A Novice' Questions on the "Feel" of VF4

Discussion in 'Junky's Jungle' started by jason_krueger, Mar 3, 2002.

  1. jason_krueger

    jason_krueger Member

    I am yet another Tekken refugee, and have come off many, many years of Tekken 3 and Tag before leaving the fourth instalment in the dust.

    So of course, one would expect me to find huge differences in the mechanics between Virtua Fighter and Tekken, and despite this reasonable expectation, something about VF bothers me which I am hoping some of the veterans on this site will be able to clarify.

    As briefly as I can explain, when I play VF4 against either a human or a CPU opponent (although most of the time it is CPU), the game feels very "sticky," and it seems as if there is a huge lag between my executing a move and recovering from it.

    To be a bit more specific, when I am on the offensive an attacking with a custom combination of low punches, punch flurries and other quick attacks in varied rhythm, it seems as if the opponent recovers much faster than I do, and my attacks are constantly interrupted, even the very quick strings. Conversely, when I am on the defensive, I find that an opponent's attacks will be close to unbreakable, and that any time I try to interrupt with a low punch or a throw, I am caught on counterhit.

    Is it that Virtua Fighter is less dynamic than I thought and that victory lies within memorising feasible flow charts and the like?

    I know these are stupid questions and that it is tiresome to take the time to explain things to newbies, but I am really getting into VF, so any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    Maybe other ex-Tekken players could help as well?
  2. ken

    ken Well-Known Member

    Its really simple really.

    High - Can be ducked
    Mid - Must stand to block, will stagger if you crouch
    Low - Must duck to block, the crescent attacks usually sweep you down

    Circular Properties:
    Linear - Moves can be dodged either towards front or back
    Half-Circular - Move can only be dodged towards the correct side of the attack ie (front of back)
    Full Circular - Move cannot be dodged at all.

    Guard Break- This type of attack will break guard. Some of these are unblockable.

    Advantage or Counterability

    General high damage moves execute and recover slower. Fast moves recover faster but do less damage.

    Types of hits:
    Block - Your attack is blocked
    Major Counter - You interupt opponents attack

    Cannot throw an opponent if they're executing a move.
    Cannot throw a ducking opponent.
    You cannot dodge a throw.
    Many moves can be thrown if they're blocked.

    VF is a balanced risk vs reward. You need to know when its your turn to attack and when to defend.

    Defense is more important than offense.
  3. ken

    ken Well-Known Member

    Which character you use and it'd be easier to highlight particular attacks that give you guaranteed followups or advantage.

    For eg. A somersault kick can be thrown or comboed if blocked because they usually recover slow.

    A side kick can be thrown if blocked and you input fast enough.

    Or if you'd like specific info vs certain characters specify that as well..
  4. gribbly

    gribbly Well-Known Member

    I think your reaction is common among people who come to VF from other fighting games.

    The key difference between VF and most other fighting games is that the designers of VF had the guts to follow the flashier move = longer recovery philosphy to its logical conclusion.

    The downside is that 'newbies' (don't mean to be rude - that's the term you used!) often feel stuck, or that the game has a staccato, stop/start feel.

    But the upside is that a complex, subtle and, for the most part, intuitive tactical game emerges. You simply can't abuse powerful moves, because the recovery will kill you.(incidentally, a perceived violation of this rule is at the heart of the "Akira is a pig" debate -- his shoulder ram, a very powerful move because of what it can lead to, recovers quickly. This has been tuned a little in Ver. C).

    When you say you're 'on the attack' you need to be aware that putting together an offensive 'rush' that can't be interrupted is not an easy matter in VF. Particularly against the CPU (or knowledgeable human opponents w/ fast reflexes) the minutest gap can and will be exploited.

    Essentially, the answer here is that relentless attack is not really a viable VF strategy except in some circumstances (low level opponent/AI, change up against a good opponent).

    I'm not the world's greatest VF player, but FWIW my basic approach is that my default behavior is "defend everything". I then wait for my opponent to overcommit, and punish them while they're recovering. If they're not overcommitting I start to look at creating an opportunity by looking for an interrupt, or dodging.

    If your experience is "any time I try to interrupt with a low punch or a throw, I am caught on counterhit" it's likely you're simply not being precise enough with your timing. The gaps in your opponents offence *are there*, but they're not large and you won't be able to fit much in to them. This is why elbows and simple punches are critically important moves in VF.

    I find that I have the same problem if I play VF when I'm tired, especially against high level CPU with it's 'instant' reflexes. One thing you can try is -- if the opponent is at very close range (i.e., they're pushing you backwards as you defend) try throwing them in a gap. Throws come out very quickly -- but make sure you're at close range.

    One last thing -- as for memorizing flowcharts, etc., it's kind of a personal thing. You don't *have* to know every possible combo, etc., but it'll help a lot. But basically if your defense is solid you can win with the simplest moves (punches, throws, sidekicks). You'll find that as you become familiar with it VF *definitely* has rhythm and flow. You just need to get used to it.

    Hope this helps!

  5. Lion_Rafale

    Lion_Rafale Member

    For a novice I would say use Lei-Fei. He has time-lag attacks and can chain together moves rather easily.
  6. chucky

    chucky Well-Known Member

    Jacky is easy to start out with as well.
  7. jason_krueger

    jason_krueger Member

    Wow. I didn't expect to receive such in depth responses. A sincere "thank you" to all of you who took the time to post your responses.

    To be a little more specific than my original post, I am a dedicated Sarah player who occasionally picks up Pai or Wolf just for the sake of it.

    I find that when playing against certain characters, be it computer-controlled or human, it is harder to pick gaps in their offense unless they commit to something foolish such as a blocked somersault kick or a knee. I find that the characters which seem to have this high-pressure offensive ability are Jacky and especially Akira.

    Against a CPU opponent on a hard difficulty setting, I will grant that it is taxing to win, but against human opponents it can sometimes be worse. For example, if Akira rushes at me with elbows, palms, shoulder checks and mixes in the odd throw here and there, I am almost powerless to stop him. Low punching and jabbing almost always gives him a free counterhit, side-stepping is useful but less so if he begins using throws, and my own throw attempts are stuffed before they connect.

    In terms of custom strings that I use, I will give you an example, and maybe you can point out what I'm doing wrong.

    (Sarah) P,P,d+P,d/f+P,f+P or even f+P,d/f+P,d/f+P,f+K (the knee usually connects for some reason after an opponent sees two chops).

    I am probably just impatient and not letting the game "grow" on me naturally, but any help and constructive criticism would be great.

    Thanks in advance.
  8. ken

    ken Well-Known Member

    <blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr>

    (Sarah) P,P,d+P,d/f+P,f+P or even f+P,d/f+P,d/f+P,f+K (the knee usually connects for some reason after an opponent sees two chops).

    High, High (gap), low*(gap), mid(gap)

    Note: Low* means the move is a low attack but can be blocked mid.

    In this string alone there are three gaps. Tactically speaking:
    -A low punch could easily interrupt the first two high punches.

    -If the first two punches are blocked. You recover fast enough to block any counter attacks and cannot be thrown. If the opponent is quick they can do a low punch before yours.

    -if your low punch connects look for a throw on major counter
    -if you low is blocked theres the risk that your elbow will be interrupted.

    So in summary of the above. If you purely complete the string above you're not going to get any guaranteed damage unless a Major Counter arises or the opponent blocks or DODGES incorrectly. You're a sitting duck vs dodgers because of the linearity of your attacks. Also theres no reason for the defender to duck.

    If you condition your opponent to stand they will stand. If they stand attack low or throw.

    On another note Sarah has many moves are 2 or 3 series. The first move of these series are ultra safe and have good followups. The second part can be delayed for bait for more combos.

    d+K, K
    d+PK, K
    f+P, K
    df+K, K, ?

    Also moves that give you an advantage when blocked:
    PK (flamingo)
    b+PK (flamingo)
    b+K (flamingo)
    ***these flamingo moves give you a free attack if you enter a command. ie High, Throw, Low(Throw), Mid, Circular, Cancel(Throw)


    For more tips read Ice*9 dojo on sarah. In the sarah section
  9. gribbly

    gribbly Well-Known Member

    In terms of custom strings that I use

    I think that's part of the problem right there. While everyone has patterns of moves they like/find effective, VF is much less "string" based than Tekken. You need to adjust your thought processes just a little bit. Think in terms of indivdual moves until you make a breakthrough (i.e., you interrupt someone for a MC, and they stagger or float) *then* unleash your string/combo while they're helpless.

    Attacking a defending opponent with a string of pre-determined moves is less useful in VF than it is in Tekken.

  10. Mizkreant

    Mizkreant Well-Known Member

    <blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr>

    In terms of custom strings that I use, I will give you an example, and maybe you can point out what I'm doing wrong.

    (Sarah) P,P,d+P,d/f+P,f+P or even f+P,d/f+P,d/f+P,f+K (the knee usually connects for some reason after an opponent sees two chops).


    Let's take a look at the first string. After doing P,P,G you're at a 5 frame disadvantage. This sequence is uncounterable, meaning if you stop here and block the opponent's next move correctly, they are not guaranteed anything. However, if you choose to continue, the opponent can interrupt you if they are fast enough. In this case, if they block the two punches they can jab you afterwards, and if you continued with your string their punch would MC you.

    Instead of using PP(G) you should try P(G) as the single punch if blocked gives you 1 frame advantage. A simple tactic would be to mix up P(G) -> elbow, and P(G) -> throw. Start with P(G) -> throw, if they anticipate the throw next time and crouch, the elbow will stagger them. I'm not sure, but the elbow may eat low punches too. Of course they can still try to escape your throw attempt, but there's always a way out of everything.

    The reason you're getting hit out of the second string is probably the same. The elbow puts you at a slight disadvantage when blocked. What's probably happening is that your opponent knows you will continue attacking afterwards so he LP after the elbow for a MC. If the knee is hitting after the two chops that probably means the opponent tried to low punch after that, and the knee will hit low punchers.

    You should read the "Sarah Bryant Dojo" article on this site. It goes through basic tactics and flowcharts and would probably be very helpful to you.
  11. EDK

    EDK Active Member

    I am a Tekken player as well.

    I think it's the effect of the buffering system in VF. In Tekken most of the move must be executed within a time frame. U can't buffer a move so that it'll be executed immediately right after your previous move. But in VF u can buffer so that your next move will come out immediately. This is very obvious esp when u vs tough CPU opponent like Akira in the 2nd last stage where he is executing move with perfect timing!

    As i play more VF i found that the meanest difference of Tekken and VF is that Tekken concentrate more on joystick manipulation while VF concenrate more on button manipulation.
  12. jason_krueger

    jason_krueger Member

    Thanks again to all who posted, man, those are some good answers!

    I think that I can fix my offensive and defensive approaches with the help of frame data, especially the block advantages and disadvantages.

    For example, I had no idea that a 1,2 string in Virtua Fighter put you at a DISADVANTAGE when blocked, because in the wonderful world of Tekken, almost all double punch strings offered you either a small advantage or at least zero advantage to either player. Needless to say it will very interesting for me to trawl through everyone's frame-data if I can find it.

    A special thanks to those who took apart my custom strings, I think that the Tekken players out there can recognise a little of my Bruce and Hwoarang in there if you look hard enough!

    Now, to find that frame data ...
  13. SummAh

    SummAh Well-Known Member

    """Tekken concentrate more on joystick manipulation while VF concenrate more on button manipulation. """

    Actually...u're quite wrong. VF focuses on both joystick n button manipulation.
  14. chucky

    chucky Well-Known Member

    Are you talking about crouch dashing??
  15. Hadaka

    Hadaka Member

    I have been around the VF series from VF1, but I have never played any of the games extensively.

    But the game I have played extensively is Soul Calibur.

    And I would really like to know your hints and feelings about the differences between these games.

    I must say that there are a few things I have hated in VF from the very beginning. One of them is the low punching.
  16. Mizkreant

    Mizkreant Well-Known Member

    <blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr>

    I think that I can fix my offensive and defensive approaches with the help of frame data, especially the block advantages and disadvantages.


    You can find the frame data at <a target="_blank" href=http://virtuaproject.com>http://virtuaproject.com</a>.
  17. Myke

    Myke Administrator Staff Member Content Manager Kage

    Frame Data

    Just a heads-up: frame data will soon be available on the VFDC Command Lists.
  18. Chanchai

    Chanchai Well-Known Member

    I'm about to go to bed so I'll just list some current thoughts in my head...

    -As someone stated earlier, a big thing to think about is the buffering in VF. I believe we're talking about buffering in a different case than Tekken players tend to talk about. Tekken players usually talk about buffering in a "wrap around sense of command inputs" by implementing specific tricks in Tekken's input system (a bit on this later when I talk about controls). In VF4, I generally refer to buffering as inputting something within a non-obvious timeframe (usually a recovery period) to get something else out. This would be like countering an attack with a throw, you plug in (buffer) the throw input immediately after you block the hit frame of the opponent's attack so that the throw will actually reach its hit frame as soon as it possibly can after recovery. Previous VF titles required a more "on the spot" timing in terms of countering attacks , but VF4 seems to really emphasize buffering these early.

    -On stick and button manipulation. I agree with Summers' statement that VF emphasizes a combination of stick and button manipulation. G-cancel is subtle in appearance in VF (especially compared to Soul Calibur), but DEFINITELY IMPORTANT in function. VF's buffer is quite clean, but with less delay windows than many other 3d fighters as far as I can tell. In general, VF emphasizes well timed rapid combinations of stick and buttons to work together. Tekken's control scheme is a bit sloppy imo because of a lack of a specific button that will reset the input buffer, so the designers created work arounds of that (by necessity) through some awkward stick methods. This makes Tekken's stick movement requirements pretty strict in general, but makes it pretty sloppy at times. Sloppy is still sloppy if you ask me, but for many others it will "provide rewards" to those who practice. Thing is, VF also provides rewards to those who work on their dexterity (VF1 and VF2 really reward this, VF3 gives you bonuses, VF4 rewards it in less obvious ways), it's just a different application on a different control scheme with different timing.

    -The application of frame data is definitely different, or at least the thought behind it between the games. However, at least a lot of Tekken players understand what to look for in framestats, so they generally have a good idea of what to do with them in VF, just a matter of looking at them or not. If you use a "1,2" type of string in VF, you better use it as a risky flowchart starter. Safer in general is the first attack. If you commit yourself to a string, it's often best to go as far as the string will have branched options (ideally an option of mid, low, or quick recovery), though that too is very risky. Anyways, the general answer is it really all boils down to mindgames and knowing what your opponent is expecting or not expecting and the factors that contribute to their play (reflexes, multiple defense/option select, etc...).

    -Flow of the game is very important and it's good that everyone seems to be talking about it. The flow of the game is different than Tekken (though Tekken 4 has a sort of dumbed down/toned down version of the VF flow in it). My general rule of thumb which I think you should experiment with (but not live or die by) is "you have the initiative when you have succeeded in attacking or defending your opponent." Sounds simple, and yes there are exceptions, but as you play and put it in practice, you learn the exceptions. Among the exceptions are pokes that lead into flowcharts, which is the next step beyond handling the usual flow game.

    -VF4's range game should be somewhat familiar to Tekken players and very familiar to Soul Calibur players. There is a good variety of ranges (at least in Chanchai's VF4 Theory) which can lead to abusable knowledge. However, the range game can still be nullified by a good opponent's aggressive rush, so be careful. It's often a matter of when and where to use the range game.

    -More hits hardly means more damage. Go with the efficiency principle, bigger damage in fewer hits for most combos. I wouldn't normally mention this, but a lot of Tekken players tend to go for the juggle --> combo approach, which works to a good degree, but not necessarily for everyone. Use that type of approach for good damage, but also for positioning (ring out, wall, spacing, etc...).

    -VF emphasizes what attacks you can quickly do from standing or crouching or both positions, and this speaks for a spectrum of moves. It's not about the while standing as much as it's about what can I do following this move or in this flowchart. However, you also have dash and crouch dash buffering which work to open your options up, but at a cost of either dexterity or frames.

    -Throwing is applied as a counter tool and a flowchart option. It is RARELY used to interrupt attacks, because such situations are RARE. Throws are generally powerful, but escapable (with exceptions of certain classes of non-normal throws--look at a faq for details). In VF4, as opposed to previous VFs, when to throw and how to apply throw escape options are simplified in execution (though complicated in some situational and specific cases and in how many inputs to plug in when and where)--this simplification leads to a lot more throw escape situations and throw guidance for the intermediate players, which tends to lead towards more guessing game situations. In some ways it has simplified the rules of engagement (when understood anyways), but it creates a lot more guessing game situations.

    -Okizeme is different. To some degrees, it's more like Tekken than previous VFs, but it's still very different from Tekken okizeme. Okizeme is not necessarily abusive in VF, but the rewards can still be quite high for successful okizeme. The quick options (Tech Roll and Quick Rise) are balanced out (and even encouraged) by means of extensive On The Bounce "physics" in VF4 (the on the bounce aspect of VF4 can be seen as a step towards Tekken though).

    -Options, options, options... I don't intend to downplay Tekken, I don't know enough about the game... But much of what I have understood of Tekken has been down to a few options in each case, leading to a requirement of very specific knowledge. Well, I might be wrong about Tekken, but I'll say that in VF, at least become open to the dillemma that for just about everything that happens in the game, there's generally more than one option that will work in handling it. The strengths and weaknesses of those options are another story, but if you ask me, VF is a very OPTION HEAVY game. You have so many offensive, defensive, direct, indirect approaches to just about any situation. But there are players who go for the most direct and "sound by the numbers" approach and are quite successful in the game too. Back to options, with a lot of options comes an emphasis on setting up situations and debating on whether to go for what is guaranteed to be there or hoping for something better through a non-guaranteed setup. When starting out, I advise you learn the guarantees and certainties for your character and situations. ***I should also mention that the beauty of the options in VF is that it's not merely a paper-rock-scissors game; initiative and situational factors do very well to guide the many options that create a likelihood of continuous flow in VF.

    Anyways.... bedtime and I wrote a bit of stuff in a lot of detail. Hope it helps.


  19. CreeD

    CreeD Well-Known Member

    Eheh, I'm going to bed soon, so this will only be a page and a half.

    Juuuust kidding. I think you nailed it with "do I need to memorize feasible flowcharts...." - compared to Tekken, moves in VF are much stricter and much more easily punished.

    Because most tools that lead to good damage are kept in check by a fair amount of recovery, a lot of players don't feel comfortable using any attacks stronger than an elbow. So the game degenerates into high punch / low punch / elbow / dodge all day. If Sega decides to encourage people to go nuts a little by making moves safe and damaging (beat knuckle, double palm), then Sega's a bunch of pigs who deserve to die (this is some grumbling you hear from one or two regulars). If Sega makes every knee, shoulder ram, or uppercut painfully counterable, then the game is monstrously newbie-unfriendly and even unfriendly to guys like you... Tekken refugees.

    Oh, yeah, to answer the question properly, the game feels very newbie friendly to me. When I dodge in VF4, it's a big dodge only if they attacked, with a helpful yell. When I was staggered in VF3, I needed to be on the ball and recognize it and start struggling. In VF4 I see a flashing stick icon and a red flash, I can be half asleep and know I'm staggered.

    Last bit - kuzure down and leg flop animations are a not-so-subtle addition that will make tekken players and scrubs feel right at home. Because these animations are the same thing every time, and because the opponent is completely vulnerable and is right in front of you... all one has to do is figure out the most damaging followup and use it every single time. There's no reason to use anything else. So if you throw out an attack the KD's, the rest of the damage is automatic... like with jeffry's hell stab. In VF3 the hell stab only got a good float on major counter, and even then it was barely enough for a dashing elbow-upper, and walls and slope may affect the combo, and sometimes the opponent is just too far. With kuzure down and leg flop animation, that never happens. How many times do you see Kage players do anything after the u/f+K+G that ISN'T d+P, dragon punch? Anyway, this isn't such a bad thing. Sega still keeps balance in mind, which is why the VF3 hell stab does a huge chunk of damage and in VF4 it's like a piddling ... 15%? Something like that.

    So even after my thousandth game of VF4, I'll feel like it's more relaxed and less strict than VF3, and I'll feel like the game is giving me helpful newbie hints on a silver platter so I don't have to work too hard. "He's falling down slowly! Quick! bash him!" "Wiggle the stick before you get in trouble!"
  20. Shadowdean

    Shadowdean Well-Known Member

    I would say VF is stick manipulation at its core while Tekken is button since MOST tekken attacks are based on button combinations more than stick where its kinda opposite in vf.

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