Universal Fighting Game Guide: Tips to Overcome Bad Character Match-Ups

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.

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


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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Get Hype! EVO 2010 Starts Today!

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.
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Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: I Take It For A Ride

A few weeks ago, I vented my thoughts on the possibility of me purchasing Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars. I was interested in the game, but maybe not enough for me to buy it. However, it was also an opportunity as a core Wii owner to show the world that I will buy hardcore games if companies put them out on the platform. This moral dilemma also hit me shortly before I lost my job. With all of the things stacked against it, Tatsunoko vs. Capcom seemed out of my grasp for the time being.

Tatsunoko vs. Capcom – Time to Get Pringles?

I don’t think I’ve ever been torn about a game like I have been for Tatsunoko vs. Capcom. With this game, I can put together a fairly solid case for why I don’t want it. I’m not a “Versus” series style of fighting game player. My only experience with this style of fighting game was with the XBOX Live release of Marvel vs. Capcom 2. After years of wanting to test my chops in one of the most popular fighting games of all-time, I finally came to the conclusion that I’m awful at that style of game. I end up mindlessly mashing buttons and randomly doing traditional Street Fighter special move command inputs and hoping for the best. It’s cool to see all the flashy action on screen, but I didn’t find the fighting satisfying enough for me to commit to getting better. My only experience online with Marvel vs. Capcom 2 was an absolute disaster, where I didn’t win a match and at times, didn’t connect a single hit on my opponent.