Getting over the initial execution barrier?

Discussion in 'Street Fighter HD Remix' started by Jexik, Feb 11, 2010.

  1. Jexik

    Jexik Member

    I've played a bunch of fighting games over the years, but generally very casually.

    One of my first video game purchases was Street Fighter II Turbo on the SNES. I think I played Chun Li a lot and did lots of jump kicks and lightning legs. I was 8. Killer Instinct in 5th grade, some MK games, got Soul Blade for the PSX, and later other Soul Calibur games, messed around with Dead or Alive 3 with some friends in between games of Halo, etc...

    Some time last year, I finally got a 360 and SFIV and Orange Box. I played Street Fighter IV a bit on a pad, and got frustrated. I found that I couldn't really do fireballs to the left (or tatsu's to the right) with much consistency, and it annoyed me. My weak little Akuma and Sakura hovered around 500 BP's.

    So, a little while ago, I picked up that Tekken 6 bundle with a Hori stick for a reasonable price. Everything I've read says that the stick is perfectly fine. Learning the combos and stuff is a little awkward because all of the command lists for Tekken 6 assume you're playing on a pad. And I've never been that into Tekken. It always felt clunkier to me than Soul Calibur.

    So I picked up HDR. Lurking and posting on this site has gotten me interested again in the genre, and many people seem to agree that ST is a good starting point... And I still can't do fireball motions to the left, and I have a lot of trouble executing charge specials.

    Now, I'm not telling myself that I have to go and compete in EVO next year or anything, but I'm having a hell of a time even getting SRK's consistently- I get them about 35% of the time, and Fireballs about 80% of the time. In fact, what little time I did spend playing SF IV seems to have made me much, much worse at executing SRK's because I'm just tapping DF, P, DF, P repeat hoping I magically reversal them.

    I tried a couple online matches, and I absolutely got stomped by the same Dictator player twice. In our second match, I think he deliberately went easy on me just to see what I'd try to do... he still beat me, and then perfected me the next two times. It's not that I'm afraid to lose, it's just that I'm not sure it's very productive for me to try to learn in that environment when I can't even execute basic moves.

    To those of you who picked up the game recently, (like Thelo apparently, and others) how did you make the leap from knowing very little about the game to being at least somewhat competent? I get bored throwing fireballs in practice mode, and find that it's a lot different than the pressure of facing an opponent, and I don't really want to waste tons of time playing arcade mode because I think it'll just form bad habits.

    Should I just suck it up and lose a lot to random online players? I'm thinking I might main Dhalsim because I like how he seems to have a toolbox of cool normals... and no SRK motion. But those might be bad reasons to pick a character if he doesn't really fit my playing style.

    It's funny to me when Sirlin talks about his execution being bad- it's like when Steven Levitt says he's bad at math- sure, when you compare yourself to the very best you might not have a comparative advantage in that ability, but even Sirlin's ability to combo and Levitt's calculus are much better than most amateur practitioners.
  2. sage

    sage Well-Known Member

    Doesn't seem that bad to me. What is your playing style? I quickly realized that I can't reliably DP outside of a PS2 pad, but charging on stick was my thing. So I tried Chun, Honda, Blanka, Dictator, Boxer... I've sort of settled on Chun and Boxer after all that. It might be easiest to think of who you played in other fighting games and compare them to the ST characters.

    Also, hang out in talkinator in the evenings and I'm sure you can find someone who'll play with you and show you the basics.
  3. Jexik

    Jexik Member

    I generally pick a faster character.

    In the original Soul Blade, I played Taki a lot, but also Siegfried because he seemed pretty strong if you just mashed his two main attacks. Seung Mina (and later Kilik) have been characters I've liked. In the later games, I really like playing Cassandra. I love rushing in there and just throwing people when they're expecting me to keep swinging her sword.

    When playing DOA3 against my friends (which must be a terrible game at high levels, since I never see you guys talking about it), I played Ayane a lot. She's just super quick and did pretty good damage. Hayabusa was good fun too.

    As I said about SF IV, I generally played Akuma, Sakura, and occasionally Cammy or Sagat.

    Maybe Ken for HDR? Claw if I can learn to do charge moves?
  4. Thelo

    Thelo Administrator Staff Member

    I agree with Sage that maybe you'd just be better with a charge character, if your biggest hurdle right now is the qcf, dp motions. My usual suggestion for character choice is to try a bunch of them and stick with the one that feels the best, since there really is a big difference between a character you're comfortable with and one you're not. But if you really are just starting out, then maybe even that can be overwhelming at first.

    I personally find Honda to be fairly easy to pick up. His normals mostly suck, so most of the time you stick to his four amazing (and easy-to-execute) specials, which is fairly easy to remember. Chun Li is another character who is friendly to new players, just jump kick a lot and throw slow fireballs from fullscreen. I recommend you at least check them out, but obviously it's up to you to find someone you actually are comfortable with.

    For qcf-dp execution, if you are having trouble even getting them out at all, my advice is to consciously slow down the motion as far as you can. In HD Remix, you have about 15 frames between the last stick part of a special move motion (like the f in d, df, f+P) and the button press (P), which is longer than you might think. I found that by doing the motion more slowly, my brain will learn it better, then it will naturally speed up as time goes by.

    I personally mostly learned the game alongside a friend who was learning at the same time as I was, so I had consistently well-matched competition. I can certainly see why you could find the average HD Remix online player daunting to face, since by this point in time, most remaining players are fairly comfortable with the game.

    If you and I are online at the same time (gamertag: TheloTheGreat, or in sirlin.net chat), feel free to poke me for a training session, I can help you pick up a few tricks without being overwhelming.
  5. Jobber

    Jobber Active Member

    Yup. I watched a bunch of Sirlin's Fei Long videos on YouTube, and his timing on his attacks is pretty impeccable. I can't imagine someone with truly bad execution could maneuver like that on screen and do those Fei combos. When people say Sirlin has bad execution, I kind of think of the poorest guy in the millionaire's club.

    Don't feel bad about getting stomped online in HDR. Seems like the casual crowd have moved on, so the scrubs have weeded themselves out. If you're really persistent about playing HDR, it's likely only a matter of time before your execution improves. I had very sparsely played SF at arcades since 1995, and played mostly on PS1 and PS2, so I had a hard time going back from pad to stick, but I feel comfortable again with the stick and can do most moves when I want.

    Finally, I think if you cut your fighting game teeth on SFIV, HDR is going to feel a lot more difficult. The timing for button pressing on special attacks is a little less forgiving, and the game speed is noticeably faster. I'm a Gief player on SFIV; I'm not great or anything, but I win more than 55% of my matches. I rely on the half circle back from down-forward to up-back (32147, if you like that notation) for SPD and atomic suplex, and it's a lot easier to miss it on HDR. Plus, pianoing isn't useful for SPDing in IV, so I forget to use it in HDR if I played a lot of IV.
  6. arstal

    arstal Member

    Sim isn't a bad choice for a guy with poor execution, plus if you're playing ranked matches- he loses the least hard to Akuma, who'll you'll see the most often. The only frequently used char he really suffers against is Vega. (him, Ryu, Ken, Akuma= about 60-70% of people you see online)
  7. Jexik

    Jexik Member

    Maybe 8 year old me was right. Played Chun a bit (mostly just against the computer) and I think she might good for to start off with for a little while.

    I'm not sure how often I'll be on, but if any of you that spoke up in here get a friend invite from Jexik soon, you can guess who that is.

    Part of the reason I was hesitant to try charge characters is that I'm probably even worse at doing those moves- I can probably do HCB easier than a charge move. I landed Chun's super for the first time ever today. I think I'm getting better though.
  8. Final Atomic Buster

    Final Atomic Buster Active Member

    Dhalsim has a SRK motion for his teleport.

    Also, you don't explicitly say, are you using a joystick now and still have problems executing fireballs?

    I'm focusing on the fireballs before SRK, because if you can't get a QCF motion, then you're not getting an SRK (unless you're playing SF4, since they made those easier by comparison).

    I would go into SF4, into training mode, turn on input display (from memory, HDR doesn't have input display, right? - otherwise, do this in HDR if it does). Do fireballs and watch your inputs when you attempt it. You'll soon see what you may be doing wrong if it fails.

    Maybe you're not hitting the correct directions, or maybe you're pressing the button too early. The old days, we didn't have input display, so it was things like "if you're doing a crouching Punch, then you're hitting the button too early".

    Have you figured out why your fireballs don't come out? Also, what does the character do instead of a fireball? And not to derail and be funny, but its a the clearest example of attempting execution I can find - does it look like this?
  9. Lofobal

    Lofobal Well-Known Member

    Play Claw.
  10. Jexik

    Jexik Member

    Yep, using a joystick. It has been a couple weeks since I played Ryu, who I was attempting to use. Fireballs were pretty consistent. I said 80%, but it was probably more like 95% one way, and 70% the other.

    I seem to remember the SF4 input display being odd. It went vertically or something and scrolled in the opposite direction of what I expected, which was pretty counterintuitve.

    In HDR, my SRK's usually come out as crouching uppercuts (if I did it with fierce) [too early?] and the fast fireball attempts are often solar plexus strikes [too late? missing the diagonal?].
  11. JigglyNorris

    JigglyNorris New Member

    If doing the motions is that tough for you, you might wanna consider switching to an Octagon gate. Although modding that wireless Tekken stick isn't a simple task.
  12. Jexik

    Jexik Member

    I tossed you a friend request yesterday. GT is Jexik, same as here.

    If anyone else here wants to see how terrible my Chun is (and perhaps give some advice), feel free to add me. I played a bit against random people in player match yesterday, winning maybe one or two matches out of a lot.

    Edit 3/17: Been playing more. And I realized that my assumption in this thread was kind of flawed. I don't really think there is much of an initial execution barrier... there's just multiple levels, and Sirlin shows that even when you're at a high level, you'll always see room for improvement, unless you're the best player in the world, and even then, you might just be waiting for the next crazy kid to come take you off your throne.

    Also, being predictable and not knowing my matchups is just as problematic as only throwing out a kikoken 60% of the time that I try.
  13. Idealius

    Idealius Member

    I can't sleep so I'm going to just type a book for you, cool? :)

    I know you've moved on to Chun, but you're most likely going to want to learn the specials better for the shotos anyway.. So, if you're still interested in learning them this might help.

    I've recently been teaching a button masher and a jump-in standing rh/sweep spammer how to do the shoto specials in-person on a stick for the last week so this stuff is really fresh on my mind. (I'm a SF4 player)

    Warning!: Take this advice at your own risk, I am not the best player by any means, but I can pull of specials with 100% accuracy... literally doing 15 fireballs in a row in real matches that I ended up winning like it's all part of the game (and sometimes it is.) Same goes for my accuracy with dp's. I'm just saying there may be negatives from doing stuff my way that I can't forsee.

    First the actual easy to do practical methods to learn fireballs and dragon punch timing/movement:

    Fireballs:
    Things that can go right:
    -If all else fails tap the light punch (quickly now!) but do the motion with appropriate timing. With enough tapping and enough tries on the motion you cannot fail, given enough time. After you bust a couple of these out immediately try it without the tapping and instead try to hit the punch just once for each fireball. For some reason this increases anyone's chances of success just starting out. You want to get fireballs down before dp's like the other guy said and this is a stepping stone that will work for (again) anyone.
    -Temporarily let go of the stick with your left hand exactly when you finish with the last motion (i.e. forward + punch): d, df, f + punch. I'm not sure why this helps but it does, especially if you're on the right side of the stage and they're on the left. It's some weird thing I could probably figure out if I put my mind to it but the guesses I have are too iffy.

    Things that can go wrong:
    -You're doing the motion/timing correctly, but you're not taking in account you can only have one fireball on the screen at any given time. Consequently, you think you're doing the motion or the timing wrong when really you had no chance of executing it in the first place because your first fireball is still visible.
    -Also, you can't be moving forward right before you do it because then you'll likely do a dragon punch instead.

    Notations just fyi:
    http://sonichurricane.com/articles/sfnotation.html

    Dragon Punches:
    -There are four (I'm talking physically, not what the game interprets) ways to do the dragon punch motion in SF4.
    #1) The "proper" way, and my least favorite because I feel it's hardest to execute: f, d, df + punch or 623 + punch
    #2) My favorite, which is actually the same as #1 just twice as easy to execute for me for some reason: f, d, df, uf + punch. or 6239 + punch. I suspect the reason this is easier for me has something to do with fireball timing and dragon punch timing being slightly different, or at least my perception of their timing is off.
    SF4 ONLY: #3) One I'm getting used to, great if you want to start in a crouching position:
    df, d, df + punch or 323 + punch
    SF4 ONLY: #4) One I've read about but never tried because it sounds stupid and it's probably actually #3, but I'm mentioning because it might be of use to you:
    df, df + punch or 33 + punch

    --------------------------------------------------------
    Second:

    If you're having more trouble on one side of the screen than the other just plug the pad into second port, or reassign it to controller two and continue to play the game as you have been. This way when you go to a mode with little to no pressure (like training or arcade) if you mess up you'll automagically be working your weaker side first. Switch them back every month or so.

    -----------------------------------------
    Third (this one will probably help everyone if I am communicating it properly):

    Ok a few things that might help with your frame of mind when you go into training mode, because again I've been trying to teach a roomate and his brother how to do specials in SF4 while trying to overcome my own weaknesses with combos.

    I've noticed it's as difficult for me to learn the combos as it is for them to do the specials and I believe it's for the same reasons. We're just as you say: At different levels.

    First I have to establish that my two "students" and I are right-handed and that the plateaus we are experiencing have little to do with the timing of the buttons we are pressing. The failure I suspect is in the motion of the stick and SF is a motion-heavy game. The depth is pretty astounding for how many motions you'll have to learn for each character.

    Now a little more info to set my point up: Most people would not call themselves ambidexterous and most people are right-handed so I think I'm safe assuming this will be of use to you: This is a hands game, especially with a stick over a pad. One thing I have learned through years of hobby-style research is that anytime you do something with one arm your other arm is also involved whether you realize it or not. They are literally attached to one another, a team if you will. This takes a while for people to figure out unless they're explicitly told at a young age because the over-reliance of always using your dominant hand combined with a lack of activities that absolutely require both.

    Now, I don't know the physical makeup of the human body well enough to say they are positively physically attached to each other on either side of the torso so much as I'm saying you have to get this mindset !down! before anything else I'm communicating will make sense. Don't worry because I have a couple examples that might spell it out better.

    I'm going to refer to things for right-handers to make this easier for me to type up. So, in the event any lefties are turned off by it: sorry!

    It's easy to say "well I'm a right-hander it's just my dominant hand" sort of dismissing the issue, but if you think about it the only reason it's your dominant hand is because you choose for it to be every time. Once you realize this it's quite simple to have your left hand drive if you let your right hand take a backseat.

    Now remember what I said about SF being in-depth with the amount of motions you'll have to perform on the stick and you'll see why I'm explaining this.

    I'm sure there's plenty of ways to actualize this in your mind, but the way I do it is I literally imagine my hands as a team: Good 'ol leftie and rightie, best friends with one goal. But, who leads?

    I know if I want one to be dominant I'm going to have to let the other follow it's lead. To finish the analogy I started earlier you simply can't expect your left hand to really learn how to drive if the right hand is always in the drivers seat while leftie is riding shotgun. It doesn't work in drivers ed and it doesn't work for your hands.

    Also, You can not seperate your mind equally on both hands and have any chance of success starting something new (like a special or combo.) It's just too complicated.

    Consider if you have ANY success in a fighting game when you do regular button mashing it's easy and intuitive. Ask yourself why? My best guess is that you're letting your right-hand lead by smashing buttons while sacrificing reaction and execution time on your left hand.

    Record a button masher on video, the stick is secondary to the buttons. When you look at the numbers of movements per minute the buttons will win out everytime (again, if they're going to have any success winning rounds.)

    Finally, my point: When you try something in training mode and it doesn't work, switch up which hand is leading. First, try it for the entire sequence and let your right hand lead as always. If it works, great! If not, switch up in your mind which arm is leading and see if your results are better. Go from there.

    If you really can't get the idea that your arms are attached and one arm is leading the other, or just need more proof this will help your training sessions then try this: Do something besides SF that requires fine motor control from both arms at the same time. A good place to start is doing something symmetrically like push-ups.

    Position yourself and go slow unless you do 30+ everyday with perfect form. Focus on symmetry, look at the joints in your arms as you're doing them, do they appear symmetrical? Are you leaning on one side harder than the other? You can focus on the hand you want to be dominant and consequently you will see a greater improvement in motor control in that arm afterwards. You can also literally switch back and forth letting one arm lead the other between reps to ensure symmetrical gains.

    I'm not saying do this everytime, I'm saying it just might work if you've plateaued and you're not sure why. I feel this is something that is really not obvious to most people unless they had proper training at a young age, like a gymnast or a wrestler. And, even then, it's probably all internalized for them.

    Hope that helps! Sorry to admins if this is the wrong place to post this stuff I just felt I had to get it written down somewhere and after I read his first post it seemed serendipitous. :)
  14. Valcien

    Valcien New Member

    My greatest strength as a gamer is I don't care about losing. I learned that form Natural Selection!

    So I just dive in with human opponents and see. I don't see what there is to gain from practicing with offline modes.
  15. arstal

    arstal Member

    I'm the same way, but the offline practice can help with something specific if you need to get it down.

    SF4 really forces offline practice on you, which is one reason I can't take it too serious- it's not fun to sit in practice mode, and I play games for fun first.

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