Originally Posted by number1laing
I haven't even gone online yet. It's all ghost battle for me to try to get a feel for the game.
How does ghost battle work? Is it just downloading names and character costumes, or some sort of play style approximation as well? I vaguely remember hearing that way back Tekken 5 for PSP downloaded ghosts with play style information.
Yeah, ghosts are designed to copy certain tactics and juggles used by the players that they are named after. It won't be a perfect replication of course; for instance advanced players often like to bait whiffs by intentionally missing quick recovering moves, parrying or evading your retaliation before punishing you - the A.I. doesn't do that - but I'm pretty impressed with the combos and moderate custom poke strings the computer does at the tougher difficulties.
Ghost battles are great for offline workouts when you know exatly what you are trying to get out of it to improve. For instance, I spend a TON of time in practice mode developing my own combos and learning how to defend common setups from other characters. I then go to Ghost battles with the settigs on easy so I can spam my juggles against different characters (size affects some coombos) and in different stage areas so I can adjust on the fly to wall distances.
I also play Ghost battles on a harder difficulty and focus solely on defense; breaking throws, blocking or "crushing" (hop over and attack) lows, sidestepping canned strings, creating space and punishing whiffs, etc. This has helped me a lot when my buddies and I get together for some intense matches. It is a great, great mode, plus you earn a ton of gear for your character that is not available in the store if you fight all of the Gold opponents when they come up.
BTW, to a point I made above, anyone who wants to improve in this game should be in Practice mode as much as they are in vs. mode. Besides being able to easily practice combos, the real benefit from it is with the Record function under Defensive Training section. You can make up to five separate recordings of you manually inputting the moves of any opponent you choose (i.e. Kazuya executing a jab followed by a Hellsweep into an uppercut). You then simply playback a recording (it will repeat infinitely) while you defend against what you inputted while using your main team. In the example above, after blocking Kaz's jab, you can sidewalk left and punish his Hellsweep as it misses you (whiffs).
This is sooooooo valuable because you will know what you can do to punish (the game tellls you when your attack is guaranteed on block) or evade whatever attack strategy your foes are using against you. For instance, because of practice mode I know that I can sidestep/sidewalk to my left and punish almost any attack Steve has out of his Peek-a-Boo stance (PAB). He is able to lock your character down with different rush down patterns if you simply stand there and try to guess, so even if he hits me with the PAB low poke, it doesn't prevent me from dodging his next PAB attack by going left, so I regain the advantage.
Another example of the incredible possibilities with Practice mode is for help breaking throws. You can use three recordings for example of first Heihachi grabbing you first with the left throw, second with the right throw, and third with his "both hands" headbutt throw. With these three recorded, you can have the CPU attempt them all randomly as you practice your escape.
Now, to escape grabs in Tekken, you will want to look at the opponent's arms to know what he/she is attempting. If Heihachi's left hand is reaching out further than the right, he is using his left throw attempt so you need to press your left punch button ( on the PS3, or "1" in Tekken talk) to get out of it. Press your right punch button (/\, or "2" in Tekken talk) if you see his right hand stretching out further. If both arms are coming at the same legnth, you press both punches to escape (+/\ simultaneously, or 1+2 in Tekken talk). You have a little more than 1/6th of a second to break most throws after an opponent actually grabs you (13 frames to be exact), so it does require some invested time to get halfway decent at it.
Once you are comfortable at at least attempting a throw break in the alloted time, you will have more confidence in being able to simply stand and block when being attacked, which in turn means you are launched for powerful juggle far less often. That's what defensive success in Tekken often comes down to.... blocking mids (while punishing them accordingly), "seeing" and properly responding to slow, powerful lows (block and launch, or hop over and launch), and breaking throws on reaction.
Practice mode, especially the record function, helps in all of these areas and so much more. Make sure you use it!Edited by joeblow - 9/27/12 at 11:16am