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Thursday
Sep112008

INO'S RUN DOWN OF SFIV'S ABEL

Another great entry from Ino on Street Fighter 4's Abel. Thanks to poonage (love that screen name) from SRK for the translation.

 

 

The "Part 2" doesn't have a summary for each character, so I'll slowly be doing all of the text for one character at a time.

First up, Abel:

begin translation
--
General:

My first impression of Abel was that at worst, he'd be one of the four best characters.

Perhaps that impression was right.

Strong points:

In addition to his loops and rushdown being an extremely simple 2-way mixup, if you pay close attention to frames, you can construct an extremely low-risk offense.

In other words, think of it like Makoto from 3rd Strike:
"Since I can bully you with either a command grab or an attack, I can actually do nothing and then kill you however I want".
In this way, you can develop an extremely stylish offense.

A strong point even compared to Zangief is that by choosing the alternative to not attack and "waiting to see what happens", you can go for the best possible combo to punish with.

As far as footsies go, Abel has stuff far scarier than his normals such as command roll, flip kick, and his fast dash. These kinds of moves allow patterns that are difficult to deal with, so in a game like Street Fighter 4 which overall doesn't allow you to rush in, Abel is accompanied with a different play style.

In addition to the amazing ability of Forward+MK -> Dash --> Guard (even frames) or hit (guaranteed combo),

You have a small frame advantage after dashing if they guard a Level 1 Focus Attack, and you're especially dangerous against characters that Standing Fierce will connect while they're crouching.

And if that wasn't enough, there's his Ultra.

It will of course go through command (not charge) projectiles,
It's fast enough to punish a backdash on reaction,
It's going to do some damage no matter what.

Essentially, when playing footsies against characters with projectiles and high priority moves (like rolling) Abel may not be the strongest character, but saying he's amazing the moment your Ultra is ready wouldn't be an exaggeration either.


Weak points:

The fact that all of Abel's tools for getting around attacks all have openings is probably his main weakness.

A move that avoids throws, a move that avoids hits, a move that avoids lows; at any rate, he's too well-balanced (lol)!

For safe ways to escape,
Depending on the situation, you have change it up between backdashes and command grabs, and that's the main thing that raises Abel's difficulty to use.
Furthermore, besides a weak punch version Super, anti-air is difficult.
If you can dash under every jump, that's a different story, but . . .


In conclusion,

While noting the point of his strong two-way mixup,
He has good frame advantage, good ground crossup ability,
Even defense needing complex answers with the joystick,

Yeah,
Surely, besides being the one character I would recommend to a VF player,
I can, with confidence, especially recommend this character to players who want to love the game for a long time.

--
end translation

Up next: Chun Li.

 

 

Thursday
Sep112008

GOH TRICKERY

A couple new Goh vids today pulled from the VFDC VF5:R video thread...

First one we have here, he's not doing anything you cant do in VF5 but interesting none the less. Round two, P,K into back turn, back turn throw into shoulder, then 2k+g as Lion quick rises for the trip. He lands a final down attack, so the whole sequence is well over 100pts of damage.

 

Next, we have Goh vs Jean. You'll see in round 3 something possible in VF5: R. Jean breaks one of Goh's throws, Goh then wiffs P,K and lands the new catch throw after the P,K... Makes you wonder what kind of mix ups are possible with a wiffed P,K in VF5: r now..  Also makes you wonder if it was intentional!

 

Tuesday
Sep092008

JEAN KUJO 159 pt COMBO

So whats with this trend of pulling off ridiculous combos just to end up losing the round? Nice combo none the less. I cant really comment on what's going on here since I havent played VF5:R yet but I am looking forward to some intense matches on these narrow wall stages if this game ever comes state side.

 

Tuesday
Sep092008

SAMURAI SHOWDOWN II ON XBLA

Check XBLA on Wednesday for Samurai Showdown II. Not bad for only 400 points.

Tuesday
Sep092008

I CAN HAS VIEWLIX?

Interesting write up by NeoGAF & Gametap's Mr. Jared about the current state of the SFIV arcade machines themselves that have sprung up across the country. Although you have to hand it to the arcade operators for going the extra mile to get SFIV playable here in the states, nothing compares to the true  HD experience. Hopefully someday we will get some authentic Viewlix cabs out here in the bay area before I am forced to make the trek out to Japan.  

I guess going to EVO or GDC and playing on the real deal can be a blessing and a curse.

Read the full article.

Friday
Sep052008

KING OF FIGHTERS '98 ULTIMATE MATCH COMING TO XBLA

With TGS right around the corner, a list of games to be at the show has been released and this little gem was on there. No price or date set at this point.


The Tokyo Game Show 2008 game list is up and it’s leaking bits of information. One revelation is The King of Fighters ‘98 Ultimate Match will be released as a downloadable Xbox Live Arcade game sometime in the future. (See page seven.) SNK Playmore just packaged The King of Fighters ‘98 Ultimate Match as a retail PlayStation 2 game in Japan in June. We’re supposed to get sometime in 2009. This remake of the King of Fighters ‘98 has a healthy dose of extra characters and balance changes for top tier players.

No price or details have been announced, but it’s pretty much expected that the Xbox 360 release will be modified for online play. Oh, and we’re still waiting for the Xbox Live Arcade version of Samurai Shodown 2 too which is not listed to appear at SNK’s booth.
Friday
Sep052008

12-HIT BALROG COMBO

Nice combo in the first round. Starts off with what looks like a jump in fierce, linking his c. jab after his ex moves, finishing things off with the ultra. Too bad it doesn't win him the match!

Thursday
Sep042008

NASTY ABEL COMBOS

Good video over all with some great combos. Round starts off with some great zoning from Sagat, a kara-Tiger Knee really sets things off. Apparently short Tiger Knee is safe on block so it looks like he pins Abel into the corner, using the short Tiger Knee to get some range and apply block stun at the same time.

The real highlight of the video is the Abel combos. Canceling the first part of his three hit special, into elbow,  into roll into air throw.  Looks like the second time around its the same set up but ends it with a reset into mix up.

 

Thursday
Sep042008

TEKKEN 6 GETTING A LOT OF LOVE IN JAPAN

The most current Arcadia Ranking results show Tekken 6 getting a lot of love in japan, while my two favorite games at the moment are hanging out right in the middle!

#1 Tekken 6
#2 Guilty Gear XX ΛCore
#3 Gundam VS
#4 Fate/Unlimited Codes
#5 Virtua Fighter 5R
#6 Street Fighter IV
#7 Arcana Heart 2
#8 Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike
#9 Melty Blood Act Cadenza
#10 Gundam Seed

Thursday
Sep042008

HIGH LEVEL STREET FIGHTER 4 SAGAT GAME PLAY

My favorite Sagat video thus far. A lot going on in even the first round. Most notably it appears after a connected Tiger Uppercut at the apex of Zangief's jump, he was able to follow up with a Tiger Knee. I have not been able to do this myself yet, so not sure if it is character specific or what.

Also, Zangief is hit with a high Tiger Shot in the corner as he tries to jump, and is hit with a second Tiger Shot on the way down.

 

Thursday
Sep042008

INO'S SUMMARY OF STREET FIGHTER IV

Japanese street fighter player Inoue posted his thoughts thus far on Street Fighter IV. Interesting way of looking at each character and the over all system and  gameplay.

Translation pulled from SRK.

Quick and dirty summary of "Game Style":

Street Fighter 2 is a good game because it uses this kind of strategy
(explains elements of Street Fighter 2)

Street Fighter 3 is also a good game, because it uses this kind of strategy, building on Street Fighter 2
(explains elements of Street Fighter 3)

Street Fighter 4 is an awesome game, because you can play it like SF2 or like SF3. Of course, some characters are more restrictive in their styles than others, but overall this is a game where you can use any of the elements from old Street Fighter games effectively.

Overall, thus far Inoue thinks the design is spot-on and a worthy successor to the series.

 

Quick and dirty summary of "Character Introduction Part 1"
Didn't understand a couple of random sentences, but got most of his summary. Tried to get the main points.

--
Ryu (The character if you want to force your opponent to play SF2)
- Strong for SF2 style players
- Hadouken and Shoryuken are pretty much all he has at short range
- Weak against cheap play (heavy damaging or runaway characters)
- Shinkuu Hadouken's ability is inadequate (not enough damage)


Ken (The character that will definitely guess right sometimes)
- All-purpose character
- Immense destructive power
- A straightforward, linear character; not for flashy players
- Probably the best character for players who study him seriously
- Hard to win with for people who can't outplay opponents or characters
- But, that's fine


Zangief (Doesn't matter if you guess wrong)
- The definition of beatdown
- But, also has impenetrable defense
- Attack and defense are high, but you have to guess a lot, so high risk/high return
- But, due to his life amount and attack power, he's actually middle risk/high return


Rufus (Do you know the right answer for what I'm going to do?)
- Lots of tricks nobody knows how to deal with (for now)
- Not bad for a player who likes picking strong characters
- In the future as throws become his main way of breaking guard, he'll be weak to grapplers
- Against opponents backdashes and throws, you can deal a lot of damage if you read them correctly
- In the future, will probably be considered upper mid-tier
- In conclusion, a pretty good character


M. Bison/Dictator (I get to do what I want. I won't let you do what you want.)
- Excels for players with good footsies/zoning
- All aspects of him are at least upper-mid tier: Rushdown, defensive, runaway, waiting, breaking guard
- For people who want to break down "cheap" players and characters, Dictator is recommended

So basically,

If you just want to play Street Fighter 2, Ryu.
If you want to play Street Fighter 4 to its maximum limit, Ken.

If you want to beat characters like those two, Zangief.

If you want the highest win percentage right now, Rufus. He's really good for the time being.

Finally, if you can't stand "cheap" play (a Zangief who just gets in your face and guesses, or a Blanka/Chun Li that just sits there), Dictator.

By the way, I've mostly been playing Abel lately. People's opinions will differ, but he's probably my most recommended character.

 

Game Sakura Site

Wednesday
Sep032008

INTERVIEWS WITH TOP STREET FIGHTER III: THIRD STRIKE PLAYERS

I really feel this is worth getting out to as many players as possible. These are some interviews with top Third Strike players from all over conducted by FFA Urien player Gootecks . I listened to three or four of them and they are really insightful overall. Gives you a glimpse into the mind of a tournament player and how they each have their own unique approach to the game.

Check out the Denjin Video Blog   Gootecks's Blog and have a listen.

Wednesday
Sep032008

MIRACLES DO HAPPEN

GGPO has been licensed by Capcom. Days gone by, to think this would ever happen seemed impossible. Although nothing beats going to the arcade or linking up with friends on a weekend, this is an excellent step forward on having all future street fighter games, across all platforms, competley playable online.

If you're not familiar with GGPO, go to the site to learn a bit more.

The following is the complete write up from s.kills blog

My main man Seth asked me to write an article for the blog about a recent trip to Backbone where I had the pleasure of doing a little consulting on the network code for Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix. I've also added some color commentary on why I started GGPO, how we got where we are now, and how I think STHD's networking can be improved.

First a little background on me: I've been participating in and organizing Street Fighter tournaments since 1991. I'm also a co-owner and Tournament Director for the Evolution Championship Series: the most premier, international, and open fighting game tournament in the world. I think it's safe to say that my passion for fighting games goes right to the bone.

I started GGPO as an experiment to see if intensity of competitive Street Fighter could be brought online without compromising the quality of the game play. Street Fighter at it's core is a test of skill between two human opponents. The arcade scene in America was on life support, and going online was clearly the only way the genre was going to survive.

It turns out the timing couldn't have been more perfect: in August of last year Capcom took notice of GGPO and arranged a meeting where we discussed the technology, how it worked, and particularly why it was ideally suited for arcade games. Other genres have used similar latency hiding techniques, but GGPO is the first to prove that they could be used for the most latency sensitive games, around the world, on the public Internet. Capcom was impressed and convinced Backbone that STHD needed similar technology in order to replicate the arcade experience online.

Last week I had the opportunity to work with Dan Halpern at Backbone to check in on they've networking stack and provide some pointers for improvement. We hooked GGPO up to the same latency simulation tools you've read about on Gary's blog and compared it to STHD. I'm happy to report that the Backbone code held up very well. At all test points, GGPO measured only slightly better than STHD on the impact latency had on the duration and intensity of the visual glitches causes by the latency hiding code (i.e. the dreaded "rollback" effect). This is great news for people concerned about the quality of STHD networking. It means that there's most likely no architectural reason why STHD cannot be as good as or even surpass GGPO when it is released. It also suggests that the reports by some users of GGPO greatly outperforming STHD are most likely a matter of tuning or minor bug fixes. I made two suggestions on how I thought Backbone should spend their time improving their code.

The first recommendation I made was to do more testing on the Internet instead of using latency simulators. Simulators are great for testing basic correctness, but there's no substitute for the real thing. GGPO was developed and tuned on my wireless home network, bouncing packets from my cable modem off a UDP reflector located on the east coast and back home again. Since all the tuning parameters for things like the reliable UDP layer, windows sizes, etc. were developed on a life, in-home network on a cross-country network between two players, GGPO naturally preforms best in that environment. Adding more internet testing to STHD may reveal some corner cases or mis-tuned parameters in their networking code which could dramatically improve the quality for end users.

The second was to add a configurable, fixed amount of latency to all moves a player does. GGPO calls this the "smoothing" value because it really reduces the magnitude of a rollback. For example, a 2-frame input delay on a 125 ms ping game will reduce the length of a rollback by 20%. That 20% can make a huge difference in reducing the visual glitches caused by rollbacks.

Fixed input latency also helps insure that a player with a persistently bad connection will not impact the quality of a match for users with a superb connection because the delay can be shared. For example, if I'm using 3 frames of input delay and you're using 0 frames, we can actually share the 3 frames of benefit by running my copy of the game 1.5 frames ahead of yours. That both of our packets sent over the network an extra 25 ms of time to run across the Internet before manifesting themselves as a rollback. Stated another way: it makes a 120 ms game play more like a 70 ms game. That's a huge win.

Most players cannot tell the difference between 0 and 2 frames of input latency. Those people would absolute prefer a much smoother online experience to having their moves come out a tiny fraction of a second sooner. Tournament players: put down your pitchforks! There are those of us who can detect as much as 1 frame of latency. Those of us who bought that specific Samsung flat-screen LCD rather than the cheaper Sony one because the Sony one added display-lag. Those players shoud be allowed to throttle down the frame-delay all the way to 0 to preserve the exact, offline timing they've spent 10-years of accumulated muscle memory perfecting. I've been using this system of 0-9 frames of fixed, configurable input delay for a while on GGPO and it's been working great.

Overall I was very impressed with Backbone's efforts. They're already going to have the best networking code seen on a console fighting game at the time they release. Many companies would have stopped working on it by now, and they should be applauded for taking the extra effort to squeeze every last ounce of performance before shipping. I'm also happy that Capcom has been so receptive in allowing the community to come in and help on the project (in all ways, not just the networking code) and am proud to have been able to help out in the ways that I could. Those of your worried about the quality for the networking code in future non-Backbone titles should take heart. Capcom has secured a multi-year, multi-game license for the GGPO. While I obviously cannot discuss any of the details, I'm sure they won't let another great title ship without lag-free gameplay again given the attention they've put on STHD.


Wednesday
Sep032008

EDGE REVIEWS STREET FIGHTER IV: BEST STREET FIGHTER EVER?

First real review of STREET FIGHTER IV, saying it is the best Street Fighter game in the series. HIGHLY debatable at this point. The game has not been out long enough to warrant that title in my opinion.

I also feel the game at this point actually feels incomplete and needs another revision or two. the animations need some work, the dour new characters and system additions is not enough for it to feel anymore than a highly stylized version of ST. Id say right now SFIV is the true ST: HD Remix.

Also, with each entry, everyone has their preferences. To some, CVS2 is the best in the series, to others, it is 3s. I suppose we have to be grateful that CAPCOM has provided us with so many options with the series. Here to hoping they can smooth the game out so in the future it can rightly claim this title!

Read the full review below.

SFIV: Best SF ever?

 

Wednesday
Sep032008

EL FUERTE INFINITE IN SFIV

Here we have a video of the El Fuerte infinite that has been discussed all over the place at this point. Game breaking? Who knows. Will it be patched? Who cares, just dont get caught in it!

Apparently the way to do it it cancel your fierce into the run, and cancel the run into another fierce. So the actual break down is..

Standing close fierce punch, qcf+p (initiates run), lp (stops the run), standing close fierce punch.

Repeat until dizzy! Have fun!

Tuesday
Sep022008

ATTN ARCADE OPERATERS: UNLOCK AKUMA ON YOUR STREET FIGHTER IV BOARD

Enter these codes in the debug screen to unlock Akuma!

Akuma (CPU): C5HSP3GN
Akuma (Playable): CHNB9FGC


Tuesday
Sep022008

Street FIghter 4 now at numerous locations in North America


So here are the current locations for arcades that have Street Fighter 4. Prices and hours obviously vary. You can find me at San Francisco States Rack-N-Cue on the weekdays playing Sagat.

Info was grabbed from the SRK forums.  

USA

Walnut, CA
Super Arcade
1211 N. Grand Ave
Walnut, CA 91748
Style of cabinets - Japanese Non Vewlix Cabs
Number of cabinets/setup 2
75 Cents, Ranbats coming up

Granada Hills, CA USA (91344)
Family Funtime Arcade
10363 Balboa Blvd.
(818) 360-0419
2 side to side 42" LCD 1080p HDTVs
Temporary prototype console (sticks and buttons)
Unlocked Akuma, $1 per play, Open 24 on some weekends.
Normal hours Sun-Thurs: 10AM-2AM, Fri-Sat: 10AM-4AM.

New York, NY
Chinatown Fair
8 Mott St
New York, NY
2 Head to head setup w/ jp sticks, $1 to play/continue.
Usually opens around 12-1pm, open till 12am on weekdays, 2am on weekends.

Austin, Texas
USA
Arcade UFO
3101 Speedway
Austin, TX 78705

Available on August 29th (date arcade opens)

Head-to-head Delta32 (High-Def) Japanese cabinets with Sanwa controls
2 sets, 4 players total
1.00 per play/continue
Sun-Thur 1:00PM-2:00AM
Fri-Sat 1:00PM-4:00AM

Houston, Texas
Planet Zero Anime Center
12303J Westheimer
Houston, Texas 77077
H2H atomiswave cabs
Tel: 281-531-ZERO (9376)
Fax: 281-531-0188
Opening Hours:
Sun - Mon : 6pm - Midnight
Tue - Thur : 3pm - Midnight
Fri - Sat : 1pm - 1 AM

Philadelphia, PA
University Pinball
4006-08 Spruce St,
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Telephone: (215) 387-9523
$1 per play/continue

Tacoma, Washington
Narrows Plaza Bowl
2200 Mildred Street West
University Place, Tacoma, Washington 98466
(253) 565-1007
Two cabinets with 32" hi def LCD monitors

San Jose, CA
San Jose State Bowling Center
One Washington Square
HAPP
Side to Side cab
75 cents per play


 

Canada



Richmond, BC
Espot
Suite 160
7951 Alderbridge Way
Richmond, BC , V6X2A4
Head to Head, japanese cabs (versus cabs i think, no HD)
0.75cents per play

Burnaby, BC
CHQ Arcade in Metropolis at Metrotown
4700 Kingsway
Burnaby, BC
0.75 cents per game, head-to-head, Jap. sticks, never-ending competition


Burnaby, BC
Circuit Circus Arcade (known locally by its former name, Lesters Arcade)
6400 Kingsway
Burnaby, BC
$2 per game, head-to-head, shitty Am. sticks, okay competition.

$50 cent per game
 
Lovegetty station
505 Highway #7 East
Richmond Hill, Commerce Gate
Japanese Versus Cabs. Jap sticks/button setup.
Two cabinets, with a link setup. $1 a play, arcade mode is set to 2/3, and versus mode is set to 3/5.
THE ARCADE ONLY OPENS AT AROUND 3:30 - 4:00, but is open all night.

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