Friday, October 29, 2010

Haggar Leaked for MvC3?!

Do you see what I see? That sure looks like MvC3 Haggar on the Kattleox Island stage! (Image from Capcom-Unity.)

Keiji Inafune Has Had Inaf of Capcom

Keiji Inafune, formerly Capcom's Head of Research and Development and, more recently, Global Head of Production, has announced that he is leaving Capcom. Not only did Inafune-san create Mega Man, he's served as Executive Producer on such titles as Super Street Fighter 4 and Dead Rising 2.

This is a major loss for Capcom and for me, personally. I actually met Inafune twice. The last time was at NY Comic Con, where I decided I'd finally get a picture with him. As the picture was about to be taken, the camera app on my phone crashed! Now, I'll probably never get another chance.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Atlanta Fight Club Tonight

I just wanted to remind everybody that the Capcom Fight Club in Atlanta is tonight at 8 P.M. Capcom hasn't mentioned whether we'll see a new build of MvC3 or if there will be any sort of live stream. Either way, I'd definitely expect some player reports and YouTube videos to show up tonight and tomorrow.

Worst Fighting Game Ever?

I know I've said in the past that Rise of the Robots is the worst fighting game ever created, but we may have a new champ. Mortal Kombat II for GameBoy is utterly horrendous. To quote
Do you like collision detection? Do you appreciate sound? Do you value your time? If you answered "Yes" to these questions, this tool-assisted playthrough is definitely not for you!
Watch below and realize that it really is as bad as it sounds.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

EVO Online Tournament

SRK's big announcement was... an Online SSF4 Tournament in December. The winner gets free airfare and hotel accomodations for EVO 2011! It'll be held on Xbox LIVE only. Will an unknown from some remote part of the country prove himself in a national competition? How will cross-country matches work as far as lag is concerned? Is this even a good idea? I guess we'll find out in December.

Bingo! Jun the Swan Combo Video

I know that Tatsunoko vs. Capcom is basically a dead game at this point, but it still has some crazy combos. I found this video over at Maj's, which is a great site, even during slow news periods. He's always able to dig up something interesting from past games if there's no fresh, new combo video available. Anyway, Jun the Swan was my personal favorite Tatsunoko character, mainly due to her crazy combo potential. Her yo-yo attack plants bombs on the opponent that she can detonate at any time. When she does this, she yells "Bingo!" That's right: Cody stole his trademark phrase from a girl in a swan helmet.

"Major" Announcement Tonight

Keits and Mr. Wizard of have both teased a huge announcement for tonight. Their secrets will be revealed this evening during a live episode of Wakeup SRK. The show is scheduled to start at 10 P.M. EST.

Monday, October 25, 2010

And Now for Something Completely Different

How about a little Street Fighter EX3 action? I was a fan of the first two different, yet decent, EX games. I never played much of EX3, however, which makes this match all the more interesting. I like that the video starts out looking like a traditional Street Fighter match (albeit with some odd characters) but eventually devolves into total madness.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Know Your Tekken, Part 5: Paul

Paul Phoenix is a hotheaded American fighter out to prove himself as the world's best. Originally, he saw Kazuya as his main rival. As time went on, Kuma became his main rival, and Paul became closer to a joke character. To compare his character to those in Street Fighter, I'd say that in the early Tekken games, he was similar to Ken: he was truly determined to be a world-class fighter. Later, he becomes more like Dan: he's clearly not very strong (but thinks he is) and is obsessed with beating those who beat him previously, especially Kuma.

Fighting Style
Paul's fighting style is described as mixed martial arts, based on Judo. His style resembles that of any number of American martial arts movie characters. He looks like he'd be right at home in the Cobra Kai Dojo ("sweep the leg!") or fighting alongside Chuck Norris. In the actual games, Paul really doesn't have much going for him. He's not very fast and his combos are not the best, but he does have some fairly damaging moves. He's forced to carefully block the faster characters, then counter with his slower, more powerful strikes. Prior to Tekken 5, he had decent oki (wakeup mixup) options, but in later games, he's mostly missing that aspect of his offense. Paul is widely considered quite weak in Tekken 6.

His signature moves include:
  • Burning Death Fist: An unblockable, lunging straight punch.
  • Rapid Fire Phoenix Smasher: A damaging sweep, elbow, punch combo.

Likelihood of Appearance in SFxT/TxSF
Paul is one of only four characters to be in every Tekken game (along with Heihachi, Nina, and Yoshimitsu). He's basically guaranteed to be in Street Fighter X Tekken.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Filipino Champ vs Daigo

A money match from after-hours at Season's Beatings Redeption.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Marvel vs Capcom 3 Swag Contest

Answer in the comments. First person to post all the answers correctly wins some MvC3 swag.

1) [X-Men vs Street Fighter] How do you do a Spinning Pile Driver with Rogue?

2) [Marvel Super Heroes vs Street Fighter] What is the question posed at the very beginning of the intro?

3) [Marvel vs Capcom] What is said when you add a coin to the arcade machine?

4) [MvC2] Name one character with a triple-jump.

5) [MvC3] What is the name of Super Skrull's multiple-punches move?

Upcoming Contest for MvC3 Swag

I've got some extra MvC3 swag from NY Comic Con, so how about a little contest? I'm still thinking of how this is going to work, but I wanted to give my loyal followers early notice. Check back later today for full details on how to win. Hint: I'm thinking it might involve either fighting game trivia or posting a link in the comments to something awesome and fighting game related. But don't do that just yet... stay tuned!

Monday, October 18, 2010

GamerBee Season's Beatings Interview

GamerBee won last weekend's SSF4 tournament at Season's Beatings Redemption, and protocolsnow has a great interview with the champ. My favorite quote is from GamerBee's final thoughts:

Have fun playing the game. Work hard at training and do your best in competition, but don’t take the results personally. Relax while you play because this is supposed to be fun. Don’t focus on beating a certain player. Instead, learn as much as you can, elevate yourself to higher levels, and things will take care of themselves.

SSF4 Online Highlight Reel

LiangHuBBB brings us this compilation of odd and exciting moments from online SSF4 matches. My favorite moments are the Blanka/Sagat unexpected side-switching and Makoto's full-screen standing roundhouse kick.

OUT (Q) vs Dance (Ryu)

Here's a nice, recent Third Strike match from Japan:

Friday, October 15, 2010

Stream Monsters' Ball: Season's Beatings


The stream should start at 6 P.M. (EST) tonight. The top four of every game, along with the top eight of SSF4 will be on Sunday. There is no schedule for the special events yet.

Super Street Fighter 4 has about 400 entrants.

Keits is running a SSF4 character-auction tournament tonight. Players will bid on each character in the game. The winner gets to enter the tournament with that character for the winning bid price. Each character in the game will be represented by only one player. Obviously, this will make characters like Dan, Hakan, and Makoto cheaper to play, while Bison, Chun, Balrog, and Rufus might cost a bit more. All characters compete for the same total pot. It should be really interesting, and I'm hoping it shows up on the stream.


Season's Beatings: Redemption, a massive fighting game tournament, takes place this weekend, October 15-17, in Columbus, Ohio. Though known as "the Mecca of Marvel," the event features traditional tournaments and tons of special events in other games. Here's a sampling of the highlights:

  • SSF2T: High-roller, $50-entry tournament, held on arcade hardware
  • SSFIV: 5-on-5 featuring Team America vs. Team International
    • Team America: Jwong, Arturo Sanchez, Mike Ross, Marn, Eduardo "PR Rog"
    • Team International: Daigo, Momochi, Choco (Lady Blanka), Gamerbee, Starnab (French Fei)
  • MvC2: Yipes vs. Chris Schmidt Grudge Match

As soon as there's a schedule, I'll post it up. Anybody interested in having a stream-viewing party?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Look's Like It's Time for a Hakan Tutorial

Low Tier Entertainment put together this tutorial describing all of Hakan's slick techniques:

The additional "bonus footage" is actually informative as well. I never understood Hakan's super until now.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Dormammu vs The World

This has to be my favorite MvC3 video yet:

Monday, October 11, 2010

Tales of Comic Con: Vol. 3 - Miscellany

I saw some strange things this weekend! I'll start with MvC3 oddities:

I saw a glitch that had Captain America, as an assist character, stuck on screen and unable to move. I'm not sure what caused it, but after he did his assist (or maybe he was hit out of it), he remained on screen. The opponent was able to hit him multiple times, and not even in a single combo. The point character eventually got KO'd with Cap still somehow alive. Then Captain America jumped in and the on-screen Captain America disappeared. I wish someone had video of this so we could see how it was done. If this glitch remains and is reproducible, it could lead to problems, like MvC2 dead-body infinites.

Outside of MvC3, I saw some interesting stuff. There was a guy cosplaying as Q from Third Strike, which I fully respect. I took a picture with Keiji Inafune only to have the camera app on my phone crash in the process, losing the picture forever. I walked a few blocks away from the Javits Center to a McDonald's for lunch where hilarity ensued. The restaurant was packed with Comic Con attendees, and the crew at the counter was getting frustrated. "Sir, your food is ready! Hello?! Bunny ears! Bunny ears, pick up your food!" In the parking lot, I saw an argument between Goku and Magneto about who was stronger, the Saiyan or the mutant. Goku then quipped that they were polar opposites. The last thing I heard before I walked away was, "Screw you, Magnus!" Normally when I witness drama in Manhattan I tell myself "Only in New York," but this was definitely an "Only at Comic Con" experience.

Tales of Comic Con: Vol. 2 - MvC3 Character Impressions

Throughout the weekend, there were two characters who were always on my team: Super Skrull and Hulk. For my third character, I tried Amaterasu and Morrigan, before finally settling on Dormammu. All the characters felt great and different from each other, but I had to try to nail down just a few I could use well within my limited time with the game.

I know I've said that the game feels different from TvC, but Morrigan feels a lot like TvC Morrigan. Her normals were all familiar, including a standing hard attack that gives several hits and plenty of time to land your launcher. She now has a much more versatile fireball, since it can be aimed at various angles from the ground or in the air. Her "Dark Force" super creates a duplicate image of herself behind the opponent. The image can attack and even throw real fireballs. When you cross over the opponent, the image and Morrigan criss-cross in the middle of the screen, making blocking their attacks extraordinarily confusing. She has great potential for rushing an opponent down, especially while the duplicate is present. This is, however, somewhat hindered by how easy it is to use Advancing Guard to send her completely to the opposite side of the screen. I would jump in to start pressuring an opponent, but my first light attack would be push-blocked, and I'd be right back where I started. I don't know if we'll see Advancing Guard's effectiveness tweaked, or if there are ways to combat it that I'm not aware of yet. Either way, Morrigan should be a threat when she takes the offensive.

Amaterasu is great! I usually write off extra-short characters, without giving them much of a chance. Amaterasu does not play like a tiny character; she is definitely not a Roll or a Servbot. This wolf plays like a full-fledged fighter. Though I barely knew any of her moves, including how to change her weapon, she felt good. With the ability to change her weapon to a whip that reaches full screen — and combos from across the screen — she can be incredibly dangerous. When people really learn how to use Amaterasu, she will be incredibly scary to fight against.

Super Skrull is the perfect combination of simple to use and tricky to fight against. Currently, people aren't familiar with his moves, so they get caught in his grab that leads to further combos and massive damage. His tenderizer move gets spammed constantly, and no one is properly punishing it. Though people will catch on to his shenanigans in short order, he's still a solid character with a lot of options from various distances. He's able to use his limbs to strike or grab from far away, but he can also get in close for damaging air combos and flame attacks. Super Skrull is a well-rounded, easy-to-use character that I suspect will be very popular when the game is released to the masses.

Hulk is my favorite character right now. He certainly isn't the best character, but I'm fine with that. In a past game (the fan-unfavorite Marvel Superheroes vs. Street Fighter), Hulk was on my main team. His normals in this game are basically the same as they always were, which made him simple for me to pick up and play. Despite getting an immediate feel for his normals, I'm embarrassed to admit that I didn't even figure out how to throw rocks or gamma charge in my time with him. I focused mainly on doing his insanely damaging air combos. While I had trouble performing them at the Clash of Communities event, I began starting air combos with a medium attack, and that made all the difference. Once you get the air combo finisher with the Exchange button, it's easy to OTG with the Gamma Wave super. From there, you can even DHC to your next character if you want. Just like in previous games, it felt really nice to land Hulk's standing hard attack, but now it leads to extremely damaging combos. Hulk may have found a permanent place on my MvC3 team.

Dormammu is a force to be reckoned with. He has so many attacks that can hit an opponent almost anywhere on the screen. He can keep his opponent at bay for the entire round. If the enemy does get anywhere near him, Advancing Guard completely resets the situation. His hand powers are incredible, and he can give himself the space to charge them up. His supers, both Chaotic Flame and the tracking fireball one, do a ton of damage on hit or when blocked. The drawback is that they both start very slowly. One way to get that fireball on screen without worrying about the start-up was to DHC into it. I tried to do so as often as possible, even if it wouldn't combo. Though that might not have been the most efficient way to do so, getting that tracking, chip-damaging fireball on screen was one of my main goals. He can OTG with his pillar-from-the-ground attacks, but I couldn't find anything to combo after them. As the game evolves, we'll see where Dormammu ends up, but he's bound to be useful due to his incredible ability to control space.

For characters I did not play as, I can share some things that I heard about them from other players. Chun Li looks very strong. Her air-dash travels at a slight downward angle, which lets her really stay on top of an opponent. She can chain into her sweep, jump-cancel the sweep, then immediately combo you from the air back to the ground, where she can then land a super, back into an air combo, et. cetera. She can do lightning legs, then dash, then combo back into lightning legs. She has a ton of potential to be one of the strongest characters in the game.

Trish looks like she is able to play two different games. She has the speed necessary to rush an opponent down, but she also has projectiles, traps, and movement that could allow her to play some mean keep-away. She has a boomerang-looking projectile super that tracks an opponent anywhere on the screen. It does a lot of block damage, but you can still Advancing Guard to keep Trish away in the meantime. I don't know much else about her, but with all of her various tools, she should be very good.

I barely saw any Felicia play, but she has some interesting stuff. She's got a super that calls out a randomly-attacking helper, like Yatterman-2 in TvC. She can charge up her super meter, ala S-Groove in Capcom vs. SNK 2. She also has an assist that boosts the super meter. I could see playing constant keep-away, while having Felicia hand you some meter, being a valid strategy. There's no more meter from whiffed normals (think Storm in MvC2), so you have to get meter somehow.

Doom plays like his MvC2 self, but he also has a nice new move called Hidden Missiles. A bunch of missiles launch from behind him, then come down on the opponent after a bit of a delay. It's almost like his rocks, but from above. He also has this move as an assist, which is great for trying to lock your opponent down. With Doom, a good character got even better.

Everyone says that Thor is terrible. On paper, he seems interesting: he's like Colossus with projectiles and a spinning pile driver. In the game, though, it just doesn't pan out. I tried to play as him only one time, and I was unable to make anything happen. His projectiles are high and slow, and his command grab is impossible to land. Advancing Guard obviously does him no favors, though it'd be interesting if push-back was less on bigger characters. If he does somehow get in, he can do huge damage, especially with his tornado super. Overall, though, it looks like Thor needs some help to be able to compete.

Other characters like Dante and Deadpool are basically known quantities already. There's not much I can tell you that you can't just see in the many videos of them. They're strong and they have guns. The end.

Tales of Comic Con: Vol. 1 - MvC3 System Impressions

New York Comic Con just went down this past weekend, and I took the opportunity to get some hands-on time with on Marvel vs Capcom 3. Throughout the two days I was at the Javits Center — due to the insanely long lines — I probably only played 15 matches. Even with such limited experience, it was clear that MvC3 is one awesome game, and it's still months away from being complete!

Before I get into what I thought of each character, let me try to describe the feel of the game system. Everyone wants to know if the game feels like Tatsunoko vs Capcom or Marvel vs Capcom 2. The answer is that it is neither; as a whole, it is a new and different game. It has aspects of each of those games, but none of the borrowed mechanics define this new game. MvC3 has a button layout that most resembles TvC's. Chain combos in MvC3 feel like TvC chain combos (which, in turn, felt like Rival Schools' chain combos). A lot of the moment-to-moment jockeying for position feels like MvC2. The super-jumping, dashing, and triangle jumping feels like pure Marvel. OTG hits (hitting a character off-the-ground) are reminiscent of MvC2's, but much easier to perform in most cases. Despite these similarities, there are gameplay elements that differentiate the game from these past games.

MvC3 has some unique features that allow for some free-form combo creation and incredible comeback potential. I may be wrong, but air combos seem to cause a lot more hit-stun than I'm used to, allowing you plenty of time (comparatively-speaking) to string together your air combos. This makes the game more accessible for people who haven't been able to pull of air combos before, but also makes lots of stylish air combos possible for Marvel veterans. The Variable Air Combo system is a great way to safely tag a character in and to add more damage to a combo. The drawback is that an opponent has a (1-in-3) chance to guess which direction you perform the air tag, which ends your combo and starts a combo for the opponent. The real star of this new game is the X-Factor system, which is barely understood at this point.

X-Factor is not baroque from TvC. Unlike baroque, you only get one X-Factor per match; however, it does so much more for you. Activating X-Factor cancels whatever move you were in and puts you back to a neutral state immediately. Think Guilty Gear Roman Canceling or SF4 FADC, but without the need to dash. It currently cannot be performed in mid-air. This facet of X-Factor is why you see combos where Dante does a level 1 super, glows red, then does another level 1 super. X-Factor also temporarily increases your character's speed and damage output. A decent combo from an X-Factored character can do 90% damage. When you realize that X-Factor lasts much longer when you're down to your last character, you see the incredible comeback potential it provides. During the prolonged X-Factor period, it would not be impossible for a character to take down all three of his opponents' characters. Also, the speed boost is quite significant. I got to witness a really crazy moment involving X-Factored Wolverine, but I'll save that for another post.

For now, just rest assured that Marvel vs Capcom 3 is an amazing game. People were worried if it would live up to the legacy of MvC2, with all of its infinites, imbalanced characters, guard cancels, and curly mustaches. I think that it will be even better than MvC2, with a whole new era of brutal tactics and another ten years of competitive play.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Fate of Two Worlds in My Hands

Last night's Marvel vs Capcom 3 event was a blast, even though Capcom nearly got put on blast. I'm sure everyone had the same assumptions: Marvel would dominate the trivia contest, and Capcom would dominate the gaming portion. Well, it didn't go down quite the way everyone expected.

The trivia contest was tough. We got a few tricky Capcom questions wrong, not to mention the impossible Marvel questions. Most of the Marvel questions involved naming alien races or alternate dimensions that I've never heard of. Do you know what dimension Clea is from? Luckily, the trivia somehow ended in a tie.

Everything was now riding on the MvC3 tournament. First, all twenty competitors played ten exhibition matches. This allowed everyone a chance to play, as well as to select the three members from each team to compete in the actual tournament. Thankfully, my team backed me 100%. Next, I suggested SRK's NYN, due to his performance and obvious understanding of how to play fighting games. The team also respected this decision. The last member was a toss up between two of our better players whose names escape me right now. They settled the third spot with a game of rock-paper-scissors. We had a team, and we had a job to do.

The tournament was "Elimination Style." Winner would stay on, and losing players were eliminated. To win, the team had to eliminate all three opponents. We decided our team order: [Name I Forgot], NYN, then myself as anchor.

Marvel is on the Player 1 side. Capcom is on the Player 2 side. Here's the first game, where Marvel set the pace with a convincing win:

The next game was intense. NYN played great, but Marvel's player came back big-time. All NYN had to do was start chipping with Doom's Photon Array, but he got rushed down by X-Factor Morrigan and got caught by a surprising Level 3 Super.

Now the pressure was on me. I had to beat all three of Team Marvel's players to claim victory for Capcom. My first match was a total nail-biter. My opponent kept turtling, but I often hesitated to throw because I feared getting a slow, punishable hard attack instead. Even though I played too safely, I got caught in a quite a few Supers I shouldn't have. Despite all this, this match was the turning point for our team.

I took the next match without much trouble:

Now I was under immense pressure. I had to win this last match. Watching this, I'm disappointed in how often I dropped combos with Hulk. I think this was due to trying to start the air chain with a light attack, but I'll experiment with this more at Comic Con this weekend. Anyway, the final match, wherein I hold it down for Capcom:

Big thanks to Team Capcom members NYN for coaching me and Draxblood for the videos!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Off to Join Team Capcom

I'm leaving in a few minutes to take on the despicable Team Marvel. I'll try to update my Twitter tonight with any information I'm permitted to share.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Tonight's Matchup: NBA Jam vs Fighting Games

This blog is focused almost entirely on fighting games. Why, then, do I cover NBA Jam? There are a couple of reasons.

First, when I was playing fighting games in the local arcade in the '90's, NBA Jam always had a presence. People would line up to play Jam, just as they would for X-men vs. Street Fighter or Street Fighter Alpha. Between bouts of Mortal Kombat or Killer Instinct, we'd all get in a game or two of NBA Jam. NBA Jam was just as much a part of the arcade culture as any fighting game.

Second, NBA Jam is a competitive multi-player game. It is basically a fighting game with a basketball and two hoops. Players need to focus on meter management (the turbo bar), controlling space (steals and strategic goaltending), when to jump (shooting/blocking), and when to attack (pushing). Many of the elements of fighting games play a huge part in competitive NBA Jam. The game is fast and frenetic and full of those unbelievable moments that we love to see in fighting games. There are insanely-timed steals and miraculous comebacks. There are times when an obviously weaker, "low-tier" player or team overcomes the much-stronger competition. NBA Jam is a fighting game, and it will always have a place on this site.

NBA Jam Features Playable Obama

The new NBA Jam for Wii, released today, features a cadre of hidden players. Barack Obama, Sarah Palin, Dick Cheney, and the Beastie Boys are in the game. Also, there's a team of classic NBA Jam programmers, including Mark Turmell.

There's also some new interviews with the developers at ESPN and USA Today.

Marvel vs Capcom For Real

JGonzo from Capcom-Unity recently issued a call to arms for Capcom fans. Marvel's Agent M gathered ten Marvel fans to compete with ten Capcom fans in a Marvel vs Capcom 3 battle. Now, Capcom's defense force has been selected, and I am among the chosen.

I'll be playing MvC3 tomorrow night, before everyone at Comic Con gets a chance to. We have an hour to train for the showdown with Team Marvel. The event may be streamed, but even if it isn't, I'll be sharing as many details as I am permitted to. Wish me luck as I fight for Team Capcom!

Turn the Tweet Back: 3S Online Playable!

According to this tweet from Yoshinori Ono, Third Strike: Online Edition is already in a playable state on PS3:

"Today, I had played something! It's non-stress match-up ! So, I'm looking foward to it!! Eveyone Plz wait soon."

Monday, October 4, 2010

Video Treasure Trove posted a ton of videos on the front page recently. Rather than embed all of them here, I'd advise you to check out the MvC3 batch from First Look and the Marn vs Japan SSF4 matches.

Wildcat's Hakan vs Daigo

If you haven't yet seen Wildcat815 vs Daigo, please check it out below. Wildcat is probably the best Hakan player on the planet, and this is one intense match.