SF4 Notebook – 3/19/2009

by casperOne 19. March 2009 12:00

General

The up and down of obtaining BP is frustrating.  At one point, I was +300 BP (at ~3500 BP) and then I just as easily lost it.  At least this time I had the good sense to walk away.

Later that night, I was down to ~3300 BP.

And then today, I shot up to ~3900 BP, and then lost it by the end of the night to end up ~3300 BP.  About ten or so hours in all, and nothing to show.

I think I need to consider having player matches, since I’m focusing too much on the battle points and it causes me too much stress, to the point where I am not learning from my mistakes.

Ken

Ken is becoming increasingly frustrating and it's getting in my head.  I definitely need more practice against him.

Sagat’s standing HK doesn't seem to be a viable anti-air option against Ken.  The Tiger Uppercut doesn’t reach out enough to hit him if he zones correctly.

I’m convinced that the offensive hitboxes for Ken’s j.HK and Ryu’s j.HK are different, even though the frames are very similar.  IMO, Ken’s has a much bigger hitbox, and a MASSIVE priority.

I beat a Ken later in the day.  It felt SO good.

Cammy

The cr.MP –> Low Tiger Shot or Tiger Knee is a really nice response to the Cannon Drill.  Takes some of the pressure off.

Akuma

I’ve noticed a lot of Akuma players like to do the two-hit standing HK then to cr.HK.  The recovery time on the two-hit HK though is enough that you can jump out before the sweep comes out though.

Gouken

He can miss his throw -> Ultra.

Fei-Long

His flame kick has good range forward (kind of like Ken’s Shoryuken).

Dictator

His HK has really high priority.

Dhalsim

This is such a defensive character.  While I typically like it, I find him annoying.

Against characters with longer recovery times on projectiles, if both characters are not against opposite walls, Dhalsim can j.HP (towards you) from almost anywhere on the screen and hit during recovery.

I have to find a better solution for when he teleports into my space.  I can defend most of the time, but I still get switched up and don’t always block the overhead attack.

Guile

He can link cr.MK –> MP, which is an overhead.  Have to be very careful with the blocking on that.

Blanka

Trying to jump in after a knockdown is a risky proposition unless you can hit deep.  If not, will shock you.  In the event you hit early, hitstun/blockstun is short enough that he can get the electricity out before you can get to the hitframes of the next move in the combo string.

The Backstep Rolling attack can be hit on the way down.

When close, do not jump back if he has charge stored up, otherwise, he will hit you with the Anti-Air Rolling attack.  With Sagat at the start of the match, do not jump back, as any Blanka player worth their salt has charge on open.

Zangief

The same applies here that applies to Blanka with the shock, just replace the electric shock with the lariat.

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Top Ten Reasons Team USA is Better than Street Fighter

by casperOne 6. March 2009 21:32

It’s been a while since I watched the Late Show with David Letterman.  I used to watch it when I was younger (when it was on NBC, if you can believe it, 17 years ago?) and I remember my favorite part being the Top Ten list.

So I was pleased when my mother informed me that Team USA from the World Baseball Classic (WBC) presented the Top Ten List on Thursday:

I always thought that Letterman lost a step when he moved to CBS, but it’s good to see that he can still get a few laughs.  Unfortunately, starting in June, he’s going to have to compete with Conan O’Brien, and I don’t know if that’s a battle he can win.  We’ll have to wait to see the effect Burbank has on Conan.

Going back to the WBC, it reminded me of an ad that I saw for ESPN’s broadcast of the WBC on the subway recently, featuring none other than the Yankee captain, Derek Jeter:

RS12913_jeter_ad

(image credit: ESPN’s Media Source)

I was very pleased to see this, not only for the obvious reason, but for what I see on his right shoulder, an American flag that is flying backwards.

Most people seem to think that this is an error, but in fact, it is not.  It’s representative of the flag bearers that would carry the flag into battle.  When seen from their right side, and moving forward, the flag appears to fly backwards.

So on the right shoulder/arm, it is backwards, to give the appearance that a soldier is always moving forward in the face of battle.

Compare that with Guile from the Street Fighter series:

SFA3_Guile

And even his latest incarnation in Street Fighter IV (rotated 180 degrees to emphasize the orientation of the tattoo):

 Street_Fighter_4_Guile_pkf_21409

(image credit: Mahalo.com)

The sad part about it is that in Street Fighter IV, the characters are three-dimensional models, not sprites which are flipped when they have to “turn around”.

Then again, it could be argued that since the character (and his history) is already established, and that they are tattoos (and aren’t going to be changed easily), that they kept it for the sake of continuity.

Oh well, I guess there’s always Street Fighter V.

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SF4 Notebook – 3/5/2009

by casperOne 5. March 2009 23:57

Sagat

On block, the Ultra Combo is vulnerable between the Tiger Knee part and the first Tiger Uppercut.  Akuma cr.LPed me out of it in a match.

Gouken

I’m still very unfamiliar with his move set.  I might have to unlock him and get a handle on his basic moves to get more comfortable playing against him.  I still get caught by his dash move when it goes through fireballs.

Abel

His grabs are very dangerous, need to play keep-away with him much like Zangief.

The high-low-grab sequence is also very annoying, but doesn’t do much damage.  I assume that his speed is what accounts for his lack of power when compared to Zangief.

The Ultra Combo is VERY quick, as in start it after a fireball comes out and hit you on recovery quick (it goes through fireballs).

Blanka

The cross-up potential of the Backstep Rolling attack is a bitch.

Guile

Can be punished on the second hit of the cr.HK with a Tiger Uppercut.  The window is small, but I believe it wins clean every time.

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SF4 Notebook – 2/26/2009

by casperOne 27. February 2009 00:10

General

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.

Sagat

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:

http://www.gamespot.com/arcade/action/streetfighteriv/show_msgs.php?topic_id=m-1-44705699&pid=943709

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.

Zangief

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.

Cammy

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

Ryu

Sagat's Ultra Beats Ryu's Ultra clean.

Claw

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).

Abel

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.

Guile

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

Chun-Li

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.

Gouken

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.

Balrog

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

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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

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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