Tuesday, December 28, 2010

For those of you transitioning from playing on a pad to a stick:

Ok. So, a buddy of mine just recently made the jump to using a joystick, leaving his old Xbox controller behind.  He came to me with a question that is pondered by many yet asked by few. "Stevo," he said, "how do you even hold this damn thing?" At first, this may seem like an easy question to answer but if you stop and think about what types of motions are most problematic, the answer could be a multi-part response necessitating a whole blog devoted to the different positions one's left hand could find suitable for joystick play, which gives birth to this blog.

A quick recap of my anatomy classes from FSU: if you were to extend your arms infront of you with your palms facing one another, this is referred to as a Neutral Grip. Palms facing up would be a Supine Grip & lastly palms down would leave you with a Prone Grip. 

Ok so let's apply this to joysticks.

First to be discussed is the Neutral Grip.
Forefinger and middle finger rest on one side of the joystick and are opposed by the thumb.  This is more than likely the go to grip for many players as most people will simply find it has a natural feeling to it. Charge motion provide no particular problem and most circular motions are not too difficult yet some people complain of slight difficultry doing double fireball motions on the player 1 side while still adjusting to their stick.  It gets better with time.  You can't go wrong with this grip especially if you are just trying to get used to using your joystick.

Next up we have the Wine Glass Grip or the Supine (or Supinated) Grip.
Hand in the supine position (palm up) with the joystick shaft inbetween the middle finger and ring finger, hand grasping the ball top loosely.  While this may be one of the more awkward grips, some players, more than likely grapplers or other characters depending on 180 degree to 720 degree motions, swear by this.  Pick E. Honda or Abel and try some Oicho Throw's or Tornado Throw's, respectively and you'll see why.  Please note this grip may be a little bit more physically demanding on your stick.

Lastly, I am presenting to you the Hydbrid Grip.
..perhaps if I moved my thumb you could see whats going on...
Start out by holding the stick with the Wine Glass Grip or Supine Grip. Then turn your palm inward to a neutral position.  The result is a neutral grip with the shaft of the stick between your middle finger and ringer finger, still yet with your thumb on the opposing side.  In this position, fireball motions are as simple as a quick press of the stick down using your forefinger and middle finger and then pressing your ringer finger and pink up and out in kind of a rolling motion. In a sense you get the best of both worlds regarding the two aforementioned grips.  Your thumb and forefinger & middle finger combo will be responsible for pressing the joystick in the general direction and your ring finger and pinky help control the way the joystick travels before returning to the neutral position.  It is certainly harder to transition to this grip once you've become completely accustomed to one of the others, in my personal opinion, but I find it far superior and am constantly struggling to make myself get used to this one.

In the future, I perhaps will cover some medium to advanced joystick techniques, such as double tapping, plinking, piano inputs, slide inputs, mashing (only kidding), and many other things that are indeed possible via training or a little manipulation of the Super Street Fighter IV engine.

Hope you enjoy,

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