I haven’t been posting my usual strategy talk, event recaps, and training progress stuff recently because I have been so busy with the Don’t be a Scrub Podcasts. For that I apologise. (Well, if there’s anyone out there who actually reads my normal stuff.)
I have just finished up the Heavy Weapons transcript; just have to wait for Igor to put the finishing touches on the audio files and it should be good to go.
Transcribing interviews actually takes a surprisingly long period of time. Being a former Arts student, I would’ve thought any kind of word processing would be reasonably easy. But transcribing actually turns out to be a little tedious.
When I’m just writing, normally I have the TV on or some music on to keep the juices flowing and to alleviate boredom. But when you’re transcribing, you need to be constantly listening to the interview and nothing else. I’d type half a sentence, then click on the time bar of my VLC player, and try to rewind it by 5 seconds or so. I’d miss the mark by 30 seconds and be too lazy to click again, and have to listen to the previous sentence before I’d finish up the current one.
I need one of these.
But I shouldn’t be complaining, after all, it is my own lack of an attention span that drags out the process. I actually went around asking people for feedback on the interviews, whether anyone read the transcript or just listened to the audio (Looking for an excuse). A ton of people told me they read the transcript when they’re bored at work, so I guess I have no choice 😛
But in the meantime, I haven’t played any Street Fighter at all in the last week. Which worries me.
I had some personal stuff as well that prevented me from playing, but I really don’t want to go without playing for too long. After all, this blog is called Being a Scrub, and how can I be a scrub if I’m not actually playing? Not to mention I don’t want to go into the last Couch Warriors Ranbat without practicing up first.
The last time I played was at Spoony’s house on a Monday. Disregarding the rest of my game, I was feeling reasonably satisfied with my execution on that day, and my general sharpness. I almost am never satisfied with my execution because I put a lot of time into it, and it is never as consistent as I really want it to be. So feeling confident about it for once was a little bit of a rare occasion.
Fast forward to this week, and I only just picked up the stick two or three days ago. Now, I’m the sort of player who has to work hard for every ounce of my execution; once I stop practicing for a few days I lose almost everything.
So I picked up my stick and did cmp cmp chk. And hit it first time. I smiled a little and did it again. And I hit it next couple of times. Which was a pleasant surprise. After practicing a bit and getting a couple online games in, I felt that my execution was still roughly there. I believe this is the first time I’ve been able to retain my execution after a long lay-off. Hopefully it’s a sign of a more embedded muscle memory or perhaps a greater inner confidence in my execution.
Of course I got bodied by the usual suspects. Somniac. A new Abel player I’ve never played before called Ka-took. I played Crazyandy. Everyone with above 15000 BP and with my scrubby Ryu still only having 200 or so BP.
I actually was kind of frustrated when playing Ka-took. Mainly because I kept stuffing up my safe jump option select throw. When I last played Sol’s Abel, he rarely did EX rolls to get out of jump ins on wakeup, because he knew that I knew that I could option select throw him every time. And at that time I figured, hey just doing an option select throw shouldn’t be that difficult. Just hit throw in the air. And I never really practiced it that much. Instead, I practiced the more difficult ones like option select DP or Tatsu.
Well, I ended up playing Ka-took, and he was EX rolling left and right. And I kept screwing up my throw in the air with my habit of holding down-back in the air, which meant I instead got low short option select when I landed. This really frustrated me to no end.
Not to mention in our last game, he went Cammy on me. In Round 1, I got a huge life lead, but he mounted a massive comeback and dizzied me. As the last hit of his combo KOed me, the connection broke and he went offline.
Now if that was an intentional troll, I have to admit it was a rather excellent one. But he seemed friendly in our pre-last game GGs, so I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt.
So I later went to practice my option select throws in training room. I had figured it was just a small thing, but I guess you still gotta practice the small things.
Did I get anything out of my lay-off? Did I get remotivated, or obtain a clearer sense of what to improve in my game? Well, not really.
But what the lay-off did give me was time to think of a whole lot of specific “small things” to practice in training mode.
One of them was buffering Super off a cmk. Now, most people who’ve played my Ryu know that I am a meter whore. I love to conserve meter for that Super. And I normally connect it from a LP DP, or a crossup tatsu.
I’ve known this for a while, but I need to make the “do cmk just outside the range of cmk and buffer Super” a bigger part of my game. I never land this. And I am missing out on potential huge damage during footsies.
So I went into training mode. Did cmk, QCF x 2 HP. I immediately discovered that it wasn’t that easy. You have to do the motion very fast or if you’re still inputting a motion when the cmk animation ends the Super will come out even when your cmk didn’t connect. And you don’t want that.
So I tried that for a while with limited consistency, until I remembered an old trick from Super Turbo. The way I do cmk Super in that game with Ryu is I do down, down-forward, forward, down + MK, down-forward, forward +HP. And the cmk will combo into Super.
I tried it in SSF4, and it works really well. Doing it that way pretty much eliminates any unwanted Supers. The only catch is that I end up doing the cmk a little slower because I do the extra QCF before I hit the button.
So I’m still deciding between the two methods. I guess the former would be the fastest, but is so far a little inconsistent for me. The latter is a little slower, but I never get accidental Supers or muck up the motion. I guess I’ll toy around and see.
So I ended up practicing a few specific things like that. Like making the training dummy walk back and forth and randomly doing Hazanshus with Chun. And I would practice using Focus Attack to absorb the hit on reaction, and dash forward to hit the recovery with cmp cmp cmk tatsu.
I practiced focusing through Guile’s sweep and whiff punishing his forward fierce godfist. I practiced specific things like that.
And the other thing I did was to go through my seemingly never-ending list of new Hakan tricks which I’ve gleamed from SRK to add to my game. I really don’t want to neglect my oily man. So I made an concerted effort to play some Hakan online.
Here’s the list:
New Hakan Stuff To Try Out
(Mostly stolen from SRK Hakan threads. Credit to UltraDavid, LiquidGen, Nos99, Mordie-Kai and a whole bunch of other people.)
1. Another quasi-unblockable setup, but it’s off a different get up…
Air throw > whiff s.MK > whiff s.MP > Jump toward RH
Against bigger guys it hits on the front, and vs Ryu height and shorter it will crossup. However, vs Fuerte and Cammy (?) they can’t hold block, as it will hit on the front or crossup accordingly.
2. Continue to practice crossups. Slide+ followup,whiff smp, crossup with rh. Or whiff smk , and crossup with mk.
3. Safe slide setups: slide+followup, dash forward, lp slide. Forward throw, whiff tmp, hard slide. Oil Rocket, lp slide.
4. Have to remember I can combo off level 1 Focus Attack using oil FADNC. Cmk Tmp all works. Can use FADNC to punish Boxer low jab!
5. I keep forgetting that DDT setups does not work on Cammy Blanka, Sim and Honda
6. Another meaty DDT setup I want to work into my game; air throw, lk oil up, lk DDT.
7. Use oiled toward+rk to punish all regular honda headbutts.
8. Useful off the slide trap, e.g. you do your typical j.hk, land and do s.mk, dry oil rocket. Of course, this move sounds like c.mk (some people use audio clues to help them respond) and even looks a bit like it, as it hits low. But, in reality, it’s quicker and causes you to take a step forward, allowing for a dry oil rocket. It also does more damage than a single LP.
9. Instant overhead setup:
Fthrow > hp slide > j.mk
Mixup with blocking and another fthrow.
10. C.hk, s.mk (which moves you forward a bit, which is good!), mk ddt. This is faster, doesn’t look stupid, moves you closer so you’re not out of range and moves you closer to take a step forward and do another c.hk as a mix up. Also, if you do it with lk ddt, it works against Adon, too (although I suspect you will be out of range if you do the c.hk from max distance).
11. Well, when you do ex-slide, inputting the followup right away really increases how far and fast it goes, right? If you leave the stick at neutral after this slide (and keep facing that direction), this splippery speed stays with you and you have this sorta auto-glide momentum thing going on where you keep pushing into the opponent. It think it lasts a littler longer than a dash (and goes farther too)?
You can hit a normal during it and keep the momentum going. These actually seem to be better than regular dashing neutral normals as well, as they go farther and leave you closer after they hit.
Try this in training.. Set Rose to repeatedly backdash, and do full-screen oiled ex-slide(with followup) and just leave the stick at neutral afterward. Hakan should push Rose completely off the screen. If you try it against Vega you can sometimes just go right through him. It’s a quirky little quality of the oiled ex-slide.. maybe we can find some uses for it?
One place I might try to use it in real-play, is vs Blanka, by doing oiled LP-rocket, ex-slide, slide-glide a bit to push him, then keep going with a meaty neutral HP. This will corner him instantly from more than half-stage! Cornering Blanka is worth the meter IMO.
I’ve said this before, but part of the difficulty in playing Hakan is all the memorisation involved! But slowly and slowly as I develop more confidence to whip him out in casuals, my Hakan game becomes a lot more smooth. I find that I can memorise all I want, but landing an obscure setup a couple times against a real person does wonders for my memory.
Another interesting thing I’ve noticed and discussed with Spoony and Zan is how funnily enough, after getting better at this game when I play a character I don’t have extensive matchup knowledge for, let’s say Cammy for instance, I feel a bit helpless and a bit scared. Whereas if I had played the same average Cammy at the start of my SF career, I wouldn’t have this fear and would probably go, oh it’s just Cammy. In a rather fearless, uneducated kind of way.
Whereas now, upon seeing Cammy on the character select screen, I would be like, crap I don’t know this matchup. What are the option selects to use? I don’t know if I can punish her far pokes…Oh no! I need a frame data guide now!
And I might do worse against an average Cammy than my previous “ignorance is bliss” incarnation would. Funny how things work. You think you’re getting smart at some things, but maybe you’re crippling yourself in some aspects.
Maybe I should make an obtuse reference to Western civilisation. Nah.
There’s been a burst of activity in the community lately. People having been making more strategy threads on Ozhadou, and from what Igor tells me, there was a lot of information sharing and teaching at the last meet up at Chris’ House.
That makes me pretty happy. Another thing I’m excited about is the TEC guys creating a live endless lobby stream for Australian top players to hang out in and for the world to see. Pretty much in the vein of a Peaceful Jay stream or something, but I think it’s a great idea nonetheless.
I’ll put the link here, but I’ll wait until the stream is fully up and running before I make a post entirely devoted to it. I believe it warrants a post. The Shadowloo/TEC guys are doing great things for the community.
And the other thing I got excited about was…