East’s Corner 04: Fuudo is Great

So for those of you who don’t know, I live in Tokyo, Japan and I count myself very lucky that the fighting game scene here in Tokyo is well supported and very active. On a given week, I see top players at events and locals. I also have been fortunate enough to be able to help out with some events that happen here. If you’re familiar with Dragon Ball Fighter Z, I help out with the Tuesday event, that’s broadcast on www.twitch.tv/animeilluminati called Fighting Tuesday. As a side note, if you haven’t seen it and you’re interested in top level Dragon Ball Fighter Z play in Japan, I wholeheartedly recommend you check out some of the archives there.

I digress, sometimes I also have a chance to help out with the Thursday BeastTV stream where Fuudo teaches newer players, primarily a guy named “Handsome Orikasa,” about SFV. Again, if you haven’t seen it, I really recommend you watch the archives. Now Fuudo is an EVO chamion in Street Fighter and so it’s really interesting to watch him teach a new player about SFV, especially because you have a chance to really see the game through his lens and how he thinks about situations. Sometimes I’m just absolutely floored at how knowledgeable, smart, and to a degree, how crafty he is in just thinking about how the game should be played.

Let me give you an example. So on August 23rd, I helped with the stream, and half the stream was dedicated to teaching Handsome Orikasa how to fight against Necalli and some of the common tactics of Necalli players. The second half was dedicated to teaching much newer players how to play the game. We did this really fun drawing of people who were at the Red Bull Gaming Sphere for the regular Thursday SFV session. A guy named “James” from Australia won the drawing, so he had a chance to have Fuudo watch him play, critique his game and give him some tips. James sits down and they immediately put him into a lobby, where he fights one game online using his main character, Nash. Just from the way he plays, you can tell that James is a little nervous, but he gives it his best but unfortunately loses the match.

During the match, I took the mental notes of what I would say, and I thought to myself, “If this guy just finished his combos and got knockdowns more consistently, he’d be doing fine. Maybe a few more anti-airs.”

When it came time for Fuudo to give him advice after the match, they immediately went into training mode and Fuudo went into teaching mode. Rather than harp on the combo drops or sub-optimal combos James did during the match, he said the following [I’m paraphrasing here because James had pretty good Japanese but sometimes was a bit lost so I did some VERY ROUGH translating.]

“Nash is a character whose backdash and forward dash are really good. His backdash is pretty quick, and his forward dash is really quick and moves really far. You should use this to your advantage. When you’re in neutral, backdash, to get space and then throw a fireball. Once you’ve thrown a fireball you’re pretty much free to move because your opponent has to worry about it. Once you’ve established your space with the backdash, you can then start to chip away at your opponent. You have other options, like forward dashing and throwing, using the mk version of scythe, etc.

Also don’t worry about getting cornered. This plan is going to have you moving back a lot, but once you get cornered and get beat up a little, You can just V-Reversal. Nash is one of the few character’s whose V-Reversal allows him to move to the other side of the opponent. Once you V-Reversal, just backdash again and keep running the same game plan. There really isn’t much reason to spend V-Trigger defensively, because V-Reversal is so good.”

I’ll be honest, hearing this I was pretty floored. I just kept thinking to myself, “Damn that’s smart as hell.” Rather than focus on what the guy did wrong in the match, he just gave him a really simple game plan he could apply to almost anything and find success. And surely enough, right after the training session, James hopped back online and played another match. He immediately found success following Fuudo’s gameplan. I kept thinking to myself, “His advice was so simple, but so effective. This is how a champion sees the game and how people play.” Rather than focusing on individual moments, he first takes a step back and focuses on what the person’s plan is. I think this is a skill that a lot of people are missing; Being able to diagnose and breakdown a plan.

Fuudo is by all accounts a fighting game champion, and every time I have a chance to hear him speak and talk about the game, I immediately understand why. He taught an 8 year old to play online and at least have a close match with others. If you haven’t had a chance to see him speak on the BeastTV stream, see for yourself and I think you’ll easily understand why-

Fuudo is great.

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