Kotaku has a featured article on old school SF player Alex Valle and the differences between playing online and playing in an arcade. It's an interesting read, and you should definitely check it out if you don't know who Alex Valle is.
I personally found this one quote from Alex Valle the most interesting out of the whole article:
"The experience from crushing my opponents on a 2-player, side by side arcade cabinet far outweighs online gaming." According to Valle, the younger generation will take time to overcome that type of pressure from playing someone up close and personal. "Sometimes the best chance of winning is the presence of confidence rather than the skill at hand."
For those of you who are new to going to tournaments or thinking about entering, there is a lot of truth in that quote - I know this from experience! Many times showing up with the attitude that you are #1 and will win goes much farther than any sort of cross-up gimmick you learned in training mode.
Need proof? Check this out:
"Play for tiles, and you're skillful; play for belt-buckles, and you lose confidence; play for gold, and you're flustered. Your skill is the same as ever, but if you are attaching importance to something you are giving weight to what is outside you, and whoever gives weight to what is outside him is inwardly clumsy" (Chuang-tzu, Chapter 19).
Sometimes you find answers in the weirdest places, and to me, that was twenty minutes before my midterm. I've been going to a couple of Street Fighter 4 tournaments now, and if I've picked up anything, it's that mindsets matter. To illustrate their importance, take this example:
You’re facing Daigo, and you know it’s Daigo. In fact, you’d recognize that face anywhere: that poker face, that charming frown. It’s Daigo all right. And he’s Asian—so he must be a genius. You are nervous because you’re facing a big name, and as result, you play less than your normal worth.
In this scenario, you’ve already lost before you played because you gave one half of the game away. The interesting thing about fighters is that they come in twos. King of Fighters, Guilty Gear, and Street Fighter all come in packages. You buy one and you get the other: the mental game. Thus you should play it for what it’s worth, not give it away. Here’s yet another scenario:
You’ve played this guy before and he’s scrub in every sense of the word. He waits for you to pick as he scrolls the character select screen as he “contemplates”. After you choose, he skips to Ken. Oh, great. It’s another one. I guess it’s time to take another win home, but how about being fancy here and there? Hell, you know you’re going to kick this guy’s ass... but for some reason, not today.
How come? You were too overconfident in your skills and didn’t apply your knowledge. You let your ego get in the way.
With a glimpse of each side, we can now encompass and analyze other mindsets that might appeal to you and improve your game. Remember, it’s not what works for another person, but what works for you. If a poker face makes you play better, then by all means, do.
So, let’s begin; I interviewed three key players that I thought might contribute towards this goal: Crackfiend, Norcal’s best Balrog, PieGuy, Norcal’s best Honda, and Allen Chang, Norcal’s only Cammy. I asked each of these individual’s three questions, and here are their replies.
1) How do you prepare your mindset for a tournament?
Crackfiend: I usually allow myself a lot of rest prior to the tournament. Usually, I'd do mental prep work three days before the tournament, thinking about matchups, strategies, and image training of scenarios I like or dislike the most. The day after would be a complete mental break from games, so I would read, listen to music, or get involved in other hobbies. I find that most effective because when I come into the tournament, I come in fresh without an overindulgence of SF4 and I come in hungry.
Allen: I usually tell myself that I am going to take top 3.Going to a tourney with a winning attitude is probably the best approach. It gives you confidence. The last thing you want to do is to doubt yourself and not play your own style.
PieGuy: Since SF4 is new, I like to go into a tournament thinking that everybody is on equal ground. You never know when a newcomer like YoungLegend is going to be your next match.
So it looks like SNK pulled a fast one on all of us with the K' and Mai art now that a new Famitsu scan has surfaced confirming Elizabeth and Mature are the new additions to the console version of King of Fighters XII (click image to the left for larger version). IGN reported that there could be "over" 22 new characters in the console version so maybe more are on the way, via DLC perhaps?
Details on the console version are far and few between at this point, but its scheduled to release in July so I'm sure we'll have a lot more information on the final version fairly soon.
MicVlad from NeoGAF sent over a message earlier today about a Street Fighter 4 replay I uploaded online telling me to check out the inputs from the other player. At first I was a bit confused since there wasn't anything too special about the match, but when things got a little rough for the Ken player I could see him taking out the frustration on his joystick via the input display! Maybe he had 3K and 3P mapped to one button? Who knows but its pretty funny anyway, check it out!
You think that was a lot of mashing? That was nothin'! Check out LordBBH's YouTube channel where you can see mashing on a whole new level!
Versus City is back again with a new Top 20 SF4 Power Players in Japan. The biggest change this time around is Mago losing his top spot to Ojisanboy. Daigo it still chillin at #3 but with a 30k BP difference between Ojisanboy will he ever be back to the #1 spot?
Here is the top 10 and check out the full list over at VersusCity where they also include the top Chun, Ken and 'Sim players!
1. Ojisanboi (Sagat) - 227,111 (+1)
2. Mago (Sagat) - 222,715 (-1)
3. Umehara (Ryu) - 195,301
4. RF (Sagat) - 185,990
5. Nemo (Chun) - 137,132
6. Shiro (Abel) - 125,181 (+1)
7. Tokidokinukinkusu (Chun) - 121,308 (-1)
8. Radiowave (Sagat) - 120,474
9. Uryo (C.Viper) - 109,230
10. Maakun (Sagat) - 104,713 (+1)
Also, since Sagat is the best I decided to include a video that was sent over to me by A_Rival just the other day. These are two of the best EC Sagats going head to head battling it out for a spot on the SF4 5v5 EC Team for Evo.
IGN posted some details they received from an unnamed Japanese retailer about the home release of King of Fighters XII. Most of the details have been rumored for quite some time or just simply assumed to be included in the game anyway.
Here are the most relevant points:
- 22 Total characters, two which are hidden (Probably Mai and K')
- Network play to include lobbies and spectating!
I'm very happy to hear about the lobbies aspect of KOFXII in that it should help in learning a bit more about the game by watching other players play their matches. Now we just have to see if their netcode is comparable to GGPOs.
Also, Arcade Infinity posted some HD KOFXII videos to their YouTube channel showcasing some solid combos and the critical counter system.
Thanks to CYBERFANATIX.com for the heads up on this one.
First off, there is the new Street Fighter 4 tier list from Arcadia which is probably the most reputable tier list in Japan at this point. You will see a lot of tier lists floating around but most of them are composed from random Japanese wikis and what not while this comes straight from the players. This is for the arcade version of the game, so no console characters.
A: Ryu, Akuma, Zangief
B: M.Bison, Rufus, Balrog, C.Viper, E.Honda
C: Abel, El Fuerte, Dhalsim, Chun-li, Blanka
D: Guile, Ken
Personally I find it interesting to see Bison higher than 'Rog and Viper, although Bison is a real hard match up for Viper. Also, why is Chun-Li and Dhalsim rated so low? Not that it matters (except for maybe Guile and Vega), considering that most of us have seen first hand if you master your character in SF4 you can give anyone serious problems.
I've decided to create a series of articles called "Street Fighter 4 Strategy Concepts" which is a comparison/correlation of concepts between Street Fighter video games and sports. Before I go on, I would like to share a story about myself and the competitive scene.
I had previously hated video games, period. I thought it was a waste of time and you could do nothing productive with it other than kill time. I was also a very big sports guy, and I played basketball throughout most of high school until I suffered some knee injuries which caused me to stop playing. While in my first year of college in fall of 2002, I stumbled upon Marvel vs Capcom 2 and I met some people from SRK (www.shoryuken.com). The competitive nature and diversity of the crowd really drew me in which eliminated most, if not, all stereotypes of video gamers. 7 years later, here I am telling a short story about how a non-video gamer became a video gamer, but not without cause.
The reason I mentioned this is because I use a lot of my basketball fundamentals to my gameplay and style. I also watch and learn other sports in order to use their strategies and concepts in my matches as well. Today's topic will be the battle for distance. Below this paragraph is a video of me and Ricky Ortiz playing at the SFSU arcade. I'm going to break down 3 sections in which spacing is highly involved in top play.
2:05 - I begin getting Ricky to the corner by making him block dash punches and my sweeps. By having the right spacing for my moves, I'm able to cause Ricky to misjudge some of my attacks which allows me to dash punch in and then weave out by dashing back (This is a stategical technique that I like to call in-n-out), then moving forward a little bit to continue to steadily work him in.
1UP.com had the iPW crew swing by and play some Marvel a little earlier this week for their Game Night stream. There were some technical difficulties but it turned out to be pretty good anyhow. We showcase the new demo and talk about gameplay strategies while playing the Dreamcast version. Check it out!
Like most next-gen games coming out these days, BlazBlue is receiving its own collectors edition that includes a soundtrack and DVD containing strategies and combos for each character. Also if you pre-order online you will receive an official art book for the game as well. Not too bad considering its priced at $59.99 - the price of a normal PS3/360 game!
On top of that, VersusCity.net is reporting that a new version of BlazeBlue (perhaps BlazBlue 2) is set for release in Japanese arcades come October. No one knows yet whether this is a full blown sequel or just a incremental upgrade to game play features and what not.
Soul Calibur: Broken Destiny will feature not only some of the main characters from previous entries in the series, but will also have a handful of new characters to choose from as well. Check out 1up.com's article for more details.
Tekken 6 is slated to release later this fall next to the PS3 and 360 versions and Soul Calibur is coming this summer to North America but no release date set for Japan yet. With this in mind, Richard Li from 1up asked about the popularity of Soul Calibur in North America compared to Japan in an interview with the game's director Noriyuki Hiyama.
1UP: Do you think the North American market likes Soul Calibur more than, say, the Japanese market?
NH: Yes, I think the North American market is much more Soul Calibur oriented. That could be because of population, install base, or many other reasons. I definitely feel the US market is important. Of course, Japan and Europe have a Soul Calibur fan base as well. We took the entire world in context when developing Broken Destiny.
Some shots of the PC version of Street Fighter 4 surfaced today thanks to French gaming site Juex Video, showcasing a feature called "Ink Control" which allows you the adjust the ink shading on the character models. You can go for a heavy dark ink outline look or even give a more watercolor type appearance for the characters.
Not many other features are known about the PC version at this point, but this is a pretty big indicator that players will have a lot more options to play with on the PC version compared to the console versions.
Marvel-heads rejoice! All the rumors were true. Marvel vs Capcom 2 is confirmed for the PS3 and XBOX 360, and is scheduled for a Summer 2009 release- now with online play!
The countdown on www.tu4ar.com signaled Capcom's official announcement of the game. See the all new trailer at http://www.tu4ar.com/intro/ and GET HYPE!
Here's a quickie on yesterday's tournament: LPN vs Ricky Ortiz
Some of you guys may have skipped the video and just went on to continue reading this article. If you did, watch it right after you read the article. Let me tell you two things that happened yesterday:
First off, we had to cap off the tournament entries at 128, and people still wanted to join the tournament. Here's how bad it got - people were selling off their spots for $20, and we had probably 5 - 10 spots sold (Entry fee was $5).
Second of all, Ricky Ortiz was one of the guys who bought a spot in order to get into the tournament, and in the match between him and LPN, there was a lot of side betting going on. To make things simple and short, there was at least $300 involved for the total pot. How much more hype can it get? Stay tuned for the full article when we post it this week!
WCG Fighter Club wrapped up this weekend in New York with Justin Wong taking another first place victory- this time with Abel! Almost more interesting is the fact that Arturo "Sabin" Sanchez took 2nd using Seth, who was originally banned from the tournament until the players spoke out against it.
Here are the Grand Finals with J. Wong and Sabin. Check the full YouTube channel for more videos from the event!
Here is Top 8 - check the SRK results thread for more information.
1- Jwong - Abel, Rufus
2- Sabin - Sim/Seth
3- Nestor - Sagat
4- Joe - Sagat
5- Sanford - Ken
5- Rashaan Sim/Viper
7- NerdJosh - Sagat
7- Fascinating - Ryu
This is a Bay Area stream for Street Fighter 4 that should last until about 12 AM PST. Check it out - you never know who will show at the Cannery!
This should be a good stream with so many people practicing for the big tournament at Fuddruckers tomorrow.
So we finally got around to putting together a podcast and our first guest is Oichi from VersusCity.net. He gives us an inside look at Japanese arcades, the situation with new games breaking into arcades and what we feel should be changed in Street Fighter 4.
This is our first attempt so bear with us in that we are a little all over the place, but we hope to keep this going on a weekly/monthly thing. If you have any ideas for guests or if you have some questions for us, post up in the comments section!
This last weekend has been filled with plenty of events and festivities, and finally I've got some time to do a quick breakdown of everything that's been going on. To start this off, let's begin with the overview of the UC Davis Muga Tournament.
The "Muga" is the name of the arcade at the University, and we had a total of 35 entries for the tournament. I gotta tell you, the Top 8 matches started getting pretty intense. Coopa, the UC Davis Zangrief player, is just hands down a beast. The man specializes in gimmicks (he has openly admitted to it), but will showcase some very impressive footsies/ground games to complement his game, allowing him to create more opportunities because you have to respect his game. See the vid of him taking me out from Winners Finals
So when I first started iPlayWinner.com I set up a blog for video analysis to hopefully give people an idea of what's going on in more high level matches. Although I loved doing it, since then I've found it to be real difficult to keep up with the site and watch videos all day so I need your help!
If this works out the way I want it to, each week or so I will ask for people to submit videos they've found online and I will have either myself or someone from the iPlayWinner.com crew break down the videos that we find most interesting or worth talking about. Hopefully this will give people a different perspective on certain match ups and help see the game in a different light.
How do you submit a video? Easy! Just post up the YouTube link in the comments section and I'll be sure to check out each one!