Hi guys, Spider Muttons Productions © 2010 are back with the first part of our DBASP EVO 2011 special. Spidercarnage got the chance to go out to EVO this year, so he was able to nab two interviews while he was over there.
Our first guest is somebody that I’ve followed very closely for a very long time; both as a commentator and a podcast host. And it’s none other than Skisonic!
Ski’s sheer enthusiam and love for fighting games is incredibly evident to anyone who’s ever listened to him on the mic or watched the hype actually manifest itself as Ski’s bodily presence.
I personally find his passion, enthusiam and hype extremely infectious, and as the co-host of the Wakeup SRK podcast and Alphaism radio, you could argue that Ski has grown into the voice of the entire fighting game community.
So I was really excited to hear that Igor had managed to grab Ski for an interview. I’m actually kind of bummed out that I couldn’t get to meet the man in person!
Hit Ski up on his twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/skisonic
Or on his Facebook account.
I hope you guys enjoy the podcast, as usual we have the audio podcast available for download, or you can read the entire transcript below if you prefer.
On a more personal note, I’m glad we’re back!
(To download right click and “save as”)
Edit: I forgot to say a big thank you to Bosslogic/Dave for the banner. I think it’s an awesome picture and really fits the idea of Ski being a man of the community.
Igor/Spidercarnage: Hello everyone, this is EVO day 3…4? I’m counting from the day we actually arrived.
Skisonic: Ohh, okay.
I: And today I have a very special guest with me. You might know him from Alphaism radio. Also from the Wakeup SRK podcast. Which everyone should be listening to if you’re not. He is one half of that team. And he is Mr. Skisonic. Welcome.
S: Hey thanks. Glad to be here.
1- Can you just tell us the story behind your hat?
It’s just uh…
Basically it was just the hat that…it was the only hat that fit me. Because I had all this hair!
And I was like; this is the coolest hat ever. So I just kind of started wearing it like my trademark and then…well not my trademark, just like- this is my only hat. So I wore it a lot. And you know how the stream gets and everything? They just kind of made it into this Pizza hat thing. So they just called it Pizza hat. And it kind of became a meme. So, you know. It’s just what became of it.
I actually lost the original Pizza hat. So I had to replace it with this. So this is the Pizza hat II.
Yeah, Mach II.
Yeah, [it] bears a striking resemblance. I also gave Floe a gift for this weekend. Because in his twitter picture he’s wearing my original Pizza hat. So I gave him the Pizza hat III. Because I had a third one!
Yeah. So now we are Pizza hat brothers. Yeah, that’s pretty cool.
2- Can you just tell us a little bit about your history? So you told me a little earlier that you’re from Baltimore, Maryland. So how did you get into fighting games?
I think… you know, just going to arcades as a kid and seeing what was there. I wasn’t necessarily going for fighting games. But those were the most popular games. Those were the games that people lined up [to play]. So…being young, that was very attractive to me.
I also talked about how I would see my brother play those games. This is my older brother, like seven years older than me. So he would be right there in the thick of things, in line with those guys playing those games.
So that was just something I wanted to be a part of. And I just liked the games. So I stuck with them. My brother and I used to play on console a lot. And I would just get owned. And…Eventually it was just kinda something that I stuck with a lot. One of my main hobbies.
Until I found some players that were pretty good. They told me they were tournament players…but I was never able to verify their tournament records!
Because eventually I found this tournament scene. Like ECZ, EVO, B5, all these things. So I got into that scene just off a high school friend. We were playing Marvel 1 and Alpha 3 and he found Shoryuken.com. And he took me to Northeast championships. And I never looked back from there. I didn’t even know that there this was this kind of tournament scene. That was when my first one was. And after that it was just like, hey man, we’re gonna go to a tournament. Like, there was no question. I just love it.
3- So what was your team in Marvel 1?
Oohh Marvel 1, I was a scrub man! I played Ryu Chun man, you’re putting me on blast- I was like a super scrub in that game. We didn’t start getting any good at it till the end.
The thing about that game we were just playing in the arcade, you know, like yeah man I’m good you’re good whatever. And a couple of those guys were playing like Wolverine or whatever. But they weren’t like obviously like super high level. They were still winning the majority [of matches]. But then my friend who I told you took me to the arcade?
He at one point just comes into the arcade…like one day he’s playing the same team as I am. Next day literally, he has like Red Venom Strider. And he’s like infinite-ing me across the screen.
And I’m like…what?
What is this?
And like, where did you learn this?
And he was like…he starts lying; go to Shoryuken.com.
And I was like:
Where did you really learn this?
Because that sounds like a joke!
What is Shoryuken.com?
What are we on, hadoken.net next? Like…leave me alone man, like where did you learn this, who told you what you’re doing?
Like months later I actually found out that Shoryuken.com was actually a website!
And I hooked up from there. So Marvel 1, I was pretty… pretty scrubby.
And that would have been what, about ’98?
Yeahhh…it was like ’98, ’99. Yeah.
That was the beginning of my dark SNK movement. We’ll skip that.
Ohhh… Nothing wrong with that, y’know. Love what you love.
Yeah, oh no I love all fighting games. I love Capcom, and I love SNK. They’re my two favourite companies for fighting games.
4- So how did you get into Marvel 2? Because from listening to your Alphaism radio “History of Marvel II”, that was the game that you really became competitive in.
Right. Because like I said, my friend took me to that tournament. At that time we had already made the jump to Marvel vs. Capcom 2. I don’t know if you recall, the game dropped on console was very, very close to the arcade release.
Like, within two weeks. Marvel 2.
Oh yes. Marvel 2. On DC (Dreamcast).
On DC, right. So, we were playing that like on the ground level, essentially. So we started to have some small tournaments and things like that. And then we went to NEC. And I was like; this is amazing.
But it was basically natural for me to get Marvel vs. Capcom 2. Because Marvel vs. Capcom 1 happened, and then we were like- 56 characters.
Yeah, exactly. It was such a huge jump as well. Not to mention the new button layout as well. So a lot of people that played Marvel 1 didn’t actually want to play Marvel 2.
Yeah. I didn’t care, I was like- this is weird, whatever. We’ll see what’s up. I was never like, like I said, I was never like super good at Marvel 1.
Now when new things come I sort of understand that sentiment a little bit. Like we were so comfortable with what we had, and it worked alright. But since I’m a programmer as well I recognise both sides of the thought process.
They can’t just do the same thing, they want to do new things, try new things, make different things. It’s an interesting dichotomy, but I just went right into Marvel 2 from Marvel 1 because that was the game that I was playing. And then we went to tournaments. My first tournament was for Marvel 2.
5- That’s actually a very interesting note. So you’re a programmer, so do you do like web stuff, or are you a game designer?
CC++ and Java. I have a Comp Sci (Computer Science) degree. But I don’t have a job.
So I’m not doing anything right now!
But I’m also a little bit versed in PhP and CSS, that kind stuff.
6- So you actually picked El Fuerte in SFIV?
Do you wanna know why?
It’s Keits’ fault.
Oh, Keits’ fault?
Yeah. And it’s his fault. I’m gonna say it like that!
Because I was gonna play Chun Li and Rufus. That was who I was gonna play.
And I probably would’ve been pretty good! Right.
So we tried to play the game a little bit, you know we had the beta at EVO, I played like two games.
Next, you know there were very, very sparse Street Fighter IV arcade cabinets in America for a long time.
So Keits was telling me, hey man.
I hear El Fuerte has an infinite.
Right? Nobody knew about this at the time. This was like August. I hear he had an infinite. But I don’t actually know if it actually works, if it’s infinite, whatever, you know.
Seth said he had some juice, I’m thinking that this is what it is. He’s like; you have to figure it out.
And if you have access to a cab, so you gotta figure it out!
So at that time I was driving to Philadelphia from Baltimore which is a two hour drive, just about. Well, not quite two hours but…about that. And I would go, I would play. I would play El Fuerte, and I would get owned.
So there was beginner mode where you could play against the computer. And I would sit there and try to do a run stop fierce. Never got it. Then I’ll play a real person and like, I couldn’t land a fierce, let alone try to figure out the combo. I’d just do splash.
So I figured out to play the game with El Fuerte doing splashes and stuff. Because I had started in beginner mode trying to do run stop fierce and then I’d have to play games with El Fuerte, and then like I just kinda stuck with him.
Because eventually…I learned how to do run stop fierce. And I was one of the only guys that could do it.
I think it was you and Kai from the West Coast. Two guys…
Yeah, yeah, yeah. He had it, he definitely had it. Oliverian. They were the first two West Coast guys, and I’d remember I would be in chat room and I would be telling my friends; I got it man, I got it. I’m at three hits, four hits.
And they’ll be like; yeah man. Oliverian’s at six.
And I was like, Noo!
I gotta back!
And I actually had a friend- PerfectSin, who owned an SFIV arcade board for the while.
Yeah…So I was like ohhh I gotta back to the lab, he got six, I got to get six!
It was really…I fell into him because I was experimenting, and then I became proficient with him, and then I became very comfortable with him. And then I just never went to anybody else.
He requires so much attention.
Yes, this is true. And this is one thing that I loved listening to one of the last SRK podcasts and you said; Fuerte, the mathematics behind Fuerte are beautiful.
Though vanilla Fuerte man! Seven fierces is a thousand stun!
What else do you need? Now the character can win!
Because six was like…if you were good at games, you can do six. But if you were good at games and good at dexterity you could get that seventh you know?
I can’t do two.
The other thing is I remember listening to one of Gooteck’s earlier podcasts and he said, I think he had Kai on. And I think Kai said, the movement from even the arcade version to the console version- the run stop fierce got harder.
What it is- is…
Different arcades…the console versions have their own…like amount of lag. I don’t think it’s due to the game, I think that it’s a system thing. Right?
I think it might even be native to USB ports. I’m not sure about the details. So what ends up happening- if you played on Playstation and you played on Xbox, do you know there’s like a little bit of a difference?
That’s the same thing that’s going on. It’s just the hardware that it’s set up on. To my knowledge. And I’ve been talking this with a lot of people, so. They feel that in the arcade it’s basically just a little bit slower so you have more time to do these things.
Because I played on the arcade board quite a bit. But uh…
But see that’s really interesting because the arcade board basically runs Windows XP.
Right. It’s not…that’s what I’m saying. I think it’s the hardware, if anything.
Actually, it’s probably the architecture. Because the architecture of the arcade board…by the way we’re getting really nerdy here…
But the PS3 and the Xbox360…well the PS3’s obviously Cell architecture. But the 360 is PowerPC architecture. And they handle things differently.
Right, right, right, right, right, right.
So there could be in the way… that something in there potentially. Or it could just be the USB line.
Or maybe both! The combination.
7- Can you give me your top 5 favourite commentators excluding yourself?
Yeah. UltraDavid. Seth Killian.
I like Yipes a lot. Yipes is really funny. Yipes is really funny. He has that over a lot of people. UltraDavid, Seth, Yipes…who else do I really like?
You know…are we just relegated to Street Fighter right now?
No, no, any commentator you like.
In the world, or just video games.
Let’s say video games.
Okay! I am actually a fan of Tasteless. Or let’s just say Tastosis. I watch a lot of Starcraft II and I gotta let those guys have one spot. And then I’ll give you my wild-card pick.
Dacidbro is somebody that… we haven’t seen a lot of him yet. I really like his style.
He kind of reminds me of day9 a little bit.
Because he has this really, really ebullient, just like, loud, epic style. It’s just infectious.
He really makes it exciting for me. He’s kinda funny and he has good flow. So. I’ll say those guys.
Dacidbro does a lot commentary on the IPlaywinner stream, usually at the Starbase arcades. I’m on two hours sleep so…
It’s all good man.
I was at the Salty Suite last night. So how did you…
Oh! And Aris. I can’t forget Aris. Man, Aris is the man.
8- So how did you get into commentary?
I just kinda fell into it. Initially I was doing the Alphaism radio before there were streams. Then I would go to tournaments and I would start to do play by play a little bit for people. So I was doing play by play for like Marvel 2 and stuff.
The only person who can do play by play for Marvel 2.
Yeah. So there was that, and then EVO became streamed. Or, I don’t think we streamed it the first year, we just did videos maybe? And we did like live commentary over the house. That went okay. Actually earlier it went pretty well. It was me, Keits and someone else.
That was also the first year that I lost my voice. This is hilarious, because all those years before that I would be fine.
But as soon as they hand me a mic…and I would literally beg for a mic every year.
Because I just wanted to…y’know, I felt like; let me introduce people, let me do the intro and I’ll make it hype.
But then what happened was there became a separate space; the stream.
And we had Keits and I, and some other people had already done live commentary, we were the first choices for that year of EVO. Me, myself and Seth had done Super Turbo commentary, I think.
So we were natural choices because we had a little bit of experience and stuff. So it worked out pretty well. And I seem to get fairly good response.
So I go to tournaments and do commentary, because I like it, I like tournaments and I get a little bit of a response. And slight demand? I guess that would the term.
Slight? I wouldn’t know. Don’t be too modest!
So how would you describe your commentary style?
I think about this a lot. I think the difference from me and like probably the rest of the Street Fighter guys is that- I try to be able to play both roles. So I can sit and be analytical, or I can just kinda do the play by play. So I try to be like, be able to fit in whenever somebody’s needed or whatever.
If I’m by myself. I think I can do that.
I obviously talk faster than anyone else. (Mutton’s note: As the transcriber of this interview, I have to agree!)
That’s the one thing that kind of separates me from everyone else. People say I get hype a lot too. I do, I mean…
Seasons Beatings 5. That’s all I have to say.
Yeah. The stuff…it is exciting to me man. I can’t not get excited. I’m player 2. So I get really hype and I talk really fast.
Mm. It’s not that you just talk fast, it’s also you talk very clearly and fast.
Which is something that is really important.
Yeah. I mean, there’s foreign people that are listening, not just people that speak English. There are people all over the world [listening]. So I try to at least be audible a little bit and make sure that people can understand what I’m saying.
That’s another reason that I try not to speak too fast sometimes. Because I know like people can get lost. But you know, trying to strike that balance is where I am.
9- So how did Alphaism radio come about?
That was all Bunkei.
He was like, I’m just going to put up this shoutcast and be doing this. He just…he just started it, he started interviewing big names at the time. Like Mr Wizard, and Yipes, and Duc Do. Really…Calipower, Alex Valle, big names.
And you know, he would sometimes try to call me on there. We kinda had this rapport from IRC and everything, and just asked me to come on, and help out and co-host a little bit. It just went from there. He was like; I really like having you here so. We just went from there.
And I feel really bad. Because I haven’t been able to do Alphaism like I want to recently. And I always say it’s coming back. And I have seriously, a ton of notes that I want to do for a new style of Alphaism radio.
So what’s cool now is that Bunkei still does Bunkei’s corner. Keeps the same vibe going. It’s like call in, talk about whatever, uncensored, and you know, just let loose.
And also Dnyce will sometimes just host in Alphaism radio proper.
Look for me to still try to do what I wanted to do. But it was definitely a little off the beat in path of what we’ve been doing for Alphaism before. So I have some new ideas I wanted to bring into.
Because I do this show with another guy. Because we usually try to interview with two people.
Yeah of course.
Unfortunately he couldn’t make it out. And he is a huge Alphaism radio fan.
I think he’s basically listened to every single one that you guys have released.
And like, he’s got a magic memory. Just fantastic.
Well shoutouts to him. What’s his…
Hey Muttonhead, yeah. That name is familiar for sure.
Oh he was part of the SRK network. His blog is Being a Scrub.
Okay. Oh yeah, I’ve seen that!
So this is the Don’t be a Scrub Podcast.
Nice! That is clever. You guys…
10- So this is a bit of Marvel 3 question. Should Justin Wong on the West Coast 5 on 5 team?
You can’t…he has better results than more than four people on the West Coast. And even if you know, he’s lost to Tokido, and he’s lost to Combofiend…he’s still a consistently high placer.
And Justin on a team is just like a level of insurance. Even if you think…I would go pick Justin for like my Mario Kart team or something. I don’t care.
Justin Wong is like the consummate gamer. He is very competitive and he has a style that is like; breaking the game down, breaking the opponent down, and just trying to take the most direct path to the win that he can find.
So having him on the team aside from him being a good player is just like a valuable asset. You could have somebody who has this obtuse style that Justin will be better at breaking down.
Do you think that he shouldn’t been maybe the East Coast captain?
Is Justin now being fully converted to the West Coast? He’s now West Coast.
Hollywood Wong man! It’s in effect. He’s lived out here for two, three years. He’s lived out here for two, three years now. And he’s not coming back. He’s not coming back.
Ah okay cool. I ask because, for a long time, East Coast predominantly was just Justin Wong.
And we claimed him. We claimed him for a good six to eight months while he was out here. He’s still East Coast. He’s Marvel 2- he’s still East Coast. He trained on the East Coast.
But Marvel 3- he’s all West Coast. He started Marvel 3 in the West Coast, same with Street Fighter IV really, Super Street Fighter IV for sure so.
We can’t claim him anymore. He’s West Coast.
It’s been two years since he moved. Jesus. Time flies.
Yeah, I think so. I think so.
I think he might have moved in late ’09, early ’10. So maybe not quite two years, but it’s rolling up upon it.
Yeah. I can’t believe that time flies just so quickly.
Yeah I know, right?
Sanford’s got his work cut out for him. Holding it down on East Coast!
Well actually to tell you the truth, speaking about that. I think since Justin’s moved to the West Coast, I think that a lot of the East Coast player have actually taking things a lot more seriously.
Yeah. It’s opened up. We were kind of speculating on; if Justin leaves, will it just kinda fall to Sanford or will it be kinda like on the West Coast where there’s more people that are competitive. And I feel like that’s kinda what’s happened. There’s more people duking it out. You had NerdJosh and ChrisG. And then a lot of the other Empire people beside Sanford like Rahsaan, TwistedJago, those guys are really good at Marvel 3. They were really good at Street Fighter IV as well. Like TwistedJago eliminated Daigo. Or put him into losers. And Marn eliminated him at Season’s Beatings.
So. There’s a lot of other East Coast people now that are coming up in Justin’s absence. And those were guys that were definitely overshadowed before.
Definitely. I was actually really disappointed that TwistedJago didn’t make it out to EVO.
Yeah. He is really good. He probably I think would have been on the East Coast team.
Yes. I think so as well.
But he’s sick.
Yeah, I think it was appendicitis?
Yes, something like that. I think he’s having a CT scan or something. Check out his results. But yeah. Wishing him the best.
Exactly. Wishing him the best and fastest recovery.
The thing about him is he’s in a great shape. So I think he’ll be alright if it’s not something too serious. He’s one of those…he works out a lot. He eats pretty well…he takes care of his body.
So unlike an actual Street Fighter player.
Exactly. Exactly. He’s atypical.
11- What’s your favourite DS game.
Oh. Okay, I haven’t had a DS in a while and I’ll tell you why. I sold my DS to Steve H.
I don’t know why he wanted it. I think I might have used that money towards an EVO ticket that year. Because that was the one year that I was like; where is all my money, I don’t have any!
So at the time I had like seven or eight DS games.
Phoenix Wright. I loved that game.
And I’ve been wanting him…I was wanting him in Tatsunoko vs. Capcom so badly. Sooo soo badly. So the chance to get to play him will be sick.
But you know every DS game that I played at the time was pretty awesome. It’s a really good system.
I played that game, I played Kirby’s Canvas Curse which I thought was sick.
I bought the DS just for that game.
Yeah man, that game was sick!
The Castlevania games were good…I think the DS like…I’m not sure about now, but those first couple generations of games were like really impressive.
Really, really good.
At first when it came out I thought it was just going to be a gimmick. With the touch screen. But they really made it work.
Right, right. Those games were not super technical, in terms of graphics or whatever. But they were good, fun, creative games.
And I feel like the developers were like…they were hungry for an experience where they could kinda go back to their roots and just like, make a 2D game that’s fun and good! You know?
Exactly. And it sort of did bring back the whole 2D gaming aspect again. Because everybody was like playing the big triple A titles on the consoles. Big flashy graphics.
But the portables were always about the good 2D games.
And you basically get Super Nintendo graphics on a portable, which is really awesome. Plus the awesome touch screen.
Yeah. That’s pretty good.
And of course the GBA backwards compatibility I think was well-done.
Of course. Yeah. I like the DS.
But DS is free.
DS from Shoryuken.com. A special shoutout for him. You’re free DS. I just wanna let him know.
12- So why is Kano Australian in Mortal Kombat?
I can’t say the reason that came to mind.
He’s a criminal.
Don’t be mad at me, Australia!
(Laughs.) Austrollia, Austrollia.
(Laughs.) He’s a criminal!
I’m actually not Australian, I’m Croatian. So I don’t mind. Naw.
I dunno. I dunno why. I wanna know why Kano’s so damn good!
Yeah, what the hell?
He’s one of those characters that I feel like is just supposed to be bad. And the game came out and he was bad. And I was like, yeah that’s right.
And then they buffed the hell out of him.
That roll is ridiculous.
I don’t know much about MK9 because well, Australia doesn’t have MK9…
Yeah! I forgot about that! Yeah, you’re funny. Damn.
And he’s Australian? That’s hilarious.
Yeah he’s Australian! Sorry, that was a really bad joke but yeah…
No that was really funny. I just forgot about that. That’s fricking….
Wow Netherealms man, those guys are cool. Have you met any of those guys? Because a lot are out here.
No not yet. Are they actually here?
A lot of those guys make it out. Like Hector Sanchez. Like a lot of producers, directors, programmers. Yeah, they’ve been making it out to a lot of tournaments this year. They’re a really cool company.
They seem really really dedicated to cater to the community. Which is something fantastic and I think a lot more companies…I really wish SNK would do that a bit more. SNK always just seems to shun the American market for some reason.
Or actually I should say every other market but Japan for some reason.
Yeah. I don’t feel that they have the money to pay attention to any other markets as well.
That’s true. That’s true as well.
They do their best. They consistently put out games for a long time. Semi-consistently.
Yeah. I know KOF 13 looks really, really good.
Yeah I’m definitely anxious to play that. And I was similarly anxious for KOF 12. It didn’t come out the way people were expecting. But KOF 13 looks good. I’m definitely going to give it a shot. I hope it has good netplay now. You know?
Netcode is extremely important.
And not just for…it’s for everywhere. Australia? Our scene is maybe 250-300 people? If we don’t have netcode? I can’t play.
And then you have people that work, they don’t have time to make it out. Maybe if they were playing on the internet and they got good, then maybe they’ll find that time off to come to an offline tournament. But they need to be able their skills up online.
And that’s why I’m so excited about 3S OE (Online Edition). I’m not even a 3S guy. But I’m just really anxious to see how that will resonate with not the hardcore community.
The rest of the people that will get to play it with a higher fidelity and see that- whoa! This is a good game and it’s like responsive. Maybe I’ll wanna try it or something.
SNK man. Just GGPO, you know you need to do it.
Mmm. And the thing is, because we don’t have arcades anymore, you don’t get that social…there’s not as much of a social factor. But you can still in a way recreate that arcade feel in a way through Xbox Live parties.
Because what we do now is; we have Replay Mondays.
Oh yeah? You watch replays together?
We watch replays together in an Xbox Live chatroom. And then we sit down and then we breakdown the information…let’s say we play throughout the week? And then we pick the best sort of matches just win or lose. And we have three or four guys who sit in an Xbox Live chatroom, we all go through those matches and we break down the matches, we see the inputs.
Wow, that’s crazy.
Because, like I said, our scene is not that big. And I mean, I don’t live in Melbourne, I live in Geelong which is like 75 kilometres, 70-100 kilometres outside of Melbourne. So I can’t travel up there and back. It’s like an hour and half trip every time. So I need to be able to keep in contact with the guys.
And this is the way I learn, and this is the way that I get better.
That’s really cool. I like that idea a lot.
Yeah. And if we don’t have good netcode, people are less inclined to play…
Exactly! You don’t even want to play. And that’s kinda how I’m feeling about Marvel 3. I’m not experiencing the game as I should be. Because I can’t just sit down and run some matches when I want to, you know?
And it’s hard to figure out things in that game especially you know? It’s got a great replay mode but that only takes you so far anyway.
Yeah, exactly. And in today’s fast and evolving video games…I can’t believe how quickly Marvel 3’s been figured out.
Marvel 2 took a good five, six years to get to a sort of…the way it looks today, right?
Yeah. People are finding things already in Marvel already and they’re becoming really, really clean. That’s what the…the level of play is starting to become really clean and precise. And it took Marvel 2 a lot longer to get to that point. So people have found strong teams and they know those combos and they know those mix-ups and those things are strong.
We still definitely have a ton of crap more to find in this game, but the stuff that we have is like, well-researched and well-practiced.
Very much well-practiced.
13- So how do you feel about Marvel 3?
I mean, Marvel vs. Capcom 2 is my favourite game ever. I don’t think it’s better than that game. But I think that it’s a good… I think it’s well-made even though it has some problems.
But my top three problems were addressed directly in Ultimate…or they are being addressed so I can’t really complain anymore!
I thought that X-factor was too overpowered. That’s being nerfed. I thought that Phoenix was overpowered and that needed to be a meter-suck mechanic. And I was like what, you gave me two? Perfect!
And of course Wolverine is just like…he’s just too good.
He was definitely too good.
I was thinking that he needed like a damage nerf, and probably some tweaks to his game. And I think he just got a little bit of tweaks to his game.
I just hope that they don’t do what they did to Vanilla Sagat. I think that vanilla Sagat was similar to Wolverine’s level but I think they nerfed him too hard in Super.
Yeah. Yeah. They made him like not even powerful anymore. I don’t want them to not be a powerful character, I just want other characters to be as powerful. I just don’t want it be like silly, you know?
So my thing was, I think that the Berserker Slash needs to just get a little bit slower. It’s kind of ridiculous. They also made it way more hittable.
I was thinking maybe a little more hittable. But now they took away almost all, if not all the invincibility on that? And that’s a really surprising change.
But now they just said; it’s for mix-ups, it’s not for going through things, it’s for actually mixing somebody up. So I’ll take that.
So are you looking forward to Ultimate Marvel coming out?
I am, because of those things particularly.
I really wanna see how their thought processes are going with this game, and in general. It’s kinda hard to call how Capcom does things with patches and changes. We always have our opinion and we can get fairly solid consenses or consensuses on what we think. And they will do things that are not really in the ballpark of where we were.
But you know, I felt that way about Super but we came out with a pretty good game. So I did not feel that way about Arcade Edition particularly. So hopefully there might a treatment for that. And this is what I’m looking at for Marvel vs. Capcom 3. Are you really looking at this competitively, do you really think that you can balance that part of the game. How well of a good competitive game do you think you can make while still having crazy stuff.
That’s the one thing about all of the versus games series, they were always broken. But it’s getting that right balance of broken. And I think Marvel 2 sort of…had that. To a certain extent.
I mean, it was super broken. And we were cool with that. I wouldn’t be…I’d be alright if this game was super broken…if it was pretty much super broken and then they couldn’t just come back on you. Like, you can’t even really be like; alright I’m going to pick MSP and I’m going use the broken stuff and beat them with that.
Because then I might miss one thing, and then level 3 X-factor Wesker is gonna kill entire team.
So if it’s going to be broken, at least be broken, and like have some fidelity on winning man!
Have you seen a level 3 Arthur?
He can chip out almost three players. Insane.
I know right. Yeah.
I saw that this morning, happened to one of our Australian guys.
His mind was blown. Like, dididididi. Dead.
Like what the hell?
I suppose it’s part of the game in a way.
It’s just crazy. They’re gonna tone it down a bit though.
So how do you feel about X-factor being able to activate in the air?
It’s pretty cool. It seems like an arbitrary limitation. For like, not being to do it. In this game.
But the only reason that it’s good, is because it makes Phoenix more beatable.
Which is cool. It would be…very strange, I think…for them to purposefully say like; alright take X-factor in the air. Because I can’t see that mechanic being designed without being able to do it in the air. It’s the same thing as Baroque.
So I feel that they originally had it like that. And then maybe they said; whoa. This is how you kill Phoenix. Make it not X-factorable in the air and let that run competitively.
That’s incredibly insightful if they made those decisions. I don’t know if they think on that level. I don’t think they think specifically as to like; what should people be able to do to beat this character.
I’m not sure. I really wanna ask NeoG (NeoG is the battle creator/coordinator for Marvel vs. Capcom 3 and a whole bunch of other games like alpha 2/3 etc) about that kind thing this weekend. So, I think it’s cool.
It’s definitely gonna change up Phoenix a little bit. She’s gonna be able to avoid chips like those chip setups that she had.
They took a little bit of life from her, and now you’re going to have to suck meter.
I have no idea, I dunno. Whatever.
If they think she needs less life I got no problems with that.
Yeah. So suck some meters, and she’s limited to one air action meter now. So, cool.
You know, we get a lot of players. And I kind of like wanna have somebody that’s like a big name that’s like a producer or something.
Like we talked to Derek Neal, we just haven’t been able to try to get him on.
And we had Seth obviously, but it would be like a dream to get somebody like; if we could somebody like NeoG on there and we could get a good translator or something like that. Or uh, Christian Svenson.
Yeah, guys like that.
I would like to get the other perspective on it. Because what we do, we get the players’ perspectives a lot. And that’s easy. We don’t really have too much trouble getting who we want. It would also be cool to get some Japanese players. You know, Daigo, Mago, Korea’s Infiltration. Obviously huge barriers there. Time as well as language.
So how do you guys keep the motivation up to do a weekly podcast. Because me and Mutton, we usually try to do it on a fortnightly basis. But even then it’s still a hell of a lot of work in the background. Organising people. Getting people to come down. Blah blah so forth.
Where does your motivation come from?
Well, originally we just said, let’s do a weekly. And we just decided that we wanted to stick with it. So for the first year we were pretty good about every week. Or maybe like we took a week off if we had to, or if I couldn’t talk or something like that.
But we really wanted to establish a schedule, some regularity, and just like; get people familiar with us.
Now, it’s a lot harder. We’re both a little bit more busy. And it’s harder to coordinate people. I had like…
Okay so over the first few months, it didn’t really matter. If we didn’t really have somebody who wasn’t a name, we would just go get somebody…that was in the chatroom!
We’ll go, you’re a Street Fighter player, let’s talk about Street Fighter.
But now we try a little bit harder to get names that people are gonna recognize and less of the like, community crossup type things.
So now we’ll take maybe a week off or something like that for those types of reasons. But we were really motivated because we like doing the show. We like to ask those question, get those answers. And we just like people to listen to it and have fun with it like we do.
See, I think for a podcast initially, consistency is the most important [thing] as you’re building it up. Once when you sort of get that recognition, then it’s sort of okay to take a little bit more time to do it. As long as…people already know that it’s a quality project that they enjoy. And it’s already in their routine. But I think consistency is really important in the first year.
Yeah. We tried really hard for the first year.
I mean, we still do…
No no, of course…
I think we got like 48, or 49 weeks the first year. We did pretty well. And we did a bunch of live ones too. And we didn’t count those.
14- So how did you meet Keits?
(Laughs.) Oh my god.
You know what it was?
Smash Brothers Brawl came out. I didn’t really used to play Smash Brothers or anything, but I owned it. And I thought it was a cool game. But I was like, alright I go to play Street Fighter at tournaments. And I would have friends that would play Smash Brothers, right?
So I’ll go play with them, maybe on 64 or on Gamecube or whatever.
And they would own me.
I’m like…you can’t…
You can’t like own me in a fighting game.
This is…it made me mad.
Like, to just get owned.
It has blocking, and throwing and jump attacks. I should be able to figure this out and own you now!
But they were just destroying me. Like DEE-stroying me.
So I took a class for Smash Brothers in my college. I didn’t take it because I wanted to beat my friends, but they had a Smash Brothers class in my college!
Wouldn’t you take the class on Smash Brothers if you were offered a credit?
You’re actually serious?
One credit, yeah.
Smash Brothers? Of course.
I want to go to your uni!
You can ask Josh the Funk Doc who was here and goes to the school that I went to. It was there. It was a class. They don’t have it there anymore because it was a Melee class. And I learned how to play Melee in that class.
I learned like edge guarding and wavedashing and all that crap. And I was like, this is a pretty cool game. Melee was a good game.
And during that time period, Brawl was coming out, okay?
And I was like, Brawl’s going to be cool, Sonic’s going to be it, I love Sonic.
So I was conversing with the Shoryuken community about Smash Brothers. Keits also similar to me, likes all games, was doing pretty much the same thing. And he also had experience running tournaments. So his idea was; we need to play with the items.
And I was like; you’re an idiot.
You don’t play Smash Brothers with items, dude.
That is…stupid. You’re stupid and I hate you.
And we were just kinda like…I don’t even remember what happened. I think at some point I just was like, alright I’m going to try it.
And I played with items and I was like….
Alright this is actually not that bad.
He started like his rule set that he was making up and he limited it to some items and were experimental. So I said, alright I’ll help out in this.
So then it was Keits’ and Skisonic’s All-Brawl. So we were working with this rule set and we made this 3 out of 5, I think 3 minute time limit, and I think my last contribution to it was; we were trying to decide what items were fair or good or cool for competitive play.
And by the end I was like; all of them.
Don’t turn any of them off.
If we leave it on medium spawn, 3 minutes, 3 of 5 matches? There is enough items spawned that even if you got the broken item that you think is broken, you have hella more matches to turn around.
And, I really feel, in that game, items are actually a balancing factor. And when you take items out, well then Metaknight owns everybody for free!
Metaknight is so good! Metaknight and Snake, right?
Maybe it’s changed because I haven’t played Brawl in two and half years but that was pretty straight forward to me. But if you turn items on, my character who was low-tier… became competitive.
Not the best. But actually competitive.
My character, Sonic- still got bopped by Metaknight. But at least if there are items on the stage, my character who is good at getting items, designed…he’s fast right? Doesn’t that mean that he’s good for getting items?
That’s what it’s made for!
My character’s supposed to scoop the items and supposed to be able to try to get the smash ball even though Metaknight breaks away easier than him. So I feel that kinda of thing actually made the game a little bit more fun, and a little bit better.
I just…wasn’t really a fan of how Brawl developed and the general scene?
And neither was Keits. And basically the Smash community hated us, and; your rules suck. You guys are idiots. We bonded over that.
Because international standard for Melee is no items, right?
Yeah, in Melee, it’s fine. No items, whatever, then like a limited stage. We didn’t try to go change Melee. We thought that that’s cool. Because Melee actually works with no items. Brawl…you go look at the developer’s notes, and Sakurai (the main director of Super Smash Brothers Brawl) Is like; real men play with items.
So they definitely like, went even a step further in my opinion to make items an even more integral part of the game. And I feel like it works, it just works!
The way that characters works plus items works better than character with no items. That’s just my opinion. Don’t put me on blast, all you Brawl players.
So do you think it could be something similar to the Melee guys don’t really wanna accept Brawl as the new game, similar to the way that some of the Marvel vs. Capcom 2 OG don’t wanna accept Marvel vs. Capcom 3 as…
It’s almost the same thing, except that I think in Melee and Brawl, they’re a little bit more reticent, even. Like the Marvel 2 guys were like; well at least we got a new game after ten years, we’ll give it a shot.
And a lot of guys are on board, some guys just aren’t. But it’s a totally different game. Brawl is more similar to Melee, but the difference between Melee and Brawl is that they took all the crazy stuff and all the broken stuff.
So I understand that. You wanted to play the game with the broken stuff. And that’s cool and everything. They took out all that broken stuff, so if you don’t have that brawl anymore and you try to play with no items, that’s was when I feel like it doesn’t work as well.
Melee was sick. With no items. Wavedash across the screen, dropkick somebody in the face and all that kind of stuff. You had real combos, and that kinda thing. It’s just not the same in Brawl without items. I just feel like it’s a different game.
That was how I met Keits, to answer your original question. We were bonding over that. We started to go to tournaments together.
That was one of the reasons why I was doing commentary that year. I was gonna do it for Smash Brothers with him because we were grinding Smash together. I lost my voice halfway through Smash Brothers and Nazhear filled in for us. And I did Capcom vs. SNK 2 that year as well.
So that’s how we met.
Since then, he’s been a good friend but…
I still blame him for making me pick El Fuerte.
Still blame him.
16- So where did the name Skisonic come from?
I’m assuming it has something to do with Sonic?
Yeah I like Sonic, as like my nickname. I decided that was my nickname when I was like really, really, really young. ‘Cos I talked really fast, and I was like a runner and I liked track and yeah.
And…I liked Sonic the Hedgehog.
And I was like…these things, they work. So I’ll be Sonic.
And I’ll go do things in online arenas and obviously Sonic’s like the most common nickname in the world, or you know, among them. So I couldn’t really get Sonic as a handle for things. So I had a friend who had an AOL account.
And you know how you could make guest names on there? I didn’t have internet access. So he would…we would acquire an account sometimes that were like…not ours.
But then also, he had one that…
Those accounts that we acquired we would make screen names for.
And then he also made one for me. Somewhere along the way I think I said; I just want you to make me a screen name with Sonic in it. And he just put Ski on it, because he liked to ski.
I have never been skiing in my life. So I just put that on there and I was just like…alright…I guess that’s cool. We had some others like Skisquare and Skisomethingelse. And the one with the Squaresoft one he was like, I was just looking at the Final Fantasy VII game that was sitting next to me. So, Skisquare.
So we just had this running Ski thing. When I got on the IRC I had a limited number of characters that I could make for my name. I wanted my name to be Sonicdeleet. Because I thought that sounded cool. It was like leet. And delete. What a smart double entendre!
But it didn’t really fit with the number of characters, so I guess I gotta use my other name, Skisonic. Everybody, call me Sonic. Please don’t call me Ski!
It didn’t work.
(Laughs.) Totally the opposite.
Heh, yeah that didn’t work. So that was basically how it happened.
See I’m in a similar position. Because originally I used to go by the name of Carnage. Because Carnage is one of my favourite Marvel villains. And I’m a huge Spiderman fan. But every time I go Carnage, it’s always taken. So I actually then decided well I love Spiderman, so Spidercarnage.
Yeah again I wanted everyone to call me Carnage…
Just call you Carnage, but they’re like; Spider! Hey Spider!
So yeah I’m in the same boat.
17- Is there any shoutouts you’d like to make?
Always, shoutouts to Alphaism radio. Keits and Shoryuken.com, my co-commentators like UltraDavid, Seth Killian, Ryan Hunter and James Chen who were all out here this weekend. I love guys like Yipes.
I want to give shoutouts to all the gaming communities. ‘Cos like I get around a lot. So I don’t really like roll particularly tight besides people who’re from where I’m from like PerfectSIN, Baltimore crew, Buttonmasher and all those guys.
But communities like Well-played, Team liquid, Neogaf and all those little sites like Hip-Hop gamer. I look on those forums and see them talking about EVO and a few of those guys came out from the Mortal Kombat forums, all that stuff. I think it’s great that you guys are looking into competitive gaming and are really into it. And obviously your Starcraft guys, you are ahead of us…
They were the pioneers…
But I just love that all the communities are like really passionate about the game so shoutouts to those guys for supporting and paying attention.
This weekend is…just unparalleled, epic history gaming weekend. There’s MLG, GSL and EVO this weekend. So this is ridiculously huge.
Which stream do I watch?
You watch them all at the same time!
I gotta get a better internet connection; I can only handle three streams at one time.
I know right, that’s the worst part. I’m like, I’m trying to watch MLG, c’mon Slasher! So yeah it’s awesome right now. To see everyone’s enthusiasm, you know there’s some spill over in the Starcraft and the Street Fighter communities and all that. I just love to see everybody excited and happy about all these games.
It’s a great time to be a gamer. If you want to be a serious gamer.
Well, thank you very for your time.
And good luck in your Marvel pools!
Thank you so much man.