Published on 10-06-2012 06:12 AM
So! You've just bought the latest Arcsys fighter on the block. Maybe you're excited to play as your favorite Persona characters; maybe you want to see for yourself what all the hubbub about this "Guilty Gear" is. Who knows? But in any case, you wind up on Dustloop because you're not a filthy casual and you want your game to have a little substance. That's good! You're on the right track.
But all these Dustloop members keep talking about doing stuff in Training Mode - mostly combos, but also some other things. That seems boring to you! You bought the game because you wanted to fight people, not beat up on a standing opponent for hours on end. Why should that be so important?
I had that exact thought when I first got into Guilty Gear. GG was the first fighter I tried to learn competitively, and I heard some pretty crazy-sounding things: "80% of your time with the game should be in training mode" was the most extreme advice I got. But I've come to learn that it's not that Training Mode is the most important part of a fighting game - after all, there are lots of things you can't practically train without a human opponent - but that unless your name is Tokido or something, it is crucial to your success as a competitive-minded player.
Why is Training Mode Important?
At any fighting game's most basic level, playing the game is about being able to consistently perform the action that you want. Sure, you can mash buttons and dash around like a newborn, but that won't win you very many matches after a while; eventually, you'll want to be able to do the right move at the right time in the right place. Anything else is essentially wild flailing, and wild flailing gets you killed.
The kinds of things you'll want to be able to do consistently include:
1) Poking (at what range is each attack optimal? Which moves are always good and which are situational?)
2) Movement (doing the right jump, the perfectly-timed airdash, etc. - in general, not being "out of position")
3) Combos (which combos work all the time? Which are situational? How can I best optimize my meter usage in combos?)
4) Pressure and hitconfirming out of pressure (how do I keep the opponent blocking? How do I mix them up? What do I do when I hit them?)
5) Reacting to and punishing your opponent's actions (my opponent likes to do -action-. How can I make him/her feel bad for doing that?)
While number 2 is a little bit difficult to practice without having someone to fight, numbers 1, 3, 4, and 5 can all be honed with the magic of Training Mode - and you don't even need another meatbag to do it with you!