After choosing to defeat “Shin Akuma” on Easy Difficulty, I wasn’t fond of putting myself through an Akuma any harder…
That was until I came across the “Master of the Iron Fist” title.
Such a small [shiny] reward, but I’m a completionist at heart, so…
…I’d return to Story Mode and have a go at it…
Thankfully, it wasn’t long (a couple dozen tries) before I figured out how to deal with the Capcom invader.
So, if you are still struggling with the Special Chapter, here are some pointers from personal experience:
- Kazuya’s Hell Lancer is your go-to fireball punish
Assuming you are about a half screen away from Akuma, using Hell Lancer after side-stepping/side-walking should punish Akuma’s fireballs.
At the very least, always position yourself close enough to punish Akuma’s third “red fireball”, with Hell Lancer, after side-walking the first two.
Hell Lancer does go over Akuma’s Messatsu Gou-Hadou (Super Fireball), but I wouldn’t recommend it. High risk, low reward.
- Let Akuma come to you
If Akuma chooses to throw fireballs from far, I’d be content with Hell Lancer punishes until his death. There’s no reason to risk whiffing anything to Akuma’s stupid high damage.
At some point, Akuma will choose to close in, and spent his EX meter on either his Super Fireball or EX (Yellow) Special Moves, the latter of which are also punishable on block.
- Hold back to block vs Akuma at close range
Neutral blocking does not give you enough space for Akuma’s Tatsu to combo from d+3 / DOWN + LK.
Holding back will block standing and mid attacks, such as Akuma’s overhead chain or hopkick, also creating enough space for a higher chance of said combo disconnecting.
Again, an easy EWGF punish for both the overhead chain and Tatsu attempts on block.
- Be ready to crouch Akuma’s Focus Attack!
The CPU will abuse the lack of FA charge time for quick unblockables!
Probably the most troublesome attack to deal with, and a hard counter to the previous tip.
It took more than a few times to consistently crouch against the FA on reaction.
An easy EWGF / [Electric] Wind God Fist punish if you crouch under it successfully.
- Disrupt the process
From my experience, Akuma usually starts from far (throwing fireballs), closes in (uses EX meter / FA), retreats (charges EX meter) before repeating the process.Assuming you can follow the previous tips, disrupting the process should be as easy as pie.
tl;dr – Punish fireballs with Hell Lancer, punish blocked overhead strings and specials and watch out for Focus Attack!