The long awaited [long and drawn out is more like it…] end to the neutral game series I’m doing. So, in brief, let’s recap what we have covered so far. First we talked about the basics. The most basic rule is that in the beginning of the match, the opponent can only hurt you from the front via footsies, or from above via a jumping attack. We learned about offensive footsies, moving into range of your opponent and attacking. We also talked about the counter, defensive footsies, which is moving out of your opponents space when they press a button, and counter attack them with your own move.
The most basic rule is that in the beginning of the match, the opponent can only hurt you from the front via footsies, or from above via a jumping attack
Next I introduced counter-offensive footsies, which takes advantage of an opponent who is trying to use footsies offensively. If they are walking forward you can sweep them. On the flip side, there are counter-defensive footsies. This takes advantage of your opponents reactions, causing them to press a button at an ill-timed moment and then counter with your own move.
Finally we talked about movement in general. First there is offensive movement, which aims to move forward, in the hope that your opponent moves backwards and puts themselves in the corner, where their options are severely limited. The second is defensive movement, which aims to walk forward and block unsafe moves to punish afterward.
With all of that covered, the only thing left to talk about is the worst option:
Jumping is generally advised against, because it presents a great risk during footsies. It should only be used in situations when you need to make a great comeback. Jumping in footsies is usually considered dangerous because you essentially surrender your ability to block for a set period of time [the time during the jump]. The trade-off is two-fold. The first assumes the opponent gets hit. If the jumping move hits, it does significant damage and can be followed up with powerful combos. The second assumes the opponent blocked the move. If the attack is blocked it puts the opponent in a pressure situation where, depending on how you mix up your offense, you might net you some damage in the end.
Please be aware that when I refer to jumping I mean jumping forward. Jumping backward and Neutral jumping straight up pose a less significant risk, and are generally used for different reasons entirely. I’m not telling you to never jump during footsies. I’m just saying there is a time and place for jumping [typically during a knockdown], and if you do jump during footsies, you should first weigh the risk and reward of the situation, and accept the risk your taking is worth the reward.
Take some advice from the best Guile player in the world, Kevin “Dieminion” Landon:
This will wrap up the 4-part series regarding the neutral game. I really hope you were able to take something away, and if you have any questions at all please feel free to contact me in any way you deem necessary [Leave a comment here, twitter, youtube, shoryuken, etc.] and I will try to get back to you. As a side note, since I started this series, I have moved to Tokyo, Japan for a year, and have been playing in the arcades here to improve. Now that I have gotten into a good groove here in Japan I’m ready to start back up posting information. That said, I’m not really sure what direction to go. If you have any ideas please leave them in the comments below or, again, please contact me in any way you deem necessary.