How to Master Pocket Fighter
One of the most eclectic games in Capcom Battle Collection is Super Gem Fighter Mini Mix (aka Pocket Fighter). This spiritual successor to Super Puzzle Fighter 2 Turbo pits chibi versions of fan-favorite Capcom characters against each other in gem-fueled battles.
At first glance, Pocket Fighter may look like a gimmick fighter. However, beneath its campy veneer lies a deep combat system that successfully blends elements from various series including Street Fighter, Darkstalkers, and even Red Earth. Once you discover the parallels between the mechanics of Pocket Fighter and its predecessors, your understanding of the game will increase exponentially.
Collect gems to amp up special moves
If you are familiar with the street fighter 2 and alpha street fighter series, then you understand how changing the attack strength of a special move input changes the qualities of said move. In this regard, Pocket Fighter’s special moves each have three levels of attack strength. However, how you amplify these movements is very different.
If you look at the bottom of the HUD, you’ll see three colored gauges: red, blue, and yellow. Each gauge refers to one of your fighter’s special moves. There are also red, blue and yellow gems in the game. The gauge corresponding to the color of this gem increases when you consume a gem. When one of these gauges reaches a new level, the strength of its assigned special move increases.
In short, more gems equal more powerful special moves.
So how can you collect gems? You can collect gems by launching attacks on opponents or opening treasure chests. If this concept sounds familiar to you, it’s because it’s the same way a player gains experience in Red earth.
Also, improving your attacks isn’t the only reason you should be hording gems. If your opponent collects gems before you do, they will benefit from buffs that will tilt the fight in their favor.
Mix flash combos to discover new moves
As we mentioned earlier, Pocket Fighter is camper. For example, this game is so campy that its characters change costumes in the middle of the combo. These attack sequences are called flash jumpsuits, and they play a lot like auto combos you might have come across in anime fighters like BBTAG or Persona 4 Arena. You can also describe this mechanism as a simplified version of Darkstalkers chain combo system.
To perform a flash combo, you must start with the punch button. Then you can string together any combination of punch and kick buttons to form the combo. Different button combinations activate new attacks and finishing combos. While some of these attacks are straightforward, others will feature hilarious jokes and Capcom references.
For example, one of Chun-li’s most notable flash combos in the game features her in Jill Valentine’s STAR outfit firing shotguns and rocket launchers. You’ll discover an abundance of eating eggs like these as you play through each character’s flash combos.
However, discovering all of your fighter’s flash combos also has a practical benefit. It helps to know what type of attacks each button combination performs. In particular, learning which combos end in normal attacks and which end in guard crush moves is incredibly beneficial.
If your opponent keeps blocking, try a Guard Crush
Fighting against a very defensive opponent can become a huge frustration, especially if your opponent punishes a dangerous move on a block. So what can you do to break their guard and bring the pain? A practical choice is a Guard Strike.
Guard Crushes are direct, rechargeable, unblockable attacks that you can perform by pressing the Special button. Press the Special button with directional input to perform additional guard crushes your character can do. If you manage to land a guard crush, you’ll break an opponent’s guard and send them flying across the screen.
While a guard crush is an easy fix in a tough situation, it’s also risky. Your character is vulnerable to being countered during attack starting frames. So the longer you charge the attack, the more likely your enemy is to interrupt it. Also, if you land a guard shot, you still need to avoid your opponent bouncing off the screen. If they collide with you, you will be taken with them.
Additionally, if an enemy attempts a Guard Crush on you, you can evade the attack by performing a well-timed attack. Guard counter (⬅️+Special). If the counter lands, you will deflect its attack and be able to retaliate.
Guard overrides are great for reversing pressure
Suppose you are in the opposite situation and your opponent pushes you into a corner. In this case, a Cancellation of custody (➡️+Special [during block]) is your best bet. On-call overrides cost a super meter to complete. However, they are much more forgiving to perform than a guard meter.
If a Guard Cancel lands, you will see animations similar to a Guard Cancel. Your opponent will be knocked back and you can lean into a combo against them.
Mega Crush is a last resort tactic
Another defensive option available to you, although much more risky, is a Mega Crush (punch + kick + special). This attack pushes enemies away from you at the cost of all your counters (gem and super). If you’re looking for a modern parallel, we consider this mechanic similar to a Burst in Guilty Gear.
Mega Crush does not apply much damage. Additionally, your fighter will be expelled large gems all over the playing field, so if you are using a Mega Crush, you need to find a way to quickly pressure your opponent and stop them from stealing your expelled gems. Otherwise, you will become even more disadvantaged.
His Son Clouds Grant Items
There are so many game references in Pocket Fighter. For example, many fighter endings feature cameos from fan-favorite characters. Additionally, locations and characters will appear at different stages of the game. However, one callback almost went over our heads, literally.
If you hear a faint hum, check above your character. You’ll likely see Son Son, or one of the other characters from the titular ’80s arcade title, passing by on a floating cloud. If you attack the cloud, you’ll gain bonuses, like item orbs that can help you in battle.
However, if you see a red cloud hovering above you, beware! This red monster, Kaminari, electrocutes any fighter who touches it. While the player is incapacitated, their opponent will likely reap the benefits of collecting the diamond that the monster subsequently drops.
Simple and normal powerful combo commands have the same results
It’s not uncommon to come across fighting games with simplified controls. However, entering the technical command often benefits players compared to the simplified command. Granblue Fantasy Versus, for example, offers shorter cooldown periods for skills performed with Technical Input compared to Simplified Input.
Therefore, we were curious if using the technical input of a powerful combo made a significant difference compared to using the simplified input. However, after testing both inputs in training mode and researching additional sources, we can confirm that technical and simplified entries do not affect powerful combos. (Other than bragging rights.) Both entries result in the same animations, damage, and meters expended.
An exception to this rule is Akuma, who has two Shun Goku Satsu combos. The single entry version performs a shorter, more traditional version of the famous super combo. However, the technical entry version is longer and features animated footage of some of Akuma’s ridiculously powerful costume changes. However, these differences are purely aesthetic.