So you just brushed up on all of the crazy, exciting moments of this past Evolution Championship Series and you're pumped. You want to jump into fighting games and be a part the action, not unlike feeling like a kung fu master after watching a Jackie Chan movie. Truth be told, though, simply wanting to be a martial arts superstar won't make you one. It takes time, money, and a lot of natural ability. Not that I think you couldn't do it - I don't know what you're into, but I'm confident kicking faces like Jackie Chan isn't one of them.
Hitting the sticks and dragon punching like Daigo is a bit more of an attainable goal, thanks to the Internet. Execution is a fighting game's biggest hurdle - knowing what moves to do, how to do them, and when to do them is a balance recipe you only master after much practice. YouTubers in the fighting game community know this, and they have made great efforts to help the rest of us get our game together. A bigger, more skillful, more knowledgeable community is a better one, after all. The following are some of the best places to brush up on your fighting game know how.
Street Fighter IV
The crown jewel of the fighting game community is Street Fighter IV - for a myriad reasons bigger than the scope of this piece. Long story short: the legacy of competitive games of any genre boils down into simple balance of pretty basic mechanics than can be manipulated and interpreted by the players through high level competition, or adjusted by developers by, say, adding new characters (new organizations of the pre-established mechanics). Few games interpret this better than Capcom's signature brawler.
Youtuber lordofultima has a short-lived series of videos that are great for people dipping their feet into Street Fighter IV for the first time.
The one above focuses on "hit confirming": the act of making sure an attack hits cleanly before throwing special moves of committing to a more elaborate combo.
This one focuses on the sometimes misunderstood option select. I'm not even going to try to sum it up, but lordofultima gives it his best attempt.
Over at Cross Counter TV, Matt "Sciar" Rathbun takes a hard look at the basics of the game with the game's most fundamental character: Ryu.
Marvel vs Capcom 3
Street Fighter is a pretty game, but sometimes you just want to turn the glitz up to 11. If you agree, then Marvel might be your game. The 3 vs 3 violence is fast paced and flashy display of cartoon excess that always makes for a good spectacle at events. It takes the tenants of Street Fighter and other 2D fighting games and layers in tons of other mechanisms to enhance the crazy.
Maybe one of the most recognizable public figures on YouTube as it relates to fighting games is Maximillian, and as he makes content for all sorts of games, his preferences trend towards the Marvel vs. series.
His "Assist Me!" series of videos serve as both parody shorts featuring actors portraying characters from Marvel vs. Capcom 3, and a tutorial on the best ways to play the featured combatant. It's infotainment, really.
Mortal Kombat X
Mortal Kombat X is the culmination of a long series of foul ups and lessons learned. This once laughable series has found away to take its identity back, while delivering a new sort of 2D combat unique to it.
The Mortal Kombat Community's Kombat Klass series is a good place to start learning specifics about particular Kombat characters. There are only a few so far, though.
infamy23 has a good video about Negative Edge and how it can affect your combo inputs. If you're having problems stringing combos together, this may help you out.
Guilty Gear Xrd
Quite possibly the most difficult and complex 2D fighter in mainstream rotation is Guilty Gear Xrd. It takes the basic relationship of mechanics that Street Fighter has embodied, and adds new and interesting ways to play with them, like roman cancels and the Burst meter. Xrd may also be the best looking 2D game around, thanks to Arc System Works' hand drawn visual wizardry.
Dash over at Ninjaland Games offers some excellent advice on how to get the basics down in Guilty Gear relatively quickly. His advice can be adapted and applied to other games, as well.
Super Smash Bros.
One of the most rabid fanbases in the fighting game community are the Smash fans. Ever since Melee, Nintendo's mascot maelstrom has been stuffed to the gills with furiously competitive players.
Hitbox.tv's Smash Roundup has a pretty good guide to one on one, competition-focused gameplay. It's a really interesting look at the difference between casual play and competitive play.
F. Zero has an interestingly similar take on that competitive/casual divide, but as it applies to Super Smash Bros. Melee.
Now you're a pro, right? Now share your best tips for the next generation of e-pugilists below, or tweet them to us @CurseGamepedia.