When did the " Not Playing Street Fighter " notion come from and why?

I see a term that is kind of being thrown away left and right these days and that is " Character X is not playing SF " or that " player Y is not playing SF ".

I have seen this term usually used as a derogatory term that some like to use against certain characters or players. Now I get that people use this to describe characters like Mika or Yun,etc,etc
I have seen people talking about Guile in SF5 and saying that he is going to " teach people SF "

Now what i want to know is why did this notion begin and when ?

Is playing SF just throwing projectile and anti-airing ? Do people really want a game where everybody is playing like Karin or maybe Fei Long ?

Any reason this topic was made in the newbie thread? Seems weird to throw it here when you’ve been here for 6 years and deals with a topic that involves people of different skill levels

I’d say it originally started with SF3 as that was the first game where SF started putting in things that changed the neutral game heavily. Parries changed up how you had to deal with the neutral game where you couldn’t always just throw out a high priority poke at X range and make it work. It also nerfed fireballs which made the game seem random or lacking in space control to some people. Especially characters like 3S Makoto who got big pay off for randomly moving in and parry/command grab OSing. Over time I say that people have learned to respect 3S’ neutral game more as the game becomes a lot about whiff punishing at high level since parry abuse becomes risky at the highest level. Not to mention some of the better characters are generally pretty footsie based any ways. Most of the stranger playing characters are lower tier.

SFIV generally had a lot of characters that disrespected basic SF neutral game and forced top players like Daigo to jump around regularly just to avoid situations from characters like Fuerte. Guile players always hated fighting C.Viper as well since she basically destroys most of the way Guile works with her gameplan. He always has to think ahead of her and can’t do his typical space control. You also had a list of characters with safe on block, quick dive kicks that too easily jumped over footsies and fireballs and had overly strong hit boxes.

If you watch other older SF games like ST/A2/A3 or CVS2 it’s generally pretty hard to challenge the neutral game in the ways that you could in 3S or probably more so SFIV. Getting in pretty much involved you taking a heavy risk if the opponent’s neutral was strong. You didn’t have any characters that could literally flip their way in or had a safe on block full screen move to just haphazardly get in. The cheap stuff was mostly in the meter with the custom combo system, but it was at least something you could prepare for as you knew once the opponent had meter that’s when they would try and blow it to break your guard or reversal you into big damage. It was at least predictable and resource heavy.

SFV is trying to go back to that where the main focus is to walk around with your buttons and any characters that don’t solely do that are forced to have greater weaknesses than they would have in SFIV (Nash with no reversal game, Rashid with lower damage and heavy recovery on all of his screen flying moves, Mika not really having any great anti projectile options, no reversal and predictable approach game etc.). Those characters in SFIV would have had much safer approaches and denied the neutral game more easily. In V you gotta sacrifice something big and generally carry more risk to play outside of the walk around with buttons/projectile SF.

I wouldn’t say sf5 has out of place characters. I’d say it for 3 and 4 though.
SfxT…hm…closest thing to that would prolly be…maybe Rufus/akuma combo?

I’m not even sure if doing a fireball even at medium range is a good idea in that one but when it comes to 5, in my honest opinion is salt based.
If you played anything, anything before that title you’d immediately scratch your head.

Sf4 wasn’t mugen but it was off balance-wise by a bit given the roster size[ Such a double edged sword I would not like to think about as a casual]

“not playing SF” is a silly concept that relies on people having a weak grasp of FG history or a rose-tinted version of the old days. Claw has been not playing real SF since SF2. any attempt to nail down what exactly is real SF or real honest wholesome play either leads to no substance, or leads to the conclusion of “this person wants to watch people walk back and forth waiting for the other guy to whiff something.” to some people that is the full measure of what real SF entails.

it’s pretty silly and I give a thumbs down to anyone who uses the phrase unironically

I didn’t know where to put it to be perfectly honest but i feel that it made sense for it to be here. I didn’t want to post it in SF5 because it is not specific to that game, General discussion is just full of random stuff and Fighting game discussion is mostly about older or non Capcom games forums than it is about Fighting game related issues.

@“DevilJin 01” I totally get what you are saying but i do feel that people aren’t looking at this correctly.

If my understanding is correct, isn’t the whole point of projectile’s like Ryu’s and Guile’s is to force people into doing an action or put them in an uncomfortable position ? People often describe the fireballs as a poke that is used with an associated risks for its properties.

Looking at something like a dive-kick, it is mostly the same premise. You whiff punish or use it as a poke and/or put the opposition in an uncomfortable position where they may feel the need to do something that may not be in their best interest. There is still risks associated with it because you may get neutral jumped and punished or even eat an anti-air DP into FADC ultra or something in SF4.

What i am trying to say is that these moves like Divekick/Seismo,etc,ect aren’t really all that different from the usual fireballs. They all seem like attempts to augment the usual walk forward and press buttons game-play.

Fireballs have a set start up and recovery to them and can’t be feinted or augmented like seismos or dive kicks. Which inherently creates more of a commitment and risk to them. That commitment has been further augmented in V to keep them as “honest” as SFV felt they needed. The frames on fireballs are pretty modest compared to even older SF games and most fireballs are unsafe on block if done point blank. Seismos pretty much break the rules of traditional projectiles by being able to basically block string the opponent with them if one lands, jump cancelling after on hit or block and being able to feint them and force decisions out of people that let you recover fast enough to AA them or burn kick in if they whiff something.

At least in SFIV it’s definitely not easy to just neutral jump and punish the majority of dive kicks. They can bait them to release and fall down before you start a neutral jump and then AA you or walk under you and punish. Having an AA DP helps, but if you watch Kazu vs Daigo at Capcom Cup, you can see how much Daigo had to play out of character just to try and AA. The risk/reward Yun can create with jumping forward at you or dive kicking early makes AAing so strange that Daigo was forced to jump forward regularly in the air preemptively to punish a potential dive. Which if he guessed wrong he was up in the air for no reason and probably going to be in trouble when he landed.

The risk/reward here is definitely not in Daigo’s favor when he is a DRAGON PUNCH character and still has to rely on 3 different A2A buttons just to keep Kazu in check. Which of course those AA buttons don’t do much damage in comparison to what Kazu can do on a landed command grab or dive kick. Which going A2A to begin with is risky.

Compound this issue with playing a character that has no real DP like Rose and it becomes pretty obvious why dive kicks were toned down in SFV. You aren’t going to be seeing any OG strength dives with strong hit boxes. that force you to DP or go A2A. SFV Cammy’s EX dive is the closest because it comes out really fast and is plus, but the hurt box on it is still really big and easy to AA plus requires meter burning. Still carries more risk than your typically strong dive kick.

SF, like many other fighting games, is a title where strategy is emergent. Noone at Capcom told people how to play. People just played the game, figured out what worked and what didn’t. People under estimate how complex SF strategy can become. The first in-depth treatise on footsies was only written about 25 years after SFII was released. Westerners only started understanding the neutral game as a coherent concept about 3 years ago.

But even though very few people could articulate SF strategy in a comprehensive way, most players understood the concepts either intuitively, or through experience. That’s how they can say about new games “this game feels like SF”, or “this game feels like KOF”. It goes therefore without saying that there are certain gameplay and strategic elements that contribute to a game’s feel. If you remove those elements, can you still say it’s the same game? That’s the idea on a very high level. When you go down into the details it’s easier to see, but the debate becomes more contentious because people forget about the bigger picture, and because as I just mentioned, very few people are able to articulate the reasons even though they understand them intuitively.

The more straight-forward version is that Street Fighter is generally known for its particular strategy around the neutral game. The strategy originally emerged because you couldn’t just walk up to someone and start hitting them. There were no moves that changed your air trajectory, and their were no moves that moved you safely across the screen and left you within striking distance of the opponent. This is generally the way it’s always been, and it’s how footsie and zoning strategies emerge. And of course, these are the two main aspects of traditional SF games. The beauty of these strategies is that they are built on very simple ideas, but just like in a game of Go, no two matches will play out in the same way. That’s why it’s a bit disingenuous to say that SF characters are homogenized in their approach to combat.

So if characters have ways to bypass the neutral game relatively easily, people will say they “don’t have to play Street Fighter” (which is why many people hate ST Vega). Characters like this tend to have moves like advancing armoured/invincible moves that are safe on block, moves that change their air trajectories (dive kicks, burn kicks, wall dives etc), moves that negate zoning, etc. Their options lead some players to think that these characters don’t have to utilize traditional SF strategy to win, or maybe traditional SF strategy doesn’t work against them, or both. In other words, playing or playing against these characters makes some people feel that they aren’t playing SF any more.