Branching Out to Other Fighters

A concise breakdown of the importance of playing other fighting games

In the last couple of years, we’ve watched Street Fighter 4 grow into one of the most popular fighting games of all time. With version 2012, it has also become one of the most balanced as well. For a lot of people, myself included, it is their first fighter that they endure countless losses for the sake of improving. Street Fighter 4 is a perfect launching pad for learning spacing, zoning, rushdown, footsies, and every other fundamental under the sun all at once. So why take time from your Street Fighter sessions by learning other fighting games? And how is it supposed to help take your Street Fighter game to the next level?

Let’s take a look.

SoulCalibur V

Learning to punish moves in SCV will make it easier to do so in SF.

This is the first fighting game I practiced outside of Street Fighter 4. I was reluctant to buy it for a few reasons.

1. I never really cared for the Soul Calibur characters much.

2. I never really cared for 3D fighters much.

3. It could have sucked.

Needless to say, all of that changed, and SCV quickly became one of my favorite fighting games. I had no idea how much depth the SC series and other 3D fighters had until I started studying this game.

For those that don’t know, SoulCalibur V stresses spacing much more than Street Fighter does. It is extremely important to know how to use your moves, and how to beat out your opponent’s. On top of all that, it is much harder to punish some of those moves on reaction. You really have to study your frame data, and what frame advantage and disadvantage mean. Once you understand all of that, Street Fighter will seem less complex, and will make much more sense.


Street Fighter X Tekken

Dat OG footsiesWhile this game may not be my favorite, or anyone’s for that matter, it does still have solid fundamentals. For a while, people were calling this “Footsie Fighter 4″ for a reason. A lot of your damage in this game comes from baiting pokes from your opponent to counter with your own. And to do that, you need to learn footsies and spacing.

This obviously transfers directly to SF4, as the character’s moves are pretty similar in design for the most part. And as funny as it is, this game could help you learn the importance of time management as well.

Persona 4: Arena

Though this game has only been out for a week, I have already brought a piece of it back to my Street Fighter 4 game. The game has a ton of depth, and can help your fundamentals in multiple areas.

Rushdownp4a zoning

This game is fast paced. The same could be said about Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3. Learning your characters’ setups on knockdown, and how to use the high-low game are very crucial to succeed in P4A. But that isn’t all to this game. It still has your keep away options, mid-range characters, and even your grappler characters. If anything, this game is just a faster, more offense-oriented version of Street Fighter 4. Every character can find some success in playing rushdown if they choose to.

Keep Away

Characters like Elizabeth and Naoto have very strong zoning games. Much like the rushdown of this game, the zoning works the same as it does in Street Fighter 4, only at a much faster pace. Once you master this in P4A, going back to Street Fighter 4 will seem much slower and overall easier to do.

Street Fighter 4 is kind of a giant mix of all the fundamentals listed above, with no individual one shining over the rest. It offers many different styles to play, and many techniques to master. Learning other fighting games that stress certain fundamentals more than others will do nothing but improve your Street Fighter game.

Think of it as being like Batman. Bruce Wayne travels all over the world, mastering all kinds of different techniques to perfect his own style. Luckily, you’ll only have to travel to your local retailer and buy the games to become a badass inStreet Fighter 4.

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