I’ve been pretty quiet the last couple of months here on Agoners, but with good reason – it’s mainly because I’ve been able to do a ton of lovely gaming! I entered my first ever Yomi tournament – the International Yomi League Season 4 – to be precise, and I’ve been having a lot of fun with that, playing “serious” matches every week or so, and I’ll do a report on my experiences from it when it’s over. I’ve also dabbled into StarCraft II Legacy of the Void, but mainly the campaign, as I didn’t get inspired by competitive SCII at all this time around. In it’s place, as a team game, I’ve been doing a fair bit of Heroes of the Storm along with Navan and Bleed theBones at times too – I’ve linked our HotSlogs stats pages over on the sidebar of recently played non-Steam games. However the main event for me has definitely been the release of Street Fighter V.
For SFV I feel like I was a prophet of doom somewhat, as almost all my concerns I wrote about previously during and after the betas came to pass, as well as a bunch of other problems and bad decisions that have plagued the release. However plenty has been written about SFVs problems elsewhere, and as a competitive agonistic gamer, honestly, my experience with it has still mostly been a really good one, despite its plentiful issues. The number one thing has been that despite other problems the actual fighting is still really great fun for me. The execution and combo requirements are I feel a bit too much for me to ever reach the heights I got to at HD Remix, but they are generally always attainable at least some of the time, and I feel like I can generally always compete, and there’s just SO much still I’m learning anyway that I can’t really see for sure where I’ll get to yet. Not to mention it is just so much better than SFIV.
One of the SFV issues for me personally though was in choosing a main. I won’t go into all the reasons I’ve struggled to find a main in SFV as I’ve talked about before, but now he was available on the full release I did of course try FANG out a lot, as another charge move character, he was someone I could potentially actually play. However I found I couldn’t quite get on with his playstyle, as zoning with him is actually incredibly difficult and very low-reward, and to play him really well, he’s actually all about set play mix-ups which is one of my least favourite things in Street Fighter. He’s also just rather weak – especially in the V-ability department. That said, I’ve found FANG to be a really fun character for casuals for me, and definitely the underdog character I root for when watching SFV tournaments if my main isn’t represented… so yes, I’d settled on Dictator as my main after a few weeks of experimentation, switching to him I instantly got FAR better results than anyone else I’d tried, just as it was in the beta for me. I knew that I would eventually probably be switching my main as more characters got released, but without any information as to exactly who was being released when, I could potentially be “stuck” with Dictator for a year and so I started to get quite serious about trying to improve my play with him.
Despite my good initial results, once I was up against better opponents it was a struggle for me. Dic’s playstyle is quite unusual for me to get used to, and I only finally felt like I was becoming comfortable with Dictator just in the past week really… ironically pretty much as soon as I knew Guile was on the very near horizon so I wouldn’t be playing Dic as a main much longer (probably?). One thing that had also helped me get in tune with him was finding some kind of connection to him as a character… I’m not exactly the evil tyrannical type to be honest, but at some point over the last month I realised his actual link to me:
I realised I also love playing happy charge characters with huge smiles on their faces 😀 .. which is much more like me 😉
Since I was starting to feel like I was playing ok, I also thought it was time to start posting a few videos again. Unfortunately the game doesn’t have the awesome simple built-in features like USF4 had for youtube publishing, so I had to figure out how to do a few things manually.
This was probably the match when I felt things finally started to click a bit for me with Dic – I got the 100th Ranked win achievement with this one too:
This is my favorite Karin colour and costume choice by my opponent too actually, and he did win the best-of-3 against me, although I punctuated the fact I was playing pretty well by getting a Perfect on him in one of the rounds of a losing match. I noted before that SFV feels very ‘swingy’ in momentum compared to other Street Fighters, and Dic seems especially prone to this I feel, given his lack of decent defense or reversal options outside of his Critical Art. He can seem very all or nothing round to round depending on just a few tipping points.
Dic Vs Birdie is one of the matches I feel I understand a bit better, although I lost 0-2 to a Birdie player at SFV at one of the two local SFV tournaments I’ve played in since release. Thankfully I played a lot better in this one, winning this one vs a top 5000 ranked player. I’m still dropping combos like a boss though in round 1 – and trying for quite a bit of risky stuff, but with Dic, it often seems to pay off enough to be worth it!.. this match was a bit of a mess in rounds 2 and 3 to be honest, but I thought the crazy scramble at the end was really funny to watch on a replay – but at the time it was so intense, both of us fluffing stuff badly.
R. Mika is another character like Karin and Laura I’ve had a struggle figuring out how to play against them, but thanks to facing them frequently enough online I feel like I’ve started to get some experience in the matchup now.
I’m really happy I managed to work more aggressive dashes into my game in this one, but yet more horrendous combo drops in round 1 – which I only won by guessing right on the stupid Mika wheel of fortune luckily really.
*eyeroll* Of course it wouldn’t really be a Street Fighter V post without one of these cheaters now would it? I do wish people would stop calling this kind of thing “rage quitting” though. The term rage quit was generally due to actual rage when players knew they’d lost in other titles, and them quitting out of the game rather than face watching the match continue. In SFV the vast majority of these are pure CHEAT quits – it’s purely done to avoid the loss and protect their ranking points due to the broken quitting system in SFV – there’s really no actual rage involved and it bears no relation to people rage-quitting due to just refusing to play on.
Note yet MORE combo drops in round 1 and 2 (even WITH the Perfect!)… a recurring theme for me :-/ If he genuinely did rage though, I bet it was due to getting hit with the frame-trap Critical Art in round 3 which pretty much won me the match. A big gamble I know, but I also know certain characters and players, like Chun especially, just always think they are safe to do a counter-poke in situations like this, so I love to show them otherwise 😀 It was also one of my major tactics with Remy in 3rd Strike to frame-trap with his Critical Art after a Cold-Blue Kick to surprise my opponents, so I love the fact that Dic can do something similar to Remy with his moves – knee press/scissor kick into Ultimate Psycho Crusha… mwaahahaha 😀
Another match vs a really highly ranked Karin I’m very pleased about. I’m slowly getting better using Pyscho Axe, dashes and baiting some stuff too, even if I miss some combos and punishes. I managed to figure out some of what he was up to and jump out of some mixup situations on defense too, and some nice correct uses of Light Punch too.
Of course I’m far from great at SFV still, and for some serious replay analysis I should really watch some of my losses as well, and I do try to do that.. it’s just often I know exactly why I lost afterwards anyway. Here’s a couple of examples – this one is pure lack of execution skills on my part. Whilst you can see all my dropped combos in the videos above, what you miss is the amount of times when I think “dash forward” but I can’t actually input it and instead just walk forward. This is especially bad whenever I’m dashing from right to left, as I find that really hard on a joystick – my inability to dash reliably is going to be one of the things that forever limits me in SFV I feel as it is so essential.
I was however pretty chuffed that I scared this guy enough that he didn’t want to re-match me after this! Huge execution errors right at the end too when I do an EX Pyscho Blast rather than the V-Reversal I intended. I’m not too sure what’s going on with the youtube ‘crazy cam’ during the Critical Art, but I’m not going to fix it as it looks too funny as it it is 😀
The other reason I know I tend to lose with Dictator is just having no real understanding or experience in the matchup. Dhalsim and Rashid are the two most notable in this category, but Claw and Alex I also rarely ever encounter, until I come across someone really good and I get a right thrashing as this leads me into ‘pressing buttons’ at dumb times and getting hit by moves, frame traps and throws I’m not expecting… here’s a good Alex player giving me lots of grief in this kind of regard as I just get hit by everything:
In general I notice that I do badly whenever someone can reliably counter my headstomp / devil’s reverse spacing game. Because I struggle to dash so much I need to use airborne movement to give me some mobility. It’s also so hard to play footsies with Dictator and if I try it, I often do ok, but then I will find it even harder to dash or anti-air as I lose focus on them jumping at me too much.
Of course, it looks like my quest to become the “Best Bipson” will probably make a premature end on 29th April…
For you, perhaps it will just be Friday, but for me, it will be Guilesday…