc titles


The game that I am playing is KOFXIII, which should be obvious at this point. So you’re saying that the new players are going to learn how to play KOF on more intermediate levels… without ever doing any sort of research, asking questions, setting up theories, or even looking for videos on the internet? There is only one tutorial in KOFXIII which hardly even scratches the surface on what is important for getting better. The practice mode itself is great if the player know how to use it. Do you honestly think that the new player is going to learn anything about how to apply good offense? Use the neutral game to their advantage? Mix-ups? Alternate guarding/Throw invincibility? Secondary special move inputs? Button holding? Using normals for defense, anti-airring or getting in? Frame traps? Safe/Whiff jumping? Whiff cancelling CD attacks and/or normals into special move moves? Dealing with rush down? Practicing hit confirms with the random guard and crouching feature of training? Frame data in general? Knowing what is safe and what is not safe with the 1 guard-jump feature on training mode? Different uses of HD mode? Notions of HD bypasses? Whiffing special moves (sans projectiles) for building meter? And, so on…

Do you honestly think that the new player is going to learn any of those things with how the ingame tutorial
of KOFXIII is set up? Because, most of subjects related to that tutorial is considered common sense for FG players. The only thing you learn about in that tutorial is what the drive system mode is and how to Max Cancel in the said state - everything else are simple concepts that even a kindergardner would understand, figuratively speaking. And again, the trials in KOF are made in such a way where a new player can only go as far as to know what their character might be capable of, otherwise it is only a feature that involves testing the limits of the players execution, starting from simple combos to crazy/impractical ones. Hence, part of the reason it is put under “Mission” category for secondary modes for the player to toy around in.

I point to this tutorial for new players all the time. Another example of a good source for KOFXIII information would be those FAQS within my signature… which was organized by ME by the way.

And, to the OP… for fighting games, especially on the behalf of SFIV and KOFXIII, it takes time, effort, will power and research to get better. With that, you need to continue practicing both in the training mode and with other players. Overtime, you can practice and play while using all of the resources and videos footages available so that you can adapt and gradually retain everything when you do get better. There are many FG websites mentioned before where you can ask questions and play with other players who will teach you a little more about intermediate game play. On dream cancel, players offer the dojo sections on the chat, so you will be free to chat with those who are available at the moment. And, SRK also has a wiki and plenty of awesome guides to provide for new players, even for KOFXIII. The games are not going to hold your hand for you. What you get out of fighting games like these are, more or less, based on what you put into them as a player.


also, there are no links (like combo links. if 1,4 doesnt combo, it doesnt combo. there is no amount of timing that will make the uncomboable, comboable in tekken. unless you are in a juggle state, but thats a different story, and its only a combo because its in juggle state, not because you because you made 1,4 comboable through a well timed link) in tekken. i brought up tekken because if you were use to doing just frame links in tekken, you can at the very least appreciate and have an understanding of the timing necessary for certain links, and that you cannot just mash your way through them, or put your controller on autofire to test them. also in tekken if you have mastered korean back dash canceling, that says a lot about your execution, as that requires a pretty specific set of continuous movements. light dashing and wave dashing also say alot about your execution in general. also tekken has dp’s, qcf, and qcb moves all throughout the character roster. im sure you have also experienced various timing on combos that you cannot just mash your way through, but you have to time them properly, and in some cases have to dash a little to get it to connect.

kof 13 also has pretty huge hit stun on a lot of normals in comparison to other similar 2d fighting games, and large buffer windows. you have like forever and a day to do combos in kof 13. you dont know that yet because youre still getting good and probably doing everything too fast, but once you get good you will realize how you were trying too hard to probably do some of the things you were failing at completing.


Not going to respond to everything, but just touch on a few key points…

You will learn eventually that some KoF shortcuts (moreso longcuts, actually) are super useful for Super cancels, drive cancels, HD mode and such and will really help you out. But KoF 13 has been receiving some flack for having larger input windows and overlapping inputs, it does make the game a little more difficult to deal with at times.

Regarding your other point about the amount of time it takes to get to anything more competitive than a wet sponge in some of these games, I agree that it’s ridiculous. I think one of the reasons SF2 was stupidly popular compared to pretty much every other fighting game that followed it, aside from being available in arcade form almost everywhere, was that it was easy to pick up and play and everyone understood the basics. A game like KoF 13 is difficult on EVERY level, and has its own unique flow. On top of learning all the intricate gameplay mechanics, you also, let’s face it, have to spend a lot of time learning your combos in order to be a threatening opponent.

And I agree also, that while these games became more intricate, none of the learning tools have improved that much in 20 years. You are expected to understand these games from either having played the previous games in the series or through external learning tools, which is a huge oversight if devs want new people playing their games. I still haven’t found as good an in-game tutorial as VF4 Evo, which is kind of sad when you consider that all that one did is teach you how to actually play the game.

Some newer games in mind that may be more lenient on inputs are Persona 4 Arena which is getting a sequel/update soon, and Guilty Gear Xrd… just on Japanese arcades at the moment. Guilty Gear has a lot of intricate gameplay mechanics, but the basic combo system is fairly easy so you can at least get your feet wet as you learn all the gameplay mechanics.

You may also want to consider playing Super SF2 Turbo or SF3: Third Strike, or Vampire Savior on GGPO and/or locally, depending on where you are there may be a small scene. Those games may not have the biggest fanbase, but there are still players and there are still tournaments, and all of those games are quite rewarding, and generally not as dependent on high execution requirements (though each game has its own high-level nuances that you will have to learn).


if you compare a simple command like left hand punch -> right hand punch or square -> triangle in Tekken to a equal easy 2 input command in KOF 13 you’ll see that in tekken you could simply slide your fingers over the pad and the 2 hit combo will come out the rythem you push them does barely matter it only has to be pressed fast enough in the right order.

if you do the same in KOF 13 you most likely get a single hit and the second input gets swollowed, it disappears, doesn’t get executed at all. in KOF 13 your forced to take the rythem the game dictates (i even wonder if the engine punishes to fast mashing. looking at the autofire example assumed the autofire sends a command for every possible moment the game registers a input and the link still doesn’t happen this assumption stands to reason).

now assuming i learned a complete combo, got it down into my muscle memory. my next intuitive intention in tekken would be to speed up my execution (ofcourse only to a certain extent) but KOF 13 wouldn’t let me cause it dictates the rythem of the inputs. also in the heat of battle you get a adrenalin rush, time seemingly passes by slower, your inputs intuitively would become faster but again KOF dictates the rythem and wants the inputs at the same speed as if you where not under pressure.

additionally to all that 2D fighters have limited feed back opposed to 3D fighters since they have limited frames for animations while 3D fighters have fluent motions.
so you have a disadvantage in visual feed back with 2D fighters plus tighter standards for input timing with 2D fighters compared to 3D fighters.
but despite those higher requirements developers don’t seem to care to evolve there learning tools so the player has a easier time learning and adopting to those requirements.
a good example is the already mentioned sounds for button inputs used in tekken 3 (i think it was 3, i don’t know if the series still has this feature):
you could select a combo from the command list and a demo would play the combo and additionaly signal visualy and via short sounds when the a button has to be pressed. that game is over 10 or even 15 years old but alot of fighting games don’t have such a feature today even though it makes learning strict timing alot easier.

you also have to ask yourself are these tight standards necessary, does the game gain anything if you ad 1 frame links that require very strict timing compared to a game with a bit more generous timing like tekken?
or is it maybe a artificial hinderance and the game would do better without it? (cause a better learning curve could lead to more players and in the end to a more enjoyable online experience?)

i remember back in the days playing dungeon crawlers where you had to draw your own map of the level on a piece of paper to keep track of where your actually going. rpgs eventually evolved and in todays mmorpgs its not just standard to have a ingame map but even automated glowing guiding lines for quests and npcs.
the fighting game genre did not evolve very much in this department. practice tutorial and trail modes seem to be more of a sloppy copy and paste of what was already standard 10 years ago but that doesn’t mean that there is no room for improvements and its up to the player base to give feedback about whats working well and what might need a little modification and in the ideal case also suggest how that could be done (like i’m trying in my past posts).

just because the average player isn’t willing to spend hundreds of hours of playing the practice mode with very little progress in return doesn’t mean he couldn’t become a decent player provided with the proper learning tools to easen the learning curve.

i’m very aware why i’m not good and what part of the game i’m struggling with and i do not expect to beat a experienced long time player of a game that i just recently picked up, quite the opposite, if it was that way the game was most likely a pure button masher without any tactic or skill at all thus not very desirable. i do understand that especially games designed for competitive play take time and practice to advance and get better at.
what i do question is if the progression process couldn’t be quickened significantly providing proper tools for learning and if some aspects of a game are necessary to add to the gaming experience or not.


While I do have my stigmas of the mention games. I’m little hard press to call them flaws. The trials and challenge have their place. It may not help you but it may help others. You’ll just have to commit more to improvising .

Personally if your not clicking with game than i think its better you try other games thats more of your sped instead of over analyzing the two mention.


I think **Skullgirls **has all the tools you need. The developers are in touch with the community and they’d even read and consider your comments and input.
Were Skullgirls a Japanese game, I’d doubt we’d see all those features.

Regarding difficulty, it has more to do with technical rather than gameplay issues. SF4 is a frame priority nightmare. With various newer patches things got so messy that one has to wait for years before game becomes ready for normal play and one can discover its secrets. I doubt a guide you describe would do the game any good. Things can change immediately with the next patch…

KOFXIII less so but it got more combo based when compared to its predecessors. Older KOF titles are harder in some other aspects. SNK and Capcom were never known for their exquisite guides or tutorials either…

In contrast to Tekken, they target mainly the hardcore players.