Thursday, August 1, 2013

The Pick Up Process


I have been taking time to choose my characters in Tekken Tag Tournament 2. It is one of the more popular games in the Arcade Legacy area and it has been a very interesting process so far.

As stated previously, I want respected characters who are also relatively simple in both gameplay and execution. I intentionally give up flexibility and some very effective tools in order to keep it simple with characters who fit both my time commitment and general execution level irregardless of time I spend.

My tools:

In the process of choosing a character I utilize the tier list and ease of use list in order to cross reference and find characters that are respected as strong by the community at large and who are also considered easier to use. I then use the Prima game guide to look at some very general information regarding the characters' gameplans, key moves and simple combos.

The keywords I look for in the guide are: poking, simple, high damage, mix-up, straightforward, limited, restricted and so on. These are the kinds of characters I enjoy playing the most.

I then take the character of interest into training mode and see how I fare with some of their beginner combos. If I feel like I have a pretty good handle on the initial combos then I feel confident that training and playing with the character could be rewarding.

Finally, I look to YouTube, specifically the Morning Bread & Butter series, for tutorials about the characters and videos of the characters being played at a medium to high level. If I like what I see and hear, then my choice is further reinforced.

This process has led me to the current two characters of interest: Miguel and Ganryu.

I am leaning toward putting Ganryu first and Miguel second. Both characters struggle if down on life because they are meant to control the pace of the match with strong pokes, counter-hit setups, and in Ganryu's case some 50/50 mix-ups. This kind of team appeals to me because its weaknesses are obvious, which means I know what to protect myself from and what my opponents will be trying to exploit.

Look forward to more posts as I eventually take this team of Ganryu/Miguel to Arcade Legacy and continue my TTT2 training!

UPDATE: I also wanted to include some information regarding my process for choosing Potemkin as my GGAC character.

As you well know my goal is always to keep it simple. GGAC is known for being a hard game to pick up and an even more difficult game to master. This learning curve is directly related to the character you choose. To help me choose a simple character I relied upon the following resources:

So my goal was to avoid complication. I cannot avoid the system mechanics that still make GGAC a relatively difficult game to play effectively. Things like Slashback, Instant Guarding, Roman Cancel and Force Roman Cancel are available to every character so I will be forced to use them, and that is fine by me. I am able to control the relative complexity of my character, however, and I used the Dustloop character forums to research the combo complexity and general gameplan of some characters who seemed to fit my general play style: poke, tank, mix up, multiple reads and so on.

Venom seemed cool as a character who does not have very character specific combos, but unfortunately I did not feel that memorizing the different ball formations and confirming off of stray hits would be very effective for me. Baiken was a close second with much simpler options than Venom, some character specific combos, and good damage. However, I was turned off by the need to instant air dash her projectile tatami mat in order to close the distance with the opponent.

I kept on looking until I decided to look into Potemkin. Not a character I would normally consider, as the slow, lumbering characters do not always fit my play style in a particular game. Although, often they do so giving Potemkin a short seemed like a good idea. I was very much correct in that assumption and after looking up some videos on YouTube I found myself understanding Potemkin's game plan as presented by a few of Japan's best Potemkin players. It is very fortunate to find a character who's options and game plan seem so intuitive, so I took Potemkin into training mode and was having a lot of fun figuring out his options.

While Potemkin is not a simple character, he is probably the simplest character in GGAC. He still requires good execution, sound mix up skill and a great deal of defensive know-how and reaction ability. The most recent tier list I could find also put him at B tier, underneath quite a few characters. He still wins, but it is going to be harder for me to win against people of my skill level who choose characters that give Potemkin a hard time. Thankfully I find myself very enamored with the character and that will go a long way toward keeping me interested in improving my skills.

Look forward to more news on my GGAC practice in future posts!
Nathan Shields PowerUp Founder

Fighting game enthusiast, martial artist, and teacher. Nathan Shields ran three regional events, two of which were part of the Road to EVO Championships in 2011 and 2012. He continues to run local FGC events and supervise the growth of his scene and the PowerUp brand.

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