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Attending Majors and Playing with Friends

June 16, 2011 Leave a comment

Ezekiel Xerxes asks a few questions.

“Norcal Regionals 2011 is just around the corner and I’ve been debating on going to spectate. Its not too far from where I live. Most of the time I just watch the streams available, even if they are relatively close to me, but this time I want to see what it is like in person. How friendly is the scene for people just looking to watch?”

Go in person. There should be no question about this, attending a tournament of any kind is an experience that many stream monsters do not understand or get to experience. It is a friendly environment, and in general the players are very accepting as long as you’re not a creeper or a jerk. You can play casuals, money match, and even make friends. Many players are willing to discuss characters and matchups. You’ll see matches that never get put on stream, like Mago’s loss to AKG|Shinji in pools at ReveLAtions.

If you can afford you should also compete. It’s a good way to judge where you stand on that competition level. You’d be surprised how much the pressure of competing in a major can affect your gameplay and any type of experience you get in competition helps. Your first tournament shouldn’t be Evo, especially if you have to travel, because you could be in for a rude awakening.

“…my friends don’t really care to play at a higher level. Have any tips on ways to make friends want to level up?”

First off, if they don’t want to that’s not going to change. Don’t lose a friend trying to force them to play a game they don’t really want to. Set up some casuals if you can. Doesn’t even have to be big casuals, a gathering of 3 or 4 friends, on a station or two, playing for a while and working out matchups with each other. Casuals can be fun but don’t forget there’s an emphasis on getting better and learning new things. Don’t just play to win, play and try to understand the game better.

Especially in the case of playing with friends, make sure that you seek out and give constructive criticism. Competition and trash talk is good and all but there’s a limit that makes players want to stop playing. Encouraging friends to learn will make them want to get better as opposed to being told they’re garbage all the time. You don’t have to be too serious, but “You fucking suck” isn’t as productive as “Stop mashing, it’s a safe jump dumbass”.

If you can’t get them to play but still want to move on yourself, seek out other casuals or start going to an arcade. Since you’re from NorCal arcades existing is not a problem. Be ready to put it on the line though, every loss is some change and another wait at the end of the line while you sit and think about why you lost.

“The last question I have is about character choice. Lately I have found it hard to pick a character and stick with it. I’ve played fighters for a long time but its only recently that I’ve encountered this issue. Thoughts?”

It sounds like you can’t find a character that doesn’t fit the way you want to play. Have you been using the same character over and over? Do you not like some of the changes they’ve had over the years? Chun between Third Strike and SF4 is a good example. Maybe the character you like doesn’t quite fit the game’s system. It could also be that with the amount of footage available of good players for every character you may be thinking that the way you’re playing doesn’t match up with what you’re seeing from your own performance. Try to figure out if it’s one or the other.

There’s nothing wrong with knowing many characters, but it’s better to have less characters you feel 100% with as opposed to a dozen you’re at 50% with. Try to play a character the way that works for you, while still knowing their fundamentals. That ability is what separates the pros characters from each other and allows us to say “That’s Daigo’s Yun” or “That’s F.Champ’s Dhalsim.” Try everyone out, and play them how you want to start. Then work in the details.

Footsies, and….ummm…???

June 13, 2011 Leave a comment

Anonmyous scrub asked what Footsies are and how they apply to games.  We’ve actually been wondering when this question would come in.

Footsies are, as simple as can be put, your gameplay on the ground involving your knowledge of every character’s moves in all aspects (Range, priority, speed, damage, extra properties) and how you use them.  The goal is to out reach, out poke, out bait, and overall outplay your opponent on the floor.  While it may not sound like much at a glance, staring down a Ryu who is on point with fireballs and shoryukens will force you to play this way.

You can think of footsies as a strong game of chess where every player has a different set and number of pieces.  You could have a gimmick type of player with a weaker set of moves for footsies (El Fuerte in SF4) or a character whose pieces feel like they’re all queens (Chun-Li in SF3).  There is a TON of information that could take footsies into further detail but it has already been written well by Maj of Sonic Hurricane.

http://sonichurricane.com/?page_id=1702

You’ll get a ton of examples with video on some of the concepts and “tricks” of footsies.  This is an excellent read and it’s recommend you go through all of it.

As far as other games go?  It’s pretty general for any 2D fighter.  It’s a fundamental concept that applies no matter what type of movement system there is.  Certain games have unique systems that can avoid some types of footsies (Rolls in KOF or CVS2 and Parry in 3S are a few examples) but footsies can be applied to multiple games while those systems only work for their own specific games.  It is a skill that is invaluable and is best picked up by experience and smart practice (As in don’t mash cr. Jab with Yun/Balrog).

Mark Charteris asks…well…umm…hold on.

……

Okay, I think I found the question.  You want to know how to beat Zero, Wolverine, and Akuma and what you’re trying isn’t working.

Well for one, it seems like you’re thinking way too hard about this.  You’re getting into some Street Fighter style punishing in a game that has a significantly faster flow than that.  And you’re trying to punish a move that’s -1 with a 1 frame command throw, plus the dash.  That adds up to way more than 1 frame.  The general advice for starters is that those moves have a ton more recovery if you’re not there to block it in the first place.  Wolverine wants to close the distance so he can throw or cross you up, Zero wants to get in for his great mixups, and Akuma lands great damage off his Tatsu.  First solution?  Don’t be there to get hit by it.  Know what angles of approach these characters want.  Wolverine approaches from the ground or at a dive.  Know Zero’s teleport angles.  Know that Akuma is fishing for that tatsu straight on or from a regular jump.  Know what assists your opponent is using and be prepared to avoid the pressure.

When you do get put into the pressure, and it will happen with good players, the next step is to keep your defense up and be prepared for your moment to escape.  I’m guessing you’re getting hit a lot by repeating dive kicks or Zero’s magic series.  That is most likely a sign that you’re mashing Advance Guard or another move trying to get out.  Be patient.  Wait for the appropriate moment to advance guard.  Sit and take it for a moment if it means that you’ll be at a position to punish a laggy move.  Be ready to super jump to escape if that option is available.

Last, know what moves you have beat theirs.  You’re using Dorm, Wesker, Sent.  It’s true Sent has a bad matchup with Wolvie but that means you have to be smart about what you’re doing to get in.  You know he has an instant overhead, a fast dive kick, and a special that can cross you up on the ground, so that takes out some of your options in beams, holding down-back, .  By not doing those you’ll prevent a lot of damage.  You can blow up his dive kick with all three characters by using Sent cr.B, Dorm Flame Carpet, or even jump back gun with Wesker.

Zero?   You’re having trouble with his ground series, which again makes me think you’re mashing out and getting hit.  Go into training mode and record Zero to do it, then try advance guarding to get him off you.  Don’t look to punish just yet, just see how you can get him out to the range you feel best about fighting him.  And again, Dorm Flame Carpet.

Akuma’s Tatsu may eat fireballs but you can hit it from above.  Do so.  Or pushblock the last hit.

In short?  Don’t mash during block strings, don’t mash out Advance Guard, don’t try to punish unrealistically, and most of all, don’t put yourself in a position where you have to block to begin with.  Then, fight back.

 

 

Scrubline – Off Our Asses Edition

June 2, 2011 Leave a comment

Sorry about the long period that went by without a post, but life gets in the way.

We hope you enjoyed our live show, and if that was any indication, yes, we are a NSFW blog.  There will be cussing.  And more live shows, and cussing, and some drinks.

Anyway, Animelover1808 asks via Twitter:  “Any advice for those who just got a fightstick? How do you feel about Daigo calling out USA on MVC3?”

A stick takes a while to get used to, but it does hold advantages over a pad.  You have the ability to use all your fingers for buttons in a more comfortable manner, and the larger movement of a stick offers (arguably) better precision.  If you’re completely new to it you’re going to want to find a way to hold the stick that is comfortable for you.  Some players wrap their thumb and fingers around the ball top, some place the shaft of the stick between certain fingers, some grab it in a death grip.  As long as you’re comfortable and you’re not mashing so hard that you’re letting go of the stick, then you should be fine.

The other thing that may be new coming from a controller is having all the buttons available on the face of the stick.  This is just muscle memory though and will be learned in time.  If you’re hitting the extra 2 buttons by accident you may want to disable them in controller settings entirely, but being precise with your fingers will avoid this.  Think of it as typing or piano keys.  When done right you can do things that are a bit easier on stick than pad, such as certain kara throw inputs or piano-ing for easier mash moves like Hundred Hand Slap.  Hell, you can even mash faster to escape stun.

Remember, precision.  Try to learn to limit excess motions.  Your whole body doesn’t need to shake when you do a fireball.

As far as Daigo’s video goes…well, we talked about this.  It’s just easier to post that conversation.

ChaiThai:  What right do you think Daigo has in calling out the US in Marvel?

Sanchez:  Pfft, none. Outside of a handful of player Japan hasn’t really played marvel since America blasted them that one SBO.

CT:  But are they going for it because of the whole “new game, new rules” mentality, or is the VS. series a game they’ve been playing wrong this whole time?

S:  I wouldn’t say they’ve been playing it wrong as much as they really haven’t been playing it.  The big draw for the VS. series is having Marvel characters duking it out.  To the Japanese that isn’t a huge thing.  Kinda like how the US doesn’t really give a fuck about TVC.  What the fuck is a Karas?  We’ve seen Tokido play MVC3 and do well, but I worry abou tthe amount of play the game is getting over there.  Like, how much exploration is being done.

Funny you mention the new game thing- since Daigo says we have a 10 year head start on MVC3.  I didn’t know we had the game that long.  What the fuck have I been doing?

CT:  Well Tokido said he’s one of the best, but there’s this fog of war like thing around Daigo.  Nobody knows what the fuck he can do in any current game outside Japan.  How well do you think he’s gonna do with that backing, or is he gonna go just two and out?

S:  I doubt he’ll get oxygened.  More than likely he’ll get some wins on just name brand alone.  But Daigo or Justin, Combofiend, or Clock?  I don’t see it.  There’s a lot to be said about having good execution in Marvel.

CT:  Maybe that old Darkstalker link experience will kick in.

S:  I can see them going to wolverine a lot.  Daigo will be using one of the Wolvie Sent variations.  I’m calling it now.

CT:  Think the US will roll out the welcome mat for Japan in this one?  Especially after the video?

S:  If by welcome mat you mean a bunch of people yelling at Daigo, I hope so.

CT:  Well he couldn’t take it in SSF4, that’s why he’s got the headphones.

S:  Maybe he really likes listening to Jpop.

CT:  What was the point, anyway?  Just to build hype?  Did the Cannons (The brothers who run Evolution) have anything to do with it, or did Godsgarden just send it over and we used it for publicity?

S:  It’s a great troll video.  It did it’s job.  Outside of putting it up on SRK, I doubt the Cannons had anything to do with it.

This is Japan telling us they coming for that ass.

Wednesday Night Fights 4.4 – Season Finale!

June 2, 2011 Leave a comment

Don’t forget to catch the season finale of Wednesday Night Fights tonight!

http://www.justin.tv/leveluplive

Wednesday Night Fights 4.3, brought to you by Offcast!

May 26, 2011 Leave a comment

Make sure you catch Wednesday Night Fights today, starting around 8 PM PST!

http://www.justin.tv/offcast

(Can’t figure out how to embed the stream onto the blog properly…)

Categories: Streams Tags: , ,

A Basic Guide to Anti-Air Attacks, Part 2

May 20, 2011 1 comment

Jumping right back into this.  Last time, we left off with using normal attacks for anti-airs.  But many characters, especially the shotos, use their special attacks in addition to normals for anti-airs.

~Special Attacks

These moves are generally known as dragon punches, Shoryukens, or flash kicks.  They are higher risk, generally higher reward anti-air attacks than normal attacks are.  The disadvantage to these moves as opposed to normals is that they require stricter timing and usually have some type of input requirement, such as a dragon punch motion or having a charged move stored.  There is a stricter timing involved as well because most special attacks have a brief period where they are most effective.  Finally, if your opponent blocks or baits you into whiffing a special anti-air attack you are left in a position for maximum punishment, costing you a huge chunk of your life, if not the round.  So what is the point of using them?

As a general rule anti-air specials have more priority, speed, and range than normal anti-airs.  For example, many Shoryuken attacks (including Sagat’s Tiger Uppercut) have a window of invincibility where it cannot be hit.  Even if your opponent’s jumping kick is overlapping your character, your attack will beat out theirs.  While the timing is stricter than a normal anti-air this will allow you to beat troublesome jump-in attacks like Honda’s jumping MP by using this invincibility.

Even with the added execution of having to perform a motion or having a stored charge, specials will also allow you to react faster to jump-in attacks.  Because certain normals must be done early enough to knock opponents out of the air you must do them earlier in your opponents jump.  Otherwise, your normal will get beat out before it reaches high enough to beat safely.  A special anti-air comes out fast enough (and with invincibility!) that you can actually react with one slower than with a normal anti-air, and still manage to beat out your opponent’s attack.  The extra speed also allows you to easily use these moves in ground combos.

There is an additional range that some variations of these moves offer.  Blanka’s Vertical Ball is better example, with the EX version in SSF4 traveling insanely far.  Even a neutral jump beyond sweep distance can still be tagged with a well placed up ball.  Guile’s Flash Kick may not reach behind his head in SSF4, but it does reach forward a good distance.  He also serves as the one of the most intense examples in a legitimate Capcom fighter, with his HD Remix Flash Kick traveling nearly half screen!

Finally, in some games anti-air attacks will allow you to follow up with other moves for more damage.  The classic Ryu comeback (Shoryuken, Focus dash cancel, Ultra 1) makes jumping at him a huge risk with up to 35% of your life lost in two moves.  Is your opponent willing to risk this when you’re in the lead?

~Fireballs

Juri and Gouken are the two obvious examples here.  They have fireballs that reach up!  But have you ever jumped to avoid a fireball, and jumped backwards right on top of it?  Some of the best players can make you fall on a fireball when you jump forward.

This is somewhat of a lost art and can only really be picked up with experience.  But it is incredibly frustrating for your opponent when even a full screen jump can get knocked out of the air.  Guile specializes in this with his wildly varying speeds of Sonic Boom as well as the move’s fast startup, but this does not mean that only Guile is capable of it.  If you know your opponent is going to jump to close distance, a well timed fireball can stop their landing easily.  Even some fireballs, like Sagat’s High Tiger Shot, is amazing to controlling air space.  While this qualifies more as part of one’s fireball game, it’s still an option to stopping jump-ins.  If you know your opponent’s going to jump, time a fireball to be where he’ll land.

~Air Throws

This is one last part of anti-airing, because only a few characters have an air throw.  But those that do have an air throw can use it very effectively.  Guile, again, is the best example here.  He can actually jump and grab an opponent out of the air fast enough to avoid most retaliation.  This is one of his most classic methods of anti-airing.

As with all things this requires more experience but not only nets you damage, but puts you at a prime spacing for most characters.  It’s important to remember there is a “minimum height” to air-throws.  If you input your air throw too low to the ground you’ll get an attack instead.  Make sure you take the time to see what this height is to avoid making a mistake and getting anti-aired yourself.

This video between Mike Ross and Fuson909, demonstrates all of these techniques at one point or another.

This finishes up our segment on anti-air attacks.  To everyone else with questions, we’ll get to them as soon as we can.  In the meantime if you have any other questions, just let us know!

Magneto’s MVC3 ROM Combo

May 14, 2011 2 comments

DZ through e-mail asked for tips about how to land the ROM combo with Magneto.

Example of a real life Magneto H

From your message it sounds like you can do the ground series, then you neutral jump straight up and hit H, but miss the air dash df+H.  You’re aiming for the lowest possible spot on your opponent.  You need to delay the air dash from the first H so that you travel a bit higher, giving your H enough time to come out and still hit your opponents feet.  On normal sized characters it would look like you’re making them stand on your slap.  You need to make sure that you hit your opponent low enough so that they’re at the proper height to continue doing the ROM.  After this it’s a matter of learning the rhythm of doing IMMEDIATE sj upback, H, IMMEDIATE air dash df, H, and repeating.  It comes out very quick when done.  You should be able to do about 7 loops before hit stun deterioration kicks in.  While there’s no real “trick” to learning it besides practice, here are a few tips for parts where you may drop the combo.

-If Magneto isn’t flying upback quickly after landing, you’re not super jumping correctly.

-If you don’t get the air dash df H on the looping portion of this combo, you’re not air dashing fast enough.

-If you’re getting some funky crossups midscreen trying to start it, make sure your first airdash is straight down.

-If you’re using a stick, you can push dash twice with M+H instead of M+H, H, and you’ll get a dashing H.  You can also push L+M, H if that’s faster for you.

Focus on doing the first part of the combo, then one loop (Launch, sj+H, air dash d+H, sjb+H, air dash df+H) until you learn the timing.  Then continue to add more reps (sjb+H, air dash DF+H) until you can do them consistently.  Good luck, and keep practicing!

Source:  MegamanDS’s ROM tutorial