Universal Fighting Game Guide: Understanding Combo Systems Part 1 – The Elements

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If you’ve ever had any sort of interest in fighting games, you’ve probably stumbled across a combo video or two. They’re very cool to watch, and you may have even taken it upon yourself to be as good as the person in the video by going to a guide and learning how to read an execute something like this from BlazBlue:

214D -> B (FC), 623D, dash, 3C xx 236236B, 214D -> C, 5C 2C 4D -> D, [j.C x n] [dj.C x n] xx j.214B – 50% Heat

While you may be tempted to learn the big fancy combos the moment you start playing a new fighting game, it’s not the best way to level yourself up. Mastering the physical execution of big combos is nice, but learning the big combos without knowing the context behind them first is like trying to run without learning how to walk. This is post 1 in a two-part mini-series about understanding combo systems. Part 1 will deal with the elements that make up most combo systems, while part 2 will discuss how to put context to those elements to shape your offensive capabilities. Let’s get moving with part 1!

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Top 3 iPhone Games On Sale This Valentine’s Day

With a major holiday coming up, many iPhone game publishers are once again slashing the prices on a number of their games. Before writing this feature, I went nuts and bought a ton of games myself, many of which I will write about in the near future. If you’re looking to load up on iPhone games for yourself (or gift to a loved one) and don’t know where to start, I’d say start with my recommendations in this post.

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2010 Year in Review: My Favourite iOS Games

Whether you were playing games on an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch, iOS gaming was really strong this year. There were a ton of great titles that hit the iTunes store, many of which went on sale at crazy prices. I have bought dozens of iOS games, though I’m embarrassed to admit that I did not put much time into most of them.

If you’re looking for a definitive list of the best iOS games of 2010, I’m sure that sites like Slide to Play and Touch Arcade will do a much better job of that than I ever could. At the very least, I can share with you my list of favourite iOS games of 2010.

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Sagat Confirmed (and Dee Jay Leaked) for iPhone Street Fighter IV

 

Capcom keeps on making one of the best iPhone games even better. Recently, they formally announced that Sagat would be making his way to the iPhone version of Street Fighter IV, along with a few system updates. As with the other major updates to this game, Sagat and the other updates will be free of charge.

In the process, they accidently released a picture of an unannounced character. That, or this is a really awesome Photoshop job for a game that people aren’t following that seriously.

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Using ‘Cost Per Hour’ to Determine the Value of a Game

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Over the past few years of following podcasts, message boards and reviews, there seems to be this weird metric that creeps into discussions in one way or another. For the purposes of this post, I will refer to it as ‘cost per hour’. It’s a metric that people directly or indirectly use to judge a game’s value based on how much it costs and how long the experience is. I will express it with the following formula:

Value = Cost of Game/Number of Hours Played

In a perfect world, where money directly translates into valuable experiences, these types of metrics could work as a means of judging a game’s value. However, this logic is flawed, because neither cost or value variables are consistent. You can’t make a blanket statement saying that Limbo is too expensive at $15 dollars because it’s only a 3-hour experience, because it might go on sale, someone may take longer/shorter to beat it, and subjective opinion may say that their time with it was totally worth that price.

The price you pay for that experience and the length of that experience are viable factors in determining a game’s value, but not the whole picture. However, what if we did take away all of the other factors? Is it possible to come up with a consensus cost per hour rate to determine whether or not a game is worth it? I take a few examples from my collection and crunch the numbers to find out.

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Jett Vs. – Episode 1: Stay Classy, Ken Masters

Welcome to a feature I’m testing out on In Third Person that I like to call “Jett Vs.” (no relation to that Shaq show). For now, I’ll probably use this as a place to post some of my Street Fighter match videos, talk about Street Fighter knowledge and what happened in a particular match. I guess with a name like “Jett Vs.”, I can use it for basically anything related to competitive gaming. Apologies in advance the poor video and audio quality; it’s the best I can do with the on-board camera on my laptop.

For episode 1, I chose a battle I recently had with a Ken player whose cocky play cost him the match. Click through to the rest of the post to see the video and read my match commentary.

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4 Reasons Why Daigo Umehara is the Street Fighter Champion and I’m Not

Daigo Umehara is one of the most popular and successful competitive video game players on the planet. For well over a decade, he’s been the Michael Jordan of Street Fighter. Long before I ever took fighting games seriously, I still knew him by name.

As I continue training for my first-ever fighting game tournament at FanExpo, I realize that I am nowhere near Daigo good and probably never will be. Forget about being the best in the world right now; I may not be the best player on my block. Instead of being positive and spending the time to get better, I spent my time writing this post that highlights 4 reasons Daigo is better than me at Street Fighter.

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Street Fighter Concepts That Made Me a Better Basketball Player – Part 4: Exploiting Weaknesses

This is an on-going series where I discuss the thinking involved in Street Fighter that I’ve applied to basketball. If you want to see earlier entries in the series, hit the link: Part 1: Spacing, Part 2: Punishing Mistakes, Part 3: Resource Management

Exploitation of Weaknesses

When I play the computer in Street Fighter IV as Akuma, regardless of difficulty, I can almost always land a Raging Demon. I don’t know what the guys at Capcom did about the AI, but 99% of the time when I input that command, the computer just stands there and eats it. Human opponents in general are tougher to fool, but virtually everyone has weaknesses of some sort. When I play an opponent, one of the very first things I check is my opponent’s ability to block a cross-up. It’s a tactic that most casual players don’t understand and won’t figure out how to counteract it within the span of one match. When I notice that my opponent doesn’t have an answer for that, or any other tactic that I throw at them, I will repeatedly use that tactic until I win or until my opponent finds an answer.

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Street Fighter Concepts That Made Me a Better Basketball Player – Part 3: Resource Management

This is an on-going series where I discuss the thinking involved in Street Fighter that I’ve applied to basketball. If you want to see earlier entries in the series, hit the link: Part 1: Spacing, Part 2: Punishing Mistakes

Resource Management

The goal of Street Fighter is to completely drain your opponent’s health meter before they can do the same to you. You achieve this by attacking your opponent. How you attack your opponent or defend yourself can vary wildly depending on what the health situation is. The easiest health situation to discuss resource management I can think of is when your opponent has a major life lead over you. When your opponent can finish you with one or two hits, you need to play much more conservatively in order to stand a chance of winning. Conversely, if you have a major life lead on your opponent, you may be able to win by “chipping them out” on wake-up with a projectile attack to avoid the risk of eating a last-ditch super move that could turn the tide.

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Street Fight Concepts That Made Me a Better Basketball Player – Part 2: Punishing Mistakes

This is an on-going series where I discuss the thinking involved in Street Fighter that I’ve applied to basketball. If you want to see earlier entries in the series, hit the link: Part 1: Spacing

PUNISHING MISTAKES

One of the most common mistakes in Street Fighter is a poorly-timed projectile attack. For instance, if I’m Ryu, and you properly react to my fireball, you can jump over the fireball and kick me in the face before I can do anything to defend myself. In Street Fighter, when your opponent makes a mistake, you want to punish them for their mistakes by hitting them with the most powerful attacks as possible.

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