Losing the Ryu mirror

It has been a hectic week of Street Fighter in Melbourne.

We had the Galactic Circus AE ranbat on Thursday, which Toxy won, and the Deakin meetup on Saturday where some big news was announced.

It has been a funny week for me, improvement wise.

I’ve been playing a lot of Street Fighter at the arcades, and putting a lot of training room time in Marvel. That’s my weird balancing between the two games right now, given my more limited free time.

The good thing about the latter is that I have finally been able to get down She-Hulk’s BnBs. It took me all of four weeks of practising to actually get it down on a semi-consistent level, so that tells you a lot about my natural execution talent.

That means I’ve been able to drop Wolverine, (a character I play out of necessity, not because I want to) for She-Hulk, one of the characters I have been intending to play since the game has dropped.

Or at least since I heard UltraDavid talk about her on the Wakeup SRK podcast.

So I now have two-thirds of my intended team; She-Hulk and Ammy. I just need to find someone to replace Sentinel, and I should have my full team ready to go. At the moment I find myself having a lot of difficulties on defense against characters with fast normals and rushdown like X-23 when I’m playing She-Hulk, and to lesser extent, Ammy.

I guess what that means is that I will eventually switch out Sentinel for a defensive assist. And right now the one that looks the best is the Tron assist. But that would mean I would be playing the exact same team as Justin Wong!

Which is good in one way, because I can learn a lot by watching him, and bad in another way in that my buddies will be able to bag on me for being a Justin Wong clone. But oh well. That’s the fun of a new game; trying new things and experimenting. We’ll see who my third ends up being.

Thursday at GC 17/03/11

I made it a point to attend this ranbat because the previous one had a pretty low turnout of 28 players. Not sure whether it was tournament overload or Marvel coming out that affected the attendance.

Now out of all the ranbats/events in Melbourne, the GC one probably depends the most on its attendance for it continued survival. Chris has been doing a fantastic job talking to his superiors and getting the needed changes for our ranbats.

Such as: changing the layouts from 2 player cabs to single player cabs, lowering the height of the machines, getting chairs. And maybe even getting more cabs in the future.

Things like that that make tournaments that much more viable, but are understandably hard to push through in a corporate setting. So big thanks to Chris! Our Melbourne community is really blessed to have so many members stepping up to take big roles in the scene like Chris.

Now this ranbat got more than 45 entrants! I saw a lot of new faces, and some old-school arcade heads make an appearance. So it was a big improvement, and it was really good to see the turnout. Hopefully things will get even better the next ranbat.

Now I’m not sure if it’s because I just started working, and lack the stamina… (Excuses, excuses.)

But when I sat down to play my first match against a Sakura player, I was almost in some kind of a stupor.

I was feeling lethargic and tired, and the first round seemed to pass through my head really sluggishly. I kept waiting for myself to wake up in the second and third round, hoping that my vigour and concentration would spike with the threat of deciding rounds, but it never happened.

He would jump in and I would just stare dully at the jump in and not anti-air. My reactions were slow, and I played robotically. And I both tried to do and failed difficult combos during clutch situations, and even tried to do certain combos that I untypically forgot did not work on Sakura. It was just a mess.

But credit to my opponent, he was really good with his character, and he beat me pretty badly. I forget his name right now, but I’ll update this post when Ali puts up the full results thread.

On hindsight, I should have gone outside before my match and maybe jumped around or done some calisthenics or something. Anything to wake me up, and get some adrenaline going.

Dumb Muttons.

I felt so angry at myself.

My second match was against an Abel player, and as I sat down, I just keep yelling in my head at myself: “Wake up you F$%^&*$% LOSER UPPERCUT UPPERCUT UPPERCUT  just F#%**ING UPPERCUT wake up and look at the screen just LOOK AT THE SCREEN YOU F#%^&** ASSWIPE!!!”

Basically, I was just trying to psyche myself up, while at the same time mentally envisioning slapping myself upside in the head. (I had to catch myself from doing it physically. too.)

In any case, I did do a little better. I caught a lucky break one time when I woke up with DP, but Super came out accidentally and caught his backdash.

I threw him many, many times during his wakeup rolls and such, but I still felt a little disgusted whenever I would screw up my safe jump option select throws.

I guess I won, but I get the sense that the guy was a newish player? Not sure, but GG man.

Alex C. gave me some encouragement after the match, saying something like, “Good, good. Keep throwing them Abel bastards” or something like that. I felt a little less like an idiot even though I still wasn’t playing very good.

I had to play Andrew/VITRIOL next. My matches with my good buddy are always very close. I think I won the last one we played by a pixel or something and I remember just sitting there like a stone after the K.O. with my heart pounding after being very stressed out!

Recently Andrew has been blowing up my knockdown game with his new AE Makoto uppercut, and EX grabbing me out of a lot of my safe jumps to boot.

So I decided to switch it up, and I did a lot of meaty EX tatsus, even midscreen, just to blow up his EX grabs/backdash.

For some reason it kept working, and I just kept switching between throwing outright (to beat his EX shenanigans) and EX Tatsus. I was burning a lot of meter, but at least I wasn’t getting blown up on my meaties.

The match went back and forth, and typically we were both down to almost no life left tied on 2-2 rounds. He had come back from a decent health deficit to pressure me all the way into the corner, and then he jumped at me.

And I do what I never do, and uppercutted on reaction for the win. I cannot remember the last time I have won a match with a clutch anti-air uppercut. Normally the very opposite happens; eat jump-in and die.

I felt really elated that I finally uppercutted something; but I felt bad about eliminating my buddy.

Luckily Chris was nice enough to give me my thirty minute time card earlier, so I grabbed Andrew and tried to eliminate his salt with some rounds of Bishi Bashi, the Rambo gun games, etc.

I really think time cards are a really sweet deal; when you get salty after you lose, you can go drown your sorrows in the other arcade games. And that really appeals to me as I typically lose quite early in the tournament, and at least have something to do afterwards.

I know some people were complaining about the Bishi Bashi volume! And honestly, I think the machine’s sound levels are set a bit loud, but I’m still glad it’s there so I can go bash away my saltiness at it. (BTW Nickerz is godlike at Bishi Bashi.)

Actually, when I think about it, I can uppercut Andrew and Spoony in a way that I can’t with other people. Simply because I play Andrew so much, sometimes when the animation for his instant air kick is just starting, I can just react right away and uppercut that shit clean! And similarly for Spoony’s Hazanshus sometimes. And that is extremely un-Mutton like.

I think I can only uppercut people that I play a ton, and kinda memorise or make it a body habit to uppercut in certain situations. Whereas at Bluehouse, often random strangers would sit down, and I find myself being unable to uppercut anything they do. Be it blatant jump ins or unambiguous crossups, I’m like a statue just sitting there not anti-airing.

Obviously something I really need to work on.

Andrew and I played Bishi Bashi for ages, until I got put up against another Ryu player.

Another one of my tournament characteristics is that I tend to be conservative with wakeup uppercuts. This time I decided to change it up and be more aggressive. I decided that I would uppercut on wakeup the first chance I got, and make the guy R.E.S.P.E.C.T. my uppercut.

Boy, did that not work out as planned.

I uppercutted at all the wrong times, whiffing cleanly multiple times because the guy could see them coming a mile away and he punished me heavily every time. I got blown up pretty bad, 3-0.

I really felt salty after that one. No one likes to lose the mirror match, and I personally feel the Ryu mirror is the rare mirror that is actually pretty good at deciding who is the better player. And that guy was the better player, by far.

I got off the cab, with my head down. Salty stance.

Carnage was standing right behind me. I think he wasn’t clear about which Ryu was whom, because he said to me “Oh, you won?” I told him the other guy won, and he immediately put his hands on his head and said “No! You uppercutted at all the wrong times!”


I later found out from Ali that that Ryu was a long-time arcade player, so I felt slightly less salty at losing to him. Of course, more salty Bishi Bashi games ensued.

By the time my time card ran out, it was time to watch top 8. Phero’s impressive Guy made top 8 again. I seriously need to learn the Guy matchup, and judging from what I saw, a lot of people need to learn it as well. Phero took out a lot of big names, so good shit to him. He’s really making a name for himself.

Andre nearly made top 8 as well! Andrew and I were standing there half in excitement, half in disbelief as he took Carnage to the distance. Eventually Carnage being the smart player that he is, just stood there as Andre woke up with EX counter three times in a row in the last round, and Carnage punished accordingly with Spirals and even Ultra. But it was an impressive run from Andre.

I enjoyed watching the top 8, watching Cactus hit some clutch Ultra 2s, and getting really envious whenever Sol would punish Somniac’s EX Psycho Crushers with DPs. Sol told me earlier that he was tired from work and was just going to fuck around with Sakura. Gee, I wish I had a character that was good enough to “fuck around with” and get 2nd place like Sol!

He was doing some ghetto option select jump back roundhouses with Sakura on Bison that would beat EX Headstomp/Devil’s reverse and EX Psycho that really caught my eye. But Toxy inevitably won the whole thing, so congratulations to Toxy. Just too good!

Heh, I like the fact that a dude rocking a Marvel shirt can still walk up and win SFIV AE tournaments!

Thanks to the organisers, and the new guys stepping up to record footage, Burnout and Shadowsoul.

Saturday at Deakin 20/03/11

I was psyched…for Arnie.

In the Deakin thread, people were actually putting up movie requests for once. And that made me very happy for some odd reason. The theme seemed to be classic Arnold movies, so I went ahead and downloaded/rented/obtained old classics like Commando, Running Man, Predator, Conan etc.

We actually didn’t get to watch all of them, but it was quite cool to get to watch Conan at Deakin, Marvel  and Super in front of me, and buddies all around.

Nothing better than watching Arnie with his long-locks running through fields, punching some donkeys and doing the nasty with multiple random women.

Conan, what is best in life?

To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of their women!

He’s a simple soul.

Can’t wait to watch the rest of the movies next Deakin.

This was my first chance to use my new 2 day old She-Hulk in tourney (2 day old as in used against actual people for 2 days), so I was mining Spoony’s head all morning on the tram ride over for She-Hulk information. We actually came up with a lot of stuff we wanted to test in training mode, but surprisingly there were a lot of new faces that showed up at 11 am with the rest of the early birds. Which is typically just Spoony, Igor and I, which normally means that we would be able to get in some training room time.

But it’s good to see new faces, so I was perfectly happy to give up that time, and let them have some games in. Hopefully they enjoyed it at Deakin, and will come to more community events. Again, I’m sorry to forget your names! I remember one of them was a Sim player, the other a Dee Jay player and one more guy. And they look pretty good at Marvel too.

In the meantime Spider and I were grabbed for an interview for Episode 3 of the X Report. Check  it out here:

The X-Report Episode 3

Interview with Spidercarnage and Phallic Boy

It was funny playing the Dee Jay player, because he turned to me and said that he doesn’t know the match, or that he doesn’t really play another Ryu.

And I never, never, ever, get to hear that.

The immortal lines that other players get to hear: “Oh, you play xx? I never play against good xx players, I don’t know the match!”

I figure since everyone and their grandmother plays Ryu, and from the millions…and the millions…of Ryus online everyone would know how to fight him by now. So when I heard it, my reaction was like…oh my god. Where have you been all my life.

I got to play a lot of Marvel as well that day, and quickly realised I need even more time in training room as I keep dropping BnBs. I also found out that quite a lot of people are much better than me in Marvel like Phero, who was handing me my ass all day.

I didn’t do very well in the Super tournament at all, losing yet another Ryu mirror to go right into loser’s bracket from the outset.

This time, it was a Ryu player called Tom. I didn’t get beaten as badly as in the GC tournament, but it seemed that he could read me really well and jump in at the right times, stick out limbs at the right times, and EX fireball me smartly to reset momentum. He would read me right in every clutch situation, and I lost. GG Tom.

I went to sit in the row behind the setups, thinking; “Gee, I lost another Ryu mirror. Boy do I suck donkey balls.”

Apparently Tom was an arcade friend of Eddie, and it was quite interesting listening to Eddie’s take on “Aussie footsies”.

Basically it’s when you walk up trying to play actual footsies, and the guy goes “screw your footsies” and blow them up with unexpected things like close range jump ins and random uppercuts/EX fireballs. He said that the guys you find in the arcades might not be technical players, or footsies orientated players. So the other guy doesn’t want to play footsies, he wants to go right past that stage and go right into the zoning game or the knockdown game.

I don’t know how much “Aussie footsies” were played during my match, but Eddie is right in that I get blown up by players who play like that. Who don’t really play “by the rules” and throw you off your game as a result.

I thought it must be something that only happens to lousy players like me, but it’s interesting to see that kind of thing can frustrate Eddie, a top Akuma player as well. Eddie’s solution is a very simple one. Before they can even do anything to you, just rush them the fuck down! Maybe I need to follow his example.

Tom also told me I was too predictable, and he basically knew everything I was going to do. For example, I would try to walk forward into cmk range and do cmk fireball, and he knew I was going to do that. He would then walk forward even before I walked forward. This would change up the time I need to walk into range, and he would simply cmk me before I did. Things like that.

I didn’t do too well in my next matches, and I think Nick/Killbox eliminated me. Good shit, Nick.

He played really well, he never, ever tried to reversal against my safe jump OSes and he seemed to tech everything. He was clutch and caught me at all the right times with burn kicks into Ultras.

I lost to another Viper multiple times at Bluehouse this week as well. He was doing not very tight burn kick setups but still hitting me a lot. I need to play more Viper; I haven’t played one extensively in weeks since I moved to Xbox and since Hyphen left PSN.

Next, Ali finally premiered the next Shadowloo Shadowloo guest reveal trailer and it was really hype.

It was pretty cool to get to see it for the first time like that, we should have more premiere/reveals like that at events!

It was funny when names like “TTC Toxy” and “Heavy Weapons” would pop out on screen and people would go oohh and ahh on purpose to butter them heh. And of course the two new names were really exciting! Damn. We finally get a Ryu player here to Melbourne and he mains Seth now…

Burnout recorded the crowd reaction here:

I wonder who could be on Team Hori. I would think Mago would be the first name on the list…it makes sense that it would be a team of Japanese, but I guess we’ll just have to see.

The TEC guys have gotten much better at keeping secrets and not leaking information. I was bugging them for the news for weeks beforehand, but I only got to find out at Deakin.

No longer can I stand next to Sol with my arm on his shoulder and him eventually spilling the beans without any urging 😦 damn.

It was time for Marvel, and I immediately got into a She-Hulk mirror with Andrew.

Now earlier on the train ride over Spoony had told me that you can actually counter She-Hulk’s TAC Bnb! You just mash down+S (because the She-Hulk player would most likely be hitting down+S to cancel her Senton Bomb) and you can just exchange counter away.

My first reaction was “Really? That seems kind of wack. How can you even use it as a Bnb then if it can just be countered like that?”

Spoony and I both agreed to test it out in training mode when we got to Deakin but we didn’t get the chance to.

So when I sat down next to Andrew, I was thinking; “She-Hulk…hmmm!”

Right away Andrew caught me with a hit and went into a TAC combo. I mashed down+ S…and it blew him cleanly away.

Andrew made a “WTF just happened” sound and quickly looked down at his hands, probably wondering if he had made an execution error.

Even though I was taking advantage of the counter in the match, I felt a little disappointed now that I’ve confirmed by myself that the TAC BnB doesn’t work.

But I won that match, and I also forgot to tell Andrew about the counter until a few days later! That was kind of dirty of me, I should have told him during the match. I guess it was my first “Save that shit for Nationals” moment.

I played a few more matches and lost to DD and Burnout. I guess I still have a lot more work to do on my She-Hulk if I want to make this my permanent team. A lot of times I would lose the first point character battle badly when using She-Hulk.

But I think I got 5th…simply because a lot less people entered Marvel than the Super tournament. So I’m not going to take too much butter from that, and rather acknowledge that it’s time for some intense training room sessions with She-Hulk!

At least I feel that I’m learning and improving visibly almost every few matches. For instance, I played DD again in casuals, and he was beating me at first. After like 9 matches or so I started winning very consistently, actually learning how to punish Sentinel’s slow-ass armour normals with She-Hulk’s slide and polishing up my Ammie vs. Sentinel game.

It was interesting that a few really basic things that I learned to do in that set could really turn the matches in my favour.

-Super Jump over Drone Super. Doh.

-Slide with She-Hulk after he whiffs Sentinel Down+B or launcher into big combo. (I learned this from watching Spoony.)

-Do She-Hulk’s anti-air grab super when he air dashes with Ammie above me to get a crossup.

-Punish Wolverine’s unsafe moves like Berserker Slash, Berserker Barrage and launcher.

– Use Ammie’s paper to control space. Put a C paper up to cut off the air, or force them to block when they tag in. Put A or B papers down to block off ground-based rushdown.

-Shoot single beads with Ammie to hit confirm in case of random Supers.

-Just jump up and block frying pan and pushblock him back right away, and Sentinel can’t do shit to a beads Ammie!

I also tried out a lot of really basic things for the first time that day with She-Hulk. Such as, delayed slide after air grab super into full combo. And combo after level 3 with dash, run stance otg torpedo.

I know a lot of She-Hulk mains are rolling their eyes at my stupidity, but hey, I’m having a lot of fun learning a new character.

Toxy ended up winning Marvel, and Burnout beat Carnage to get 2nd, which is was impressive. He’s been very consistent in Marvel even though I always see him using different teams.

That was it for tournaments for the night, and we wound things down with some casuals. Heavy was nice enough to give me some badly needed Sagat practice.

Somehow Toxy and Carnage managed to get an emulator onto the Deakin PC, and there were cheers as they went at it on good old classics such as Street Fighter Alpha, X-men vs. Street Fighter, Marvel Super Heroes and SFII on the Deakin big screen.

I really got a big hoot out of things when finally they started playing Gem Fighter on screen!

Eventually it boiled down to SFII with Heavy and Carnage going at it for the title of uppercut king. Heavy using Ryu, and Carnage using Ken.

Carnage was really abusing that Ken jab DP, uppercutting so many times with a complete disregard for human life!

He would whiff a jab DP right in front of Heavy, and immediately DP again with no fear, snagging Heavy’s attempted punish cleanly.

He would jump in, walk in slightly and do delayed uppercut- no FADC required.

It was very close, and eventually Carnage closed it out with-what else? An uppercut.

He was really buttered with the win, so he scampered over in front of the big screen, climbed onto the ledge and did a “I am the True King of Uppercuts” pose. Ah Carnage. What comedy.

It was time to go, and we packed up and left. Another long-ass fruitful day of Street Fighter. I personally can’t wait for the next Deakin, and continue the Arnie saga!

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5 Responses to Losing the Ryu mirror

  1. Anonymous says:

    Amen to the Aussie footsies. I don’t think it’s limited to Oz, I think it’s everywhere. I’ve seen it in arcades as well. C.mk? Jump in. Hadouken? Jump in. Bah. Maybe Daigo would just Umeshoryu everything and rushdown in the corner.

    • muttonhead says:

      Yeah I think so too! Well Toxy was sitting behind us when me and Eddie was having our conversation and judging from the look on his face I’m sure he was thinking “Pffft. I woulda just DPed everything…” Heh.

  2. Pingback: Losing the Ryu mirror II | Being a Scrub

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