In virtually every fighting game, certain characters will have inherent advantages against others. More often than not, this is just the end result of character design factors that end up dictating how easy or difficult it will be for character A to defeat character B. In some cases, you may have to put in some elbow grease as the weaker character in order to win. Other times, trying to overcome a bad match-up can feel almost impossible.
Is it ever really impossible though? Let’s talk about what bad match-ups are, why they happen and things you can do to beat the odds.
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!
Last year was a monumental one for everyone involved in the Evolution fighting game tournament. Besides it being the debut of the massively-popular Street Fighter IV, it broke records for participants, attendance and for the first time ever, it was all viewable live to anyone with an Internet connection. EVO was no longer just the one YouTube clip of Daigo parrying all of Justin Wong’s super combo hits. Hundreds of thousands of people tuned in throughout the weekend to watch Daigo and company play out the fighting game magic. I was glued to my computer that entire weekend; watching arguably the best fighting game action I’d ever seen in my life. That tournament even went as far as inspiring me to level up my own skills.