SF4 Notebook – 4/14/2009

by casperOne 14. April 2009 13:22

Zangief

Zangief’s Ultra Combo is not like Akuma’s or Abel’s in the sense that the latter two, while appearing to be grab moves, require contact to be made with the opponent in order to inflict damage.

To get out of this situation on reaction, one can just tap (not hold) up during the Ultra Combo animation to avoid the move, as both require the character to be on the ground in order to connect (being in the jump animation counts as not being on the ground).

Zangief’s Ultra Combo, however is a true command throw which is instant, so if you are in range, you’re done on execution.

The frame data supports this (emphasis mine):

Name Startup Active Recovery Block F.A. Hit F.A. Blockstun Hitstun Damage Stun Super Meter Gain Block Cancel Ability
Ultra Combo 1+0 2 46 - - - - 600 0 0/0 1.4 -

That bolded “0” indicates that after the “intro” to the Ultra Combo, there isn’t any window of opportunity to react.

But along comes this video of the Korean National Champion in SF4 (he is playing Zangief):

At ~3:16, you see Zangeif enter into the animation for his Ultra Combo, which Ryu counters after the animation with a SRK.

The consensus over at SRK seems to be that the input for the SRK was put in before the Ultra Combo animation, and because at least the first frame of the SRK is invulnerable (to throws as well) it was able to counter Zangief’s Ultra Combo.

This makes sense, because I would never try to psychic DP if my expectation was that an Ultra Combo was coming out.  However, on knockdown, with a player trying to cross me up, a SRK reversal is natural.

So it goes to show that Zangief’s Ultra Combo can be reversed, but only if you are psychic, and not on reaction.

Fortunately, there is this comment about Sagat’s Tiger Uppercut (all versions) in the frame data (emphasis mine):

1-5f invincible, 6-7f throw invincible, 8f~ airborne, opponent is in jugglable state on counterhit

Which means that in a similar situation (knocked down by Zangief who is trying to jump in/cross-up on wakeup), the Tiger Uppercut will get me out of a situation where Zangief might jump in early and try to Ultra Sagat on wakeup.

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SF4 Notebook – 4/9/2009

by casperOne 9. April 2009 23:31

General

While not new news anymore, the Bad Losers Wall of Shame is up.

What is interesting is the post by Seth Killian over at Capcom Unity on the subject:

In other news, have faith--SFIV has a sweet new puller-punishing system is on its way...

Now that’s going to be interesting, to say the least.  Hopefully, it will help reduce the activity in my own SF4 Ragequits category.

Zangief

His j.MK will counter Sagat’s standing HK.  It’s a little reminiscent of Sakura’s j.HK except it doesn’t angle down as much, so it still seems stuffable.

However, I’ve seen j.HP stuff standing HK a few times as well.

From a distance, Sagat’s standing HK will hit the lariat clean.

Rose

She can counter the the standing HK from far away with her j.HP.  She can also counter the standing HK close with what seems to be the j.LK or j.MK.

I wish the frame data were available for her, as she seems to have a very short startup time on most of her moves.

Blanka

The better Blanka players are not getting countered consistently with the EX Low Tiger Shot after an EX Rolling Attack.  I can’t tell if it is my reaction time or theirs.

I didn’t realize that how far forward the Backstep Rolling Attack goes is controllable.  This is why it crosses me up so much.

Sagat

Players are consistently jumping in close on Sagat now, and the standing HK’s effectiveness is much less than from a distance.  I also wasn’t using the Tiger Uppercut consistently for fear of trading off.

I believe that moves that are EX-able, but not an EX move at the time, when they trade, they have a shorter recovery time than if they were hit cleanly, enough time to set up another attack.

Sagat’s Tiger Uppercut is an example of this.  If he trades with the uppercut then he can go into the F + HK, which then sets up for the Ultra Combo (if you have meter).

I’ve been practicing this with good results, and I’m probably a little short of spamming the Tiger Uppercut now.  At least I’m more confident in using it now in tight situations.

This applies to all strengths of the Tiger Uppercut.

The next step is to get this combo down in a non-trade situation:

Tiger Uppercut –> FADC –> F + HK –> Ultra Combo

I need to experiment with better combos to use when connecting with F + HK and I don’t have the Revenge meter stocked.  EX Tiger Shot Low or EX Tiger Knee will connect, but I need a solution for when I don’t have EX meter either.

This combo:

j.FP –> cr.FP –> Super Combo

Does almost as much damage as a fully charged Ultra Combo (it might do a little more, actually), but the timing is harder, since it is a link from the cr.FP –> Super Combo.

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SF4 Notebook – 3/22/2009

by casperOne 22. March 2009 23:00

General

Lately, patience is the name of the game.  I’ve found that people are more patient now, which definitely suits my style of play.

I still think that it’s incredibly important to improve my rushdown/pressure game though.

Ragequits seemt to be common now.  It’s just f’n annoying when trying to get BP (although I realize that BP is not what is most important).

I’m starting a separate category for ragequits that I’ve come across while playing on the PS3 version. 

I’m beginning to work more people into the corner as well as improving my zoning game.

Akuma

When he does the far HK (which hits twice), jumping over him and trying to punish with a Tiger Uppercut always failed.  I was countered consistently with a SRK.

Sagat

Against a Ken player, I got a much better feel for the distance required to use HK for anti-air.  I really have to get more comfortable with using the Tiger Uppercut in closer situations though.

I’m also not using the Tiger Knee enough.  The LK has a nice amount of pushback which can be used to apply pressure.

Also having a little more success with digging deeper when crossing-up with the j.LK in the corner.

Blanka

Blanka’s Backstep Rolling attack can hit behind the head if timed right (about mid-range, and there are Blanka players out there which are timing it right).

Ryu

An early j.HP seems to be a nice counter against the early j.HK.

Ken

See notes for Ryu on j.HP.

Dhalsim

Sagat cannot use his Ultra to go through Dhalsim’s Ultra.

Boxer

Still getting mixed up when defending against the Dash Punches, have to read the difference between high and low better.

Chun-Li

Her reverse kick from behind is dangerous, as a hit leads into a cr.LK –> Lightning Legs.

Cammy

Cammys are not spam-happy with the Cannon Drill anymore, so opportunities to counter are more rare.

My reaction time to the Hooligan Combo is slow, need to combo better, although jumping counters or evades about half the time.

Seth

His array of moves is much more varied than I thought.  He has the air-step kick that Chun-Li has (and can hit three times in the process), as well as something like Gouken’s dash which goes through fireballs.

Sakura

I feel really guilty playing against her in her alternate uniform (the school gym outfit).

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SF4 Notebook 3/18/2009

by casperOne 18. March 2009 03:07

General

Tonight was another total grind fest.  While I played about four-five hours, I went from +350 BP on the night, to –150 BP on the night, and barely eeked out with +50 BP at the end of the night (~3200 BP).

On the bright side, Blanka, Balrog and Cammy feel like more comfortable matchups for me, but all the familiars, and Ken and Ryu most notably, seem to have better players now on the other end.

My execution was particularly poor tonight.

As I kept losing, I let my attitude get the better of me and goad myself into games with a mindset that was not geared towards winning.  It was worse than fear, and my play suffered (most notably ripping Ultras when I had no business doing so).

I’m trying to figure out what i learned, but its not coming easily to me.

El Fuerte

Does anyone have a viable f@$king option when playing this flying rat?

Ken

I absolutely hate, hate, HATE losing to scrub Ken players, or any Ken player for that matter.  Then again, they are all scrubs.

This is quickly becoming an infuriating matchup for me.  A lot of Ken players are timing the j.HK in the air to stuff a good number of my anti-air attacks (HK, Tiger Uppercut, j.HP).

Ryu

Like Ken, this is another source of anguish.  On top of that, it seems that more and more Ryu players are rooted to the ground.

With Sagat, DO NOT do cr.HK 2x in a row.  Ryu can tag you with the LP Shoryuken on the second cr.HK.

Have to be very careful when he has Super/Ultra meter, as many of them are doing a LP Shoryuken and then juggling into the Super/Ultra combo in the air.

Zangief

Can throw him immediately after blocking the Green hand.

Always do the Ultra when he is doing the Spinning Lariat.

Boxer

Can do Sagat’s Ultra in between hits on the Boxer’s Ultra.

Abel

A lot of them just keep rolling.  I think that zoning would help here (and in general) and I think that part of my game was particularly weak tonight.  Abel can get dangerously close with the roll, and I’m not reacting fast enough to it.

Gen

The combo with his j.HK (I believe that’s it?) hits from behind when you cross-up (he literally turns in the air to hit your back) –> cr.LP (which knocks down?) –> cr.HK or cr.HP is a nice little combo.  It’s hard to block that first hit (although for some reason it seems easier to block when Chun-Li does it).

How does one block the straight down kick off the wall?  I think the option here is to move.

Sagat

How do I get players that are rooted on the ground to get in the air?  Given that SF4 is a much more strategic game than ST, its not easy to bait people into jumping.  The game is more forgiving if you can’t react instantly.

I’m also not following up with what can be done after a LP Tiger Uppercut.  There are combo possibilities with the EX version of moves (Tiger Knee EX, Tiger Shot EX) but I’m not following through.

I have to stop hoarding the Super meter hoping to get a cr.MP –> Low Tiger Shot –> Super Combo.  I’m not executing the cr.MP –> Low Tiger Shot now as it is, so I should use that EX meter for something else.

While the j.LK crosses up people better, I throw it out high so I don't always connect the cr.MP (the character is too high in the air and the hitstun is not long enough).  I have to get the j.HK out later.

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SF4 Notebook – 3/14/2009

by casperOne 14. March 2009 02:50

General

I’m finally at 3000+ BP.  It sure as hell took me a while.  The odd part is, I was slightly buzzed when I was playing and yet I went at least 10 and 1.  Maybe I need to play that way more.

Sagat

I made the move and switch the R1 and R2 shoulder buttons, effectively switching the MK button with the MP button.  The transition is not as bad as I thought it would be as I seem pretty consistent with the c.MP -> Low Tiger Shot, but it would be better if I was able to do cr.MP -> HK Tiger Knee more consistently.

I love the alternate costume.

cr.HP feels like a good answer to the shotos or anyone who likes to attack early in order to avoid the standing HK.

j.LK has much better cross-up potential than j.MK.

Gen

I screwed around in Arcade Mode for a little bit and was able to beat the game with Chun-Li, which allows Gen as a playable character.

Gen is a very interesting character, and when the time comes, I think I might consider him as my alt.  The main benefit of the character is that he is very confusing in his attacks.  He has a behind-the-back kick (like Chun-Li) and the switch in styles keeps people on their toes if they don’t learn to recognize it.  Of course, the downside to him being confusing is that he is harder to play.

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SF4 Notebook – 3/13/2009

by casperOne 13. March 2009 02:34

General

Tonight was a total grind-fest.  It was one of those nights where execution was spotty at the worst times, and my BP just kept going up, then down, down, down.

In the end, after four hours, I might have made about 70-80 BP to end up at ~2500 BP.  I try not to focus on the number, but it’s hard to hover around a single point for so long (a few weeks is long?).

One really annoying thing was when I played someone without checking the match details.  He set the match to best of one round, and 30 seconds.  By the time I noticed it, he had won, and I lost 120+ BP.

Always check the match details before engaging.

Ken

I've come to the conclusion that I really think lowly of Ken players ever since I saw the flowchart which lays out his course of action:

kenflowc

(source: unknown)

While it is pretty true, I get pretty mad at myself when I lose to them, because I usually didn't punish the Shoryuken.

Ryu

His Ultra can hit Sagat’s Ultra when Sagat starts his Ultra right after his and he is a little bit past mid-range.  It was the only time I haven’t gone completely through his Ultra to punish.  I’m not concerned about it, yet.

Cammy

Felt a little more comfortable in the matchups.  I think that’s partially due to not putting myself out there for the Cannon Drill too much.

Sakura

On the other hand, the two times I played against Sakura, I got destroyed.  Her j.HK stuffed everything that I put up (HK, Tiger Uppercut, etc, etc), which leads into her nine-hit combo (I think it’s nine?) as well as some more nastiness if you are in the corner.

On top of that, the people playing her were great at zoning (whereas my zone game is suffering) so I was just off my game with her the whole night.

El Fuerte

I got slammed by him this evening.  The Tostada Press (I think?) just crosses me up every time, and he’s like a little rat scurrying around, it’s hard to get a bead on him.

Abel

Another annoying M.F., but not so much tonight.  Getting used to the odd high-low blocking for his three hit grab, but I don’t have an answer for the grab part yet.

Also, as fast as Abel’s Ultra combo is, Sagat’s Ultra combo can be executed to punish even when Abel is very close (as is the case with most Ultra/Ultra match-ups).

Boxer

I end up executing the Tiger Knee against him all night long.  It seems to be the only move he doesn't have a good
response to (although he has a response to everything else, it seems).

At least the SoCal Balrog army wasn’t out tonight.  I must have played ten ‘Rogs in a row the last time I was online.

C. Viper

At first, I was intimidated by her moves, as they are very flashy, but that’s really all they are.  They do damage, but they don’t have hitboxes that are the same size.

However, you do have to be aware of her jump angle, as her’s is more like an ST jump angle.  She also seems to be able to juggle pretty easily, and switch her trajectory in the air for some interesting combo/juggle opportunities, so it’s worth it to be cautious.

Blanka

When blocking an EX Rolling Attack, countering with a low EX Tiger Shot always seems to punish.  I’m still not so sure on a response to the regular Rolling Attack though.

While Blank’s slide is annoying, Sagat can do the LK Tiger Knee right over him, recovering before he will and usually putting him in good position to punish from behind.

Sagat

Sagat’s cr.MK seemed to be getting punished with a regularity I was uncomfortable with tonight.  I had a feeling that the cr.HP was faster, but I wasn’t sure it was the right alternative.

Here’s the frame data for the two moves:

Name Startup Active Recovery Block F.A. Hit F.A. Blockstun Hitstun Damage Stun Super Meter Gain Block Cancel Ability
c.MP 5 3 10 +1 +4 13 16 90 100 40 HL SpS
c.MK 7 3 15 -4 -1 13 16 90 100 40 L SpS

Hitstun, blockstun, damage, stun, super meter gain and cancel ability are all the same.  The startup is two frames quicker, and you actually get frame advantage on hit and block for the c.MP.

So the obvious choice here is to use the c.MP.

The problem is, I play on a PS3 pad and my MK is mapped to the R1 shoulder button.  I usually use this to combo from c.MK –> Low Tiger Shot or Tiger Knee (all three require only a kick).  Mapping the MP to the R1 shoulder button is an option, but I’d have to fiddle with my thumb on the pad for the Tiger Shot/Tiger Knee, or use the L1 shoulder button, which would be more cumbersome.

I guess I could put MP and MK on the right hand shoulder, with the Px3 and Kx3 on the left shoulder buttons, but then the Ultras would be more difficult to get out (they have saved my ass more than once and I’m not sure I’m willing to give that up just yet).

Maybe I’ll just get my left hand up to speed (I’m a righty) after all.  I don’t like fiddling around with the buttons, as there is too much muscle-memory built up over the years.

Hopefully, all of this will be moot when I get my Mad Catz Tournament Edition Fight Stick, if they ever come out that is (and I hear the Standard one is crap).

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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 – 3/4/2009

by casperOne 4. March 2009 22:00

General

I didn’t notice that the characters heads tilt up to look when the opponent jumps.

I was right about my impression about invulnerability time on wake-up being reduced.  From the Neo-Empire SF IV System Guide (the “Sixth Video” section):

This video:

shows an example of wake-up invulnerability time has being reduced in SF IV. Zangief knocks Honda down and then SPD's him on his wake-up because Honda was caught napping!
I also have these notes:

Wake-up invulnerability time has been reduced

For SFIV, it feels like there's almost no invulnerability time when you wake up from a knockdown. While this would be okay if it was just restricted to regular throws, this also applies to special command throws, so players have to be extremely careful on knockdowns.

During a wake up without holding the joystick up, jump straight up and your opponent can't throw you. So when you think a throw is coming, jump up to force your opponent's throw to whiff and then come down with a jumping attack into a combo. You can also throw out an attack with invincibility frames as a reversal and have it connect, so depending on the character and the circumstances, you can do that too.

Absorbing a hit using a Focus Attack will fill your Revenge Meter as if you had been hit by it.  Again from the Neo-Empire SF IV System Guide (emphasis mine):

- Use SA to parry projectiles:

It lets you increase your revenge gauge without taking damage. You eliminate black stun. You also get no damage for blocking a special move. No damage refers actually to "recoverable damage".

Cammy

I still can’t beat Cammy, it seems that the recovery from her Cannon Drill is non-existant.

Dan

I got beat by f’n DAN.

Ryu

If playing as Ryu as well, executing the Hurricane Kick after your opponent launches his Ultra will always go through the Ultra.  Because of the extra-long recovery time on the Ultra, it will always connect.

Blanka

Sagat can punish Blanka’s Ultra with his own Ultra or the Tiger Knee when blocked.

Also, can punish the Backstep Rolling attack with a Tiger Knee on block as well.

WTF, Blanka can duck under the low Tiger Shot?

Boxer

I have the sneaking suspicion Sagat’s Super Combo punishes Boxer’s dash punch.  Why yes, yes it does, on block, every time

Fei-Long

Apparently he has an infinite combo that works in the corner against Seth and Abel:"

Crap, I’m very glad I don’t play Seth or Abel.

Zangief

Does Sagat’s Tiger Knee punish the Green Hand?

The EX Green Hand seems to be invulnerable on beginning frames, as I saw it go through a fireball.  Frame data doesn’t have any information to support or refute this.

Sagat

I was slighty mistaken when I observed that throwing a low Tiger Shot will make you vulnerable to the high Tiger Shot.  You can avoid it completely if the timing is right.

I need to start exploring using the high elbow as an overhead attack.

God I really need to get the FADC down and get this combo down (start at 21:40):

Akuma

Sagat barely seems to be able to jump over the air fireball, but it can be done.

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SF4 Notebook, 2/25/2009

by casperOne 25. February 2009 20:28

General

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

Sagat

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.

Zangief

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.

Cammy

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

General

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.

Akuma

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.

Sagat

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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