Gouken’s my main and I’ve managed to get a pretty good handle on him. He’s easily my most effectively used character in the game, followed closely by Zangief and Dhalsim.
Last night however I played a mate who decided to give Gouken a try. He’s used him on/off a few times before but has never really persevered with him (he’s a Balrog player) but through playing me has learned a few tricks and tactics for using Gouken, much like I have learned some neat stuff that pertains to Balrog from him.
Anyway, versus Gouken. Goddamn. I had no idea how utterly powerful Gouken ‘feels’ to fight against when used right. When you’re on the receiving end of Gouken’s toolset, everything happens so slowly and painfully. Each hit resonates for quite a long time and you seem to lose health in big chunks. When you’re caught with Gouken’s Ultra all you can say is “Ooooh, fuck” and when you get countered the way in which you are smashed across the screen is something to behold - it makes your character feel so puny and weak and paints Gouken as a powerhouse.
The character personification Capcom has put into Gouken in terms of how he plays and most importantly - how he feels to fight against - is spot on. He is like a fortress and every time a combo or devastating attack (particularly his Ultra and counters) connects on you, you certainly don’t dismiss it.
I’ve never really played against Gouken and last night was quite an eye opener. It gave me a new insight into the kind of experience others perhaps have when I use him and frankly it feels really cool. As I was taking a beating from the character I love to use I couldn’t help but laugh out loud and say “Holy shit, this is what this crap feels like!” as I was getting the shit smacked out of me by a burly and powerful old man. When you’re not controlling him (at least for me) he also strikes me as much ‘larger’ and more imposing. He exudes very strong character and style in how he plays and I also found his game quite varied from an opponent perspective due to the sheer amount of options Gouken has to deal on you.
In the end I won all of our matches (playing as Ryu) with the exception of one due to the fact that I’m well aware of Gouken’s holes that can be exploited if you’re not familiar with the methods used to minimise those holes. Empty jump-ins to bait counters being clearly among the most advantageous which can be abused to the point where you shatter your opponent’s (controlling Gouken) confidence in using counter in many situations.
Either way, fighting against Gouken for a change rather than playing as him validated one thing for me still: Gouken rules.
Anyone else experienced this? For me here in Australia Gouken players are extremely rare. I believe I am only one of a small handful of people actually using him so as a result I don’t get to fight against him much at all. In a way I’m glad - because fighting him was no slouch-match, that’s for sure.