The new trailer for Field-1 is sizzlin’.
I don’t do game jams. I just up n’ decide to make game prototypes in two days in the middle of the week.
Still getting my butt kicked at NextLevel. I guess that’s to be expected, though. My mechanics are getting better, but I don’t have the reactions to be able to handle most of the guys that play there though.
I’ve been practicing Juri’s main bread’n’butter combos for most of the week, trying to make my links tight and build muscle memory. So far that’s been going pretty well. In actual matches I don’t always make the links, but I’m getting closer. This is where hit-confirming and intuition comes in. I’m nowhere near close enough to be able to hit-confirm my combos on reaction. Or, at least I feel like I’m not fast enough. It’s hard to tell when I’m playing, though, since I’m not paying attention to it. Watching replays would be a better indication. At this point I’m just trying to keep it as tight as possible so if they other player tries to do something unwise during it, I get counter hits.
I’ve also been trying to break my habit of jumping with Juri and instead am trying to use her mixup options. I’ve also worked on consciously varying my timings when I store fireballs, since releasing Juri’s fireballs immediately after storing them usually results in getting hit with something. And then I’m trying to break my habit of holding onto my low fireball when I need to tech a throw. (I might be getting better at this simply because I’m getting better at predicting when the other player is going to go for a grab.)
My thinking right now is that my mechanics will get better however quickly they will. As long as I put in enough practice and develop good mechanical habits, it will just be something that happens through playing. That’s really just work. It’s exercise. The real training is the psychological training, the mindset I need to foster to play fighting games at a high level.
An inherent aggression that leads me to play in a rushdown style. Once you get past buttonmashing in people’s faces, though, that doesn’t work. I’m just starting to get into safe jumps and post-knockdown setups that (actually) work. So what always got me up till now is that even if I would get a knockdown, I’d usually get hit with a wakeup that I wasn’t prepared for or wasn’t able to keep the pressure up. Her forward dash and fuhajin combos are really attractive, but that requires you to know the timings down pat, and the other player can defend if they’re paying attention. Or even, if you don’t know the timings, a shoryuken is probably going to catch you doing something you shouldn’t be. That said, I’ve gotten a lot better at keeping the pressure up once I have an advantage. Especially in the corner. Now I just need to have better control of the midscreen, so I’m not the one that’s getting pushed into the corner.
When I started playing SF4 my inclination was to immediately try to figure out how to do cool combos. I think a lot of people think of combos when they think of fighting games. Combos are cool and they’re useful and they do more damage, but they can be really misleading. You need to know how to set them up. You need to know when and if you can do one. There’s a big difference between blindly following through with the motions you know will get you your nice punch > shoryu cancel, but if you don’t hit that first punch, you’re setting yourself up for a big punish.
I got a bit lucky (or perhaps unlucky) in that Juri happened to be a character that really needs to take advantage of even simple combos to fight. So I gravitated toward trying to do that instead of the basics. I feel that I’m just starting to internalize the fundamentals, and now Juri’s toolset is making more sense in the context of the full SF4 roster.
Juri is a bit more of a character that can adapt to different playstyles and heavily rewards good reading ability. Once she makes a good guess, she has a lot of tools to frustrate your opponent and keep them guessing how you’re going to play. Is she going to dash? Counter? Which direction? Is she gonna divekick? Is she just jumping? My habit has been to use only divekicks or forward jumps as a way to get in on someone, and both of these options are really easy to counter (and really you can counter them both the same way). Instead, need to know when to relax with Juri and take advantage of her zoning game. She can get out as easily as she can get in. Okay, fine, you’re going to crouch-tech and wait to anti-air. I can sit over there and build meter with my fireballs all day long.
Juri is a pretty good character to zone with, since her fireballs are really useful. The only annoying part is that her fireball doesn’t hit the edge of the screen. Any shoto character with normal fireballs can out-poke me in a fireball war. It puts me in an awkward position if the other player is fine turtling. I have to be the one to try and make the first move to close the gap, usually. I can close the gap with a hk shikusen, but that’s usually a horrible choice, as the time it takes to cover that distance is less than the recovery time from a fireball.
And in any case, I watch something like this and realize I’m doing everything completely wrong.