SF4 Notebook – 2/26/2009

by casperOne 27. February 2009 00:10


Tonight was one of those nights.  I had the confidence to rushdown and beast in most of my matches.

I feel like I'm going to have to start reading the SRK Forums too, as I think I’m at a point where I’ll be able to grok the information.

I guess it’s official that I’m maining Sagat now.


I could swear that the Tiger Knee hit overhead at times.  My initial guess is the first attack frame of the LK version.

cr.MK inches Sagat forward.  That’s going to come in handy in close quarters when being ranged.

Linking LP ~ cr.MK is difficult, even in training mode I connected it once every ten times.  It’s not worth it at this point.

Was able to hit the F+HK –> Ultra (as observed previously in the Japanese National Tournament), and it is a MUCH better setup than trying to hit the Ultra in general.

While trying to figure out if the Tiger Knee is an overhead hit or not, I found this in the Gamespot forums:


If Tiger Uppercut trades, Sagat gets a free Tiger Knee juggle.

I need to test that out.  It will be a good alternative if the Ultra is not available.

In the end, it comes down to three things, execution, execution, execution.


It seems like he can grab me out of wakeup.  I know it’s not possible, but sometimes it just seems like that.  In general, my response time to throws is bad and I need to tighten that up.

Tiger Knee works well against the Lariat.  At the very least, it trades, which is the best result I’ve had so far.  I think the HK one probably works the best because it can get above the offensive hitboxes and attack from above (given it’s own massive hitbox).

Ultra of course also beats Lariat, but I need to remind myself of that.


I don’t have a solution for an agressive Cammy yet.


Sagat's Ultra Beats Ryu's Ultra clean.


Jumping at him at close range is a bad idea, every time I did it he was able to throw me out of the air.

I think the character is better than I initially thought, but still has inherent weaknesses (namely startup time on moves).


This was my first time fighting an Abel which seemed competent.

The low Tiger Shot seems to be the only special that works against Marseilles Roll.  One has to react fast when facing it, as it puts Abel in great position for a throw on recovery.  Tiger Uppercut, Tiger Knee all whiff against it.

Get in the habit of blocking up against Abel on knockdown, as the Wheel Kick is an overhead.


The F+HK isn't an overhead hit anymore.


The recovery on the Hazan Shu is punishable by cr.HK (read: there is a LOT of recovery time).  Need to react to punish more effectively though.


EX dash move (name?) has armor (shouldn’t be surprizing, it is an EX move).

His upward fireball will hit Sagat in the head on the ground when close.


His range is deceptive, have to be careful when being zoned.

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SF4 Notebook, 2/25/2009

by casperOne 25. February 2009 20:28


Definitely feeling more comfortable against people at the same level (~1800bp).  Also getting more comfortable being more aggressive and taking certain hits.


In a mirror match, it’s not a good idea to do a low Tiger Shot when he throws a high one.  You will get hit on recovery (you don’t duck down far enough like in ST).

Getting the cr.MK –> Tiger Knee much more now and it’s an obvious improvement in my game.  It’s not that these combos are hard, it’s about consistently executing them in reaction to punishable moves.

Given the very quick recovery in the game, the cr.MK –> Tiger Shot Low tends to connect, even when you are not right next to the person when executing.

While working on the execution of cr.MK –> Tiger Knee, I’m sure there is one more move that can be linked in before the cr.MK.  Frame data is going to help in figuring this out.


Such a beast.  Still not used to the timing for recovering characters, so trying to meaty him on his wake-up usually ends up with an SPD which is brutal.

People also seem to be getting more comfortable with Zangief, as I played three in a row.

Still having problems countering the Spinning Lariat.


The lack of recovery on her Cannon Spikes and Cannon Drills seem nonexistent.  The Hooligan and her tumbling midair grabs have crazy range, so defense is a better tactic against her for now.

E. Honda

A whiffed headbutt on his part has the same result as Akuma whiffing the Demon Rage, where on jumpback you are right next to the character on recovery.  Note to self, learn to punish in the same way.

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SF4 Notebook – 2/24/2009

by casperOne 25. February 2009 00:21


I definitely need to be the aggressor more.  There are a lot of people who are frozen into inactivity and in doing so, giving up free opportunities to attack.

Learning to incorporate dash effectively is also a priority.  Since jump timing is a little longer, dashing forward indiscriminately usually means a face full of fireball.


Too many people are spamming the Raging Demon (Super and Ultra versions).  Dodging this is very easy (just jump out of the way).  However, there seems to be some frames of invulnerability on startup.  I found this out the hard way when I jumped in with an attack when he was knocked down, and he reversed into this.

Usually, I jump backwards, and that puts you RIGHT next to Akuma when he is recovering.  I have to learn to exploit that, as I’m not comboing enough.


Definitely becoming more comfortable with comboing from the cr.MK to Tiger Shot.  However, frame data suggests that for standing opponents, I should be doing F+HK –> Tiger Knee HK, while for crouching opponents, it would seem cr.MP/MK –> Tiger Knee HK.

I might lean towards cr.MP for crouching opponents just because it feels like it would be easier to execute on a pad and has the same damage profile as MK.

I absolutely love the distance that Sagat puts between himself and his opponent when connecting with his Ultra move.  This is in stark contract to Ryu’s which doesn’t do anything to put any distance between you on hit (which can be an issue).

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Just Find Me a F@$’n Match

by casperOne 24. February 2009 22:27

The guys over at the Street Fighter Blog are already asking what people would like to see in the next revision of Street Fighter 4.

One item he says he would like to see is online lobbies with spectator modes.  This was a feature found in HD Remix.  It’s particularly frustrating that you can only connect with one person at a time in player mode, meaning you can’t have a group of people in a room all playing each other.

But what I find even more frustrating is the fact that just finding a match in Ranking Mode is extremely frustrating.  You can set filters on what kind of match that you want to find (you can filter on the same rank or better).  The problem is, you can also set filters on whom you want to receive matches from.

From what it seems, it will apply the filter on what a person will accept before you connect, which results in being told that you are “Unable to Play” when connecting with that person if you don’t meet their filter criteria.

This leads to a number of button presses just to execute the search again and start the process over.

My hand cramps more from trying to find a person to play against than it does from actually playing.

To that end, what I’d really like to see is a just find me a f@$’n match mode where it repeats the cycle of search/attempt to connect until someone connects.

In other words, don’t waste my time.

(On a side note, if this is indeed the case, then I’d rather the client send a message to the server to indicate their preferences so that the server can filter without requiring the client to connect again.  Granted, this will lead to some false results, in that some players that would normally make the list won’t, but given the number of players on the server at any one time, I’d gladly live with that, since there will be more that actually fit the search criteria.)

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My Second Love

by casperOne 24. February 2009 22:01

If I had to work from home, this is exactly how I would want to do it:




SF4 Notebook – 2/23/2009, pt. 3

by casperOne 23. February 2009 20:53


Claw’s standing HK covers a lot of space and I think I was tripped with the slide HK after.


Sagat’s Tiger Knee has a massive hit box.  It also has a hitbox that lasts longer on the way down when compare to the ST version.  It’s nice pressure/keep-away move against crouching characters.

I’m also trying to replicate what I saw in the Japanese tournament videothat I posted.  I was only able to execute the Ultra once after the standing HK, and the timing was off.


I executed my first intentional cross-up today.  It should be noted that the opponent didn’t seem to know how to instant-recover.

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SF4 Notebook – 2/23/2009, pt. 2

by casperOne 23. February 2009 20:42

Played a few matches with gootecks last night.  And by “played” I mean I got my ass handed to me repeatedly and asked for more after each time.

This was my real first taste of the SoCal/rushdown/Balrog army style of play.  It's not the kind of match I prefer (I lean way more towards turtle), but I wasn't as intimidated by it as I thought I would be, even though I was woefully ineffective.

Some obvious weaknesses were obvious:

Corner Game

I found myself in the corner more often than not.  This usually stresses me out.  In ST I was more effective, but with all the holes in my game now, it becomes EXTREMELY claustrophobic.  I need to find a way to react to the corner better.


Ryan was zoning me pretty hard with Balrog.

I tend to act in the opposite manner of other people when zoned.  Zoning usually involves a lot of “twitchy” movements to establish position.  This has the side-effect of drawing out whiffs or jumps from people.  I end up retracting.  Score one for turtling.

On the offensive end, I still don’t have the timing for Ryu’s fireballs down, so my zone game is weak.  My zone game with Sagat is slightly better.


I got crossed up a few times.  Learning to defend from scratch hurts.  Again, jump angles are more acute in this game, and the timing is very different.  Add to that the ability to instant-recover, and it makes learning to cross-up very hard.


There were a few projectiles that Ryan FADCed through.  I was able to counter with EX projectiles pretty effectively.  Ryan says that in a linked cabinet, there is more reaction time, so he wouldn’t FADC through the projectile.  Might have to reduce dependency on EX projectiles as a result.


This morning, I had the sneaking suspicion that the Tiger Knee has armor breaking properties.  I’m right.  This makes the move more effective, but since Ryu’s hurricane kick has armor breaking properties as well, I’m still out on this.

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Think About It

by casperOne 23. February 2009 09:38

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SF4 Notebook – 2/23/2009

by casperOne 23. February 2009 01:49

General Impressions

  • Obvious improvements in aesthetics.
  • Much slower than ST.  The characters feel like they are moving in molasses.
  • Move input is very forgiving.  It’s much easier to perform special moves now.
  • Jump angles are much more acute. 
  • Jumps also complete much more quickly, making cross-ups more difficult.
  • Blockstun/hitstun is much lower in this game than in ST.  Recovery from connecting moves is much quicker.

Because of the above, it feels like a lot of people are winging it right now.  People are going with all the familiar faces.  The characters I see the most in networked play are Ryu, Ken, and Sagat.  In the seven or eight hours I’ve played so far, I’ve only seen one each of Chun-Li, Vega, Balrog, and M. Bison.  Of the new characters, I’ve only seen one person play Abel.  Over time, this is sure to change.

People are also very unaware of the recovery times for moves.  Punishing people with Super or Ultra moves is very common.

It should be noted that this is currently from the perspective of someone with 1500 battle points.  Currently, the leader on the PS3 boards has ~6000 bp.

Focus (Saving) Attacks

This is the center of advanced gameplay in this installment of the series.  It’s properties are:

  • Can be stored.  The more power stored, the more attributes it takes on (unblockable, can absorb one attack, i.e. “armor”).  If it connects when stored, it will cause the character to “crumple”, which allows for a free hit.
  • All EX moves can be canceled into a focus attack at the cost of two EX bars for the entire move.
  • Focus attacks can be cancelled with a dash in either direction.

Of note are the last two points (commonly referred to as a “Focus Attack Dash Cancel” or FADC).  With the ability to cancel EX moves midway into the move, you can create extended combo chains which would lead to more damage/stun.

The other point that isn’t emphasized as much is that you can use the FADC to get out of situations where you might whiff with an EX move.

FADC is HARD to execute (then again, I’m a bit of a spaz)The Japanese are definitely using it and it’s going to be an important part of high-level play:

The FADC above manifests itself in the following move chain:

  1. Tiger Uppercut
  2. FADC
  3. HK
  4. Ultra Combo

That’s a hell of a lot of damage.  For now, I’m primarily using my EX bar for defensive purposes, in using EX versions of fireballs to overpower other fireballs and hit/chip.

Character-specific Observations


As always, very balanced.  Ever since Champion Edition when Capcom made Ken’s Shoryuken sweep forward much more than Ryu’s, it’s been obvious that Ryu is meant to be the most balanced character in the game, and that’s the case here (Daigo plays him, that should mean something).

While I’m trying to main with Sagat as well, I find the hurricane kick to be a much better utility move than the tiger knee.


This was my main in ST, but now, he really is suffering.  The quickness and reach that he had in ST is gone, and moves seem to start up too slow.  For example, the Rolling Crystal Flash starts off slow, very reminiscent of holding Blanka’s super move in ST and then unleashing.  With the slide, the slow animation combined with easy reversals and forgiving move input to execute those reversals makes it ineffective.

Barcelona drop?  Jump back and HK will pretty much beat it for any character.

Those are his bread-and-butter moves, and with those changed significantly, it makes it difficult to be effective with the character now.

I did have a single match though as claw against a shoto, and there was one round I did well.  Then I played as Ryu against claw, and I got housed.


I found him to be really underpowered, and just not able to keep up.  Again, his response time just isn’t there.


What he lacks in speed he makes up for in power.  I never found the Tiger Knee to be as useful as the hurricane kick with Ryu, but I like the ratio of attack and defense in him.

Against Dictator, neutral jump HK will defeat Devil’s press (or whatever it is called) cleanly.

Jump forward MP is a nice flying elbow which I believe the hitboxes are higher for when in the air than his kick attacks, which is nice for air-to-air.

Dash speed is horrendously slow.


Lariat has wicked high priority.  I’ve found that most times, you just have to wait it out and hit the feet at the end.


I have a LOT of work to do.

One Other Thing

I totally expect the theme song “Indestructable” to be played on America’s Best Dance Crew as part of a throwback challenge highlighting boy band songs.

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Happy Birthday to you…

by casperOne 21. February 2009 11:25

With wishes for many more mom.