I was feeling quite nervous about writing something for a non-FGC outlet, and I hope you guys like it.
P.S. Be sure to check out the BAM5 player profiles done by New Game Plus, they will come in very handy for our stream downtime, and in between matches! So big thanks to them too.
Everybody on the BAM staff has put in a damn good hard shift of work so far, so hopefully this weekend will be awesome and everybody will enjoy it. Hope to see you guys there!
Edit: And also check out the video that Kevin (Burnout) and myself put together, basically a “reminisce” session of the first BAM SFIV grand finals with Carnage and Exis (Big big thanks to Kevin for all the hard work he put into the video):
With BAM coming up I really haven’t had much time to practice at all, being mostly busy with BAM organizational stuff. With the limited time that I do have though, I’ve been working on fixing specific flaws in my Ryu execution. Because most of Ryu’s combos involve cancelling into special moves from crouching normals, I haven’t really had an opportunity to develop 100% consistency cancelling into specials from standing normals.
While this might not seem like a big deal, well I want to have 100% execution with my character. And that means getting into training mode and ironing out my inconsistencies.
So I’ve been working on Ryu’s universal-works-on-every-character max damage FADC solar plexus combo: fHP, close standing MK, fireball FADC, sHP, DP. And I’m becoming much more consistent with it, which is great. Sometimes in tournament I go for the solar plexus, csMK link instead of cHP as it’s a 2 frame link instead of a 1 frame link, and it’s only ten damage less. It’s much easier to hit the link, and minimizes the risk of whiffing a DP and getting punished with big damage. In general close standing MK is a great normal, it only does ten less damage than crouching fierce, and as it pushes Ryu forward you can combo a standing fierce (ten more damage than crouch fierce) after a fireball FADC which you wouldn’t be able to do on most characters..
I also previously have had difficulties doing sHP into DP on the 1P side, I kept getting unwanted solar plexuses. So it’s good to iron that out.
The other combo I was working on was fHP cmp stmp tatsu. This works on the skinny characters e.g. shotos, Balrog, and it does 308 damage which is only ten damage less than fHP, cHP, DP’s 318 damage. What you get for that ten damage is the corner carry of the tatsu, which in my eyes definitely makes it worth it, and you get two normals to verify that you’ve hit the link before you do the special move, whereas with the fHP cHP DP combo you almost always whiff the DP once you screw up the cHP link.
In my opinion the fHP cMP sMP tatsu combo should become the BnB fHP combo for Ryu on all the skinny characters that the fHP cMP cHP tatsu or the fHP cMPcMPcMK tatsu combos don’t work on. The only downside of that combo of course, is that it doesn’t hit on crouching opponents. Stand MP is another underused normal, it also does 80 damage, but it is a one frame link from a cMP though.
And lastly, we have the cMP cMP sMP DP combo. I first saw Daigo do this vs. a Cammy player, and I was pretty buttered. A new combo for me to practice!
So I went home and practiced it, it does 296 damage and 420 stun which is pretty damn good damage from a 4 frame low strong. (278 damage for a cMP cHP DP, for comparison) You can punish Cammy’s whiffed spiral arrow with that, or combo off a jump in (360 damage 570 stun). You can compare the damage of the jump in combo (to do when you stun Cammy) to fHP cMP cHP tatsu (316 damage 420 stun, 336 with additional DP hit in the corner) or Focus attack level 3 fHP cMP cHP Tatsu (376 570 damage). So I think the jump in combo is definitely worth doing over the FA combo if she has been stunned from multiple hits. (FA scales your combo a further 20%).
The sad thing though is that this combo only works on Cammy I tested it out on the whole cast.
Weirdly enough it actually works on T Hawk and Gief as well, but I discovered a weird glitch. If I hold forward with Gief or T Hawk before Ryu starts hitting me, the combo whiffs! If I do nothing, the combo hits as per normal. On Cammy it works regardless. Because of the iffyness of the combo on Gief and T Hawk, I decided to restrict the combo on Cammy only.
However! I discovered that fHP cMP sMP DP does 336 damage and 420 stun! Compared to Ryu’s other optimal fHP combo, the fHP cMP cHP tatsu combo(316 damage 420 stun) and you can see how I might be excited. (Only fHP combo that does more damage is fHP cMP cHP DP for 344 damage but only works on Yun and Yang.)
I tested it on the whole cast and so far it works on: Honda, Makoto, Dudley, Cammy, Gouken, Dee Jay, Blanka, Vega, T Hawk, Gief, Juri (the DP doesn’t hit deep though)
(I’ve bolded the characters that it is really, really optimal for. Basically the characters that you otherwise only hit with the standard fHP cHP DP combo which does 318 damage.)
So yeah time to practice up on my execution and use these buttery combos on those characters
Hi guys, our guests for Episode 25 of the Don’t be a Scrub Podcast are none other than the recently formed Team Drop Bears, consisting of Toxy (Michael Guida), Somniac (Xavier Nardella) and Carnage (Hakan Dorter). All three guys have been top players in the Melbourne scene for a long time, and now that they have joined forces they have really been doing well in the Melbourne tournament results in the last few weeks. I wanted to do a really quick pre-BAM interview to talk about the event, and I figured since Xavier is the reigning BAM champion for AE, Mike also being a former BAM champ having won Marvel two years ago and H being the runner-up for the very first BAM that the trio would be great guests for a short pre-BAM special (Well 30 minutes being quite short by the usual DBAS standards).
My co-host this episode is none other than Jesus Gabneto Ferrada, much thanks to Gab, and also much thanks to H (Carnage) for some great comedy pictures. We talk about the forming of Team Drop Bears, predictions and training for BAM, and we also discuss fighting games and the FGC in general. I hope you guys enjoy the episode and I also hope I see you guys at BAM. I’ll be running around doing stuff as usual, come say hi anytime.
I had so much fun last year at OHNX. The hype, Melbourne vs. Sydney in Marvel, the KG moneymatches, and way too many popoffs to even count.
More importantly, the schnitzel at the Bavarian Beer Garden, and the ribs at Hurricanes, and the incredible popping-off-the-buttons-off-her-shirt bustiness of the waitresses at the Beer Garden…
I always enjoy interstate majors for a very selfish reason.
I don’t have to do shit!
Don’t have to sleep and wake up early to set up stuff. Don’t have to run anything.
Just play all day! Hang out and talk to people. Stay up late and play, eat and hang out some more. It’s bloody awesome.
This year I haven’t been posting much because I have actually been able to grind hard for once in preparation for a major.
The end result? Instead of having a feeling of uber-preparedness, I feel more keenly aware of my own deficiencies in my gameplay and my team. I know I’m not going to do well at OHN because after grinding so hard and so long, I simply know where I stand. My primary training partners have been Somniac, Daichi and Toxy, and while they’ve helped me immeasurably, they’ve also taught me two truths: Spencer is a sandbag and Magneto is a huge asshole. They’ve helped me come to the disappointing realisation that my team is just not that good or synergetic with Spencer on point. I need to drop Spencer for Magneto who can fully utilise Ammy assist with his insane high/low game. While it’s disappointing to realise that all the work I’ve put into Spencer is going to go down the drain, and that I don’t actually have time to learn Magneto in time for OHN, at least well- I know where I stand.
(A lot of people have tried to dissuade me from dropping Spencer, but it just boils down to this. Spencer is a pressure character, not a mixup character. And Ammy assist does not cover his approach so that he can get in easily to apply his pressure like his better assists do, like Taskmaster/Hawkeye/Akuma or Dr Strange. His high/low game is very seeable, especially when compared to the gigantic- tap-dancin’ on your head- double overhead tri-dash L asshole Magneto.)
And my AE game has dropped a lot quite a bit since I have been grinding Marvel a ton. But it’s all good. I am realistic and will be happy enough if I play to the best of my ability, I’m not expecting any miracle results. (Especially since I have Tom first round in Marvel.)
But I’m looking forward to the hype, and cheering Melbourne boys on, especially my training partners.
There’s been a lot of trash talk going on, and personally- I’m not really happy with a lot of it. But that’s just me, and of course people are welcome to do what they want. I’m just not the kind of guy to trash talk people, so I try to stay out of it. (Though I do seem to get popped on a lot. Which mystifies me because why would you pop off on someone’s who ass.)
Also, I don’t believe in excess homerism…when people ask me (and I get asked semi-often) who my top ten in Australia for Marvel is, I always have to reply honestly and say: I really can’t say because I haven’t watched the other states play Marvel. While it’s easy to simply list the top ten guys as the top ten guys in your area that you see regularly, to me saying that is not giving an informed opinion. And I like to make informed decisions and opinions. So while it might seem like a bit of a copout to say “I haven’t seen enough of the other states to say”, that’s how I honestly feel.
Take the example of last year’s OHN. Nobody from Melbourne knew how good Arnold was until people started playing him in casuals. Everyone worried about Tom, then Toxy did well against him in casuals and the general optimism in the Melbourne camp went up. I’m just saying, nobody knows how good everybody else is until they’ve played them in person. Yeah, now that I think about it, I probably should have put a “unpopular decision alert” before my last two paragraphs.
So there’s been lots and lots of drama, and issues with the venue in terms of rego cap and top 4 timeslots… DISREGARD!
I just want to play, and enjoy the high level of play that’s going to be at OHN. Also, with all the OHN venue issues, I’m sure the TOs simply had to make the best of a bad situation. Sometimes it’s really easy to criticise without knowing about the hand-wringing and the heated back and forths that go into these unpopular but necessary decisions (I’m also guilty of this). So kudos to the OHN staff for putting this major together, I’m sure it will be great.
So I’ll be flying up with Rossco, Andrew, Pyro, Kevin, Bun, Fish and Loki this Friday morning, and rooming at the Mantra on Kent. I’m really looking forward to this weekend, and GGs in advance to everybody that I will play at OHN.
Hi guys, this episode has been a long time coming, and we’ve finally convinced one of the most hardworking men in the fighting game community to sit down with us. Justin “Bugsimus” Creed has pretty much pioneered the entire business of streaming fighting games in Melbourne over the last three years from his own pocket and expertise. Without him there would be no SNL streams, much less world-class streams such as the BAM or Shadowloo Showdown streams. (SS2012 had near 20k viewers during the finals.)
Bugs is just a rock solid good dude, and is one of the biggest pillars supporting the Melbourne fighting game community. In this episode I managed to get Igor to return for just one episode to co-host, seeing as Igor was part of Bug’s staff for the BAM and SS streams and understands a fair bit about the technology. I figured that I would need his help, being an AV noob.
A wild Igor appears!
We talk about a fair few topics in this podcast; such as the blood sweat and tech behind his streams, how he grew from Forza recordings to creating his own stream team “Team Bugs”, streaming SS and Diablo, cameras and microphones, how much he hates certain big screen TVs, Shadowlogic, the community in general and just how he manages to keep his passion going.
I hope you guys enjoy the interview, and let us raise a glass (filled with alcoholic beverage to butter Bugs) to one of the silent heroes of our community.
For Direct Download, right click this link and “save as”
Don’t be a Scrub Podcast Episode 24: Bugsimus
Muttonhead: Alright, so today we have Bugs with us. Aka Justin Creed, the mastermind behind everything stream-wise in Australia.
Spidercarnage: I just wanna call you Sabertooth.
Bugsimus: Why? (Laughs.) Where does that even come from?
S: Creed! Sabertooth.
M: But he’s Justin Creed!
S: Creed is Sabertooth’s last name…
M: I know but…
S: I believe it’s Jason…
M: Isn’t it Victor Creed?
S: Nah, Victor Creed, that’s right.
M: Don’t you wear a Wolverine shirt sometimes?
B: Yeah I’ve got one, yeah.
M: Do you have a Sabertooth shirt?
B: No Sabertooth. Heh.
M: Heheh. But yeah.
1) Tell us about Bugs. How did you get your name and how did you get started in fighting games?
B: The name actually came from playing MMOs.
Well actually it probably originally started when I was an apprentice, when I started in the printing industry. And I was doing my apprenticeship and learning from the tradesmen there.
And they just started calling me like Bugalugs. You know, just to…I dunno. Because I was like the young kid in town. It was like “Go on Bugalugs. Do this. Do something… whatever.”
And during that time I started playing an MMO. And I had to name a character. And it was a medieval game.
M: What was this, EverQuest or?
B: Nah, nah. It was…Dark Age of Camelot.
B: First MMO that I played. And the character, I just ended up calling him Bugsimus Maximus.
M: Oh, sharp. Transformers reference. Cool.
And that carried on to your…
B: And that just carried on through to the next MMO which was like Final Fantasy XI or something. Whatever I played after that.
S: Was he more than meets the eye?
So yeah, the name kind of just stuck, really. I used it as my gamertag for Xbox and that. I used it…and people just obviously shortened it to Bugs, naturally.
M: Right. And from what you’ve told me, people at work call you that to this day right? They don’t call you Justin, they call you Bugs right?
B: Yeah. There’s a few people who came across with me to my current new job. But everyone in my previous job all called me Bugs. There was people there that didn’t even know my real name. They just called me Bugs heheh.
M: Does your family call you Bugs?
B: Ah no.
S: See, that’s when you know you have a good nickname. When people don’t even know your real name. And just call you by your nickname.
S: That also nicely ties in for his streaming. Because he fixes all the…bugs.
S: Oh that’s bad.
M: Dad joke!
S: We’re going to have to edit that out…that’s a James Chen joke right there.
S: We’ll have to edit that out.
M: But yeah, how did you get into fighting games? I first saw you in what? Vanilla…2010? Continue reading →
Time to find some of my more reluctant friends to browbeat into reading this article.
“Odds are, if you’re reading this, you’re probably big into videogames; maybe you’re a devoted enthusiast, maybe you’re a journalist, maybe you’re an academic or amateur scholar of some sort, maybe you even make your own videogames. If you are significantly invested in the production and consumption of videogames as a medium, on a personal or professional level, you ought to know something about competitive fighting games as a matter of basic literacy.
Learning how to beat another person in a fighting game involves understanding elements of game design, psychology, programming and basic machine input/output, human physiology, motivation, and several other serious bodies of human knowledge — and then applying them to go beat down your buddy’s virtual avatar. You must train yourself to understand complicated situations and react to them with complicated physical movements within fractions of a second. Perhaps most importantly, you must learn how to get better at something: How to absorb good behaviors and discard bad ones, how to push yourself, how to practice, how to diagnose problems and fix them. I think it’s a good thing for people to do, period.
To paraphrase MMA legend Renzo Gracie, “Fighting [games] is actually the best thing a man can have in his soul…
Chapter Two : Ryu vs. Ryu (everything you need to know about fighting games)
Ryu is the character that the entire genre of fighting games was designed around. Every fighting game , from King of Fighters to Guilty Gear to Marvel vs. Capcom to Tekken, can trace its design history back right to Ryu. So let’s break Ryu down — and in doing so, break down pretty much every fighting game ever.
As it happens, pretty much everything you need to know about modern fighting games is right here in this exchange:
I was going to practice Marvel today at home, but I finally decided to go ahead and test all this stuff out.
I have been thinking about the ground crossup tatsu setups for quite a while now. I have been utilizing them quite a lot against the shotos, where I get quite a few back throws trying to bait uppercuts. And they are usually quite effective, especially if I sneak them in for the last hit just to snag a dizzy.
I have been obsessing about developing crossup ground tatsu setups for these characters: Bison, Makoto, Juri, Gouken, Dudley.
For Bison since safe jump OS tatsu beats his EX Psycho Crusher, I thought that if I have a ground setup for Bison, I could perform a mixup on them that could also beat EX PC and perhaps catch teleport. For those other characters, primarily I wanted a mixup that would also beat their reversals/counter moves due to the armour breaking property of tatsu.
But I’ve just never gotten around to sitting down and simply taking the time to go through each character.
But when Ilitirit published his Ryu safe jumps and setups video a few days ago, which I’ve also posted in my last post below this one, I decided to take the time to sit down and try to get some of his setups into my muscle memory. I can’t just look at a video and remember the setup- I have to execute it by hand a few times to get it into my head. I was specifically practicing the Akuma unblockable, for one.
Then his section for the crossup ground tatsus came up. I was already aware of the setups mainly because I browse the SRK forums and Ilitirit and a few other Ryus post their setups there. But watching that section finally pushed me to sit down and spend the whole day just recording and playing back against the entire cast. Very tedious and time consuming, but at least now I have a definitive list!
So like I envisioned, the ground tatsus setups break the armour of Dudley’s and Gouken’s counters, and the armour on Makoto’s EX grab too, for example. But alas! I couldn’t get one of the setups to beat Bison EX Psycho Crusher! I had such high hopes Oh well.
At the very bottom of my list I’ve ordered them the way it makes the most sense to me- in a sort of preference tree, with the favoured setup higher than the others which perhaps cover more characters. This way I can store this tree in my phone and grab the setups with a quick glance.
What do you think guys, should I also order them by character alphabetically too?
Crossup ground tatsu setups
Forward throw setups
-Ordered by preference, first one builds meter and is a bit more quicker/ambiguous than the second, while the last setup despite hitting the most characters is the slowest and most seeable.
Throw LP dp HK tatsu (hits quicker than below) : Akuma, Chun, Cody, C. Viper, Dan, Dhalsim, El Fuerte, Evil Ryu, Gen, Guy, Hakan, Ibuki, Ken, Makoto, Oni, Ryu, Sakura, Yang, and Yun.
Throw backdash HK tatsu: Akuma, Cammy, Chun, Cody, C. Viper, Dan, Dhalsim, E. Honda, El Fuerte, Evil Ryu, Fei, Gen, Gouken, Guy, Hakan, Ibuki, Juri, Ken, Makoto, M. Bison (but doesn’t beat ex pc, damn), Oni, Rufus, Ryu, Sakura, Yang, and Yun.
Throw cMK slight delay HK tatsu: Abel, Akuma, Balrog, Blanka, Cammy, Chun, Cody, C. Viper, Dan, Dee Jay, Dhalsim, Dudley, E. Honda, El Fuerte, Evil Ryu, Fei Long, Gen, Gouken, Guy, Hakan, Ibuki, Juri, Ken, Makoto, M. Bison, Oni, Rose, Rufus, Ryu, Seth, Sakura, T. Hawk, Yang, Yun and Zangief,
Back throw setups
-Ordered by preference, I feel the first one is the quickest and most surprising (and is the one I already use ), the second one builds a smidgen of meter, and the last one hits the most characters but is the slowest.
Back throw dash dash HK tatsu: Akuma, Chun, Cody, C. Viper, Dan, Dhalsim, El Fuerte, Evil Ryu, E. Honda, Gen, Guy, Hakan, Ibuki, Ken, Makoto, Sakura, Oni, Ryu, Yang and Yun.
Back throw LK tatsu HK tatsu: Cody, C. Viper, Dan, Evil Ryu, Guy, Hakan, Ken, Oni, Ryu and Sakura.
Back throw dash MK tatsu: Abel, Akuma, Balrog, Chun, Cody, C. Viper, Dan, Dee Jay, Dhalsim, Dudley, E. Honda, El. Fuerte, Evil Ryu, Fei, Gen, Gouken, Guile, Guy, Hakan, Juri, Ken, Makoto, M. Bison, Oni, Rose, Rufus, Ryu, Sakura, Seth, T. Hawk, Yang, Yun, and Zangief.
My setup preference tree:
Throw LP dp HK tatsu:
Akuma, Chun, Cody, C. Viper, Dan, Dhalsim, El Fuerte, Evil Ryu, Gen, Guy, Hakan, Ibuki, Ken, Makoto, Oni, Ryu, Sakura, Yang, and Yun.
Throw backlash HK tatsu:
Cammy, E. Honda, Fei Long, Gouken, Juri, M. Bison, Rufus,
Throw cMK slight delay HK tatsu:
Abel, Balrog, Blanka, Dee Jay, Dudley, Rose, Seth, T.Hawk, Zangief.
Back throw dash dash HK tatsu:
Akuma, Chun, Cody, C. Viper, Dan, Dhalsim, El Fuerte, Evil Ryu, E. Honda, Gen, Guy, Hakan, Ibuki, Ken, Makoto, Sakura, Oni, Ryu, Yang and Yun.
Back throw LK tatsu HK tatsu:
Every single character in this setup can be done with above setup.
Back throw dash MK tatsu:
Abel, Balrog, Dee Jay, Dudley, Fei Long, Gouken, Guile, Juri, M. Bison, Rose, Seth, T. Hawk and Zangief.
It’s quite interesting. As you look through which characters can be hit by which setup, you can kind of see the different characters falling into different classes of hurtboxes, generally from thinner to chunky, with some exceptions.
Thanks to the SL guys for letting me steal their pictures!
So 2012 has come to a close with the very last SNL of the year.
I had been really excited about this SNL because I have been practising a ton of Marvel in the last few weeks. Been getting home and grinding training mode 3-4 hours a day, 4-5 times a week. I also have been making more of an effort to play people in Marvel as well, trying to up my travel to Shadowlogic to three times a week for Marvel casuals. (I refuse to play Marvel online.)
I’ve optimised most of my stuff and openers. I finally feel confident in my Spencer in one aspect: getting full optimised TODs off any hit, be grapple or throw or low L. In my hands he finally feels like more of a fully fleshed out character. So coming into this SNL, instead of my usual pessimism I felt really eager to compete, and had a good feeling I might actually do well this time.
…And I went 0-2.
I was really upset afterwards- it felt like all this hours and hours of time I’ve sunk into the game recently hadn’t mattered at all. Still a pot monster after all.
In my first match I got bodied by William’s Zero on stream. And I was really upset at myself during the match.
Firstly, it’s Zero. I find it so hard to actually land a hit on Zero.
So when I landed that elusive and all-important hit, I somehow managed to choke up the combo at least two or three times. And just when I was seething at myself for the drops, I actually succeeded in killing Zero in one game- only to fail at defence by getting opened up by the decidedly less scary duo of Taskmaster and Spencer. I realised after my drops I had gotten so angry that I started to make very impatient and unsafe decisions- pretty much desperately trying to hit Zero with reversal armour piercers and umegrapples. They didn’t work. I got lightning looped and mixed-up upon incoming into more lightning loops. It was at this point that Kevin yelled from the crowd “Balanced character!” And he’s a Zero player!
Did I get perfected yet again on stream? I can’t even remember.
Kevin, Andrew and Mike rocking the commentary mics. Chris Ho is overseeing everything like a Boss.
I have been really enjoying my complete lack of FGC responsibilities in the last two months- just chilling and taking it easy. Assembling furniture in my home and getting fat on ice cream and chips. Catching up on my reading; finishing off my Joseph Conrad…and the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy.
And of course, doing a ton of training room time in Marvel.
I haven’t sat down to do any writing at all, so I guess that means you probably won’t be seeing any BAM recaps or anything like that from me. I also feel that too much time has passed for a recap to be relevant…but the problem is that after a Melbourne-run major I always need some time to recharge my batteries. Maybe the words will come back to me after I get back into the thick of things, writing-wise.
It’s been really good to sit down and have time to figure out and remedy the obvious deficiencies in my Marvel execution.
Particularly since I’ve put my Spencer on point now in order to combat some of the tougher matchups when I have Doom on point, such as Zero, I’ve quickly realised that a lot of my hit-confirms or specific situational combos are really not optimal.
With Doom I can confidently say I can get a touch of death combo off almost any touch. Be it a low L, an air grab, a butter gun hit confirm, I was comfortable enough with my Doom after playing him on point all those months to turn them all into a corner DHC into Spencer, into triple up grapple and death.
With Spencer on point, a lot of crappy combos I was doing weren’t going to cut it. I had a specific list of situations I wanted to optimise:
Overhead into armour piercer in the corner
Wire grapple into combo from corner to corner
Air grab combos from corner to corner
Figure out why the specific reasons why certain combos fimble on certain character (Nemesis, Zero etc) and remedy them
Optimise my corner combo (1.1 million one bar)
Optimise my corner to corner combo (900k one bar). I know, I know. I’m greedy.
With my corner combo, I saw Baxter doing this at Buttonsmash and I immediately smacked myself on the head. Why didn’t I think of this before? So obvious. Continue reading →
Just taking it slow. Putting in more training room time and moving around boxes in my home instead of taking the time to sit down and write. So no post-BAM recap for now.
But life is good…
Because the Lakers are 1-4!!!
The Lakers have the worst record in the Western Conference.
Repeat after me:
The Lakers have the worst record in the Western Conference.
Ah, it tastes so sweet.
Kobe loves Mike Brown
…So, so sweet.
Ah well. I know that it is still early days.
And I am fully aware that there is a distinct possibility that the Lakers will get their act together and win the championship while the media hail it as “the greatest comeback in history.” And then I will have to endure the pain forever.
Many of my friends know that my favourite Ryu player is not any of the current top SFIV Ryu players but actually John Choi aka the Korean Inferno.
The Korean Inferno getting in that..
I still get asked sometimes which Ryu player I like/study. And when I respond with Choi, and not the obvious answer of Daigo- by the far most winning Ryu player in SFIV, I get quizzical eyebrows and weird looks. Almost like, huh. What has Choi done in SFIV?
Well, Choi doesn’t really play much SFIV these days, although he was a real contender back at the start of Vanilla SFIV, and will continue to be really strong without actually playing much due to his incredible fundamentals and the character design of Ryu remaining relatively unchanged throughout the Street Fighter series.
But I still enjoy watching Choi matches the most out of any Ryu player and try to watch every Choi video I can find. I know some people will watch his matches and go, why do you like this guy? He just turtles and throws a million fireballs.
But as a Ryu player his gameplay just enthralls me. I want to be just like Choi. Just stay on the ground at all times. And destroy people with fireball after fireball after fireball and then when their will has been ground down and they finally jump out of desperation, to feed them a soul-crushing uppercut to the jaw. I want my Ryu to play just like that, so clean, and just so pure in style.
But guess what? It’s frickin’ hard to throw fireballs like John Choi!
That’s why he’s John fucking Choi, with twenty years of experience of fireballing and uppercutting fools. There’s a real art to his spacing, to where/when he throws his fireballs and how he readjusts his ranges after each fireball. It’s so subtle that it’s really hard to pin down or explain plainly. What he’s doing looks so deceptively simple but is actually incredibly difficult to replicate. That is the magic of Choi.
In this day and age everybody is so experienced with fireball patterns and traps that one or two unsafe fireballs will quickly earn you a phat jump in combo to the face. Or an anti-fireball Ultra or EX move.
When I try to work on my fireball game and try to throw fireballs in the footsie game, I get so discouraged when people read me so easily and I always end up taking so much damage that I am left feeling like it’s simply not worth it, or that it’s just not a viable style for Ryu in SFIV with focus attacks and so many other anti-fireball options.
With the way jump ins work in the game as well, if you compare it with ST, not only are the fireballs better in ST and with more pushback, you have to do your jump in really deep to get any sort of combo off your jumps. But in SFIV with the big hitstun on jump ins you pretty much can get whatever combo you want.
I watch myself play and there’s quite a few matchups where I see myself not throwing much fireballs at all. In matches like Dudley, Rose etc it feels like throwing a fireball is just an opportunity for my opponent to deal damage to me or build meter. I end up almost giving up on throwing fireballs and walking forward instead trying to play aggressive footsies with low forward.
Over time, I lose faith in the style.
And then I watch a Choi match!
This is easily one of my favourite sets of the last few months, and I know that while it’s partially because the opposing character is Guile that Choi can successfully employ such a fireball heavy ST-esque style, it still warms my heart and brings a single manly tear to my eye watching John Choi do his thing.
I occasionally share my love of Choi with other people, and Spoony once shared his experience with me of watching ST matches of Choi from EVO with Seth Killian’s commentary. Basically because of those famous matches, hilariously nowadays when he watches a clutch-ass uppercut he always hears that same booming announcer’s voice in his head exclaiming: