The Rumble Fish 2: Beginner Tips

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  • Strategic Meter Management Is The Key To Victory
  • Use Chains, Cancels, And Advanced Attacks To Extend Combos
  • Dodges Can Close The Distance Between You And Your Opponent
  • There Are Several Evasions Available To You
  • Learn The Best Use Of Your Character's Defensive Art
  • Jolt Attacks Are Great For Creating Openings For Offensive Arts

The Rumble Fish 2 is a deep and entertaining fighting game for those who understand it. Unfortunately, it's also somewhat dated. Unlike today's fighting game catalog, there is no tutorial mode to guide you through the mechanics. Instead, explanations are scattered across the game's loading screens. Fans of the cult classic probably won't mind, but there's no reason newbies should get left in the dark!

After several hours in training, online, and single-player modes, we've got the hang of TRF2's mechanics. On paper, they're pretty straightforward. However, several nuances will help you take full advantage of this comprehensive fighting system. Here are some of our observations.

Strategic Meter Management Is The Key To Victory

The Rumble Fish 2's standout feature is its two-gauge super art system. Rather than relegating several skills to the same meter, TRF2 dedicates one gauge for offensive skills and another for defensive skills. If both gauges fill, players can perform a high-damage super combo called a Critical Art.

It takes time and practice to understand how each gauge works. For instance, damaging your opponent can quickly fill the offensive gauge. However, the defensive gauge fills over time, with minor boosts from performing evasive maneuvers. Therefore it's common for the offensive gauge to fill before the defensive. This disparity in speed also makes defensive gauge skills even more valuable.

While waiting for your defensive gauge to fill, you'll have to decide what to do with your offensive gauge. Should you rain down pressure on your opponent with Offensive Arts and Advanced Attacks? Or is it better to save your offensive meter and wait for an opportunity to land a game-changing Critical Art? And then, what happens if you whiff the Critical Art and sacrifice both gauges?

As you can see, you'll make plenty of decisions, each with its due consequences. And the success of these decisions often defines the winner and loser of a match.

Use Chains, Cancels, And Advanced Attacks To Extend Combos

There is a lot of creativity embedded in TRF2's combo system. And as the offensive gauge increases, the options available grow as well. So here is a list of combo-extending tools to consider:

  • Chain Combos: If you've ever played titles like Capcom's Darkstalkers, you'll recognize this system. All four normal attacks can chain into each other as long as they progress from light to strong attacks. So, for instance, you can perform Light Punch > Light Kick > Strong Punch > Strong Kick or Light Punch > Strong Kick > Strong Punch, but you cannot perform Strong Punch > Strong Kick > Light Punch.
  • Cancels: Much like KOF 15, you can cancel the animation of one attack and immediately begin another as long as they follow this priority: Special attacks cancel normal attacks. And specific Offensive and Critical Arts can cancel special attacks.
  • Advanced Attacks: Advanced Attacks are similar to Roman Cancels in Guilty Gear. This skill allows the player to immediately cancel and extend a combo string. Additionally, Advanced Attacks close in toward the opponent, maintaining a close distance for maximum damage!

You can exceed a ten-hit combo with little effort between these three tactics. We recommend experimenting in training mode to see what combos you can make and how they can contribute to your strategy.

Dodges Can Close The Distance Between You And Your Opponent

The Rumble Fish 2 uses a "five-button" fighting system, the fifth button being Dodge. The Dodge button is similar to a forward dash. Additionally, combining the dodge button with other inputs can perform various evasive techniques. Furthermore, a dodge costs no meter to use.

A forward dodge can quickly send your character barreling toward your opponent. So, on the one hand, closing the distance is a quick and effective way to pressure your foe. But, on the other hand, if your opponent anticipates your Dodge, they can easily counter it. Furthermore, a countered dodge can trap you in some damaging combos. So, make sure you keep your dodges less predictable.

There Are Several Evasions Available To You

A strong defense is more than consistent guarding. Furthermore, guarding too much can cause a guard crush, leaving you stunned and vulnerable. Therefore, learning how to evade your opponent's attacks is essential. Luckily, there are a few options you can utilize. Most of them stem from the Dodge mechanic.

  • Slide Evades [Dodge / Dodge + ⬅️ / Dodge + ➡️]: This is a common attack evasion.
  • Hop Evasion [Dodge + ⬇️]: This evasion will propel your character into a small hop.
  • Air Evasion [Dodge while midair]: This evasion will keep your character in the air longer, avoiding ground attacks and confusing your opponent.
  • Air Recovery [LP, LK, SP, or SK when launched in the air]: This maneuver will recover your character when midair so they can safely land on the ground.
  • Quick Recovery [(while airborne) Dodge + ⬅️ / Dodge + ➡️]: This enhanced air recovery costs one defensive bar and allows you to travel further from your opponent.
  • Ground Recovery [(while knocked down) Dodge + ⬅️ / Dodge + ➡️]: This maneuver helps your character recover quicker after a knockdown.
  • Impact Break [(while guarding) Dodge]: This skill is a parry that costs one defensive gauge meter.​​​​​

Learn The Best Use Of Your Character's Defensive Art

What if there was such a thing as a defensive super art? In essence, a Defensive Art is precisely that. These attacks do not cause significant damage. However, they provide other defensive boons that can protect you when cornered. There are DAs that parry, push away opponents, block cancels, and more.

While Defensive Arts are highly beneficial, they're also entirely circumstantial. Each one can only activate under particular conditions. For example, Aran's Defensive Art can only occur while he's blocking. Yet Viren's Defensive Art cancels hit-stun and only activates while he's getting hit. Hiraki's Defensive Art is a reversal throw dependent on accurate timing.

Since each Defensive Art is unique, you must understand its purpose well. Therefore, practicing your character's Defensive Art with a training dummy will significantly benefit you. For a more controlled experience, you can set your dummy to perform a specific attack every few seconds. Or, you can fight with an AI to practice using Defensive Arts on your feet.

Jolt Attacks Are Great For Creating Openings For Offensive Arts

Offensive Arts are a fantastic skill that can impart considerable damage for a relatively small price. Unfortunately, like any super combo, they are hard to pull off without some hit confirmation. Furthermore, if you can't cancel into an Offensive Art mid-combo, your opponent will gain a window to block any assault. So, is there an easier way to land Offensive Arts in a match?

Jolt Attacks are unblockable attacks that launch your opponent into the air and slow down time. They cost one offensive gauge bar. After hitting the opponent after the Jolt Attack, the effect halts, and they will land on the ground. There are plenty of ways to use a Jolt Attack, such as juggling with a chain combo or landing a strong anti-air special attack.

A Jolt Attack into an Offensive Art may be the way to go if you have two offensive bars handy. Your opponent is vulnerable during a Jolt Attack, so they cannot guard against the Offensive Art. However, since they will be airborne, you'll have to time your OA at the right moment, so it lands. Otherwise, your opponent will fall to the ground and get a chance to recover.

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