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Ultra Street Fighter IV


JLM
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Yeah I'm still playing. And if there's one rule we hold dear, those of us who still play this dead game online in 2016, it's this: Never give up. Not even when you're fireball trapped by Rose with no life left.

 

 

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Tremendous.

 

Also I'm still playing this. PS4 ranked is hilarious. After eight years of grinding and learning almost the entire cast, my reward is retiring to ps4 ranked to beat 15k BP Ryu players within random select Yun.

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I am better at one frame links than I have ever been, which is really frustrating. I think it's just the lack of any sort of pressure attached to the game. As soon as I am invested in the result I can do NO COMBOS.

 

So far sticking to random select exclusively for ranked in the wilds of PS4. Won 55 out of 65 so far, which isn't too bad. Also endless battling it up with Rose and my other semi-mains. It is still the best game.

 

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I actually started writing a post a few months ago about why one frame links are important in street fighter, but it ended up wayyy too long and I didn't have time to edit for coherence. One day. I do think their absence in SFV is more significant a game design issue than people generally think.

 

 

Jason we need to get you on Steam somehow. Christmas sale maybe?

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So long as lots of characters don't rely on them, I love one-framers. But for utility much more than damage. Lee Chaolan only gets about 5 more from a juggle with his advanced options, but he also gets much better wall-carry, and he's a bit of a demon from that position.

 

From your side, it just feels so good to be rewarded for the FG equivalent of pixel-perfect jumps under pressure. But their real beauty lies in moves that your opponent can blow up if he gambles on you failing and attacks, else you'll beat whatever he does: execution-based EX moves. It's because EX moves offer this for free that I dislike them; I want to be focusing on my opponent, not his meter. It's a pretty deep insight into how much he respects you. If you do two EWGFs back-to-back, say, and there's no reply during the slight pause you insert, that's a big read. If you consistently fluff one or both inputs and get regulars instead, you should get punished by most players. Electrics' additional threat (safe on high block) can be turned to a psychological fishing rod. Too many and you get sidestep- or crouch-punished.

 

Sometimes it doesn't even have to be a link. For example, you rarely see landed slides from Lee or Law in high-level play (hugely unsafe for minimal damage), but you see tons of crouching feints. Because the slide's so unsafe on block or parry, no-one really expects you to gamble with it from range, but it's still best to not move forward just in case it's one of those rare times when the player fancies it. Hence feints can be really useful for maintaining space, since you know it suits the other player to wait them out. In the meta - or if you're a frequent wolf-crier - you'll begin losing to bulldogs, and have to start showing more courage in your convictions. At this point, you can start looking for opportunities to buffer the first part of the crouching animation during other moves (you can hide a good portion of the crouch during a sidestep).

 

Like you say, Ali, that's too much ramble and I haven't tried! The short version is that the best fighting games are full of options that your opponents question your ability to perform. I've played quite a few matches against a friend in V, and he knows exactly what I can do now: he fears Cammy's damage output from a jump-in, VT or Super (I didn't choose Cammy - she chose me!), and he knows exactly what I struggle to deal with from his Birdie. Our games are mostly decided by who can best abuse the input lag (plus the online lag) when we're on a roll. One-framers could be used to stop it feeling so turn-based, at the cost of eating damage for taking a risk and fudging it. Or just reduce the input lag enough to enable whiff-punishment, and then increase everyone's walkspeed to that end.

 

And now I've ended up talking about V in IV's thread! The pros'll play V because doing so's a job for them, but I worry for the future of Street Fighter.

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Hello. Part of my mid age crisis pack (after learning to ride motorbikes and before joining the swinging scene) was learning to play fighting games.

I was way to late to the SSIV party but I hope to get into SSV. 

I got the game at launch on PC but it was a pain to make it work with my crappy but cheerful hori mini3 (PS3)

I will give it now another try, not sure if I will get the PS4 game or if I should stick with the PC version. I just ordered a PS4 slim now that they are 224 quid

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The Mini's really not that bad (a bit too much travel on its stick for me), but you absolutely need a table to rest it on.

 

I use one of these for my sticks. One leg through it, the other around. It's a bit wobbly compared to something else you could probably find at Argos or IKEA, but it's the right height for my office chair and it does the job. Maybe a lap tray for a sofa, but I'd imagine that'd move around too much. Also, I find it's much easier to be accurate with directions with the stick at a distance. I don't know how people can play with sticks on their laps - that's way too close!

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On the subject of frame links the biggest factor in having them (to me) is to teach people to stop mashing.

They're a nightmare when you are new to them but it's part of the learning curve. If they weren't there we would see more "auto combos" in games I think, which I'm not big on.

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Yeah, that's why I don't like EX moves in IV: they're mashable unreadables. The only guide you have is meter. And - just a personal thing - I don't like meters of any kind, just because I like to focus on the characters. I know you can easily check the bars when there's a lull in the action - defend this as exploitable meta, even - but I'm not keen.

 

Sirlin's opinion falls down when you strip away too much execution. Tight reversals allow you to apply blockstring pressure, but if you're frequently punished for greediness you know you're dealing with a sharp player. And you need that mutual knowledge to elevate the play to a higher level.

 

One-framers take a lot of stick (eh), but they're from the same family as many elements of high-level play. Neutral spacing, for example. All you do is tap/hold left and right for periods of time (couldn't be simpler on an execution level), but the very best players are able to stop moving forwards - thanks to their trained anticipation and reactions - a couple of frames short of eating something. And they do it regularly in the more footsie-based Street Fighters. Once you reach that level of experience, after thousands of hours, your one-frame ability tracks with you in the majority of cases.

 

Sirlin has an extremely valid point about making games needlessly difficult - no-one wants to play with reversed wonky-bike inputs - but those with better, learned execution will always have an advantage. Divekick is Sirlin's template taken to its conclusion. Advantageous execution is a far bigger gift to dedicated players than to the naturally blessed. The difference between a top, all-round footballer and a freestyler. Sidefoot-only rules in Sirlin's game...

 

Caveat: I'm comparing rhythmic, muscle-memory links - the ones you acquire from practice in line with complementary high-level skills. I still like the harder, delayed ones with audio-visual cues, but it's never a great idea to implement too many, and certainly not if they're vital as part of BnBs for too many characters. Variety's the spice. Viper isn't links-heavy by enforcement, but she's one of the toughest characters to use. I had loads more fun with her than Balrog, despite losing a lot more.

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That's pretty much what I think. I found the post I didn't post in my email drafts, so if you want 3000 words from me struggling to say something similar, well, here you go:

 

Spoiler

3 frame input buffer is a bad thing: a short essay by Alistair, aged 31 and three quarters (EDIT: I'm now well into 32 :-( ...haha. Um.)

 

1. What “accessibility” actually means, and what “complexity” actually means

 

I want to start by saying that I fully understand the desire to make fighting games more "accessible". A more accessible game attracts a wider group of players and helps them stick around, and for someone like me it also means that you can enjoy playing it with people you know instead of always having to hang out with teenage boys you've never previously met (no offence intended here, by the way, if you’re a teenage boy reading this - I was a teenage boy once myself - but at a certain age I find myself having a lot less in common with you guys, to the point that enjoying streetfighter is basically the only interest we share, and it would be cool if I could get more of my boring old-person friends into streetfighter so I could get an evening of streetfighter, red wine and light discussion of David Foster Wallace every once in a while without having to travel 250 miles to find anyone else interested in doing all three of those things. Anyway.).

 

When you try to make a game accessible, you’re trying to to do several things: not only make it easier, but also and importantly make it quicker and more fun, for new players to reach that standard of play at which they feel they are competitive when playing against the wider community - the "quicker and more fun" is crucial, as will become apparent, but for now I just wanted to point out that easier and quicker are different things. It's very easy to learn a 1 frame link - it just takes about 15 hours of the right kind of practice, which means that it's not quick and it's not fun for a lot of people.

 

So accessibility in those terms is a noble goal, and aims to help more people feel enthusiastic about trying to get into a game, and then help more of those people stick at it to the point that they become good players for whom it's fun to play the game for a long time. Fighting games only work when you have a bunch of other people with whom you can play, measure your skill level and experience, and slowly learn and develop your game.

 

Making combos easier to do isn't the way to achieve that, though, and in short here's why (I’ll go on to break this short phrase down in more detail): the increased rate at which new players are able to reach a standard of play at which they feel they are competitive is matched by an equally increased rate at which competitive players tire of the game and move on to something else. To borrow an example from the wider world of videogames, lots of people are still playing Dark Souls now, over and over again, because it's hard and makes very little sense until you put a lot of work in, but pretty much nobody who started The Last of Us on release date is still playing it now - it was easier to learn, there was less complexity and less reason to keep going back to it. Yes, it was good fun for 20 hours or so, maybe 50 if you really go into it. But find someone who "really got into" Dark Souls and ask them how much time they spent playing it and they'll say hundreds of hours so far, and they're still playing occasionally. To be clear, I really enjoyed TLOU and picked it for my example precisely because I think it's a good game. But in fighting games the only useful measure of a game’s quality is how long the community sticks with it. And rightly so, because if you love a game then you don't care about whether it gets 10/10 in Edge (though that's obviously nice): you care about whether you can still find someone to play it with you four years down the line.

 

Complexity and simplicity can be achieved in different ways, and the one we're focusing on here - in discussing SFV’s 3 frame input buffer - is essentially timing, or perhaps the repetitive practice required to meet strict timing requirements. There are plenty of others - you could put 44 characters in the game so everyone has to learn 43 matchups, or you could make it a team game so everyone has to learn 3 characters before they can even start competing, or you could make each character's mechanics, systems and hurtboxes wildly different from one another so it's like learning eight different games at once, or you could introduce insanely long combo potential so people have to memorise a bunch of stuff and then perform lengthy combos with easier links more consistently, and lose more if they mess up, or you could make it so that less precise play will net less valuable outcomes on a more analogue kind of sliding scale (a la EWGF in Tekken, or I would argue the ability in SF4 to go for easy combos or harder ones dependent on situation, confidence, need and skill). Or you could just make damage really high so that every decision and every mistake really matters.

 

That complexity and interest, whatever shape it takes, is always going to mean that the best games are challenging to learn as a beginner, and I don't think there's any getting around that. You will lose, convincingly, against a better player, and in the internet age there is always a better player.

 

2. Why should timing be the way to incorporate life-extending complexity in a Streetfighter game?

 

In short, timing is fun and satisfying. It's worth noting that streetfighter in particular is a great example of a game where you can start to learn the game without first memorizing and physically learning dozens of complicated combo strings. You can learn what an uppercut is and how to use it, what a fireball is and how to use it, and what a crouching medium kick is and how to use it, and you can win games with nothing but those three tools and a careful eye on your opponent. No, you can't expect to compete at higher levels without maximizing the damage you get off each opening, but you can start playing and learning the game to a level sufficient to inspire the desire to do the less immediately rewarding work of drilling combos. So, if you take it as a given - as I do, as discussed above - that complexity is necessary to grant a game a sufficiently long lifespan, street fighter's approach of putting its complexity in places that aren't immediately essential is a pretty good one. Not the only one, but a good one.

 

It's hard to explain to people who haven't yet understood the real joy inherent in learning something like a piece of music just how much fun there is to be had in practicing something difficult until you can now achieve it, but that doesn't remove from the fact that it is, indeed, a wonderfully rewarding pastime. And while there are surely a few people in the world who genuinely can't make their hands/brains learn with the kind of precision required to play a semi-respectable one-handed rendition of, say, Greensleeves on the piano, or something fun like { F+HP, cr.HP xx fireball FADC cr.MP, cr.HK } with SF4 Ryu, that number is much lower than the number for whom "I couldn't ever do that" is shorthand for "I don't yet see the appeal in repeatedly practicing something I can't yet do, when I could do something easy and immediately rewarding instead". The appeal, of course, is that the reward in immeasurably greater when you eventually get it.

 

There are plenty of other things which other games rely on for providing that level of satisfaction but streetfighter's has pretty much always been the crisp, pleasing instant of correctly timing your link and cancelling to an otherwise unsafe special move. To take this away, I think, is to change streetfighter more than is at first apparent.

 

I remember reading an interesting rundown of the making of the Halo games, where one of the developers talked about the melee action and how they calculated just how quickly that melee action had to hit in order that the player felt a direct physical connection between their button press and the on-screen action. By getting the timing right they were able to make immensely satisfying something which in other games had often felt a little tacked-on. This speaks to me about streetfighter too - for me the physical satisfaction of doing well something which you know to require precise timing is a key part of what makes the game feel physically enjoyable to play. Without that, it becomes too easy to separate the mental game from the physical one, which diminishes the ability of the game to engage the player. A good game allows for a balance of decision making, dexterity and inspiration/expression.

 

I watched Mago play money matches at Hypespotting 4, and just watching his hands was fun. At its best, streetfighter can deliver the same pleasure as musical improvisation between two people - conversing, interacting, turning lots of preparation into a performance which is unpredictable until you see/hear it, at which point it instantly feels like it was inevitable.

 

But without that challenge which bridges the mind and the body, not only do you lose those moments every player has enjoyed where you get to do something really fancy just because you feel right and you're so in tune with the game that you want to enjoy it (Daigo's seemingly neverending combo vs Momochi in Stunfest 2015 would be a classic high-profile example), you lose also the side of the game which challenges you to push your abilities for greater reward, and all you're left with is the goal to outsmart your opponent. That might sound appealing, but I suspect there's a reason we don't run $500,000 rock/paper/scissors tournament seasons.

 

3. Alternatives to a 3 frame input buffer - making the game more accessible without hurting its lifespan (increasing accessibility without overly diminishing complexity)

 

In short, teach people how to play. Teach spacing. Teach anti-air. Teach mindgames. And remember that "teach" isn't the same thing as "show" - it's not enough to just tell someone how something works, you have to provide ways for them to practice those things. Training mode in street fighter provides precisely one easily accessible practice regime - combo drills. If you want to practice spacing or meaties or anti airs you have to record the dummy doing all sorts of strange things just to set up the situation you're looking for, and then you have to deliberately maneuver your own character into a place where that situation will make sense. For all the effort that game makers put into terrible story modes and drawing little artwork motifs to pin to your online profile, it's a little bit crazy that nobody has yet thought to add a set of "drills" to their training mode to toggle on or off. A basic anti-air drill would be as simple as programming the dummy to jump at the player with a random attack whenever they are within a certain distance range of the player. A basic whiff punishing drill would be as simple as programming the dummy to press up to two of the chosen character's reasonable footsie tools about 10 frames after the player walks into those buttons' max range (so the player can practice walking into range and back out to bait and punish a button when it misses). You can't make a drill to practice mixups, really - Guilty Gear Xrd tried but necessarily failed to do any more than demonstrate the concept - but that's fine. The goal is the get the player playing without getting hung up on high damage combos as the way to improve their game.

 

Streetfighter is arguably the worst major fighting game at doing this teaching. SFV's training mode is better than USF4, and USF4 was an improvement over SF4, but all it provides is options without any explanation of how to use them. This, for me, is the real unnecessary complexity - or barrier to entry - which should be removed from the game. One frame links are not a barrier to beginning to play the game, they're something which is there to make the game satisfying and interesting even when you've mastered your uppercut, your fireball, your crouching medium kick (or your spacing, your anti-air, your mindgames...). The real issue is that beginner players are somehow led to believe that they ought to be learning these difficult combos immediately, and then they are at risk of fixating on the damage reward of those single attack strings over the long term reward of standing in the right place and knowing what options to use for each smaller encounter. This can be fixed with teaching.

 

4. Summary

 

The best games are by nature complex, and while not all complexity is good, some kind of complexity is a requirement for a game to retain interest over the long term. This is why chess endures as a sport, and snakes and ladders does not; why poker is played religiously around the world and snap is an occasional timewaster for rainy caravan holidays; why people will happily play the same musical instrument for a lifetime but usually switch videogames every couple of dozen hours. The same applies to fighting games.

 

The particular character which makes Streetfighter compelling is the marriage of physical and mental practice and performance which it requires. This is what makes the game feel fun to play, physically, and any reduction in the challenge inherent in this design is a reduction in the level of enjoyment it's possible for the player to feel as a result of this area of the game. Making things easier makes them less fun, with the only upside being that more of the fun is delivered sooner. In fact, that's not even an upside in the long term, as it reduces long-term enjoyment and interest in the game.

 

Making the game more accessible can be done without making it physically easier to play, and this should be done by providing teaching/learning tools to enable players to understand the real game which is being played, allowing them to start playing and worry about damaging combos and difficult combos later. If the goal is to have an excellent game which lots of people want to play for a long time, this will be far more successful than relatively superficial changes like the SFV input buffer. If it is really true that people won’t enjoy the game if they can’t do nice combos early, the only concession worth making is to include easier combos which provide less reward, without altering the harder things which exist. With this approach, the player can develop and optimise combos at the same time as developing and optimising other areas of the game which require more attention - spacing, movement, decision-making, clutch.

 

5. Epilogue

 

While writing this, by happy accident, I performed an experiment. I spent an hour in a doctor's waiting room with nothing but my 3DS and SSF4's training room for company, and a couple of days later I spent an hour at home with a copy of SFV which was failing to connect to the internet. In the waiting room I started out with Ryu and dabbled with his various normal links, reminding myself of how the game works (having not played it for a couple of months), then ran through some of my old favourites: {overhead, cr.LP xx tatsu}; {infinite meter loops of cr.MP, cr.HP xx fireball FADC}; {cr.LK, cr.LP, cr.MK xx HP fireball FADC cr.MP, cr.HK}; etc... and I was just about ready to move onto another character by the time they called me away. In SFV I spent five minutes practicing Chun's BnB into SBK, moved on to messing around with instant stomp into air legs, and then begrudgingly set up the dummy to try and figure out my meaty pressure timings. All of this will help me compete, but none of it was fun, and I can't imagine ever spending the kind of time I spent in SF4's training mode with a good record on and nothing but Rufus' one frame link for company. It's just not satisfying. I actually think that's due to two things - one is the higher input lag in SFV, which slightly removes the player from the physical experience of feeling like their button press is the same thing as the character's corresponding action, and the other is the input buffer which grants success with allowances for too much variation. Even with hard combos I think this is an issue - Chun's instant stomp and BnB isn't what most people would call easy, but there are still a number of different timings (measured in 60ths of a second) which will grant you success. This variability runs contrary to the musical precision which gave SF4's combos their really enjoyable snap of either being right or wrong.

 

I spent a long time with SF4 so I'm definitely not ready to write off SFV just yet, nor am I saying it's a bad game (EDIT: since writing the above I may have changed my mind, pending future game updates...). In some respects it's almost alarmingly well-designed. But the whole debate about input buffers, unnecessary complexity, etc. really got me thinking about what the actual problem is that people want solving, because I'm almost certain it's not that one frame links require a few hours of practice to learn.

 

If you read this whole thing, you suck.

 

I don't even think the input buffer is the biggest issue with the new game, haha. But similar arguments apply to the more standardised optimal ranges of characters which also reduces complexity, and the general reduction of space for experimentation and innovation due to more closed-in system design.

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I'm sad I don't have any more to add to that aside from agreeing with all of it.

 

The "I don't think I could ever do that" mentality is something I've only got over relatively recently. What I've found is that I don't have bad execution but rather that I am too lazy to improve consistency once I can land a combo some of the time. I can teach myself to perform just about any combo but my problem is that once I can do it 5 out of 10 times I lack the patience to fine tune that to 9 out of 10. It's then easy to just say "I have crappy execution" when that's not true as I've managed to go from 0 out 10 to 5 out of 10, so with more time and dedication could improve that.

 

The breakthrough on this for me came with Fuerte's run-stop-fierce in SFIV. This was a long-standing "I just can't do it" combo. I left Fuerte's last trial incomplete and, even after watching tutorial videos, could never land more than two. Then one of the SFO mans picked up Elf and, after coming from a similar "this combo is impossible" mindset, ended up hitting at least 6-7 reps of it in matches on a regular basis and sometimes landing more. He did this by doing training mode fight request when playing ranked with his main, leaving Fuerte in training mode and drilling RSF continuously every time he had a ranked session.

 

Seeing this fairly rapid improvement inspired me to give it a go, and after just a few evenings practising I can now typically get 4 reps on average and have done as many as 7-8. I think the fact that combo has the incredibly satisfying rhythm to it that you describe is the key to this, and it also helps that this combo in particular has a somewhat unique high score element to it.

 

I guess my point is that for me to want to grind the things in training mode, the things have to be fun to do, they have to be challenging enough for me to want to do them and they also need to make me feel satisfied when I improve.

 

The combos in KOF are currently providing me with my fix of that. They're not quite as joyous as SFIV combos, but the buttons feel snappy and responsive and I find myself hitting the buttons really hard and doing celebratory button mashing during the bits where I don't have to press anything. These are all excellent signs. With Dudley in SFIV I mash the buttons during EX Machine gun blow for non-existent extra damage every time I land it. Every. Single. Time. Landing a Dudley b'n'b into that move feels soooo good that the joy of it never diminishes.

 

In fact KOF as a whole has reignited my love of pressing the buttons. I tap the buttons in time with Sylvie's entrance dance, tap the buttons and waggle the stick in between rounds, mash for extra damage when I'm landing supers. It feels so good to press them in the game that I want to press them in between as well. As Alistarr says, you can see the same thing when you watch Mago play SFIV. He has wonderfully precise and speedy execution but you can also tell he just fucking loves pressing the buttons.

 

SFV doesn't make me love pressing the buttons. Now that I think about it, along with the 8 frames, homogenised strategies and ranges amongst the cast, the complete removal of reactive play, I think diminishing my love of pressing the buttons might be the game's greatest failing.

 

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I am the biggest advocate of Chun Ultra 1 in almost all match-ups, sometimes to my detriment, but it's especially easy to make the case for it in the mirror match. I feel like the Chun with U1 in that match is literally a better character than the one without it.

 

I'm sad that U2 is the default for so many Chuns but I can see why they pick it. It ended up with decent damage after the buffs, is easy to land, doesn't require charge, you don't have to worry about screen positioning.

 

U1 though, U1:

 

More damage than U2, punishes Devil Reverse, EX psycho crusher, Honda headbutts, projectiles, sweeps,  can land it  in most of the same spots as U2 except slap bang in the middle of the screen.

 

Hosenka's the best.

 

 

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That's what I thought, thank you! (but of course it is).

 

I'm generally not keen on U2 unless I just don't trust myself to land the U1 punish (I can't do it vs Bison cross-throughs, for example), but I do have a fondness for wultra - I'll pick it for certain characters or players just to make them think about my cr.LK turning into an ultra 2 where they might otherwise feel they had free reign to play loose at point blank range. With Rufus I've converted to wultra vs Viper and Fuerte and certain fireball characters for a similar reason: that extra thing for them to think about when running their preferred game (airborne pressure or fireball zoning) is worth more than the minor damage reduction should I land an ultra 1 at the end of a combo (I believe Inco actually used ultra 2 straight up vs Fuerte but I'm not sold on that at my level of play. But maybe that's exactly the sign I'm ignoring that tells me wultra is a vice or a crutch rather than a valid strategy in some cases...)

 

I don't improve any more though, I just get rusty and then shake it off and then get rusty again.

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My main problem with one frame links, is particular to SF4. 

 

I've played, at one point or another, almost every fighting game of the last 20 years, some of them have IMO much harder combo mechanics than the 1-frame links (I-No's absolutely everything in Guilty Gear pre-Xrd, Anything involving microdashes in Blazblue etc.).

 

Hard execution in combos is great IF the the character isn't entirely reliant on that execution to be even slightly useful. the fact is, you aren't playing Abel, Rufus etc at all if you can't hit those links, and there's no stepping stone to help get a plyer up to that level of execution. In some cases it's so ridiculously arbitrary as well, Vega cr.jab into cr.jab is a one frame link for entirely no good reason!

 

One of the things I like about Xrd/Blazblue, you can build up the combos as you get better, from basic knockdown enders into character specific, meter specific, position specific lunacy. 

 

Perhaps the frame buffer wasn't the best way to fix it, because SFV has no complexity at all in combos now that one execution barrier has gone, but it's far from the biggest problem in that game.

 

 

(Oh and A*, Infinite Jest is one of my all time favourite books, if you read this :) )

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I accidentally mastered a one frame link. Hawk's crouch MK after standing jabs to make it combo. I didn't know it was a one frame link, I just did it so much I got used to the timing.

 

Also, I play this everynight after work now that I live in Tokyo.There is a grandmaster ranked Sagat whose a regular at my local arcade. I've gotten close but I can't beat the fucker.

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I don't remember there being many beginner Arakune combos when I tried to learn Calamity Trigger!

 

I agree with you generally though, except.I don't really mind that some characters have important difficult links. If most characters had them it would be a problem, but really when you look at most of the mainstays in SF4 it's the same as you're asking for: Ryu can solar plexus into mashed uppercut, or he can link a jab to get a tatsu off, or he can go to cr.MP fireball FADC, or cr.HP for the really big damage. Chun can st.HK xx mashed legs, or cr.LK into an easy link combo, or she can go into the legs loops or hard super links (or both). Bison can do cr.LKs into scissors or mad stuff, Guile can do jabs to flash kick or try and link a medium, etc.

 

I suppose I would see the stepping stone to playing Rufus properly, if you need a stepping stone, as being to learn Ryu or someone along the way. But even Rufus has BnBs into EX tornado so you can spend a bar in return for dodging the one framer. That carried me to the "not winners" final of rllmuk's 2010 tournament!

 

Generally agree though, just would rather err on the side of higher-than-ideal beginner difficulty than lower-than-ideal mid-level difficulty. And totally agree the absence of tough links isn't the worst thing about SFV, though the input buffer approach I think definitely kills the fun of precision for me.

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