With the recent release of Street Fighter 5 (SFV) and the recent influx of new people to the francise, I felt it best to bring back the Fighting Game Jargon buster (FGJB) and help you guys out a bit.
Lets get on with learning how to improve our knowledge of Street Fighter…
This seems obvious to many but this is by far the best thing to do in many situations. When getting pressured with attacks, sometimes the best thing is to be patient, keep blocking and wait for the time to hit a button.
There are two ways to block in Street Fighter, standing block and crouching block. These two blocks have seperate uses and we have to be aware of when to use the correct one.
Standing blocks are good for any jumping attack and many standing attacks including overheads, an overhead is an attack that is specifically designed to hit a crouching player even if they are in a blocking position, eg. Ryu forward medium punch.
Crouching blocks are good for many standing attacks too, the reason to be wary of crouching block is the imminent danger of jump ins and overheads. The main use of crouching block is to defend against crouching attacks, many opponents will punish people who do not crouch block with a heavy sweep that will knock you down, so be aware when to do a block to be sure it’s the right one for the situation.
Throws are performed by pressing the light kick and like punch together. These are very useful when attacking a good blocker, keep up the attack then at a good time move within range and throw for some easy damage. Throws cannot be blocked, only defended against by the opponent hitting the same throw command at the same time to peform a throw escape. Be aware that some characters have what is called a command grab, a move that is considered a special move for the character that cannot be throw escaped from but can be beaten out by movement and certain attacks.
Although seen as an attacking tool this is also a very good tool to get attackers off of you, as said in the blocking portion, wait for your time to counter attack with a punch or kick of your own, alternatively try to throw them which if succesful will give you time to set up your own attack.
Spacing (also refered to as footsies) is the way you position yourself on screen with regards to getting in the optimal place to defend against attacks and hit back. Many players will throw out what may first seem as a random punch or kick that won’t hit or do a strange shimmy in the middle of the screen, but that is the opponent getting into the right position much of the time.
Someone with good spacing will always be able to counter hit in the right way because of the position they have put themselves in, so be aware of how far the attacks of your favorite character go, how fast they are and what are the best for situations, such as attacking a jumping enemy or how close you have to be to get a sweep.
Combos, Special Moves and Execution
Now we know about blocking correctly, throwing and throw escapes and the usefulness of spacing, we can get into the trainning room and work on our special moves and combo execution. I know it seems boring and you just want to get into ranked matches but I assure you, more fun will be had out of this game if you spend the first couple of sessions in the trainning mode with online matches turned off so you can get to grips with your character.
Special moves are usually a sequence of motions with the left thumb stick or arcade stick in combination with a button that are specific to each character, these can be moves such as the Hadouken (down, down forward, forward then punch) or the Shoryuken (forward, down, down forward, forward then punch.)
These moves are what tends to excite many people into playing fighting games but I would warn you to not overuse special moves. Knowing when to perform a Shoryuken and executing it perfectly is very satisfying, if overused an opponent will punish you.
Many players will improve their specials with repeat practice, try to do a Hadouken ten times from the left side then again from the right, a very useful feature on the training mode is having your inputs up on the far left side of the screen to check that you are doing the motions correctly.
Combos are a bit different, a combo generaly means a string of attacks that hit quicker than the opponent can get back into a situation where they can block. There are also various target combos that certain characters have that will be on the unique moves page of the command list, these are considered easier combo strings but both need practice, more so on the side of timing than inputs.
That should be enough information to get you started on the road to being a good Street Fighter player.
There will be another part next week where we delve into SFV specifics and mechanics but for now keep practicing and keep up that guard.
Any input or questions about Street Fighter or Fighting games in general? Be sure to message me below or you can find me on twitter @dplovelock and remember to check out twitch.tv/noobgrind where Nick and I are playing SFV every Thursday in March.
See you next week for the second part of the special SFV version of FGJB.