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LONG BLOG

Footsies: The Game of Fighting Game Fundamentals

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In fighting games, there are fundamentals that every player had to use, such as whiff punishment, spacing, and more. Many fighting game players have used fundamentals to their advantage as their key to victory in games such as Street Fighter, Tekken, Dragon Ball FighterZ, etc. There are also times where certain players, mostly new players, that try to ignore fundamentals and try to imitate what the experienced players do in terms of doing sick combos.

One fighting game mechanic that evens the playing field and many experienced players used to this day are Footsies. Footsies is old school slang to describe the mid-range ground game, dating back to the days of Street Fighter II. It’s referred to controlling the flow of the match when you and your opponent aren’t in combo-range, making sure that the player baits his opponent into making mistakes. HiFight, known for uploading fighting game highlights on the internet, created a game that focuses on that one fundamental. A simple game that only uses one button to attack, one character to use, and very fun to play.

Footsies is a game developed by HiFight that is based on the main fundamental of the same name. The concept of this fighting game is not only used for fun, but it’s also used as a training tool to help you get better as a player.

I first heard about this game on Facebook, and then heard about it from the Double Tap Podcast while I was listening to it at work. Seeing the game in action, I loved how it takes the simple concept of the fundamentals and make it simple, yet interesting and fun.

(Side note: Double Tap is the best podcast for fighting games, whether you need to know about what’s going on in the FGC, fighting game and DLC releases, mods, and more. Follow them on Twitter: @DoubleTapFGC, and of course: their new episode comes out every Thursday on MashThoseButtons.com. Shoutout to Static Gorilla and CrashTag.)

So what is Footsies all about? Footsies is a game of spacing control between you and the opponent. The idea of the game is to force your opponent’s mistake so that you will have the advantage to punish them. Simple mechanics such as blocking, pokes, whiff punishment, and hit confirms are the basis for this game.

The controls in this game are very simple. You can only move backward or forward, and you only have one button to attack. Using the Neutral + Attack emulates a cr.MK, and Backward/Forward + Attack emulates a st.MK. Hitting the button twice can be cancelled into the Donkey Kick special. Holding the button then releasing it will allow that character to use the Donkey Kick, while Forward + Holding Attack releases a Shoryuken. The website was kind enough to display frame data for this game, which is very easy to read for beginners.

While only one character is shown in this game, the animations are based on the iconic fighting game character that we know and love to this day: Ryu from Street Fighter. Not to mention, Ryu is a character that is known for helping out first-timers into the fighting game genre.

There’s no health bar in this game. The only way to win is to knock your opponent out with a special move. You can block in this game, but you have a guard bar that allows you to block your opponent’s attack three times. Once the guard bar is depleted, you can cause a guard break on the next attack, leaving your opponent vulnerable to attacks. If you are playing on the PC version, pressing F12 will turn on frame data, alongside with hitboxes and hurtboxes, which is great for newcomers.

Playing this game with the CPU is challenging, but nothing beats playing this game with an human-controlled player. Although I have to admit, the AI in this game is pretty smart because it was trained to punish our mistakes. This game has a great following with the FGC. Some events held side tournaments for this game, and it can get really hype.

In my experience with this game, I was told by several players that I have a tendency to finish my strings on a blocked opponent, leaving me vulnerable for punishment. I was also told that I tend to rush in without thinking, resulting in one of my autopiloting moments. Playing this game made me take note of my bad habits and how I should fix them. Now keep in mind that this game won’t give you instant results, but it will help you learn how to apply it to other fighting games.

In short, Footsies is a great game that grasps the concept of learning the core fundamentals of fighting games. You can download this game for PC or on your smartphone. If you are a newcomer to the fighting game scene and you don’t know where to begin, I suggest everyone should play this game. It’s free, so have at it!

Until then… Train Up, Fighters!

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About Virtua Kazamaone of us since 12:55 PM on 07.05.2014

DOA Player and Fighting Game Researcher. I play games: mostly fighters, platformers, beat em' ups, Japanese, Retro, and Modern. I do videos. That's all.