I'm basically new to fighting games. I picked up P4A when it was released and played through the story, then never really played it again. I watched a bunch of EVO this year... mainly for Melee, but I dunno why, but I watched pretty much everything. I don't even like Street Fighter or MvC or any of that, don't find them fun, but I digress.
I watched the finals for P4A, and loved every minute of it. It was so fun to watch, and it reminded me that the little I played was pretty fun, as opposed to when I played Street Fighter. So, I decided I'm going to play Chie because... well, Chie, and I decided the first thing I'd do is play through her challenges. So far, I've gotten through 24 of them I believe. I beat Arcade mode on Normal with ease, don't think I lost a round. Went online... and got my ass handed to me on a shiny silver platter, even by people who I could recognize as really bad. I've been playing a lot, but I don't feel like I'm getting any better. I read somewhere that Chie has a strong mix-up game, which I know means she has a strong variety in her attacks, which keep the opponent on their toes. I just feel there are some basic fighting game... things that I'm not grasping. I think my two main problems is that I don't know when to attack and when not to, which on someone like Chie seems very important, and I feel like when I'm playing against AI (who I bumped up to the max difficulty, I generally win, but it's AI so...) I'm far more calm and collected. I feel like I know what I'm doing and can execute that, but in an online match I'm more nervous because I have some deluded notion that I need to win to prove... something to... someone. Things go really fast, and I find that I botch a lot of button executions, and it eventually devolves into something only a little more calculated than button mashing.
Wow, I went off there... what I'm basically asking is, how can I route around these problems I'm having? I feel like the first one is just a matter of experience and playing a lot, I also don't really know any of the characters except Chie, so I guess when I come to know their movesets and style of play I'll be able to adapt my style, and I'll know those things like when to attack and when to stay back. As for the second one, it's always been a problem with me, just nerves. I get really jittery when playing against actual people, and just fuck up everything I try to do. So... yeah, any answers to these questions, along with anything about P4A or fighting games in general that you feel I should know going in would be very much appreciated. Thanks a lot!