Happy Halloween! After many unexpected delays, here is the last remaining episode of my Street Fighter IV Biweekly Tool-Assisted Combo Video series. It’s hard to believe that i actually made it through the entire cast, but Guile was the only character left undone. I’m pretty happy with how his combos turned out, so this is a good way to close out the project.
The strangest thing about working on vanilla SF4 Guile combos in 2012 was knowing that his capabilities are vastly inferior to every other version from SSF4 onward. Reducing Sonic Boom charge time from 55 frames in SF4 down to 50 frames in SSF4 made a world of difference! Moreover, DF+HK was upgraded from a simple knockdown to a free juggle setup, F+HK frame advantage was boosted from +4 to +5, and he was given a combo-friendly secondary ultra in Sonic Hurricane. Many clips in this video would’ve turned out quite differently with those changes. Yet i still found SF4 Guile to be an interesting combo subject, despite his drawbacks.
0:11 Both hits of Guile’s EX Sonic Boom carry a juggle potential of two – making it possible to follow up a regular Sonic Boom knockdown with two EX Sonic Booms, provided the first EX Sonic Boom only hits once. Cammy’s vertical j.LK trades with Guile’s lvl3 Focus Attack, creating a free juggle setup for the LP Sonic Boom and allowing just enough time to charge the first EX Sonic Boom and buffer the motion to begin pre-charging the second EX Sonic Boom.
0:18 Guile’s close s.HK has 3 active frames and normally yields only +1 frame advantage. Seth’s HP Tanden Storm avoids the first active frame and provides a counterhit bonus; both necessary to link into far s.HP, which is cancelable into Guile’s MK Double Flash super because Seth’s superfreeze provides ample charge time. Interestingly enough, the airplane wing on the Small Airfield level can’t be broken until the plane comes to a complete stop and finishes bobbling. This combo deals 696 damage and 450 stun, which may be Guile’s maximum.
If you’ve ever asked someone for Street Fighter advice before, you’ve probably heard the phrase “Don’t jump.” It might be the oldest adage coined by the fighting game community.
Jumping feels good and it can lead to big combos, so beginners love to jump whenever they need to make a comeback or find themselves in an uncomfortable situation. Naturally this becomes a lazy bad habit, which is incredibly difficult for intermediate players to unlearn.
In tactical terms, jumping is a risky gamble because you surrender the ability to block and the ability to control your movement for around 45 frames. Your opponent can predict exactly where you’re going to descend, with plenty of time to react with suitable anti-air – unless they’re in the middle of a 40-frame attack when you jump.
In other words, the direct counter to jumping is doing nothing (or blocking or doing something fast like whiffing a jab) at the same moment as an opponent jumps. Doing nothing is usually very safe and actually counters a wide range of attacks – so experts do nothing often, which means jumping at them is frequently a bad idea.
In fact as players improve, they spend less time attacking continuously and more time looking for things to punish on reaction. Since jumping mainly serves as an easy counter to heavy attacks, it works great at beginner levels and becomes progressively weaker at higher levels.
When the PlayStation All-Stars: Battle Royale panel was announced for Evo 2012, Clockw0rk and i were asked to put together a short combo video for the attendees. We tried to show a broad range of basic and intermediate combos, with a couple of advanced ones at the end. When we noticed people searching for blurry stream rips after Evo, we decided to upload the original high-definition version to the SuperBot Entertainment youtube channel.
It was actually a lot of fun working on this combovid – even though we had a tight deadline and needed to get everything done quickly. Personally, i can’t wait for the fighting game community to start exploring this combo system and surprising us with creative new tricks! Battle Royale’s core rules are simple and inuitive, but there’s quite a bit of depth in character movesets and how they interact with each other. It’ll be interesting to see what you all find.
For this year’s Evo showcase video, we decided to try something a little different. Featuring contributions from twenty combo makers and excellent editing by Snoooootch, the theme of this project celebrates one of the coolest mechanics in fighting games – the air throw!
For detailed notes and explanations of each clip, head over to ComboVid.com for the full transcript. The video contains some seventy clips and well over a hundred air throws, so it could take a while to read the entire thing. That’s why we began each paragraph with a time code and game title, making it easy to find what you’re looking for.
Capcom vs SNK 2 was released in August of 2001. Street Fighter IV hit consoles in February of 2009. Between 2001 and 2009, Capcom gave us Hyper Street Fighter 2, SVC Chaos, Capcom Fighting Evolution, Street Fighter Alpha Anthology, and various handheld ports such as Street Fighter Alpha 3 Max and Darkstalkers Chronicle.
None of these titles made a significant mark on the competitive scene. None of them really mattered. Yet somehow the fighting game community survived for almost a decade without a new release worth supporting in tournament play.
We steadfastly, stubbornly stuck by MvC2, SF3:3S, CvS2, and SSF2T – somehow managing to help grow Evo attendance numbers each and every year. That’s because one of the most remarkable things about the fighting game community is that when a new version of Street Fighter is bad, we know to play the old one instead. Pretty cool, right?
In retrospect, this approach was nothing short of miraculous. SFA2 and SFA3 got us through the disappointment of the SF3 series. MvC2 kept the community strong through the debacle that was CvS1, until CvS2 repaired most of the damage done by CvS1. Then SF3:3S started becoming good and carrying its own weight. And Super Turbo was there all along.
Then we were given nothing for eight years. It would’ve been so easy to become disillusioned and quit, but enough of us stuck together to define our hobby on our own terms. Let’s not lose that culture of self-reliance now. We don’t have to keep playing Street Fighter X Tekken or any new game if it doesn’t meet our standards.