Stealing Frames (More Footsies)

I have already said most of this already, so I probably sound a bit like a broken record. But I'm going to try, this time, to make it sound a bit different.

- Evasive anti-air. Example: Ken walking pixels out of Urien j.RH.

Photobucket Click thumbnail for larger view.

The above example is something that happens quite often in SF3:3S. Either because of parries or because of really good jump-in options or maybe just force of habit, the Ken player we see reacted to Urien's jump and walked backwards literally pixels just outside of Urien's maximum effective jump attack range. This is what would be considered an evasive anti-air, and in Ken's case he also has a very very swift backdash to add to his options for moving backwards in these situations.

Why is it good? Well, fighting against Urien who is jumping at you is a pretty bad idea simply because of the risk/reward ratio involved with air parry. If you manage to anti-air him then you at worst get a reset and at best get a knockdown, and in either case you only get minor damage. In Urien's case, if he manages to parry your anti-air then at worst he gets a jump-in with tick throw potential, which may or may not succeed for a knockdown, and at best he gets a jump-in combo for large damage plus knockdown.

That said, it's better to avoid the situation and "steal frames". Because you moved outside of his range you earn a few frames of initiative. The time it will take him to land after you've moved yourself out of range is yours. Technically, in 3S almost everything is a guessing game at neutral, but there's no denying that an advantage is still technically advantageous. A player would not normally risk a down-parry or forward-parry against Ken who could do either a RH or c.RH, or any number of other things in his neutral-arsenal (such as walk-throw, c.MK/MK, etc). Though generally, the concept of evasive anti-airs does not belong to 3S alone.

- Baiting a poke. Example: Ken baiting Ibuki to whiff a poke in order to gain initiative in which to perform a jump-in or dash-in.

Photobucket Click thumbnail for larger view.

Photobucket Click thumbnail for larger view.

In the first scenario; Ken attempts a jump-in "naked". What that means is, Ken tries to jump without first creating the situation where he neutralizes Ibuki's anti-air options (he tries to jump without doing anything else first). Thus, what occurs is what we see: Ibuki does a c.HP on reaction to Ken's jump, which when performed at that range is practically infallible without meter. Ken's only option for not eating the c.HP is to parry, so if he does not parry then he is hit. If he does parry, then this also is not a success story,since Ibuki is still able to highjump cancel the c.HP even if it's been parried. Once in the air she is free to air parry herself. Worst case scenario, Ibuki gets hit with a light jumping attack for minor damage and reset, best case scenario Ibuki air parries and hits with a jumping attack for minor-to-decent damage and reset.

So, with an anti-air like this in the game, that is supposedly infallible at neutral, how does one actually beat it? Well, once again the answer is to steal frames.

In the second image we see Ken walking towards Ibuki first. This puts pressure on a turtling Ibuki player because Ken is now invading her space. He could quickly dash in and throw, or attack from afar to gain initiative, or any number of things. It's a natural human reaction, when in defensive-mode, for a player to want to keep the opponent out of their personal space. And normally the action spawned there is to poke with the best move available to keep them from getting any closer.

But as we see in the image, Ken knew his spacing perfectly well, and stepped only as far as he could go while still avoiding Ibuki's c.MK range.

Now, it's certainly no simple task to react to such a swift move, but we can assume that the Ken player knew the Ibuki player would "freak out" and attempt to poke a forward advancing Ken. Thus, with a little anticipation and timing, Ken is now able to do a jump-in or dash-in.

This is entirely taking advantage of frames. Ibuki is now stuck completing her c.MK animation for a good while and is unable to act until it ends. In the original scenario of Ken jumping at Ibuki after either reacting to or anticipating Ibuki's c.MK, he won't necessarily be able to hit her (she could "just block"), but now he has completely neutralized almost all of her anti-air options. For Ibuki, c.HP is out of the question, she is neither in the ideal range nor does she have enough time for it to come out before Ken is in deeper than the effective range.

At this point her only valid option is to attempt a DP, which is entirely too risky because it has high chances of either whiffing or being parried, and in either case Ibuki will suffer massive punishment damage. Ibuki also can not walk backward outside of the range of Ken's j.MK as we see in the image, but she can also not walk forwards under Ken's j.MK or Ken will still connect with the j.MK as a cross-up hit. Ibuki's only real option is to either block or attempt a very risky parry or forward dash.

- So what.

Well, the point of this is that it's really basic and core to a lot of 2D fighting games in regards to ground-based footsies. It's significant enough that players who utilize these concepts effectively are almost always a tier or two above players that do not (there's always exceptions though.. oh what a world).

Personally, I feel amateurs and scrubs generally don't get it at all, or don't care to. And perhaps in response, or just coincidence, a lot of new-generation fighting games take great measures to dilute these concepts or to try and make them irrelevant entirely. Games with excessively advantageous airmovement or defensive options, or games with piss-poor anti-airs, seem to want players to be able to fight without having to deal with such fundamental concepts as footsies, usually resulting in a point-blank slugfest which turns into a momentum-based rushdown/okizeme game for the remainder of the match after the first couple hits. Or games like SWR which are so devoid of anything resembling consistency it makes me want to retch.


To put it simply, it isn't always a bad or good thing. It really comes down to preference.

To use an analogy, it would be like comparing gambling to chess. I believe that for most people; it's a lot more fun losing and winning to chance when gambling, than it is to consistently lose at chess and not understand why.

But this is precisely why I like competitive gaming in the first place. I'd much rather be the latter group than the former. If I were the type to be in the former group then I'd probably prefer cooperation/team games or solo-play because competition and consistent negative results would be frustrating. Additionally, I would only be there for the enjoyment, and therefor anything that forced me to actually try/learn or pay attention would annoy me. On the flipside I genuinely do prefer competition because I enjoy the challenge and excitement of winning and losing.

So, this is why I personally feel games shouldn't ever try to mix elements in order to appeal to both types. Either build a game designed entirely for competitive play or don't mess with competition at all.

Cadillacs and Hooker Pumps

This is just a repost from an SRK thread. I think I already covered a lot of it in previous posts but whatever.

Re: Midler (Jojo's Bizarre Adventure)

I dunno, she seems pretty intuitive to me. Like [SRK member] said she's got strengths everywhere.

She's pretty good at rushdown so you can probably play her rather orthodox autopilot if you wanted to. Her tick throw is good, her staggers/frametraps are easy and solid, her crossup is really good and it isn't difficult to get into position for it, her overhead kind of sucks but you don't really need it. Off a knockdown she has Cadillac super into instant high/low with while-rising j.A1 or c.A1. Which is nice because you can pester with c.A1 for a bit and then do the j.A1 basically randomly and still get a chunk of damage plus juggle if it hits. If timed right they can't really avoid it, since guardreversal is risky for them and pushblock doesn't get them out of it if you anticipate it, you just need to make sure you meaty them so they can't reversal-roll on wakeup, then plant the mixup.

But the reason I like her so much is her midrange game. So I play more of a reaction/anticipation footsies game with her, roughly around sweep distance. Cadillac is an awesome anticipation anti-air, it's not totally safe because you're vulnerable while it's out but I still love that move to death anyway. When unactivated she is able to move pretty soon after the H.Priestess disappears, so you can even just throw out the caddy and crouch or dash under jumpins or jump back if the opponent comes at you from the ground. It's really all about dashing-c.A1 and sweeps and just random pokes and basic footsies. IMO, being patient with Midler is easy and rewarding, provided you're able to put yourself within the midrange where opponents with superior max-range games can't abuse distance.

A lot of her while-activated moves are great pokes for pestering, but I play with her mostly unactivated for a number of reasons. First of all, qcf+D activation is really important. Combos off anything and it's a really reliable/good anti-air, fast and huge vertical hitbox plus can't be air blocked. And more importantly you can whiff cancel her normals into the qcf+D activation, so it buffs her poke game a lot when you're unactivated. Like, if you stick out a sweep and miss you can still protect yourself with qcf+D or caddy or harpoon. Second, because most of her main BnBs become activated ones from being unactivated anyway. While-dashing c.A1 while unactivated is just too good, and really easy to hitconfirm into either her slide into qcf+D or her activated chain. Third, her specials really blow when activated, since Midler is stuck during the whole move, which isn't that big of a deal for her overhead move but it is a big deal for caddy and to a lesser extent the harpoon. And lastly because getting standbroke on the ground sucks against quite a lot of the cast so I go out of my way to keep the Priestess unactivated outside of combos.

Cadillac super is really just good. No one should be jumping at Midler when she's stocked unless they have a way to avoid Caddy super, which I don't think most characters can do. And Caddy super is also really good on anticipation in general since it beats so much shit and she can just run away if it whiffs or they roll. It's sometimes possible to tech-trap with it too, which is good to remember during those situational times when you use her qcf+D BnB and the opponent happens to be in a bad spot for teching.

Her tandem isn't really strong, but you can just treat it like a combo extender basically. I don't really bother with her tandem that much, but I probably would if I felt it was worth the damage.

Mouth super kind of sucks in the sense that it's hard to actually land it and if you fail it then you're taking a combo's worth of damage, but if you do manage to land it the damage is insane, especially with the activated A3 ender. If you find a way to use it then it's basically half life, ggpo round is yours.

Harpoon super damage blows outside the corner but it's a pretty fast super. Really though, the damage sucks unless you're close enough to the corner to add an ender onto it.

On a side note, her activated A2 can be self-chained for 3 hits which builds meter for each hit, so shorthop backwards j.A3 land [A2]x3. I can't tell if that's the best way for her to build up stock but it seems to be.

Anyway, a couple sidenotes; can't roll with stand activated and can't throw when stand is busy. If she could throw when her stand is busy then she'd be able to toss out projectiles and bait rolls like Mariah can, which for Midler would be just way too good.

In general I just think she's a fun character. I also rather enjoy Mariah and R.Soul, but for a number of different reasons.

Kevin Rian

My experiences with Garou:Mark of the Wolves was a mix bag of chips.

On one hand it's a pretty cool game. Low jumps, command feints, just defends, special breaks, JD->guard reversal, high/low dodge attacks, feint cancels, and guard crushes.

On the other hand, the game doesn't play out as wonderfully as it would on paper due to feint cancels, breaks, hit confirmation, and other such things tend to put ware and tare on enjoyment factors.

The tiers in the game are extremely similar to the tiers in SF3:3S. There's clearly a top 3, a mid-tier full of average characters, and a bottom tier. Kevin Rian is one of the more ridiculous top tiers in the game, and I sometimes wonder if people really realize exactly why he's so ridiculous.

First of all, his LP combos into his Hell Trap qcf+K special move, which is his breakable special and hits low. On block, if you break this special move it gives a ton of +Frame advantage for him to dash in and do another LP, which is an airtight blockstring if done correctly. If he gets you to block either of these moves in the corner you're basically going to take damage no matter what. If you continue to block his [LP, qcf+K(break), dash]xN you'll eventually be guard crushed and he can get a combo on you. The only way to escape this is to JD the first hit and guard reversal, or block high and allow yourself to be hit by the Hell Trap. In this situation, Kevin can still break the Hell Trap and combo into super(s) for a decent amount of damage anyway.

This isn't the only thing that makes him so good though. In addition to his already ridiculous nature, his qcb+LP Hell Rotor special move is chargable and cancelable during the charge. However, he gains meter even if you cancel it. Even inexperienced Kevin players find it easy to mash qcb+LP~MP~HK/LP~LK~HK to get a series of quick-canceled special moves which very quickly build meter.

But what good is meter if it's not deadly, well in Kevin's case it's very deadly. His qcfx2+K super will "float" an airborne opponent for additional juggle potential, and stagger a grounded opponent long enough for him to do a jumping combo, and is confirmable off his LP or stronger and combos off his BNB (break helltrap) and will also reset normal juggles.

To top it all off, he actually has pretty good dodge moves, not the best but still pretty good. And he is able to feint cancel his close HP for a link combo like much of the rest of the cast. But wait, there's more; he has a command throw too.

In general, I would say that it's obvious why both JP and US players unanimously agree Kevin is among the top tier, even though many US players only know about half of what makes Kevin so good.

Jojo's Bizarre Adventure notes 3

Some little tricks I've noticed:

S.Dio c.A3 into upwards knives. I'll have to test if this is avoidable but it seems pretty cool. If you tech you'll be forced to block the knives which gives him a guard break chance.

Chaka guard reversal links into his mid/high attacks which lets him combo Tandem. I already knew characters like R.Soul could potentially followup on a successful guard-reverse attack, but Chaka's doesn't seem to launch/sweep which is pretty interesting.

Mariah's guard reversal retains the same properties as her f+A2 it seems, as it is an overhead.

I find it interesting that a few guard reversals change depending on if your stand is active or not. While most of the cast's does not change, O.Joseph's and Chaka's actually do. O.Jo's inactive GR is his qcf overdrive, while his activated GR is his DP overhead swipe. Chaka's deactivated GR is his qcf+S sword, while his activated GR is the first hit of his qcf rekka. I'm pretty sure no one else's does unless you consider the Stand link/unlink differences for a few characters, like Iggy's and V.Ice's unactivated GR's are projectiles autonomous to them, but activated the character moves with the Stand, similar to Dio and Jotaro I presume.

The special move buffer window seems to be around 10-12 frames. In this regard, I experimented with pre-buffering guard reversals (especially after watching BBC's Chaka). And it is indeed possible. So if you first input a DP then hold down+back to block you have about 10 frames after the down+forward input to input an attack command for the guard reversal. Unfortunately 10 frames isn't how much you really get for down+back because you need to account for the time it takes to go from down+forward to down+back. I could test how many frames is it but precise numbers in this matter don't seem relevant and I can't think of any other excuse to do so other than "because I can".

Activating a Stand's Tandem then immediately going for a throw as soon as the stand disappears is pretty amusing, though I'm sure you'd have to read your opponent pretty well. But I'm thinking there may also be some option select possible here, which is pretty devious if it works.

I've known since the first time I experimented with Hol Horse's rdp super that it had the potential to be unavoidable, since it's an unblockable projectile. Sure enough, that super is pretty much guaranteed in a number of situations which you can reliably react to.

Speaking of unblockables, several characters have access to unblockable simultaneous high and low hits like in SFA3. That's one of the things that makes Vanilla Ice so ridiculous, aside from his airmovement and ridiculous pokes anyway. His qcb move is actually an overhead and acts autonomously of V.Ice, allowing Ice to hit low while the stand hits high at the same time, thus creating an unblockable hit. The same applies to Devo whose qcb move is also an overhead and acts autonomously of Devo. However, the same is true for anyone that has a stand tandem that can hit low, since while the Stand is hitting low the character can be hitting high.

I assumed that like SFA3 the mechanic of air supers canceling out tech recovery time applied in Jojo's as well. However, it seems that you are able to act almost instantly (perhaps instantly) out of a tech anyway so the super isn't really doing anything special to the tech window, other than being a super anyway.

Some characters have normal moves that move them forward quite a bit which can be kara'd into Stand/Special/Super of course. Mariah A3 canceled into stand or qcb is a good example, or Chaka c.A3 canceled into qcf+S is another. But I don't think anyone has a kara-throw in Jojo's since it would seem all the characters with command grabs lack forward-moving normals, unless you could O.Joseph's slide attacks, which I don't personally since they don't begin moving forward until the active attack frames.

Regarding Mariah's back+A2, the knife appears after 10 frames. Seems like a good safety measure when performing her laggy projectiles out in the open. For example if you set her stand on or near the ground then back+A2 then dp+A3, the back+A2 can protect you to some degree from an opponent trying to jump over the outlet. Good thing that move is not an overhead.

One of Midler's primary BNB combos involves linking an unactivated attack to an activated attack. Pretty simplistic since the Stand activation is freely cancelable. This allows her to do like: dashing c.A1 c.A1 c.S+A1 c.A2 A3

Wherein the S+A1 is an activation into immediate activated c.A1. Fortunately the link window is large enough after her unactivated c.A1 for this to be possible.

But several characters can/need to make use of this. Chaka and O.Jo use activation switches during their Tandem combos, and I'm sure other characters make use of it too.

Stands really remind me of Personas. I don't know why I hadn't associated the two previously, they are essentially the same. I'm not sure if it's an homage or not, but the Tower stand in Jojo's writes on the wall "Massacre", and one of the highlighted Personas in Persona 1 was Tower_Massacre. I should probably ask Rithli about this.

Speaking of which, before I forget, I was musing with Rithli over who else from the 3rd arc of the manga could have been added in as a playable character.

Of course the first that jumps to mind is the Tower. The user wasn't given a name in the manga but apparently he's just a joke-ish sort of battle in the PSX version.

I also feel Moon could have appeared as a playable character. The user was Tennille and put up about as much of a fight as the others, so I don't really see why not. Kind of reminds me of Aulbath anyway. But once again he was fated to be a joke-ish storymode character in the PSX version.

Empress showed up in the PSX version as joke storymode. They would totally have to improv the user's fighting style like they did for Midler though, and find an excuse for her stand to be fully formed at the start of a battle.

Rithli insists Strength could be a character. Yeah right, that thing would have to be like a mid/sub boss or something. So would Justice for that matter.

But more importantly I think the worst waste of a character slot was not putting N'Doul with Geb as a playable character. I certainly think I'd prefer him over the Hol Horse+Boingo and S.Kakyoin clone characters. Alas, he is fated to be a joke-ish storymode character. But I think he could easily have been a Sogetsu clone. It's not like they've never had a blind character in a fighting game before, hell S.Kakyoin is supposed to be blind(ish).

Jojo's Bizarre Adventure notes 2

Anti-airs seem to be really strong in Jojo's, which I must say that I like. It forces footsies more to the ground, and forces the opponent to work/bait/trap a jump-in rather than getting it entirely for free. A huge breathe of fresh air from playing games like IaMP, SWR, and MBAC where you actually have to work much harder for your anti-airs than you do for your jumpins, taking risks for even half-decent anti-airs only to be punished for ridiculous damage if you were anticipated.

Unfortunately they aren't always intuitive. I use to think that activating Avdol's stand and doing back+A2 would probably be a guaranteed anti-air, but in practice it's much too slow to anti-air short jumps. It is, however, an incredibly good anti-air when the opponent airtechs into you, or you juggle oddly, or the opponent highjumps/doublejumps/whatever. But it's just much too slow to do on reaction to a shortjump.

Instead, Avdol and Midler can anti-air with their qcf+S moves. Midler's is a bit better IMO. But both work wonders since they can't be airblocked, are super fast, and have enormous hitboxes.

R.Soul and Kakyoin's are complete no-brainers though, since almost everything they have works as anti-air in some way or another. Incidentally though, R.Soul's qcf+A projectile and quite a few other projectiles can be used as anti-air in some cases, which really reminds me of Chun-Li, though it can be airblocked. But even better, Midler's qcb+A cadillac is an awesome prevention tool just like R.Soul's qcf+A projectile. However, I'm pretty sure the cadillac can't be blocked from the air and it has a incredibly gigantic hitbox, perfect for anti-airing on anticipation.

This is really strong for characters like Midler because they have such formidable ground games too. Quite a lot of her ground pokes are simply too good for players to reliably beat out on anticipation, and it's not likely to punish them on reaction due to the free-cancel rules in Jojos. Thus, even if you do anticipate one of her ground pokes and try to jump over it, she can just cancel it mid-animation into her qcf+S for a quick anti-air, and sometimes even as a counter to a ground counter-poke.

Oh, how I love this game.

One of the most amusing anti-airs I've found so far though is Mariah's. If she sets her stand on the ground you pretty much have to get rid of it somehow which potentially leaves you open while you're attacking it. You can't roll through it or she will throw you, and you can't jump over it or she will anti-air you. And even if she can't anti-air you, if you do a jumping attack then she can simply block and then pushblock you into the Stands electrical outlet. Far too beastly, I must say. Of course, empty jumping over the stand doesn't work either because then she can just go back to anti-airing you as normal, or waiting until the last moment to c.A1 you into the outlet. Basically, as soon as she has the outlet out you have to get rid of it or avoid it, there's not much else you can do.

Out of the characters I play, all of the have reliable anti-airs. I probably wouldn't play a character that didn't, though. Hence why I most likely gravitated to R.Soul first and foremost.

Oh anti-airs, how I have missed you so..

Basically, the game really does force you to be patient, tactical, observant, and use reaction more than anticipation, which I find extremely lacking in most of the modern games that I've played lately. I think SS5sp must be the only other game I've played lately that is also really patient and tactical, and that rewards much more for reaction than anticipation.

Of course there's nothing wrong with mindless rushdown and guessing games every now and then. But to me those types of games feel like a cross between a grind and a numbers game, rather than something fluid and strategical.

The concept of fuzzyguard exists in Jojo's. Many characters can use this to their advantage for a quick high/low, exactly like in Meltyblood. Except, in the case of Jojo's, fuzzyguard isn't performed with a doublejump. Instead, you perform a jumping attack, land, and then perform a while-rising jumping attack to hit the opponent high twice in a row. If they block low after the first jumping attack then then second jumping attack will hit them.

And, the reason this hits them is explained in the above linked video.

But I'll just explain it here a bit too. Basically, when you block something, you are forced to remain in that block animation until blockstun ends, or until the next attack connects. So if you block high, you will remain standing, and so you're pretty tall until either blockstun ends or you block/get hit during blockstun.

Therefor, even if you can't normally hit a crouching characters with a while-rising jumping attack, you most likely can hit a standing character with that attack. Because of this, what happens when the opponent incorrectly blocks a fuzzyguard is, first they block the jump attack high which locks them in a stand block (tall) animation for a moment, then they push down+back to block low, only to have the second jumping attack hit them in the head while they were attempting to block low. And once they are hit they instantly move into crouching hitstun state.

Characters like Chaka and Joseph can do such things by just jump attacking, landing, then jump attacking again on the way up.

Characters like R.Soul have a much more devious ability. Technically R.Soul's j.S won't hit a crouching Mariah or Iggy, but if they are first forced to block a j.A high then they will be standing tall enough for the j.S to hit regardless if they block it high or low. If they block it high then they again are put back into a standing blockstun state which allows R.Soul to potentially do a while-rising j.A which definitely only hits standing characters.

That let's him basically do two fuzzyguards in a row, kind of like something out of MeltyBlood, except much more effective.

And of course the mixup is that he could do a low instead of either fuzzyguard, such as; j.A1 c.A1 // or j.A1 j.S c.A1

The good news is that the defense for this is to, of course, anti-air them. Which as explained in the first part of this post is really reliable. Though another good defense to this is simply pushblocking, since it puts you out of range to do much else.

Jojo's Bizarre Adventure notes 1

I've been playing Jojo's Bizarre Adventure more lately. I use to tinker with it on the DC (which is an arcade-accurate port), and then later with some friends.

But it wasn't until recently that nFBA finally picked up emulation support for it, since it was a CPS3 game. With that came P2P netplaying. And with that came support for 2DF netplay and GGPO netplay.

Course, I don't personally bother with 2DF or GGPO at the moment. I've been playing with a few people who I've met via IRC chats and such, which is enough for me since the competition is up to par.

Anyway, before I talk more about the nitty gritty in Jojo's I feel compelled to link this match on youtube. A fight between young Jojo and Shadow Dio, from the Jojo's Relax tournament in Japan.

That single video was what got me obsessed with the game and the story behind the game in the first place. And when I say obsessed, I mean I even went so crazy fanboyish as to read through the first three sagas of the Jojo's manga (j-comic).

Anyway, if you don't know anything about the game then you'll want to head over to and read the FAQ on the DC version. It's written by CJayC so the content is thorough and proper.

But, I'm interested in reviewing the things I've learned from experience with the game, beyond what is in the FAQ. Unfortunately this means that anyone who doesn't play the game probably won't get much out of these posts, and even then it's very likely that these notes are going to be a scattered and jumbled mess.

If you whiff a very laggy normal, like Mariah A3 or R.Soul A2, and the opponent throws you at any time during that normal, you still have the potential to throw-break (tech) out of the throw, even though your move was interrupted.

In other games if you are thrown out of a move you lose your throw break potential.

In Jojo's this applies to normals, specials, stand, and supers though.

So for example, even if you perform Mariah's qcb+AA super and it's blocked, you can still tech a throw if the opponent tries to throw you during the recovery (post block).

I think the only time you're not allowed to tech is during a roll.

But this means you can kara a tech attempt during another move. Such as c.A1~c.A3, provided you were holding down+back.

If you're thrown during the A1 while you're inputting the +A3 then you'll tech, and if you aren't thrown then the A1 will come out.

Also, it seems that throws are instant or 1F. Looks instant to me looking at the frames. And the tech window appears to only be 2F as well. Simultaneous throw attempts result in a throw break, and you are given 1F after the opponent's throw to break the throw (1F after catch frame).

That would probably explain why you guys are having so much trouble teching in netplay (I personally don't have any trouble since I play with people very close to me). It's not really a just-frame but a 2F window is still really really tiny.

More tidbits:

You can be thrown out of jump startup, at least by normal throws. R.Soul's vertical jump startup appears to be 5F, and he can be thrown during any of those 5F, including the last frame where he only has 1 foot near the ground and appears to already be airborne. Oddly, if you attack 1F after inputting the jump you apparently get off the ground faster and can only be thrown during the first 2F, reducing the jump startup by 3F. This suggests that walking backwards or maybe backdashing is much better than trying to jump out of a throw. But of course you're still very vulnerable to combos regardless.

The properties of being thrown on landing is even more bizarre. There appears to be a mysterious 5F gap where you can't be thrown, but you can be thrown for 1F before the gap. To elaborate, while you're landing, just before touching the ground there is exactly 1F where you can be thrown, then the next 5F you can't be thrown, then any time after those 5 you can be thrown. And these frames seem to persist as such regardless if you attack with a normal attack or not. Even if it happens to be a ground normal, you can't be thrown during those frames. Meaning you couldn't be thrown of of a just-frame c.A1 on landing because c.A1 is fast enough to come out before the throw inv. ends. Unless you were caught during that exact 1F before you even land.

Very strange.

You can't throw a stand that is "disconnected" to the owner. Such as qcf+S with Avdol or Kakyoin. But certainly the stand can throw the opponent. If the opponent techs that kind of throw then your stand gets deactivated. An amusing, though maybe useless, kara that you can do with this is when your stand is disconnected, go for a throw and then kara into qcb+S, if the throw works you'll throw and if it whiffs you'll go into tandem.

Characters with neutral stand attacks like Mariah, S.Dio, and R.Soul can do an additional option select kara with theirs. They can input a throw attempt and then immediately cancel it into a stand attack. Such as back+A3~S, if the throw succeeds they'll throw, and if it whiffs they'll do the stand move instead. While that's not particularly useful to Mariah I think S.Dio and R.Soul can get some use out of it. This is the same principal as special canceling a whiff normal attempt, but it's made easier by the fact that you can kara into the stand attack with these characters.

It seems when you land you can't throw the opponent for about 2F. That's still reasonable considering you have that 5F throw invulnerability on landing, so it just requires some timing to do jump-in throws (which I've personally noticed anyway).

You can be thrown out of backdashes.

After a roll you can't throw or roll again for about 11F (I think it's 11F). Which means roll->throw sucks.

You can't normal throw during a dash, but you can instead quick cancel your dash with a neutral stand activation and then throw, such as Avdol forward dash into stand activation into throw. But there seems to be a 2F window between the activation and when you're allowed to throw. But 2F is pretty fast anyway.

Characters that throw by using their stand are unable to throw if the stand is currently performing a move that disconnects them from the user. Like R.Soul and Midler are unable to throw while their stands are out doing an attack, such as R.Soul's projectile move or any of Midler's special or super moves.

This gives Mariah an interesting 1-up by comparison to the others, since her projectiles don't require her actual stand to do anything, and I don't think her throw even needs her stand anyway even if it did, so therefor she is able to spam the screen with lots of projectiles and chip away at the opponent, if they roll she can throw them out of the roll, and if they do not roll she gets block advantage and can do whatever she wants. It's really no wonder she's able to compete with the top tiers in the game even though she lacks a lot of the bullshit tools the rest of the cast has.

It makes me a bit curious who else can set up traps like these. I presume Y.Jojo, Hol Horse, and Avdol can, but I'm not sure about the rest of the cast.

You can't reversal roll through a meaty, and reversal throws lose to meaties as well.

There's such a mechanic in Jojo's that's referred to as crouch canceling. Which, really is exactly what the mechanic is. Some characters are able to cancel their light attacks much sooner than they should normally be able to by inputting a crouch some time during the recovery of the light attack.

Crouch cancels can also work in "reverse" and they also apply to many characters.

Mariah for example can do c.A1 A1 c.A2

or A1 A1 cc A2

or c.A1 A1 cc A2

You get the idea. Normally you can't go from c.A1 to c.A2 or A1 to A2, but cc's make it possible. But it feels more like a natural chain going from a standing to crouching move or visa versa but the trick is still that this is only possible due to crouch cancel rules.

Perhaps in the same vein as this, there's also kara techniques with stands. Two kinds, actually.

First kind is simply something that active Stand users can do, which is to press the S button to activate the stand at the exact same time as pressing an attack input, resulting in a seamless transition from unactivated neutral to activated attack.

Practical application of this is Midler's BNB combo, where you first perform an unactivated c.A1 then kara into activated c.A1 by pushing down+S+A1. The result is that she links her unactivated low kick into an activated Stand punch, allowing her to continue the combo with a stand chain-attack.

The second kind is just based on the rule that any normal move can at any point be canceled into a special or super at any point in the move, except during block/hit-stop. So from anywhere from first to last frame any move can be immediately canceled into special/super. With a few exceptions anyway (R.Soul seems to be able to cancel during hitstop and so probably blockstop too). That means you can intentionally whiff a normal move only to cancel it into something else. Practical applications of this are things like whiffing R.Soul A2 which is a very laggy move, only to cancel it into his catch-counter special move or b+S stand move or projectile move. Mariah and Hol Horse can also create projectiles with their normal moves, and the projectiles will persist as soon as the projectile itself becomes an object. So Mariah can do things like b+A2 to toss a knife then immediately cancel into a special or stand. Likewise Hol Horse can do b+A3 then cancel into a special or stand right as the bullet leaves the gun.

You can cancel your backdash into attacks, just like your forward dash. Seems backdashes contain no special properties at all, no invulnerability what-so-ever, they are literally just backwards-moving dashes. But anyway, this includes the crouching dash attacks, so like Young Joseph can do backdash c.A3 and get his slide instead of hopkick, or just backdash A3 and get a backwards-moving hopkick. Helps with anti-air spacing or roll punishment. Not many characters get full use out of it, but it's incredibly useful in certain other situations.

You can "cut" Mariah's dp telephone wire if you hit the cord. Also there's a difference between jump back into instant air j.S as apposed to shorthop backwards into j.S with her, the jump arc is significantly lower with shorthop. Your j.S can turn you around in the air, so you can like crossup and then j.S on the way down, or shortjump j.A2 then j.S on the way down and it will turn you toward the enemy on crossup/no-cross.

This is actually way more useful for Rubber Soul though. Mainly because it will also turn him physically around, and for a single frame his attack will persist before the stand move actually does anything. So for example you can jump over the opponents head and perform a j.A1 followed by a j.S, then as soon as you push the j.A you are turned around and his j.A1 will be turned around and active for exactly one frame, then the j.S comes out. If this hits it can combo.

However, there's another little quirk with this, in that you can perform a ground Stand attack even though your body is still in the air, provided you do it at the right time. That means he can instead do j.A1 followed by c.S right before touching the ground, and this will result in him turning around and performing the j.A1 for a high hit for one frame, followed immediately by the stand doing the c.S hitting low.

So, it gives R.Soul yet another crazy high/low mixup among his already beefy high/low and left/right arsenal.

Air guarding in this game causes to to be unable to perform any other action on the way down. This gives characters with multi-hitting moves or inactive stand users some interesting tools.

S.Dio, for example, can perform a j.A followed by j.S in the air, and if the opponent blocks the j.A then the j.S will force them to block for a bit longer in the air while S.Dio lands. S.Dio is then able to freely break the opponents guard with a ground-based anti-air. Since the opponent is unable to act and S.Dio lands first it's practically guaranteed, provided the opponent blocks the j.A in the first place.

This also allows characters to perform some interesting tech traps.

One of R.Soul's primary combos will launch the opponent into the air, and then the opponent is forced to make a decision. If they do not tech they will be taking additional damage and will most likely end up closer to the corner and will have lost momentum. The added risk here is that they may fall into a throw trap if they are not careful or be forced to deal with R.Soul's mixups anyway.

If they choose to air tech instead they are at the mercy of R.Soul anyway, who has gigantic Dhalsim-like attacks when using his Stand. Thus, even if they tech away from you/out of the corner you are able to dash and perform o.S which will reach them and anti-air them on the way down.

Of course, this becomes even more of a tricky dynamic when the character teching has a way of modifying their descent. For example, inactive stand users like R.Soul and Mariah can use their j.S to slow their descent. And some active stand users like Midler and Avdol have dive-kick type moves that modify their trajectory. I'm not sure, but I think some active stand users may also be able to doublejump, or in Kakyoin's case may be able to airdash in these situations.

Of course, predictable actions can be baited and punished when they are truely predictable, so it's rarely just a matter of a simple formality.

Also, it seems some active stand users break certain rules when their stand is currently active. Such as sweeps from R.Soul and Midler (AFAIK) will launch the opponent instead of knock them to the floor. They will be grounded as normal if their stand isn't activated, but launched if they have it activated.

This is particularly problematic for a character like Mariah who so heavily relies on her knockdown chain for okizeme potential.

As far as tier go, I've been assessing it for quite some time. I'm pretty certain of who the top tiers are. I would say:
- A: Devo, Kakyoin, Hol Horse
- B: Dio, Jotaro, Old Joseph, Vanilla Ice

After that I find that characters are all so close in general strength that they probably all fit into one bit C tier, with only one or two characters in a D tier if at all.

Honestly it's pretty hard putting just about anyone in a D tier though because even the crappy characters have quite good tools that allow them to compete. Pretty impressive when considering the cast is 21 characters. I say 21 because PetShop is generally banned, being a fairly broken character that would be S+++ tier on pretty much anyones list.

The problem is, like many unbalanced Capcom games, is having to deal with the extreme bullshit in the top A tier. I would say the tiers really closely resemble Garou:Mark of the Wolves. There's a pretty heavy gap between the A tier and the B tier, but not so much that even the C tier wouldn't be able to compete. It's just such a huge uphill battle full of agony and irritation.

Well, at least in my case I'm fortunate to have found some gaming partners that don't use any of the characters in the top A tier. I myself only play characters in the C tier as well, so we all have plenty of fun.

Overall I like the flow of this game. Pushblocking, guard reversals, low jumps, super jumps, dash momentum jumps, air techs, air blocking, guard breaks, guard crush, rolls, and how the stand system works is all pretty cool. I'm just really glad there's no such thing as rollcancels in this game.

It's pretty exciting, I'm currently interested in about 6 characters in the game and I may be able to take a liking to another character in the future. I suppose in order of preference: R.Soul, Mariah, Midler, Y.Jojo, S.Dio, and Hol Horse.

I very rarely play Hol Hourse because he's such a boring a cheesey bastard. I could see myself maybe picking up A.Polnareff or maybe Avdol. But it's hard to say if I ever will.

Midler's a dirty ho.


It seems I always get hit with the really hard questions when questions arrive. The subjecting of cancelling normal attacks into other normal attacks was posed. Unfortunately, this is a really sticky subject. There's lots of ways this can be handled and each way has a really significant effect on how gameflow works.

For example, there's games like MeltyBlood that allow you to cancel any normal attack into any other normal attack. The rules that apply are basically that if the strength of the attack is lower than the previous then you get a damage penalty via timed proration.

Then there's games like GuiltyGear and the Capcom X-Men/Marvel series which allow you to cancel normals within specific rules. Generally you can cancel lower strength attacks into higher strength, or from punch to kick or visaversa.

And there's also games like Akatsuki or Jojo's Bizzare Adventure and various other games that allow you to either cancel or link light/weak attacks into medium attacks.

Then there's Vampire Savior. I put Vampire in the spotlight because the game uses special rules that I feel are rather interesting, though problematic for other reasons. First of all, the game allows you to do a "magic chain" like the Capcom X-Men/Marvel games where you go from punch to kick and from light to medium to heavy. Except that, if you cancel a normal into another normal, you are unable to cancel the second attack or any following attack into a special or super, except for very specific exceptions. Now, I know there aren't many people who read this blog, and those that do probably have quite a bit of gaming experience. But please bare with me.

The reason this is such a big deal is basically hit confirmation. But it's a good deal more than that, depending on the game and the characters, and several other factors. I don't think I can even begin to really portray the implications of hitconfirmation, unless you have experience in both the performing and receiving ends. But, I'll try.

To use a very extreme example, we can say that a game with totally free cancelability would/could result in some very tragic gameplay. Reason being, any hit that is blocked results in no punishment at all, and any hit that connects leads to several more hits which give the player more than enough time to realize that they are successfully hitting the opponent, which allows them to decide to cancel a hitting attack into a super (or special) for massively more damage.

Thus, we are back to the fighting game, where the players are attempting to hit the opponent as best they can without being hit in the process. The problem here is that the risk/reward ratio is incredibly unbalanced. But also, the ease at which you can take full advantage off success is also really unbalanced. What this results in is players using light attacks as much as possible with little to no risk, but with the reward of a full combo on successful hit, without any need to really pay attention to whats happening in order to recognize the situation where it's okay to super.

That might be rationalized by arguing about the subject of the first step. A better player will hit the opponent first, and therefor the better player rightfully reaps the rewards. But the bigger problem is that it doesn't end there. If you're able to combo off of anything and are able to combo into anything, then you are most likely able to get a knockdown which leads to mixups.

Again, in a most extreme situation we could say that a game would allow players to combo off any hit into any other hit, leading to a knockdown. And this leads to hitting in 4 different directions or throwing, which is a 5-way mixup. Either hitting from the upper left, upper right, lower left, or lower right, or throwing. Any of these hits, when successful, loop back into the same combo and knockdown and mixup.

This is how a lot of momentum-based games like GuiltyGear and often MeltyBlood pan out. Players fish for random attacks either in the air or on the ground. On successful strike/block they gain initiative/momentum which leads to them performing a series of attacks that can result in the opponent being hit, which results in a combo into knockdown, which results in a 5-way mixup and back into itself. Then add rever-safe meaties and you have a massively momentum-based game.

This isn't just limited to the newer games though. Games like SF3:3s have this as well. Such as Ken knocking the opponent down and going for a 5-way into super and back into another 5-way. But then, I've always said 3S was a highly momentum based game in the first place, even without normal-chains it's still possible.

But to put it into perspective, who really needs a 5-way mixup and normal chains when you have Chun-Li who has throw/low medium, where throw loops back into the same mixup and low medium is confirmable into super. A simple 2-way mixup rules that game simply because she can hitconfirm one of her options for about half your lifebar, and her other option resets the situation (so does landing a super, actually).

But, back to Vampire Savior. That game isn't without its flaws, but it also has a lot of really good mechanics as well. In this case, if you chain a normal you can only continue to chain it, but if you only use one normal then singular normals can be special/super canceled. That means hitconfirmation isn't brain-dead simple. You could confirm off a mixup, assuming the first successful hit was the jump-in high, and then you confirm that hit and combo into a ground normal and super. But if the hit was a low then you don't really have time to confirm it, so you have to chain.

But, outside the mixup situation we have the defender of the mixup and footsies. During both, the reward for mashing out low light attacks isn't as good as using a medium or heavy attack which are potentially confirmable into specials/supers. This is a good thing because the defender shouldn't be rewarded as much for just option-selecting a defense.

Here's the kicker though. A lot of players actually like/enjoy the mechanic when it's unrestricted. But eventually it gets to the point where it's not so fun anymore, since no one's having fun playing the game. For example, we could take a look at some 3D fighters that allow you to chain jabs, which confirms into a rekka, and the super cancel the rekka for super damage + knockdown. Given the choice, most players would prefer a character that could that as apposed to one that can't, but if the game is full of characters like that the game becomes really stupidly boring really fast.

So what about Akatsuki and Jojo's? Well, the answer should be clear. What you're able to combo off from a medium attack determines if the mechanic is good or not. It's like saying, what if we give Chun-Li the ability to chain c.LK into c.MK. Likewise, Mycale from Akatsuki and Devo/Kakyoin/O.Joseph from Jojo's get the ability to confirm light attacks into mediums, then super cancel for massive damage. But, other characters in both games have the ability to chain/link lights to mediums and aren't rewarded nearly as much for it (Mariah/Kanae).

But in my opinion this is just character balance trying to compensate for an unbalanced mechanic, causing huge rifts in tiers. Eventually time shows that the characters with the better cancels end up as top tier characters. But why would anyone want to play a hugely gimped character unless you find a very interesting/reasonable way to make that large of a compensation.

In closing, I'm rambling. So I stop now.

SFA3 Misc.

I enjoy talking/thinking about SFA3 a lot, dunno why.

When recovering in the air in SFA3 there's actually 3 types, plus a 4th for rolling. Forward, neutral, back air recovery puts you into a temporary invulnerable state. However, during this invulnerability time you are unable to act (which includes blocking).

Whether on purpose or by accident, however, the amount of time you are unable to act is longer than the invulnerability duration. That means that after teching you are invincible for several frames, then you are no longer invincible and still unable to do anything other than super/VC activate.

This is how tech trapping in SFA3 works, entirely.

Basically, the game's juggle system makes it so that the opponent can air tech any time the player is not currently performing an action or during the last frames of recovery from a move (this is called "neutral"-state, though the term "neutral" is very misleading). V-ism allows you to enter a custom combo state which allows you to cancel attacks into another attack, therefor you can constantly be in a state of action by chaining move after move. But this also means that you can't stop or they will be able to tech, and in order to jump you must stop.

Therefor, players adjusted the enders to their combos to end with a setup that will allow them to recover very very quickly, as well as hit the opponent one last time to position them in the air where they want them to be. This way, for example, I will throw out a light attack that recovers very quickly and pushes you above head level, then perform a quick jumping attack. Now, if you don't tech then my jumping attack will connect, and even if you do tech you will still be in range for my jumping attack to hit you as soon as you become vulnerable again.

Therefor, it hardly matters what you decide to do, except that in by teching you are resetting the combo count, which also resets damage scaling, making whatever I do next cause significantly more damage.

Now, technically when you land you enter a recovery state, because jumps have recovery frames on landing. But, Capcom implemented a little thing that made it so that you could cancel this recovery state with a defensive crouch (low block). The reason they did this was because they wanted players to at least be able to block sweeps right as they touch the ground, hence why it's referred to as "trip-guard".

This gave rise to "crouch cancelling" and "walk cancelling". Walk cancelling is actually just a crouch cancel, except that you do not jump after crouching, and instead walk either forwards or backwards after crouching. Oddly, walking is considered an action. The only reason you can't transition from an attack into a walk is because the attack itself has a recovery period which triggers the "neutral" state.

A couple of random notes:

Air teching in SFA3 can be performed semi-automatically. A lot of players try to mash techs or time techs, but this is not necessary. Instead, you can hold the inputs for a tech after the last hit of a combo, before the neutral state begins, and the game will automatically tech for you. For example, if you are trapped in Sakura's crouch cancel series, if you push the tech inputs and hold it on the first j.FP attack you will not tech at the end of the series. However, if you wait until the last j.FP of the series and then push it any time between the tech window and the end of hit-stop occurrence, then you will automatically tech on the first frame of "neutral".

Many throws and airthrows bypass damage scaling entirely. Even if the combo count is over 60 hits and any move you do is causing 1 pixel of damage, certain throws that have been dubbed "slam" throws will simply ignore damage scaling and cause their usual chunk of damage (making them ideal enders).

Juli is a bit fucked in this department. While Cammy and Juni have the hooligan combination special move that can grab airborne opponents and cause slam damage, Juli does not. Therefor it may seem like a good idea to go for a kick-airthrow ender, but this is not the case. The reason is because the kick-airthrow has such massive recovery even when not teched that it is often highly punishable.

Pressing inputs at the point of hit occurrence will cause you to flash pink. This is actually a damage reduction mechanic like in Melty Blood, and will reduce damage by 50%. This also occurs during block-stop, when you flash blue, it reduces the amount of guard meter damage you incur. It may also have an effect on chip damage, but I doubt it.

Command throws break a lot of rules during V-ism's VC custom mode. It's well known that they are able to allow certain command throws to pick the opponent up off the ground (OTG). However, it's sometimes overlooked/downplayed that they can also grab the opponent during other states that they should not be able to, such as blockstun, hitstun, and during jump startup frames (where you are normally immune to throws).

This doesn't sound particularly threatening until you consider the application of crossups being followed by an immediate command grab, or even a unactivated crossup followed by an activation followed by a command grab. Imagine the scenario of any time you are knocked down, the opponent does a deep crossup that can't be hit by reversals (because the reversal goes the "Wrong way", and is ambiguous and difficult to block in the first place) followed by an activation into command throw that blows through alpha counters. And then, of course, cancels the command throw into a custom combo that takes you to the corner, and then sets up a tech trap into infinite death.

Say hello to Karin's potential. And you thought anti-air VC's were scary huh.

Regarding tech traps though, there are exactly two characters that can transition from a ground-based VC into a jump juggle. That would be Chun-Li, who cheats, and Rolento.

Rolento's transition from ground to air is hardly so esoteric as Chun's. Being that his super jump counts as a special, he can cancel his normals and specials into the super jump.

But it's apparent that Chun-Li cheats when observing the technicals of HSFA (hyper street fighter alpha) that is bundled in SFAA (street fighter alpha anthology). Reason being, the HSFA mode allows SFA3 characters to battle against SFA1 and SFA2 characters. The SFA1 characters have the interesting property of becoming instantly invulnerable to further juggles the instant the opponent hits neutral. In this version, although it's still technically accurate to the SFA3 arcade version, Chun-Li is not able to perform her transition on the SFA1 characters, therefor she must at some point enter a neutral state.

However, in vanilla SFA3 and arcade SFA3, it is literally impossible to air recover from her c.SK, [d]u-SK, SK, jump VC.

The only real consolation to this is that it has to be done off a crossup since generally the tenshou kyaku will whiff otherwise. And, because her crossup is a j.SK, she doesn't get to do a whole lot of initial damage because the damage scaling from the light attacks in the setup is pretty big. Of course, if she infinites you, it hardly matters.

The sides in SFA3 are uneven. Player 2 will crossup a cornered opponent during a crouch cancel series due to the uneven sides. This will prevent basic crouch cancel series. However, there's a few ways to negate this. First, quite a few crouch cancel series and infinites can be performed by simply jumping vertically instead of diagonally. This is of course much harder, but still possible. Also, it's possible for many characters that have infinites to perform them anyway simply by using a crossup during the side switch, then continue the crouch cancel series by jumping across the screen while juggling, and then loop it back by using the crossup again.

Of course, these are not options for every character, but they are options for at least several.

The uneven sides thing also occurs when special moves are involved. If you perform a special move that takes you "into" the corner, you can crossup or crossunder a cornered opponent. This isn't particularly useful for many characters, but it most certainly is very handy for specific characters.

Oh, did I mention that slam throw damage also ignores the damage reduction from tech-hitting a throw? Well, it's true. You can't negate slam damage.

The shadows that trail along with you during a V-ism VC retain the move blockability properties. This includes high and low. And since they are technically mimicking you with a slight delay, it is possible to make the shadow connect with a high attack while you hit you a low attack, thus creating another form of unblockable.

This is particularly useful midscreen, once again, due to crossup. With VC1 active (the shortest duration between you and your shadow) you can crossup then immediately hit low while the shadow hits high. Technically this can be blocked by a computer or TA tool. But, humans can't normally block high, low, high, low within a matter of frames between each hit, which is the exact sequence you have to deal with.

These crossup types are particularly strong because it is possible to overshoot the opponent right as they are getting up, causing any reversal that they do to be facing forward and "under" you, which means reversal DPs and such whiff entirely because they move/face the "Wrong" way.

So, combine that with the command throw unblockables, and you can see why crossups are pretty scary.

There's really only a few characters that can escape a perfectly executed Chun-Li midscreen crossup unblockable.

Akuma should be an obvious one, teleport. Juni and V-Dan aren't as blatantly obvious, but they can with a well timed pushblock. I use to have a list of who exactly could and could not do it, but I realized the list was pretty obsolete when I realized the exact list did not apply to crossup cmd throw unblockables in every case.

Despite all that, confusion/mixup VCs are still very effective. Especially when the user can resort to causing massive chip and/or a guard crush when the mixup fails.

There's a bizarre "glitch" that occurs with Chun-Li j.d-FK "stomp" when canceled into a VC. When performed while rising into the air, Chun will continue on that path even when the VC is activated. However, if done while descending then Chun will actually retain the trajectory, if slightly altered to make her fall even faster. This gives her an auto-confirm for her unblockable. Basically, if you perform a meaty stomp and the stop whiffs or you get hit then you don't technically waste any meter. If, however, the stomp hits or is blocked then you will cancel into the VC and can perform an immediate j.SK followed by the c.SK for the unblockable. This isn't particularly useful midscreen though, since technically the stomp either can't crossup or has a very very difficult time of doing so even when it's possible. Therefor the best application for it is when you have the opponent cornered. This technique can be reversed in that situation, but thanks to the fact that it's an auto-confirm, at least you won't be gambling with your meter.

Gen's Jakouha super is also another little rule breaker. The grab will actually break any and all juggle and invulnerability state rules. Basically, if the opponent is in the air and Gen collides with them, they will get grabbed. To boot, the damn thing is a slam throw, and therefor ignores damage scaling as well. This was fixed in the old console versions and added in as a dipswitch in SFAA. But in SFA3 he is the only character in the game that can break juggle limits and aerial invulnerability states. He can even grab you when you're in hit-reel from an alpha counter.

For many years the top tiers have been considered to be Akuma, Sakura, Dhalsim, and Zangief. Which is pretty cool since none of those characters possess infinites. And Dhalsim is considered to hold that place in the tiers in any of the 3 -isms.

Unfortunately, times have changed, players evolved, etc. and poor Zangief no longer holds his ground there. Sodom has been secured as one of the top 4, but it's actually debatable if the S class should be limited to just 4, since Sagat is generally also considered to be ranked on the same level as the others. I personally wouldn't be surprised if Vega(claw) and Karin make their way in there some day, but for the time being this is not the case.

So, it just goes to show that normals, functionality, and utility can conquer "the infinites". I mean, after all, Birdie is generally ranked dead last in everybodies tier lists for that game, and ironically he does have an infinite.

Ok, so now this post is entirely too long.


Pushblocking, etc.

Some other random thoughts came to mind, so I apologize in advance if this post structure is completely chaotic. This little online journal was intended more for me than the people spying on it in the first place!

Pushblocking is, in my opinion, a wonderful yet widely untapped mechanic. I don't play Marvel vs Capcom 2, but I have played it enough to understand it at least, as well as some X-Men versus Street Fighter. I've also played quite a bit of Jojo's Bizarre Adventure, Vampire Savior, and I do also enjoy playing Juni in SFA3 (though I'm more partial to Cammy).

What these have in common is pushblocking, which I feel can compensate for a lot of otherwise really bold/problematic game mechanics. I honestly feel Jojo's and MvC2 would not be playable without this mechanic, and I also believe V.S benefits from it greatly as well.

I'm currently of the opinion that it was a much needed mechanic in some other 2D fighters that simply don't have it. For example, if BBB implemented pushblocking they could have done a lot of really wild things, like making ground-based moves not blockable in the air (which they currently almost all are, including supers) and given the game much lower airdashes and maybe even short jumps and such. Ground overheads could have been given to more of the cast, and the existing ones wouldn't have to have been so slow, either. All because of pushblocking.

What does that have to do with aerial dynamics, well it has to do with the "strength" of the air game in general. I want to say that a game like MB suffers from the problem of having characters in a game that have entirely too good air movement and air attacks, plus air blocking and no guard meter, compounded with the fact that the majority of the cast don't have particularly reliable anti-airs and weak/impractical projectiles. For characters like Miyako and Ren, it's simply far too foolish to even bother fighting on the ground when they can fight so well in the air. But then fighting in the air just means bouncing around like an idiot, trying to get above the opponent and push the right button at the right time. It boils down to "You thought I'd move here, but I didn't! Fooled you!" and "You thought I'd try that again, but I didn't!" kind of game.

I would say that this wouldn't be so much of a problem if there was no airblocking or there were better ways to lock the opponent down in the air with a air block string, and/or air blocking heavily drained some sort of guard meter to the point where it would be practical to do air-to-air guard crushes.

However, those are really rather extreme mechanic rearrangements. Pushblocking might also be pretty extreme, but such a mechanic doesn't have to be either free or limitless like it is in Jojo's and V.S. It can be limited either by blockstun duration, timer, or possibly even meter, and it could certainly be limited to ground-use only.

To me, the benefits to pushblocking are rather interesting. No doubt, I feel it definitely works in every game that it's in, and not in bad ways at all (IMO).

My favorite benefit is being able to pushblock against jump-ins, which hinder the frame advantage and stage-area advantage awarded by overpowered jump-ins. Though another benefit that I rather enjoy is forcing players to be creative with their attack strings and mixups. Tick throws, overheads, and staggered attack chains become not so freely spammable in games with pushblocking, though they are certainly not completely nullified either. Even in Jojo's and V.S where pushblocking is free and limitless, the mechanics of breaking down the opponent's guard are not nullified at all, but rather players just need to find new and interesting ways to hit the opponent. In other words, they have to actually think instead of just spam high/low/throw all day randomly and mindlessly.

I've always wondered what Guilty Gear would be like with pushblocking implemented. Considering that momentum and damage is so heavily integral in that game, my theory is that it would benefit from it a lot. For example, Testament barnie string (exe beast) into high/low/throw over and over and over until you finally block wrong and he gets to damage half your lifebar or more, ending in a knockdown that enables him to use a meaty projectile that awards enough frame advantage for him to do it again.

But, I digress.

The problem with pushblocking though, is that it doesn't actually benefit everything under the sun. Certainly SF3:3S wouldn't gain much benefit to that kind of mechanic other than hurting Yun and Yang. But that would just mean that Chun, Ken, Dudley, and probably Makoto would dominate the rest of the cast. If anything, I would think pushblocking would hurt 3S a lot more than help.

I also have no idea how it would actually effect Garou:Mark of the Wolves. I want to say positively by hurting B.Jenet, Kevin, and Terry. But that would mean that Gato would dominate even better than he already does, in addition to Grant dominating as well.

Anyway, pushblocking is just something that's been on my mind a bit.


The final installment of the previous posts.

But first, another interesting type of air movement is short jumps or hops. In the games that I've experienced them in, such as Jojo's Bizarre Adventure, Garou:MotW, and CvS2, I've been rather fond of them. But I believe they can just as easily go horribly wrong if not properly balanced, such as what is seen in a lot of SNK games where shorthops are basically all anyone does all round long.

In my opinion, it shouldn't be difficult at all to balance this mechanic though. Things like adding a landing recovery, narrowing the jump arc, slowing the ascent, and disabling defensive options during short jump state are some obvious "fixes" to a potentially problematic mechanic.

The question then becomes, are they necessary to add at all, particularly in a game that has other types of airmovement. Personally, I would say yes, especially if given some incentive to use them such as air special cancels or the ability to super cancel the ground recovery, or other such things. Though with these in place, I feel that they also shouldn't be totally risk free or difficult to anti-air if anticipated. With it set up like that, I believe it becomes enjoyable to attempt risky short jumps when you get inside your opponent's head with a read. And likewise, enjoyable for the opponents that read short jumps and are able to punish them, and so on.

But, back to air movement in general. I think what it all comes down to is the implementation of many different mechanics that can make or break air movement.

Although I may get hated on for saying this, I feel that MeltyBlood and Scarlet Weather Rhapsody (and certainly BigBangBeat) failed in these departments, and GuiltyGear may have on some level as well. Even though MeltyBlood and GuiltyGear are rather popular and enjoyable games, I feel the footsie game is diluted, watery, linear/predictable, and boring. As much as I have played MeltyBlood and continue to play it even now, I think the footsies in that game are much less what I would consider real footsies. Instead, I would say that MeltyBlood relies almost entirely on "king of the hill" fighting, which is basically just vying for height supremacy, and "fishing", which is basically just sticking out pseudo-random high priority pokes while flailing around in the air.

Games like MB and GG tend to be very "hoppy" due to the airdash and doublejump mechanics, and not much classic style footsies really go down. Instead, both players are bouncing around like rubber chickens with their heads cut off on opposite ends of the screen. Eventually some one moves closer, some one gets hit or blocks, and then the rushdown-mixup game occurs. Guilty Gear has a more interesting dynamic to it than Melty Blood, though, which is the projectile game. The majority of the cast in GG has some slow moving projectiles that they can use as both cover and shields, as well as zoning and controlling space. While projectiles exist in MB, not every character has them and even a lot of the ones that do have them hardly use them for that purpose.

But I've said it before and I'll say it again, even things that we can deem as "stupid" can be enjoyed -- such as the children's game rock-paper-scissors can actually be fun for a while to some people, even though it's not exactly action packed rocket science.

Even I am able to look past the flaws in MB's air game and still enjoy the game as it is on some level. But not a set goes by where I don't end up thinking at some point "well, that was stupid, why did I just play that game?".

But to me, I'd much prefer to have fun where I know fun can be had. Such as the doublejumps that exist in certain versions of Monster and the airdashes that exist in Immaterial and Missing Power, since I know the way things were done in these games only add rather than subtract or dilute.

To me, these mechanics not only make sense on paper, but are actually really "fun" in practice, which is pretty rare in high-level competition in fighting games these days, IMO.

In closing, shorter/lower/slower/more risk = better.

Doublejumps and Airdashing

In my last post I focused more on doublejumps. So in this one I'd like to focus on airdashing (yes I realize I got the titles backwards). And in a later post I'll overview air-movement in general.

I use to think that airdashing killed ground-based footsies and turned games into momentum-based mixup-rushdown games. But I've learned that this isn't the case at all, it's actually quite dependent on how airdashes are done, how air defense works, if doublejumps exist too, and that the whole concept of wakeup-rushdown is almost entirely separate.

Once again, I think a prime example of a game where it was done wrong is SWR, while a game that actually did it quite right is IaMP.

Unlike games with doublejumps, I've learned that games with only airdashing, like IaMP, can actually develop different kinds of footsies. Namely, footsies in the air, ground to air and visa versa, and yet still maintain some footsies on the ground.

Unfortunately, I believe most games with airdashing also have doublejumps, so it's difficult to make examples outside of IaMP. Or rather, it's difficult to say if other games did airdashing wrong or not since doublejumps also exist, making it hard to isolate. Of course, I haven't played every single 2D fighter in existence, so there may be another game out there lurking in the shadows that I don't know about.

Airdashing generally has a preset distance -- and in my opinion the shorter the better -- and generally leaves you vulnerable for a brief movement at the start of an airdash. Being that you're able to attack though, and are technically moving, gives rise to some interesting things.

I believe the "first level" of airdash shenanigans is simply learning economy of movement. Learning to position yourself on the ground first, relative to your opponent, then taking to the air allows you to beat the opponent in the air with superior movement and timing.

But the first level isn't going to win you matches once players start learning the "second level", which I believe to be mostly the art of baiting. Things start to happen where you will use air backdashes to avoid and punish anti-airs, using air forward dashes to "over-shoot" anti-airs, leading your opponent into the air and using air backdashes to attack while moving backwards with superior range or height, and baiting the opponent into a bad position in the air so that you can land first and anti-air, or trapping the opponent in the air that is trying to escape via the air.

On the second level it begins to feel a lot more like "loose" footsies, so to speak. You can't twitch around and make pixel-perfect-precision movements like you can on the ground, but rather once you commit to a movement you're pretty much set within certain perimeters.

And that is what gives rise to the "third level", which requires a higher understanding of vectors. Learning the exact positions that your opponent could potentially land in, should they take to the air, allows the player to position themselves in ideal spots on the ground. This enables players to anti-air or dash under aggressive forward movement, lock down/trap neutral movement, and chase backwards movement into the corner. What this does is actually nullify air superiority by gaining so much ground superiority that you force the opponent to playing the ground vs ground game (which actually occurs in IaMP rather beautifully).

Of course, in a game with aerial projectiles, you get players trying to use air shots to dig their opponent out of their ideal ground positions. And in a game where not all characters are created equal, you get some rather interesting dynamics of players attempting to force the fight into the air, force the fight onto the ground, or attempt to get the opponent onto either the ground or the air so that they can fight on the opposite plane.

Personally, I still believe that all this gets heavily diluted when doublejumps are added into the mix. But then I can't really say it's doublejumps fault entirely, since if the game has doublejumps only and no airdashing then it's possible to have a game with am extensive and enjoyable footsie game with doublejumps. In my experience though, I would say the combination of both is not particularly to my liking at all.

Airdashing and Doublejumps

Air movement is a tricky subject. I got asked about this subject by our good friend like over a week ago, but I've not tried posting about it. I'm certain this will be a two or three post subject, surely.

The thing about airmovement is that it can really make or break things, depending on how things are implemented. A perfect example of both types of airmovement miserably failing would be Big Bang Beat. But possibly (depending who you ask) the greatest example would be Scarlet Weather Rhapsody, since it implemented almost-free 8-way movement in the air.

A good example of it actually working is probably Marvel vs Capcom 2 and Monster.

I believe the biggest issue with implementing either feature is how you implement various types of attacks and also guarding or airthrows in the air. If these are done poorly then it won't matter how you do air movement, the game will not be fun at all due to how linear and predictable things become.

The first thing that comes to mind is that SWR and BBB do not have airthrows, while standard and popular games do. Everything from Street Fighter to Melty Blood and Guilty Gear.

Now, SWR's predecessor game, Immaterial and Missing Power, also does not have air throws. But it also doesn't have 8-way air movement, only horizontal airmovement and no double jumps. I think that's a very important distinction.

Therefor, I'd like to first address doublejumps, and save airdashing for a later time.

The thing about doublejumps is they take the "rules" and a lot of the footsies mechanics that beat/break the "rules" that I was talking about in my previous post.. they take them and they throw them out the window. But only if the game doesn't support everything it needs to counter-balance doublejumps.

One golden-rule example is the jump-in. A player shouldn't just be allowed to jump at an opponent when both players are simply standing there doing nothing at around jump-distance. They should have to put the opponent in a situation where they are unable to anti-air by taking some measurement of risk. The other player should be able to anti-air them consistently and easily if they do not do anything strategical to achieve it. With double jumps this becomes a lot more complicated, you can jump again in the air right before getting anti-aired to avoid getting hit, and fish for anti-airs.

Another golden rule is risking a knockdown while moving forward. Dashing is obviously more risky than walking. But with doublejumps why bother with either when you can first move forward but jumping, then doublejump vertically and stay your ground, inching forward very safely.

These are major problems that designers have to deal with, balancing out things for both characters and game mechanics.

Fact is, if your character has a crouching light attack that can be rapidly spammed and works as an anti-air, while another character has only one valid anti-air that is a special move that takes them off the ground, things are unbalanced in this situation. Without doublejumps it probably isn't so extreme, but with them implemented then it definitely is polarized.

But, you can't just give the entire roster easy-mode light attacks that are anti-airs or that would defeat the purpose of doublejumps in the first place by destroying the point of being in the air at all. And if you're playing with balance by giving it to some but not others then you're inevitably fucking over the tournament scene unless you're a super genius (in which case you wouldn't be reading this) and can balance out every little thing.

However, it's not impossible to counter-balance doublejumps. As mentioned earlier, airthrows play a pretty big role. Another thing that really makes a difference is airblocking, and more specifically the lack thereof. But probably the biggest difference is the height of the doublejump itself and the overall priority/control air attacks have.

You could assume that 8-way movement is a sure fire way to fuck a game up, but it's actually hard to say. Jojo's Bizarre Adventure and MvC2 gave it to some characters, and SWR gave it to the whole roster. I'm of the finalized opinion that 8-way fucked SWR for good due to the terrible options for dealing with it. But it didn't exactly screw Jojo's and MvC2 entirely, and both games implement both pushblocking and guard canceling. It did, however, bring the characters that had this ability to the top of the tiers. Magneto and Kakyoin being the most celebrated in this regard. You could talk all day about how both characters have everything plus a bag of chips (Kakyoin, anyway), but I can guarantee you that Kakyoin isn't dominating just with his range alone.

Though, if you know anything about these games then you'd probably know that there's almost never any wiggling or ground-based footsies going on in them. Players will either rush in or fish aimlessly/wildly until they can begin the rushdown process, thus turning the game into a widely momentum based game.

I don't want to just go and say that it's an on/off switch though. As in, with doublejumps-footsies die. And the reason I don't want to say it is because Monster showed me that this is not the case.

The thing about Monster in particular was that doublejumps were very very short and low, they weren't actually a second jump at all but more of a little hop that changed your air trajectory. Additionally, even though Monster didn't have airthrows (cept for air cmd throws), it also did not have airblocking which alleviated most of the need for air throws (not entirely though, IMO).

You'd think that low doublejumps would be counterproductive, as in, I use to think that the extremely high doublejumps found in MB weren't problematic because anti-airs ended before the airborne character regained their position, but I was dead wrong and they sure as hell are problematic.

On the flipside, Monster's doublejumps weren't problematic at all except for how they affected combos. But for the most part, it didn't degrade or dilute footsies or how anti-airs worked. There was really only a few characters that had really poor anti-air options, the rest of the cast could deal with it just like any other game.

But this is where the on/off switch actually does occur, as far as I know. If a game is given 8-way air movement then it needs some ridiculously extreme defensive options to deal with it like pushblocking, guard reversals, instant blocking, assists, etc. If a game is given high double jumps then it turns into something like MB where players tend to hop around totally aimlessly, simply trying to stay above their opponent at the right time and fish for random hits.

In the end, the goal should be to preserve footsies while maintaining doublejump functionality. And frankly, most games do not, Monster being the only one that I can really think of that has both a strong footsie game and doublejumps implemented.

But even in games like GG you get matches where both players are hopping around in the air for almost no rhyme or reason other than to fish for random hits.

And that brings us back to the subject of airdashing, which I'll have to address later. Sorry for the currently scattered post, I'll have to revise it later as well.

Rules and Leading

For a lot of players there's a weird grey area in the basic fundamentals of fighting games. When we start out we tend to do things like jump and dash at the opponent a lot, but we quickly learn that human opponents can easily counter these things with consistency if their opponent does them blindly.

Some funny things happen after this, depending on the player(s). Some players get it into their head that these actions are invalid and stop doing them altogether. Some players are the opposite and keep doing them mindlessly. Some players start getting hit by jump-ins and get rushed down by midscreen dashes then wonder why they can't stop it, but the opponent can. And then some players realize the truth behind it, which is baiting.

These concepts (like anti-airs > jumping) are not set rules at all. A jump does not always necessarily mean that the person jumping should get hit. The reason is because players can bend and break the rules using other tools.


Leading is a word that I just randomly decided to use as a label for this particular subtype of baiting. It's generally just called baiting or footsies. But, I feel it's significant enough to pay it special attention, since it's very fundamental to almost every fighter.

I'll use SF3:3S for the sake of examples though, for whatever reason. In this case, Dudley and Ibuki. You don't really need to know much about these characters other than that Dudley has a very low and fast jump with good jumping attacks, but Ibuki has extremely good anti-airs and very low and long ground pokes. Thus, if Dudley jumps or dashes blindly then he will be hit on reaction very easily.

Therefor, leading is what Dudley must use to get in on an Ibuki player that is stationary and waiting to counter him. To do this, he has to walk within poke range of Ibuki and try to fish out or provoke a reaction out of the player. That means stepping into a suboptimal range and basically risking being hit at Ibuki's max range.

This is intentional though. By simply walking forward, the Dudley player has applied pressure to the Ibuki player, forcing their hand. Eventually Dudley can keep inching forward and Ibuki will have to take some sort of action to get him the hell away from her. Once that c.MK gets fired off, the rules change!

Ibuki's c.MK animates for 22 frames total (on whiff), and it's also one of the hardest things for Dudley to deal with on the ground against Ibuki, but it can also lead to Ibuki's undoing if properly fished for. Once it's out, Dudley is now "allowed" to jump. In fact, he should jump. Even if Dudley only noticed the c.MK and reacted physically half-way through the animation, Ibuki still won't be able to do anything until the c.MK is done animating, which won't be for another 11 frames (half of the full attack).

Now, 11 frames doesn't sound like a lot, but it most definitely is. Because Ibuki is locked in place there is no hope of walking backwards outside of Dudley's jump range, or walking forwards under him either. Ibuki also can't use her most reliable anti-air either, which is c.HP, because the startup time and positioning required for that is not possible at that point. This also limits exactly when Ibuki can even perform an anti-air, giving Dudley a much better chance of using an air-parry/attack OS. And that is how you change the rules.

This is the same with dashing, too. For the most part, most characters should never ever even dream of dashing towards Chun-Li when she has a full bar stocked and is just sitting there. But once you lead her into whiffing a laggy attack then the chance for her to connect a c.MK into super goes away.

This is why you see a lot of "wiggling" and "dancing" in games like SF3:3S. A lot of novice players just mimic it without understanding why the good players do it, but the above explanation is exactly why they do it. They want to pressure the opponent into slipping up and giving them an opening.

Throw Types and OS'ing

The subject came up regarding the different types of throws. Either a single button input plus direction, or a direction plus two-buttons.

There's quite a few significant differences in these types.

Whether by design or coincidence, single-button types tend to have very little or no start-up animation before the throw. Additionally, they almost never have a whiff animation either. Instead, with single-button type throws, if you attempt a throw when the opponent is not in a state or distance that can be thrown, you'll instead perform the attack associated with that button (usually a heavy punch or medium punch, for example).

Multi-button throws are usually very different, they come with some startup and also a whiff animation. What this means is that you'll very rarely or possibly never perform a throw by accident. If you pushed those buttons then you definitely meant to attempt a throw. And if you fail then you get a whiff throw animation.

Both have their pros and cons which effect gameplay rather dramatically.

First of all, in a game like Guilty Gear it opens up a world of pain. Guilty Gear throws are instantaneous, so you can even perform them as a reversal move and throw the opponent before taking damage.

But aside from that, there's also option selecting, which some players love and others loathe to death. What an option select does, is allow you to perform one action that results in the game picking the correct answer for you.

This would be like flipping a coin, and having it land on a mechanical hand that flips the coin to whatever side you called.

How it works with throws is, if you input an attack and then input a throw attempt immediately afterwards (before the attack occurs or even starts) the game will check to see if the opponent can be thrown. If so, the opponent will be thrown because the throw will cancel your attack attempt. If the opponent can not be thrown then the game will return a fail throw, which results in no throw attempt, and therefor you get your attack instead.

Thats how single button throws work anyway, since if you use just high-punch to throw, you'll do a highpunch if you can't throw or you'll throw if you can throw. But the option select allows you to change which attack you do, you could input a slash/medium-attack instead and also perform a throw attempt. That results in things like being able to anti-air the opponent if they attempt to jump, or throwing them if they stay on the ground, or hitting them out of a backdash if they attempt that, or even dodging a reversal/super move if that's applicable.

Multi-input throws come with another bag of pros and cons. With this type, depending on how lenient the input buffer for the game is, you may be able to perform an attack and then cancel it into the throw before the attack occurs/begins, like the single-button types. But in this case, it may result in your character being moved forwards, backwards, or even off the ground for however many frames prior to being canceled by the throw attempt. This occurs in games like SFA3, SF3:3S, and Monster. Possibly others.

Additionally, unlike the single-types, the multi-types allow you to perform the throw whenever you want, even if the opponent isn't currently in a state that can be thrown. Thus, even though there is startup to these throws, you can time the throw so that the active catch frames occur exactly when you want them to. For example, if you were to hit the opponent right next to you and then perform a single-type, you would have to push the button on the very exact frame that the opponent became vulnerable to throws. With multi-types, you can perform it in advance, which allows you to do things like meaty throws and throwing a jumping opponent right as they touch the ground.

But in the end, multi-types have a whiff animation, and therefor can be punished. Single types usually don't, or at least perform some sort of attack even when the throw fails, so they can only sometimes be punished, but can usually only be beaten in tick-throw trap situations and not punished at all due to option selecting.

Therefor, I was in favor of the multi-types for all of the above reasons.

Parries and All That Jazz

The final post in a series of posts regarding anticipation/reaction and beating/punishing.

These concepts are what has put the parry system in the fighting game Street Fighter 3: 3rd Strike under much scrutiny and ridicule, leading to much debate.

Fact of the matter is, a parry in 3S (and CvS2 for that matter) does not have a whiff animation. Therefor, you can't wait until the opponent is done attempting one to punish it. There is no time-frame between the act of a parry input and the transition to another action, which can include blocking.

You can, however, hit a parry during the actual attempt by hitting the parry during the input with a move that can counter a parry. What this means is that parries are beatable, but are not punishable.

What I enjoy using as an example of what this is like is a counter-move like Geese Howard, except if these counters had absolutely no whiff animation and did not put you in a state where you couldn't cancel the action.

In other words, if Geese performs a low-counter, it would have instant startup and instant recovery, and if at any time you connect a low-attack with the low-counter then Geese would be rewarded with significant damage. The only way to counter Geese's counter would be to hit with a high-attack to beat the low-counter.

Be that as it may, Geese is not in a state where he is unable to act, therefor if you throw him or perform a super attack that contains a super-flash and screen freeze, he has a chance to react and take evasive/defensive action.

And that is literally what a parry is. It is not like an uppercut/dragonpunch, and it is not a defensive option.

A parry isn't a defensive though. It's an offensive one.

A defensive option is like a Just Defend, or a Faultless/Fortress Defense, or a Push Block. Things that actually defend against damage without any direct followup/damage/knockdown. When something can be used to hit the opponent, and potentially knock them down, that's an offensive option.

A reversal dragon punch is an offensive option. Sure, you want to use it when the other person is attacking, but then you're attacking too. You're taking an offensive route to not just neutralize a threat but also to change momentum to your favor by choosing something that has a high probability of beating the opponent's attack.

A parry is the same thing. You aren't going to parry into nothing. If you succeed in a parry you're going to hit them and probably knock them down. This is an offensive option just like a DP.

Now, the difference is, a uppercut/dragon punch can be baited and punished on reaction.

A 3S-style parry can only be fished out and beat on anticipation.

And the primary reason is because it has no whiff animation. You can't hit a missed parry after it's executed, you can only hit an incorrect parry during the button input window.

If you're getting rushed down a defensive option will neutralize attacks, not reverse them. Offensive options reverse the flow of momentum.

But I digress. The end.

Beating and Punishing

This will be a follow-up to my last post.

Once again, it's so very simple, yet I continue to be shocked and amazed at how some players simply do not "get it".

What is a beat, and what is a punish.

For the most simple example I can think of, take a thief stealing a cookie:
- If you see a thief trying to take a cookie from a cookie jar, and smack their hand before they are able to remove it, this is a beat. You beat the race between the cookie to the thief's mouth and prevent it from being eaten.
- If you instead are unable to stop the thief from eating the cookie, but punish the thief after the cookie has been eaten, this is a punish.

Once again this effects fighters in dramatic ways. When the opponent is standing directly in front of you, there are some actions that they may perform that you simply can not punish even if you know they are coming. Meanwhile, there's some things that are beatable and some that are not, but the distinction gets a little blurred much like mixups and anticipation and reaction.

To put it in fighting game terms, let's take am uppercut or fireball. These moves generally leave the opponent wide open after they are performed. Uppercuts like Dragon Punches are often invulnerable on the way up, so there's really no way to prevent the opponent from getting that cookie, but you can punish them one the way down while they are recovering. On the flipside, fireballs are sometimes not punishable due to very speedy recovery, but you can sometimes beat them before the cookie even comes out if you are able to stick out an attack preemptively.