I fimble less and less on the arcade setups, and my pangs of nervousness every time “A New Challenger has entered the ring!” flashes across the screen have slowly diminished every passing day.
I play all kinds of people and characters, which is definitely good for my game as I believe I have not been exposed to a diverse array of playstyles and characters, like you would if you went to the arcade every day.
I think I get less mindfucked whenever I get hit by something random, and I’m also working hard on improving my fireball and anti-air game every day.
Slowly, I’m working towards actually having a good uppercut one day.
I’m grateful for having the chance to play at Bluehouse every day, because I don’t really have much time to play once I get home!
I’m sure everyone who works feels the same way. I can’t really spend the whole day in training room like I used to (when my missus is out), the most I can put in when I get home is a few hours every few days or so.
Not to mention I have to practice a new game; Marvel!
I’ll be honest and say when I’m practicing Marvel at home and see Heavy Weapons and Zerokill in an SSFIV endless battle, I’m sorely tempted to join in. I’m pretty sure it is because of the “I feel more comfortable with Super because I actually know how to play the game more” factor that makes me feel like putting down Marvel for Super a lot of the time.
But even though I still feel very much out of my element when I play Marvel, the fun of learning a new game gives me the motivation to keep at it. I still think playing two games should not be a problem for most people.
But back to Bluehouse.
Even though I have not been putting in any actual training room time the last few weeks, surprisingly I feel my execution is getting better. Things like the bnb hit confirms into sweep, and forward fierce paraphernalia feel increasingly natural and easy.
I’m pretty sure this is similar to the guitar practice rule of “ten minutes of practice every day is better than a single ten-hour session per week”.
Basically short sessions of daily, consistent practice will improve the dexterity and the muscle memory of your left hand much much faster than two crazy-long sessions of practice every weekend. And this same approach to dexterity and muscle memory is easily applied to Street Fighter execution as well. So I’m seeing the results of daily practice firsthand.
But one thing that irks me is I still take way too long to adjust to an opponent. Often when a random, new opponent sits down, I often take an entire game to adjust to them, and lose the first game quite a lot of the time. I get off the machine, come back and put in another two bucks, and often I do much better in my second game and most of the time I am able to beat the guy, sometimes convincingly.
However, that’s still much too long. Taking an entire game is not going to cut it in a tournament where top players adjust to your game in half a round.
Take this Blanka player I played just the other day for instance.
I sat down to play him, and he beat me 3-0 quite handily.
He wouldn’t ball much like a typical Blanka would, and he would hover around max footsie range.
Every single time I would fireball at this range, he would immediately slide me without fail.
And he was very careful too. He would seldom cross me up in fear of the autocorrect DP. About the only trick he would do occasionally would be to do the command hop forward into a surprise throw.
So by trying to play my normal Ryu walk forward pressure game, I was giving him a lot of opportunities to do damage to me during my offense.
After he beat me, I realised he was basically a reactive/defensive Blanka with really great reactions. He was getting the majority of his damage by taking advantage of me trying to attack him.
So in the second game, I turtled up, stopped throwing fireballs, and did nothing but walk forward block, walk forward block in small incremental steps. And then I would be really patient and only do very safe low forward fireballs once I got into range.
He seemed stygmied by this approach, and became increasingly frustrated at the lack of openings in my offense.
He started doing more aggressive things like hop forward throws which I would either tech or counter hit him out of it with low strong. He would then start to ball more, and I would hit him out of it with low strong or reversal super.
so I beat him the second game 3-0 quite comfortably.
If only I could adapt like this quicker! I wouldn’t have to keep putting in another two dollars all the time…
But it’s also fun going there and bumping into people like Ki-lok, T-Hawk the Guile player, and even Combomaniac one time. (Though I haven’t seen Jeff in ages, wonder when he plays… hm.) And of course, the mildly deranged THK makes appearances there from time to time.
I also see some regulars there that I don’t see at tournaments…
I managed to talk to one group today, and told them about Ozhadou and Mago, Tokido, Gamerbee, Momochi etc coming down for Shadowloo Showdown in June. I don’t know if they will ever enter tournaments in Melbourne, but new blood for our scene is always good.
Sometimes I wish that I had a sort of Street Fighter business card I could give out to people I meet in the arcades. It would have the website addresses for Ozhadou and Shadowloo on it, and information for Chris’s Club House, Deakin, Couchwarriors, Box Hill and Galactic circus ranbats on it…
It would say “fledging Street Fighter players go these sites and meetups for some competition and to improve your game!” or something like that. And I could just hand them out to people and not have to work up the courage to talk to them everytime.
Well, actually flyers or posters would work really well too…
Remember CCH is on this Friday guys!