Tuesday, August 17, 2010

FFYL: Round 1 - Character types and Tiers

There are a lot of people out there who really love to play fighting games, but have trouble with things like pulling off moves or figuring out where or when to successfully block or picking the wrong characters. It's not just an isolated issue either, as many have stated the same problems, and want to figure out how to be better so they can continue to enjoy playing games like Street Fighter IV, or KOF XIII or Guilty Gear Accent Core Plus.

 This is the reason why I wanted to create this five part series. To take down the wall dividing the novice player from the higher level player in an effort to help gamers who want to be better. In this five part series I'll be explaining the following:
  • Picking the right character
  • Basic Moves
  • Throws Evades and Blocking
  • Special moves and Supers
  • Tips and Tricks from the pros. 
In addition I'll be posting up information from additional sites like SRK wiki, Iplaywinner and other fighting game oriented forums and websites for additional information. I play casually, but these guys are pros, and It helps to have every resource available instead of the opinions of just one random guy on the Internetz.
    I'm not saying that by reading the following pearls of wisdom you'll be able to become the next Justin Long or Daigo. To be as good as those guys you're going to have to utilize the information and spend an ample amount of time practicing against other people. Also, You're going to have good days and bad days. One day you'll be winning every match, and the next day you could lose every one, that's how it is for everyone. Just have the tenacity to jump back on the horse and try try again. I can assure you that my win-loss record is not perfect by a long shot, but I can hold my own. After applying these techniques and a little bit of practice I know you'll be able to do the same. 

    So allow me to give you the means of helping you tap your inner potential. From that point on you choose how far you want to go, whether if it's to be the best out of all your friends, or the best at your local arcade or on the Internet. The sky is the limit!!

    Note to you SSB players: For all of your out there that are screaming "No Smash bros? WTF!!!" First of all, I know Smash Bros is a fighting game, but it's in a league of it's own. If I'm going to provide information for Smash bros, I'm going to have to make it it's own guide (And currently I don't feel like I'm at the level to write one yet.) I will be working on more of these fighting guides so if you want a particular guide drop me an email. That goes double for Soul Caliber and Tekken as well. 

    Now that I got that out of the way let's get on with the show..

    above: He's gonna take you for a ride...... where? I wouldn't want to know

    Round 1: Choose your character

    The first part will be about picking your fighter, which really comes down to what type of play style are you're into. Do you spam with fireballs? or do you like to throw or slam people? Do you like Charge characters or are you more of a counter king/queen? There are going to be some overlap in these categories, but that only helps for you to better understand where your character fits, and how to maximize their overall effectiveness.

     Shotoken/Shotoclones are usually the easiest characters for beginners to start with.  These guys are easy to control and In most cases they have a default projectile attack like a hadouken, and a Shoryuken or Dragon punch like move for anti air defense. Characters include Kyo, Iori, Ryu, Ken, Akuma, Sagat, Terry Bogard, Andy Bogard, Sol Badguy, Ky Kiske, Haohmaru, ect.


    Charge characters are geared for more complex strategy. There's going to be an element of planning involved in using a charge character, because it's never guaranteed that you can buy yourself enough time to charge a projectile attack. There are two ways to play a charge character; Defensive – which means turtling until you can get a projectile out, or Rushing or Rush downs – where you end an attack with a projectile. We'll cover how to do that later on. Characters that use charge are M. Bison, Guile, Remy , Rock Howard, Terry Bogard, Blanka, Deejay, Balrog, ect.


    Grapplers are characters that have to get in close in order to reach maximum effectiveness. If they're right next to you they're in perfect range to grab you and do some serious damage. These characters are a little difficult to handle, because a lot of times their movesets rely on a 360 or 270 degree motion for certain moves. Grappler characters in some cases have moves that can deflect or avoid projectiles. Some grapplers even have anti air grabs. Grapplers include but aren't limted to the following: Potemkin Hakan, Rainbow Mika, Hugo, Tizoc/Griffin Mask, Zangief, Alex, Raiden/Big Bear, Maxima, ect.

    Note: According to SRK forum discussions SNK grapplers can combo into grab moves while Capcom grapplers cannot.

    Trap characters are fighters who tend to perform moves that keep their opponents sectioned off where they want them. This is often done for the sake of having control over the match. Characters include Ruby Heart, Sogetsu Kazama, Cable, Dr Doom, Dhalsim, Sagat, Akuma, Venom, Zato 1/Eddie, Heidern, Venom, Athena, Faust, ect.

    Hypers are fighters who have an advantage due to their speed. These are the characters that are often used for long chains or combos. In some cases like Strider Hiryu in MVC2, Hypers can't take a hit; meaning that they take more damage than the average fighter, and tend to go down faster, but they can't hit what they can't catch! Characters include Chipp Zanuff, Millia Rage, Yang, Galford, Guy, Strider Hiryu, Hanzo, Rock Howard, ect

    Counter King/Queens are characters who have multiple moves which allow you to catch an offensive attack and hit them with a little return of your own. Due to the large amount of mixing you can do with their moveset, you can use them in a bunch of various head games to bait players into your web of deception. Characters include Geese Howard, Rock Howard, Todo(h), Kasumi Todoh, Chaka, Eagle, Yamazaki, Black Polnareff, ect


    Summoners are characters who bring their friends to a fight. It could be one person coming in, it could be two or five, but they get by with a little help from their friends. Characters include Captain Commando, Sabertooth, Doronjo, Kyosuke (CVS2 lvl 3 super), Shin Zero (KOF 2001), Jill Valentine, ect

    Note: Not everyone will know which characters work best for them, so it's a safe bet to try every character out before you settle on one you like. In the majority of games movesets are universal so once you figure out the basics you'll have two or three characters in your repertoire.

    It helps to be knowledgeable in at least two of these categories, so you can really switch up when dealing with difficult opponents. Switching between three shoto characters is only going to make you easier to read if you're employing the same playing style every time. So take two characters from two different categories and play around with them in Practice mode at least until you have a basic understanding of their movesets.

    Advanced method: Tier Characters - On the competitive play circuit characters are often judged by Tiers, which are means of dictating who is the better or worst character in terms of range, damage, recovery, Zoning capability, ect. Top Tier characters are most picked in tournament play, while low tier characters are often avoided or only used by high level gamers who can use the character's advantages while creating a stable defense to prevent opponents from capitalizing on their flaws.

    In order to understand the difference between top and low tier characters you have to understand range, level of damage and priority a character has in a fight.

    Range - The maximum amount of distance and reach a character's attack has.

    Damage - The amount of damage that your character can dish out in an attack. A top tier character's combos can put some serious hurt on an enemy. Even a well placed fierce punch can be deadly if you know when and where to use it.

    Recovery - The amount of time it takes for a character to get back into stance after a movie is performed. This is dictated through the number of frames of animation used in a character's action. Additionally, the method used to figure out the amount of frames are in a move, or how to exploit certain frames in fighting games is called Framecounting For more info on that check out the Frame Advantage blog.

    Zoning - Tactics used to keep an opponent exactly where you want them. you can use projectiles or various standard or special moves to accomplish this.

    Priority - Priority is the superiority of one character's special or super over another. If a character has priority they can interrupt specials and supers with their own.

    The better these factors are, the higher on the list they are.SRK Wiki has a list of tiered characters assigned by groove. Notice that in Capcom Vs SNK, Sagat is a top tier character due to his reach and high damage combos. Haohmaru is also top tier due to his insane damage from his fierce slash and supers and having a decent poke game. Nakoruru is low tier due to her hit ratio, confusing moveset which changes depending on what Groove you use and difficulty to chain some moves and supers. Of course, that doesn't make her any less deadly in the hands of a more capable user.

    Ultimately, you can use any character you like, but it helps to better understand what works for you, and what character would be useful if you want to win matches. 

    That's it for this Week's edition of  "Fight for your life". Next time we'll be discussing basic movements and buttons AKA: how to properly use Jab Strong and Fierce buttons.

    Game on

    1 comment:

    1. Nice! I feel a little more capable in my Fighting game...game.

      *Busts out Super Street Fighter 4*