Beating down the cheesers in Super Street Fighter IV

So back when Street Fighter IV came out I was really excited. I hadn’t seriously played any Street Fighter games since Super Street Fighter II. Even with the Alpha series I barely touched them, and the SFIII family of games were just something I never got into even passively. I’ve always loved fighting games, so it’s weird that I went so long without playing. Anyway, I picked up SFIV and was really excited about it for about a week or two. I thought it was my return to playing Street Fighter regularly. It wasn’t. It’s not because I didn’t really like the game, I did, it was because I had no time to invest in learning the game and the new fighting engine. Eventually I sold it off, figuring I would pick it back up when SSFIV came out, if ever.

Well, I picked up SSFIV a little while back, modded my arcade stick to put authentic arcade parts (Sanwa stick with an octagonal restrictor plate and Seimitsu buttons), and sat down to play. This past weekend was the first weekend I went online to compete, and boy did it feel like old times when I’d walk down to the arcade with a pocket full of quarters to test my growing skills against the other kids and teens that were sucked into the game. Right from the get go I had success, winning my first 5 online ranked matches and earning a handful of achievements in the process. I noticed that the same sorts of players still exist–the special move spammer, the combo master, the rushdown aggressive type, the defensive player, the guy who keep jumping into your uppercuts, and that one guy that everybody hates…the cheeser.

A cheeser is a guy who basically knows 3-4 tough to defend moves and he relentlessly throws them at you. Typically this guy will just hold to this strategy, whether it’s successful or not. These guys will find out what move you’re not familiar with defending and it’s all they’ll do until the round ends. If you can’t figure out a good counter, you’ll lose.

I ran into a guy playing as Vega, and here was his strategy. Hold down and back to keep a move charged. If the other player approaches, quickly do an aerial special attack. If the player throws a projectile, he’d do a backflip to avoid it and return to his crouching charge state. It was all very annoying. After the first round where I got beat by a Super finish, I was already irritated. This was the first time I had faced Vega in SSFIV, so I was totally unfamiliar with which of my moves would take priority over his, and what counters were open to me. I reverted back to old standby strategies and made short work of him in round 2. It helped that he was being somewhat cocky and careless. In round 3 he came at me with his cheese tactics 100% again, so I had a tougher time. After a throw, he had me down to 0% on my health bar, just a sneeze would do me in. He had about 50% of his bar left, and he just let loose special move after special move. I got lucky and was either dodging or countering every single move. The round ended when he tried to unleash his Ultra 1 move, which I managed to jump over and hit him with a dragon punch to finish the round. The next 10 seconds were nothing but a stream of curses coming through his mic (I wasn’t wearing one, so it came through my TV speakers). Ahhh, it felt good. I saved that replay, and I’ll show it to my kid one day to demonstrate why his mom would choose to marry a guy like me.

A great way to punish a Blanka electric thunder spammer.

Throughout the weekend I ran into many more cheesers. They don’t seem to be as rampant as they did in the past, possibly due to the punishing Super and Ultra moves, but already I’m remembering how to deal with them. In round 1 it’s best to just play your game and see what they’re going to throw at you. If you can adjust in the first round, do it, but don’t worry if they best you at this point. In round 2 you have to start punishing those moves. Even if you win the round, they’ll stick to the moves into round 3. If you can get a lead, they’ll typically panic and start trying something else, this is when you hit them with everything you have, because they’ll be so flustered they’ll incorrectly block on cross-ups and it’ll be over quickly. After that, you’ll just have to grin and hold your tongue as they whine and cuss you out on the mic.

Ah yes, whine does go best with cheese.

Jeff Rivera

In a podcast we recorded last week that wasn’t saved properly by CallBurner (boo-urns), Brad said he’d only play Street Fighter if they had a Siegfreid clone (SoulCalibur series). They don’t have one…so no Brad.


How much difference is there between SFIV and SuperSFIV? I thought the in-battle graphics for SFIV were a letdown after my hopes were raised by the style used in some of the promos.

Jeff Rivera

Curtis: The difference isn’t huge, but it is more balanced, a few characters were changed, and the new characters are a nice addition to the mix. Online seems much more stable and there are some extra features that really seal the deal. I think the graphics are very close to the same, if not the same, but I liked them already.

Matthew: I’m an odd type of player. I’m a patient-aggressive type. I’m into feeling out my opponent for a bit and trying find where they make mistakes that can be exploited, but if they’re pretty sound from a fundamentals standpoint I try to go into rushdown mode a bit. It does depend on who I am using. I’m more defensive with the shotos, like Ryu, and I’m more aggressive with characters like Cammy.

Darc Requiem

Cheesers don’t bother me that much. I actually like them because it makes it easier for me to punish. It plays into my play style. If I see that player likes to use a certain tactic, I do everything I can to neutralize it and force them into an unfamiliar strategy.

Unfamiliar match ups are what get me. Certain characters I rarely see so I have no idea of how to handle the match up. Viper in particular gives me fits. It makes me miss the Arcades. No matter how obscure a character was, there would be one good player that used that character at the local arcade. So if nothing else, you could at least learn the match up.

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