Hi. This post describes me and my journey with SF. It may be a little long for some people. :wonder:
To give some history about myself… I’ve been around SF since SF2 was in the arcade. I was born in 1982 and remember SF1 in the but never played it. I’ve been around video games most of my life. I started playing Blanka and Guile in SF2 because they were easy to use and later switched to Ryu when SF2 came out for SNES (boy, that was exciting as hell…). I even had the SF2 Turbo VHS promotional tape! I spent countless hours playing SF2, SF2T, and SSF2 on the SNES from 1992-1996. I even knew Guile and Vega’s infinite dizzy for SNES. Killer Instinct was my other primary fighting game. I then got my first PC in 1995/6 and stopped playing on the console for many years.
I skipped out on the SF Alpha series and anything in between up until SF3:3S. A few years ago some friends and I discovered it and made it a new hobby. We played in that arcade in the Southern CA area (Family Fun Arcade) and on the console for a few months, but my friends would soon improve faster than I could.
I’ve always felt some sort of entitlement to be a realy good player because I’ve been around the game for so long, but having that ego that doesn’t really work. Who wouldn’t feel that way after being around the game for so many years? I got SF4 (PS3)right away and adjusted pretty quickly (I use an arcade stick), but found that again, others online are far superior in skill and I’m not really improving, if at all a very disappointing pace.
There are some learning disabilities that run in the family that I think have something to do with my inability to make a significant improvement that would seem to be normal for the average (yes, that’s a blanket term) person. After sort of defining my play style long ago with Ryu in SF2, I can still see the core decision making process and patterns play out now. I suppose this is somewhat normal for anyone who sticks with a certain character for so long.
My primary playing partner in SF3:3S was a very book smart guy and basically defined my problem to one big issue - my inability to adapt. That I played in a very predictable manner, another problem being I played too defensively and didn’t attack enough. This carries out into “real life” as I have difficulty with confrontation and routine generally carries me. Change can be a real problem for my stability.
My play varies significantly - sometimes I do well and sometimes it’s mindless repetition which leads to defeat and further reinforces my thoughts about being a bad player, leads to me just giving up the in middle of a match and so on. There are other important factors to consider like the time of day, for myself and for who I’m playing against. In the mid to late afternoon are there more children playing who are beginners? The later it gets are better players online? Am I just tired? Am I not getting enough exercise and oxygen to the brain (which is important for concentration) ? Am I too old? Am I just not practicing enough?
I’ve had people with higher ratings (in the 3000s) tell me that I’m too strong defensively - which isn’t necessarily a completely negative skill right? One guy was surprised that I was only at a 1000-ish rating for how he saw me play (I must have been OK that day ) I’ve been hovering between a 500-1500 rating since release. That’s not good enough for me. I can do the hard trials with Ryu. I can do a series of planned steps. But I can’t think on my own.
When I play my first 5-10 games in a session (a session may be 30-120 minutes total) I tend to experience anxiety-like reactions, increased heart rate and shaky hands. Does anyone else get this? Sometimes I do moves that are completely out of place like a hurricane kick that leaves me wide open. Sometimes I panic when my health is low and go right back to my core repetitive play. Sometimes I don’t know how to react and give up. If I encounter a turtle Akuma who spams air and ground fireballs I might try using an EX shoryken because I remember someone saying it can go through fireballs. When that doesn’t work and the other person sees what I’m trying to do, they adapt and I give up.
Any strategy that involves me playing outside my repetition is based on memory of what I may have seen someone do on Youtube or what I read somewhere, it’s like blindly trying something without really understanding why I’m doing it.
What to do when there could be other issues outside of what common sense like practicing more, or playing with other characters, or taking notes (which are all good suggestions) may dictate? I’d be willing to pay for a tutor, but it would need to be someone who could see outside of just technique within the game and spot what else is preventing me from improving. Personally it’s a little tough to ask for that kind of help. I know a lot of arcade players would balk at that.
Is anyone else as self-aware when it comes to this stuff? Anyone else experience what I do? Has it been a factor for your play?
I’d appreciate anyone taking the time to read this and comment. Thank you! :lovin: