SFIV Tips: Part 1 – Character Selection for Beginners

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So you’ve picked up SFIV and you’ve been playing it for a few days. As you continue to grind through the game with it set on ‘Easiest’ difficulty to unlock characters, you think to yourself, “Man… this game is pretty damn easy.” Well my friend, there is a whole world of depth that awaits you, if you invest the time to discover it. You will lose a lot at first, you will curse people, you will blame everything outside of your actual inability to win… but when that moment hits you, that moment when you have seized the flow of a fight, there’s no going back. Once you have stepped into the Street Fighter rabbit hole, you will want to know where, or if, it ends. Ok, so now we fast-forward a bit, to the point when you have everyone unlocked and you are ready to begin fighting for real. Where do you start? Who do you pick, why do you pick them, and what moves do you use? If you are a seasoned SF veteran, this most likely will not apply to you, but who knows, you might learn something new or be willing to add something that I forgot. If you are relatively new to the SF scene and want a little help, continue reading.

Let’s start off with the “Who do I pick?”. First off, who are you as a person? Do you like to get up close and personal wearing nothing but a Speedo and boots? Well, there’s a guy for you. Do you enjoy constant upskirts of sixteen year old girls and you aren’t afraid to admit it? You are covered. Do you miss the days of beating Robin Givens, pre ear-biting life, and having a non-tattooed face? I’ve got your man. Seriously though, there is a fighter for everyone in this game and if one doesn’t suit your needs and you’re not feeling it, move on until something clicks. For beginners, I would recommend the following characters:

  • Ken – He may be overused in online matches, but for good reason. Ken’s fierce uppercut is nearly unstoppable and has the reach of a fucking firetruck ladder. Unfortunately, Ken is a white trash bastard that leaves his pregnant wife to go beat people up.
  • Sakura – She’s quick, she has an uppercut that can immobilize someone with multiple hits, and has very solid standard attacks, such as her ducking uppercut with HP and her jump attacks. Sakura’s focus attack also has a little more range than others. Also, panties.
  • Guile – His charging attacks are ideal for new players that are not accustomed to doing the QC (quarter circle) motions or for players who claim the 360’s D-pad is out to get them. Not only are these attacks easier to pull off while using the standard controller, but the benefit for new players, is that they get to block all the time while charging them. Guile is a Real American Hero.
  • El Fuerte – El Fuerte can be deadly in the hands of a skilled player, but oddly enough, he can be equally deadly in the hands of a retarded chimp smoking a cigarette. The unpredictable nature of El Fuerte can make him a difficult opponent. If you have no idea what you’re doing, he just becomes even more unpredictable to your opponent. He makes me sick.
  • Blanka – Blanka is special. Really special. I have hated Blanka with a passion since my arcade days. It never failed, when I was doing good, taking fools’ quarters and living large, some Philipino kid would walk up and pick Blanka. I’m not saying you can’t be skilled with Blanka, and that you can’t use him in a decent way, I’m just saying that  if you want a cheap and sleazy victory, Blanka is your man… thing… mama’s boy.
  • Akuma – Now Akuma is a double-edged sword. He is powerful as hell. He has moves that can keep someone trapped in fear, blocking in the corner. The downside is, he takes on damage like a motherfucker. He is a “use at your own risk” kind of character.  He has all of the same moves as the Shoto characters (Ken and Ryu), but has some extra tricks up his sleeve than can turn the fight in your favor quickly. Air fireballs can keep an opponent at bay long enough for you to decide what you are going to do next. Plus, for most people, his Ultra Combo is the easiest one to pull off on the 360’s D-pad. Also, a nice little tip. If you are going to pick him, do it right away. Don’t be a massive ass-hat and randomly scroll through characters until the time runs out and then just “happen” to land on him. Just fucking pick him.

So those are the characters I would recommend for the newbies of the Street Fighter world. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try other characters, but I can guarantee you will learn the flow of matches better when you actually stand a chance. These characters will, more than likely, give you that chance.


For Part 2: Anti-Douchebaggery, I’ll give some types of situations that you’ll encounter online and how to deal with them. Plus, I’ll get into the pros and cons of some intermediate characters. I’ll also cover some strategies to consider using, that get me my wins online and will still keep you feeling good about yourself. Sometimes the least flashy player can deal a serious loss to someone very skilled, just purely based on timing. Happy Street Fighting, hope to see you all online!

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