Gitting Gud – A Personal Journey in SFV – Episode Zero

Street Fighter V box artwork.pngI 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:

  1. Super Smash Bros 1-4
  2. 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.

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