Subject: VF2 dogdges

Just thought I'd pass the time talking about the new counter attacks in
VF2 that everyone has.  If you're still having trouble with them, maybe
this can help somewhat.  If it doesn't, then at least it didn't cost you
much if you wasted your time reading it. :)

Being able to do the counter-attacks even moderately consistently seems to
be a nice advantage against skilled opponents.  This is especially true
when you are playing people who have a favorite set of attacks that hit in
the same area (eg. someone who likes to do lots of side kicks, or someone
who always does Lion's low kicks, low punches and sweeps.)  In some
instances, playing an opponent who uses the same type of attacks, such as
always punching and uppercutting, is vulnerable as well.  Once you have
shown that you can counter those attacks repeatedly, the opponent is
forced to play with a less familiar strategy, putting you firmly in the
driver's seat.

There are two types of counter-attacks: dodges, and moves which throw or
knock down incoming attacks.  I'll deal with these individually.

Although dodging does not actually block an incoming move or directly
damage the opponent, the advantage of a dodge is that it can be done any
time.  So even if the opponent does not do an attack, your dodge will
still come out.  Shun has the most dodges, and he can use these to move in
and out and around to the side of the opponent.  Lion's back+D, for+P
dodging punch often puts him directly behind leaping or running opponents,
giving him a free throw or combo.  In fact, the best time to dodge is when
you see someone rushing head long at you.  A quick dodge gets you out of
harms way, and places you right to the side of the opponent ready for
action.

Counter attacks and throws only work if the opponent is starting the
appropriate type of attack, but have the advantage of automatically
damaging the opponent and leaving them prone on the ground.  The key is
that you have to do the counter-move before the move hits.  Except in the
case of longe range moves such as Lion's for, for+P lunge, you are not
likely to see the attack coming out in time to execute the counter attack
before the attack is done.  If you could, you probably wouldn't be reading
this. :)  But against a surprising number of otherwise very capable
opponents, if you carefully watch their fighting technique you will see
times where they almost always respond the same way.  Those are the times
to counter-attack, because you can time you counter just as they start
their move.

For example, last night I was playing a very skilled VF opponent.  I was
Akira (master of the counter-attack) and he was Lion.  After playing him
for a bit, I noticed that although he mixed up his game pretty well with
throws and various attacks, he had a preference for the side kick to start
his attacks whenever he thought I might duck.  In particular, he started
out the first round with a side kick, and did a number of side kicks after
I did an attack.

So in the second round of the fight (I had won the first by a close
margin) I started the round immediately with Akira's side-kick counter
(tap Def, back/down+P).  Out came his side kick, which Akira promptly
blocked, spun then elbowed Lion into the ground.  A pounce later and he
was down 45%.  More over, I knew that he would be reluctant to continue
doing side kicks, so I was able to crouch down and duck or block his high
and low attacks for the remainder of the fight.  That's the beauty of the
counter-attack:  it not only hurts the character, it demoralizes the
player and limits the choices of attacks he's willing to use.

As a final note, counter-attacks are surprisingly versatile.  For example,
Kage's punch counter (down+P) can catch ANY punch, not just a standing jab
or running punch.  I've seen Kage catch Lion's low double punch for
instance, or uppercuts.  And everyone knows how versatile Pai's back+P and
Akira's counters are.

Anyway, the key is to practice them frequently.  I've only now begun to
get the timing down on counter-attacks, and I'm still not yet satisfied.
Good luck.
- dug@lugaru.com