I recently purchased Street Fighter V, the first “real” fighting game I have played, and I have decided to git gud, as the saying goes.
As I do that, I will chronicle my efforts and describe how I train, learn and develop my skills. This series will show my advancement from a criminally incompetent scrub to – hopefully – barely competent scrub.
This is episode zero, what I have before I actually start.
To start things off, let’s see exactly what my experience with fighting games has been, and what pre-existing knowledge I bring to the game.
First, let’s list all the fighting games I have played:
- Super Smash Bros 1-4
- That’s it
Of course, I have played snippets of other games, stuff like Mortal Kombat while over at a friend’s house, but that doesn’t really count.
I have always held the opinion that traditional fighting games were “simple” because everything revolved around inescapable combos. It was basically a contest to see who could memorize the longest string of frame-perfect inputs, and then hitting the opponent once. This was in contrast to Super Smash Bros. because… because shut up.
So over 11 years, I have been playing Super Smash Bros. off an on, and I can sum up my total skill in one simple sentence: I still can’t wavedash.
Over-exaggeration, maybe, but the point remains.
In the most mechanically simple fighting game (it is literally just hold a direction + one of two buttons), I can’t perform a basic input. Luckily, I did practice a lot, and I mean a lot, with knowing my positioning.
My two mains on SSB4 are Ganondorf (the slowest, but most powerful) and Bowser (the second slowest, and second most powerful). They don’t rely a lot on mechanical skill, but a lot on timing, positioning and prediction. I like predicting where my opponent will go and catching them in a very damaging, but slow attack. No, I’m not particularly good.
So there’s my total skill set from the get-go: a bit of prediction/mindgames/spacing and absolutely no mechanical skill. Also, I have no fight-stick. For now, I’m using a very simple controller with 6 face buttons. It’s not pretty, but it is probably better than relying on a keyboard.