Street Fighter V – the character crisis months

If you remember my last replay round-up from my SFV games, I thought I was going to main Guile once he got released, and well… I tried. Sadly, he plays very little like the Guile I know and love from the SFII series, or even SFIV. Yes he can play an “SF2 style” zoner and that’s exactly how I try to use him, but now he’s also turned into a big combo character, which I can’t do at all. To play well with Guile now it seems you need to have both these facets of his game down, and the combo stuff is totally beyond me so it really frustrated me. Also the frame data changes to his Sonic Boom are maddening to me. There’s a perfect ‘sweet spot’ where a Boom is relatively safe and even if they jump over it, you can still block, and in SFV this distance has changed to be just a bit further away than I am used to. Trying to re-wire 25 years of visual spacing recognition for this seemingly needless change (especially as Chun Li in SFV apparently has a better-than-Sonic Boom Kikoken anyway, and is an all-round better character in other ways TOO) was, well, not impossible for me, but again, it was frustrating me.

This replay was probably the peak of my first forays into playing as Guile, where I felt I played semi-decent, but I still wasn’t feeling at all comfortable with him.

In round 1 you’ll see me whiff Flash Kicks as I’m still not used to the range of it (I much prefer the LONG RANGE Flash Kick in HDR of course!). I’m also terribly inconsistent at doing his V-Skill Boom combo the “Sonic Cross” as I find the motion hard to get right as I’m so unused to doing those kind of button presses, and similarly I am not used to having to do a neutral attack button and then charge very quickly, which is now a key part of Guile’s game.

I lost a ton of Ranked match “League points” during this initial month of Guile and felt kinda demoralised by the character in general not being what I wanted. In the end I went back to Dictator to see how I would fare… and the results were instantly a LOT better. So I pretty much decided on sticking with Dic as my main at this point.

Who should I play? Guile or Dictator? :S


Here’s a match I was pretty pleased with vs Laura, who is a very difficult character for Dic to deal with. I saved this replay due to the hilarious situation in round 1 where the EX Psycho Blast saved my ass by knocking my opponent out of their combo, and also because I was finally starting to pull off Dic’s Critical Art in a combo with some consistency. On the bad side, you can see me really struggle to dash at all, especially from right-to-left. The need to constantly dash to move much at all in SFV, and especially with Dictator, is a constant issue for me. When I’m really warmed up and “in the flow” I can do it ok, but if I’m feeling at all rusty or physically or mentally tired, or even just because my hands are cold, I can’t do it consistently. In round 1 I get a knock down and I can visually see myself tapping and trying to dash, but being unable to pull it off, and then attempt a very foolish slide attack instead to try and keep some pressure on, which doesn’t work at all in this case. You’ll also see me turn to jumping about like crazy when I realise I’m not able to dash properly by round 2.

The same matchup but quite a different game. I was really chuffed I was able to keep my cool and mount a remarkable comeback in this one, despite whiffing my CA due to bad reactions (although it’s followed by an amusing double-whiff!) and also as I am starting to know when to use more of Dic’s jumping light attacks as ghetto anti-air moves, since the character is extremely weak in this department.

Next up is a set of 3 matches vs the same Ryu player.

The first game is what I call “winning despite awful combo drops” – which is an extremely common practice for me:

The next match is yet more of me struggling to execute stuff. This is what I mean by SFV being very frequently just a bit beyond what I can actually do execution wise in a fighting game. I constantly fail to convert stray hits, mistime V-Skills as I’m bad at hitting two mediums together on reaction still due to not having my fingers being used to it, manage to get out head stomps instead of scissor kicks for some reason, and just generally make a mess of things not doing what I intend to do at all…

Ok so it’s on to the decider…

Another AWFUL combo drop that costs me so much in round 1, and he probably would’ve one the match were it not for one cross-up attempt too many into my almost Hail Mary CA to finish him. Mwaahaahahah.

Next up here’s another Ryu. I saved this replay because I actually manage a bit of a “shimmy” even with Dictator’s awful mobility and has a rather amusing KO caused by that harbinger of chaos the EX Psycho Blast once again:

In round 1 there’s also something I’ve been trying to do more of, activating V-Trigger in neutral in response to an action, to give me the game freeze time to figure out what to do – in this case a crouching HP uppercut. However also in round 1 is a bad demonstration of the difficulty that many characters in SFV have (including Dic) of dealing with being thrown on wakeup, as there’s very little you can do that isn’t a big risk often. The throwing-someone-on-wakeup in SFV is one of my most disliked mechanics in the game as it feels so unnatural to me and looks kinda silly – I’d much prefer it if you had to tick-throw in an SF2 style.

This is a rare comeback win in what is a TERRIBLE matchup in my opinion (and of most experts) for Dictator. It seems almost impossible to do anything vs a Zangief that knows the matchup well. In fact, this is one of the matchups for Dic, that by the time I played in a local tournament recently, I’d already decided I would counter-pick to Guile if a Gief player beat me. The other matchup I was convinced I’d do this for was vs Birdie, which again, feels massively against the Dic player IF the Birdie just sits back and plays defensively and sets up V-Skills well. Another matchup I’m considering dropping Dic in is vs R Mika as I’m becoming more convinced as I play enough good Mika’s that, once again, Dic doesn’t stand much of a chance. It’s very depressing on one hand, but it did mean that my practice of Guile hasn’t totally gone to waste, as I will switch to him for all of these matches now. Even if I lose, it at least feels like I had a chance and wasn’t just shafted by my character having very few options and bad risk/reward to everything I can do.
This Gief does in fact show his stuff in round 2, convincingly winning it, and he might’ve beaten me anyway had he not wasted his entire Super bar to do a Critical Art finish in round 2. I of course sprinkle the match with horrendous combo drops as per usual – but it’s his inabilty to deal with Dic’s V-Trigger teleport dashes that actually wins me both rounds I win.

Next is a matchup I’m actually really confident about overall with Dictator – vs another really low tier character – Juri. In fact “Juri Week” was one of my favourite times on SFV as when she was released I got constant matches against her as it seemed everybody was playing as her except for me. So it really helped me learn it, and I have one of my best win-rates vs her. That said, I don’t often pull off stuff like this:

I still think this maybe my best performance in a match to date on SFV. The huge comeback was so exhilarating but I also deliberately DIDN’T use my CA right away as I wanted to save it for when I was sure it would win, and keep it as a threat otherwise.

Finally here’s a good match for me where I don’t drop much stuff, and am able to dash properly. This is a much more recent match as you can see my Dictator costume choice has now become distinctly aqua-coloured, just like my DeeJay used to at certain times of the year during my HDR days… It’s almost like it means something???

This next match is simply STUNNING:

Obviously I’ve uploaded this for the remarkable way in which it ends, which I can’t recall seeing before in any version of Street Fighter. Although I think this may have only been a Casual Match, I was pleased to finally get a win vs a Urien player as I have been really struggling against good Uriens since the character was released. Whilst I couldn’t play him as he is so combo-orientated too, it seems like he basically beats Dic at his own game in so many areas, including great Crush Counters, a “stomp” style charged move, a “dash” style charged move, a V-Trigger that gives him some kind of “mixup” potential and bigger combos, and of course his pokes and range seem much better than Dic too, PLUS he gets a fireball and an EX reversal, and a top-down mixup. All in all, the kind of character that’s so clearly better than Dictator in just about every facet, you wonder what Capcom are thinking.

I’m not meaning to pick on my most regular sparring partner Ups555 by uploading this here, but this match was one of our many fun battle lounges we’ve had since the game released. The reason I picked this one out was I was really surprised how the Hell Attack (jumping medium punch) was able to juggle Nash out of his V-Trigger, for a very fancy combo:

I call this next match.. “I’ll turn into a bird… – No you won’t!”

My Lord BIPSON!!

Just to demonstrate I do still play a little bit of Guile though, here is one of my more recent Guile matches, that proved that Guile is the REAL Undead Avenger, not Nash:

Because the struggle with a consensus bottom-3 character in the game like Dictator is so real, even though I get the best results with him, sometimes the unfair matchups against the character feels like too much to me, so I’ve been dabbling in many other characters at times. Due to the difficulty I have with execution and building up muscle memory in a game where moves are as difficult to pull off as SFV though, I can’t really pick a new main that easily. Most are totally impossible for me as I know they have a critical motion move (like a DP I can’t piano), vital combos (like Guile), or some overlapping move motion that I’m unable to correct for and consistently do the wrong move that spoils the character for me – and once again, if you think I’m being defeatist with this attitude, I’ve been playing Street Fighter since SF1 arcade, and spend hours and hours in training mode practicing combos just to get to the level I’m at – I know pretty darn well that if I can’t do this execution by now, I will probably never be able to do it, and it’s not through lack of trying.

But one guy I have been dabbling with is Necalli, and this was probably my favourite match with him I played, purely as it’s one of the cheekiest ever comebacks I’ve done on SFV:

I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to play Necalli that well due to his overlapping DP/Super motions and the difficulty I have in pulling off a particular DP I want without pianoing, but that said, he probably has potential as a character for me – he’s also who most Dic mains have gone to as one by one they’ve all given up trying to make Dic work at a high level – roll on season 2 balance changes I hope.

As another extra bonus, here’s ineedleladybra fresh out of Team Shitty Dojo training winning a ranked match online, vs none other than everyone’s 2nd most hated character:

2 thoughts on “Street Fighter V – the character crisis months

  1. Pffffff….rubbish

    I play at ultra bronze level.

    That’s right….ULTRA bronze. You probably can’t compete at that level. Go back to your baby game, fantasy strike…


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