Although I’ve loved playing fighting games since I was a kid, its only recently that I’ve started to look into the mechanics of a game in order to improve myself. Training mode is a place where you can practice as much as you want without the pressure of winning or losing, so it’s the best place to apply the theory at your own pace – especially Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown’s training mode.
The training mode is often overlooked so I to explain (what I think) the reasoning behind each mode is in the hope that people will approach them with a different attitude. SEGA has kindly broken up training mode into three parts for us – “Tutorial”, “Command training” and “Free training”. The “Tutorial” will teach you about the mechanics of the game. In “Command training”, you shift your focus to learning a single character’s move set and abilities. “Free training” is your laboratory.
Although tutorial mode teaches you how to perform certain manoeuvres, it also tells you why. The frustrating thing is, most people starting out (myself included) will read it and forget this information straight away because they will be unaware of how important this is. When watching replays of beginners, you see the lack of these basics in play which is the main reason for their loss. They may feel as if the game is ridiculously out of their reach but truthfully, the real answer lies in tutorial mode. Typically, each lesson will provide a scenario and solution to give you a reason as to why you are doing this. Each lesson is built upon the previous ones so it all flows into one another very nicely.
Whilst the knowledge from the tutorials can be universally applied to any character in the game, “Command training” is where you can learn the specifics of any chosen character. (Tip: Of course when you start out you’d want to focus on a single character.) This is the place where you find out the full array of movements and abilities available to your character. To examine your character more thoroughly, you can turn on the advanced information display window and check out the properties of each move. Knowing yourself is also a part of the battle.
Free training is exactly that, a place where the player has full control over what aspect of the game they wish to explore. This could be a dealing with a specific situation, developing a strategy against a certain scenario or just trying to discover some combos for a character. This is an invaluable training tool for more experienced players as they can emulate a situation and see exactly what is happening.
Many people see the tutorial and command training as something just for beginners. I do not believe so. They’re great training tools to practice the basics of the game – the ground work of the game. With concrete basics, you’ve reduced the number of weaknesses your opponent can exploit during a match. You don’t want to lose a match because you weren’t doing an easy throw escape for example.