Levelling Up – Game Plan

This time on Levelling Up we discuss the nature of a game plan and how to utilise it. A game plan is essential to play competitively or even casually while playing fighting games. This can be something as simple as an opening gambit and the appropriate responses or failsafes for when you drop a combo.

Sometimes these can be mocked as a flow chart, I am sure many of you will be familiar with Street Fighter 4’s Ken flow chart. Although nowhere near as complex as a game plan that most top level players will utilise it does give an insight to the mentality adopted to fight an opponent.

Familiar and absurdly correct for beginners.

A game plan can be a set of safe strings you mix between to create a guessing game of highs and lows to break an opponent’s block or a pattern in which you throw your fireballs. There are many players who have very succinct fireball play, most notably Daigo Umehara in SF4 with Ryu (Daigo even discussed this change in 2012 before Evo as he believed he had refined his technique) and Chris G with his almost impenetrable lockdown with MorriDoom in Ultimate Marvel Versus Capcom 3. Some game plans are more discreet and responsive, for instance a player who plays more defensively might utilise a more reactive game plan as opposed to an aggressive player.

By instigating a game plan you put a lot of thought ahead of the match up and the method by which you tackle your opponent. This can be based on their character choice or if it is a player you played with extensively you might play against their habits. Either way you will greatly benefit from having a clear approach to your game, and if it falls flat on its face you will have a back up plan to counter your peevious mistakes.

To build your own game plan you will need a deep knowledge of both the game and your characters

For me a game plan isn’t just how to approach my opponent in UMvC3 but a set of “what if” scenarios after I start pressure. For instance if an opponent was to pushblock my light jab I would follow up with a crouching medium with Nova or cancel to flight depending on the status of my assists. If I am pushblocked later on in my string I will drop a shield if I have very little red life or fly if I cannot afford to lose my red health in UMvC3. Then I would proceed with a mix of pressure strings until I land a hit. Obviously there is a lot more going on than that but I am providing an insight to what I incorporate in to my game plan.

To build your own game plan you will need a deep knowledge of both the game and your characters to make it truly effective and it is a great way of levelling up mentally in preparation for a tournament. I’d recommend just taking a step back from the game, even watching previous matches you have played if possible, and analysing your style and approach. Notice where you are successful and then build on it. Find a style and plan that complements your play style; even if it can be a little risky at times, your game plan could also yield a great reward.

Knowing how to react and maintain composure while following your set plan will help you a great deal but it is also important to understand when to adjust and to break free from said plan when it isn’t working. Now all that is left is to go work on your own. Build a plan and execute it, fine tuning as you go.

Infiltration is most surely a man with a plan while using Hakan.







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