How-to Learn Frame Traps in Street Fighter V

Understanding the concept of frame traps is key to the high-level Street Fighter V experience. Thanks to new tools in training mode, it’s easier to learn than ever. I show you in this quick video how you can use the new guard recover action functionality to learn about frame traps and how you can make frame traps of your own!

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Building a Better Fighting Game Tutorial

Fighting games are some of the most difficult and intimidating to learn. It’s very easy to get overwhelmed by all of the variables at play, from complex button inputs, to a seemingly endless stream of online competition ready to beat you to a pulp and brag about it. Even fights against the computer can prove difficult when it appears to have a counter to all of your tactics. How does one get better at fighting games?

Before the advent of training mode, all you could do was suck until you eventually didn’t suck. Then training modes became standard on console fighters, though it was mostly used as a place to practice combos rather than actually learning the nuances of combat. As a means of addressing this shortcoming, fighting game developers have implemented tutorial-like modes into their games. However, I still feel like they’ve all fallen short in some way or another. The end result is the fact that most games in the genre do an inadequate job of teaching players how to actually play, which will drive those dedicated enough to seek information elsewhere, or drive others (maybe most) away.

What can fighting game creators do to help players become better grasp their games? I think they’re almost there, but not quite. Why?

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Street Fighter and the Execution Barrier

One of the players I admire most in the Street Fighter IV scene is Sako. He’s notorious for rarely ever leaving his house to play in tournaments, but he’s built quite a buzz for himself through God’s Garden online tournaments, his appearance at SoCal Regionals and from all of the YouTube exposure he gets from fans who upload all of his public matches. Why the buzz? Because he has the most amazing execution the world has ever seen in the Street Fighter IV series. He’s able to do combos that no one else in the world can do, and he can pull them off every time, in live matches, without breaking a sweat. The above combo video is an example of some of the stuff that only he can do.

Watching Sako play as Cammy inspired me to hop into training mode and give her a shot. I was hoping to at least master one Sako-like combo before moving onto something else. I didn’t even come close.

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Game Design Talk – BlazBlue: Continuum Shift’s Tutorial Mode

Over the weekend, I thought a bit more about whether or not to buy BlazBlue: Continuum Shift. After more deliberation and talking about it with my brother, I totally caved and picked it up. I did get it at way less than retail price though. I gathered up a bunch of the free games I got during my Blockbuster raids that I had no intention of playing and traded those in. On top of that, my brother agreed to pay for half of the remaining cost. Sweet!

Unlike 99% of the games we’ve ever played, we started out our experience by jumping into tutorial mode. Knowing the difficulties we had with the first game and hearing that Continuum Shift supposedly has an awesome tutorial mode, it made sense to start at ground level rather than button mash and wonder why this game doesn’t play more like Street Fighter. If you’ve had any reservations about learning BlazBlue, then I have (mostly) good news for you.
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