SSF4 Month-One Combos: Postscript
Three weeks have come and gone since the long-awaited release of Super Street Fighter IV. Fourteen videos and hundreds of research hours later, we have a fairly sound idea of what the new characters and spare ultras are capable of. Obviously most of them will continue developing further, but the foundation is set.
Looking forward, the most dynamic characters appear to be Rose, Ibuki, and Juri. Although several dedicated specialists have begun experimenting with Rose’s unconventional Soul Satellite ultra, i feel we’ve only scratched the surface of its advanced combo potential. Sooner or later, someone will figure out the right combination of setup, spacing, and dummy selection to control how and when each orb connects.
Ibuki has access to a disproportionately large pool of combo tools: chains, jump-cancels, ground loops, air trajectory control, etc. She’s still a relatively straightforward character underneath, but none of her known combos seem fully optimized yet. In fact it’s pretty amazing how she doesn’t have an infinite considering all the infinite-prone tools she possesses. You have to admit, Capcom has done a commendable job of balancing her.
Juri’s Feng Shui Engine ultra is essentially a Custom Combo, which always require many months to explore and optimize. She also happens to be of the best dizzy characters in the game, in the sense that you can use all her super meter to knock someone dizzy and then still have something special for the post-dizzy combo, because you get to restore her Fuhajin fireballs. It’ll take ages to wade through this many possibilities.
Guy’s throw vulnerability is interesting, to say the least. Nobody quite has it figured out yet, but only the early part of Guy’s crouching hit stun animation is vulnerable to throws. It seems to last until one or two frames after impact freeze. Normally he doesn’t return to that state until after recovering, but it is possible to keep him in that state longer using projectiles, and possibly other instant attacks. If it’s as simple as that, then theoretically it should be possible to trade a hard attack with Guy’s c.LP and use the impact freeze advantage to continue the combo before Guy begins animating. However i only had time to test two or three setups for this and none of them panned out. Either way, it calls for further inspection.
Overall i’m happy with the game from a combo exploration standpoint. Not all returning characters inherited new combo pieces, but most did. Dudley, Guy, T.Hawk, and Juri make for interesting new combo dummies. And there’s quite a bit of design variety among the new characters, especially for fans of the Street Fighter Alpha and Street Fighter III series. I’m looking forward to seeing what SSF4 will play like at Evo2k10 and what its combo landscape will look like a year from now.