In my short career in playing fighting games, I’ve been fortunate enough to have the luxury of using the internet to view videos for fighting games. But it wasn’t until about a year ago where I learned from a friend exactly what to take from watching a video. Too many low to mid tier players watch vids with the wrong mentality. They usually fall into some sort of subcategory:
1) The Arrogant Dick:
This poor creature is the best SF player to ever be born, in his mind. The Arrogant Dick usually has something like “Valle didn’t do anything special, he just threw fireballs. What a spammer. I can do that. Yadda Yadda Yadda.” In the Arrogant Dick’s mind, there is nothing special about Top Level play. He/She/ it thinks that their “strategy” in fighting games is somehow superior to any tried and true strategy and will blame any factor on why any top player won (tiers, “lucky reversals”, opponent was playing a lower tier character). Usually they get thumbed down pretty quick.
2)The Tier Police:**
Do you play 3S chun? CVS1 Nakoruru? SFIV Sagat? Then you are a nasty tier whore and you have no concept of Street Fighter. At all. End of discussion.
That’s the motto of the Tier Police. These guys like to spread their sort of Nazi tactics around YT. Apparently, somewhere along the lines, it became okay to blame tiers on wins or losses. The Tier Police will also applaud the hell out of people who use mid to low tier characters for beating high tier characters. Tier Police even have cute (read: stupid) nick names for Top Tier Characters. (Fagat? Give me a break :lame:) The Tier Police have their supporters, but do get thumbed down from time to time.
3)Dickriders/ Anti-Dick Riders:**
Every Top player has them. These guys idolize their character’s Top players so much that they literally take said top player’s phallus and ride it across the internet. Think of an Anime Fanboy, but fighting game style. Their favorite player can do no wrong, even if they lose. These kind of people are usually no good at Fighting Games, but instead look to other Top Players to fulfill their far-fetched SF dreams that they are a) too lazy b) too scrubby c) too deluded to achieve on their own. But for every Dick Rider, there’s an Anti-Spiral. An Anti-Dickrider, if you will. These guys are the exact opposite of Dick-Riders in nature, but the overall concept applies. They find someone to latch onto and just hate them to death. They use stereotypical phrases ("insert Top player is a turtling/ spamming *****"). Usually the Anti-Dickrider is also a huge ass troll. These guys are like their dick-rider cousins in the fact that they are also really awful at fighting games. Like…SFIV G3 Ken awful.
**4) The Know-it-All: **
This is an odd sort. These guys aresSort of like the arrogant dick, but usually not as abrasive. Usually the Know-it-All has a really good grasp of the game(s) they comment on, but it’s all Theory Fighter stuff. Know-it-Alls generally (and I use that term loosely), think that they…well…know it all…(/obvious) and can be sorta condescending to those that may or no may not have as much knowledge as the Know-it-All. Know-it-Alls also can fall under the “Dick rider/ Anti Dick rider” categories and you may see an occiasional Know-it-All as a member of the Tier Police, but usually they prefer to remain a seperate entity from other trolls. The difference between some Know-it-Alls that only play theory fighter and the know-it-alls that can actually play (read: Top players) is the fact that the latter actually play in settings beyond their local areas (online, mostly).( I’ll fore-go making the obvious Emil joke here, because I’m sure people can make a better joke than I could)
But you’re not one of those guys right? You wanna improve your game and look to Top Level Play to make your game better, amirite? Then lucky you, because you have possibly the most awesome resource for getting better at fighting games. The internet. You can google anything related to Fighting Games and you’ll find a multitude of sources. Videos, combo videos, strats, specific forums dedicated to the games…etc etc etc. But let’s focus on Videos in particular.
The best way to get the most out of Videos is to become an “active watcher”. You need to be active during the video and be having several thoughts running through your head. “Why did he do that?” “How good is his footsies?” “Where did he fuck up?” “What did his character do to that character?” The sheer amount of things you can learn from a single video is nearly limitless. Here’s some simple things you should be looking for when watching videos:
**1) Spacing/ Footsies: **
How do the players utilize the space they take/ are given? Pay attention to what range people engage each other from. Footsies and Spacing is the most basic part of any Fighting Game. For example, when [media=youtube]5dW90AyV38k"[/media], he nailed Daigo with several standing roundhouses (s.hk) with his Balrog. Throughout the entire set, he strived to stay at that range to combat Daigo. Why did he do that? Because he evaluated that was the range Balrog needed to fight at to stay competitive with Ryu and avoid things like DPs. Some players have awesome concepts of Footsies (John Choi, Alex Valle, Ohnuki come to mind). Others do not. But watch everyone and see how they space people. You may find answers to specific questions when it comes to spacing.
**2) Character Specific strategies: **
You’re not going to always be playing the same characters. Having trouble against Gief? Find a match that has someone playing a Gief and see how they play against Gief. Are there any character specific combos/strategies that they employ. How do they combat THAT specific character? Even if they lose, look at what it was that made them lose. Then you can know what to watch out for.
This can be hard to see, since you can’t read minds of players when you’re not actually in the game. But this question should come up multiple times during any vid you watch. “Why did he do that?” If you don’t have that pop up, UR DOIN IT RONG! D< For every game, there is 12312930128 mixups. This game is played by people and people will have multiple ways to deal damage, or get out of tricky situations. Try to put yourself in that match and see what you would do if you were put in that situation. Do you find yourself mashing throw? DP’ing? Backdashing? Blocking? Using a different strategy/mixup? Then you can finally start to see what it is that people are doing/not doing that makes things successful or not successful. And one final thing on this and I can’t stress this enough: THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A BORING MATCH. I don’t care how many times you’ve seen low forward into super with 3S Chun, find out why Tokido did it. There’s gotta be a reason. And if you don’t/can’t find it, then you’re still doing it wrong. Every move/movment/ strategy should have a purpose. It’s up to you as a viewer to figure it out.
4) How to finish off a match:
A lot of people suffer from " I can’t finish my opponent off! D:" Syndrome. Put simply, they can’t finish a match. They get complacent and die because they allowed some comeback from the opponent. When watching a video, look to see how the people (yes, both of them) finish out their matches. Are they aggressive? Do they Turtle and let Time Run out? Are they even Reckless? And try to adapt all of those into your gameplay. Knowing which strategy to employ in each situation will make you an overall better player. Gotta know when to hold em, when to fold em. Knawmean?
Hopefully this should help anyone who is looking to get more out of their video watching experience.
(links, for those who need em)
EDIT: As I think of other things to add to the thread (specific matches to illustrate my points) or even stereotypes or things you should be looking for, I will add them on the thread. If you have an idea for something that I should add…don’t hesitate to PM me or just say so on the thread.