E-Sports

I'm very glad that I keep an eye on Star Craft, because I randomly find incredible gems like this interview video:
SlayerS_'BoxeR' : Emperor of Terran Lim Yo-Hwan Interview [English Sub]

Yeah, it's an interview. With one of the (if not just simply the) world's greatest StarCraft players. I highly urge anyone and everyone to view it, even if you know nothing about StarCraft. Don't worry, there's no gaming footage or crazy technical StarCraft talk.

It really makes me weep a little on the inside to hear some of the things he says. And looking at things in retrospect; Fighting Games have a long, long, long way to go.

The significance of this interview is that it points out certain things he was able to achieve. Such as actually forming a team of players within the Korean Military. As in, real life. The Korean Government's Military actually allowed him to do this, and the players play on a professional level as "Pro-Gamers" in the "Pro-Leagues" of Korea. Not only that, but his ultimate goal is to continue to strive for StarCraft being officially recognized as a legitimate sport, and possibly even added to the Olympics.

So, hearing "Olympics" is probably shocking and maybe even laughable to some people. But personally, I'm not laughing. Not after seeing the look in his eyes when he said it, and not after considering all that he's done and probably will do in the future. Not after really thinking about it either.

To be fair though, I guess I'm pretty bias. First of all, I've been keeping an eye on StarCraft for a long time. I've played it on and off casually since sometime in late '99, after Brood War was released. Be that as it may, the keyword here is "casual". I horribly suck at the game and never really had much (any) intention of improving or playing it competitively. But I still love spectating it.

And that brings me to another point: isn't that one of the key elements to a good sport? Spectators! Spectators pay money to the sponsors to watch the game, advertisers also pay the sponsors to be able to advertise to spectators during the games, and the sponsors pay the players, thus turning the players of the game into professional athletes of a sport. All thanks to the money that comes from the spectators. More spectators, more advertisers, more money from both that goes into the sponsors and players.

Plus, I have to think that if we can appreciate non-digital/electronic and non-physical games as sports such as Chess and/or various card games, why not digital ones? Really, how could one say that turning a non-physical game like Chess or Poker into a digital form would illegitimize it? And don't think things like Chess aren't recognized as sports, because they are. They may not be the main attractions, but they are still legitimate sports. And technically a game like Chess can just as well be played on a computer instead of non-digitally, which would technically already make it an e-sport.

I've also played a particular First Person Shooter game for a long time on a more competitive level than I have Fighters or RTS. And from my experience with that FPS I really feel an E-game could become an e-sport through the power of organizing and sponsoring leagues and attracting spectators. I feel that if any digital game is close to being considered a sport in the Western world; it's definitely the FPS games -- if they aren't already.

StarCraft may already be on another level though. Even in the USA the players have organized inter-collegiate leagues. This sounds an awful lot like a sport to me; colleges setting up teams and pitting them against one another during a specific season with thousands of people watching the action take place. Pretty soon we might even see jerseys and banners, who knows? Honestly I'd love to live to see the day when a kid can get offered a college tuition for doing well in a video game competitively.

Honestly though, I don't know how Fighting Games could take that next step and join the ranks of FPS and RTS Games on their march toward being classified as true Sports. Fighting games are currently going through some major transitions; with Arcades being slowly butchered and consoles and online gaming becoming more popular. Maybe the online aspect is really one of the things Fighters needed all along, since FPS and RTS certainly always had that kind of support -- even though off-line tournaments and lan-party gatherings were always stressed/preferred for true competition.

It really makes me wonder why the Fighting game community is so afraid of consoles and online play -- Is it fear of change? Fear of unknown? Do they think it will kill the tournament scene? Personally I think it could only help, not hurt. It worked for RTS and FPS. Certainly, off-line play in real-time will still always be there for actual competitive tournament play in Fighters just like RTS and FPS. But online opens up the door to a much larger player base to practice and share knowledge with across the nations, rather than skill and knowledge bases being constricted to singular arcades and small areas within the nation.

For example, with online play a player in Alaska or Oregon who might never play another human being under normal circumstances (due to distance from anyone) now has access to tons of players from all over the USA and Canada. They can practice, learn strategy and tech, and can connect with the community as a whole. They might get to play the top players on the East Coast and maybe even Japan, and learn all sorts of things. And who knows, maybe they will start attending tournaments and become a top player too, where as without netplay they would otherwise not have ever bothered to even play against another human. Simpley because they were just too far away from anyone who also plays to reasonably travel for competitive opponents, or to find out if they even liked the game.

But also, I think Fighting games also need a major breakthrough in design, one that highly stresses mind games and ridiculous skill requirements. Rather than doing the opposite, which would be stressing educated-guessing-games (reading/yomi) and catering to low-skill-requirements. Really, looking at the top level of play in RTS and FPS and comparing it to a tier or two below, it's easy to see that it isn't just their incredible minds but also their incredibly good execution that puts them above the rest of the players. And these are the players we enjoy watching, enjoy aspiring to, enjoy competing against, and enjoy idolizing.

If Fighting games keep lowering execution expectations and moving away from strategy in favor of randomness, I personally can't see them being taken seriously. How can we expect a prodigy to really max out their true potential and skill in an environment where that is totally stifled? How can we truly idolize a player who is only marginally better than the rest, instead of way above and beyond everybody? And how can we expect people to care about spectating when the best showcase of skill relies on actually less execution and less true mental battles?

What we really need are games that have tech that seems inhumanly possible, so that we can watch and be amazed as our top players actually execute them. And we really need games where players are rewarded for out-thinking the opponent rather than out-reading the opponent, so we can watch and be amazed out how genius and innovative and pioneering our top players are. And of course, we need these things so that we ourselves can also aspire to achieve these levels of play, and enjoy our struggle on our journey to the top, hopefully bringing our friends and colleagues along with us. But most of all -- though I might catch mad hate for this -- I feel we need a way for casual players to be connected with competitive players easily and cheaply, which I think netplay provides while arcades do not.

"Dead or Alive is the epitome of David Sirlin's ideal fighter, in that there is a yomi game comprised of three options and every character is equally balanced around those three choices." -Bellreisa

And we all know how we feel about DoA.

Brain Damage

[misumikasi]: I recall saying that the AI was predictable and they(doujinstyle) said it's only predictable because I'm predictable.


VSav IAD Shenanigans

IAD's in VSav are executed rather easily with 9 9 or 9 (5) 6.

Only a few characters IAD's in the game though. Namely: Q-Bee, Zabel, and Lei-Lei. Although Jedah does have an air dash he also has a ground-to-air dash like Morrigan, making the act of IAD'ing kind of redundant. Basically because his airdash has startup whereas his ground-to-air dash has very little initial startup (none for the dash itself). It's by no coincidence that I play the three former characters (on and off) in addition to my interests in Felicia and Lillith.

Incidentally, all four airdashes are unique, with QB's being potentially the best out of them. Not just simply because it homes in on the opponent's location, but also because it will automatically turn her around if she is facing the wrong way. Whereas Zabel's does not turn him around regardless of relative position. And Lei-lei's always makes her turn the direction of the airdash, so backwards airdash causes her to face and attack backwards. Jedah, if you were wondering, also turns around automatically from his airdash or his ground-to-air dash once again making the airdash seemingly less useful, and he oddly doesn't have a backwards airdash even though he does have a backwards ground-to-air dash.

Pretty much the entire cast of VSav has a true command throw, barring Anakaris and Lilltih whose unblockable moves aren't standard (though they do both technically have unblockable grabs). While it's arguable if Jedah's dash into command throw is useful, it's pretty blatantly useful for the other three characters, particularly for Zabel and QB who have dash momentum on their dash normals. Empty airdash or airdash with a whiffed normal is obviously good QB and arguably pretty good for Zabel and Lei-lei, though Jedah certainly wouldn't be doing much of that off an airdash in lieu of just using his j.HK or some other tick setup.

In regards to their airdashes and ground dashes, Zabel can cancel both air and ground into an attack instantly. QB's ground dash has some substantial startup time before she can dash attack, but her air dash does not. Lei-lei is the opposite where she can cancel her ground dash at any time, but her air dash has a bit of startup before she can attack.

Implementing Lei-lei's and Zabel's airdashes is really very intuitive. Some trickery that Zabel has with his involves a backwards IAD (IABD) j.down+MP for a very fast overhead that spaces him in a way that is extremely difficult to anti-air or even see coming. He's also able to cancel his airdash into his j.down+kick moves which modify the drill trajectory, making them go pretty much almost downwards very swiftly. For Lei-lei, about the only thing out of the "ordinary" she can do is IABD toward an opponent that has tech rolled under her, since again her airdash turns her the direction she's "running". Though in Lei-lei's case she can combine and empty airdash with her Senpuubu chain-swing move, which is actually fairly common practice. Such as, air dp+HP, K to cancel, airdash, air DP+P, etc.

However, in some cases Lei-lei's Senpuubu chain swing alone provides better shenanigan potential that her airdash (even though her airdash it quite good). The reason being is she gets free-action after canceling it, and the move itself can pass through the opponent even while it's hitting. Thus, she's able to cancel it and attack in the air for a swift overhead, or land and do a low attack from either the left or the right side, all very quickly. But still, utility-wise, her IAD gets plenty of use. The Senpuubu cancel mixups; not-so-much, due to the slow startup speed for the Senpuubu and it's general flakey hitbox and the fact that it's basically guard reversal bait. Though that's not to say Senpuubu isn't used at all (it's actually frequently spammed as a standard practice).

Jedah's airdash does have one other unique property: it's an attack in and of itself. However, both his ground-to-air dash and his airdash trigger the special cancel properties for his air moves. In other words, during a normal jump Jedah is unable to cancel a jumping attack into a special move, but during either types of his dashes he is able to cancel and even whiff cancel his jump attacks into specials, allowing him to do things like j.MP into scythe.

Regarding the other characters, QB and Lei-lei are able to special cancel their light air attacks only during a normal jump, and QB can also cancel her j.mids too. They're unable to chain or special cancel during an airdash. Zabel isn't able to chain during his airdash either, but he can special/super cancel at a specific height from the ground during either his normal jump or airdash but (un)fortunately his typical IAD height is too low for any of his air specials or supers.

So, back to Q-Bee.. Some of the more devious things she can do with hers are actually fairly simple. Such as IAD'ing twice in a row, empty IAD'ing into a low, crossup/no-crossup IAD from left or right -- all of which can be done after a knockdown or reset or if you float past the opponent with her jump float. Other things she can do is upback IAD a good distance away so as to use the range on her j.LK or j.MK to your advantage. Or at the same distance, to empty IAD in an attempt to bait out a poke or other reaction from the opponent -- things like upback IAD then c.MP/MK or first upback IAD then forward IAD.

Once you get in, which is pretty easy with her, you can start ticking into IAD's and alternating with staggers. Such as staggering c.LK or staggering from c.LK to c.MP c.MK or going from c.LK to IAD, among other things. QB's crouching moves mostly hit low, only her c.MK and c.HP do not. Her c.LP and c.LK are also advantageous in terms of frames, but her c.MP is not, so when using c.MP as a lot it's a good idea to chain to c.MK. Also, chickenblock airdash is surprisingly good with QB, especially checkenblock into float and then airdash.

So just as a tl;dr list for QB:
- Crossup airdash
- Float airdash (crossup or not)
- Chickenblock airdash or chickenblock float airdash
- IAD * 2, namely: IAD then up/upback IAD
- Upback IAD midrange followed by a poke or IAD or even just walk-block
- Meaty left/right (front/back) IAD
- Reset/anti-air then airdash

VSav Q-Bee notes

I guess one of the main defining features about Q-Bee is her homing dash. And admittedly, it's also what makes her stupidly fun. Having an air dash that directly targets the opponent with zero recovery and almost no startup gives her some pretty ridiculous tri-jump mixups and pressure. Indeed, many have dubbed her "the Magneto" of VSav.

She does have rather outstanding normals though. Her j.MP has extremely good vertical reach and her j.LK has very good horizontal and vertical reach, both of which seem to have pretty nice hitboxes in general. For anti-airs, hers are somewhat unique. Her MK seems to be the obvious one, but it's situational like her c.HP is. From what I can tell based on my experience and observations, the MK is more effective when used early and directly under the opponent, so against really shallow/close jump-ins, reason being is her whole upper body seems to include the hitbox so it's actually able to hit directly above her. And it works because a lot of jump attacks are not able to hit directly below them. Against jumping attacks that can, however, there is her c.HP move. Even though this move can be airblocked, it's quite good as an anti-air because she crouches so low to the ground and the spikes she spits out are autonomous to her (they act like projectiles), therefor it generally wins or trades at worst.

Now, it would seem like trades aren't a good thing damage-wise, but for QB they are absolutely wonderful mixup potential. As long as you recover first (and, you will) you'll be able to IAD/low mixup and sometimes IAD/low/throw.

Amusingly though, it's almost like she was designed to be a grappler type character. She has a hit-type move that will catch/grab the opponent and is thus comboable, and she also has a command throw. In other words; a throw you can combo and an unblockable one you can't combo. The important feature to her command throw is that is has invulnerable startup, all two frames of it. The input also doesn't overlap any of her other special movies so she has the same option selects as depicted in my previous post regarding Felicia. The only difference here is that Q-Bee's HP and HK are really horrible so you're better off just negative edging (button up) the command throw input for a throw/block option select.

Q-Bee's forward dash is cancelable, so like Lei-lei she can tick into dash and cancel into command throw. But unlike Lei-lei, Q-Bee's dash retains some momentum when canceled, making her dash LP and dash LK useful tick setups since they leave you right in their face. Though (un)fortunately most of the cast can crouch under her dash LP, but because her dash LP is +8/+7 it's really quite awesome against the tall crouching characters (like Demitri, Jedah, Victor, etc). Her dashing LK is still +4/+3 though so again it's quite good at ticking to command throw or staggering into another melee attack for a melee/throw mixup. Of course, she also has the potential to tri-jump over low pokes with her instant air dash and get a command throw in that way.

So her common options are
- dash cmd throw
- dash LK cmd throw
- tick dash cmd throw
- tick IAD cmd throw.

Where "tick" is typically c.LK or c.LP c.LP (+6/+5 and +7/+6 respectively). But can be any number of her +F moves such as LP, LK, or c.MK, etc. Personally my favorite tick throw with her is dashing LK followed by a buffered negative edge (button up) O.M command throw.

Another nice thing about her command throw is that it sets up her Q.J bubble super, as it sends the opponent flying across the screen. Normally QB doesn't have many ways to set this super up except for her ES C.R, which is her hit-type grab move. Thus, the command throw provides a meter-less way to set it up in lieu of ES C.R.

An interesting side feature is that I have seen some people use the command throw to set two bubbles on the screen one after another. I've also seen a cmd throw followed by an immediate bubble followed by an intentionally whiffed pursuit attempt though this may be character specific and/or just-frame timing. The second bubble and the whiff pursuit seem rather flakey/gimmicky to me though, but I find it interesting that they are possible.

The bubble itself doesn't seem all that great at a glance, especially since you're not comboing it and it's blockable ground/air. But, with a proper setup QB is almost guaranteed at least one free mixup. If the opponent respects the bubble and blocks you can easily get at least two IAD/low mixups or even attempt a throw. If the opponent chicken blocks the bubble you can ground dash anti-air them with MK and then do a mixup as the opponent is landing, and thus you're guaranteed at least one good mixup.

If the bubble hits in the air you get some minor damage which can be stacked with a simultaneous hit for added damage. If the opponent is hit grounded they are trapped in the jelly for a short time and QB is allowed a 1-hit follow-up. So naturally her C.R or ES C.R is the obvious 1-hit followup. Though, it's also possible to combo her bees super after the bubble super, but due to it's startup and positioning requirements that combo probably won't happen too much. Certainly though, the strongest followup would be her ES Delta A divekick move, since the ES version poison's the opponent allowing for a full combo followup after the poison. But once again the startup and positioning requirements for the ES Delta A make it very unlikely to ever be used on bubble hit.

She does have a couple of useful links. Her dashing LP will link to LK, c.LP, or c.LK (3F, 2f, and 3f links respectively). Her c.HP also links to MP, c.MP, and c.MK (all 2F links). Again, the trouble with dashing LP is the height restriction, but it's a good move to keep in mind against tall crouchers. The c.HP link is also not particularly strong in comparison to her other options, but it's nifty anyway.

In fact, all her BNBs do almost the same damage.
- c.LP c.LK c.MP c.MK
- c.LP c.LK c.MK c.HK
- c.LP/c.LK C.R

Her chain ending with MK does a pixel or two more damage than the sweep combo, and her C.R combo does a few pixels less initial damage but more unrecoverable damage.

However, One of the more deadly things she can do though is:
- IAD j.whatever c.whatever ES C.R

Where "whatever" is typically IAD j.LP/LK/MP into c.LP/LK/MP into ES C.R.

Example:
- IAD j.LP c.LK ES C.R -> then okizeme Q.J

The reason this is so great isn't just because it's damaging (though it is damaging indeed), but also because it sets up her dp+2P Q.J bubble super due to the amount of time you have before the opponent gets up. However, the Q.J bubble super should never be attempted off a normal C.R, since the opponent can tech roll toward you for a free punishment. And for the same reason it shouldn't be done off a sweep or normal/air throw, especially in the case of normal throwing due to potential tech hits.

The cool thing about the chain ending with c.MK though is that her c.MK is surprisingly +5/+4, so this can lead to the meat of her pressure/stagger game. After c.MK you can use MP to tag early jump attempts on their way up, or you can do another c.MK to stagger which should stuff most normal poke attempts, or you could use a C.R which is rather safe on block and has the potential to stuff quite a lot of mid pokes. The C.R itself is also airborne so not only does it go over low attacks it will also reset QB even if she's hit out of it by a normal move, so at worst you're only getting hit by one attack as apposed to a full combo (barring supers or something). Hilariously, not only does C.R go over low attacks it will even beat out Felicia's ball roll special and super. And if you can get your opponent to really respect your options after c.MK you can IAD, which even when the opponent is being disrespectful has the potential to go over a lot of attacks and/or stuff pokes.

In general her Delta A and S-by-P moves are not good utility or combo moves. Though hilariously enough both of them give rather large hit advantage. On crouch hit the Delta A links into almost anything, though certainly c.MP c.MK is obvious. And her medium kick SxP is +13/+14 (her other two strengths also being double digits). Though the pushback from SxP makes it impossible to really do anything afterwards AFAIK.

QB's crouch is tiny. Like, extremely tiny. It's incredibly obnoxious when fighting against her for some characters. She definitely crouches under basically all standard fireballs, which is one of the things that makes Lillith vs QB pretty crappy for Lillith. Incidentally though, even though she can crouch under projectiles or IAD over them, one of the things that makes her reluctant to spam IAD's and random C.R's is actually projectiles. Slow moving ones in particular are better off chickenblocked instead of crouched under because of free-action after airblock.

In other words, after airblocking a fireball she can use her airdash, float, or combination of float/airdash and attack. Her specials and supers can be done in the air too (except her guard reversal and cmd throw of course) so she can also chickenblock into C.R as well.

Speaking of float, it's one of her anti-anti-airs. Because her normal jump j.MP is so good most anti-airs have to be done on anticipation. Thus, if you instead float you can bait some anti-airs and punish them by either ending the float or airdashing. And, one of the features to her float is that you can be pressing any upwards direction to activate it, so up+back is valid float input even when jumping forward, and thus you can optionselect airblock jumping attacks and DPs and such while floating forward. Her other anti-anti-airs are not so great, her j.HP changes her trajectory and fires off some projectile bees, which can stuff a lot of anti-airs, but it's completely vulnerable on the way down making it pretty poor. Likewise you could also use an air special move like Delta A or an air super (like the Bees super), but these are also rather punishable when they fail. Her airdash is also special cancelable so things like airdash into air C.R are possible though only marginally useful.

VSav Felicia notes

Just some random notes about the character in general.

Framedata:
dash j.MP first hit +2 to +6
dash j.MP second hit +2 to +7
dash j.MK -2 to +10
dash j.HP -3 to +7
dash j.HK -3 to +7

This framedata may be slightly inaccurate though, I've been having difficulty verifying framedata with this game (in relation to the Japanese wiki). Though, it at least shows for certain that her d.MP and d.MK are a bit superior to her HP and HK regardless if the data is actually perfectly accurate or not, which is the point of listing it anyway. If the data is incorrect then it's likely to only be offset by just 1f (as seen when I compare my other data to the wiki).

Felicia's dash has 7 frames of recovery on landing, however the latter 6 frames are special/super cancelable which makes d.MP into super possible. This also can amusingly be canceled by her meter-building special move and her taunt. Though obviously canceling it into super off a well timed d.MP or d.MK is more ideal.

Felicia's c.LP into linked (not chained) c.MP is a 2F link which also allows her to hitconfirm into super or ES ball-rush. It's also possible to c.LP c.LP super/es at close range. And as said, since j.MP is a two-hit move it may be possible to hitconfirm it to super. Though it's also possible to d.MK then link into either c.MP or c.MK and then super. And I've also seen d.MP c.LP link c.MP into ES ball rush, though only the ball rush combos in this case and not her super (due to speed).

So I guess a tl;dr list of confirm into supers for her are:
- c.LP c.LP super
- c.LP link c.MP super
- d.MP super
- d.MK c.MP/c.MK super
- d.MK c.LP link c.MP ES ball

Where in all cases that super is possible the ES ball is also possible. But for the last combo, only ES ball is possible (in corner, anyway, not sure in regards to midscreen but I assume the same applies).

Felicia has a move where if she lands on your head while you are standing she will literally sit on your head. The amazing thing about this move is that it will interrupt ground-based attacks, even normally uncancelable attacks. If she attacks while in this state she will "slip" off your head with a vertical falling attack (whichever attack you used). She's also able to jump off your head in any upward direction. If the opponent performs any action after the headsit it will interrupt the head-sit and cause Felicia to rejump vertically into the air.

Doesn't sound all that great, but being able to interrupt ground-based standing anti-airs is really outstanding for one thing. But also being able to use it as a throw-bait is also rather outstanding if the opponent has a habit of attempting throws using heavy attacks. As in, if you headsit and they expected a throw attempt they may try to mash standing HP, only to whiff it and be hit by Felicia on her way down from the head-sit rejump. Alternately you can intentionally whiff a slow air normal to avoid the headsit and then do a throw or command throw on landing.

She also has a wall "grab" which she will attach herself to the wall until you release, the jump off the wall. Hilarity ensues when this move is combined with headshit.

Felicia's dp+LP, dp+LK, and dash attacks make for some pretty good tick throw setups. Her command throw allows her to buffer some negative edge (button-up) throw option selects, which is also good when combined with her close heavy attacks. Such as, buffering the command throw input and holding down the buttons during whatever action you're doing, then releasing the kick buttons one after the other to execute the command throw. If no throw occurs you don't do anything since you used button releases, but if you're in range and the opponent is throw-able then you'll attempt it. Her close HP and HK also hit very far vertically so it's also a good option select, if the opponent jumps either one has the potential to tag them out of the air, which makes them slightly more ideal for throw attempts than her mids which don't hit as high vertically. Felicia's command throw doesn't have invulnerable startup, but it's fast at only 2F startup.

This option select is entirely different from character's whose command throw inputs overlap with another special move (like Lei-lei's). Another option select that exists for these characters (like Felicia) is to take advantage of whiff canceling. Cancelable normals in VSav can be whiff canceled during startup and active hitframes, which is pretty substantial. Thus, the option select becomes to kara-cancel the attack by inputting a normal and then intentionally inputting the command throw input during the normal move's startup frames. If the opponent can't be thrown then no throw will come out and the normal move will continue to execute, and if they can be thrown then the grab will interrupt the normal move.

Felicia has two pursuit types. The universal one is her ball bounce, and she also has a down down punch pursuit which is a catscratch OTG (amusingly her rat/mouse appears when she does it).

As far as anti-airs go, I'm surprised at how effective her c.MP and c.MK are compared to her c.HP. Though her c.HP is certainly good against people with high jump arcs and crossups (like, Lillith comes to mind) it seems c.MP and c.MK are significantly more useful. I've actually had a lot of success with them against Q-bee and Sasquatch standard rushdown. The hitboxes for this game must be rather interesting. I sure would like to be able to see a number of Q-bee's moves.

Felicia's far HK actually has lower body invulnerability. It doesn't actually take her off the ground like her c.HP does, but it will go clean over a lot of low attacks like most of Q-Bee's low pokes (c.LP, c.LK, c.MP -- and c.HK for that matter, not that that's a poke). In general, I find far HK to be rather amazing against Q-Bee, along with Felicia's other good pokes such as far MK for that matter, as both moves will either beat or trade with Q-Bee's other moves. Another interesting property to her c.HP and close HK is they will both launch (reset) a grounded opponent.

Her dark force is pretty cool. It summons an assist which times it's attacks with yours, making it possible to do loops like c.LP c.LP [d.MP c.LP*3]xN, or like c.MP dp+LP [c.LP dp+LP]xN and stuff. The jump arc for the assist seems to be determined by the attack strength used. I've seen some players using the startup invulnerability during Dark Force activation to blow through laggy attacks and start combos. This could be one application. Another would be a guaranteed 50/50 off a knockdown. The recovery when DF ends is (un)fortunately pretty laggy though so it would be rather prudent to make sure and end it with some sort of knockdown that could cover the recovery. An amusing trait to her dash is that it can pass through people, and an amusing trait to her assist is that it can knock the opponent forward if hitting from behind, so in the corner she can actually use the assist to push the opponent forward and then dash through them for an interesting mixup.

Personally I'm a big fan of random super so I like the "Please help me" super, which is affectionately dubbed gang-bang super. Though, I'm even more a fan of really slow moves that are stupidly punishable and you have to be psychic to use them, so yeah I like this super even though you should never really use it in a match if/when you're playing to win. And for that matter, her ball super and ES should only ever be comboed as well, never randomed.

Aside from all that, I think Rithli said it best when he called Felicia a "neutered version of the top tiers". She basically has all the right stuff going for her, but none of it is especially ridiculous like the top tiers get. As in, things like Q-bee homing airdash and Sasquatch dash cancel and command throw bullshit and so on.

But something about her makes her rather fun and interesting to play. Be it her jump arc or absurdly good normals, there's something about her that makes her more than just a vanilla version of the top tier characters.

Vampire Savior Lei-Lei notes



A) 0:01 - c.LK HK Tenraiha
B) 0:07 - c.LK c.MP Tenraiha
C) 0:13 - c.LK Tenraiha
D) 0:19 - c.LK c.LK++ Tenraiha
E) 0:25 - c.LK c.MP c.MK Tenraiha
F) 0:32 - anti-air c.HK, OTG Tenraiha
G) 0:39 - c.LK c.MP c.MK c.HP, OTG Tenraiha
H) 0:47 - blocked c.LK, dash, Houtengeki
I) 0:55 - blocked c.LK c.LK++, dash, Houtengeki
J) 1:02 - blocked c.LK, dash crossthrough, whiff c.LK, reversed Houtengeki

Tenraiha is a command super or "dial-a-super" executed by inputting LK, HK, MP, MP, Up. In Vampire Savior you're not normally able to cancel chained normals into specials or supers, the exception to that rule is the dial-a-supers like Morrigna/Lillith's Darkness Illusion, which is a Raging Demon input, or in this case Lei-Lei's Tenraiha.

Tenraiha is a fairly good super, aside from being a dial-a-super that is able to break cancel rules. The first part that looks like an anvil is an overhead. If the overhead whiffs and hits the ground it becomes a full-screen shockwave that hits low and sweeps. The spike balls that fall will fall pseudo-randomly and can hit OTG for small unrecoverable damage and substantial recoverable damage. The spikes, when blocked, will also knock the opponent around also pseudo-randomly. If the spikes happen to juggle the opponent in the air, you're sometimes able to additionally juggle with a Senpuubu.

A) Is probably the easiest way to combo into it, since you're able to hold any direction during the sequence of button inputs you can just down LK release down then HK MP MP Up for a natural combo (I'll bet intended).
B) Is basically the same principal, except that you hold down for the whole sequence and you press HK before the LK hits the opponent, skipping the HK. This bypasses the HK and goes to MP for another natural combo, though the inputs have to be done very very quickly to the point where it's almost like a kara-cancel input (as in LK~HK~MP,MP~UP).
C) This doesn't combo. But, because of the stiffness/strictness of the chain cancel window you're actually able to input the whole sequence during the LK, skipping the window for the chain cancel and doing only a LK before finally pressing Up to execute the Tenraiha.
D) Same thing but with mashed c.LK. Again it doesn't combo, but because the Tenraiha is an overhead it hits on wrongblock, which is a pretty cool way to stagger since you're able to instead do another low attack after the c.LK or go for a dash throw tick-throw attempt.
E) This one is extremely difficult to input. The game doesn't allow you to sequence-break or store inputs for the command supers, so you have to input the entire super command after pressing c.MK. Which means c.MK~LK~HK~MP,MP~Up, in other words, inputting the LK even before hitstop from the c.MP ends and the c.MK begins to execute.
F) Way easier to execute.
G) Harder to execute and slightly random, but is basically her standard BNB chain into Tenraiha OTG. It's more likely to hit if the opponent attempts to tech roll forward like they are likely to do if they were in the corner, though it's possible to get the Tenraiha to come out as soon as the c.HP hits, which makes it more likely to OTG correctly.
H) Tick into command throw. Her dash becomes invulnerable when she disappears.
I) Same thing but with a mashed c.LK for added frame advantage.
J) If you pass through the opponent a command grab attempt will normally fail, resulting in a Henkyouki (gong). But you can c.LK then input the command throw the opposite direction and grab them as soon as the c.LK recovers.




And on a somewhat related note, Rithli has set up a Mogulus stream:
http://www.mogulus.com/batmasta

And I started putting netplay casuals in a youtube playlist: here.

I'm bat mastuh.

Predictable Yomi

This post is another dedication to Comic-Z.

Personally, I still believe that anything truly predictable should have a counter to it. Certainly, if you know what is coming at you then you should be able to either beat/punish it or at least avoid taking damage.

Unpredictability is really quite important, though that doesn't necessarily mean random. Rather, knowing all your options and all your opponent's options at any given time, and keeping a "poker face" on.

To use an example, let's say that character (A) is unable to anti-air character (B) from the ground (heinous) and so the best option for beating/stopping jump-in abuse is to jump vertically and go air-to-air. In this situation it's necessary to act preemptively, on anticipation.

Because you're acting on anticipation, assuming you know what the opponent will do, this is where yomi and predictability comes in. If you constantly vertical jump in order to totally prevent a jump-in attack, then your opponent will easily know what to expect and take a direct counter to it, such as dashing in and anti-airing you from the ground.

If you eventually abandon your vertical jump option because it keeps getting directly countered, you may instead start using c.MK preemptively in order to keep your opponent from dashing in like they were before.

But again, if you continually only rely on your c.MK option then your opponent will again easily know what to expect and start jumping again, which will beat/punish your c.MK attempts. You can't simply rely on one option and one option only, because the opponent won't simply abandon or give up their options, they will force you to guess whether they will jump or dash. So, if you're only trying to stop one they will just use the other. But there is no one guaranteed stop-all, because even if you find an attack that covers both options, if you use that attack predictably then the opponent will just find a way to counter that too.

This scenario would be like playing Rock-Paper-Scissors and constantly throwing out only one option (like paper) before the opponent does anything, and then until the opponent has had time to see which option you're tossing out repeatedly and counters it accordingly. In other words, you keep whiffing Paper out in the open, trying to shut down Rock, when the opponent isn't relying only on Rock and is able to cut you down with Scissors.

Hence, the "poker face", where you wait until the situation actually arrives before you reveal the option you've decided to go with. Ideally you don't want it to be easy for the opponent to read exactly what you have planned, but this isn't the same as being random. Randomly selecting from a set of three logical options based on what you believe your opponent will do is entirely different from performing completely random and illogical acts. However, educated guessing based on probability, weighing risk/reward, using reaction instead of anticipation, and option selecting when applicable can all greatly reduce the necessity of simple blind picking.

Fighting games aren't really pure RPS anyway because not all options are created equal. Some options are more rewarding and less risky than others, so being able to identify what options are better on risk/reward is a good idea.

It's also important to understand advantage and disadvantage. When the opponent connects with an attack hit/block such as a jump-in you're not put at massive frame disadvantage (assuming the jump-in was deep). This limits your options for defense, and increases the aggressor's ability to do a mixup or continue pressure. Constantly using the same option for defense is the same as the above scenario of predictable yomi.

And this is commonly where the word "respect" gets tossed around in regards to fighting games. If you don't respect the fact that you're at disadvantage and don't understand or don't respect your opponent's options you often find yourself getting smashed in the face repeatedly by things like frametraps/staggers/suki. But then again, if you're too respectful you will most likely find yourself getting steamrolled by high/low/throw mixups because you're not attempting to defend yourself. So once again, it's necessary to evaluate the situation and not be too predictable in your choice of respect or lack of respect.

Of course ideally (in a dream world) you'd always choose the correct option for any given situation every time, but the correct answer to a situation isn't always the same answer as it was the last time the situation occurred (unless your opponent always chooses the wrong answer and never learns).

RE: Top Dog

Yoshinori Ono has said in an interview that he actually wanted SF4 to be slightly unbalanced in order to keep things interesting, so to speak. Personally, I think it's pretty obvious that some unbalance in games is entirely intentional. And IMO you're really just deluding yourself if you don't believe that the designers themselves would intentionally make some characters stronger/weaker than others on purpose, especially when Capcom staff has specifically said so on record. Though I'm sure he isn't the only example of this.

Why would they do this?

Because people like unbalance and character variety. Just ask the MvC2 players if they would really play a perfectly balanced and toned down Marvel game. Some people like to root for the underdog character, some people want to play the gimmicky cheesebag character, and some people just want to play the strong protagonist hero or strong antagonist bastard.

But, how do bad matchups happen and what makes them bad?

Obviously, some attacks are better than others, because not all attacks are the same. But to use a very basic example, let's say character (A) has a really shitty jump arc with crappy jump attacks while the other does not -- and character (B) has outstanding anti-airs and a really good jump arc with good jump normals. What happens here is that character (A) can't rely on jumping or they will just get anti-aired, while character (B) is free to jump in all day. That's a very clear and obvious lopsided advantage/disadvantage. You can try to compensate for the weakness of not being able to jump and not being able to anti-air, but character (A) is having to deal with that weakness by playing harder while character (B) doesn't have to deal with it.

This isn't just a hypothetical/theoretical situation though, it actually does happen in games like SF3:3rd Strike where some characters really shouldn't(don't) jump in while others certainly can (and do). It isn't limited to just jump arcs though. Other things happen like a character will have a specific move like a c.MP with a good hitbox or special move that just simply shuts down the opponents options and makes the battle much more difficult. It's really easy to see why if you simply analyze why there are some 8:2 matchups in some games when the same character can have decent/fair matchups against other characters. There's usually at least one specific thing that is highly advantageous or when put into use makes the matchup highly disadvantageous.

Well, to share an amusing but fairly accurate quote from IRC:

"japan just learns their chars. america goes for that tier list
then when they lose, the tear list happens" -DS893

And it's true. Presumably for a lot of Westerners in general. I assume it's because they like to win, but I also assume it's more than just that. I'm pretty sure most people don't want to question if they were losing because their character was crap. Imagine going to an arcade and dumping quarters into a machine, losing 10 times in a row, then later realizing you just "wasted" 5$ playing a character that had little chance of winning because it was a shitty low tier character. I don't think there's many people out there that are willing to drop down an entry fee at a tournament only to pick an obviously weak character and then have to question when you lost if it was because of the character or not.

However, I'd like to say that this doesn't really reflect how I feel personally. I tend to play whichever character I feel most comfortable playing with, because I assume that I will be playing to the best of my ability if I'm able to use the characters' strengths properly. Often, the characters that I choose aren't top tier. But, to be fair, I also generally don't pick low tier characters either and tend to drop low tier characters if I find their matchups to be too horrendous.

Throw Invulerability

Just a quick couple notes.

Throw invulnerability for Jojo's Bizarre Adventure:
- 3F on wakeup
- 3F on blockstun
- 0F on hitstun
- 0F on jump startup
- 5F on landing (with 1F vulnerability on pre-invulnerability-window)

For Vampire Savior:
- 4F on wakeup
- 4~5F on blockstun (random)
- 4~5F on hitstun (random)
- inv on jump startup

For SF3, 3RD Strike:
- 7f on wakeup
- 7f on blockstun
- 7f on hitstun
- inv on jump startup
- inv on superjump startup

For SF-Alpha3:
- 3f on wakeup
- 3f on blockstun
- 3f on hitstun
- inv on jump startup (VC breaks this rule)

For Samurai Shodown 5-Special:
- 17f on wakeup
- 17f on blockstun
- 17f on hitstun
- 0f on reset (anti-air / air-to-air)
- (samsho has no jump startup, you are inv to throws and airborne on first jump frame)

For Street Fighter 4:
- 0f on wakeup
- 0f on blockstun
- 0f on hitstun
- inv on jump startup

On a random side note, Seth's Tandem Engine moves won't "grab" an opponent who is performing a wakeup jump, but the EX version will for whatever reason.



- Copyright © Xenozip.

Top Dog

It amazes and fascinates me to find such varying subjective opinions on the concepts of what constitutes depth in a fighting game, and the concept of tiers -- though the two concepts aren't directly related. It baffles and amuses me further on how people come to conclusions regarding tiers, or when I hear that people "don't believe" in tiers or bad matchups in the first place. When I hear things like that, I frankly have to wonder if these people have ever played ST or CvS2.

Well first of all let's define tiers and how they are made. I believe a lot of westerners tend to create tier listings without using a matchup chart. The funny thing is, although I feel that this is the "wrong" way, our tier lists based on just character strength evaluations tend to be really close to tier lists based on actual matchup charts. This may be what leads people to be confused about the whole concept of tiers in the first place. But really, I feel tiers "should" be based on a matchup chart, because that is in essence what actually determines character strengths/weaknesses and likelihood of winning/losing in a tournament.

To use the most basic hypothetical example I can think of: If Ryu, Ken, and Chun-li were in a game, and Ken has really good matchups against Ryu and Chun-Li, it doesn't matter how strong/weak Ryu and Chun actually are, Ken is technically "top tier" because he has good matchups against both Ryu and Chun.

The idea that, for example, 3rd Strike Yun is top tier because of his Genei Jin super and only his super is a fallacy IMO. Yun's super is undoubtedly good, but he's not at the top of the list only because of that super, just like Ken and Chun are not on top only due to their supers. Rather, it's because they have no particularly bad matchups aside from their matches against the other top character. Meanwhile, other characters with really good supers and moves aren't placed top tier, because those characters actually do have bad matchups despite their awesome supers. A character like Akuma actually has more trouble fighting Yang than he does against Yun. And a character like Oro ends up being practically the very middle of the tiers with some pretty average matchups across the board, except where it comes to an 8:2 matchup again Chun in Chun's favor. Matchups like this effect the character's placing in the tiers despite their universal strength.

There are some games, like Garou, where the tiers reflect universal matchup ratings across the board. There aren't any particular matchups that are out of the ordinary. We see the top tiers have all good matchups against the low tiers, and the low tiers have bad matchups against the top tiers. The only thing really out of the ordinary in Garou would be Terry's particularly bad matchups against Kevin and Gato which places Terry lower in the tiers, while Grant's only bad matchup is Kain who has no bad matchups. Thus, a if westerners created a tier list for this game based on assumptions about character strength it probably wouldn't be too inaccurate, since the tiers in this game are fairly intuitive.

But that doesn't happen all the time. Sometimes strong characters with good matchups have one or more particularly bad matchups, such as in Vampire Savior (vsav). A lot of people would see things about Jedah like; him having ridiculous high/low mixups, three good command throws, space controlling projectiles, really powerful supers, and even an infinite combo. Some might even venture to assume he was top tier -- except that he's not. Just looking at the numbers we can clearly see he has really bad matchups against Gallon(Talbain) and Zabel(Raptor). Because of these really bad matchups his overall value as a character drops down a lot. You may think he's "good" because of his strengths, but come tournament time when you face a legion of Gallons and Zabels you might quickly learn that he actually has a very steep uphill battle to deal with.

Now, that doesn't mean that if you're playing Jedah that you automatically lose to Gallons and Zabels. Another thing people enjoy saying is that the outcome of a match is based more on player strength than character strength. This is partly true. Lord knows if you're Daigo Umehara and you're playing as Jedah then you can easily mop the floor with most people, regardless of who they pick. But, what about what happens when there's two Daigo's? Or rather, at least some one who is roughly as good as Daigo? I know it's hard to believe, but they exist. So in the case of Daigo mirrors, if one of them picks Zabel or Gallon while the other is Jedah, it's obvious who is going to win. Because at that point the character is drastically handicapped, and so the player is drastically handicapped too. Nine times out of ten, the Jedah will lose badly. It's almost the same as if both Diagos picked Jedah and then one of them lowered/raised their handicap setting at the character select screen.

To the players who "don't believe" in good/bad matchups, I'm just shocked. I really don't even feel the need to explain this one. How can you not notice a difference between characters? They are not all created equal. These character-specific moves are better against some characters than others, which is blatantly obvious if you've ever really played a matchup that had an 8:2 or 9:1 rating. Honestly I feel like I'm getting trolled whenever I hear a statement like bad matchups don't exist.

There's a lot of ridiculously lopsided matchups in CvS2 for example. Claw(vega) against Yamazaki is extremely poor for Yamazaki. Athena versus Cammy is also really poor for Cammy. In the case of Athena versus Cammy, Cammy is easily one of the better characters in the game while Athena isn't especially outstanding, yet the matchup is totally in Athena's favor because Cammy has no real way of dealing with Athena's c.HP. And it's facts like that which would allow us to see Cammy's true standing in the tiers, since if she has a hard-counter like that then her overall rating is going to be dropped by comparison to other characters who may not have any bad matchups at all. Though unfortunately I'm not currently privvy to a CvS2 matchup chart at the moment.

But I don't think it's really arguable that if you pick Sean in 3rd Strike you're handicapping yourself. Sure, you could beat players who are significantly worse than you, but even extremely good players will have a lot of difficulty consistently beating their peers if their opponents are constantly picking top tier characters that are able to steamroll Sean. Most likely Daigo could beat you with Sean, but he isn't likely to ever beat OhNuki, AFM, or any really good Chun while he was using Sean despite the fact that he probably could win if he was using Ken or Yun, Sean is just too much of a handicap "even for him".

So yeah, player skill means a lot, but so do character matchups. And matchups are what defines character tiers. Not some hocus pocus esoteric crap that we make up from theories.

RE: Sirloin

ST replied to my Sirloin post with a good point.

Actually, I am putting a lot of :words: in by assuming a lot of things. Though, I based the post on the whole set of ideas rather than just an individual idea. But, the changes to HD Remix aren't quite on the same level as single-button specials like those proposed for SF Flashback. With the whole set of ideas like time-recall/reserve and 1-button specials makes it seem like it's not a fighter anymore, as apposed to HD Remix input simplification which is a lot different. But thinking about it more specifically/individually to HD Remix, I still don't entirely agree with it -- though certainly it's not "as bad".

For the most part, I do agree with some modifications; like changing Cammy's Hooligan Combination from a TK input to quarter circle. It makes sense to me. Since, well, that move has a lot of startup time and isn't invulnerable or anything, so additional inputs isn't exactly modifying or hindering the use of it, they're just extraneous and the simplified input doesn't disrupt anything.

But, in the example given of changing Zangief's 360 and 720 motions to half circles so that you don't have to push up: I find this is somewhat problematic. Thankfully, it doesn't allow players to mash it during blockstun -- hoping to snatch up anything with a framegap or frame disadvantage -- because you still have to let go of down+back low guard in order to do this move. But it does allow people to do standing 720s without having to buffer it off anything.

The result is that you can be closer than you normally would and you don't have to deal with the jump trigger. With the 720 motion you either had to be landing or you had to buffer the upward directionals during something, such as a whiffed jab or hitstun/blockstun (or from a knockdown).

In order for the whiff-jab trick to work, you actually had to whiff a jab, meaning you'd have to be out of range for the jab. And in order for hitstun/blockstun you'd have to actually get hit by or block something, and then react quickly enough to have time to buffer and then confirm if it'd hit. Without needing a jab whiff or blockstun you can actually be point blank if you wanted to. Hugo could throw you into the corner then walk-up super you regardless of whether you tech-rolled or not. Whereas with the 720 you couldn't reliably do that. Hugo could also walk-up super you with no visual indication or warning that he's going to do that, whereas with 720 you'd have to have something buffering it as explained above. The time you're able to walk after inputting the command changes slightly too, since you've given potentially the entire buffer window after the initial inputs, whereas if you buffer it from a whiff jab you're likely to be holding toward before you actually end the jab and start walking (which gives you less time to walk forward).

I find this disruptive because I think it changes the way the move is used, not just how it is executed. And there's other things in HD Remix that I would disagree with for the same reason, like changing the requirement of holding 3 buttons to 2 buttons for Balrog's Turn Punch.

One could argue that modifying the use of a move is for the better anyway. Which, it may or may not be. They did modify how a lot of moves worked in the game, such as Chun's spinning neck breaker (df+RH) and Honda's Ochio (command throw).

Again, these changes may or may not be good. But, I personally dislike quite a lot of them, and I disagree with some simplified inputs regardless of whether they make the character better or not. I feel command throw supers like Zangief's and Hugo's should be mechanically difficult to do because they are so rewarding, impossible to avoid after flash, and unblockable. But I feel the difficulty and time spent used to execute isn't really the main issue, it's the functionality of how and when you can/could perform the move. The character itself might not automatically become top-tier bullshit as a result, but I still find it to be "bullshit" in general. As in "Why is this character allowed to get away with this bullshit?" type of sentiment.

Ken SF4

Assuming Shoryuken forums aren't down, this thread is awesome: Ken Fighter IV (funny Street Fighter IV images)

That is all.

RE: Eco Bubble

In my Eco Bubble post I neglected to mention this thread/list: FG YouTube Usernames.

Assuming Shoryuken forums aren't down; it's a list of Youtube accounts that post fighting game footage. Like I said about trying to keep the community together and organized, I started that thread to kind of keep track of which youtube accounts actively post any kind of fighting game related stuff.

Admittedly, I don't subscribe to all of them, but it's nice to have on hand just in case I want to go see something. Plus I think we should do what we can to keep things connected.

That being said, sorry to ask, but if anyone has an account or knows an account that isn't on the list it'd be appreciated if you'd contribute. If you don't have an SRK forum account you can post a comment here on my blog, I made it so you can comment anonymously/unregistered.

King of Testosterone

New KoF-XII Trailer

More like "preposterone" amirite?

Well, the game looks gorgeous, no doubt. Really pretty artwork and tons of really fluid frames.

Though, it's hard to miss Ralph and Clark, who look like they have been pumped full of steroids. Terry and Ryo also look like they have been to the gym a lot.

But yeah, back to the real point: there's only two female characters.

Two and a half if you count Ash as a "half". Though he's not really a trap, he's just really flagrantly homo. If you check his character portrait he isn't really trappy looking at all. But yeah, I believe people that would build a "team girl" would put him on it, together with Athena and Leona.

Athena is thick. Her face is really super generic moe blob, which is like "eh, whatever". But the hair style, clothing, and chubbiness are things I can approve of. She's not really fat, just thick, I mean look at those thighs. Also, Leona looks cool, but I never knew of this character until now so I can't say if it's an improvement or not. But, she looks cool.

But that's it. The rest are dudes. Dudes with a lot of damn testosterone. Especially Ralph and Clark who look like they are going to punch out god, or burst a blood vessel, whichever.

Aural Diarrhea

Example links provided by Bellreisa:

Rachael Alucard..
"nan-nand-nanda-ja-jam-nan-na-ja-na-jama jama... nago"
PLUS whatever the fuck her familiars and her opponent are saying, for each and every move from either player. The only thing I can make out from Nago is "Ikuwayo~", and I can't understand Gii, but they both say a lot. Just as much as Rachael herself does.

Also, Bang Shishigami..
"Kyushuu ukemi! Shuriken Special! Kyuushuu nage! Waataaah wa wa waataaaah! Houuuten! Shishigami ninpo ougi" blahblahblah-blahblahblah.
I really hate Bang. A lot. About the only thing I like about him is the fact that his name is Bang and he has a steel-rain super.

To quote Bellreisa: " Seriously how can you listen to this and not think "damn they talk too much"? "

But this is just the tip of the iceberg. None of the characters are particularly quiet except possibly Jin and Haku-Men. Though in the case of Haku-Men he's actually quite noisy, it's just that all he "says" most of the time are just grunts and growls.

But just to clarify; I'm not hating on the game itself. I'm just hating on the fact that none of them will shut the fuck up.

Sirloin

I think most people who would stumble on this blog of mine would know of Sirlin and his theories/design ideas. Actually, I think you guys probably know all of it well enough to have already formulated your own opinions on the matter(s).

So, I don't really have a reason for posting this other than it's on my mind and this is my blog, so whatever. Sorry if you don't know all about it, but I don't feel like diggin up references either. But here's a quick example.

Simplifying Inputs. A major concept of his. The idea is that the game should be more about your mind and less about your body. As in, less emphasis on execution and the boundaries that are caused by execution ability or lack thereof. Thus; more emphasis on reasoning, planning, strategy, and other such mental skills.

For example, chess with no time limit per turn as apposed to chess with some imposed time limit per turn. Or something like mahjong as apposed to flash cards or RPS, where reaction and anticipation are key elements (respectively).

Personally, I think this would work if you were trying to build something that wasn't a fighting game. I mean, this isn't the same thing as trying to turn speed-chess into chess. I think this is trying to turn a fighting game into another type of game. And so I feel that trying to keep it as a fighting game just doesn't work.

Personally I'm not basing this opinion entirely on theory. Games like SFA3, CvS2, MvC2, SWR and other-such games all have a certain degree of simplified inputs, such as two-button activations in the former two games.

The thing about simplified inputs, for me, is that it's only good in theory and not in practice. It doesn't promote players to stop guessing at all. Rather, it actually promotes the opposite, and players are even more inclined to guess rather than think and evaluate. Whereas good players know not to guess at all, and so instead they hitconfirm.

For example, in SWR the supers are performed with a single button input that is entirely disassociated with any other input. The button for supers is designed to do one thing only, which is to perform a super. Thus, you can dash, attack, block, jump, or whatever you want while pushing the super button. And you know what happens as a result? People mash that button.

Of course, in theory; good players would know the opponent is planning to mash that button and so they bait/fish for it by staggering or other such baiting techniques. But do these players stop? No. No, I am afraid not. What's worse is that really good players are more inclined to do this too. The reason is because of the risk/reward balance involved with a lot of supers. They know that while they are defending there is a high probability that it will work, and even if it doesn't there is a high probability they will be safe, and if it does work they land a super. It's guessing, but it's educated guessing that's favorable.

Even in the situation where it is highly punishable, to them it's still a coin toss, wherein if they guess right they win and guess wrong they lose. But this isn't just a matter of SWR though. If people had a 1-button Shoryuken that moved backwards people would mash it during mixup situations or general favorable/unfavorable situations. But actually there should be no "if" in this statement. Because actually, they do. Say hello to IaMP Yuyuko 6B and basically everyone that plays Yuyuko.

Of course it really sucks when you know exactly what is coming, know what the response is, and not be able to do it because your execution is not fast enough. Every predictable action should have a counter-action for it, I've said so myself. But on the flipside it also sucks to get grabbed during a mixup/neutral situation by a command throw super that very well should be a very complicated motion to execute. And yeah, the command throw should be complicated for that very reason: If command throws are that simple to do (eg, 1 button) then the result is option selecting and mashing which dilutes the rushdown/mixup game into coin flips.

Unfortunately, simplified inputs do promote guessing and option selecting, even though it is supposed to promote the opposite. And unfortunately the entire player base that is exposed to simplified inputs can't really grasp the concepts of risk/reward and baiting-punishing, as been proven. And even if they grasp it, they are still inclined to disregard it. Which brings me to the next point.

Time Recall. Well, I'll pick the "worse" of two evils to start with in regards to time manipulation, because I feel it's highly contradictory and flawed.

Time reverse, not something I'm making up. Again, it's almost like Sirlin wants the game to be more like chess, except with undo. Perhaps though, more like wanting the players to actually know what they are doing thoroughly. And again, that's probably a great idea if you were building a game that wasn't a fighter.

But for fighters? Sorry, but no.

In theory the players would start recognizing situations and the best outcome for them. As in, they would understand what led up to a situation, and then also the result of each permutation for every action they could take thereafter. Thus, execution and reaction become irrelevant and all players start playing at a top level; the way the game "should be played".

As I see it, there's a couple problems though. First being the characters. You could only really ever play the character(s) with the best matchups (eg, the highest tiers) within the cast. Because if you make the game purely strategical then any sort of handicap caused from balance issues would automatically determine the outcome of most matches. Kind of like playing chess with a handicap of either pieces or movement options. Say hello to Ken versus Ken for eternity? No thanks.

The other issue is that reaction is now gone, so therefor every action is "predictable". Thus, the defender becomes superior, and both players defend.. forever! Say hello to Chun versus Chun turtling for eternity? No thanks.

Well, not really. Of course Sirlin would put limitations on the ability to recall time. But putting a limitation on it means players wouldn't be free with it's usage or be inclined to experimentation. In theory; with timestamping and recall/replay the game "should" become something like training wheels, teaching players the right thing to do at any given point in time. However, I really don't think that it would play out that way because most players don't actually consider every single action/counter available to them, let alone consider when and how to use such a thing. I also really don't think the majority of players today would actually prefer to learn that way.

Instead, I could see it becoming more of an offensive tool than a defensive one. Rather than helping players learn, I think it would actually turn people away due to good players taking advantage of it while new(b) players failing to take advantage of it.

Well, plus there's the matter of teaching players when to set the recall points. Even if the timereverse ability was awarded by getting hurt -- as in, given to the player that is losing -- I'm positive most players would only use it either defensively to try and avoid mixups or aggressively to try and bank on mixups, rather than forcing a favorable trap (a mindgame). And even if they did, so what? Who would ever use the ability mid-game for mind game purposes, to learn how to set up a trap in the first place? And if they did, you really think they could learn it so they could do it real-time? But, from what? If the inclination didn't already occur to them, I don't see how timeslow could teach it suddenly.

IMO, either you understand the concept of a mind game and know how to put your opponent in that kind of situation or you don't. And I don't think time reverse will actually help players get to the point of putting themselves and their opponent in the situation where they are guaranteed at least some kind of damage.

Honestly the whole thing reminds me a lot of what Viscant has lamented over when dealing with the fighting game community in the past. Even in simple text, they don't get it. And the only general conclusion I can come to is "you can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink". Sorry Sirlin, but even if you shove the water down their throat the players will just puke it up.

In the end, I feel time recall would only become a sort of wang stroker for those who really just want to feel "right", kind of like giving save points in RPGs or save states in emulators.

Time Slow is really not a new concept. Actually it's kind of cliche at this point. More-so cliche'd in cartoons, anime, manga, etc than fighting games, but it isn't exactly new to fighters either. Samurai Shodown springs to mind, and Sakuya too for that matter.

Is it a good one? Well, it's a fun(ny) one. But I don't really think you could consider it particularly educational for the same reasons I mentioned previously.

Actually, I think timeslow in a fighter would be even more problematic than timerecall. Problematic in the sense that it'd be used aggressively and doesn't teach anybody anything. Even when the ability is given to the losing player, such as in Samurai Shodown, it's used aggressively.

Yeah, another wang stroker. Admittedly though, I approve of timeslow being used as a form of self pleasure. I just don't think it amounts to any other than that.

I suppose it can be used as an educational tool, but only to those who are so inclined to learn that way in the first place. But, I've come to find that these players are the minority, and it would not be very useful/enjoyable to anyone else.

In closing, I'm torn. I want to be both right and wrong. To put it bluntly, I think it would be great if all of Sirlin's ideas came into being and worked out well, but then I probably wouldn't play any of them anyway. At least, I highly doubt that I would.

Eco Bubble

Is Youtube bad for fighters?

A lot of highly intelligent and respectable minds have been saying it is.

Some would say that it harms the fighting game community by dispersing it across the internet. Further causing harm by spoonfeeding scrubs footage of top-level play that they don't fully comprehend. Plus diverting traffic flow to their sites which they feel is a base/outpost to the community and keeps things together and organized.

Well, I guess I'm stupid. But at least I'm blissfully stupid. As I see it, I'm entertained by very easily and freely accessible footage, I'm exposed to many different games I wouldn't normally be, and I'm educated by observing things very closely.

I also disagree with their sentiments. I will admit that youtube is a piss-poor environment to house a community. It really doesn't house much to begin with actually. But I also don't feel that it degrades or negatively impacts the already existing communities much, or at least not significantly enough to matter. The communities rest in real life and on web forums such as forums.Shoryuken.com, they don't get pissed into the wind just because you can post comments on videos. People aren't blips on a computer screen, they are people and they don't just randomly move around or disappear. If you think about it, the people in your local area may or may not play fighters and show up to tournaments either with or without youtube, but with youtube a lot of people are more easily exposed to demonstrations of competitive gaming, which may very well lead to them becoming interested and joining the community and showing up to tournaments. Without youtube, people around you might not even have known that players took gaming to that level.

When SF4 hit, SRK forums got flooded so hard it went down a bunch. But you realize, if you google search "Street Fighter 4", shoryuken or its forums aren't even in the first ten pages of results. Now, I'm sure Youtube is one of the places people went streaming to in search of SF4, but aside from videos they weren't going to get much, so where else do they look? Well fortunately most people link places like GameFAQs and Shoryuken in their Youtube profiles or descriptions and mention it in comments. Some users mention their own sites/blogs, and on those they tend to mention other places as well. Though I don't post anything SF4 related, I for one have SRK forums plastered all over my u2be and blog.

Regarding the spoonfeeding, I'd need to conduct an experiment with several scrubs to be actually convinced on this one as well. The theory goes; back in the day we had to figure out how to play games ourselves. We went to the arcade and dropped quarters only to have our opponent cheese the shit out of us with some super seemingly-unbeatable gimmick, and we had to learn to beat it really quickly or we'd be dumping more quarters in, which made us think. The point to this theory is: thinking for yourself and learning.

Nowadays it's easy to just jump on youtube and view a rack of really good match videos from Japan and/or watch some comprehensive combo videos from all over the world. So in theory the scrubs of today aren't forced to use their heads, they rely too much on what youtube tells them to do. Normally a "vid-scrub" is expected to be only capable of parroting combos they saw in a video, and not actually be any good at the game outside of doing combos. Thus, they rarely are able to do any of their precious combos because they can't hit the opponent in the first place.

But again, I disagree. Personally I don't think it harms anything. If the player was incapable of observing the fight well enough to understand the mechanics of how to hit the opponent, then a lack of video isn't going to help any more than having the video. Actually, I think not having the video is worse.

More-so, I feel if this player is incapable of learning what to do after a set of several matches, then videos are irrelevant to the equation. It's just a learning-challenged (like, mentally challenged) player. Honestly I think dumping quarters into a machine was that much more incentive, and it has nothing to do with youtube. If I was getting steam rolled in an arcade then yeah I'd walk away from the machine or step my shit up. I've done exactly both on separate occasions (many years ago). So I think lack of arcades is more to blame than vid-scrubism.

Really, not having the video is detrimental because it removes any potential damage output the scrub may have had, because he didn't know the combos. And it removes the incentive to try really hard to hit the opponent because why bother if you can't do any damage. In the mind of a scrub, if you know you could do a really sweet combo then you'd want to hit the opponent -- but meanwhile if the scrub has no combos then their focus isn't on trying to hit anymore, their focus is on the fact that they're losing and not having fun.

It's also detrimental because if a player actually is observant then they can see very easily how the game should be played. They may not understand why, and they may not be able to play like that, but at the very least they can see the game in it's glory. Which gives them incentive to learn. Moreso than having their only experience with the game being getting strait up owned. Because without videos they might think the gameflow was pretty stupid, and hate the game for it.

I also know for a fact that some players are able to observe videos and x-copy what they see extremely well. This is a good thing because it puts the gap between them and their opponent at much less. It raises their general level, and being on a higher level is always better than being on a lower one. But it's mainly beneficial because having an enormous rift between you and a more experienced opponent is not fun or enjoyable for either player -- the closer you are in skill the move fun the game seems. So personally I think anything that can potentially get players better is a good thing, regardless of how or why. To me the result justifies the means.

Though, I'm pretty bias. I like youtube because I remember what it was like to not have any footage of any game, and not knowing what was possible or reliable. I remember the first time I saw a match video I saw things I had never even considered before being used highly effectively.

I also like youtube because I remember digging up gaming footage when it was finally available in small bits and pieces, and only for specific games. I remember downloading tons of Vampire Savior and Guilty Gear videos from separate sites, never being exposed to any other games because those sites were only about their respective games, and not being connected to any community.

And I remember finally finding youtube and falling in love with it because now I'm exposed to demonstrations of potentially every game ever made. I'm also able to find casuals from all over the world, instead of only major tournaments like in the past. And I have a place to showcase my own videos without having to go through hoops. I also have control over my videos, being able to modify the descriptions at will or even modify or delete videos. Which I'm thankful for because I remember not being able to do that and having to go through a mess of pulling teeth if I wanted to.

About the only thing I dislike about youtube is the rating system. Which is why I disable rating on my videos. Thus, I can't really hate on youtube for that, since they give you the option to disable that function as you choose.

Personally, I think the people complaining about youtube's allegedly negative effects on their community should be diverting that attention to promoting the actual community base. If they feel it's a problem then complaining to your peers isn't really going to accomplish anything. And if they want to accomplish something then maybe they should start advertising their site or other sites.

Which leaves the final point, traffic to your site and organization. Personally, I don't care. I don't have trouble finding things on youtube despite it's complete lack of organization. I feel the balance between users being able to upload things at will, individually, greatly outweighs the need for organization.

And you know, it's not like people aren't trying to organize things within the community. There's still GoForBroke and threads on web forums that linklog fighting game footage, keeping things together and organized.

Sorry, but I feel it's simply better this way. The community isn't about you, and really no individual should be the backbone to a community. The community does need a backbone, but I feel public chatting areas like web forums and IRC chat rooms make much better backbones than some one's personal site.

Super Tree Fighter 2

I find aesthetics in fighting games to be a double edged sword. Though, my preferences regarding aesthetics in general are really atypical of your average gamer.

Audio and Visual are two entirely different worlds, IMO.

With audio, I feel you can achieve a certain level of greatness through highly skilled artists, but you can only go wrong from there.

Even if you have amazing music, the wow-factor is only going to last for so long. Eventually it gets played out and people start tuning it out. But on the flipside you can make absolutely horrible sounds and music that will strait up turn people away. High pitched screaming bitches, annoying/bad quotes, horrible acting, terrible music that has no charisma or soul, and incoherent themes can really kill a game.

I think CFJ was a good example of really bad audio aesthetics. Even if it was a fun and enjoyable game (which it isn't), I would actually refuse to play the game based entirely on the grounds that I don't ever want to hear that game again. And do I really even need to mention how bad the music in MvC2 is?

BlazBlue in contrast to IaMP is also a testament to the fact that less is more. While IaMP completely lacks character voice samples, BlazBlue has entirely too much. I agree with Bellreisa when he calls BlazBlue "aural diarrhea", because frankly it is. The characters say something any time anything happens, and sometimes even when nothing is happening at all. What's worse, the audio clips will cut each other off, so when a character is getting hit by or blocking a long series of attacks you get the same bloody word that's part of a sentence over and over very rapidly. Sorry, but it sounds bad.

Though sadly, audio is really important and a great selling point. I have to admit I only got interested in MeltyBlood because I heard Akiha performing her Origami super. And likewise I only became interested (more like madly obsessed) with Jojo's because I heard S.Dio and Young Joseph sound samples and S.Dio's background music. This isn't an uncommon trend with me, either.

Audio clips are also something people can really grasp and share with each other. Many gamers will repeat quotes to one another or even just to themselves which raises a certain level of hype for the game. Such as yelling out "Final Atomic Buster" or "I am Red Cyclone" when getting hype for Zangief, or any number of other highly memorable fighting game quotes (sonic boom and hadoken, anyone?).

With visuals I think the opposite is true. You can really only start with something that already looks fundamentally bad in the first place (IMO) and go upwards from there to "achieve a certain level of greatness through highly skilled artists", as said before.

Vampire Savior is visually a very charismatic game, while Warzard and SF3-3rd Strike are visually very well constructed and pleasing to the eye. But where I find visuals to be polarized to audio is that bad visuals aren't nearly as much of a turn-off as bad audio. While I do mind CFJ and BlazBlue sounding like liquid shit in my ear, I don't mind games like Monster or ClayFighter looking like liquid shit. It was even really difficult for me to think of games that I thought were aesthetically bad.

So personally I think audio has the ability to get me interested in a game or turn me away from it. While I think visuals only have a very minor chance/ability to get me interested. Yet, I really don't think visuals can actually turn me away unless they were physically painful to look at, like flashy/blinky seizure inducing nonsense.

In closing, I think I would probably play a game where the characters are simply poorly pixelated trees. Fortunately, trees don't talk so that's also a bonus. Where is my tree fighter?

Sausage Fest

It's been pointed out that KoF XII has mostly male characters in the roster. And actually, so does ST. Both games containing only two girls each. And for that matter, HnK only has one.

Bad idea?

Well, it occurred to me that I mostly pick female characters in fighters, for whatever reason. I doubt the aesthetics are entirely to blame, though they aren't exactly a downside either. But more-so the actual mechanics and gameplay styles that are often given to the female characters is probably why I pick who I pick. Really, I guess I just enjoy the generic pixie character in fighters. Low stamina, fast moves, high jumps, long pokes, emphasis on kicks, and preferably emphasis on projectiles and run-away/poke/irritation/shenanigan tactics.

Much like how I tend to play the ninja character in fighters. I know it isn't just because the character is a ninja. I actually don't find ninjas or the historically-inaccurate pajama-ninjas particularly cool at all (despite popular belief?). And actually, I only play male characters in Samurai Shodown. As well, two of four characters I play in Jojo's are also male. Regarding ninjas in general, I actually think Guy and Ibuki were exceptions, and not the other way around. There's several games that I play with ninjas in them, and I don't play those ninjas; Hokutomaru, Chipp, Strider, and the ninjas of Samurai Shodown, etc.

So do games really need female characters? More? Less?

Well for me it's hard to say. Personally I don't mind all-female rosters like the ones seen in IaMP, EFZ, and Arcana (not that I play the latter two games). But I know some people actually have issues with playing all-girl fighters. Though, personally I think about half of the the people I know that say they have a problem with it are actually hypocritical bastards.

But I don't think sausage fests are any good either. More specifically, I don't think I'd actually care either way, but I personally think it's okay for female characters to play like the "little bitch", and not okay for male characters to do it. I'd probably end up playing them anyway because that's the kind of fighting style I enjoy, but I think it's a major double-standard in regards to gender. I really rather men fight like men and women fight like women, and never really do any gender blending. Having "little bitch" style men in games is just irritating, especially when I feel those characters would have been better off female.

I think the only exception would be female grapplers. Grappling-style is usually attributed to males, but I think this is mainly because designers want the grappler to have high stamina and move slow, so they commonly end up being hulking meatheaded wrestler dudes. Personally though, I actually kind of like female grapplers. R.(ainbow) Mika and Kanae for example, and to some extent Mech Hisui. I've never played Angel or Blue Mary, but if they are anything like Vice then I'd probably like them too.

In closing; Kanae oppai smashu.

RE: 3D Fighters

CrowWinters had a good response to my 3D Fighters post.

But first, to clarify, I neglected to specify that I mostly meant games like: Fate Unlimited Codes, Samurai Shodown Sen, Tekken (6-BR), DBZ, DoA, or Naruto. Actually, there's a huge pile of terrible 3D games out there, and they are terrible for obvious reasons. It might just be easier to point out the non-shitty ones than the reverse.

I wasn't expecting F/UC to last for as long as it did, but it appears to be swiftly dying out finally. Personally I think a lot of people were expecting F/UC to go the way of CFJ (as in, totally die immediately after SBO). Samurai Shodown Sen is just a pathetic mess, and I highly doubt anyone outside of the wackos over at Kohatsu arcade actually play it seriously. I'm amazed that DBZ or DoA would get any serious play at all. And I can't figure out for the life of me why anyone would play a Naruto game other than extreme fanboy/girl-ism. So to my knowledge, that leaves; Tekken, Soul Calibur, and Virtua Fighter.

My personal experiences with Soul Calibur have been horrible. Apparently I wasn't playing the correct version of the game though, and apart from that I've really only played scrubs in it. It probably is a good game with plenty of interesting footsies, but just based on my experience with SC isn't really enough for me to know for sure.

Tekken? I have no respect for Tekken. I don't even care if it's a fun game or not. No one zones, no one plays footsies, no one does anything except get in your face and slug at each other or throw all day long. To be fair, I have said that really basic RPS can be fun if you're in the right situation. Hell, I could probably even play tic-tac-toe if I was with a group of good friends and drunk off my ass, but that doesn't mean I'd enjoy it all the time. For all I know Tekken could be a freaking amazingly fun game, but I still don't respect it because it's a fucking retarded slugfest.

Virtua Fighter, I have zero idea. I have honestly only ever played any of the VF games like twice. It's supposedly the most deep and interesting 3D fighter out there, but I definitely wouldn't know. Unfortunately, peoples definition of "deep" is so subjective and varies so drastically from person to person that it's hard to take anyone's word on it. And I can't really tell anything from just watching videos of it, I'd definitely have to try and learn it and play against good players to actually know how I felt about VF.

So in closing, I should have specified that I meant "most 3D fighters" and not "all 3D fighters", because there may be some diamonds in the rough, or something. But I've been unfortunate to only have experiences with only the shitty ones.

Moderation

This post isn't necessarily directly related to fighting games. Though, in a way it is related to all games due to web chat forums and other services that our online communities use.

Basically, I find it ridiculous when people complain about moderators or rules for basically any medium.

Say you owned a site, and other people enjoyed that site a lot so they asked to join you. Now some of them are doing something you don't like on YOUR site, do you let them continue? Of course not, you are the one paying for a site that you're letting others use for free. It's yours to do whatever you want with. You don't owe anybody anything and so you kick them the fuck off if you feel like it.

So anywhere from places like PayPal or Amazon to smaller places like Shoryuken.com/forums and Dustloop.com/forums, or even places in between like Battle.net or X-Box Live

They don't owe you anything. It's not yours. They are allowing you to use their service under specific rules/conditions. They offered it. You are not entitled to jack shit. It's not even a "public" service either since they are all independently/privately owned. They are simply inviting "the public" to use their service under a Terms of Service agreement, which they can make up or change in any way they please, any time they please. They do not need any reason what-so-ever to moderate or ban anybody, regardless of whether it makes sense or not. They're allowed to, because it's their site to do whatever they want with. And they can put people in charge of moderating as they see fit.

Let me clue you in on a little bit about copyright. You are entitled to copy right when you create something, but only when it's an actual public place. When something you create is entirely yours, including the space presented, then it's actually yours. But when you get right down to the nitty-gritty a WIKI is not a public place, it is a privately owned service/server. What you contribute there is your responsibility, not the wiki owner, and it is no longer yours when you contribute it. If the owner were to shut down or use it for their own prosperity it would be within their right, entirely.

Of course, if that sort of thing isn't logical and/or if it happens often in a negative way (or happens to "you" since lord knows you're special!) then yes it's a shitty service, then just get over it and find another service that isn't shitty or fucking deal with it.

See, personally I remember a time back before web forums, deviantart, photobucket, XBL, BNet, and all those other places didn't even exist, which is really only a couple decades ago for the majority of internet services. Thus, I am so sick of hearing people complain about moderation/ToS. It's even to the point where I'm also sick of hearing the moderators complaining about the spoiled ingrates that complain to them.

Just play.