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Archive for January, 2010

CV Spotlight: SF4 Combo Video Roundup

January 31st, 2010 4 comments

In case you haven’t been keeping track of recent combo video news, there have been several great Street Fighter IV projects released over the past couple of weeks. All of them are worth watching because remarkably enough, there’s practically zero overlap between their contents.

SF4 Various Character Combo Exhibition Video 2

First off, Dj-B13 has finally completed his long-awaited follow-up and it’s full of awesome details. The Ryu combo at 1:49 is dope because that second hit of j.MP is not easy to land. All the Seth and Fei Long combos are great and so’s the second Abel combo. Some of the editing tends to get in the way, but he makes up for it with a very cool transition at 2:29.

SF4 Rose Misc. Combos | Ken Misc. Combos | Akuma Misc. Combos

Up next, Remxi presents not one but three videos exploring the combo potential of Chun Li’s crouching hit box using three different projectile characters. They’re all awesome, especially the brief bonus clips he added to the ends of each video. Character-specific hit box setups are clearly the next step in SF4 combo videos, but testing them thoroughly enough requires a great deal of time and trial and error.

Doopliss Crazy Cross-Up Combos

Doopliss recorded an entire video consisting of over twenty side switch combos; most of them taking place midscreen. It’s a lot of fun to watch and quite a few of them can be duplicated in Training Mode without too much trouble. My favorite clips have to be the Sagat combo at 1:17 because he dashes backward for some inexplicable reason, and the Fei Long combo at 1:45.

Dosukoi!

This one’s actually a tutorial featuring everyone’s favorite sumo champ E.Honda, but StreakSRM paced it more like a combo video so it never gets boring. In fact, you may even have to watch it twice to appreciate how cool Cordi‘s commentary track is. That part goes by a little too quickly to keep track of everything going on, but that’s the eternal conundrum of editing tutorial videos. Either you make everything understandable the first time around, but then nobody can sit through a second viewing. Or you make it snappy enough to rewatch, in which case some of your points will get lost on the initial viewing. Personally i enjoyed this video more the second time around.

Gen Glitch: Parry

Finally, yeb put together an incredibly comprehensive video demonstrating various uses of Gen’s focus kara into stance change technique. It covers everything from fireball counter tactics to additional anti-air options to mixup interrupts. If you make a new discovery, this is how to reveal it properly. Trust me, it’s worth it to go the extra distance on something like this. Seeing this video, error1 worked a little tool-assisted magic and came up with a candidate for the quickest possible SF4 match. Four seconds seems mighty tough to beat.

Categories: Spotlights Tags:

Street Fighter Footsies Handbook, Chapter 9

January 30th, 2010 5 comments

Since jumping is such a slow committment and since ground counters to crossup attempts are much quicker than the air time required to reach crossup position, effective crossup setups are more about anticipation than reaction. Due to sheer damage potential, one well-timed ambiguous crossup can turn the tide of an entire battle. Finding reliable ways to create such opportunities is essential to any offensive-minded gameplan, sometimes to the point of passing up guaranteed damage in favor of arranging a convenient crossup.

Element 27: Eliminate the opponent’s capacity to anti-air by knocking them down first. In fact, one of the primary goals of footsies is to land a sweep or psychic DP precisely for the purpose of securely jumping over them as they stand up. Simple, right?

Element 28: Bait your opponent into committing a slow attack and jump over them as it whiffs. This method is slightly more complicated and considerably riskier, but there are several ways to get it done. You can tick with light attacks to push them into position, then fake a throw and go for the crossup as their counterthrow misses. You can catch them focusing too heavily on ground footsies and jump over their c.MK pokes while they’re fishing to land a super move. You can even poke them from a safe distance until they get frustrated enough to become predictable with their counterpokes, then jump over one as soon as you feel out their rhythm.

Element 29: Do something chaotic then go for a crossup while confusion throws off their reflexes long enough to get them into trouble. Maintain that pressure for as long as you can keep them off balance, or until they gain enough meter to tilt the risk vs reward scales too far in their favor. Back off when you sense desperation, or at least switch to attack patterns which are safe from their most tempting comeback scenario.

Element 30: Shut down an opponent’s crossup attempt with a vertically aimed normal move, then time your jump to catch them with a crossup as they land on their feet. On a related note, whoever wins an air-to-air encounter usually lands first by a large enough margin to immediately rejump for a crossup as the reeling opponent descends. Another alternative is to wait until someone jumps from long distance, then jump over them as they come down. This works especially well in games with air blocking and air parry mechanisms, which give players an incentive to forgo attacking.

As you can see, there are countless ways to go about setting up crossups, depending on the character matchup and your opponent’s tendencies. It’s just a matter of developing a strong enough ground game to train your opponent to stop expecting you to jump.

At the beginning of a match, everyone tries to stay out of crossup range or to refrain from using slow attacks at that distance. Once you catch them slipping into that spot and behaving dangerously, that’s when you should start looking for your chance to cross them up – without making your intentions obvious!

Categories: Strategy Tags:

Things Street Fighter IV Has Done for Our Community

January 29th, 2010 15 comments

It’s been nothing short of astonishing to watch Street Fighter 4 revitalize the fighting game community over the past twelve months. We all knew it was going to have an impact, but i don’t think any of us expected this.

Professional-quality tournament streams on a weekly basis? Five thousand people browsing SRK on any given evening? Evo turnout practically doubling over one year? Literally dozens of brand new websites popping up overnight? Seven hundred and fifty thousand views for a Guile combo video?

Most of you probably won’t remember this, but i was one of the founders of a now-defunct website called Video Opera, where we hosted three combo contests for three different games: CvS2, MvC2, and SFA3. Can you guess how many people submitted solutions? Six for CvS2, three of whom were staff members on the website. One for SFA3, by a personal friend of the challenge host. And zero for MvC2! That was not a fun time.

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Categories: Impressions Tags:

Street Fighter IV Screenshot Special

January 28th, 2010 21 comments

Believe it or not, Diablo 2 was the last PC game i played. That should explain why my computer doesn’t have a decent video card to run SF4 smoothly. Nonetheless, i just had to take these screenshots because PimpWilly bought me a Steam copy of SF4! How crazy is that? Nobody’s ever done anything like that before.

Since this is shaping up to be “Street Fighter IV Week” around here, i thought i’d postpone the Darkstalkers screenshots until next Thursday to post them all now.

sf4-ryu-dhalsim-01

SF4 Ryu’s Metsu Hadoken explodes upon colliding with Dhalsim’s Yoga Catastrophe ultra and HP Yoga Inferno super, covering the entire screen with a motion blur shockwave.

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Categories: Screenshots Tags:

Things Street Fighter IV Could’ve Done Better

January 27th, 2010 44 comments

I’ve never been a believer in the legitimacy of launch week video game reviews, but i think it’s fair to take a critical look at SF4 now that we’ve all played it for a year. There’s no question about it, SF4 is a great game. That said, there are a few minor areas that i’d try to improve if given the chance.

    Ultras Take Too Long
Don’t get me wrong, they look absolutely awesome. If i had to pick my five favorite attacks in Street Fighter history as of right now, at least three of them would be SF4 ultra moves. However, there’s nothing worse than getting hit by an ultra when you’ve only got 5% life remaining and still having to sit through the entire animation. It would be nice if the game could calculate that the ultra was going to kill me and give me the option to skip to the next round. The KO screen needs to go away faster too.

    Challenge Trials Don’t Teach Strategy
I’m all for anything that helps new players appreciate the finer points of the Street Fighter combo system. Yet it is somewhat of a waste building such an amazing learning tool, then missing the opportunity to teach practical tactics. Why isn’t there a “DP through five fireballs” trial, or a “Find three moves that beat Blanka’s Electricity” trial, or a “Sweep Sagat four times without getting hit” trial?

    The Combo Counter Stays Hidden until the End
Obviously Capcom decided to revert the combo counter to SSF2 style for aesthetic purposes, because they didn’t want numbers and words obstructing their cinematic ultras. However, providing a running total would’ve been far more helpful and convenient for players. Many supers and ultras hit multiple times in quick succession, making it quite difficult to figure out what went wrong when the counter finally appears displaying one less hit than expected. Seeing the numbers increment in real time makes it much easier to pinpoint exactly where something failed to connect.

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Categories: Impressions Tags: