AE in Melbourne and CCH 07-01-2011: Ted Danson edition

I just was at CCH last night, and it was really nice to see such a good turnout. I guess all my pessimism about the two versions of the game splitting the scene was pretty much unfounded. And it was a lot of fun as usual.

I’ve been trying to play Arcade Edition (AE) whenever I can as well. Ali has started a thread on all the arcade locations in Australia so check that out if you wanna give AE a shot.

I was there when Bluehouse first got AE, and I immediately tried Hakan out. I actually got a win on my first try, but it was pretty much downhill from there.

I discover (well I knew it was coming) that I cannot do combos without a ton of time in training room first. So currently I really struggle to do Hakan’s new BnB in AE; standing jab standing jab forward short xx fierce slide.

I’ve tried going early to the arcade to practice against the CPU but it’s still a slow process. I guess it’s a learning experience for me to learn things in an arcade environment as opposed to the comfort of my own home and the leisure of training room. I believe that it will help my game a lot to become more of an arcade player.

I still have problems with Hakan when the opponent is rushing me down. Theoretically speaking, with the new Oil stack buffs I should be able to stayed oiled for much longer and have much, much more defensive options. Such as backdash DNC low short and an EX SPD that actually has range.

But I find that I’m still a very poor AE Hakan player. I’m too used to playing Drykan in Super. I’m too used to getting rushed down 90% of the time, and when I actually get a knockdown or momentum I’m so eager to jump at the chance to apply some oki or mixup that any thought of oiling up goes out the window. I need to realise that this is AE, and Hakan can afford to sacrifice some oki occasionally to oil up and stay >F tier for the majority of the match.

There have been so many times that I put in my two dollars and try to wrestle some coherence into my Hakan game and some random Ryu/Boxer player comes in and mops the floor with me.

Then I switch back to Ryu which is really defeating the whole purpose of showing up early to an arcade!

Speaking about Ryu, I tend to play him more in Box Hill, because I tend to only go to Box Hill on “community days” like Tuesday where it’s only a dollar to play, and a lot of top players show up. And I pretty much need to play Ryu to avoid getting KOed in under 40 seconds.

A lot of people have been coming up to me and asking “Are you going to drop Ryu?” And my answer is mostly no.

I do think that Ryu has been nerfed. When I play him, I miss the active frames of cmk. Since I’m a buffer-whore when it comes to that normal. The lower damage on forward fierce also hurts. And no escape copter makes the corner against some characters a very, very bleak proposition.

But I’m still going to play Ryu. He’s still a good character. He’s not going to be top-tier and his bad matches are still bad, but so what? He still has all the easy stuff; like a braindead safe jump and a 3 frame reversal. That kind of thing appeals to a scrub like me.

And I’m still going to play Ryu because there’s still so much room for me to grow, to improve in my use of the character.

I only picked up Ryu to learn the fundamentals of Street Fighter. And while I’ve made progress…I still have pretty bad footsies, zoning and anti-air. I still have so much stuff to work on with my Ryu.

So I’ll still play him. I’ll keep trying to get my footsies and anti-air to a level that I can eventually compete with the good Ryus in Melbourne like Kilok, Carnage, Heavy, Vietcong etc.

And it’s funny. Being new to the fighting game scene, when Ryu first got nerfed in Super, I was feeling the butthurt. What? Nerfing his SRK FADC damage from 160 to 80? No more HP DP anti-air? What about my horizontal AA range? Nerf my Ultra to 360 damage? It already was one of the lowest damaging Ultras in the game at 398 damage!

But I got used to it. And it made some sense. Considering that they nerfed almost every other SRK that can FADC into something to around 100 damage. And my SRK FADC is un-safe jumpable (with some exceptions).

So I have learned to deal with the butthurt that comes with nerfs. (Somewhat.)

So this second round of nerfs haven’t really affected me that much.

I also think I’m slowly working at the biggest flaw in my game; the mental side of things. I’m slowly getting past the nerves of playing at an arcade. The last Tuesday I was at Box Hill I mostly got bodied, sure. But I also got a mini-win streak of 4 or 5 wins against good players. That’s a huge improvement for a player like me.

I hope that AE will draw more people out, but I think that it won’t have the same volcanic impact that Vanilla did. Vanilla drew people who hadn’t touched a fighting game in ten years back to the game in droves. (Like me.)

With AE, I just see more console players out there playing, and a general resurgence in arcade attendance. In any case, I hope that AE proves me wrong.

When I heard EVO 2011 was going to be run on Super, I was really worried about the tournament scene. Arcades are not feasible options for the huge tournaments of today. But I’m new to the scene. I overreact. Old-timers tell me that the scene has dealt with multiple versions of the game before and survived. But I wonder in this new age of fighting games, is plateauing or simply surviving enough?

But CCH proved to me, at least in Melbourne, that I worry too much. People want to play other people more than they care about changes in their characters. We’ll see.

CCH 07-01-2011 Recap

I actually spent the majority of the day at my friend Pin’s house. So for the first time, me and my fat-ass generation 1 PS3 made an appearance at CCH.

The Danisen League was really fun, and I learned a fair few things at CCH.

For people who don’t know what a Danisen League is, it’s a format where people are separated into different ranked pools or “dans”. If you win three matches in a row, you progress to the next dan. If you lose three in a row, you drop down a level. I think it’s a more accurate way of gauging your actual level than in a normal double-elim tournament where brackets play a big part in your eventual placing.

Ted Danson League. Via Loki.

I actually won my first three games and progressed to the next dan, which I was pleasantly surprised about. I believe this is the first time I’ve won three games in a row in a tournament setting. (Albeit in a best of 3 rounds, single game format. I also must be one of the only players in Australia to lose three games in a row in a double-elimination tournament, which I did at EVO APAC due to a bracket screwup!)

And then I promptly lost three games in the next dan against I believe; Just-S, Pyro and Zerokill. Pyro and Zero, both Boxer players, really gave it to me. Pyro was hitting me with old-school headbutt after knockdown crossups/fake crossups. I…really need to work on the Boxer and Bison match.

But as I was complaining to Spoony, I have been working on the Boxer and Bison match forever. You’d think I should know it by now. I told him that I used to have a Chun Li complex, and playing him so much has alleviated that a lot. But am I really better at the Chun match, or am I just really proficient at fighting Spoony?!?

So I got demoted to the lower dan, and I lost a couple of matches there as well. Lost to Spoony, a new Cody player, and Bugs’ new Bison.

I had a conversation with Chris later which helped me think about some things.

He was telling me that when I was playing, he noticed that I was talking to people on the side, getting distracted and not focussing on the match. And maybe that was why I was losing.

I told him that I noticed previously when I really try to concentrate on the match, I can get too stiff. I get tunnel vision and don’t see jump-ins. So I was trying different approaches like being more relaxed during matches.

But obviously being too jocular can be detrimental too. So I need to find the middle ground that yields the best performance for me as a player.

Later on I started playing better, and I made it to the next dan by winning a few matches in a row. And I won a match or two against a Bison, which really made my day. Because I really suck against Bison.

And then strangely enough, I found my middle ground. Just for a brief moment. But I think it was there.

I sat down to play Heavy Weapon’s Ryu and did really well by my standards.

I noticed that he was outfootsieing me a lot, which normally means you lose the Ryu mirrormatch. But I was doing some things that I don’t normally do; like anti-airing and not crumpling under pressure.

In the Danisen games that I lost, I couldn’t anti-air anything. And then I played Tai’s Zangief for an extended period of time. Tai doesn’t play Gief that much, but he jumped relentlessly enough for me to get comfortable at anti-airing.

I figure that anti-airing for me is a weakness. So it somehow helps to warm up against an opponent that jumps a lot! To “warm up” my anti-airing mental muscle.

Against Spoony I would use 90 of my 100 “attention units” to focus on footsies, footsies, footsies. So when he would infrequently jump at me, I’d just block the jump in rather than DP it.

But later when I was more relaxed, less stiff, given a confidence booster in DPing people, and using around 60-70 of my attention units instead on footsies, I was much more of an all-rounded player.

I was really proud of a single DP I did to Kyle’s Vega at one point more than anything I did in my matches against him.

He jumped suddenly, and I did early LP DP into super.

I just did it without thinking. My fingers did it automatically.

Do you know how rare that is for me?!?

I talked to Igor later, and he of the excellent anti-air reactions nonchalantly told me; that’s how he anti-airs all the time. He doesn’t think about it. It. Just. Comes. Out.

Hopefully this single DP becomes the start of my anti-airs Just Coming Out in the future.

I also got some really good advice from Spoony and Pyro for the Vega match.

I had had trouble with Kyle’s Vega when I previously played him in casuals at Shadowloo Showdown. And I asked a couple people about the Vega match. Pyro and Spoony both said the same thing; don’t try to play footsies with him. Just zone him, keep him out, and try to take advantage of his weak wakeup game when you knock him down.

I remember thinking; hm. If a Chun Li player says not to play footsies with Vega, that’s what I’d better do!

I used to take so much damage walking forward to low forward range like a fool, and taking multiple crouching strongs to the face. At that time I thought; hey, that crouching strong is really owning me. But I don’t know whether other characters can beat it, so maybe I must just be doing it wrong. Lemme try to play footsies even harder.

And I took so much damage!

So I didn’t try to play footsies this time around, just zoned and did a lot of crossups. And it somehow worked better.

I also remember trying to research the match a lot and discovering forward fierce option select on a safe jump being the best option. The problem is that I haven’t actually practiced doing that specific option select enough to do it reliably in a match.

So Spoony yelled out during the match to do safe jump option select tatsu instead when Kyle got out with a backdash. Now that one I can do pretty reliably, and even though it does less damage and is much less optimal that a forward fierce option select, hey it worked. It hit him a couple of times and he stopped backdashing. And then I could spend more attention units on counterhitting and other things.

So I guess I learned another lesson. In a match, just do what works. You dumb Ryu scrub.

I think we stayed past 4 or 5 am? And the most hardcore dudes stayed past 6 am. I love the hunger in the Melbourne community, and I hope the first CCH of 2011 is just the first event of another calendar year packed with juicy Street Fighter delights.

Shoutouts to Wakeup SRK!

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2 Responses to AE in Melbourne and CCH 07-01-2011: Ted Danson edition

  1. Spoony says:

    Haha, You make sound like a Soccer Hooligan, yelling crap at the players during the match 🙂
    (it’s probably truthful too :D)

    But seriously, I feel your pain. Trying to anti-air while footsy-ing (or indeed, to react to anything like that without specifically watching for it, or to play normally while specifically watching for things), trying to get “in the zone” where things you know you should be able to do actually work, and trying to figure out whether to go for the harder stuff or the stuff you feel more comfortable with are all things I have problems with.

  2. muttonhead says:

    Heh, yeah spectating SF in a crowd can sometimes feel just like a football match. Maybe you’re like a hooligan in the crowd and more like my irate manager ranting on the sidelines.

    We need more attention units man. You know where we can buy some?

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