Gitting Gud – Learning to Learn – Episode 2

With the release of Guile, I think I have found my character. But, there are still a few problems I have to somehow solve.

First, let me talk about Guile, and why I think he appeals to me specifically. Guile is a keep-away character that relies on reacting to and punishing the opponent’s moves. He is also a charge character with exactly 2 special moves, but with a lot of good normals.

I really like Guile because he doesn’t really use comboes that much (aside from that insane 30 hit combo a bunch of pros found), and is what I like to call a “value” character. Basically, every interaction you have with an enemy is supposed to grant you some sort of value. Often, this is because you are able to counter what they do, and you end with a health advantage. Or, sometimes you are able to gain a positioning advantage, or somehow waste their resources.

The only problem with Guile I have is a major one: I cannot do the moves. Yes, Guile has one of the lowest skill floors in the game, but I am still having problems with him. Essentially, I cannot reliably do his charge moves, even when just standing still.

A charge move consists of four basic parts: a held direction; a held duration; a release direction; and a release button. To perform a Sonic Boom, I have to hold back on the joystick for about a second, then release it forwards and press a punch button. The only problem is that, sometimes, instead of a yellow disc of energy flying at my opponent, I just try to punch them.

This is where an improved training mode would really help me out. I know the old addage of “practice makes perfect,” but that does not help me unless I get useful data. Right now, the training often only tells you whether you failed to perform a move, it does not tell you why you failed to perform a move.

So, let’s say I am trying to do a Sonic Boom. I hold back, wait, push the stick forwards and press punch, but I do not perform a sonic boom. I do not know which of the four steps I failed, I just know I failed one of them. Did I not charge it long enough? Did I brush one of the other directions as I was releasing the charge? Was the release and the button press mis-timed? I don’t know, all I know is that Guile just tried to punch the enemy from a full screen away.

This happens a lot of with me, no matter what character I use. The problem is exasperated with a few of the “quirks” of the special move system. Let’s say I am trying to do a Hadoken (236+punch). Instead of doing that, I do 23+punch or 36+punch, both of which can perform the Hadoken. Or, I try a Spinning Piledriver (full circle + punch), but I only do a three-quarter circle, and it fires off. Or, instead of pressing the button at the end, I press it somewhere near the end (23+punch+6 for example).

Personally, I would really love a guided training mode. If, for example, I am trying to do one of the comboes for Guile, it would tell me where, when and why I mess up. Whether it be just telling me how to perform a simple special move, or guiding me throw a longer combo, I would finally be able to learn. Sadly, I did not grow up playing many classic fighting games, so the subtleties of the system are not ingrained into my psyche. But, until they are, I will keep trying.

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