Tactical Balance in Fighting Game - with videos!


First of all, I really don’t know if “Fighting Game discussion” is the right place to open this thread, because it is more like “game developer stuff”,so maybe it would fit better at “Domination101”, although it is not any strategy, actually, this issue is homeless, and I’m apologize in advance for my english, I really had a hard time writing this, I tried my best.

Hope you enjoy the reading. It is a big text, but you can read it in parts, just follow the index.

Tactical Balance in Fighting Game - with videos! - By Azis

3-The Tactical Balance
4-The Tactical Unbalance
5-Mind-Game: The game inside the game
7-Videos analysis

1 - Introduction

When tactical balance is the issue, the first thing that comes to mind is "tiers".

Automatically we remember the top tiers, god Tiers, mid Tiers or whatever pleases you. We think of Match-ups also.

But balance in a Fighting game is not only that. A Fighting game is highly tactical, it demands balance among the characters and their actions.

Actions in a Fighting Game are, basically: Move, jump, guard, normal attacks, special attacks and super moves.

But what if a game is unbalanced in one of these basic actions? 

***If a game is unbalanced in one of its basic actions or the combination of them (e.g.: Jump-in attack), giving advantage to one of these actions, what will happen is the abuse of this action (or combination of actions), making the game repetitive, lowering the tactical factor.**

2 - Match-ups

Match-ups are specific characters in a match, where we analyze some advantages and disadvantages for both sides. Some things allow the abuse of some characters against others in specific situations. In ST, as an example: Honda got Bison cornered. He will do Ochio Throw FTW because Bison doesn't has a Reversal - except his Super - that takes him out of this situation. We call this "Honda vs Bison match" a "though match-up for Bison", or we say E. Honda is a tough match-up for Bison. Actually, it is not so hard, because the advantageous situation for Honda is very specific. But it fits as example, as I cannot remember any better right now.

But all I want to say in this section, besides the simple definition of the term "match-up", is that **this text is not about match-ups**. It is about general tactical balance. 

3 The Tactical Balance

For better understanding of how the "Tactical Balance" works, let's borrow Sirlin's example a little bit. Think about the classic "Rock, Paper and Scissor", the favorite game of Alex Kidd, or, whatever it may be named in your region or country (some call it Janken-Po as well, lets avoid issues like this to progress, as everybody knows what I'm talking about).

In this game, we have 3 elements: Rock, Paper and Scissor. Rock beats Scissor, that beats Paper, that beats Rock. Three options, with one choice you can beat one element and lose to other, and, of course, there are ties. This game is the perfect example of balance, since the chance of winning is always 50% (excluding tie), which is identical to losing.

If you chose hundreds and hundreds of times one element, it will not give you any advantage, as the game is perfectly balanced. Actually, you may face some disadvantage for playing in patterns, as your opponent may notice and use it against you. To have the perfect 50% chance of victory, you have to be perfectly random maintaining the balance with the elements, and it does not depends on your opponent choice. It has some "mind game", also.

***The perfect balanced game would be like Rock-Scissor-Paper. But, of course, this balance is theoretical, and, actually, impossible to reach.**.

4 - The Tactical Unbalance

The opposite of the section above.	

Lets take as example the The King of Fighters series. In this game, small jump and meaties are the main tactics used, as they are better basic elements. The small jump is repetitively used by players in all games of the series (see videos) as it is hard to punish and trades with most of anti-airs, and most of times beats anti-airs. Besides that, it is fast and has high priority.

Now imagine this as an derivation of a probability only Rock-Scissor-Paper, where Rock has 70% of winning chance, and Scissor and Paper share 15% each.

As in the example of the real "Rock-Scissor-Paper", the use of small jumps, by the repetition, becomes punishable with an anti-air attack by anticipation, not on reaction. As everybody uses it a lot, because it is the best attack option in most of situations, if you execute a Dragon Punch or any other anti-air, you have a good chance to intercept an incoming attack. If the opponent is at the right distance for a jump-in, and, allowing the attacker to jump, you have a real chance to time a perfect Dragon Punch. Actually, a very, very big chance, as I'll show in the videos, because, at some distance, small jumps ARE the best option. There is no Mind game. If you wanna win some at KOF, jump more.

Imagine blending KOF to Rock-Paper-Scissor, some kind of Alex Kidd, where we will switch the available options in the fighting game to Rock, Paper or Scissor, and, in this case, we will represent the jump-in attacks as the ROCK. In this imaginary game, in the mid distance, instead of regular actions, the characters would do Rock, Scissor or paper, simple as the Alex Kidd boss fights. However, think that the chances of the options are not the same, think that, as in KOF, the Rock represents better chances of winning, as IT IS the best option. As you know it is the best choice, instead of doing it, you can do paper, so, both of you excluded scissor from the game. As a consequence of Rock being stronger, and paper its counter-attack, it took one option out of the game, represented by scissor here, which is other possible options in KOF, and, more important, this unbalance takes the MIND-GAME, the most "pure" strategical element, out of the game.

Now for some action, If you know KOF, just think that Rock is represented by Small Jump, Paper is the Anti-air (and as I said, it does not beat rock clean or do not beat it anyway , so that the rock IS the best option) and, lets say, scissors would be walk and then poke. Note that walk and poke really does not exist in KOF in high level play.

**That is what I call the "TACTICAL UNBALANCE" that I want to talk about: One tactic overwhelm others clearly, allowing abuses.**

The The King of Fighters series in the perfect example of this kind of abuse . The World's Top Players matches are composed by repetitive jumps. When punished, it is clearly the antecipation of the defendant, just as I said before.

This characteristic puts the game in a negative view of the world's top players of many other fighting games. For the game to appear in a huge world tournament, it must be really deep and competitive, everybody must like it. Unless it has other interests behind fun and competition, such as increase the number of players sign-ups ($$$), sponsors disseminating a release, personal interests of tournament directors (such as high possibility of winning), etc.

***Just have in mind that the "Tactical Unbalance" makes the best option/tatic/action be used abusively so that it takes the mind-game out of the game.**

5 - Mind-Game: The game inside the game

The tactical balance in a game causes the game to be "transfered" from the screen directly to the mind of the players. It is not enough to execute one action knowing that it has a minimal risk and a huge reward. To execute one action in a balanced game, you must fake to your opponent that you would execute one action and then punish a possible earlier reaction or wait for him to do something and react wisely to the situation. That is what we call "Mind-Game".

Its definition is cognitive: "The game in the mind".

Mind-Games are constant (in variable degrees) in balanced fighting games. There games are present in the main world's tournaments unless it has interests behind, like sponsoring or others. It is made from transferring the game from the screen to the mind of players, as in Chess, where how do you hold the piece or move it is not what matters, but where do you put it to fill the need for a higher objective, the Check-mate. At this moment, the power of execution of incredibly hard commands does not lead to victory, but intelligence, and thus coming in second place reflex and execution, in the case of fighting games. 

Mind-Games rise the fighting game level to a higher instance, the one of logical reasoning and capability of answer in time according to several possible situations, as there is not only two or three good alternatives to an attacker. This implies that the player must know the game and it's minimal variations and situations to answer properly to any choice of the opponent and thus take an effective action, and it is noticeable that a game like this allows a bigger possibility of tactical exploration: pressure, defensive tactics, offensive tactics, mixed tactics, random (as many options are good or even) or Mix-up (and here I recall "rock-paper-scissor where the only way to have advantage is balancing the 3 elements), and effective counter-attacks, as no tactic overwhelm other. 

So, there are several ways to play in a balanced game. Pick one that satisfy yours, that is adequate to your profile and characters you chose, develop tactics, trade information with players and have fun.

As I talked about, I must give definition: Mix-up means to mix tactics and options, ti means variation. 

Mix-ups are a constant element in balanced fighting games. It is not Randomness, but sometimes it can be confounded with it. By having tactics that are even in success chance, Mix-ups are applicable in games that has balance in its basic actions,and you can see it mainly after knocking and enemy down. 

This means that it is not about choosing options with guaranteed success chances, like Small Jumps or Meaty attacks (earlier attacks when the opponent is knocked down), but a variation of throws, overheads, meaties, small jump, safe jump, empty jump-hit low, fake an action, just block and counter-attack, etc, as any action in a balanced fighting game has equal chances of success **given the conditions of risk/reward, against the defendant options that has also degrees of risk/reward and success**, as the oldie-but-goodie block, reversals, normals, specials, supers or even others.

Lets talk a little bit about risk and reward.

The balanced game may not allow that small jump, meaty and others overwhelm supers/DM/Overdrive/whatever, as these movements demand higher execution ability, and you must "pay" for it with the cost of "super meters", so, this should be, to the knocked down enemy, the best option to cause damage. However, the standing attacker, knowing this, may fake an attack/pressure (mind game) and thus makes the defendant flunk in executing a super, spend meter, and yet has the fair punishment according to the reward he would have if the super had hit. So the reward for the player who used the Mind Game is awesome, as the reward for the knocked enemy should be awesome due to the risk he just payed for and due to the usage of meter.

This means that the balanced game has weights and measures adequate to their respective risks and rewards. A great risk is rewarded with a high reward, in the other hand, the cost of the bad use of a high rewardable option is a high reward to the opponent, as he was rewarded by the good use of tactics. 

As examples of this good weight and measure balance, think of: A)In A2, Ken vs Ryu, Ryu does c.fk into hadouken. Low risk, low reward. B) Ken does c.fk into level 3 shoryu-reppa, high risk high reward, because, if Ken miss it, he is all in the hands of Ryu IF... C) Ryu was wise to store 3 meters, which involves risk. You can think about a Shoryu-reppa done in reversal, that has also high risk and high reward, but the price is also high, very susceptible to the standing opponent mind-game.

As a bad example of risk/reward relation we may think of: A)In CVS2,A-Bison does short scissor kick with a full meter. It can also be comboed from anything, that is easy to pull off. If timed right, it is hard to punish on mistake, so we can classify this as of very low risk. However, the reward for a landed short scissor kick is absolutely fucking insane crazy high, which is the famous Karate Kid borrowed name "Paint the Fence", the "PTF". B)Small jump in KOF: low risk,high reward, you can do insane combos after taht such as the "PTF". Punishments for it are only the bests Dragon punches in the game, if you miss, you will be knocked down leaving the attacker with small jump or meaty options, again, or some few cross-ups, grab-hit/low-high mix-ups.

Backing to the mix-up, if meaties always beat an knocked enemy super, so,there will be never supers in this situation, thus no risk/benefits balance, and there will be none of the two main elements in competitive fighting games played in high level: Mix-ups and Mind-Games.

If you know that meaty will always work, this is clearly the best option, why would you not use it? The opponent will never try reversals in this condition, because, even hard to pull off, it  always fails, so why would you, as attacker, fake an attack to get your reward after the opponent's mistake? He will not commit this mistake. It would be unreasonable this Mind Game/Mix up in an unbalanced game as there is a clearly better option. In the balanced game, however, decisions are much more difficult to take, more risky, more thinkable, less automatic. This situation is far more dramatic, even if it runs very fast. 

Remember, in EVO (06 I think), CVS2, Tokido using the "quick get up" against Combofiend's Eagle? It was the price of automated "decision". 

It is pretty obvious: If Meaties are better, I'll use them, if it is not possible to get out, I'll definitely use them.

***The repetitive abuse of tactics destroys the mind game**

Now that I already talked about Mind Games,Mix-up, and Risk and Reward regarding the tactical balance, and you must be tired of reading, watch some live example of it: [media=youtube]gVmc5ZepdVs[/media] (Justin vs Yipes cyclops comeback)

6 - Videos

Talking is not enough, so I'll show it.

What follows are four comparative videos, two from CVS2, two from KOF2002. Both with TOP players in the world and Randomly selected*, as they were never watched before.

CVS2 is not the perfect example of balance**, but it is well balanced in its basic actions. I decided to select this game to analyze as it has lots of mix-ups and a strong mind-game, and also an wide possibility of tactical exploration with each character in each groove, allowing you to turtle or rush with great balance with all these possibilities. And, besides that, this is a game that I know very well.

KOF2k2 was selected because jump-ins are abusive, as you will see by the repetitive jumps in the videos, sometimes 4 or 5 in a row.

The analysis is based on the tactics used by the players in-game. As to evidence, it will have a "counter" in the bottom, represented by:

A)Jumps while attacking, small jumps or normal jumps;
B)Clean Punishments to jump-ins (not trade);
C)Jumps that trade.

The intention is what matters, jump to attack add a number in the counter, even if the action was not succeeded, if the opponent moved or whatever happened.

Back jumps or without the attack intention, such as taking position advantages or move, or even trying to hit an possible "quick stand up" as anticipation does not account. 

Thus, it is easy to show KOF2k2 as an example of a tactically unbalanced fighting game, showing that it has priority in small-jumps, as the simple evidence given by **the repetitive jumps.**

Thanks for your attention. I hope that you readers analyze this text with critical eyes, not love. Then take your own conclusions and read the video analysis and conclusion.

VIDEO 1 - http://br.youtube.com/watch?v=k3qWW0ihOSk
VIDEO 2 - http://br.youtube.com/watch?v=INQm3Edre7I
VIDEO 3 - http://br.youtube.com/watch?v=R1Be9Ijoiog
VIDEO 4 - http://br.youtube.com/watch?v=IyNX_n4xaNA

*Nightmare (kof player) randomly selected the KOF videos. I randomly selected the CVS2 videos, both are from EVO WEST 07.

**Of course I don’t want to show CVS2 as an example of perfection. Much more the contrary as it has the biggest fucking abusive-ish tactic ever known in the fighting game history, the Roll-Cancel, a way to make any special move invincible,thus, safe and abusive. However, as basics are easier to discuss, I chose simple movements and combination of normal moves, such as walk, block… so I pick jump and attack.


7 - Video analysis

First considerations:

Remember that:

b=Punished Jump-ins
c=Trades against jump-ins

Take note they are all "jump-ins" after all.

The initial intention on putting the "C" in (trades) was to prove that KOF prioritizes too much jumps, not only in its amount, but on the priority that this move has and also the high difficult to punish it by the quick animation. However,the videos were randomly selected, so, there are some problems, as example, the second CVS2 video shows Vega vs Vega, a match with a lot of jumps, and in the first KOF video it shows a good Ryo punishing almost any jump-in, about 14%, as the other video shows only 8% of punishment. The average is 11%, but it is not real. A really good analysis should contain about 30 videos of each game, but it is impossible for only one person to do it all alone, too much for me, I'm sorry. This reliable statistics should show the number much more close to 8% of punishment than 11%.

By "Total Time" you must know that it is not the total video time, but the whole time that allows you to actually play, measured with video edition softwares, putting markers at the initial frame and the last frame. I mean, after the announcer says "Fight!",the clock starts, then stop after the final hit kill the opponent, not after the announcer says KO, because it varies in each game, like, you can remain punching your opponent while the custom combo is activated. So timer begins at the very first frame,finishes at the kill frame, and it is strictly measured.

Finally, counting the number of jumps alone means nothing, as CVS2 matches has about twice the total time of KOF.

Lets proceed. We will look to the videos one by one.

|PART 1|

1st Analysis - CVS2 (Alex Walbert vs Sanford)

Total time: 2m53s or 173s


a) 28
b) 04
c) 00

Total jumps (a+b+c): 32

  • After the maths,in this match the players jumps 1,8 times at each 10 seconds.
  • From 32 jumps, 4 were punished, so punishment percentage is 12,5%.

*You can see in this match several ways to get in with each character and the strong Mind Game. As there are many options, the defendant don’t know which attack he has to neutralize, as it is not the same everytime.

b]VIDEO 2 **
2nd Analysis ? KOF02 (Peruano vs Monge)

Total time: 1m55s or 115s


a) 43
b) 07
c) 00

Total jumps: 50

  • After maths,in this game we see 4,3 jumps at each 10 seconds.
  • From 50 jumps, 7 were punished. The punishment percentage is 14%. Observe that these punishments were on anticipation. Ryo stands up waiting for the jump, when Iori get he bait, he was hit.

*In this match you see the jump as the main - if not the only - way in. When it is not a jump-in, it is a punishment to a mistake, as we see Kyo punishing K’ after frustrated Dragon Punches. There are not other ways in showed in the video.

3rd Analysis ? CVS2 (Justin vs Nestor)

Total time: 3m57s or 237s


a) 36
b) 03
c) 01

Total jumps: 40

  • After maths, in this match we see 1,7 jumps at each 10 seconds. Almost the same value from the first video.
  • Of 40 jumps, 4 where punished = 10%.
  • One traded, but is was on reaction.

*An interesting match, where the same could be said from the first.


Analysis 4 ? KOF02 (Paulo vs Monge)

Total time: 1m57s or 117s


a) 42
b) 04
c) 00

Total jumps: 46

  • After the maths, we have that in this game, players jumps 3,9 times at each 10 seconds.
  • From 46 jumps, 4 were punished. The percentage is 8,7.

*Again, the main attack option is jump-in. The punishment to jump ins in this match, as Ryo is not present, had drastically fell almost by half regarding the previous KOF video, from 14% to 8%. There is no consistency in the values of punishment although the number jumps are consistent, almost the same.

PART 1 Discussion: The values from CVS2 were constant, while in KOF, they were not. In the match where Ryo was present, the punishment were twice the value found in video 4, where he is not, proving what I said in the other topics about the punishment given only by the best anti-airs in the game, such as Ryo’s Dragon Punch.

The analysis was harmed by the lack of samples. If the samples were bigger, the punishment percentage should be smaller, close to 9%, as Ryo is not the character we see in advanced stages in championships.

We can see also the repetition: All KOF attacks, when the opponent is not guarding (as after K’ missed a Dragon Punch) are jumps. It is not a jump-in from only after mistakes. There are no other “way in”.

The conclusion is pretty obvious: In KOF, jump-ins are better than any other options.

|PART 2|

To analyze the games, not isolated matches, I'll sum all values and redo some maths, giving more fidelity to the sample and evidencing some points.



Total time: 410 seconds (6 minutes and 50 seconds)
Total jumps: 72

-After the maths, we see that in this game, players jumps 1,75 times at each 10 seconds.
-Of 72 jumps, 8 were punished. The percentage is 11%, however, one jump traded with an anti-air, punished on reaction, late.



Total time: 232 seconds (3 minutes and 52 seconds)
Total jumps: 96

-The KOF02 top players jumps 4,13 times at each 10 seconds. It is exactly 0,82 jumps at each 2 seconds! Almost one jump at each 2 seconds. It means, it is jumps all the time!
-From 96 jumps, 11 were punished. The percentage is 11,45%. Behold: When Ryo is in, there are lots of punishments, when he is not, the number falls drastically. A better analysis should contain more videos. Supposing we had 3 videos, two with the same values of video 4 (8,7%), and one with values of the video 2, the percentage should fall to 10,86%. The idea is that the real number should be around 9%.

**Taking Kyo as example, he stays in the air for 22 frames after a small jump (and the initial and final animation), I mean, 22 frames is the time in that you cant jump again, as you are in the air.

Discounting the amount of time that each character stays in the air, if you do 4 Dragon Punches in 10 seconds, the chance that you have to hit someone is about 50%. Follow the maths:

The video was recorded in 29,7 fps.

29,7~ is 30 frames per second.

2 seconds for ------- 3 jumps
X seconds for ------- 4,13 jumps (in 10 seconds)
x= 2,753 seconds~2,75s

10 seconds LESS 2,75 seconds = 7,25.

Actually, it is 4,13 jumps at each 7,25 seconds.

4,13 jumps in ---- 7,25 seconds…
x jumps in ---- 10 seconds
x= 5,696 ~ 5,7 jumps in 10 seconds or 0,57 jumps at each second.

Math Conclusion:
Discounting, he have 5,7 jumps at each 10 seconds. The action happens a lot in the air (43%) as the duration of jumps are around 1 second (22 frames plus 3 frames at each 10 seconds* in a 29,7 fps video). *This 3 frames comes from the 29,7 to 30 frames rounding (don’t know the term in english).

8 ? Conclusion

First, for a great and unquestionable fidelity, it would be necessary at least 30 matches from each game. As the analysis are big and makes anyone begs for rest, I couldn't work on more videos. 
However, we can observe some great differences in the tactics utilized in both games. KOF02 Players jumps a lot to attack, all the time, sometimes 2, 3 or 4times in a row. In CVS2, attacks varies.

Observe the tables with the results:

Clean anti-airs|-----------7-----------11
Traded anti-airs|---------1------------0
Total time|-------------06:50-----03:52
Jumps in 10 seconds|–1,75--------4,13
Jumps punished (%)|—11--------11,45

Taking in account that the matches has different durations, for a better approach we will put the videos on a base. I'll chose 7 minutes, as it as the best value, since it is straight and both CVS2 videos are around 7 minutes, and twice the total time of KOF02 videos. So we can compare with absolute numbers. This makes things easier for some to notice what the numbers "says".

Clean anti-airs|----7-------------22
Traded anti-airs|–1--------------0
Total time|-------06:50--------07:44

*If KOF has more jumps in 3 minutes that CVS2 in 7 minutes, approaching the absolute numbers (and not that it is just an approach), we can see how much jumps KOF has.

The real number in 07:44 seconds of KOF should be 192 jumps(!!!).

9 - Terms:

Anti-air: Proper response to an aerial incoming attack, so that, supposedly, you will avoid it with a counter-attack.
Meaty: Earlier attack, making the tail end of your animation to hit, allowing you to connect impossible attacks in the regular way, thus, new combos.
Mind-Game: Psychic game. Tactics that confuses the opponent, similar to “feel” an attempt or “read the mind” of the enemy to anticipate your decision.
Mix-Up: Mix the tactics, used to confuses the opponent that tries to guess what will be your next action.
Overheads: Attacks that hit high, it must be blocked while standing, a crouch block fails.
Reversal: Attacks done while after get-up or after blocking, quickly.


KOF fans would argue that instead of jumps being overpowerful in KOF, DP’s are overpowerful in SF. It’s not the open and shut case you claim it is. It’s a matter of what people want. Personally, I disagree some, but I’ve heard the argument before.

Also, KOF02 is more jump-heavy then most KOF due to its shoddy design. Also, in KOF, air to air is a valid air defense technique- look at King for example, or Ralf.

Then there are games like VF, where the key seperation between good and mediocre players, is they’re abilities to get the opponent in situations that are tactically imbalanced- where if they’re right they get 60-80pts of damage, if wrong, they’re at disadv where they’ll eat 50pts half the time.


I kinda like to evidence the fact that we don’t see different attacks in kof.

And, I just posted that, I was still editing, I don’t think you had time to read it all.

In advance, don’t want that people compare titles, the ones I pick were examples. Stick to the tactical balance in basic actions stuff, at least first.


How come, in KoF2k2, when characters hit each other with air-to-air you counted it as a successful jump-in? It should have been counted as a stuffed jump-in or a traded one (depending on situation). Air-to-air attacks are a common anti-jump tactic in KoF. SRK isn’t the only way to keep people from jumping.


Hops are not jumps. Both have distinct tactical properties and have to be analysed as such.

You’re right about the small sample size too… that is a big problem. In fact you’ll need at least 30+ matches from each game to take a fair sample, and you’ll also need to fairly represent all competitive characters in each game within each sample, considering how different characters have different optimal tactics.

Also, its not enough to simply look at unpunished jumps vs. punished jumps. The more objective test of move effectiveness would look at the amount of damage done in each match attributable to each different option. (i.e., compare total damage done in each match, which was attributable to hop and jump-ins, with damage done attributable to fireballs, pokes, high priority special moves, etc).

That would better account for the risk/reward ratio for each option and produce a more rigourous and convincing study, imo.


You didn’t count force jump-in(crossover) to whiff then grab as a punish.(technically it isn’t, but it wasn’t a successful jump-in either)
You counted an anti-air jump as two unpunished jumps.

This was before you got to 10 in the first video. I don’t care enough to count anymore. Other than jumping is better in Kof(which matters why exactly?) I don’t see where you’re going with this.


The first CvS2 video had great music. Got a source?


I kinda like to evidence the fact that you have absolutely no idea about KOF.


I wanted to read all that crap, really, but that sentence was way too much for me to keep going on.


It counts when it is an intentional attack. In that cases,they couldn’t know if someone would stay in the ground or not. That is why I didn’t count as traded anti-air.

Well, that is a good Idea, but, besides the difficulties to find the damage counter, as I just had the videos, It was not that necessary, as the attacks are almost only jump-in.

The jumps counts when it has the intention to hit, not just get closer or other tactics. That counts as other options. Not so much far to go, just an article, as I said, it is more like “game developer stuff”, enthusiastics may love this.

It is the female Korean singer BOA, song: The One.


I guess some of you forgot that


Honestly, this is the same slam that old-school agsf2 made on KOF years ago, well after 95. (KOF95 didn’t have hops). It just comes off as you lacking understanding of the KOF engine, and trying to compare it too directly to SF, when they’re two different beasts. From what I’ve seen from netplay, Brazil’s lucky in that KOF and SF scenes seem good (though it’s all 2k2 from Brazil- eww)- something most countries don’t have. And yes, this is relevant to basic actions.

Note: I enjoy some SF games, and some KOF games, I hate some SF games and some KOF games.


“The repetitive abuse of tactics destroys the mind game”

One thing to note. You can only really understand the mind games that go on in a game at high level play if you’ve played the game extensively at a competent level of competition.

Watch any high level ST video with Sagat, Ryu or Guile in it, and tell me what you see going on for 80% of the match. That’s right. Sonic Boom, sonic boom, sonic boom. Hadouken, hadouken, hadouken. Tiger, Tiger, Tiger.

Now if you don’t understand the mechanics of distance and timing that are being played out, you will reach the same conclusion for ST that you reached with KOF… that “The conclusion is pretty obvious: In Streetfighter, fireballs are better than any other options.” (to paraphrase you).

Its only when you’ve played the game extensively that the various risks and rewards of fireballing (and the subtly different ways of countering it) become obvious to you.

Same thing with jumps and hops in KOF. If you haven’t played the game extensively against good competition, the game will just look like people trying to outjump each other. But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t mind games being played out. Rather, the mindgames involved are just obscure to you.


Yet, isn’t that highly recognized to be the case? Fireballs are WAY too good in ST? Even Sirlin said he wanted to take fireballs down to a 7/10 instead of 10/10 they are now.


Maybe, but I’ve yet to hear anyone argue that fireballs are so good that they take the mind games out of ST.


I just remember this was the quote from one of his interviews:

[quote=David Sirlin]

DS: Fireballs are really powerful in this game – more so than other Street Fighters – and I actually think thats a really good feature, one of the things thats a characteristic of what makes the Street Fighter II series what it is, so I really dont want people to think I want to nerf fireballs and have them be worthless. Its really that theyre too much: theyre a ten out of ten and really they should be an eight out of ten, and they should be dialled-back a little bit.



And yes. The quote says nothing about fireballs being too good and ruining the mind games in the game.

“So, yeah, Fei Long was an example where his short Flying Kick can now go through fireballs. Cammy?s Spinning Backfist? That move could go through fireballs in Super Street Fighter II, but not in Super Turbo. But I gave it back that ability to go through fireballs. But it?s kind of slow, though, it?s not really overpowering, so it?s just an option instead of no options.”

All he wants to do is to give characters without fireballs more options to deal with them. He doesn’t talk about nerfing the fireballs themselves (making them slower, less damaging, etc), meaning that he’s happy with their general role in the greater scheme of ST balance.


Well, ST and KoF are more repetitive than all that crazy MvC2 shit or the constant educated guessing games of VF5, to mention extremes. But KoF already gets it hard enough. Everybody hates poor SNK and nobody buys their games, which may change now with XII. My point is just to let people have fun with whatever they want to have fun with. Some people like Shaq Fu. At least KoF is not a joke like that.

This kind of thread is actually pretty interesting to think about, which will be a shame. My Game is Better Than Yours will probably run flames from page 2 until someone decides to close it.

He actually nerfed O. Sagat’s fireball. I don’t think anybody in their right mind would agree that original O. Sagat was an example of good design to begin with. Nerfing it and adding more variety to his gameplan was a pretty good idea if you ask me. ST was great for its time and it is a very fun game but, like any other game, , it has flaws, bugs, and some poor decisions.

Here’s another quote from Sirlin. I got it from the Ryu article.

Basically, he believes that the game is worse having fireballs too strong. The japanese believe O. Sagat and Vega are cheap or whatever is the word to softban a character, and everybody hates Akuma because of his fireballs. Nerfing O. Sagat and Akuma’s projectiles may make a better game if all goes well.


I love this sort of idea, as it’s a rarely discussed element of fighters.

But I agree with the people who said that you can’t just watch a video and look at the number of moves. You need a more accurate sample size of matches, and you need to understand the risk/reward and other aspects of each decision.

As for ST, Old Sagat’s fireball was the only one that truly did ruin mindgames IMO. It makes sense to tone that down.


can’t really nerf old sagat if old characters aren’t in the remixed game. in hd, you basically play new sagat with old sagat uppercut, beefed tiger knee, and less cancels. techincally, his tigershot is beefed for new sagat.

fireballs aren’t the problem though. its the options certain characters have against them that is the problem. if every character could get through ryu fireball traps like balrog does, you’d see very little reason to nerf fireballs.