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.

No comments: