How to Beat the Scrub Out of You

Every fighting game match has the same outcome – someone wins and their opponent is the loser. By and large this is how things go, and very rarely will there ever be a draw. This is objectively true, but for every new fighting game people flock to, a staggering percentage of the player base has historically had trouble with understanding this fact. If you’ve been fervently playing Marvel vs. Capcom 3 like I have, your inbox that’s probably full of hate mail can verify that you’ve also come across this special type of player; perhaps you’re one of them yourself. I’m talking about the Scrub.

What is this Scrub you speak of?

For those of you who don’t know what a Scrub is, it’s the type of player (although not limited to fighting games, but this is where they flock to) that feels the need to take things a step further with their opponent after they’ve lost a match. Whatever tactic that was used to win will immediately be scrutinized; it was “cheap”, they used too many projectiles, they didn’t “fight like a real player,” they too chickenshit to get up close, their team was just so much better than the loser’s; the list of complaints go on and on. The sad thing is that each and every point of argument is so steeped in stupidity and rage that it cannot be taken seriously.

Because of the reasons I stated above, I venture to say that the only type of match a scrub would really enjoy would be one that doesn’t suffer from those “flaws.” Further, I imagine this fight would be perfectly balanced, so to speak. Perhaps it’ll go something like this: He does a number of tricks and really injures you, and you return the favor with your own arsenal of moves, while explosions are going off in the background and both of your fan clubs are hopelessly cheering you two on. But in the end, he wins, because he’s supposed to. If he doesn’t, then there’s something wrong. The perfectly scripted encounter is supposed to go his way because nothing else matters as long as the scrub wins. No matter how ridiculous a match goes, a scrub will never ever complain if they win in the end. If they lost, then they’ll suddenly feel violated, and the verbal insults fly in every direction. The truth is, anything goes. There is no code of honor when it comes to a fighting game. There’s no perfect way a fight is supposed to go, and that’s never going to change. You deal with it, and you focus on getting better. If you can’t do that, it’s best to stop playing for your own sake.

“If you’re gonna be dumb, you gotta be tough…”

I know what it’s like. Over my years of playing fighting games I too have suffered so many losses that I’ve had no other reaction than blind rage. I would let my anger cloud my better judgment, leading me to make more mistakes. As a result, I was also more susceptible to falling for the same traps and the same attacks over and over. For example in Marvel vs. Capcom 3, whenever you get blasted by Doctor Doom’s beam attack your character falls to the floor. If you’re not immediately blocking, you’ll roll up, only to get blasted again. If I don’t wise up, why should my opponent do anything different?

It takes a certain type of mindset to play fighting games. Have you heard of the phrase “when you get knocked down, you gotta’ get back up?” well, I’ve never seen that idea apply more to anything than a fighting game. If you don’t start playing with the frame of mind that losing is an occupational hazard that will happen more than you’d like, you’re going to destroy yourself. The one thing that divides a scrub and a regular player (not even professionals) is that when a regular player loses a match, he or she doesn’t dive right into playing the blame game. Regardless of how the loss happened, a player that can rise above is taking notes. They are watching and analyzing how they are losing, and will promptly GO BACK TO PRACTICE MODE to iron out those kinks.

Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is unfortunately synonymous with a lot of scrubby debates, but I can definitely sympathize with them. I’ve gotten spanked by Sentinel more times than I can count. In fact, on the second day of playing online, I got so depressed from losing that I didn’t want to cover this game anymore. Every character has the potential to defeat every other character; it just takes a lot of effort and experimentation to find out what combination works for you. When all else fails, you just might have a bad matchup. In that case, take note of it, and move on.

But I’m so lost don’t know where to begin…

If you decide to play a game like Marvel vs. Capcom 3, you have to consider the fact that you’re going to lose. You’re going to lose often. The best way to deal with this is to pay a lot of attention to how the match is going. What strategies is your opponent using? Are you able to overcome them with your own style? If you’re losing a lot to a general playing style like ‘keepaway,’ where the opponent does everything in his or her power to keep you pinned with projectiles and other attacks to force you in the corner, use characters who excel at ‘rushdown’, who can bring a lot of pain when their right in the oppositions face. This is pretty rudimentary, but still effective, especially if you haven’t considered this. By really learning your characters and the characters that you’re facing online, you should start to develop strategies to beat them. Of course, it may be hard to think of all of this on your own, but remember, this is the internet! Go to message boards, watch technique videos, read a strategy guide! There’s a mountain of resources out there made for people trying to get better. Use them!

If you ever feel like you’re not getting where you want to be, go back into the lab. Keep experimenting, and come up with new strategies. Perfect your team and work on any weaknesses you have, or are learning about based on how you’re losing. The time you put into practicing will reflect on your overall skill. While spending ten or more hours a day like professionals do when they’re preparing to compete in tournaments may not suit you, find out what works best for your situation, And watch as you start to rack in some wins.

Here’s a couple links that can get you started if you feel like you want to improve your game:

–’s comprehensive “hyper guide” details EVERYTHING you need to know about Marvel vs. Capcom 3. While there’s a lot of material to sort out here, so my advice is to read a couple pages, and practice what you’ve learned. Once you feel like you’ve gotten a few things down, go back and read more. The front page also has video walkthroughs explaining each character’s strengths so you can start putting together your dream team.

–          I’ve always made it a point to visit GameFAQ’s forums for every game I cover as a second resource. While this community is not strictly composed of fighting game enthusiasts like Shoryuken, I’ve found a couple of good discussions here as well.

–          If you wanted a more focused discussion about an individual character, this is the place to go. I usually go here when I want more information about a character that catches my interest after watching the introductory videos found on the first link above.

Good luck, and remember not to get discouraged if you lose.


Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds Reviewed!

Hey readers, in case you haven’t caught the link on Facebook, Twitter or your email if you subscribed, my review for Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is posted. Check it at the link below, I hope you enjoy it!

As always, I’m looking for any and all sorts of feedback. Have any questions, comments, suggestions? Don’t hesitate to post something in the discussion box below!

I’ll be working on my follow up article(s) now that the review is done, staying busy until my next game, Dissidia Final Fantasy 2 is released.

Marvel vs. Capcom 3 First Impressions

After over a decade of rocking the arcades, home consoles and never missing a step with newer fighting games, the most popular crossover fighter Marvel vs. Capcom explodes onto the scene with its third game. After clearing the arcade mode and playing online for a little bit, I can’t be any more excited about this game. I’m still getting my bearings in the arena, but here’s a few things I’ve noticed –

While marveling at the cast of fighters this time around, it’s hard not to miss the characters that have gone missing. Fan-favorites like Strider, Cable and Captain Commando have been left out this time around, but Capcom’s rationale for this is definitely fair in my opinion. It goes without saying that a lot of resources are required to bring a character into this game; the graphics are on par with Street Fighter IV, if not better. Because of this, it’s important to have each fighter bring something new to the table. This is evident in the presence of Super-Skrull, who combines all four of the powers of each member of the Fantastic Four. While he may be a great example of consolidation, I’m having trouble with looking at She-Hulk next to her well established male counterpart, or both Dante and Trish who appear to play similarly. Perhaps they’re not so similar, but we’ll have to see about that. A cast of 36 characters on disk with at least two more on the way via DLC is significantly less than the 56 who flooded the select screen in Marvel vs. Capcom 2.

I started off with a team consisting of Zero, Wolverine, and Dante. While Megaman will also be greatly missed, I think Zero was a better fit for my play style. The frantic nature of Marvel vs. Capcom 3 looks like it favors fast damage dealers, rather than slow bruisers like Thor. Once I hit training mode and got the very basics down, I went out and beat arcade mode relatively quickly. The unlockable characters which included Akuma and Sentinel, were also unlocked effortlessly as well.

Playing online was pretty nice as well, but I’ll go more in depth in my review. Capcom’s great netcode ensured that I had no bad connections; I was pretty surprised at that.

I also came upon a very helpful page for beginners and veterans of Marvel vs. Capcom. From the good people at, check out this comprehensive guide to understanding everything you need to know in order to master Marvel vs. Capcom 3.

As always, I’ve only scratched the surface of the game.  Stay tuned for the review, coming soon.

Why I Won’t Get a 3DS… For Now

While new consoles always flaunt more advanced hardware and intuitive software than the previous generation, the first crop of games always seem to leave many of us wanting more, and in some cases, feeling sour for forking so much money only to be underwhelmed. Taking on every facet of the 3DS will have to wait until more information is divulged, so this article specifically deals with the trouble that most new consoles face upon their release; the first batch of games that are used to “wow” the public into making the big purchase.

They said this day would come

To me, buying a new console soon after its release is like taking a risk. While I admit to owning each relevant system, I also admit that I got a hold of them relatively close to their launch dates as well. While many of my friends were envious that I was an early adopter of many consoles, I never was as excited to be “one of the first” as other people are. For the handheld crowd, its new console season, and with that, each new press release has been attracting fans to wanting to be the first to own; an innate status I never really enjoyed.

To me, there are a lot of roadblocks that make it so I’m really uncomfortable with purchasing a new system early on. I have never been impressed enough with the relatively small lists of launch titles to warrant forking out an arm and a leg to buy it. I was the first on my block with a Dreamcast, Xbox, Gamecube, Wii, Playstation 2, PS3 and Xbox 360, but I didn’t readily welcome picking up their new-fangled controllers for at least a few months afterward.

This is happening right now for Nintendo’s 3DS. The DS’s successor is being hailed as Nintendo’s newest golden child in a dynasty in (portable) gaming excellence, and with good reason. Nearly anyone you talk to owns a DS, and for the most part, they love it. A follow up to it is naturally going to get a lot of positive reaction. While I too have high hopes for it, I won’t be so quick to purchase one yet, until I see good reason to.

Video Credit: Youtube user AlphaProtocol360 , Capcom, Super Street Fighter IV

“Since we’re naming names here…”

The 3DS’s sky-high price of $249.99 feels like a reoccurring nightmare that began with the PSP Go. Of course new tech is going to be expensive, and you’ll definitely get what you pay for. However, I just don’t see myself paying that much right now just to be able to take a portable iteration of Super Street Fighter IV, for example. Fighting game purists already have enough difficulty competing with a standard control, and are quick to shell out even more cash for a proper arcade stick. Success in competitive fighting games requires the player to be able to execute every technique and combo in their arsenal on command. This just isn’t possible on a handheld controller. This has been true for every other portable iteration of a mainstream fighting game in the past, and that fact just isn’t going to change now. On the bright side, it may be better to say this game will be aimed at the average player base who may not have that much experience with Street Fighter, and want an easier time getting into it. In that respect, this game may work out pretty well. Still, it’s largely the same game, albeit with some new connectivity features and an oblong new camera angle. I’m still not convinced enough to buy this.

Give it some time to grow

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that the 3DS isn’t a good purchase just based off this examination of Super Street Fighter IV. I’m saying that for me, I need a lot more convincing than a few shiny ports of already-existing titles, or slight re-imaginings of games we’ve already come to know. I want something new. The future of handheld gaming is definitely on its way, but I think we can wait a little longer for games that are much more substantial. When that happens, purchasing a new console like the 3DS won’t feel like such a waiting game. I don’t think the “future” that we’re all thinking about has emerged yet, since we’re still looking in the past and conjuring up new coats of paint for games that have already come and gone.

Super Street Fighter IV First Impressions

Frame Data, sparkling new Tier-Lists, and a multitude of new match-ups. To the average gamer picking up Super Street Fighter 4, this may not be much of an issue. However, to the seasoned player looking to sink their teeth into the new features, tweaks and robust additions, it’s everything they dreamed of, and more. I retired from religiously following meta game information such as this when I stopped playing fighting games last year, as trying to comprehend it all in the midst of an online match costed me many victories. As I drove home with Super Street Fighter 4 safely in my possession, much of what I left behind many months ago came flowing back to me.

Although some cynics may say Capcom periodically polishes their existing games by sprinkling a new coat of paint and some extra content, SSF4 dispels that rumor immediately at the sight of the budgeted price tag. At $39.99, a couple obvious improvements sweeten the deal.

Ten new characters bring the new character roster to 35. Joining the fight is Guy, Cody and Adon from Alpha, T-Hawk and Dee Jay from SSF 2, along with Dudley, Makoto and Ibuki from SF 3, to name a few. New faces are Juri and Hakan, which I have yet to fight against. They seem interesting enough as far as new characters go, at least. Going through hurdles like unlocking characters by beating the game ad nauseum with a bunch of flunkies you hate playing is well, as nauseating as it always was. Right out of the box, everyone is ready to play with, even Gouken. Every character has at least two Ultra Combos, selectable before the start of a match similar to Street Fighter 3. This is only scratching the surface, but damn, looking at all 35 people while my game box still smells new is a treat. There’s nothing like going from Guile, to Cammy, and then getting quickly remembering how to take down Dudley.

I got to my third match on Medium in Arcade mode, and it was over – I was getting my ass handed to me more times than I could count. I am really out of street fighting shape. The comprehensive training mode is back again, and spending an hour or two on getting my fundamentals down brought my game back up to an acceptable standard, enough to not feel like a scrub anymore. I won’t show my face online for a little while, though.

Still, even with the new additions, SSF4 isn’t a completely new experience. Whether you’re a Street Fighter enthusiast or a fledgling to the series in general, the best way to ease into this game is to remember that it’s a supplemental improvement to the original. If you passed up SF4 the first time around last year, this is the golden opportunity to catch up on what you’ve been missing out on, as well as enjoy the new material everyone else is eagerly celebrating.