Online viability, Street Fighter IV jargon

I like playing competitive games online. 5 years ago I would say this with a bit of spite in my tone, but nowadays, I really enjoy being able to just pick up a match at any given time and get some practice in competitively.

This sounds a bit odd, since fighting games are my forte. Well, SF games is probably more accurate, though I’m known to dabble in others. But it still bothers me that some die-hards still tout the difference between good online play and offline play as being so fundamentally different. At the highest competitive level, sure, I can understand if you have godlike execution and can time 1-frame links without doubletaps or plinks that the delay can be brutal. But the opportunities for these things are pretty far and few between. I’d be hesitant to say that it would defeat the point of playing. But with current broadband options and improved netcode, it’s a far cry from playing 3rd strike on the old XBOX on Anniversary Edition and having no Ken or Chun c.MK xx Super confirm (though the XBOX version was faster than the PS2 version, which in turn ran faster than the original arcade).

For Street Fighter 4, confirms are much, much easier than before. People were calling the game ‘jab fighter’ from Vanilla, and it’s pretty accurate. Light attacks in this game create so much block and hitstun that it’s very easy to realize when you’re actually hitting somebody. The only difference is that since you can’t cancel a chain-linked move into a special, links and timing have become much more important than in previous SFs. So timing is much, much tighter than before.

The same goes with meaties. Back in the WW days you could easily spam c.LK with abandon on your rising opponent to get a meaty 99% of the time (though it’d be quite telegraphed). This continued all the way through Alpha/Zero 1 and 2 …. then changed at Zero 3. You couldn’t spam the chain combos anymore and actually had to time it. Meaties in general got harder then. SF3 was a bit of a throwback, so there were some pretty godly tickthrow setups (shoto c.LK s.LP, throw is hilariously fast), but now we’re back at SF4 with its awkward timings.

This has actually made it difficult for me to try and coach a friend who is trying to improve enough to be competitive. He can’t get the hang of timing a lot of links, since he’s used to magic series cancelling and the looser cancel systems of games like ST and 3s. It’s a bit disappointing since he’ll never be able to get into more advanced stuff like OS/safejump/frametraps so long as he remains bottlenecked at something simple like being able to get a confirmed b&b off of something like a c.LK. Considering that the aforementioned strategies typically involve situations that will put you in a position where you are faced with ‘I have confirmed the following X, thus I should follow up with the appropriately timed move/combo Y’, it’d be pointless to really explain those until he can combo effectively. The learning curve for b&bs in this game, is notoriously sharp.

Though it has given me incentive to really start playing again. AE is fun. Yun is so easy that I can play him for shizzles n beeswax and still focus 99% on my Chun while seeing improvement in both characters. I just want my stupid df+LK back from Super.


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