Last night was my third night of SF4, and I finally started playing in championship mode, using Ryu. I did pretty well, I’d say i won about 60% of my matches, and advanced up a bit, I’m now in G-3 C, whatever that means, heh.
I’ve also unlocked Gouken now, and I’m practicing with him and Abel. Strangely enough, Abel seems to be a good fit for my fighting style. His rolls are KOF-ish, and he has a easy to perform command throw, and a Fei-Long style punch/rekka combo. I’m still spotty with him, but when i get momentum going, it can be hard to stop me. Of course, smart players still drink my milkshake, but I feel that I have potential with Abel. Gouken is much the same, great when i can get momentum going, but some matches it’s like I’m beating my head into the wall. I also have a bad habit of under utilizing certain moves of his, like EX palm thrusts, and overusing his demon flip and fireballs. I can get a pretty decent zoning game with him, but under pressure I tend to crack. I do like his mixups and how you can use his Ultra in multiple ways: after a back throw, as an anti-air, and in certain corner combos. I just need to get used to his unique quirks, and I think I can be a decent player. Especially once I stop whiffing Ultras.
Speaking of Ultras, I may be setting aside Ryu for a little while. Why? Well, because his main setup for his Ultra involved an FADC’d shoryuken. And on a pad, it’s very difficult to do. Because of the way i have to hold the pad, quickly executing Focus Attacks can be a challenge by itself. And so FADC-ing anything for me on the pad is hard to do in the heat of the moment. The main thing is that the buttons are too close together for me to do it comfortably if I hold my button hand piano-style, and if I use the regular grip with my thumb, certain normal links get harder to do. So it’s a no-win situation for me without constantly changing my grip. Also, it’s getting to be murder on my left thumb So it looks like getting a stick just became a much higher priority.
I should be able to purchase a stick within the next few weeks, hopefully. The pad will have to tide me over til then. In the meantime, it looks like Abel and Gouken will be taking up most of my time, unless I somehow figure out a way to do Ryu’s FADC shoryu into Ultra on the pad reliably.