Well let's examine how bad she really was in A3 (in comparison to SF4):
- Jabs and shorts did not combo into any special move (unless on CH).
- No links at all, her only link worth mentioning was c.MP into c.LP at point blank which only comboed into Lv.3 super. Or meaty c.MP into c.MP.
- Her crossup j.MK was really tiny and difficult to space.
- Her jumping HP lost to most anti-airs since the hitbox wasn't particularly good. So for the most part she couldn't jump.
- All versions of Sparks were -F on block.
- The LP and MP Sparks were very punishable on block/hit (which would reward with CH).
- All Sparks had a very long animation which were really easy to jump over and punish.
- Sparks pushed Rose/Opponent back depending on strength used so HP version was useless in blockstrings (since it's -F on block anyway) though it was technically the only one "safe" on block due to pushback range.
- All versions of Spiral were punishable on block. You could only really make the LK Spiral "safe" but landing it from max range and hoping your opponent couldn't reach you.
- Her MK Spiral and HK Spiral were slow startup and only comboed from close HP or c.HP (you couldn't make them airtight on block).
- Spirals knocked the opponent too far back for a meaty crossup j.MK.
- Both LP and MP Reflects were punishable on block which rewarded CH.
- Her HP Reflect was safe on block but all reflects were only comboable from point blank close MP or c.MP or c.MK and none of those into HP Reflect were airtight on block (opponent could hit Rose before the HP Reflect hit).
- Slide (df.MK) was unsafe on hit/block from most ranges except absolute max range.
- Slide (df.MK) did not go under fireballs at any point.
- Her close HK was actually her f+HK except it didn't move forward after the kick, and was not cancelable.
- Her close MK wasn't cancelable either.
- Her anti air options sucked: c.HP, MP-Reflect, f+HK, Soul Throw, and Slide were all garbage.
- Her forward/back throw was a mashable hold both ground/air, which meant it didn't do much damage, especially when teched.
Don't get me wrong, not hating on the character, we all have our low-tier love. But thinking about it, the one thing that A3 Rose had over SF4 Rose, IMO, was her supers, which weren't all that great. The Soul Throw super would throw the opponent behind her, so doing it against a cornered opponent put you in the corner, plus you could mash down the damage fairly easily (cutting the damage down by 50%) since it was so few hits and very rhythmic/telegraphed. Her Spark super wasn't bad at all, generic fireball super at level 1, autocombo that moved forward at level 2, and a super-reflect into fireball at level 3. And her friends super was good, kind of like Yang's friends super in SF3 except hers was glitched too giving her unblockables. I'd say it was the only thing that kept her out of the bottom tier.
I would also say that A3 Rose could combo anti-air c.HP into Soul Throw but the fact that c.HP wasn't a particularly good anti-air makes that kind of trivial/worthless. Her MP Reflect was her better anti-air option and yet it lost to so much mundane shit like Shoto j.MK that it didn't really matter.
Overall Rose was low tier in A3, just barely escaping bottom tier. Although that's still her status in SF4, she was improved upon by leaps and bounds compared to her A3 incarnation. Her A2 and CFJ versions are a different matter altogether. Though thinking about it, they didn't really change much about Rose from A2 to A3 except speeds and hitboxes, which just goes to show how frames and rectangles (the shit we don't really see) can make or break a character (turning a top tier Rose into a low tier Rose while changing "nothing" about the character).
Though, SF4-Rose can combo Spirals and Reflects from c.LP. And she can link to c.MP from c.LK in SF4 which let her combo Sparks and stuff. Not only that, at least HK Spiral and HP Spark were safe (HP Spark is actually advantageous in SF4). The main things I like about SF4 Rose is her jab into Spiral or c.lk into c.mp into spiral which sets up a crossup, her HP Spark being advantageous, and her really good j.HP and j.MK (all things her A3 version didn't have). But there's other little things that were nice too, like her close MK being cancelable and her slide going under fireballs (even under low tiger shots!), among other things. So personally my SSF4 wishlist for Rose is that they change nothing but numbers.
Oh and if you were wondering, she was one of the chars that had an infinite in V-ism. Meanwhile four of the top five characters did not have infinites. Which also goes to show that infinites don't automatically make a character broken (or even good).
I still think the one thing that I miss about A3 Rose is her airthrow (everyone in A3 had an airthrow). And that's about it. Well, that and fool card winpose.
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