So, Street Fighter V has finally come out. Is it the one game to rule them all? The game to push our community to a Dota/LoL e-sports level? Personally I just want it to be a good game, and that it will get more people to come out and play, like Vanilla SFIV did.
I didn’t get to play much on launch week. Funnily enough, the only time I did play it was offline for about twenty minutes at my lady friend’s place. Her little nine year old cousin was watching me play at the time and his comments went something like this:
“Where’s the story-mode? Where’s the content.”
“Where’s the tutorials/challenge mode?”
“This game looks boring”
“The graphics look shit!”
Haha. Perhaps this is the general response of a casual gamer to Capcom’s content-less launch. I understand they had to launch before the CPT circuit though, so they’re sort of stuck between a rock and a hard place. Personally, all that single-player stuff doesn’t matter to me though, as all I need is versus and good netcode!
Shortly after, we had the SFV CouchWarriors launch tourney, and I believe it was a great success. We booked out the CQ (large hotel ballroom in the CBD that we usually only use for BAM) again since it was a special event, and we filled out the venue! I was really happy when I walked in on Saturday morning twenty minutes late for setup, and everything was already laid out with tables in formation and rows of flashing monitors and consoles. One thing that’s been great for the local community is the real growth in the CouchWarriors staff/board. Two or three years ago the board was getting a bit thin or meagre, but now our roster goes twenty-thirty strong. And more importantly, we get so many more hands on board to do stuff like moving equipment, setting up, manning the rego desk etc. A lot of this has to do with the explosion of Smash, and new dedicated, competent, hardworking tournament organisers like Darren, Ignis, Jack, Dom etc. Tones is doing a great job as equipment manager, and I’ve been chuffed at Javi’s treasur-ing and Rory’s continued hard work.
We still need a bit of new blood for the Capcom tournament organiser side though 😛 Spoony is now the CW president, and one lesson we learned from the previous BAM is that he should never run a bracket. He needs to have sort of an overlord role, creating seeded brackets at the front desk, putting out fires, directing the setup and schedule and things like that. If he runs a bracket it ties him up too much and can result in greater logistical problems overloading elsewhere.
At this SFV launch tourney I’m not sure of our overall attendance, but it must be near or over 300. We had 85 for SFV, 160 for Smash 4, and 80 for Melee. 85 is really good for a Capcom game in Melbourne, it’s nearly at the numbers we had for vanilla SFIV tournaments. At recent CW ranbats we’ve only had SFIV brackets of twenty something, 85 is basically BAM numbers. So it’s great!
I volunteered to run the SFV brackets, with Baraa as my fellow bracket runner. Unfortunately Baraa had to go run the MKX stream, so I had to rope in Gab and later Spoony to help me. Again, this means we’ll have to train some new blood to run our Capcom tournaments. (Smash have tons of willing volunteers.) The tournament ran fine, ZG won with his disgusting Vega, legacy controllers were a pain in the butt, and I left early in the top 8 to drive someone to the airport.
Another thing that was awesome for me was that James’ (Brewster) girlfriend Meg was happy to help me film reaction footage of the stream players with my DLSR for Stuff Yo’ Couch. This was fantastic because I was basically tied up from 230PM to around 7PM running SFV and I would have almost no footage if not for her. I’m very indebted to you Meg, thanks very much!
So finally after the launch tournament I was able to sit down and have some intimate one on one time with SFV. From playing casuals with Spoony I identified some issues that I wanted to test.
a) After forward throw, Ryu is negative after dashing up to meaty. I need another safer setup.
b) After MK tatsu, my meaties were having trouble with the variance between quick rise and back roll.
c) Having difficulty with DP into Super combos.
d) My SFV execution basically sucks, all my Ryu muscle memory is from SFIV and I keep trying to sweep from mediums for example.
e) Safe jump setups after Crush Counter sweep. Preferably a setup that leads to forward jump to eliminate the variance in range of the sweep hitting.
First things first: I had to learn more about the system mechanics of the game.
a) From the Prima Guide I learned that his dash is 16 frames. So add the 5 frame startup of his stand strong- I need something that is active before 21 frames after his forward throw. Solar Plexus Strike is 17 frames- aha! It catches and counter-hits wake up jab nicely into fHP stand MP tatsu combo (too far for cHP to combo). And if they don’t quick-rise (you can’t backroll after throw) I can do dash after the whiffed fHP and do stand MP and it counter-hits their wake up normal too. The only caveat is that fHP is slow and some players will be able to reaction uppercut it, and it is -2 so if they block it I’m at a disadvantage. But it’s way better than dashing up after the throw and getting wakeup jabbed by Chun Li. In the corner after throw I can even do back HK right after throw and it hits so meaty I can combo into cHP DP or stand MP cMK tatsu after. If they don’t quick-rise I can dash after the back HK and do another back HK for the same meaty situation or even stand HK for a bigger CC combo.
b) I read from the guide again that the variance in frames between quick-rise and backroll is 5 frames. Since distance doesn’t matter because I get a dash up after MK tatsu, what attack do I have that has a lot of active frames that cover both? The answer is back HK. I can always do stand MP (do cMP after not cHP because of distance) after the dash after a MK tatsu combo but it whiffs on backroll. Back HK tags both (4frame normal on quick rise) and is 0 on block. Not so great for tick throws, but it’s sweet I have an option that covers both!
c) I learned from twitter that ShadyK helped write the Prima guide. ShadyK is one of my heroes for learning tech, I learned a lot from his Doom at the start of UMVC3. I bought the Marvel guide cos Clockwork wrote it, and a very big reason for buying the SFV guide is because of ShadyK. He’s been dropping a lot of mechanics info on his twitter too. One of them being: DF D DF+P QCF+P no longer does DP into super like in SFIV. You have to have two discrete D F motions to get your special in super. So you could do it like this: DF D DF+P F QCF P or the traditional way of F D DF+P F QCF+P. I’m sort of getting it on the 2P side okay, but I have to drill, drill, drill to get consistent on both sides for tournament play.
d) My double-tapping sucks. I tried practicing all my combos with double-tapping but in real games my execution was haywire because double-tapping isn’t second nature to me yet. I’ll single tap for now since SFV execution is much easier with the three frames link window, and incorporate double tapping later once it’s more natural.
e) I know the existing 4 frame safe jump after CC sweep, which is whiff stand HK neutral jump HK. But it’s not ambiguous. I want a forward jump setup. I was trying things like slight step back cMK jump forward MK and things like that but I was unable to find a reliable setup. I was having difficulty recording stuff to replicate the CC sweep situation where the dummy does it to me and I either block or try to DP it. At least I found out that the timing of CC sweep and non-quick rise timing is identical! The other interesting thing I found out (again from ShadyK’s twitter) is that jump attack recovery frames in this game is 4 frames but you can cancel the last two frames into a special move. I wonder if there’s some advanced OS you could do with that hm…
Random stuff: Hilariously you can do stand Mk V-trigger cancel it and combo into light tatsu super. Even better, you can do stand HK stand LK tatsu into super too. Practical applications include max range whiff punishing, or even far jump ins where you can only combo into stand MK/sweep, but you could also do V-Trigger into the stand HK stand LK into tatsu super combo.
It’s great. This is one of things I love most about fighting games, going into the lab and being a scientist and testing setups and learning stuff. I’d lost that passion for the lab for SFIV for one or two years now, but I’m really enjoying the learning process again with SFV. So I still don’t know if this game will last or whether I will fall in love with it, but it’s definitely brought back the joy of training mode.