Tekken Tag Tournament 2/System/Art of Buffering
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
The Art of Buffering
- To introduce direction buffering and its uses
- To introduce command buffering and its uses
On any given game, it doesn't matter if you know the rules and tactics available, you're not gonna win if you can't execute. Execution is a major part of Tekken, and having a great execution will take your game one level higher for sure. Being able to perform commands that your opponent can't do or is inconsistent in doing will give you the edge. In this section, we'll talk about a way to make the execution barrier a little bit easier, using buffering.
On many occasions, especially combos, you are required to do series of moves that comes from a series of button inputs or complicated joystick movements. Having to know these series of moves aren't already a challenge by itself, executing them on the heat of battle will make it darn harder. Doing that joystick movement on a fast rate and inputting a series of button inputs in an accurate way is pretty hard, and with a fast paced game that requires a great deal of quick reflexes, you need to do these inputs FAST.
Good thing is that the game made our lives easier by allowing us to "cheat" input though the use of buffering. Buffering, defined in electronics, is the way a program "stores" the first incoming inputs until the program recognize the whole command, then sent to the output as one big command (Don't worry, this is the end of the electronics lesson :P ). Buffering in Tekken is not really electronics topic, but it shares the whole idea. What buffering allows us to do is to let us input commands in the game earlier before the time we want to do the actual move. You might not see the usefulness right now, but I hope the examples I'll give later will give its usefulness.
We have two categories for buffering in Tekken: directional buffering and command buffering. Directional Buffering concerns "storing" directional inputs. To get the idea, let's use Armor King for example. For his solo juggles, he usually uses the bound ender df+1, air-GS (df+1, f~hcf+1). By the time df+1 hits, you need to do the forward~half-circle-forward directional input REALLY FAST since df+1 doesn't really make your opponent float in the air for too long. Not only is it a tad hard (almost impossible), you'll also risk yourself with carpal tunnel.
This is where directional buffering comes in. Directional buffering lets us "store" the directional inputs way ahead. In this case, we could input the forward~half-circle-forward movement DURING the animation for df+1, so by the time df+1 finishes, we finished the whole direction input and GS will come out so fast, we look like pros. With directional buffering, not only does it give you a much bigger time interval to do big direction commands, it also makes the moves you do significantly quicker!
Remember though, directional buffering is not exclusive to juggles, it can be useful in pressure. Michelle's shotgun spin (d~df+1, 4) is a good poke that can give you mixup opportunities because of her evasive spin followups, but what makes it scary is you can buffer her Mad Axes throw (qcb~F+2) while she's still spinning. If buffered properly, Mad Axes will come out just after the spin, which makes it hard to break. This takes time to get used to, but you can use directional buffering to your advantage to do these kind of moves out of thin air. It will let you do quarter-circle, half-circle and even the triple forward (iWR) inputs pretty fast.
Command Buffering, just like directional buffering, lets you store button command inputs in the game. To follow tradition, let's use a combo example, like Baek's Halberd (FLA 3+4~F, FLA 3+4~F rinse repeat), a move from his Flamingo stance where he can do spinning jump kicks and transition back Flamingo stance for more jump kicks. Halberd is Baek's signature juggle filler that has great wall carry. To do this, you need to get the perfect rhythm to do the commands repeatedly with accuracy and speed. The stick movement is pretty easy, just go forward~neutral over and over again. But the problem with it is that if you 3+4 and let go and then hit 3+4 again, you can't do Halberd again.
In this case, command buffering is a necessity. What you have to do is to hold one button after your first spin kick (for Halberd, you have to hold 3). What happens here is that you'll "store" the 3 command, so when you press 4, the game will register 3+4. (The notation will be FLA +4~F, FLA 4~F...). Instead of pressing 3+4 together every single time, you can just tap 4 while you're holding 3. This makes multiple Halberds possible in a combo.
In the same vein as directional buffering, command buffering can be used for other things aside from juggles! Many strings in this game have some two-button parts that you can buffer (like Jin's cd+4~3+4, King's b+2~1+2 etc.). This moves are doable without buffering, but with it, you ensure that the right move WILL come out. Otherwise, the wrong move may come out intead of what you wanted, and for a game like Tekken, a simple mistake can cost big damage. Aside from strings, command buffering is pretty useful in inputting chain throws, and many seemingly complicated commands from chain throws will look too simple with command buffering! So train yourself to use this accordingly!