"With the impending release of SSFIV, I've decided to jump headlong back into good old vanilla SFIV. The results have been mixed.
A few intensely frustrating nights have passed and i think that I'm starting to return to my previous skill level, mediocre. I've been playing a good bit with my usual main, Abel, and also trying to learn a few new characters, primarily Balrog. This has been particularly interesting because the move to a charge character is a more significant one than to another quarter-circle type character. It's sort of a revelation when you realize that you are basically supposed to ALWAYS be holding down-back.
As as aside, i've noticed something interesting about the game's online user base. If you use matchmaking to find a ranked match, many of the players are mediocre at best. This is where you see the most Kens, Akumas, and Ryus. I'm not trying to say that these are crappy characters or anything like that, I just feel like a certain type of player gravitates to those characters in addition to the players who actually know these characters well, if that makes sense. Also, i'm not trying to insinuate that I always win against these guys, because I certainly don't. Alot of times, these players will use tactics that I intellectually know how to deal with, but in the heat of the match my frustration and tension works against me
On the other hand, you have player matches. This is by far where the majority of the highly skilled SF players reside, in my experience. Almost every loss against one of these players is a learning experience for me. They beat me soundly, often with characters that I rarely go up against and with tactics that I am unfamiliar with. As a result, these player matches are where I am spending most of my time in the game. I'm curious to hear if you guys feel the same way. Will "
I'm basically the same as you, except I play Akuma, so I must suck. Kidding.
I usually go with Championship, where usually the first battle will be against some sucker, and i may lose. But the next to battles are always highly entertaining and instructive to me.
I'll give Player matches a go though if thats what works for you.