Tekken Tag Tournament 2/System/Strikes and Hit Ranges
This series of lessons are aimed to introduce the offensive systems Tekken has, which include hit ranges, throws, crush system, frames and the combo system, in a way that the readers can take advantage of this system in a fight.
- Strikes and Hit Ranges
- Frames #1: Explanation
- Frames #2: CH-Hunting
- Frames #3: Block Punishing
- Crush System
- Hitboxes and Range
- Parries and Reversals
- Throws #1: Front, Side, Back
- Throws #2: Crouch, Ground, Air
- Throws #3: Shifts, Chains, Tackles
- Combos #1: Launchers and Bounds
- Combos #2: Stage Gimmicks
- The Art of Buffering
Strikes and Hit Ranges
- To introduce the four different hit ranges in the game.
- To introduce strings, and specific string properties
- To introduce the idea of "Pressure" and Mix-ups.
Now we've learned about basic movement and stuff, we can go to the fun part of the game, delivering the hurt!!! Now we're gonna study the core systems of Tekken, and don't be intimidated, despite the technicalities, all of the core systems are actually intuitive if you look at it in a different way. First, we're gonna study the basic properties of all strikes that you can do in this game. Some of this will just be like a review to you, so don't sweat it.
Strikes in Tekken can be categorized in "hit ranges", which just describe the height of the strike. It's pretty important since every different hit range will have different ways to defend. Don't worry, Tekken only has 4 of them.
High attacks, mostly strikes aimed at the head, can be easily blocked in a standing block or even dodged by crouching. But despite that, high attacks are the most common attacks in the game, as usually they are fast and safe (e.g. jabstrings) or they give "frame advantage".
Mid attacks, mostly strikes aimed at the gut, can be blocked in a standing block, but they will always hit on people whose crouching. Since they can hit standing and crouching opponents, these moves usually give "frame disadvantage" or even "unsafe" (can be punished) to compensate. Most "launchers", like hopkicks, are mid. (In Street Fighter terms, a mid is the closest thing to an overhead, yet it's more common in this game)
Low attacks, attacks that are aimed at the legs, can be blocked only when crouching and can be dodged by jumping. When you are standing straight up, you will always get hit by a low attack. These attacks are important to always keep your opponents off their toes. It's always tricky to defend against lows, but despite all that, they can be punished in a lot of ways.
Special Mid attacks, the least common, can be blocked both when standing or crouching and also can be countered just like a low. But don't write them off because of that, as usually, special mid attacks have other properties that will make them overpowered if they are categorized as regular mids. Crouch jabs are the most common special mids in this game.
Aside from that, some attacks are unblockables, and just like the name says, you cannot block them. Usually they are given away by the character "charging up", but some unblockables are fast enough that it's hard to react on time. Despite that, you can still dodge them like you would usually dodge an attack or even defend against them in other ways. Just don't stand and block.
Last thing, some attacks, like axe kicks, ground punches and stuff, can hit grounded, which is saying they can hit you when you're lying on the ground. These attacks are important for "groundgame" situations where you want to hurt your opponent more before they got a chance to stand up. Even some attacks are purely dedicated for this role, as those attacks can only be performed when your opponent's lying down on the ground.
Remember that the attacks in Tekken are not limited to just one hits. There are these things called strings, which are basically a series of strikes. All of the characters have them, and you should be familiar with them if you want to master your character. There are also some properties that need to be noted about strikes that's vital to the game.
There are some strings that when the first strike successfully hits, the following parts of the string will be guaranteed (they cannot be blocked). These strings are called natural combos (abbreviated as NC). Natural combos are important since they usually give you extra damage by ensuring you hit your opponent.
Second, there are these delayable strings. These strings' follow-ups can be "delayed" on a short amount of time, hence the name. These strings are nice to have, as you can feint your opponent by delaying a string, making them think that you stopped attacking.
Third, are hit-confirmable strings (abbreviated as HC), which are both a natural combo and a delayable type of string. Some strings' follow-ups, despite being a natural combo, can be punished when the first strike doesn't hit. That's why a player often "confirms" first that the first strike hits before doing the follow-ups of the string to ensure it will hit too. Most often, there's only a limited time that your attack can be delayed and still be guaranteed, so you need to practice to get the timing of HC strings properly in the heat of battle.
Lastly, there are some strings that jails, in which when the first hit gets blocked, the opponent can do nothing else but to block the rest of the string. You can think of this as a natural combo of some sorts, but works on block. These strings are important as they make the strings safer and easier to throw at will, and it makes it easier for you to lock down your opponent.
The Idea of Pressuring
Now, let's use all these things to work. Remember that despite many advantages, all of these things have counters and risks. But in spite of all that, no one, even high-level players, can counter everything. Why is that? You gotta admit, these things can be overwhelming to remember, especially in the heat of battle. It's hard to defend something while guessing in your mind what will your opponent do, if he's gonna do a high attack, a low etc. We surely do have mental lapse from time to time. So, we're always gonna get hit by something.
But instead of looking at this in a negative way, let's use this natural mental lapse to our advantage. Instead of defending attacks, why won't we become the aggressor and make our opponents guess? This is the basic idea of pressuring opponents. When you pressure someone, your goal is to give your opponent the hardest time defending everything you do. There are many characters that strive on this aspect, and also, it's the easiest thing to implement, as it mostly requires your knowledge of your character. Pressuring characters requires you to do mix-ups, a set of moves that complement each other. The most common mix-up moves are a quick low and a strong mid, as you can use the lows to hit standing opponents and "mix-up" some mids to scare them from crouching.
Pressurring opponents is a tried and tested method, and it works often, but there are also ways to deal with them, so if you're on the wrong side of the pressure, don't be too upset, since there are always ways to counter everything. You can learn more about them but you need to learn a "fundamental" concept of attacks, namely frames and crushes...