Gaining Advantage

As outlined in my previous post, there is an interesting dynamic involving the "first step" for advancing in on your opponent successfully in IaMP. In most older 2D fighters; every action is a short, deliberate, and generally direct action. Although the game of footsies can sometimes seem indirect because you are pushing your opponent into the corner and advancing on your opponent slowly, but after a certain amount of experience the concept becomes more obvious and and seemingly more direct.

The fact is; if a movement doesn't immediately lead to you punching your in the face, that doesn't mean the movement was a failure or worthless. In most older Fighting games, it is more ideal to control the area around yourself with hitboxes and potential hitboxes, while slowly advancing forward and forcing the hit-area "bubble" more and more toward your opponent, thus pushing your opponent further into the corner -- because obviously they don't want to be inside your bubble unless they can guarantee an ideal outcome (countering/beating your attack). Yes, it seems indirect to the untrained player, but in reality it is brute force and very direct -- the aggressor is pushing and shoving their opponent into a very bad spot where they have less options.

IaMP, however, can at times feel even more indirect due to the movement system that allows characters a large range of motion. However, deep down it's really quite the same, it just doesn't appear that way superficially. In order to advance on your opponent you must purchase a particular area in order to own that area, and once that area is owned you must react to your opponent in order to gain advantage. In IaMP this is called "Cover", though in other games it's generally referred to as "Zoning" and "Controlling Space".

In short: there's multiple steps that you have to take before you can hit your opponent without fail, you can't just go from point (A) to point (Z) without stopping at all the other points first.

Here we see Sakuya performing her 236C bullet attack, scaled at 50% size. Another particularly strong bullet move. The bullets fired spread out rather erratically by shooting in a random direction angled forwards, and thus it becomes a swarm of knives that travels gradually horizontally. By spending some of her meter she has partially purchased the area in front of her. The projectiles move horizontally slow enough for Sakuya to dash into them either from the air or ground. And now that area, plus the area she is able to cover with melee, is "owned".

At this point, with Sakuya you can choose what to do depending on what your opponent is doing. If the opponent attempts to overwhelm your bullets with their own bullets then you can graze or graze-attack through the opponents bullets. If the opponent attacks from the ground (generally with a graze attack), then you can attack from the air. If the opponent goes into the air, then you can chase them with a jumping melee such as with her j.A. And if the opponents gets hit or simply blocks, then you now have momentum.

Sakuya j.236C 6D j.B hitbox Sakuya j.236C 6D j.A hitbox

As you can see from these two pictures (scaled 50% again), Sakuya has purchased a great deal of vertical and horizontal space by firing her 236C (in these pictures, a j.236C). But she does not control that space with the bullets (knives) alone, since the opponent can simply graze through the bullets. However the opponent can't graze forward against Sakuya's j.B because they will run right into the j.B hitbox. They also can't high jump graze or they will run into Sakuya's j.A hitbox. They also can not attack with melee because the bullets will hit them out of the melee. And they can not use bullets because Sakuya's bullets will trade with them, leaving her melee to smack the opponent in the face.

The correct answer for this trap is to either block, or avoid it in the first place by using your own bullets and melee to control the space that Sakuya would normally try to perform this string in. Basically, push comes to shove, much like in other 2D Fighters.

- Copyright © Xenozip.

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