Ranked Match Problems Review from An Experienced Gamer (Storm 3)

#1 Posted by Homer_Bart1929 (2 posts) -
Ok, after playing 600+ ranked matches and watching all the youtube videos and posts about how disappointing the online mode was, I thought it is time for me to write something about the game. Firstly, to introduce myself, my PSN is the same as my ID and though I won't call myself a pro in Naruto storm, I can confidently say I'm an experienced Storm gamer. I own Storm 1,2,Gen,3 and started my online match from Gen. I got two hero titles in Gen and played 2000+ ranked matches (two heros because I once lost my savedata so I started again from 0). I am by no means a spammer: I main minato, neji and gaara in Gen, currently in Storm 3 I have 600,000 BP around 400:250 ratio. I main minato, pain and neji in Storm 3. Neji is kinda badass in this game so I don't use that quite often. Minato is good but quite beatable, I use his awakening simply to counter the broken giant awakenings. Enough self-intro, I wanna talk about the Storm games. Firstly, something about Generations, despite the poor story mode, I think it is the overall most enjoyable Storm game in terms of online battling. Yes there are a few OP characters such as Tsuchikage, PTS tenten and Sage Naruto's awakening, however, if you develop deeper awareness about these characters you will be able to find the counter point. I started Gen being beaten by countless PTS tenten and later I found it not so hard to kick those spammers' asses. I don't worry about hidan and PTS gaara as I could trick these support and then counter. Sure Tsuchikage+hidan+PTS gaara is my forever problem, but what I want to say here is that: in Gen, you can easily find out who are the spamers by checking their frequency & character usage, if people didn't choose these characters, then the game would 90% be an enjoyable match. Tactics and timing are the most important parts in Gen, as many techniques such as infinite-tilt and ninja-move-cancel-ultimate can not be obtained but by practicing, ground comboing spammers & lazy jutsu spammers are quite easy to beat. Ok, now I wanna talk about Strom 3. I won't complain about the roster simply because it's not related to the gameplay that I'm talking about here. By saying gameplay, my point is that a fighting game is supposed to offer the same mechanism as real fighting or ninja fighting, such as concentration, preciseness and tricks. For example, the guy who only knows mashing OOO should be punished by the other that uses tactics, make sense, right? However, Storm 3 fails to do so in a few aspects. Now I'll start talking about the gameplay problems in detail: 1. frame rate. This is the No.1 problem as for Storm 3. It simply means character's actions may not be fully responsive to your button entry. The most common problem is that you probably won't be able to sub Team Ultimate Jutsu during close fight, no matter how good your connection is with your opponent. Have you ever faced with the occasion that when you dash at your noob opponent who's got no subs and you are **** up with TUJ even though you already pressed the sub button? Let alone the TUJ problem, the framerate problem prohibits legit players from conducting several high-level techniques such as NMC+Ultimate/tilt as it just didn't respond. Therefore, when framerate problem happens (usually with big explosions scenes or Madara's combos), the safest way, sadly in most occasions, is to combo+chakra cancelling, making most matches dull. 2. combo speed imbalance. See the top-100 non-hack players' record in both PS3 and Xbox? How many of them DON'T have Hanzo, Nagato or Kakuzu? Quite few indeed. The common sense for speed vs range is that: the longer you reach, the slower your combos should be, right? The past storm game leveraged this issue quite well, giving short-handed characters more speed and long-range ones less speed. One exception is Sasuke (lightning fast) but he is supposed to be fast in manga so it still makes sense. However, this feature has been abandoned in Storm 3. See how fast Kakuzu can be in close fight? Nagato is also ridiculously fast while it is clearly stated in the manga that Edo Nagato lacks mobility. Kisame also became faster but not at the level of Kakuzu's rise. The new games' mechanism offers players no hesitation in chosing those long-arm fighters as they can be equally fast as those short-arm ones. Unless you take super fast characters such as Neji Hinata or Lee, you'll probably lose to those long-arm guys in a face-to-face fight. 3. combo guard break. why combo speed is a problem? because of this. Ok, CC2 did make some corrections lowering the guard breaking abilities of those spammable Jutsu such as Mask Man's and Tsuchikage's and PTS gaara's, the guard breaking ability of combos seems to be enhanced to an unbalanced level. Basically when one completes one set of combo, your guard turns into red for sure. If they combine this with chakra cancel, you won't be able to survive within the second OOO. Wanna counter after the chakra canceling? If you happen to face Mifune or Kakuzu or etc, you probably would end up hitting each other at the same time, and you two start with O again, you would get hit, why? because they are faster than your character. With the ridiculous guard breaking ability of combos, consistent OOO+chakra dashing became the best choice because even your attacks are guarded, you can break their guard easily, with no technical requirement. The instant awakening mechanism makes this problem even more severe as the instant awakening just cancels combo into a new one. 4. air dash stun being nerfed. The stun of air dashing is nerfed. Well, some players may complain the constant usage of air dashing and call it spamming. However, in Gen, air dashing can be countered using air dashing. WIth right timing and some prediction, you can easily fight back. Actually, air dashing is more of a technique against OOO noobs as a punishment of repetitive input entry. As you sub a combo, you probably need to jump to avoid the chakra cancel dashing of your opponent and use air dash to give punishment. However, the case now is: people OOO, you air dash, before your combo lands, you are dramatically hit by people's combos, STILL. Therefore, if you fight a Yugito or even middle-speed character, unless you use fast combo characters such as Neji & Hanzo, etc, all your effort in jumping+thinking+air dashing are wasted. I've faced with many circumstances when I use these techniques, but many times I ended up face punched again and again. Air dash consumes the same amount of chakra as ground dash, and it just doesn't make sense reducing the stun as many character's value simply replies on the proper use of air dashing. 5. support becoming useless. Alright alright, support are Supports and they shouldn't be too great in battle, however, support means that when you're faced with danger, they are supposed to give you a hand right? How many times have you experienced with your support being hit away by a simple combo? I understand that you can't just stand there and let your support do the work, but the supports are meant to be able to do something when you get trapped in an infinite combo right? At least they should give you a 0.5 second break from your opponents, interrupting their combos. But in Storm 3, the ability of supports are very much limited resulting in only a few supports being useful. How many Kimimaro and; Neji supports have you seen in the ranked match? And if you use Hanzo and hit someone, don't be afraid of the two supports of your opponent, just OOOOO cuz you can just hit the supports back. Due to this problem, the ranked match in Storm 3 can easily become a one-sided dull play cuz if you screw up, you screw up, don't expect your supports to save you unless you have Kimimaro, Lee or Hidan. 6. defensive support can't defense. This seems to be a minor problem, but sometimes it can be huge. You know your defense support will show up to block the chakra dash of your insane opponent, and you prepare for a Rasengan so that you could punish his mindless combo spamming, but in many occasions, you could also get stunned with your support being knock away. Still, this leaves no punishment for those combo try-hards as whatever you do, your gonna get f**ked up. 7. giant awakening. Know how broken giant awakening can be? Just watch this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rYVNNBN4Do4 Sure you can use combo to fight back, but only when your opponent is a noob. Giant awakenings can't be dashed or shuriken-ed, if you use minato, it's fine since you can awaken and teleport to their backs, but if you use common characters, you have a very larget possibility to have your ass kicked. The annoying fact is that even a 12 year old little boy can cost you 1.5 life bar with the OOOO of Fuu, if you have no Team Ultimate available, just run, don't block. If you are a Nagato user, you are absolutely fine, just use your canon and let them know pain, but it is hard to resist spamming Nagato as his spammable tilt combos are so beautiful, that's why I don't use Nagato cuz it just makes winning so cheap. 8. simplified combos. If the above 7 are problems, then this is more of a gameplay variaty issue. Probably it's because CC2 has seen the replays of Generation, where it is hard for people to finish an entire combo in a competitive fight, so they decided to make them shorter and remove one combo. However, this is not the real case, sure the combos in Gen are long but they are not that great in guard breaking. Overall, more combos gives players more options and makes the fight more diverse, which is a good thing. Simplified combos with super guard breaking ability just makes each character match identical. 9. removal of replay feature. As generation came out with replay feature, I consider it as a big step forward toward a legit fighting game. However, I don't know whether it's because of technical problem or what else, it is just disappointing that the replay has been removed. Sure you can go to Youtube to see some hardcore players recording their videos, but overall it just slows down the learning process of players. I used to have 150 replays in Gen with the world's best matches full of wisdom and amazing techniques, but for now, although I have a recorder, I can't record the others' fight. These nine points are the problems and drawbacks I currently consider for Storm 3. Honestly speaking, except for the frame rate problem, any single one problem isn't that big itself, but if you combine them all, the ranked match in Storm 3 became a playground where people wins mashing the O button rather than using their heads, and picking a strong character rather than training in techniques to cover the shortages. Here is the problem: when you use a different character, results would dramatically change, in Gen, only Tsuchikage+Hidan+PTS Gaara has this annoyance, but in Storm 3, you could run into this trap facing various characters. Many fighting techniques don't even match a mindless heart. Well, being bold can be a good thing, but too much emphasis on aggressive combo just reduces the fun of mind fighting. Afterall, ninjas win with combination of moves, tricks and techniques, in Storm 3, this fun is reduced and plays become dull. Well, why should I write so much, because I really love the Storm series and I still have hope that CC2 can fix these problems either by making a patch or in the next game. Storm 3 alone is a great game but it could have been better. I will continue play ranked match anyway, but playing the game doesn't mean ignoring the problems. If you have faced with the same problems with me, you should be able to understand my points. Let me know what you think, welcome to play with me on PS3~ PSN:Homer_Bart1929