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You Will Never Be This Good At Street Fighter

Japan's number one player Daigo Umehara is laying it down against other top-ranked fighters on video in Street Fighter IV.

The Escapist's Jared Rea (MrJared to you and me) tipped me off to a post over on the NeoGAF forums collecting a series of recorded Street Fighter IV matches between Daigo Umehara, the number one SFIV player in Japan based on in-game ranking, and a list of other top Japanese players. I have fun playing Street Fighter games because I know how to do most of the moves and have a vague sense of which jump kicks have higher priorities on which characters. But these dudes are just on a whole different plane of skill.

  


The NeoGAF post has more match-ups against Crimson Viper, Bison, Sagat, Chun-Li, and others.

It seems first-person shooters have gotten the most attention in the competitive gaming world, but for my money I find fighting game matches between skilled players the most exciting and technically interesting to watch. Certainly they're closer to an actual spectator sport, in my mind. There's much more depth there than you might realize from watching a single match. Here's an excerpt from an eye-opening IM conversation Jared and I had (edited into paragraph form) that reveals a little of that depth.

Me: Did they really differentiate Ryu and Ken that much in Street Fighter 3?

Him:
Yeah, Third Strike is probably where they have the biggest differences. Major differences in their normals, all their specials act differently and have different properties, totally different super arts. But the biggest difference is that Ken has great chains and Ryu really doesn't. So up close, Ken can always go medium punch to fierce to hadouken and it's typically safe to push someone back. Ryu doesn't have anything of that magnitude up close. Really, Ken just has dozens of weapons over Ryu. Stuff like EX hurricane kick in mid-air that can cross people up that Ryu can't do. Ryu's only advantage is that he can apply solid pressure with EX hadoukens to control the ground, where Ken typically has to either combo his way in to lead to a knockdown, or he just doesn't do it at all and pokes them into making a mistake for an easy SA3.

Me:
That's an interesting contrast. But it's gone in IV?

Him: Actually, I think they retain most of those differences in IV, only with different properties. But without parries, Ryu winds up being the better choice. Because now, unlike Third Strike, knocking down is a huge deal. Now Ryu has better options after the EX hadouken for easy damage and knockdown, more consistent shoryuken (thanks to jumping being risky again) and of course, the ease of comboing his ultra. His ultra is also extremely safe, so that helps. The way it's shaping up though, US plays Ken, Japan plays Ryu. But everyone plays Sagat. How appropriate.

I can totally respect that kind of hardcore devotion to the minutiae of one single fighting series, even if I can never fully grasp it. But it does make me really want to put some serious time into learning Street Fighter IV a little better.

And no post about Daigo Umehara is complete without this gem of a video, which is second for second the most exciting competitive gaming video I've ever seen. Dude comes back from basically zero health to perfectly parry every single hit of his opponent's super art and then bust into his own combo to own the match. The crowd's response tells you all you need to know about how impressive that feat was.

  


I'd pay to watch stuff like this.
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Posted by Brad
The Escapist's Jared Rea (MrJared to you and me) tipped me off to a post over on the NeoGAF forums collecting a series of recorded Street Fighter IV matches between Daigo Umehara, the number one SFIV player in Japan based on in-game ranking, and a list of other top Japanese players. I have fun playing Street Fighter games because I know how to do most of the moves and have a vague sense of which jump kicks have higher priorities on which characters. But these dudes are just on a whole different plane of skill.

  


The NeoGAF post has more match-ups against Crimson Viper, Bison, Sagat, Chun-Li, and others.

It seems first-person shooters have gotten the most attention in the competitive gaming world, but for my money I find fighting game matches between skilled players the most exciting and technically interesting to watch. Certainly they're closer to an actual spectator sport, in my mind. There's much more depth there than you might realize from watching a single match. Here's an excerpt from an eye-opening IM conversation Jared and I had (edited into paragraph form) that reveals a little of that depth.

Me: Did they really differentiate Ryu and Ken that much in Street Fighter 3?

Him:
Yeah, Third Strike is probably where they have the biggest differences. Major differences in their normals, all their specials act differently and have different properties, totally different super arts. But the biggest difference is that Ken has great chains and Ryu really doesn't. So up close, Ken can always go medium punch to fierce to hadouken and it's typically safe to push someone back. Ryu doesn't have anything of that magnitude up close. Really, Ken just has dozens of weapons over Ryu. Stuff like EX hurricane kick in mid-air that can cross people up that Ryu can't do. Ryu's only advantage is that he can apply solid pressure with EX hadoukens to control the ground, where Ken typically has to either combo his way in to lead to a knockdown, or he just doesn't do it at all and pokes them into making a mistake for an easy SA3.

Me:
That's an interesting contrast. But it's gone in IV?

Him: Actually, I think they retain most of those differences in IV, only with different properties. But without parries, Ryu winds up being the better choice. Because now, unlike Third Strike, knocking down is a huge deal. Now Ryu has better options after the EX hadouken for easy damage and knockdown, more consistent shoryuken (thanks to jumping being risky again) and of course, the ease of comboing his ultra. His ultra is also extremely safe, so that helps. The way it's shaping up though, US plays Ken, Japan plays Ryu. But everyone plays Sagat. How appropriate.

I can totally respect that kind of hardcore devotion to the minutiae of one single fighting series, even if I can never fully grasp it. But it does make me really want to put some serious time into learning Street Fighter IV a little better.

And no post about Daigo Umehara is complete without this gem of a video, which is second for second the most exciting competitive gaming video I've ever seen. Dude comes back from basically zero health to perfectly parry every single hit of his opponent's super art and then bust into his own combo to own the match. The crowd's response tells you all you need to know about how impressive that feat was.

  


I'd pay to watch stuff like this.
Staff
Posted by Gunner612

Insane

Posted by ZombieHunterOG

thats me playing :P

I wish ....
Posted by Bulby33

Wow, that second video is unbelievable!

Posted by Meltbrain

Holy crap. That dude is good. I've been getting some of my skills back playing SSF2THDR the last week or so, managing to rack up all the achievements, but I'm no pro for sure.

Posted by GUnitVer1

The competitive/tournament level fighting game scene is indeed a different beast, which is why fighting games are still alive and well (Street Fighter IV will indeed be the second coming). Watch match videos like these makes you want to step up your game a notch, but it is the amount of dedication that matters in which divides the tournament level players from the rest of the field.

Posted by dtran1212

these guys showed some total domination

Edited by jakob187

I used to be like that with SFII Champion Edition.  Looks like I'll have a new game to be like that with.  = D

Posted by HallwayGiant

Always worth posting EVO 2k4 video, what a amazing comeback.

Posted by RHCPfan24

OMG. Those people are amazing. Too good...perhaps.

Posted by Artie

Anyone who hasn't seen the Justin vs. Daigo video, they're lucky.

The first time you see it, you just lose your mind at how amazing it is. And to think he did it under pressure at a tournament, man that's amazing.

Posted by bobpie24

Dude! that's amazing.

Posted by ManMadeGod

That second video was crazy. Great fight

Posted by Death_Burnout

I certainly agree with you that fighting games are more close to an actual spectator sport, when brought to a high-competitive level. More so than First-Person Shooters that's for sure.

Posted by Seraphim

Now I gotta go pick a fight with someone to see if I can parry like that.

Posted by Ututu222

I don't even play that many Fighting games but... damn, that guy's good!

Posted by TripMasterMunky

I agree fighting games are also my favorite competitive game to play. I don't go that hardcore though to learn frame data and all that. I mainly just play with friends who are also into the game for fun.  I may research a few things here and there, but I usually stop at frame data lol.

Posted by MasturbatingBear

LOL Showing the Daigo Video. Daigo is the best Street Fighter II player in the world (he literally travels and beats people in their homes, same with street fighter 3 and now sf4? dudes amazing. And definitely agree with the watching fighting game matches thing.

Posted by MrRedwine

So, does SFIV have any kind of recording features?  Will we be able to watch the most amazing matches of the day?  That would be awesome.  Especially if it include camera support so we could see the player's faces as they played.

Posted by GUnitVer1

I don't think console SF IV has replay support of any kind.

Posted by lordofultima

Man, that full parry never gets old. I watch it all the time.

Edited by zhinse

Man i love that Justin vs. Daigo video. That was just genious, and one of the best moments you'll ever have. The boy must've felt like a god after winning. i still smile and cheer everytime i watch that video. i'm with jeff on that i want to see fighting games in major league gaming.

Posted by TheFreeMan

Man, the first time I watched that parry vid, I was speechless for something like five minutes. That's unbelievably amazing. Like mentioned before, it never gets old. It's even better if you see the whole fight before it. It comes out of nowhere.

Honestly, that showing makes it seem like the man could beat Satan in SF.

Posted by McQuinn

holly shit what a block

Posted by Rapture

Daigo is crazy

Posted by Duke_Lion

That EVO video is the most amazing video ever made.  It will never get old.

Posted by Bucketdeth

I've always liked fighting games, even though I was never great at them, but yeah I love the second video I have seen it a few times now.

Edited by CallMeRotten

Daigo strikes again. I don't know how these guys do it but it's pure madness indeed.

Posted by newmarcom
Posted by CleverLoginName

I don't really play fighting games but I can appreciate the skill these guys have, and Street Fighter 4 looks awesome, It looks beautiful and I love watching the rhythm those guys get into.

Posted by MordeaniisChaos

Fighting games. They are amazing when played by hardcore people, but they suck for newbies. Jesus I wish I had those skillz.. Which is why I don't play fighting games, their no fun unless your quite good at them. TOo bad other games can't be as smooth and cinematic v.v

Posted by numberThirtyOne
It seems first-person shooters have gotten the most attention in the competitive gaming world

Really? More than RTS?
Posted by John1912

Whats even more mind blowing is at the end of the parry streak he jumps up in the air to set up his combo, parrys the last hit for a full chained super.  I was ok at SF3, but I couldnt parry worth shit.  Seen a few others parry chun lis full super.  One was a Hugo, just didnt seem as impressive thou.

Posted by John

Poor Chun-Li, she never saw that coming.

Posted by Sparky_Buzzsaw

That second video is the shit.  I can't even imagine being that good at a fighting game!

Moderator
Posted by Meltbrain

What did he actually have to do to execute the parries of her super?

Posted by Rayfield

Did he have to actually parry each individual kick from Chun-Li? If so, wow.

Posted by TheFreeMan
Meltbrain said:
"What did he actually have to do to execute the parries of her super?"
He had to press forward at the exact moment that each individual attack connected with him, if I'm not mistaken.

Damn impressive.
Edited by Meltbrain
TheFreeMan said:
He had to press forward at the exact moment that each individual attack connected with him, if I'm not mistaken.

Damn impressive.

Jesus. That is super impressive, he must have memorised most, if not every character's super to pull that off, and under that pressure... mindblowing.


Posted by Det1

I find it nice to see blocking along with parrying instead of just parrying everywhere.

Posted by ArbitraryWater

Man, all this does is make me realize how bad I am at fighting games. Of course it may just be that everyone else who plays Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo HD Remix is just really good. My 5 or so wins out of 50ish matches proves one or the other.

Posted by HiroSeven

Amazing

I would like a chance to have match with him. I'd loose horribly, but it would be a grand experience.

Agreed that it makes me want to look at SF IV on a whole newer level than I looked at SFIII : Third Strike at, cant wait for the release!

Posted by jakob187

BRAD SHOEMAKER!!!  How do YOU know how good we are at Street Fighter?!  HRRMMM??!?!??  You been spying in our windows at night?

I challenge you and everyone at Giant Bomb.  When Street Fighter IV releases, one week afterwards, we will duel...and we will see.

PM me if you or anyone else accepts this challenge.
Posted by MagusMaleficus

Meh. You know those poor fuckers never get any.

Posted by snake911

Agreed. I too would pay to see a matches like those.

Posted by LiquidPrince

Daigo is just too damn good. That guy breathes Street Fighter!

Posted by BoG

Man, I just reserved the game today, and I'm even more psyched now. I can't wait to start playing as much as possible. Maybe I'll downgrade, and get an arcade stick over the CE... Oh man, I hope this game is awesome.

Posted by TheJadeAngel

These kids live for Street Fighter .  Bet there Parents are proud lol ,  Love the franchise but i was never that freakish at it .   Would be a lot of fun to watch a tourny live i have to admit ;)

Posted by cspiffo

holy shit! that last vid was epic!

Posted by high_seraph

wow i have never played a game of street fighter before... but i am inspired to open my obviously closed mind and give it a try. anything that inspires that much excitement cannot anything less than amazing.

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