Life goal #1 achieved:

choi3It’s funny.

Because I am a hateful, spiteful human being, months before EVO I would say to everybody in Melbourne that would listen:

“Man. I hope Daigo gets his hipster Evil Ryu blown up by a Ryu player at EVO. And I hope John fucking Choi’s the man who does it.”

I would say with furious and righteous anger.

I almost never get my way. My dreams are never realised. I’ve learned to not expect much when I hope for something.

But hey…

Even the sun shines on a dog’s ass some days.

 

 

Posted in Ultra SFIV | Tagged , | 2 Comments

The Educated Video Game enthusiast’s Fighting Game Primer by Patrick Miller

I really enjoyed Patrick’s original Fighting Game Primer that he wrote on Insertcredit.com a few years ago, and it’s a very pleasant surprise to see him developing that piece (which was built around teaching SF concepts using Ryu as an example) into a full-fledged eBook.

coverSRK2

Image from SRK.

http://shoryuken.com/srk/FightingGamePrimer.pdf

I was suspicious- him going silent in terms of content output right before EVO made me wonder if he was working on something big. And this Primer is definitely a humongous labour of love and will prove very useful- I’m going to send this to all my neophyte SF playing friends.

Reading through it for the first time, what hit me hard was this:

“Here is the thing: Fighting games are not actually that hard to learn
how to play, and play somewhat competently. But they’re very hard to
teach.

And I wholeheartedly agree.

This year I’ve been doing a fair bit of teaching. There’s been a influx of new players at CCH and I’ve been trying to teach them as best as I can. I’ve even been sinking a good few hours into teaching intermediate players like Kris Staltare, teaching the basics of footsies and practice regimen. At Couchwarrior events at conventions and things I’ve also raised my hand to do “Learn how to play SF” sessions and one time Felix and I even went out to an New Game Plus event to teach kids how to play Street Fighter.

Teaching Street Fighter is really hard. It is frustrating, and can be annoying. People don’t want to listen, they find the basic mechanical motions really hard even before I start explaining any basic gameplay stuff, and most of the time they just want to see a flashy combo than to learn any concepts of fundamentals. It’s quite disheartening to sink half an hour of patient instruction on a kid and they simply revert back to mashing the buttons like crazy once you exit training mode.

Don’t get me wrong though. I love teaching Street Fighter. While I’ve even attempted to teach SF over the years to my friends and failed miserably with a retention rate of 0%, it is still really rewarding when you teach a crowd of kids, and perhaps 90% of them lose interest after ten minutes and leave to go play Fifa 14 over in the corner- but just one kid sticks around. You can see the gears in his head churning. He’s pressing the buttons slowly and deliberately, trying to wrap his hands and head around a quarter circle motion. A lightbulb goes off in his head when he successfully crouching fierces my jump-in.

Those little moments; that gleam of intent in his eyes, that shake of the head and squeal of joy- of learning- that’s what keeps me going.

 

 

Posted in Ultra SFIV | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

The scrub is going to Evo

evo-logo-176pxSo.

I am going to Evolution 2014.

It’s been a longtime dream of mine to go to EVO, my only regret is that I didn’t go earlier in the previous years, perhaps during the fun early days of UMVC3 and without the inferior update that is USFIV. I’ll get to cheer on all our Oz boys in person, swap old-man NBA stories with Igor, cheer on Xavier, and hang out with the Sydney and QLD boys like Yousseff, Sailo and Nader. Maybe I’ll get to have a few words with some of my writer/content heroes like Viscant, Maj, and Patrick Miller. (Maybe I could even get John Choi to throw a couple of fireballs at me.) I’ll get to eat American fast food galore and get hype at top 32, so it should still be extremely fun, and I’ll get to put that massive tick against it on my bucket list.

What have I been up to post-BAM in the meantime?

BAM6, while it was really good and it was great to see all the new shit we (the CouchWarriors staff) put together come through like the New Challengers tournament, was really draining on me.

Being heavily involved in the organisational process of BAM took up so much of my spare time, and not to mention – I put a big workload upon myself to finish up all five Buttonsmash Community: The Australian FGC episodes before BAM plus running CCH…meant that I simply didn’t get to play much fighting games for the last few months.

I have no one to blame but myself because a lot of that workload was self-imposed, but I wouldn’t have done it differently anyway.

But yeah, I played really shit at BAM. I took some time to reflect upon my suckiness after the tourney and vowed to start training like mad after the tournament.

So I took a lot of time off after BAM. Not only finally taking some time to play some fighting games (I have been putting a lot of hours into my Magneto but it’s a slow burn) but also to unwind, and relax my mind. I’ve been playing more guitar, reading more books, finishing Dark Souls 2 (one of the sacrifices for BAM is that I forced myself to not touch DS2 until the tourney was over) and enjoying life in general.

Now EVO is 8 days away.

I still have to work on A1major’s Community episode that I filmed at BAM, and perhaps do some Dusty Cartridge related stuff like my planned scathing review of USFIV. Couchwarrior assorted events like ranbats and things have also been taking up some of my time.

It’s time to knuckle down and start working again. My “break” was nice while it lasted.

My aforementioned Magneto is slowly coming along. Learning stuff like plink dash Mag blast movements, the trijump L, the fly turnaround glitch with the mag blast motion, all feels really rewarding to me. But man, Magneto is HARD. I dunno whether it’s my old man and stupid fingers, but it feels like I am taking way longer than I expected to get good at this character.

Take this BnB I am learning for example.

I have practicing this for the last two months, and last night it took me almost two hours to complete 10 reps left and right hand side of the BnB. Two hours for ten reps! I haven’t even begun to learn the Hypergrav loops or superjump hit confirms. Man I suck.

People keep coming up to me and expressing surprise that I am practicing Marvel so much and not practicing Ultra that much. They tell me Marvel is a dead game, no one’s actively practicing the game in Melbourne and that Amaterasu sucks.

My honest answer is that I know that Marvel seems to be on the decline, but I want to “finish the job” I started last year. I want to become competent with the new team I have chosen to replace my beloved Spencer Doom Ammy. I want to become a good Marvel player.

And honestly- Ultra turns me off :P

I was heavily negative about the game before it came out, and people were bashing me and well I would love to be wrong…but look at the game!

Hitbox glitches galore. Buffing “there were times where it was too difficult to get in on the opponent” Yun and Rufus while nerfing characters like Dee Jay and Sagat. Implementing a character select screen button check menu but half-assing it with no way to select unassigned buttons. No delayed wake up in training mode.

And I hate red-focus and delayed wake up as added mechanics in the game. If you wanted a more footsie based game, why are you adding an anti-footsie tool in Red Focus? Delayed wake up is Capcom’s half-assed band-aid solution to unblockables but guess what? There’s still unblockables in the game!!! Spoony and I were talking about removing the unblockable but we both concurred that it might be too much of a inbuilt system property to change without significant cost, especially with the original development team that built SFIV now disbanded. And it looks to be true.

I can’t believe he said that.

In a game with massive reversal windows, MOV four-button tech, crazy far and invincible backdashes, meaties suck. So why would you nerf the hard knockdown on character’s oki? To remove vortex, you say. Well guess what, delayed wakeup matters shit all to divekick characters. Rufus can go lalalalala I don’t care about your delayed wakeup while merrily divekicking away…

Okay I will stop ranting like the bitter old man I am.

But there’s a reason I haven’t touched much Ultra SFIV. My character is mostly the same anyway. Meanwhile everyone else has switched to bloody hipster Ryu!

Ah well. I remain convinced that USFIV is an inferior update, but I hope that time will prove me wrong. I really do. In the meantime I will still play it because it’s Melbourne’s main game, the world’s international game, and also I still wanna become a good Ryu player someday.

Training mode non-stop, FT10s with Melbourne’s top players and weekday sessions with Jeff, let’s go.

Let me sharpen up a bit before Vegas. Here’s hoping I don’t go 0-2.

P.S. Shadowloo Showdown is coming up.

Everyone that loves fighting games, please watch Dave’s (Bosslogic) excellent SSV trailer with the voice of Ryu himself, Kyle Herbert.

SSV Facebook page

You can vote for international players to come down as well by purchasing the shirts to fund their flight:

http://teespring.com/ssvmagz

magshirt

Hope to see you guys there! Don’t miss the biggest fighting game major in Australia, you might meet your fgc heroes or just have fun playing games and hanging out with your like-minded Aussie fighting game brethren.

Posted in Melbourne, Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, Ultra SFIV | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

BAM6 is today! + Community episode 08 and 09

bagsTime really flies when you are working like a cow.

Felt just like yesterday that I was at Queensland, scoffing ribs and $2 Bundaberg ginger beers. And today, we have BAM6. I sit here in my office, with my suitcase, camera bag, tripod and duffel bag, waiting for the day to knock off so I can go help my fellow CouchWarrior members to help set up for a long night of exhibition matches and hype.

The last few weeks have been hard. I haven’t had any time to practice at all with all the BAM logistics stuff+ planning and the Community film editing. I wouldn’t have it any other way though, and anyway I plan to start practicing after BAM really intensely.

And it’s entirely of my own choice anyway. Lesson learned: don’t try to finish 5 episodes of Community in less than one month and a half. If I do shoot a few episodes at BAM, I’ll only do one or two, and really take my time to polish them, maybe a month per episode. I’m quite happy with how most of the Buttonsmash specials turned out especially given my limited time frame, but I’m well aware they could use improvement. Take Colin’s for example- the most rushed one. I left out the Dusty Cartridge presents bits and I had camera focus issues and volume issues. And with Baxter and Falco the discrepancy between the microphones (I borrowed one from the venue) created a lot of issues. (I’ve since bought another mic.) I can definitely do a better job with more preparation and more time.

At BAM6 I’m more focused on shooting a ton of B roll footage for Chad or New Game Plus to use for trailers, and for my own purposes. Also, calling them Buttonsmash specials pretty much mandated I finish them before BAM, essentially creating a deadline for myself.

But it’s cool. It’s still fun being creative and things like trying to fit “It’s Raining Men” onto an FGC video gave me a lot of joy.

samadrichttp://dustycartridge.com/videos/community-the-australian-fgc-episode-08-adric-falco-middleton-sam-baxter/

http://dustycartridge.com/videos/community-australian-fgc-episode-09-colin-colonov-tan/Colin

On the CouchWarriors side of things I’m pretty happy with how things turned out this year. I was pretty pessimistic about BAM returning after the last BAM, but the addition of NGP has added a much-needed boost of passion and expertise to the table. I will never forget the first meeting NGP attended. I left feeling impressed by Jason’s enthusiasm and passion for the task and the FGC, and how much stuff they knew about fighting games. I will also never forget the first time I ever heard the words “BAM7”- it was from an NGP staffer’s mouth.

We were struggling for ideas to make BAM6 really pop, to have a big selling point like we did last year with the return of Humanbomb- but I’m really happy with our New Challengers theme- a newbie tournament is something we’ve wanted to do for ages, and I hope it will be a big success at BAM6. I hope we continue to make this a focus and bring new blood into our scene after the stagnation of the last few years. I’m also happy that we managed to put together the paid flight to Singapore SEAM 2014, the custom art stick prize for the New Challengers tourney and so much more in time for the event.

BAM6_NewChallangerBanner_2-1024x358http://couchwarriors.org/wp/the-new-challengers/

To be honest, I’ve felt that our organisation has been a little shakier than in the past. Previously we would always be on the ball for staffing, scheduling etc. This year it feels like we are slightly behind, but I think that’s because of the transition period- Loki is trying to step down and let us handle a lot of what he previously would handle. Loki is god, and he did basically a shit ton of stuff like clockwork, so inevitably there would be a bit of bumbling here and there as we tried to follow his example. But we will improve, and he’s right- if we never learned to do it ourselves we would never wean ourselves off the teat of Loki. And the man deserves a break, or to simply trust that we can handle business if he’s ever otherwise occupied.

But yeah, looking forward to tonight and this weekend. Hopefully it all comes together well- the brackets, the scheduling, the stream, the social stuff and pre/post event activities and that everyone who attends locally and from interstate has a great time. That’s all I want from BAM6.

(P.S. I disqualified myself from UMVC3 again :P)

Enough words- time to get some bloody work done. To all the CouchWarriors staff and everyone who’s helped with BAM so far- good shit guys, see you in a bit.

 

 

Posted in Community: The Australian FGC, Melbourne | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The world is full of small coincidences: Community Ep07 GCF Dejan Stantic

Before I left for Queensland to attend Buttonsmash 2014, I asked Chad D’Cruze from Dusty Cartridge if there was any DC staff in Queensland I should look out for or perhaps contact. He initially said no… but then corrected himself and said that there was one particularly fervent DC supporter out there in Queensland by the name of Dejan, and that he was a big supporter of the DC podcast in particular. “Oh,” I replied- saying that I would try to keep an eye out for him. And then I promptly forgot about the whole thing.

I was filming some B-roll footage on Buttonsmash Sunday during the top 8 when Berzerk aka Daniel Chlebowczyk came over to me and pointed this guy with a Fatal Fury cap that said “GCF” on it. He told me that the guy’s name was Dejan and that he was the main organiser of the Gold Coast scene, and that I should go over and interview him.

Now at the time I was stressing over the meagre remaining SD card storage I had left- knowing I had to save some space to interview Falco, Baxter and Colonov, while still recording any exciting/hype crowd reactions or player popoffs during the top 8. So I told Daniel that I’d probably have to pass on interviewing Dejan. Daniel gave me an arch look and said “Well, you’re missing out on a golden opportunity. After all, how much footage do you really have to shoot of people playing?”

Initially, I was rather miffed at his comment, because I actually do require a good amount of B-roll footage and general player footage from the event for the composition of the Community videos, and so I resolutely told Daniel that I wouldn’t do it.

And I went on shooting the top 8, but started thinking to myself. If this dude is organising the Gold Coast scene (and I was aware that a Honda player from the Gold Coast had beat perhaps the top AE player in Queensland- Norman), then he probably has a good story to tell. And isn’t the whole purpose of the Community videos to shine more light on these hard-working, unheralded TOs? I mulled it over, and decided I was probably being too mule-headed.

I went over and grabbed Dejan, and shot the interview during the top 8. In the end I was glad I did because he had a wonderful story to tell about the Gold Coast scene, and after the shot, he started asking me if these videos were for Dusty Cartridge. I said yes, and then he started going on about how big a fan he was of DC, and then it finally clicked in my thick skull that this Dejan was the Dejan that Chad was talking about! I told Dejan what Chad had told me, and how glad I was to run into him. If Berzerk hadn’t pointed him out, this fortuitous encounter probably wouldn’t have happened!

So I’m happy how it turned out, and glad that I didn’t make a big mistake. Later on, I walked past Berzerk and told him that I shot Dejan, and that he was right, and I was wrong.

Thank you for sitting down with me Dejan, and I hope you guys like this episode.

dejan

http://dustycartridge.com/videos/community-the-australian-fgc-episode-07-dejan-stantic/

P.S. (Because I finally remembered that I should probably plug BAM6 being so close to the date)

Please come to BAM6 if you’re able- we at Couchwarriors are working pretty hard to make this a good one, and I would love to meet and shake your hand.

https://www.facebook.com/events/683528228336404/

Yes you the hot asian female Star Wars fan , I mean FGC newcomer.

Posted in Community: The Australian FGC, Interviews, Melbourne | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Community: The Australian FGC Episode 5 and 6 feat. Aaron “Tulf” Costello and Weng “CoolzInferno” Choe + How I Got Bodied By Weng (again)

aaronhttp://dustycartridge.com/videos/community-australia-fgc-episode-05-aaron-tulf-costello/

wenghttp://dustycartridge.com/videos/community-the-australian-fgc-episode-06-weng-coolzinferno-choe/

Buttonsmash was a blast man. I got to meet up with all the FGC dudes, all the HAMsters from QLD like Hari, Jake, Baxter, Tom, Tyrone, Marc, Colin, Glassy, and the various guys from all over the country like A1, Weng, Reese, Alucard, Arnold, Aaron, Adric and got to spend time with my Melb dudes like Rossco, Duy, ZG, Andrew, Bun, Xavier, Albert, Steve, Daniel etc. I found out especially that Duy (Phero) is a hell of a funny dude. The comedy duo of him and Rossco made my trip that much more enjoyable.

I got to lug around my camera stuff all day- I didn’t really get to play much casuals, but it’s cool,  I filmed enough for five episodes so it was well worth the effort.

Xavier bloody took a picture of me half passed out in my chair holding my camera tripod between my legs…

I got to shoot many old dudes bowling lawn balls and shit, their white uniforms really standing out in the heathen activity that was an FGC tournament amidst the spattering sound of Sanwa.

I got to eat all-you-can-eat ribs for $35.

I got to visit the awesome House of Ham. With a big living room with multiple setups, and you can just literally walk out and turn left into a servo, a Korean place and a Japanese grill place…the perfect gamer house man.

I got to meet Aaron aka Tulf and the dude is one of the nicest guys I’ve met in the FGC. Even though Shadowloo aren’t very active in the FGC anymore, it’s quite cool to see the inspirational effect they’ve had on even TOs within Australia. I dunno if they’ve been watching the series, but I think it might make them feel pretty good about their work and legacy. I wish they’d watch Aaron’s episode eventually and hear the words he had to say about them.

And actually Aaron- you can be an inspiration to us this time. The Melbourne scene’s kind of fallen into a deep funk now, and if you could reinvigorate the QLD scene like you did, we can take that to heart and try to do the same here in Melbourne. Thank you for your hospitality in Brisbane man, and to all of Queensland for their hard work/hospitality.

Ah Weng. The Super Beng. You crack me up all the time. And I only wish I had a second mic so I could’ve captured all the laughter you got from everyone watching the interview (and my constant giggling). This dude crushed my mind and soul and knocked me into losers’ my very first match of AE at Buttonsmash.

Funny thing was- the day before everyone was hyping the two of us up for a FT5 exhibition at Buttonsmash. And I, being the typical stream wuss I am, wasn’t having any of it. (Weng and I have a history. When we were roommates at the first Buttonsmash, he beat me with some Juri shenanigan and proceeded to pop off vigorously on me. I wasn’t upset at all, just kind of surprised that my own roommate would pop off on me! ET TU, BRUTE?)

And we played casuals the day before and I did pretty good against his Adon. Probably thanks to my Adon practice in Melbourne against Ricecooker and Felix. So I started talking to him; yo why don’t you whip out your Juri? Because that’s what you gave me the most trouble with last time in Adelaide.

And he went, No it was my Adon that was doing well. (Basically Weng remembered it wrong.)

I just shrugged, and later on that night, hilariously, I got Rossco and Duy to give me some sets vs. Juri, because it turned out with all the last-minute bracket changes my first match of the day would be vs. Weng after all!

I truly suck against Juri, so it was good training. (But it was all in vain. Weng laughed his ass off when I told him what had happened.)

Basically Weng beat me with Adon, there was no Juri in play at all.

I played super horrible, I walked forward to challenge him at mid-range when he didn’t have anti-fireball Ultra, I got hit by no joke- eight jaguar kicks in a row. We had a hype moment because we had a double KO, but in reality I just fimbled my crossup tatsu and should have probably taken that first game anyway…

Weng owns my soul in Weng “crazyHAMYOLO” mode. My weakness is getting mind-fucked, and he fucked my mind up pretty good.

Eventually, in the very last round, I got him into the corner, did jump in MP, he got hit by the second hit and I went into clp clp chp. I wanted to be emphatic because I was mentally tortured and wanted the end the combo with max damage, with an emphatic Fierce DP.

It whiffed.

He woke up, and DP FADCed into Ultra for the win.

I hated myself so, so, so much.

I could’ve done LK tatsu into DP, EX tatsu/fireball maybe, anything!! Anything would’ve better than a dumbass Fierce DP.

That painful moment when I saw the DP fly up in the sky will be seared into my memory forever.

In the end I did get my runback with Weng, and I finally realised he didn’t have anti-fireball Ultra, so I just walked back into safe fireball range and fireballed like a motherfucker. And won the match much easier.

Such a dumbass.

But it was good to finally capture Weng on camera, and as expected he said a lot of wacky Weng-esque things. My only camera problem all weekend was a lack of pop-offs capturing. I would set up my camera, and film seven minutes of a match, and nothing would happen and I would get bored and turn it off. I turn back around and the dude’s done a fantastic comeback and popping off vigorously in his opponent’s face. Doh. This happened with Baxter’s Spencer comeback on Tom.

My success rate of pop-off capture at BS was like 2%. Need to work on that creeper skills!

Buttonsmash recap and results here: http://forum.ozhadou.net/index.php?topic=8160.0

Gonna be a busy few weeks for me to finish up the Buttonsmash episodes with the BAM planning, but I hope to see you guys at BAM!

http://couchwarriors.org/wp/battlearenamelbourne/

Posted in Community: The Australian FGC, Interviews | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Daichi Dissects!

daichidissects

 

http://dustycartridge.com/videos/community-the-australian-fgc-episode-04-daichi-dissects/

Man this one was tough to get done before Buttonsmash. But I slogged away at it all night and day and now it’s done, so I can breathe easy and look forward to the weekend, and enjoy the tournament.

I definitely could’ve used more AE practice this week, but it’s alright. Also, listening to the video again, the first background track I used sounds to me a bit like porn music. Oh well :P

This episode is a bit of a special one, departing from the usual format to be more of an analysis show, Daichi breaking down and talking about the mental composition, the games/playstyles of certain Marvel players in Australia. This one was actually his idea, I guess stemming from his love of theory fighter and technical discussion, which I’ve always enjoyed with him.

Daichi would’ve made an interesting Don’t be a Scrub interview, I think picking his brain about the intricacies of Marvel would’ve yielded many interesting insights. But for now, I hope people enjoy and find the episode of Daichi Dissects interesting.

Now! Who to shoot in Queensland…hmm….

 

Posted in Community: The Australian FGC, Interviews | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Buttonsmash this weekend! And two new episodes of Community

Buttonsmash is a few days away. http://www.button-smash.com/

Man time has really flown by. The plan was to get into training room monster mode and be ready with Zero Doom Ammy in time for the major. Instead, I grew so frustrated with Zero that two weeks ago I decided to drop him for Magneto. Now I definitely do not have time to get ready for BS- MagDoom will take me maybe six months to get down?

I tried guys, I really did. I guess I just can’t get over the fact that I…

FUCKING.

HATE.

ZERO.

I know he’s the best character in the game, and his power would’ve gotten me more wins. But I couldn’t stand his fiddliness, holding down that button crap, shoot your buster and run awaaayy! ‘Till your buster recharges and do it all over again. I hate his movement, all command dashes, not flexible and not giving the sense of “increased skill=increased movement speed” that Magneto flight and plink dashing gives you. It was almost like…forcing me to player lock Kobe in NBA 2k14. Almost.

I feel like getting good at Zero would’ve made me a good Zero player but not necessarily increasing my Marvel ability in general. Whereas playing Magneto from the start instead of messing around with Street Fighter characters like She-Hulk and Taskmaster would’ve taught me Marvel fundamentals and skills. All this wasted time!

But yeah. The difficulty and frustration I felt when learning him plus my barely suppressed hatred of the character finally came to boil.

So I also dropped out of Marvel at Buttonsmash, choosing to focus on AE the last few weeks instead, getting long practice sets with Mike the TV and Somniac (lost 50-2!). So far I don’t regret my decision, because learning Magneto is fun!

First of all, I actually like the character, and playing him feels hard, but he feels fast and rewarding. Learning little details like plinking HM~L for his tridash overhead L from Daichi and practising them over and over and his combos + plinkdashing feels fun and refreshing for me. I know Mag Doom Ammy is low on damage, and a hard team to master, but it feels like I will benefit greatly from that team and maybe become an actual Marvel player for once.

Is my Ryu ready? As you can tell from my beating from Xavier (Somniac) it’s probably not that strong anyway. Oh well. I’ll try my best, and in any case I look forward to seeing everybody again in Queensland and having a ton of fun. Watching Hari attach “HAM” to everything and everyone lol, watching Jfizz and Yousseff crack me up, hanging around with my good buddies from Melbourne and enjoying all the balut jokes. This is gonna be a great weekend!

P.S. I’ll also be shooting a few episodes of Community: The Australian FGC with some interstaters over there. As you might expect, most of my spare time has been used on shooting/editing these videos, which sort of explains my slow Marvel progress.

Recently released two episodes featuring Dan “DisasterFX” Richards:

danrichardsscreenshot

http://dustycartridge.com/videos/community-the-australian-fgc-episode-02-dan-disasterfx-richards/

and Michael “Cactus” Ashmore aka the Golden Child!

cact

http://dustycartridge.com/videos/community-australian-fgc-episode-03-michael-cactus-ashmore/

Hope you guys like it!

Posted in Community: The Australian FGC, Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Community: The Australian FGC E01 + Assorted 2014 thoughts

Sorry for not posting much this year, I’ve been quite busy. I was out of the country for about a month, and when I got back I was putting the gear together to do my latest project- Community: The Australian FGC.

Community

I created this series because of the people around me, in this community that I love.  Generally in Fighting Game Community (FGC) media you see the top players get most of the camera time, but in my eyes, a community is not simply made up of top players.

A community consists of so many different kinds of people. Intellectuals, staunch regulars, streamers, tournament organisers, anime lovers, commentators, retro game enthusiasts and those dudes that go 0-2 and keep coming back(me). Everybody is an equally important part of our community, without these guys there wouldn’t be a community for the top players to be the faces of.

I originally had the idea to do some 5-10 player profiles as pre-BAM media, but I thought it would be a great way to shine some spotlight on these less heralded guys, and to also let the greater public know about all the different personalities and figures we have in our local FGC.

BAM6 (May 10-11th) page: https://www.facebook.com/events/683528228336404/?fref=ts

So I grabbed Mike and shot the first episode at CCH with my new gear (AV gear is bloody expensive!) Somehow despite this being the first time I’ve laid hands on a camera- I think the shoot turned out decently okay. I still have a lot to work on for the next few episodes; composition, focus issues, colour correction, video flow and more.

I wanted Mike as my first guest because though Mike isn’t a top player per se, but he contributes a lot to the community being a commentator and he has very interesting things to say being a game academic and having experienced other competitive gaming scenes like Starcraft. I suppose I was still stuck in DBAS mode and the interview went a bit long, but I think that’s fine with Mike being great on camera and having plenty of insights to share.

Communitye01http://dustycartridge.com/videos/community-australian-fgc-episode-01-mike-tv-skolnik/

This actually turned out to be way more work than expected. Luckily I had guys like Yongde from Singapore, Anya who helped me with the graphics, Chad from DC, Igor helped me with editing, even Zan offered some colour correction advice. So while I think it could be much better, and I still have a long way to go, I owe a lot to all my friends who’ve helped me. Thank all of you so much.

Buttonsmash and Zero

So this series is going to keep me busy for a while, and I still have to make time to get good with Zero before Buttonsmash on the 15th and 16th of March! (My guess is that my Zero will not be anywhere near ready by then).

http://www.button-smash.com/

To be honest with you, I’m finding Zero to be a very boring and frustrating character. He’s so fiddly, and you have to hold the buttons and I can’t plink dash anymore so it feels like movement is restricted and more reliant on command dashes…

I think I would have so much more fun learning Magneto with his plink dash and flight movement and the freedom to hit whatever buttons you like, be it stand jab or straight up grab.

But I’ve made my decision, and I think the Zero version of my team, Zero Doom Ammy should be stronger than Magneto Doom Ammy because of the sheer damage factor, and well, Zero being Zero.

I have to say I appreciate Zero players a lot more now. When I watch Flocker and see the things that he does or his intelligent mix-ups, I can understand and admire that now. But I still find watching Zero something of a chore, and I find myself itching to click on Spencer or Doom matches instead. Ah well. My heart is someplace else, but maybe one day I’ll warm up to and fully embrace the Zup Zup.

CouchWarriors and CCH

I actually resigned from the CouchWarriors board last year, worn out by friction and politics in the scene. I had some time off to recover, and realised what a dumbass I was being. Continue reading

Posted in CCH, Community: The Australian FGC, Interviews, Melbourne | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

My goals in tournament

Xavier (Somniac) says I lack the ability to adapt my strategy on the fly versus different opponents and seem to always try the same goals against every opponent.

This is true.

My goals in-match would go something like this.

Goal number 1: Be John Fucking Choi.

Goal number 2: Be John Fucking Choi.

Goal number 3: Be John Fu… ohshithejumped

Posted in Ultra SFIV | Tagged , | 15 Comments

Don’t be a Scrub Podcast Episode 27: SS2k13 special- Clockw0rk

XXDSHi guys,  Spider Muttons Productions © 2010 is back with our Shadowloo Showdown 2013 special. Our guest this episode is one of the most biggest names in Marvel and my personal Doom idol- Broken Tier’s Daniel Maniago aka Clockwork!

Clockw0rk is famous in the community for playing his Doom Strider team in MVC2 for more than ten years, the man is basically synonymous with the character Strider at this point! He’s been a big fan favourite in SoCal for a long time now with his exciting, improvisational style and for just being a cool dude in general.

They say that you should never meet your heroes, but Clock didn’t disappoint me at all- turning out to be a super chill, upfront dude. You could see how much he loves thinking about Marvel, theory fighter and optimisation in the earnest way he talks about the game, and well- I’m definitely glad I finally got to meet the guy.

It was a good year for Shadowloo Showdown, we got to see Abegen’s She-Hulk tear it up in the Marvel top 8, and see one of Australia’s favourite players take the SFIV crown- the Murdaface Tokido.

The Murdaface gets rewarded...with a sharp instrument?

The Murdaface gets rewarded…with a sharp instrument?

We grab Clock to talk about: his experience in Australia and at Shadowloo Showdown, a ton of Marvel and Strider theory fighter, working in the game industry, his MVC2 history, famous moneymatches, and a whole lot more.

You can find Clock at https://twitter.com/mvcClockw0rk or his Broken Tier profile.

Big thanks to Tom aka NefeliousG for some in-depth MVC2 questions, Chad from Dusty Cartridge and Sol for their photos, Bosslogic for another sweet banner, and the Shadowloo crew for letting us use the studio at Shadowlogic for this interview and of course, for another great Shadowloo Showdown! (Be sure to check out Ali’s excellent SS2k13 recap or the SS2k13 stream archives.)

As always, you guys can click on the link below to listen to the podcast, or read the full text transcript if you choose. Hope you guys enjoy the interview! (And the Broken Tier Danger Room stream that should be live now.)

Don’t be a Scrub Podcast Episode 27: SS2k13 special- Clockw0rk

For Direct Download, right click this link above and “save as”

1377058_568092016572467_1668786383_n - Copy

Don’t be a Scrub Podcast Episode 27: Clockw0rk


Question index (click to jump to section):

1- How did you get the name Clockw0rk?
2- Do you think you have ten more years of Strider Doom in you?
3- So last night I was having this conversation with you and you were talking about how you had an epiphany with Strider right? You wanted to optimise Strider’s ground game. Did you have a similar sort of thing in MVC2?
4- It really sounds like you’re trying to replicate the lockdown that you had in Marvel 2…the other thing that you told me that you got out of this tournament is watching RF’s Vergil right? And how he would use hidden missiles and how he has a different style of Vergil to American Vergil.
5- UMVC3 patch?
6- Many Street Fighter players say that Marvel 3 is a random-ass game. What do you say to them?
7- Who would you say are the three toughest guys you’ve faced in your long career? You’ve always said that Combofiend was your demon, but now that he’s Capcomfiend do you think you’ll ever get the chance to slay that demon?
8- Tom aka NefeliousG from Queensland asks: There was a general consensus that Strider Doom was theoretically above the top 4 in Marvel 2 but just held back by human execution needed to pull off the perfect lockdown. Do you agree with this or?
9- In EVO 2010 you had one of your best performances at a major for Marvel vs. Capcom 2. Do you feel that you could have taken the tournament or were Justin and Sanford still untouchable?
10- Marvel 2 was Queensland’s game and Tom again asks: They all learned how to pushblock Hyper Sentinel Force from MVC2: Advanced Tactics Volume 1. So they’re asking…when is the sequel due?
11- How did it feel to lose to Honzo Gonzo at Aftershock?
12- For a washed-up veteran you seem to be doing pretty well. Can you tell us your side of the Dark Prince saga?
13- You mentioned the moneymatch against Neo. Quite a number of people consider that to be one of the farewell moneymatches of Marvel 2. Would you consider running it back- in MVC2 or MVC3?
14- Will the Greater Force ever return to Marvel?
15- What is the most bizarre you’ve heard about Australia before you came here and is it true?
16- What about the Australian FGC?
17- How do you stay up-to-date with the evolving ecosystem that’s Marvel 3. Do you watch international streams? Do you watch Japanese streams?
18- So which players really stood out to you in Australia?
19- Any thoughts on Shadowloo Showdown in general? That Marvel top 8, that She-Hulk man!
20- So, speaking of hot cosplayers, so you are the lockdown king right? So what is the Clockw0rk ouroboros strategy…when it comes to women?
21- Another weird question from Tom: What is harder to get in on, Duc’s Spiral Sent, or Chris G’s Morri Doom?
22- So we’ve talked about this before- something that you enjoy really much in this game is people who can articulate, you know, Marvel and the theory behind it. And one of your heroes in that aspect even though you don’t want him to know about it is Viscant, right?
23- S: So speaking of Viscant, how has being on Team Broken Tier helped you as a player?
24- Do you ever see yourself ceasing to play fighting games?
25- You’ve just talked about your Superbot stuff. But after your experience in the game industry, what else have you learned from the industry and do you see yourself returned to it?
26- Sanchez describes doing “the Clockw0rk” as raising the crowd’s hopes and dreams up to the highest level…and dashing everybody’s dreams cruelly with one bone-headed mistake. Fair statement?
27- Any shoutouts?

Muttons: Hi guys it’s Igor and Muttons, we’re back for our Shadowloo Showdown 2013 interview, and with us we have the legendary Doom/Strider player Daniel Maniago aka CLOCKW0RK!

How are you doing today sir?

Clockw0rk: Doing all right, how about you?

M: Aw, tired as shit man heh.

C: Good shit heh. Yeah, me too.

M: Back at work, you know- back at the grind.

How’s the last few days been in Melbourne?

C: It’s been a lot of fun man. Actually specifically the last day of tournament we went out, we went out eating and drinking and it was pretty funny- your drinks are kind of really super expensive here.

So luckily everyone was just buying me drinks the whole night. I finally felt like how a beautiful woman feels like at a bar, you know?

M & Spidercarnage: (Laughs.)

C: I got to experience that! Yeah, yeah.

M: Did Cactus buy you his uh…what was his favourite drink again?

C: I think he likes scotch and coke or something like that. I think that’s the first thing he got was some scotch and coke. But yeah, people were buying me whatever the whole night. I was pretty…shit-faced by the end of it.

M: Heh nice, nice.

S: That’s what we like to hear.

Cactus showing that Australian hospitality!

Cactus showing that Australian hospitality!

C: (Laughs.) Yeah it was kind of a wild night. But I had a lot of fun the last few days.

M: Nice. Let’s get into it…

1- S: How did you get the name Clockw0rk?

C: Aw man. You know what…everyone always asks this question! And to be honest I don’t really have a good answer, there’s not really no epic story or anything really. I remember the very, very, very first time I played any kind of online game with my crap 56k connection was I went to heat.net and I signed up with Clockw0rk with like a 1 in it because I think regular clockwork was taken and…I  was on my crap 56k connection so I didn’t really play or keep on with it and I just ended up using that as my AOL screen name.

But in another dimension I am still known by my old screen name before Clockw0rk on AOL which was…

You see I have a really bad fingernail biting habit so my name was Fingernayle…

M & S: (Laughs.)

C: So luckily my name changed! Or else…yeah.

S: Or we could be calling you nail.

C: Yeah heh. Could’ve been Nail. Could’ve been Finger… FN.

S: (Laughs.)

C: But yeah, luckily I changed my name for something a little bit, a little bit less corny. Continue reading

Posted in Don't be a Scrub Podcast, Interviews, Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Phil & Muttons vs Bosslogic: Bison vs Ryu Kumite!+ SS2k13 stuff

Argh so busy!

As I’m sure you guys know, SS is next week and I have a crap ton of stuff to do. As a result I haven’t really had much time to practice or update here in the last month or so.

Check out the sweet poster/graphics Dave has been making for SS.

SSposterSStitanI liked the poster so much I put it up in my office, right next to my “old man staring at a twenty year old’s ass” poster than I had to cover partially with a Simpson’s poster. (Don’tgetfireddon’tgetfired.)

ssposterinofficeOne of the things I’ve been busy with is updating the SS2k13 Special Guests page.

But you know what, you don’t have to read that, just watch the trailer!

And finally, last Saturday I had the chance to just sit down and play, and managed to record a set with Dave and Phil.

Since me and Phil both have long struggled against Bison, we thought we would have a mini-kumite against Dave’s Bison to see how our approaches differ against Bison, and to see what we are doing wrong and what we can improve in.

Going in my main goal was to not let Dave focus thru my fireballs as much as he does usually, and to not get hit by EX scissors. I think I didn’t have to be so scared of his EX scissors range though. I could’ve walked a bit closer and thrown fireballs a bit because the actual effective range of EX scissors to pass through fireballs is maybe just over half screen only. Especially if I throw mostly jab fireballs which allows me to block in time, as he has to wait to the fireball to be quite close to him before he can scissors through. Also my anti-air was a bit suspect, as usual. Need more far standing roundhouse on some of those jump-ins and I shouldn’t be letting anything from the air touch my Ryu.

But! I had another epic choke again. I was actually on set point, on the verge of finally beating Dave in a set the first time in four years. And I did a “Muttons” yet again throwing it all away zzz. So close and yet so far…

Edit: Also, my SS2k13 article for Dusty Cartridge is up.

dcss2k13Like a fucking idiot I messed up the online rego deadline and didn’t get it up in time zzz. But please criticise/comment, let me know what I did wrong and what I can improve on.

Posted in Melbourne, Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, Ultra SFIV | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

OHN11 Flashback: A funny story- my match with Afterdeath

MG_6033Shadowloo Showdown 2013 is just under a month away! Man, this year has gone past so fast. It seems like it was only yesterday that I was in Sydney for OHN and balls-deep in the organisational slog of BAM5.

To be honest for SS this year I haven’t been overly hype for some reason, but it’s probably because of my increasingly myopic focus in the games that I play. I watch a lot less FGC stuff now, and even when I watch a stream archive I tend to fast forward to the players I’m interested in- which basically are only the players that play the same characters as I do :P

Hence my running joke with Somniac of never watching a stream- unless a Ryu player cracks top 8 :P

Anyway after Sunday’s US qualifiers I am now decidedly HYPE because of CLOCKW0RK!!! (Fanboi alert.)

The original Doom/Ammy player himself. Well, he plays Doom/Vergil now but who cares it’s still CLACKKWERKKK.

This seems like a recurring apology, but I haven’t been updating this space as much this year for sure, I didn’t even write a long-winded OHN or BAM recap like I usually do.

So! While I’m not going to write a full OHN recap, to make up for it, I thought I would post a funny story.

(Disclaimer: This is not meant as any disrespect to George aka Afterdeath, who I fully respect as a person, Final Fantasy enthusiast, and top player, the latter of which I am most decidedly NOT.)

Anyway, the story is less about the match, and more about the funniness. I can’t even remember most of the specifics of the match anyway.

So. We started out playing, and right away I get a hit with my Spencer. See, a lot of teams give my team trouble, specifically teams that sport assists such as Plasma Beam or Akuma Tatsu assist which beat out my Cold Star assist clean and leave my Spencer stranded on an island. Now George’s main assist for his Wesker, Vergil, Strider team was Vajira, and while that is a really deadly assist, particularly against my Doom, it also allows me to call my Amaterasu assist without any fear of it getting beat out, which allows me to quickly get into my comfort zone and set up my offense.

Also, for some strange reason, George decided to start Vergil against me, instead of point Wesker, which I really struggle against because of Wesker’s great ground normals. And while I don’t claim to be especially good against Vergil, I at least am decently familiar with the match thanks to my OHN training buddies Toxy and Daichi.

Now before the match I was sort of going through strategy in my head. Hmm Vergil…have to snap him in…then what about Strider? I was kind of undecided on what to do.

But then the match started and I saw Vergil up first- my mind lit up in burning blood red letters when I got the hit: “Oh I hit VERGIL?!?! Oh boy… I HAVE TO KILL THAT MOTHERFUCKER.” And I went into my muscle memory Spencer TOD combos and any semblance of match strategy or thoughts of snapback went out the window.

I would hit his Vergil, kill him, and then in comes Wesker- and as most of Melbourne knows, I have an irrational hatred of Wesker, even though he’s not top tier in UMVC3 anymore. So whenever I hit Wesker, the same bloodlust would burn through my brain and yeah well…I simply forgot about snapping in Strider!

Remember the Wesker glory days? I know I do. From Just Marvel Things.

Anyone remember the Wesker glory days? I know I do. From Just Marvel Things.

Most of the matches went the same way, (I can’t remember the score it was either 3-1 or 3-0), I would hit Vergil, kill him, hit Wesker, kill him, Strider would come in and go HAM with level 3 X-factor and Ouroborous, and I would blockblockblock, lose a couple of characters and invariably X-factor fraud-guard-cancel it out for the victory. I remember in the neutral game I wasn’t doing anything too fancy, I would make him block Cold Star and do basic stuff such as low L, dash up and low L again and it seemed to hit him a lot. Maybe he was expecting more advanced mix-ups, like the sort you might get from an actual top player perhaps??

After I won I shook George’s hand, and he looked pretty down. I felt kinda sorry for him because I imagine being in his position as a top player in Sydney, it must suck to lose to a scrub like me and Spencer even came over to him with a consoling shoulder pat. Suddenly, I felt some pressure on my shoulder, so I turned around and…

It seems that during my match with George, Stef was actually playing Tom on stage. (As told to me later by my good buddy Andrew aka Vitriol). So everyone was watching that match intently, it was super tense and super hype, and nobody really noticed I was playing on the side setups.

I think towards the end of Stef’s match, Andrew noticed me playing and said to everyone “Hey guys…I think Muttons is actually a few games up on Afterdeath!”

Everyone must’ve done a double take but because Stef was playing Tom and it was the crucial last match, they quickly diverted their attention back to the stage. And after Stef had clutched it out they all got really hype as you would expect, banding around Stef to give him some love. And then Andrew noticed again: “Hey guys, I think Muttons… is actually on the verge of winning?!?”

Everyone quickly crowded around behind me (I was totally oblivious to what was happening because of the headphones I had on, which probably was a major reason I did relatively well at OHN, especially for my standards) and when I got on set point, everyone started to get hype and cheer and get noisy… but then everybody hilariously started shushing each other up: “Shhhh…Shhhh…Shut up, shut up, everybody shut up!”

This is because of my famous tendency to crack under pressure, especially when there is a large crowd behind me actually cheering FOR me. I usually feel immense pressure to win, and historically I’ve always played much worse and gone on to lose pathetically.

So I found it pretty hilarious that totally unbeknownst to me, there had been this big crowd of Melbourne dudes behind me all this time, all excited about the potential upset but trying their best not to make a sound and shushing each other because they didn’t want me to fimble! LOL.

So as I turned around after shaking George’s hand I got this huge shock and kind of jumped up in my chair in surprise as everyone was behind me! And they grabbed me and happily rocked me around for a little bit.

I think no one was more surprised by the result than me, but I did find the story that Andrew told me pretty damn funny.

I later went on to lose to Tom in losers’ finals of our pool (he had put me in losers’ in the first round) and I had another classic choke, I had him down to one character with a good chance at match point, I had Doom and Ammy and enough meter stocked, and all I needed to do was hit A1+A2, just two buttons at the same time. And then I mishit it, getting a Cold Star call instead, and Tom came in swinging, getting that happy birthday as I facepalmed in abject misery.

Actually in that match, I had a crowd around me too, and they actually threw me off this time! They were all yelling really loudly at me to do Veil of Mist super, but because I couldn’t make out what they were saying because of the headphones, I was actually expending some mental energy wondering just what the F they were actually saying, probably to my detriment.

Ah well. OHN was still great fun, and at least I got a good funny story out of it. GGs George and everybody I played at OHN, and I hope to see everybody down for SS!

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What has the FGC done for me?

file_190077_0_Community_8-bitA few weeks ago Kenji gave me a call. He wanted to interview me for some content for his school documentary about the Melbourne FGC. Kenji went through some of the potential questions he had with me; how did you get into the community, what word would you use to describe the Melbourne FGC, what are some of your contributions to the community and so on.

I found myself being quite excited about the whole thing, and it was only later on after the whole interview that I realised why. In the middle of our conversation we had run across the topic of “what have I got out of the community, or what has the community done for me?” and I started talking about all the stories I could tell, such as Bosslogic (Dave) actually helping me land my current job, and more, and I found myself being very passionate about the topic. I realised I’ve had some of these stories in my head for a while, and have probably just been waiting for somebody to ask me the right questions.

The next SBR came along and Kenji sat me down in front of a camera and microphone and fired away. I talked about who introduced to the community, and how people like Xavier, Dave, Ali, Baz, and even THK really took the time to talk to me and to sort of lay out the big picture of the community. I also mentioned hearing about this mystical figure called “Humanbomb” around this time. The interview chugged along, and the question of what the community has done for me never even came up.

Kenji finished off by asking me to describe the community with one word. Previously off camera the word that I had used was “Salt” (I think I had just been eliminated from a tournament) but this time I said “Love”. I wanted to explain how everything in the community was driven by people’s passions and “love for the game” as well as selfless individuals such as Loki, Bugs, Chris Ho etc.

But what came out of my mouth must’ve been this torrent of unbearable cheesiness because Kenji and the camera guy had these faces: half smile, half grimace. Then Kenji’s recorder ran out of space, so they had to do another take.

Perhaps chickening out of fear of another blast of cheesiness I found myself giving a lame answer instead. Continue reading

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Grindin’ Sets: Daichi, Flexi, Gab, Shadowfox, Albert

Getting back in the groove of things after being quite busy last few weeks. Trying to incorporate a lot of specific things into my game, such as using Veil of Mist to land the instant jL into dfH qcfS with Amaterasu. I figure if I get a hit on a full life character, I can do a disc combo which gets me about 400k, S them down, weapon switch to glaive and do Veil of Mist and go for the instant overhead which I can reach 600k with one meter, and that will kill a million-health character. Obviously I would like to kill the character without having to reset, but them’s the breaks with non X-factor solo Amaterasu.

Recorded a bunch of sets (Click the jump to see them all):

Albert wanted to get in a set with me after labbing it up and receiving some great advice from Baxter. I think we both still have a lot to work on, my lack of practice the last week or so really shows.

Managed to record a set against the world famous Japanese execution master Daichi Akahoshi!

In all seriousness Daichi has helped me so much in UMVC3, and he usually bodies the crap out of me, even if he hasn’t been playing much Marvel at all these last few months. You can see the level of disrespect being shown on his incoming mixups as he fakes crossup, then goes to the other side, then actually allows me to completely land before ground grabbing me. And I sit there like an idiot and take it.

Best believe I looked over with a death glare whenever he snagged me like that, and he would just snigger gleefully under his cap. Lol, GGs Daichi.

Continue reading

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