nantomaster / Member

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USF4 Report

Very few people playing on my friends list recently. Not much opportunity to implement new stuff into my gameplan due to lack of people. Cammy's still good, but needs constant 1-frame links and char-specific combos to really optimise her gameplan. Poison's been the bane of many Cammy players so far, but I think it's a MU I can get accustomed to. The key is to minimise damage (including chip) from fireballs, smart use of edging and jumps, especially neutral jumps to limit fireball usage and close the gap and then get into poking range. From there, fireballs get stuffed on start-up or trade (in Cammy's favour) by far and a lot of her pokes get outranged by far as well. From there, Cammy can establish a groundgame or override Poison's using (EX) Cannon Strike. Don't drop your Cammy combos, otherwise Poison punishes you and then can choose to slip away, and then the chase begins again lol. Do everything in your power to keep the momentum going once you get it. Hold meter for EX Spiral Arrow. Option select backdashes with sweep; even if it gets blocked, you stay on her and get her blocking for a bit.

Haven't posted in a while!

Wow, looking back at some of my posts is embarassing lol. Managed to complete Akai Katana Shin ages ago on 1-credit with Type-A, but didn't make it to the true boss out of laziness. First stages went well with no deaths, but lost lives on the final stage. It's a good shmup, I might return to it.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to Ultra SF4. Don't particularly care much about delayed wake-up, as long as I can still perform tight cross-ups, it's all good. Decapre looks interesting. Outside of maybe knockdown scenarios and punishing fireballs, I don't think her regular teleports will be very effective, but her EX teleports seem pretty good. I believe she'll rely on normals buffered into Rapid Slash for her ground game for the most part. So sliding/pianoing'll be important!

I've been playing Marvel Super Heroes on MVC Origins and learning Psylocke. Psylocke's fun to use, her tools are pretty basic and she has infinites on Black Heart, Juggernaut and Magneto outside of Time Gem. Well, the infinite works on Captain America too, but it only works on Shuma's stage it seems. Wavedashing is helpful, and Psylocke's pretty fast, so you can weave in and out of the opponent's attack range. Not sure about her anti-airs though, her standing jab wasn't getting the job done and Psi-Blade can be airblocked. Might try meeting character's air-to-air, or dashing underneath (or away from) them, depending on the situation. Her fireball has bad recovery though. :(

The key is getting characters to the corner, as you can set up her air throw resets for potential kills. Outside of that, utilise strong movement and normal/fireball usage to get yourself into that position. No overheads or tricky stuff, so throwing is necessary. Time Gem allows Psylocke to perform infinites on everyone, well until the Gem runs out anyway. A possible trick: do a magic series ending with fierce punch and then fierce kick>dash. Near the corner, Psylocke will end up next to them and you can either throw or attack. The opponent ideally shouldn't be able to interrupt between the dash and attack/throw, but can't test it out due to the game's bare bones training mode. As for online, barely got any matches in before almost everyone dropped the game LOL. Wolverinemasta and GoldmanJaqs still play, not sure how much though. Hoping to test the stuff I've gathered and face them again......if my ethernet ever decides to work again. :(

More to come.

Heading towards a new year.

I hope everyone's had a good Christmas.

I'm taking some time to refine my game yet again, I'm not quite satisfied with my play just yet. Overall, my ground-game's the same, whiff-punishing, baiting whilst shifting guard, staying out of the opponent's attack range, AAing and so on are pretty standard. Online makes things difficult, as always.

Street Fighter 4's become a game of post knock-down set-ups, so I'll need to learn all of them eventually, but it's not something I'd like to rely on, just something to add to my overall gameplan. Viper's the character I've been spending time on the most in training mode right now, but I'm almost done with her.

There's always something I need to work on, I can never really get rid of all my weak points. On one hand, the goal of progress keeps me playing. On the other, I'm just trying to improve for improving's sake, other than that, I don't particularly have a goal or a reason to play. If I get to where I want to be skill-wise, then what happens? Do I quit? Or keep trying to improve lol? We'll see what happens.

Execution's back.

Finally, my execution's up to speed. I'm stronger with C.Viper execution-wise than I was before and my execution met the standard for high-level C.Viper play anyway. Not that I'm a high-level Viper player though, don't misunderstand lol. Other than that, that's it. Learning Marvel Super Heroes, not played online in ages and due to my connection, I doubt I ever will. :( Need to fix my connection so I can play with the EU folks once more.

Time to quit?

I feel like quitting fighting games for now. Quite frankly, I'm bored of them. Was planning on getting into other fighting games, but I don't have the money, and I don't have the time.

I'm feeling pretty tired, to be honest....

What fighting game will I get next?

Lots of fighting games coming out, too poor to buy them all. Dunno whether to get Persona, Dead or Alive, Jojo and so on. The new Blazblue's not coming out until ages, so I don't have to worry about that for the moment, but yeah, lots of fighting games coming out. Really digging it.

Also been playing Dodonpachi Resurrection(Daifukkatsu for Japanese owners) and having a lot of fun. Strong-Style's really dumb though lol.

The more I play this character, the more I see that if she didn't have the faults she has and the top tiers didn't give her such a hard time, she'd be top tier herself, without question.

Her offence and pressure are insane, especially when you learn to chain assists together fluidly. Her movement is top notch. Her mix-ups are top-notch. Damage is high and Silent Kill's gonna be a gamebreaker once people start mastering how to gain access to it quickly. The TAC infinites push Silent Kill over the game. Even if the TAC infinites weren't around, Silent Kill would still be extremely powerful. Blow XF1, gain 3 bars, and depending on the health value of the next char, flat out kill them or maim them, Silent Kill is guaranteed damage/death on incoming chars. It disrupts team orders like all get out. Annoying Vergil anchor? Don't have to deal with him, kill him for free. Dark Phoenix getting you down? It's cool, nail her with Silent Kill. Of course, you've gotta get the first touch touch haha.

Unlike others, I feel her most optimal position is on point with 2 assists to cover her weaknesses. A few things let her down and she has several bad MUs, but there's no reason why this character shouldn't be high-tier. This character is criminally underrated and underused.

X-23's true strength discovered?

I've always been positive about X-23, but felt she was mid-high, tier-wise. Very little players think highly of her, and the only high-level player that thought highly of her was Yipes, who thought she was S-tier. I kinda laughed at that, and thought Yipes was exaggerating a tad, though it was great to hear that he thought she was very strong. But the more I play as X-23 and the more matches I play against my friends, I'm beginning to feel that X-23's only gonna get stronger.

I think from the beginning, I had the wrong idea about X-23. I focused on always getting the kills off one touch. X-23's damage's definitely no slouch either(she can TOD the whole cast depending on your team set-up), but I always had to sacrifice something in order to achieve that, whether it was an anti-air assist(X-23 needs one), full synergy and so on. The closest I came to achieving a complete team was with X-23/Dormammu/Akuma, but I didn't have an AAing assist and I dislike using Dormammu.

Plus, TODing with X-23 didn't make sense to me either, and this was niggling me at the back of my mind: why pick X-23 on point to TOD when you can pick someone like Zero or another top tier? She'll just be a poor man's version of what top-tier points can do, but for way more effort. What separates X-23 from the likes of Zero/Magneto/Vergil?

The answer had to be because of her unblockable Level 3, Silent Kill. At the time, I was thinking "well, if I rely on Silent Kill, I can't TOD people unless I put her in 2nd for XF2 loops" but I hated X-23 in that position. So that would mean I'd have to go for resets/not use meter. My line of thinking is, if you can kill someone in one hit, do it. Resets are only worthy if you can: 1), make your resets tight, 2) make your resets cover a variety of escape options, if not all options so they're not easily escaped, 3) if they get blocked, you must be left at an advantage. Even if you screw up, your opponent's gonna be screwed.

Traumatisch, a high-level Dutch X-23 player first told everyone that resets were important for X-23 so you could build the meter for Silent Kill. People think of air resets into grab when it comes to Marvel 3, or other (quite escapable) mix-ups. To me, that just doesn't cut it. I felt Traumatisch's resets weren't tight enough, and the risk vs reward ratio wasn't in his favuor enough to warrant the use of resets with X-23, so I disregarded them and focused on TODs.

But again, I couldn't help but get that niggling sensation, like I wasn't maximising X-23's potential and I was just focused on the TODs. Had a lengthy session with my friends, did some thinking, looked up a technique that allowed X-23 to track tech rolls anywhere. "Hmm, let's apply some assists to this" and came up with a potentially strong oki mix-up taking advantage of this(look up Chasing ground rolls with X-23 ver.2). Covers all forms of tech rolls, can't be mashed out of(can be reversaled though, but you fix this), if it gets blocked, it puts you at an advantage and there are several additional layers if it gets blocked, allowing you to create your own custom mix-ups and your opponent has to guess several outcomes, making it potentially extremely difficult to deal with. This was more in-line with what I felt a reset should be like.

Now because I didn't have to worry about damage, I could focus on giving X-23 the approriate assists to buff up her weaknesses, making her more complete. The mix-up still needs refining, but if I can improve on it, things will be looking up and X-23'll be even more fun to play from now on!

Akai Katana Shin completed

Well, 1CC'd the game yesterday morning on Slash Mode using Tsubaki/Sumire with a poor score of 470mil(playing for survival.) Basically, I tore through stages 1-5 without getting hit, nabbed 2 extends and ended up with 5 lives by the time I hit stage 6.

Unfortunately, I hadn't practised stage 6 as much as I should have so lost 2 lives, which wasn't a big deal. Fought the last boss with 3 lives, and basically bombed him to death(I had the lives to spare lol.) I wish I'd practised stage 6 more, if I'd completed the level without getting hit, I'd have got to fight the true last boss(a harder version of the last boss.)

Thoughts: Game's difficulty's intermediate. Not too easy and not too hard. Phantom Mode and bomb stock being replenished by 3 upon death mainly contribute to Akai Katana Shin being more forgiving than other shmups.

I feel the bosses are quite hard in this game, had the most difficulty dealing with the stage 3, stage 4, stage 6 and 7 bosses. Stage 5 boss seems difficult at first, but she's actually not that hard at all, and her patterns are rather forgiving, all the way up to her last pattern.

I had a lot of fun playing this game, now that the grinding's over, I'm gonna have some fun and play for score.

Akai Katana Shin!

Haven't posted here in a while.

Basically, I've all but quit AE and UMVC3. I haven't played those games in months. The will just isn't there anymore. And as much as I'm inspired by high level matches of the two games, I'm totally incapable of turning on my PS3 anymore.

So, in the meantime, I've been on a shmup bender. My bro bought me Dodonpachi: Resurrection, Deathsmiles and Akai Katana Shin as gifts(thanks bro, you're the best!), and I've got Gunwage DL'd as well.

At the moment, I'm focusing on Akai Katana Shin. So far, my best on 1 credit's reaching stage 6. Working towards that 1-credit clear and hopefully, should be able to fight the true last boss. Though, at the rate things are going, it'll take me a bit longer haha. Really looking forward to playing for score and competeting with others on the leaderboards once I've 1-credited it.

So far, my ship of choice is Type A(Tsubaki and Sumire.) Normally, I like ships with large spread shots and don't normally choose narrow shot ships, but the spread shot ship of the game's REALLY slow and the inbetween ship of the game's probably the best ship, but I can't get used to not being able to fix its option when using the laser. Type A's speed makes it ideal for dodging and its concentrated shot means better damage on enemies/bosses. But I feel the other ships are much better for score.

Why X-23 will never be prevalent.

Now that the holidays are here, I'm feeling a lot better. I have more time to myself and time to study since I don't have to wake up at stupid early hours(5:AM due to various reasons) and slog my way to some lecture. Miss playing SF4 a bit now, maybe I'll start playing it again.

Anyway, I'll talk about my feelings about X-23 in Ultimate. I had a lot of high hopes for X-23 and I hoped that she would be on the rise in terms of usage. But now I've come to the realisation that it's just not going to happen.

I really think X-23's a underrated char. She's capable of high damage for 1 bar. She's fast. She's got strong mix-ups. But in the end, she'll never be relevant and she'll never be a common pick for several reasons.

1) I believe her main issue is that she lacks the braindead neutral that most of the top tiers have, on top of their myriad of tools, which allow them to zone, rush and convert easily. X-23's a pure groundbased offensive char prone to keep-away and zoning, with low health and is extremely assist-dependent. And while X-23 can actually convert hits well, she has issues as SJ-height(though thanks to Merkly's vids, a way to convert hits at SJ-height's been discovered.) I also think top tiers like Zero make her life difficult.

2) Effort. I'd say X-23's an advanced-intermediate char. While not as hard as others, you still have to put in a lot of work to do what others can do. Thing is, they can do it more easily and better than her. You could put in the work to have a great point X-23. could put in the work to have a great point Zero, who does everything far better than she can, on top of just straight up having far better tools. More reward for the same amount of work(in Zero's case, I'd argue it's less due to him being far better than X-23.)

And of course, she naturally gets compared to Wolverine. Wolverine's the safer/stable choice due to his much higher health and the fact that he pretty much plays himself, amongst having a better instant overhead, can convert off his throws more easily for more damage(?), convert more easily in general, and a more flexible Hyper pool(plus an install super?).

Despite all that, I think X-23 actually has more scope for potential than Wolverine does due to her several offensive options. I'm tempted to say Wolverine and X-23 are to Marvel, what Rufus and Cammy are to SF4(pre-AE would probably be a better comparison, but there we go.) X-23's overall damage might be higher than Wolverines? It doesn't matter, nobody's gonna pick X-23 over Wolverine anyway, aside from very, very few.

3) X-23 players aren't doing all she can do. It makes me cringe when I see X-23 players stick her on anchor and do the bare minimum, and worse, get away with it. Then people become misinformed and call her a great anchor. X-23 players also do the absolute bare minimum with the char. The cast's slowing beginning to evolve, but X-23's still stuck in week 1.

Nobody's doing optimised combos, only one person's come close to it, only one person now's using Mirage Feint Cancelling, so many of her tools aren't getting used and the rest have dropped her for top tiers. People are in a crisis in terms of her team optimisation, as well as team position. I hardly see any X-23 players in the SRK boards anymore, which is telling.

Christ, CHUN-LI'S leaps and bounds over X-23, in terms of people showing off her potential(Lud/Brian Kasugano and others.) It's embarassing.

Can't really talk much smack myself though. I'm not exactly the X-23 Master, plus I don't travel. I know there are probably far better X-23 players than the ones I've been seeing in tournaments, but they don't have vids/get exposure/travel.

And well and surely, if I explained this to people, I'd get called a theory-fighter who doesn't travel. Which is actually true lol, but I don't believe X-23's potential is theory. And I really wish I could go to tournaments/travel. I really do. The UMVC3's session's/tournament's only a train-ride away. But I can't, I literally can't go because of various reasons that take absolute priority. This isn't some excuse, it's genuine, and it's my duty.

On the plus-side, I feel like everyday, I'm improving with X-23. I'm beginning to explore more of her options, and I'm extremely close to mastering a combo that was deemed impractical(just gotta get it 100% on the 2P side now lol.) But on the down-side, it's all for naught. My offline comp's busy/gone, the general period for offline play's once every 3-7 months. And right now, I can't even pinpoint the last time I played offline. I don't have the equipment to record videos for critcism, or have access to healthy online competition(online's extremely laggy in UMVC3), which has all but killed my progress in UMVC3.

All I can do is simply practise and hope that one day, I can master X-23, or someone else can show what she's truly capable of. But I'm not holding my breath, because as long as people have the mentality of not being willing to optimise and focus totally on doing what works/what's easy to get a win and not mastery over their chars, some chars will never show their true potential.

Damn, this is a long read. TLDR version: X-23 won't get used 'cause she's not braindead and a pure offensive char.