The Art Of Fighting (...In The Street) I: 59 Hours

I don't know if you know this, but...

I have spent 59 hours with Street Fighter IV. Fifty Nine hours. Fucking count them! I'm still as shit as the day is long though. And I want to learn! I really do! But I'm not good enough. And I went on SRK once (Yes, I only put SRK cause I forgot how to spell Shroyouken. Also, the spell check when I click on that is "Shropshire") to see if I could get some help. I saw that I couldn't understand a word. And I was already 40 hours deep into Street Fighter IV, yet I'd barely scratched the surface. This stroke me as rather problematic, and still, 59 hours in, I am not getting past trial 4 in the easy tier for Gouken. And instead of telling myself I've wasted my time, I've just kept on going? It begs the question, why?!
 
So, I ordered Super Street Fighter IV. In my mind, I'm watching all these videos, I'm looking at all these clips and everything, and I'm just going "i can't wait to be able to do this! I'm gonna take on the world!" But then, I go to get some practise in with my Street Fighter IV, and I can't do combos in matches, I can't do anything situational. All I know is to do the upwards hurricane kick when they jump in, and that if Ken gets close, do the punch counter a lot. Surely, learning through doing would have taught me more than that.  

 
 You would be correct to assume that this is just a random image I chose upon the searching of "Super"
   
Jeff makes an excellent point on the bombcast. There is no proper tutorial. Oh, what I would give to have a 5 hour mode that takes you through a series of battles, challenges, win conditions, tutorials, conditional battles and everything. It is the *one* place where one of those sports style career modes would actually improve the game. I need to know these things! And trying to know them so far has been like, aptly, trying to beat up a car with your BARE HANDS.
 
I shall refrain from going on anymore about Street Fighter. The game arrives, hopefully, on Tuesday. And after it has arrived, I will play it, and post my impressions. But until then, if the helpful eye of a SF Veteran does fall onto this blog, do answer the question that plauges me and many others, and you have no doubt answered a thousand times, yet have no right to be forced to. Where do I start?  

In Other News...

  • How Is a duck pond a duck pond if there aren't any ducks?
  • Life is not currently fun for me. I won't go into it, we'll just say I've had my share of breakdowns this week. Fun times.
  • GCSEs are nearing their conclusion. It's a strange feeling, because I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, but before the light is a big fun hammer that i must hit myself with until I can be allowed through. The light only lasts a while? Does life ever actually become fun?
  • Oh yes, I'm also having an existential crisis. You see, I like existing. It's one of my favourite things. The thought of not existing is one I cannot comprehend. And I don't need to think about that, when I'm thinking about my skills at a fake fighting simulation.
  • Alright, I should go watch CSI:NY
26 Comments
27 Comments
Posted by Tylea002

I don't know if you know this, but...

I have spent 59 hours with Street Fighter IV. Fifty Nine hours. Fucking count them! I'm still as shit as the day is long though. And I want to learn! I really do! But I'm not good enough. And I went on SRK once (Yes, I only put SRK cause I forgot how to spell Shroyouken. Also, the spell check when I click on that is "Shropshire") to see if I could get some help. I saw that I couldn't understand a word. And I was already 40 hours deep into Street Fighter IV, yet I'd barely scratched the surface. This stroke me as rather problematic, and still, 59 hours in, I am not getting past trial 4 in the easy tier for Gouken. And instead of telling myself I've wasted my time, I've just kept on going? It begs the question, why?!
 
So, I ordered Super Street Fighter IV. In my mind, I'm watching all these videos, I'm looking at all these clips and everything, and I'm just going "i can't wait to be able to do this! I'm gonna take on the world!" But then, I go to get some practise in with my Street Fighter IV, and I can't do combos in matches, I can't do anything situational. All I know is to do the upwards hurricane kick when they jump in, and that if Ken gets close, do the punch counter a lot. Surely, learning through doing would have taught me more than that.  

 
 You would be correct to assume that this is just a random image I chose upon the searching of "Super"
   
Jeff makes an excellent point on the bombcast. There is no proper tutorial. Oh, what I would give to have a 5 hour mode that takes you through a series of battles, challenges, win conditions, tutorials, conditional battles and everything. It is the *one* place where one of those sports style career modes would actually improve the game. I need to know these things! And trying to know them so far has been like, aptly, trying to beat up a car with your BARE HANDS.
 
I shall refrain from going on anymore about Street Fighter. The game arrives, hopefully, on Tuesday. And after it has arrived, I will play it, and post my impressions. But until then, if the helpful eye of a SF Veteran does fall onto this blog, do answer the question that plauges me and many others, and you have no doubt answered a thousand times, yet have no right to be forced to. Where do I start?  

In Other News...

  • How Is a duck pond a duck pond if there aren't any ducks?
  • Life is not currently fun for me. I won't go into it, we'll just say I've had my share of breakdowns this week. Fun times.
  • GCSEs are nearing their conclusion. It's a strange feeling, because I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, but before the light is a big fun hammer that i must hit myself with until I can be allowed through. The light only lasts a while? Does life ever actually become fun?
  • Oh yes, I'm also having an existential crisis. You see, I like existing. It's one of my favourite things. The thought of not existing is one I cannot comprehend. And I don't need to think about that, when I'm thinking about my skills at a fake fighting simulation.
  • Alright, I should go watch CSI:NY
Posted by Ace829

It's going to be a pain in the ass to be an okay fighter in that game if you didn't play SFIV alot. Hell, I'm barely okay right now, and I've been playing every day since it came out. While there missing tutorial mode is a shame I think the Trials mode is decent enough in it's own right. Then of course you have the training mode which really helps you on perfecting combos, special moves, blocking techniques etc. 
BTW this is my first Street Fighter game since Street Fighter II: SCE for the Genesis. So if I can improve at this pace then you should have no problem. Just don't give up is all I have to say.

Posted by Meteora

Nice blog. I got the game on launch day and, sunk in several of hours into the game (with occasional breaks playing the Halo Reach beta) and I still suck. Da Stang tells me that I've come a long way since initially playing, and I agree, but its not enough to stop sucking and actually win a match. =/ 
 
It doesn't help that I can't find anyone else to play with that sucks just as much as I do. It gets a little tiring to play against CPUs.

Posted by mwng
@Tylea002 said:
  • How Is a duck pond a duck pond if there aren't any ducks?
 
I belive this is a warning rather than a noun. 
 
As for SSFIV I suck really badly too, but I'm still enjoying it for some reason, I also bought a copy of BlazBlue after SFIV got me kinda hooked on 2D fighters. I suck at that too but I've had loads more luck online, probably because of the total ass randomness of it all. Maybe it's worth a look if you can put up with the copious amounts of anime and melodrama.
Posted by luce

I just got perfected by a Gouken player with a "C" rank. Yeah...

Posted by Tylea002
@mwng said:
" @Tylea002 said:
  • How Is a duck pond a duck pond if there aren't any ducks?
 
I belive this is a warning rather than a noun. 
 
It's a doctor who quote! Theories are rampant! I do like me some doctor who.
 
Glad to see I'm not alone. I'll enjoy fighting some of you guys in Super!
Posted by lilbigsupermario

Yeah, it takes more than 59 hours of Street Fighter IV or Super Street Fighter IV.  I think I've already used up more than 150 hours for both SF4 and Super SF4, and I still suck.  I do get wins online, but I also get more losses in overall hehe!  But actually comparing myself from my past performances online, I have become better and I am now playing smart coz you'll get to learn how different people behave in matches.  You'll learn how to counter attacks and be defensive, and you'll also learn the different offense strategies from the people you fight online.  If it wasn't for the people who beat the crap out of me online, I won't get any better in the game coz I learn from them hehe!

Posted by Tylea002

59 hours *is* a long time, no matter which way you look at it, and most of us who haven't improved much compared to the time we've been playing is because of the lack of decent situational tutorials. In 59 hours of Halo you can become much better much quicker, and it should be seen as unacceptable, rather than par for the course. Someone needs to tell capcom this!

Posted by Plasma
@Tylea002 said:
" 59 hours *is* a long time, no matter which way you look at it, and most of us who haven't improved much compared to the time we've been playing is because of the lack of decent situational tutorials. In 59 hours of Halo you can become much better much quicker, and it should be seen as unacceptable, rather than par for the course. Someone needs to tell capcom this! "
Street fighter is for life, not for christmas.
Posted by Tylea002
@Plasma said:
" @Tylea002 said:
" 59 hours *is* a long time, no matter which way you look at it, and most of us who haven't improved much compared to the time we've been playing is because of the lack of decent situational tutorials. In 59 hours of Halo you can become much better much quicker, and it should be seen as unacceptable, rather than par for the course. Someone needs to tell capcom this! "
Street fighter is for life, not for christmas. "
True, but it shouldn't take a whole year of pretty much solid play to learn the basics, when a properly designed tutorial and campaign/career could get you up to an intermediate level in a much quicker time. If it took you a whole year to learn how to properly throw grenades in an FPS, people would be outraged and call it bad design. The time of quaters is over, you don't need to get me coming back to try to figure it out.
 
Don't get me wrong, I will do what I must to eventually reach an acceptable level of Street Fighter play, but in this age of game design, I shouldn't be forced to jump through hoops to learn the game.
Posted by yakov456

I think I played 10 matches today, and didn't win one. I wish I could get some points for winning a round, because I won a bunch but not the match, sigh. This game is a definite morale tester.

Posted by yakov456

I think I played 10 matches today, and didn't win one. I wish I could get some points for winning a round, because I won a bunch but not the match, sigh. This game is a definite morale tester.

Posted by lilbigsupermario
@yakov456 said:
" I think I played 10 matches today, and didn't win one. I wish I could get some points for winning a round, because I won a bunch but not the match, sigh. This game is a definite morale tester. "
So very true... the game will definitely test your patience. :)
Posted by Sweep

I sympathise. Stick with it Tylea :D
 
also
 

 trying to beat up a car with your BARE HANDS


Moderator
Edited by ScubaStoobie

I also suck. I didn't play much of SFIV but I did play a lot of 3rd strike and it didn't pay off at all. It's such a dramatically different experience. Everyone online in SSFIV kicks my ass bad.

Posted by lordofultima
@Tylea002 said:

" 59 hours *is* a long time, no matter which way you look at it, and most of us who haven't improved much compared to the time we've been playing is because of the lack of decent situational tutorials. In 59 hours of Halo you can become much better much quicker, and it should be seen as unacceptable, rather than par for the course. Someone needs to tell capcom this! "

59 hours of Street Fighter is pretty much nothing. I'd say 1000 hours or 10000 matches, whichever comes first - to feel like you've really stepped it up. Where do you start? It's difficult to say. Start by playing tons of matches, people who are marginally better than you. Make friends with people who are much better than you, talk to them about your game.
Posted by masterpaperlink

i played 200 - 300 hours, i feel.. OK at the game, i cant pull off any serious combos 

Posted by Stang

59 hours? I had about 800 hours of play time in SFIV and I am still free as hell. 59 hours is probably how long I spent in training mode!

Posted by Tylea002
@Stang said:
" 59 hours? I had about 800 hours of play time in SFIV and I am still free as hell. 59 hours is probably how long I spent in training mode! "
@lordofultima said:
" @Tylea002 said:

" 59 hours *is* a long time, no matter which way you look at it, and most of us who haven't improved much compared to the time we've been playing is because of the lack of decent situational tutorials. In 59 hours of Halo you can become much better much quicker, and it should be seen as unacceptable, rather than par for the course. Someone needs to tell capcom this! "

59 hours of Street Fighter is pretty much nothing. I'd say 1000 hours or 10000 matches, whichever comes first - to feel like you've really stepped it up. Where do you start? It's difficult to say. Start by playing tons of matches, people who are marginally better than you. Make friends with people who are much better than you, talk to them about your game. "
Cheers for the advice guys, I still think that there is fundamentally wrong with the game if there is no system in place to speed up with this process, but I'm glad to see that there are helpful "veterans" giving advice out that I can actually understand, to make what is there easier to grasp.
 
I'll be seeing everyone who posted here in Super Street Fighter IV, when it decides to fucking arrive in the post.
Posted by lordofultima
@Tylea002: Well, you can't really teach experience. If you learn how to do some combos and moves, it's not going to stop you from absolutely sucking. Knowledge is only gained through experience, which is tons of matches, and seeing as you're going against people who have played SF their whole lives, you have some catching up to do.
Posted by mwng

Not to get all philosophical here, but is there a "cap" on the amount of experience you can gain from getting it handed to you for countless hours? 
 
I mean sooner or later you're bound to get to a point where you cannot physically be any better than your practise has allowed you and at that point you still might suck. It's a shame this point isn't easier to identify so people who want to be good but likely can't be could give up without getting frustrated. Or if this isn't the case and you're able to consistantly get better the more you play, surely you'll be forever catching up to the people who have played longer.
 
Either way I'm playing with people locally who are equally as suck and not really improving but having hella fun!

Posted by Plasma

I don't think you understand, a FPS is easy, you learn the maps and point your gun at the person before he does. Its not that the game is wrong, its just complicated, and is why it has stood the test of time. I don't see you complaining that chess takes too long to learn, if you want to get good at street fighter the internet has LOADS of help just for beginners. 

Posted by Baillie
@Tylea002: To remember ow to spell shoryuken, it's easy. SHO-RYU-KEN. Shoto's Ryu & Ken. :)
Online
Posted by mubress

SURE YOU CAN!!!!!

Edited by JokerSmilez

Ya, honestly 59 hours is not really a lot of time, considering a lot of people out there have been playing Street Fighter games for 10+ years and put hundreds of hours into SFIV. A lot of the hardcore players you see in tournaments and stuff play 6+ hours a day. That's over 59 hours in a week and a half.
 
And it doesn't take anytime at all to learn the basics of Street Fighter, just like it doesn't take time to learn the basics of Halo. It doesn't take a year to learn how to throw a fireball. But it might take a year to learn exactly when and why you want to throw it, against who, and perhaps more important, when and why you DON'T want to throw it. With games like Halo, putting in lots of time builds your reflexes and knowledge of the maps, which is pretty much everything in a FPS. Reflexes and knowledge are barely the beginning in SF. Knowing the match ups in a fighting game vs. knowing some maps in a FPS is a BIG difference. You don't see hundreds of pages of forum posts breaking down online maps, do you? Also, reading your opponent, baiting, mind games, etc are all a part of higher levels of play. It takes a long time to learn to do that kind of stuff. 
 
Fighting games are like the poker of video games. Doesn't take much time to learn the basic rules, but can take years to learn to do it at a high level (but is still lots of fun with people at your level).
 
With that said, I think so far the matchmaking system in SSIV is better at matching you up with people of similar skill. It's also VERY much worth the time to learn the terminology so you can understand what is being said at the SRK forums (and others). They have a total newbie board for people who know nothing about fighting games and no question is too dumb. They're actually quite friendly and there's so much info that if you're patient enough to find it, you never even have to put yourself out there if you don't want and just lurk for hours.
 
The reason why it's worth the time is because just pumping hour after hour into getting your ass kicked is not going to get you anywhere. If you don't know what to do, you're just banging your head against the wall. By going somewhere like the SRK forums or reading character guides on Eventhubs and 1up, you learn what your characters strategies are, how to play against other characters, what you should and shouldn't do, etc. Then all those matches are actually practice, because you're trying to make all that stuff you've learned sink in and become second nature.
 
It's a little like wanting to find the cure for cancer without ever reading the research of someone who came before you. You have to start from nothing, and it will take more than a lifetime to learn everything yourself. By absorbing the information gleaning from years of experience, you have a chance of getting somewhere.
 
EDIT: Sorry for the long post. I'm the king of the TL/DR post!

Posted by lordofultima
@Plasma said:
" I don't think you understand, a FPS is easy, you learn the maps and point your gun at the person before he does. Its not that the game is wrong, its just complicated, and is why it has stood the test of time. I don't see you complaining that chess takes too long to learn, if you want to get good at street fighter the internet has LOADS of help just for beginners.  "
Exactly. In many First Person Shooters you can get by on superior reflex and twitch ability, and then once you learn how the maps and spawns work, you're good to go. This is not the case with fighting games and especially SFIV/SSFIV, it's a constantly evolving landscape, and every match has something different in it.
Posted by fri3drich

  I played over 350 hours so far and spent some more time reading threads on SRK. As of now my win% is like 29 and im slowly starting to feel better at the game. I played fighting games before, but only "casually". I got SF4 because my friends got it. I went online and got smashed. I went into training mode and then went online and I got smashed some more. Losing never bothered me, but playing against and losing to players who seemed to never try out anything besides the most-reward-with-fewest-effort-possible things did. I really liked the game and wanted to become better at it but fighting against button mashers made me loose my temper quite some times.  Fighting against the better players was what kept my interest in the game. For me it seemed clear, that figthing games are about mindgames, execution and knowing the matchup (=experience) and that this is where it gets really fun and truly rewarding to play. But what I did not know is, that these things get less important, the more the online lag gets. Especially at the beginner level, but to some extend this applies throughout all ranks. Online in SF4 pretty much sucks! You have to accept it and then you can still take your fun or exercise or whatever out of it. Start by figuring out how to punish certain characters moves with easy and reliable moves of yourself (and without the need of instant reactions or being "frametight", because if you dont play with a green conncetion you probably have at least 3-5 frames of lag, which is why online favors button mashing and certain other strategies). I dont want to give any further advice because I think some people here know far better and also already gave you the best advice you need. I'll only add that if you dont have friends who you can play offline, you can only hope that SSF4's online matchmaking works far better than the old one did (which looks like it) or else you are doomed. Or you are forced to make new friends:)