With the release of Dragon Ball FighterZ this week, new and old fans of the DBZ franchise will be flocking to stores to secure themselves a copy. As usual with high profile fighting game releases – there is a reasonable mix of players ranging from those unfamiliar with DBZ and the fighting genre all the way to the super fans who are a part of the fighting game elite. If you range anywhere from beginner to familiar with fighting games, this article is likely for you. The intermediate to elite will likely already know this information and will pass on. But I guarantee if you follow this one simple tip, you will rise to the intermediate category quickly. Follow the guidelines that go with it and destroying beginners will be as easy as a “Double Sunday”.
1. Fight the Computer on Varying Difficulties in Training Mode
This likely seems a little too simple. If it does and you’re about to exit out of this article, this is also why you are still a beginner. Most everyone who picks up a fighting game goes through the move/combo tutorial, hops into training mode to learn how to execute and is on their way. But there is so much value to be had by getting your ass whooped by the computer as I will explain now.
Set the Difficulty Too High
This step alone will almost get you to the competitive level. When you set the difficulty beyond your personal ability, you are doing the equivalent of mimicking a Super Saiyan’s inherent ability to get stronger every time they lose. You are not losing without a purpose. In fact, as you get torn apart you’re going to naturally start defending much better. It’s just human instinct to prevent pain. At the same time your defense is improving, you’re also unknowingly becoming more familiar with how the computer attacks. Everything is going to get rather “repetitive”. The computer can only do so much and once you know what it’s capable of the tide of the fight will turn. You have now successfully advanced far beyond your initial skill. You’ve fought a better opponent, learned their patterns, anticipated and defended their advances and likely have noticed an opening or two.
Once you can consistently defend yourself and retaliate to the point you are clearly superior to the computer, it’s time to raise the difficulty and repeat. If you ever feel frustrated from the beat-down; step back and take a break. You are absorbing much more information than you realize.
The Computer is Your Senpai
You may as well go to Amazon, buy yourself a King Kai training outfit and slap an A.I. emblem on the back because your skills now mirror the computer you’ve been training against. You probably haven’t noticed yet, but how you fight now is likely in direct relation to how the computer fought you except you’ve made it better, more efficient and your own. This means if you can go toe-to-toe with the computer on the hardest difficulty and win; any player you face on online who can’t beat the computer is now far inferior to you.
Master Any Character You Want
The final benefit and certainly not the last is that the computer is your key to mastering characters and team compositions. Pick your favorite team and select that exact team for the computer to use on the hardest difficulty. You will learn synergies and character tactics you never dreamed of. Watch how the computer punishes your openings after specific moves. You can now do this too when the computer does the same thing. Look for combos you want to replicate. Does the computer do something that gets you every single time? Try to write it down and then learn how to defend it. Chances are the real players you fight will also struggle with it.
You can see me apply all of these elements here. I lost terribly in the first round. By the third, I had adapted to Hugo’s patterns and punished them. You’ll see me land similar attacks consistently as he always left himself open for grabs mid combo:
Congratulations! If you’ve followed this you will be better than at least 30% of players at launch and onward. After facing the computer in such punishing conditions the real-life players will pale in comparison. They also will not seem so scary anymore. The computer at it’s toughest will rush and punish so hard you’ll feel like player games are in slow motion. You may as well have been training in Gravity100.
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