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

Ryu

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.

Claw

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.

Guile

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

Sagat

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.

Zangief

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.

Finally

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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