Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo Player Interview with David Boudreau aka XSPR from Japan

papasipapasi N Ken is the truthJoined: Posts: 1,568
dophin.jpg
NAME: David Boudreau, aka XSPR
AGE: 34
HOMETOWN: I played in Boston, before moving to Japan
OCCUPATION: IT
YEARS PLAYING SF2: since CE/HF days
MAIN: Dhalsim
OTHERS: Ryu

papasi: Weapon of choice?

XSPR: Any standard Japanese arcade parts I guess, since I'm used to that. I think everyone prefers Japanese buttons at least. As for square/octo gates I'm not even sure what the difference in feel is actually, off the top of my head.

papasi: Tournament results?

XSPR: For ST, one highlight was 3rd place at a tournament in Ikebukuro (Tokyo) with ST sim, in AE. I also got first or second place a few times in local tournaments, outside of the Tokyo area. Before I moved to Japan, I think the best I did was get 2nd in an A3 tournament (Eight on the Break in NJ). Eddie Lee got first, I knocked him into losers' bracket that tournament, but he managed to come back to win it all in the finals.

papasi: Favorite fighting game?

XSPR: ST is what I'm focused on. I have very little interest in learning another fighting game all over again.


papasi: You have been around for a long time but since you moved to japan a long time ago, many new people do not know you. Can you give us a little background of your gaming history?

XSPR: I saw SF1 the first time at a big arcade. When it first came out, it had the two big buttons and it wasn't until later that our local bowling alley's arcade got the 6 button layout version. This was about 1987.

I actually first saw World Warrior in Hong Kong while visiting there, but didn't play it because it was way too crowded and I wasn't focused on games then. It was obviously popular though. I didn't get back into games until the end of CE days, right before HF came out but it wasn't until ST days that I started with agsf2 and finding out more about competitive scenes. The Internet was about to gain serious traction in society around this time, 1994 to 95, and it allowed the scene to organize and find out about tournaments.

I met up at an NYC gathering then and got involved. It was a lot of fun to meet up with people that were all into the same game. I was not good enough to play at any high level though, and had a "play to win" mindset so I picked Akuma sometimes. It was bad form to compete like this of course, and it was the familiar scenario: you go to an event, you don't lose EVERY game, so you think you're alright maybe. But pretty quickly you find out that others don't quite remember it that way.

Soon after this, Alpha 1 came out and people flocked to the shiny new game but I was disappointed when all the ST machines started disappearing from my area. I didn't like A1, and I really didn't like A2 because it seemed more in the same direction that A1 took. You could block fireballs in the air, and even block a DP in the air, but not normal moves, so eventually people just did crouch HP instead of risking a DP, and if it traded it was almost always in your favor anyway. I got more interested in HF at the time, which still had a few players but that was dying out.

At the MIT arcade, from about 96 to 98, I played with Jeff Perlman, Scott Bradburn, Zass and Sirlin. All of those guys were a lot better than I was but I was getting better. Zass and Sirlin were from California and had played with the best guys there, where they held the biggest tournaments. During those years, the Xmen/Marvel games got a lot of attention but I couldn't play those at all (so I stuck with A2 then). I didn't realize it at the time, but the best players in our area-- and maybe the entire country-- of those Vs. games (Trien Ho and Jimmy Fong) were actually really good, and when I heard about MvC2 becomming so popular in the US later on, I think they had stopped playing for the most part by then, but did win vs the other best players like Eddie Lee (or Jwong? I can't remember) early on. I liked SF3 when it came out, but that never caught on much either in the area.

One of the more memorable tournaments I read and heard about from others was B3, Battle By the Bay in California. Then about 6 to 8 Months later, on an unusually warm winter day at the MIT arcade, B2 was held when John Choi faced Sirlin in the finals, Zass got 3rd and Scott 4th I think (Choi's shoto vs. Scott's Sakura was the best tournament match that day, Scott had him shut down in the corner but Choi CC'd through a fb for this massive comeback).

I went to any tournament that I could manage to afford getting to or had the time. On the East Coast, it was more spread out and the best place for us to meet was in NJ, at the "Eight on the Break" arcade with tournaments run by Todd Dwyer. I think one of the best A2 players was Omar from around the VA area (?) on the East Coast. I also went to a tournament in Philly once, also run by Todd, and drove down to NYC a bunch of times.

Alpha 3 came out during the summer of 98. I became one of the best A3 players on the East Coast. Trien and Jimmy played this too, and after 6 to 8 months, they caught up to where they could beat me a lot of the time. Scott and Jeff were still around, but Zass and Sirlin had moved back to California. I held a few local tournaments. I went to the big A3 tournament in late summer of 98 in California, that's where I met a bunch of top WC players I'd heard about for a while and I also met DreamTR and CigarBob. After the tournament, we went to a special arcade that had Japanese cabinets with the "head to head" setup, and I had never seen Street Fighter on anything like that. I was amazed at the setup: each game had 2 screens, completely separated, with plenty of elbow room. I didn't like having to sit down but other than that it was awesome. I only played ST but DreamTR was playing A2. His opponent didn't like throws in the game, and started throwing this huge tantrum. He shouted all these loud threats for a bit, but DreamTR didn't leave the game, kept right on playing so this other guy started kicking chairs, just looking for a physical fight. He got kicked out of the arcade as diplomatically as possible (but I think he came back 20 minutes later to break a window or something?). Everyone from those arcade days have their stories like this. Even at MIT's serene, relatively protected environment of an arcade, I was there with Jeff (and Chi? or someone else) and these other guys showed up and they didn't like throws or something, either. One said to Jeff as they're playing, "Do that again, watch what happens", or something like that, in a way like he was going to start something. I remember thinking, I hope something bad doesn't happen, but if it does, I can't just sit by the sidelines. It was a little tense at one point but I think we just got them kicked out.

In 1999 I moved to Japan, and got a lot better at A3. A lot of people played it and there were lots of arcades. There was an event in Tokyo I went to that Zass told me about- "Team USA vs. Team Japan" in a bunch of games, including ST. So I attended this and saw Japan sweep the US in everything except MvC2 (I hardly ever saw that game in Japan, it just wasn't played much at all here). The US won MvC2 convincingly, but lost 3S just as convincingly. But then online all these people in the US said things like, "oh it was so close overall, we're about as good, if only this had happened and if that had happened, we might have just as easily won, so they won technically but we think we're just as good in our hearts", etc. Exactly like me and so many others after his first tournament or gathering.

Around 2001 to 2002, I got to a point where, in my local area, I had a shot at 3rd in local A3 tournaments on my best days. Our best players were YMD, and 443. 443 had lived in Tokyo before and knew Bas (DA4). He wasn't as good as Bas, but far above almost everyone in our area except YMD. 443 was somewhat known among top players for coming up with the most creative VC combos in the game. In 2003 I moved to Yokohama, and got back into ST. I played at Kameraya-san's arcade almost every day that year.

After that, AE came out and gathered up the scene again. I preferred ST but it was a close substitute, and there were lots of local tournaments held for it. It's not fun to pay for games vs. CE characters though with their damage scaling and dizzies. But it also set off a resurgence in ST, so more tournaments were held for ST as well.


papasi: So what brought you to play ST?

XSPR: I started playing ST when it came out, and soon I got involved in the larger scene during college, which the newsgroups helped organize and you could find out gatherings and arrange tournaments so more people would show up.

After the gathering in NYC where I met s-kill, inkblot, Dave Spence, and I think Omar was at that one too, I organized a money match (the first one ever maybe?) with some local friends of mine in the Boston area right after this, who were great HF players but not nearly as much in ST. I called my guys the "Rising Dragons", and put up $100. It didn't work out so well! We lost. We had other bets for less, but only managed to win one of them. Zass played us in the last one I held, he used boxer, and I even used Akuma (since I was a lot worse than anyone, they actually allowed this!) but they still won. None of those guys plays anymore, except Zass maybe. It wasn't until A3 days where I could get to that kind of level and win like that. So I didn't get rich playing the game but slowly got better and better.

After this, Alpha 1 started to appear in arcades. I was wondering why people wanted to play the new game when I thought the old one (ST) was better. But that's where the competition went, a trend that's always been true in games. I could picture a day like today when people would still be playing ST but most people thought that idea was crazy. Anyway, ST just disappeared from my area so I dragged myself, kicking and screaming through A1/A2, and never really able to compete at all in the Xmen/Marvel stuff.

So here is the big gap for ST- I was always interested in it, but even on consoles it was a while before there were any ports of ST. During A2 days I played a lot with Scott Bradburn who had a nasty ambiguous cross-up with Sakura, and that's the game I played most with no ST around. There was a tiny arcade that had a HF machine at my school, and I got some people into that but it was never more than about 5 to 10 consistent players. A3 came out in 98, and I went to Japan in 99.

Japan was an entirely different atmosphere. Arcades were well-lit, clean places with attentive staff. There were a lot more arcades (though, the number has gone down) and finding competition wasn't really a problem, for many games. It took me a little while to get used to sitting down every time I played games, having stood up in arcades my whole life, and I never really got used to all the cigarette smoke esp in some arcades but other than that they're great places.

I bought a car after a month or two living here, a small 660cc engine Subaru, that I taught myself stick-shift on. It was a lot of fun driving around in a completely new country. I was living in a small city, well outside the Tokyo area so it made sense to have a car but if you live in Tokyo, the train system is excellent (only, it doesn't run 24 hours, it stops around 12/1am) and generally too crowded/impractical for a car. I have a Japanese driver's license, and getting that was pretty crazy because you have to memorize a path through a cordoned-off special track. There are also a few really dumb traffic laws that are potentially dangerous, if anyone actually follwed them. At gas stations, it's common to see young, even attractive females work at these kinds of places. "Do you have any trash that I can empty for you sir?" "Huh? Oh yeah, here, thanks" (hand her the pile of used tissues and food wrappers from the floor seat). It was all full-service back then. Only recently have self-serve stations come into popularity, and that was only about 3 years ago. You don't pay a human, you just use a vending machine type of system to pay. At some places, the nozzles drop down from a roof and you park kind of under them.

So with my car, I started driving down to Tokyo on weekends, mostly for A3. I tracked down Daigo and played with him a few times at his usual arcade, which isn't there anymore. It was mostly for A3, but the first time, we also played ST as well once. I didn't understand nearly as much about the game back then so just got destroyed left and right. I could manage much better in A3 games but nowhere as good as he was.

It wasn't until 2003 that I got back into ST. I played at Kameraya-san's usual arcade called 7 Islands. Kamerya played ken, guile, and is said to have the best footsie game. I played there almost every day that year. We'd get occasional visits by Kurahashi (guile, ryu, ken), top Zangief players, and Komoda Blanka. This was when I got a pretty solid ground game and really enjoyed Ryu again. There was an active player base and people were coming up with little new strategies all the time. My reversal DPs got a lot better and more consistent. Many top US players downplay Execution, but once you start being able to perform DPs that just come up despite initial expectations, kind of like Chilean miners, the fear factor goes up and it really shakes their mixup game as you get up from knockdowns.


papasi: Do you like Japan's single elimination character locked tournament or US's double elimination free for all tournament?

XSPR: Actually, I really like the round robin/pools format of tournament, where you have the most chances to play the most number of other players. Having been to so many tournaments, I think this serves the fighting game players the best. One of our main core values as a community is the competition, and we have always rewarded the top players with priority. If anyone deserves recognition, it is obviously those people. But I often wonder, can we have more of the entrants play each other, while still doing that? I think the main question everyone at a tournament would like answered is not "who is the best" because it's often known who has the best chances before it even starts. I think it would better serve the community if we could answer for each person "How do _I_ stack up in all this?" as much as possible.


papasi: How much time do you play per week?

XSPR: maybe 5 to 10 hours when I'm active with it, but next to zero when not.


papasi: Do you play SF4?

XSPR: I'm not particularly interested in learning SF4 because I don't want to relearn street fighter all over yet again. There's nothing so wrong with ST that I would want to devote my time to 4. I said the same thing about Alpha1 when it came out, but where I was at the time, the ST cabinets disappeared rapidly. I can still find people to play ST and since it's been around for so long, I'm sticking with that.

papasi: Speaking of SF4, recently Daigo has started using headphone when he's playing tournament oversea. Do you prefer the US style tournament where there are more "hype" (and also come with more "noise") ?

XSPR: I'm all for enforcing super-strict rules at tournaments. The same way it's done in tennis, or golf tournaments. "Why can't Street Fighter be more like... golf?" I realize I take an extreme view on all this (and I realize it's not likely to ever happen), but closed-circuit cameras/soundproof booths for the players sounds awesome to me! Top players endure crowd noise distractions, but they should not _have_ to, in my utopian, idealized view of how things ought to be. In any case, I definitely don't want people calling Daigo a bitch over the announcer's mic, or calling Andre his n-word. Suppress that urge, homeslice! It just makes it all look unprofessional, esp. if tournaments are charging a lot more these days just to enter.

papasi: What about HDR? Do you play it? I noticed you were invited to one of online tourney organized by Otochun. And you are playing classic mode on XBL from time to time.

XSPR: I absolutely prefer ST over HDR, but HDR is the only version on a modern console so I've been playing a lot of that lately, ever since I upgraded to Windows 7 last year (ggpo's framerate gets all choppy and uneven in Windows 7). A friend of mine wanted to play HDR so he got me a point card to get it. Some players on Live ask me how I got so good in HDR, and I say for a modern console, it's As Good As It Gets: I started with ST, then I took away reason and accountability.

Look, it's like this guy Rakim, who said, "Don't need to remix it, why prefix it, reversed and switched it? ST performed to near perfection, section for section". They tried to TAKE it, say that all the OG's and player base, are too small. Cool, we don't need to get upset. But once you actually play it on your console it's hard not to pull the plug and kick a hole in your TV set. Jet back to the lab, without a stick to grab. And then you add all the changes they had. There was AE, now HDR-- One after the other one, then they make another one, you start to wonder, when will they be done? I just want to play ST, I get a craving, like a fiend for nicotine. But I don't need a cigarette. Know what I mean? I'm just raging, ripping it up on the stage and, don't it sound amazing? Fiending for the original, like heroin--After 12, I'm worse than a gremlin. Feed me ST and I start trembling. The thrill of suspense is intense, you're horrified. But this ain't the cinemas or "Tales From the Darkside". By any means necessary, is HDR what had to be done? "Make way ST, cause here HDR comes!"?? The remixer cuts material, acts like some Grand Imperial. It's a must that I bust any imitator you hand to me.

This "remix" is not likely to last anywhere near as long as ST. The original ST has been played and featured in tournaments for nearly 20 years and it's still going. I will continue playing ST.

I think the remixer even won an award for game "design" after HDR initially sold so many copies- but to my knowledge he has yet to design his first shipped video game. HDR is a "remix"; he moved some hitboxes around according to his personal views, but the game itself was already designed basically, and HDR sold well because the title included long-standing intellectual properties owned by Capcom including the familiar title "Super Street Fighter II Turbo", the Capcom trademarked logo, and all the familiar Capcom characters. If it had been called "David Sirlin's Greatest Remix of a Fighting Game", I doubt it would have sold as many copies. I'm sure he'd say something like, "The Art of Sun Tsu says, that the winner of the game design award is won before you even design any video game at all." He didn't really _design_ a game, but he seems to have faked it very well.
eltrouble "I doubt that ST will be on the main stream ever again."
OhNuki: Real men play ST!!
James Chen: there is something special about playing ST on a cab. It just feels so goooooood.
Super Turbo Hitbox & safe jump guide http://www.strevival.com/hitbox/
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Comments

  • papasipapasi N Ken is the truth Joined: Posts: 1,568
    papasi: We know that Japan and Korea have god-like internet infrastructure. Do you think online play can be a substitute of offline play in Japan? From a scale of 1-10 where 10 represent a score closest to offline play, how would you rate Japan's online play?

    XSPR: It's never a 10 of course, but the basic game is definitely there in online with GGPO/Live for example, so you get what you're looking for more or less. So I'd give it at least an 8 or 9 when there's little lag, say 15ms to 50ms. At higher levels of play, the strategy and positioning starts to make less of a difference than Execution so every frame counts even more, and also you start having to play more conservatively than normally because the risks you are comfortable taking offline work out tremendously worse for you in online so you get into habits like not taking the risks in the first place. The speed of light itself isn't fast enough to give us what we really want but for convenience sake it's worth playing online. In Korea, something like over 80% of the population lives in highrise apartment complex buildings, where consumer broadband access must scale a lot better. Japan is also very good these days, however it may be somewhat expensive for a lot of people too.


    papasi: You have created a tool called Execution Aid for recording and reviewing your stick / buttons inputs. SF4 seemed to have taken that idea and have that built in.
    Do you think there are other areas where capcom and other fighting game developers can improve?

    XSPR: The biggest area for game companies to innovate is the training modes, and implementing more statistics reporting to help us understand what strategies matter the most and which ones don't help us much. These fighting games have always been difficult to determine why you lost the last round, exactly. Today there could be ways to make that more clear and answer that question in greater detail. Eg an instant replay in slow motion, but with hitboxes displayed, and pausing the on the exact frame that a red box overlapped a blue one that round. What move did you get hit by the most often. We'd like to think these types of things are obvious, but they're not, often because we're just not paying attention to them and need to be forced to look and focus exactly where. It was hard enough to determine why you lost before online play was so common. But online, so many times, if the guy doesn't understand how throws or footsies work, how do you think he'll understand it any better with rollbacks in the lag?

    Many games still have traditional features such as a single player mode or a high score, when really, these fighting games we play are only good for human to human competition. Good training modes are much more important and have been a prime, fertile ground for companies to improve on for their console releases, for years now, but it's only been recently that Capcom has gotten involved at all in tournaments in any serious effort. And that is probably due in no small part to the fact that someone like Seth Killian, who works for Capcom, comes directly from the fighting game community, himself.

    When a shiny new fighting game comes out, here's what happens. Keits has an orgasm on srk's front page and gives about three separate free advertisements over the course of about a week, even though the game is completely untested in the field. When a game is released, and if it's played at all, players that don't choose what eventually become top tier characters wind up subsidizing the progress of players that do pick top tier characters, to a large degree, which means the top tier players can take even more risks in their games to figure out the rules of the game all the more quickly.

    It's only over time that we begin to learn more and more rules of the game, and it's almost completely done by the player base. The fighting game community started, and continues on after so many years, to be driven by these kinds of player-driven efforts, without much of any help from the companies making the games. If we are going to be giving them access to our prime real estate, the front page of srk, the portal to our world, maybe we should be getting something in return for that. This isn't totally bad, because while it's an ad, we are the exact people that are most likely to be interested in it and want to try it out. But there are lots of things being done by us, community members- people making stuff, like input scripters and hitbox viewability. Remember the MadCatz posts? Those were good because they had indepth videos and really seemed to make an effort. But that company was struggling before, and they are struggling now that that campaign's cooled off. We gave them a chance to redeem themselves, and they profited hansomely. I complained about it at the time, and probably others did as well, so soon they implemented the nomination system which is really good. As we mature I think it's important to keep that kind of a grassroots base.


    papasi: Who has the best character design?

    XSPR: I've always felt it was Ryu. O.Sagat and Claw banned would be fine. It might be too much, unless there's money involved. If they were banned I wouldn't mind at all. "In the right hands" those two characters do have what I'd say are unfair advantages. With claw's speed, reach and damage in addition to the wall dive stuff, it's like you're not even trapped in the corner but you are still trapped, but you know exactly what he's going to do next. I'm really not impressed with wins by those characters anymore. Boxer and Chun Li for example are really annoying, however they're beatable. If you get a good read, you can stop them. btw one idea I'd really like to get more people interested in, would be a "Ryu Only" tournament.


    papasi: Why did you pick sim as your main?

    XSPR: I liked how his game removed a lot of the Execution factor: if you can determine the right attack, and do it early enough, you should be ok. So it let me play more of a mind game without the technical dexterity or combo practice. Dhalsim is slow and has hardly any combos but the best reach and just about any tool that any other character has: a slide, projectile, etc.

    papasi: Do you have any tips for players who want to pick up sim?

    XSPR: He's a very strong character overall and I'd recommend trying him out if you like the mind game and don't mind risk sticking limbs out, because if you miss, you have to drag it all the way back in during recovery. However sometimes you can use them to poke, and whiff moves to kind of "claim territory" on the screen. Like squares on a chessboard, the ones that you attack don't need to be occupied and the more squares (area) you attack, the better, generally. So you can use that to your advantage, for one example, throw out a move to whiff a few times to try and influence the opponent to react/counter it a certain way. Positionally, with sim it often comes down to staying far away, and just knowing the right counter.

    xspr.jpg
    XSPR, Playing at Shirone Chance Tourney 2007 (see photos of various players from the same tournament below)

    papasi: Best ST players?

    XSPR: 1. XSPR (on a good day) 2. SJV 3. CigarBob

    Seriously though, I think it's too difficult to answer this question, the more I learn about the game and so many great players, especially here in Japan where there are tons of people that nobody's heard of that are great. It's one thing to see a recorded match if they're known, but completely different to actually play that person to really know. If you consistently win in your circle of players, that means that no one is really showing you your mistakes or spoting the holes in your game (which is critical for improving). Also, one person can be good at certain matchups, but not at others... but the more you study any particular matchup, it starts to become its own game, so different from all the other matchups.

    mattsu.jpg
    M-tsun- Ken*- he also picked ryu. very dangerous, don't get caught off-guard in his Ken's combos.

    I was out at a restaurant with many top Tokyo players one night after we all played at the original Mikado before it closed. I put this question to them, who is the best among this circle, the best in the Tokyo area. Without much hesitation, many quickly agreed on Komoda. He is like the Don. (Komoda plays Blanka, and plays in Tokyo these days, but originally played in Osaka.) There are good players all over the place. This was coming from a table with guys like Shougatsu, Taira, Pony, Mattsun, etc. And it's not like these guys have never won games against Komoda either.
    To make the point, I will cite just three examples of ST experts of characters that Dhalsim has significant advantage over, yet these players destroy me so consistently that I can hardly get any wins in. So at my level, it's hard to judge ANY player so much better than I am, but against THESE character experts specifically, there is no doubt how great they are, because they win so much DESPITE the disadvantages:

    Jodim (Zangief), who took the time and effort to teach me precise details about the matchup after a session. After a few lessons from him last year, I was in a tournament vs. Pony, and actually managed to win. Gian was MC'ing and said that I did everything correctly. I attribute it directly to specific lessons from Jodim. So just because I can say, "I won in a tournament vs. Pony", who would actually think I'm better than he is? I will say that it's clear to me that he is still the better player, so you start to see how difficult this question is to answer.

    ponyq.jpg
    PONY - Zangief/T.Hawk master

    A couple months prior to this, I played a bunch of games vs. Muteki (Guile). THAT was a "good day" for me, and I had been studying that matchup, specifically. Dhalsim should win that matchup like 9-1, or maybe 10-0! (8-2 is the consensus) At best, I only managed to win half the games, and I never got closer to that since. His skill is truly amazing. Recently I played a long session with YuuVega (Dictator). Like 3 or 4 hours long (but the first half he was DeeJay, which I also had many losses to). Dhalsim vs. Dictator is another match-up I think Dhalsim should just win (I think accepted is 7-3 for sim), maybe not quite as bad as Dhalsim vs. Guile, but pretty close. I got like 5 wins total vs. his Dictator in all that time, and he won all the rest. His DeeJay had like, all these insane comebacks. Like one time, I was about 3 pixels away from perfecting his DeeJay and he was in the corner, but then I guessed wrong ONCE when he was getting up from a knockdown. He suddenly combos me for almost all I'm worth, and then does a blocked super for the rest of my lifebar. It's a consistent OPPOSITE result of what that match-up should be when I play him: 2-8 instead of 8-2!

    komodak.jpg
    Nagata Shougatsu won the tournament, facing off against Komoda (Blanka master on the right)


    papasi: What's the best way for a beginner to improve his game?

    XSPR: Learn from your mistakes. Wouldn't it be cool if there would be an ST tournament where you recorded not only the footage of the match, but the gamestates and all inputs of each match? Later, we could play it back with hitboxes displayed. The more data we have after the tournament, the better we might be able to come up with the most relevant statistics.

    papasi: How long does it takes to be competitive at high level?

    XSPR: It doesn't necessarily take years to compete at a high level, but much more importantly your access to competition. PC emulation is getting better and better to practice things like Execution, especially with tools like input scripter and the hitbox viewer. I have to say hats off to the guys that made the hitbox viewer happen, it is truly amazing to see it! With PC emulation, I'd really like to see some of these tools put to good use for statistics (eg Glenn's Daigo vs Uryo stats) and other ways of analyzing your game to improve it, especially considering the fact that it usually takes many, many games before you even figure out most of the rules for the character that you play and his particular matchups.


    papasi: Do you have some general tips for intermediate players?

    XSPR: HUSTLE REDUNDANTLY and cultivate SENTE:

    Recently, I finally got around to reading a book I'd heard so much about over the years. It's called The Mythical Man Month by Fred Brooks. There's one part where he talks about "hustle":

    "A baseball manager recognizes a nonphysical talent, hustle, as an essential gift of great players and great teams. It is the characteristic of running faster than necessary, moving sooner than necessary, trying harder than necessary.... Hustle provides the cushion, the reserve capacity, that enables a team to cope with routine mishaps, to anticipate and forfend minor calamities."

    The best thing about hustle is, anyone can perform with it. In a physically-demanding sport like baseball, your DNA and my DNA eliminate us from ever getting close to playing in the major leagues. Street Fighter takes much of that physical requirement away and leaves us with things like more of a pure hustle. Here's a good example in tennis:
    (thanks Milo)
    There is a lot of very very small, subtle stuff that can add up and make a big difference quickly in a round of Street Fighter to determine which player gets the edge over the other.

    I should be careful to mention that hustle does not always apply to Street Fighter in a very very basic sense. John Choi for example recommends a conservative approach, eg block and punish more, instead of taking unreasonable chances. Valle expresses it more concisely: in A2, don't stand up; in ST, don't jump. That means, you want the other player to make the first mistake, because it's far easier to just punish and capitalize on; get him to jump first. But what about at the higher levels, where you're both aware of the risks, and neither of you are jumping a lot?

    That's where I'd say hustle comes in. When you see a great Blanka player for example, he not only knows when to block, he also knows when to spot the rare opportunities of his own offense. It's been said that "luck favors the prepared." When a great blanka player spots that rare opportunity, he is well prepared to take full advantage and do much damage. He's definitely not "lucky", but he definitely knows how to make his own luck. Someone once said that playing as Blanka requires three times the amount of a person's brain CPU cycles than playing as better characters to accomplish the same results. Top players hustle in such a way that they tend to build meter quicker than other players do. They accomplish that but in safe ways, and often redundant ways, just in case the opponent does certain things that are potentially dangerous. E.g. "it turns out, he didn't need that super meter after all, as he won the round without it". But is that totally accurate? Having the meter full is a significant threat, in itself, especially for certain characters. Hustling is doing the things that often turn out to be redundant, especially in hindsight.

    - KATT WILLIAMS Everyday I'm hustlin' from GTA IV [HD

    There is a Japanese word that describes a certain kind of hustle, but "hustle" is probably not the best translation of it. Literally, this word means "first move" in English, and connotes the advantages that come with moving or being in a position to move before your opponent is able to. "Tempo" may be a better translation of it. I learned this Japanese word while playing the board game go. The word is sente.

    In go, probably the most valuable skill to cultivate of all is sente. You should do whatever you can to acquire and retain sente for as long as possible. When you have sente, your opponent is playing _your_ game. He is often forced to respond to your threats. If he is responding to your threats, he is not making threats of his own. Ryu vs. Guile is fairly even, and some say Guile has the edge. I'd say that Ryu's ability to cultivate and exercise sente in his offense is how he out-hustles Guile. In business, it's often a good idea to satisfy your customers' needs, but only barely. If you overserve them it can be inefficient. Your threats to your opponent must be enough so that your opponent responds to them, but only just barely that much of a threat and not too much more. Use any leftover momentum (in the form of recovery time or frame advantage) to retain the sente and use it to continue playing your own game, and just keep doing this as long as possible to stretch it out, just like a corner trap.


    URGENCY CHECKLIST:

    When you play Street Fighter, there is a kind of list of things to check, many many times over, as the round evolves and takes shape. Checking the entire list is usually done mentally in far less than one second. There are many small things you consider before following through with a move as a part of your strategy. (The great Blanka player has a list longer than yours and he has to run through it even faster than you do with your character.) At the top of the list is something like, "Am I safe right now?" ie should I be blocking? if so, which direction? Do I need to escape harm's way/some shutdown happening? Do I need to shake out of a dizzy? Next might be, "Do I need to avoid a threat that will get me into trouble really soon if I don't do something about it now?" And only after are there offensive considerations, like "Should I poke from this distance with this move? How about that move?" etc. Way, WAY down at the bottom of the list is, Can I go for a big huge fancy combo? and, last, Is the round over yet? (one reason I'm not a fan of crowd noise is that the crowd gets that last one wrong so often)

    As you notice, the defensive considerations in the list take priority, at the top. But it also helps to make a distinction between "urgent" things and "important" things. Urgent things are the threats (and potential threats) that you need to deal with immediately, and those take priority over the important things. The best players are those that are able to do more "important" things more often, like dish out big combos and the things far, far down on their list, that are not necessarily "urgent". They're able to do that more than other players can.


    EXECUTION:

    "I can call spirits from the vasty deep. Why so can _I_, or so can any man; but will they come when you do call for them?"
    --Shakespeare, King Henry

    That's Execution. Will the spirits of your moves come out when you try to do them? One thing you can never be 100% sure of is your opponent's next move. (Sometimes he's not so sure of that himself... Accidental Victories bare witness to that.) You have a lot more control over your own Execution, and that's something that can always be improved, no matter what your level is, and no matter how much you lag online.

    John Choi's recent "take away" series was good, and I'd say Campbell Tran's and his own gave the best advice. They played down the importance of Execution, for example, many players blaming a loss on Execution instead of how to avoid the situation itself entirely. I'd agree with everything they said but Execution is still important and can still give you an edge, on consistency if anything. Look at DGV, because of his consistent Execution, he gives you that many LESS chances to make as many mistakes.

    papasi: Can you tell us a few things that people don't know about you or not
    expected from you?
    (hobbies, other games you play, special skills you have, some trivia?)

    XSPR: I also like to play go (the boardgame) and one time, had a great opportunity to play one of the best players of our time, Satoshi Kataoka, and actually win. David vs. Kataoka In the photo I'm standing next to Michael Redmond, another top player (I'm on the left, and he's on the right).

    xspronleftside.jpg

    papasi: Thank you very much for your time, David.


    Be sure to check out David's coverage of 2007 Shirone Chance tournament at

    http://www.tabblo.com/studio/stories/view/432574/

    and 2009 Gian's recital tournament

    http://shoryuken.com/f6/gians-recital-tournament-apr-18th-2009-a-186755/
    eltrouble "I doubt that ST will be on the main stream ever again."
    OhNuki: Real men play ST!!
    James Chen: there is something special about playing ST on a cab. It just feels so goooooood.
    Super Turbo Hitbox & safe jump guide http://www.strevival.com/hitbox/
  • oldschool_BRoldschool_BR Projectile spammer Joined: Posts: 2,442
    Good stuff! Thanks a lot papasi and mrdhalsim!

    Read, rated, nominated!
  • geogeo Official Contrarian Joined: Posts: 1,291
    I think the remixer even won an award for game "design" after HDR initially sold so many copies- but to my knowledge he has yet to design his first shipped video game. ... He didn't really _design_ a game, but he seems to have faked it very well.

    What an ugly cheap shot that diminishes the interviewee.
    Just one example of ST fundamentalism on dontblowthis.com: "HDR is just another game with no relation to the Street Fighter II series" - riz0ne
  • FuddFudd High Level Parking Joined: Posts: 1,215
    Excellent interview, definitely worth the read.

    Wish I could play vs Yuuvega for four hours.
    "See, Super Turbo is a real man's game... But Street Fighter 4's like Chuck-E-Cheese, baby. Y'know what I'm saying? Where a kid can be a kid. I'm a grown-ass man, so clearly I'm not old enough to go in the ball pit." -Steve Harrison (Translation: dat Fo' make you soft)
    Super Turbo Revival
    "Everyone has a plan until they get magnetized." -SpiderDan
    PSN: Metonymous | Battle.net: Noun#1214 | Steam: Noun Proper | YT
  • mrdhalsimmrdhalsim Joined: Posts: 378
    What an ugly cheap shot that diminishes the interviewee.

    For what it's worth, I do try to be more positive in general these days so I'm sorry if it sounded too harsh, but I think Sirlin can take it in stride, and if not maybe he shouldn't have said essentially the same thing about faking something well in the first place. When any fighting game wins any award it is generally a good thing for all of us. I'm sure he worked hard and it must be difficult to try and re-balance a popular game but for a console release, it sure has a lot of freezes/crashes and other problems. I prefer ST, others like HDR/AE, and many of us are more than willing to play each other's favored game. Anyway, I have to cut this reply short, I'm doing Larry King soon, because I'm famous now that I've just been interviewed here.
  • PaskyPasky Ninja with pistol! Joined: Posts: 1,863
    No offense....but when has XSPR ever been a top player? I only know him from GGPO, but don't recognize him anywhere else....
    <Pasky> so you can go extra fast by just holding it?
    <bookah> turbo handjob
    <baklakiller> sure if had a penis
    <baklakiller> im a beginner gief
  • SorwahSorwah Joined: Posts: 889
    I started with ST, then I took away reason and accountability.

    haha
  • Shinobi MasterShinobi Master Joined: Posts: 129
    No offense....but when has XSPR ever been a top player? I only know him from GGPO, but don't recognize him anywhere else....

    lol...just because someone moved to japan doesn't make them pro papasi..lolol. I seriously doubt you are going to be the one responsible for bringing st back to the scene and you admitted that u hate running the bracketts anyway
  • brianbrian Joined: Posts: 765
    Hey David, I have to agree with you about the smoking in Japanese arcades being a downer. It hadn't bothered me as much when I was just visiting, cause you just suck it up. But now that I'm living here it's a real problem. The arcades near my apartment are extremely smoky, and seriously make my jacket and clothes smell like shit for days or more if I go there. I wouldn't be surprised at all if the guys like Daigo etc who play 40 hours a week for 20 years end up getting lung cancer.

    Are there any arcades without smoking? My girlfriend was saying she thinks any arcade in Yokohama would have to be smoke free by law?
  • RufusRufus An unexpected database error has occurred. Joined: Posts: 1,966
    Are there any arcades without smoking? My girlfriend was saying she thinks any arcade in Yokohama would have to be smoke free by law?

    Maybe in Japan smoke free by law means smoke free in practice.
    Hitboxes http://www.pedantic.org/~nate/HDR/
    "You don't know what you're talking about as much as I do." -- Unknown
  • papasipapasi N Ken is the truth Joined: Posts: 1,568
    lol... papasi..lolol.
    I seriously doubt you are going to be the one responsible for bringing st back to the scene
    and you admitted that u hate running the bracketts anyway

    Dude, you really have a dual personality. In the pm you said "bro this, bro that" when you're asking if I'm going together with you to cut down your cost to wcw.

    Then you can turn around and back stab me like this. What about the nasty insults on ggpo when you said I should get a condom before riding mars's dick when I was simply saying that execution matters?

    For the record what I told everyone is that I do not want the stress of player registration. I have no problem running the bracket or providing equipments.

    Have you realized how many enemy you made irl and online? I thought for a second you could be a friend but let's forget about it.

    Pasky, I guess the only way to find out is you'll have to face him offline.
    I see these infights in the HDR forum where people argue whether the west coast players are better than the east coast players, etc. End result is people started all these unwarranted insults and everyone got pissed off. It's really pointless.

    BTW, what is really important is if you can take anything away from these interviews.

    For me personally I just love to get to know more about the people in the fg community.
    eltrouble "I doubt that ST will be on the main stream ever again."
    OhNuki: Real men play ST!!
    James Chen: there is something special about playing ST on a cab. It just feels so goooooood.
    Super Turbo Hitbox & safe jump guide http://www.strevival.com/hitbox/
  • CorrosiveCorrosive The Starting Over Joined: Posts: 1,352
    The "brothers" are pretty flagrant sociopaths, so don't worry about it papasi. Was a great interview, XSPR clearly knows what's up.
    It's best that you remain close to the "Ls", Joe.
  • Shinobi MasterShinobi Master Joined: Posts: 129
    The "brothers" are pretty flagrant sociopaths, so don't worry about it papasi. Was a great interview, XSPR clearly knows what's up.

    Dude for the record I ain't a sociopath, you judge me as that just because I came off defensive when u and others flamed me for giving my suggestions to rebalancing HDR in the sake weakening rog etc..your flames were bull shit cause that thread was for the freedom of people giving their suggestions stupid fuck ...its just mars dick riders like you and papasi annoy the crap out of me and thought pasky's comment was funny due to papasi's ignorance of who top players are.


    Shut f up scrub

    oh and for the record papasi ...West Coast super turbo/hdr is better than east coast hehe
  • CorrosiveCorrosive The Starting Over Joined: Posts: 1,352
    Nah, I'm calling you a sociopath because you are one. Life scrub. I like me over you offline, btw. Maybe you crazies can make it to something outside of CA. If you're at Evo, I'll gladly money match you. For the record I was "pwning" your Dictator and Chun with an alternate and then you switched to Blanka. Didn't think I remembered that, did you? That was, in fact, the last time we played and will probably be the last time we play anything that isn't in tournament or for money. You're pretty much a disgrace, go whine about how Guile loses to whoever's beating your ass online or something.
    It's best that you remain close to the "Ls", Joe.
  • papasipapasi N Ken is the truth Joined: Posts: 1,568
    I heard people complained about srk forum being a unfriendly, unfun place to spend your time online. I was not convinced or bothered by it for a long time.

    But some of you people really make me believe this is indeed the case. There are so many positive things that you can take away from this and yet some of you loved to take all the fun out of it.

    I'm renaming all the titles of these interviews to "Super Street Fighter II Turbo Player Interview". I don't care whether these people ever won EVO or SBO. For me getting to know about them are fun by itself, except if they are jerks to begin with.

    VF4 created cigarbob's thread so I cannot rename his nor I will without consulting his opinion. But whatever guys, if you don't want these I'll just stop. My time are very limited nowadays anyway.
    eltrouble "I doubt that ST will be on the main stream ever again."
    OhNuki: Real men play ST!!
    James Chen: there is something special about playing ST on a cab. It just feels so goooooood.
    Super Turbo Hitbox & safe jump guide http://www.strevival.com/hitbox/
  • CorrosiveCorrosive The Starting Over Joined: Posts: 1,352
    I don't know, papasi. I think not doing the interviews is an equivalent to clicking "Nominate for Article" on all of American Ninja's post. Which would basically tell us that Guile loses to everyone in ST and "I beat you online that one time lolol." It's a shame, but I think giving the most weight to the people who agitate you rather than appreciate what's being done is kind of shitty, but I wouldn't blame you for it either.

    I thought it was a great read and I hope it can make the front page.
    It's best that you remain close to the "Ls", Joe.
  • KuroppiKuroppi くろっぴ Joined: Posts: 891
    Great stuff David and Papasi!

    David certainly has an interesting perspective on Street Fighter, having been in one of the East Coast Street Fighter hot spots back in the day as well as traveling to different major SF events and now being in Japan for a while. And on top of all that, he's a great storyteller.

    As for his skill level, having played him numerous times recently on HDR I was very surprised with how good of a player he has become because I only remember him from the EARLY ST days and because I only remember his Dhalsim. IMO, his Ryu is one of the best online these days.
    Shhh... ST in da house!

    www.strevival.com | STR Facebook | Twitter
  • GanelonGanelon Joined: Posts: 1,101
    I nominated the great interview too. If this goes up on the home page like all the other interviews, then you should realize there are a lot of supporters. Keep interviewing and quit when you're ready to quit. Consider what others say but don't dwell on it.
  • CWheezyCWheezy Joined: Posts: 889
    I like him saying he prefers st over hdr.

    and then says he would prefer old sagat and claw to be banned wtf
  • DNGR S PAPERCUTDNGR S PAPERCUT Joined: Posts: 1,608
    What up Wheezy.
    ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ஜ۩۞۩ஜ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬
    Ah shit..    
    ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ஜ۩۞۩ஜ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬
  • papasipapasi N Ken is the truth Joined: Posts: 1,568
    I like him saying he prefers st over hdr.

    and then says he would prefer old sagat and claw to be banned wtf

    They are not contradictory. There are other trade offs.
    I like a little nerf on o. sagat and claw like in HDR too. But that's not the only changes made in HDR sadly.
    ST is not perfect but there are worst.
    eltrouble "I doubt that ST will be on the main stream ever again."
    OhNuki: Real men play ST!!
    James Chen: there is something special about playing ST on a cab. It just feels so goooooood.
    Super Turbo Hitbox & safe jump guide http://www.strevival.com/hitbox/
  • Dark GaidenDark Gaiden Joined: Posts: 284
    Excellent interview, definitely worth the read.

    Wish I could play vs Yuuvega for four hours.

    Classic Mode HDR on XBL is your new best friend :karate: He usually goes on around 2am if your're up. You'll definitely enjoy playing his DJ.


    Papasi:

    Great interview with XSPR...it's nice to get some insight on the players. I'll try to get on ggpo so we can discuss an ST tourney at wcw. Sorry I've been out of the loop (work).

    XSPR: Good games as always on Classic Mode...it's nice to be able to get some great matches at 2am pst.

    Sorry for the plug for Classic mode on xbl (I wish more guys would jump on that)
  • DNGR S PAPERCUTDNGR S PAPERCUT Joined: Posts: 1,608
    arcade > xboxlive classic mode > ggpo.

    a few weeks ago me, cwheezy, synco, and moocus played at arcade infinity for a good amount of hours. that was the first time I've played on arcade for a good 3 or 4 years and damn did that shit feel good. I know why the og's complain about the console versions now. I went home and loaded up GGPO, and that shit felt like a piece of shit. I'm on windows 7 so maybe the XP guys have a better experience, but to me it felt like a really bad knock off of the arcade. the speed difference, the response, the input lag. it was just really off.

    hdr classic is off too, but slightly better then ggpo. I can't put my finger on it, but to me ggpo feels "like it slides". thats the best way I could try to describe it. something about it running on a computer maybe.

    this was when i had bad spiky internet. I just switched back to DSL and its a stable connection again so I'll give it another shot. but even with my crappy internet, hdr classic felt better.
    ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ஜ۩۞۩ஜ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬
    Ah shit..    
    ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ஜ۩۞۩ஜ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬
  • CWheezyCWheezy Joined: Posts: 889
    They are not contradictory. There are other trade offs.
    I like a little nerf on o. sagat and claw like in HDR too. But that's not the only changes made in HDR sadly.
    ST is not perfect but there are worst.

    well kinda, I mean even looking it is flat would be like game with 3 banned characters better than game with one banned character? what?
  • papasipapasi N Ken is the truth Joined: Posts: 1,568
    CWheezy, play the game you like. If you want to discuss ST vs HDR, go here, please.
    Sorry for the plug for Classic mode on xbl (I wish more guys would jump on that) it's nice to be able to get some great matches at 2am pst.

    I don't know what kind of job you black people do (meaning you, your bro, aqua snake, etc etc) that allow you guys to play games from 2am to 5am on weekdays -_-

    If you're hiring I'm interested haha
    eltrouble "I doubt that ST will be on the main stream ever again."
    OhNuki: Real men play ST!!
    James Chen: there is something special about playing ST on a cab. It just feels so goooooood.
    Super Turbo Hitbox & safe jump guide http://www.strevival.com/hitbox/
  • FuddFudd High Level Parking Joined: Posts: 1,215
    Classic Mode HDR on XBL is your new best friend :karate: He usually goes on around 2am if your're up. You'll definitely enjoy playing his DJ.

    I've only played against YuuVega exactly one time, a ranked match on XBL Classic. I've tried to randomly encounter him many times after that, but he's harder to find than MissingNo.

    *pause for awkward silence*

    Besides, I'm done with XBL.
    "See, Super Turbo is a real man's game... But Street Fighter 4's like Chuck-E-Cheese, baby. Y'know what I'm saying? Where a kid can be a kid. I'm a grown-ass man, so clearly I'm not old enough to go in the ball pit." -Steve Harrison (Translation: dat Fo' make you soft)
    Super Turbo Revival
    "Everyone has a plan until they get magnetized." -SpiderDan
    PSN: Metonymous | Battle.net: Noun#1214 | Steam: Noun Proper | YT
  • VestaxVestax Blends No. 27 Joined: Posts: 1,490
    Besides, I'm done with XBL.

    But how about all the Fudd fans? You can't do this....
    Play an old man's game. Play Super Turbo.
  • CWheezyCWheezy Joined: Posts: 889
    CWheezy, play the game you like. If you want to discuss ST vs HDR, go here, please.

    That isn't st vs hdr thing, it is pointing out logical inconsistencies thing
  • papasipapasi N Ken is the truth Joined: Posts: 1,568
    That isn't st vs hdr thing, it is pointing out logical inconsistencies thing

    Then your logic definitely doesn't follow. More characters worthy of banning alone wouldn't be the only criteria to prefer one game over another. You need to account for a lot more differences than that.
    eltrouble "I doubt that ST will be on the main stream ever again."
    OhNuki: Real men play ST!!
    James Chen: there is something special about playing ST on a cab. It just feels so goooooood.
    Super Turbo Hitbox & safe jump guide http://www.strevival.com/hitbox/
  • mrdhalsimmrdhalsim Joined: Posts: 378
    Thank you Kuroppi, I appreciate that, especially since you've also been playing for all those years since around the time I started. The first time we played was in an ST tournament in Vegas, during Winter of early 96 I think it was. I faced you and Watson, both eliminated me pretty easily and you guys went on to win it. Then the next night was an Alpha 1 tournament at Circus Circus, I think Choi won that but people had expected Watson's ken roll trap to dominate. (Thanks for the marquee and keychains prizes, Capcom.)

    re: smokey arcades- yeah I've definitely tried talking to people here about this, arcade operators and players, like maybe having a "smoke free" night or just getting people interested, but I think smoking is part of the attraction for a good number of customers.

    Thanks DG, always a pleasure. You've got the consistent wins with Ryu-Ryu hands down, I just try and keep up. I'm always down for Classic. I didn't finish the quote after busting imitators handed to me: "but with DG along with V, it's inherited, it runs in the family".

    DNGR yeah there are some speed changes but I bet it's mostly just Windows 7. XP or Windows 2000 runs ggpo/fba much, much better. I've tried everything in 7, virtual machines of XP/2000, compatibility mode, turning off aero, blitter etc. settings, all that, nothing fixes it.

    o.Sagat has really fast recovery time, and was really damaging. His tiger shots are still pretty fast in remix, and I don't really like the juggling knee but most people don't take enough advantage of it like say, Zangief's buffs or Fei Long's, those two are very dangerous now esp gief. Claw's wall dive not knocking down is definitely better I guess, but if you have to do things like go into a corner of all places just to be able to reasonably defend against it properly, not a bad response but then again, now you're in the corner, kind of out of the frying pan into the fire. Tokido demonstrated how threatening the wall dive still is, he used this one move to almost win a tournament with.

    Papasi has done a lot for the ST scene, not only with these interviews so we get to know one another a little more but in running tournaments as well. Are you doing anything at all to improve your scene like he is? If you don't want to help out in the effort to make a better scene or even say thank you, that's one thing, but until you start offering up your own solutions/ideas/time/work like he has, your complaints hold no value. You don't like my interview, fine, post something more important to you related to ST, or go interview someone you're interested in-- no one's stopping you. I'll even interview you. As far as I'm concerned, everyone should get interviewed, not just awesome people such as myself. In a sense what you put into the scene is proportional to what you will get out of it. First question is what are you doing for the scene? What kind of scene do you want? We know you don't exactly win X-MANIA either, so how do you want to fit in to all of this? Light a candle, be the change you want to see in your scene, otherwise you're just wasting your time. Cause pretty soon it won't just be your scene it will be McDonald's, Coke's and Nike's, and the only interview you'll be giving is answering a marketing survey. Interviews are great because they're easy to do (but take a lot more time than you might expect), and we're a diverse group with sometimes wildly different opinions, experiences and backgrounds.

    I mentioned the tournament from Winter '96 above- Zass was there too. Right before the tournament started, he was trying to gather a bunch of guys to go get an employee to fix the buttons/stick before the tournament started. He said it would be more convincing to get arcade staff to actually do anything if a whole bunch of people all go at once, which made perfect sense but most of us (myself included) just shrugged our shoulders, and folded our arms standing around doing nothing. It didn't help the sticks get fixed any faster.

    -XSPR
  • Shinobi MasterShinobi Master Joined: Posts: 129
    Nah, I'm calling you a sociopath because you are one. Life scrub. I like me over you offline, btw. Maybe you crazies can make it to something outside of CA. If you're at Evo, I'll gladly money match you. For the record I was "pwning" your Dictator and Chun with an alternate and then you switched to Blanka. Didn't think I remembered that, did you? That was, in fact, the last time we played and will probably be the last time we play anything that isn't in tournament or for money. You're pretty much a disgrace, go whine about how Guile loses to whoever's beating your ass online or something.
    ?

    lol are u kidding?

    u didn't pwn me at all infact I mainly only use bison to counter guile and old sagat otherwise if I used him in anyother match then I am not taking who I am playing against seriously jerkoff...and besides if you got some wins off of my bison with ur chun big freakn deal...thats a very hard match for bison cause she has many ways of locking him down and cheaping him to death...I know cause I play chun li as well..so don't try to throw that in my face lol

    There are plenty of players that respect me on ggpo that don't flame me like you try to do..

    I ain't gonna travel to evo just to play money match with u...come down to wcw then I will...I even challenged you to st on ggpo when u were on last night but you pussied out so you are all talk and no show.

    back the fuck off
  • zasszass Da 'Mizer Joined: Posts: 1,122
    Great interview papasi! And it's great to hear from fellow old timer David.

    David it's great that you are playing on XBL. I always felt bad that we never got the chance to play together when I lived in Japan. Hope we can play on xbox sometime!

    God looking back, we were all *so bad* back in boston. Back then doing a DP after blocking the first couple of hits of DJ/Boxer's super was GODLIKE. Now, you're a scrub if you don't do it :)
    Taking shit back to the RESERVOIR
    http://tea-hawk.blogspot.com

    SF2 Code v1.0: t+ c+ T+ r+(-) f g+ m+ s+ v+ M+(-) n+:++ o+ (av by Tat Guy)
    http://web.archive.org/web/19970219205915/hannibal.mit.edu/things/sf2/sf2code.txt
  • BernieBernie Dumb skeezers Joined: Posts: 1,799
    Fun read. I wasn't around for the Alpha 3 days at 8 on the Break, but I got into fighting games again right after that so I'm very familiar with Todd's tournaments from that era. Those were fun times. Makes me wish I got into the scene a few years earlier than I did.

    I agree re: Claw/O. Sagat. Amazing how much more "smart" the game feels without those characters. I might even include Boxer in that list. Just because someone prefers ST doesn't mean it can't be a more fun experience with tweaks. It's not always black and white like that. Just an opinion, that's all. Also, lol @ the HDR "remixer" discussion. That was great. :tup:
  • papasipapasi N Ken is the truth Joined: Posts: 1,568
    o sagat should be banned except if you're fighting dhalsim.
    boxer should be banned online. He's semi-legit for offline tournament.
    claw should be there just because dhalsim is not banned.
    cammy should be banned forever since she is just a strawman for people to complain ST being imbalanced anyway :)
    Back then doing a DP after blocking the first couple of hits of DJ/Boxer's super was GODLIKE. Now, you're a scrub if you don't do it :)

    OK I confessed that when I first played kuroppi he was puzzled that I didn't dp after blocking his super's 1st hit.

    He didn't exactly call me the s word so I thank him for that. But I can't tell for sure if he actually label me as one though :)
    eltrouble "I doubt that ST will be on the main stream ever again."
    OhNuki: Real men play ST!!
    James Chen: there is something special about playing ST on a cab. It just feels so goooooood.
    Super Turbo Hitbox & safe jump guide http://www.strevival.com/hitbox/
  • VirtuaFighterFourVirtuaFighterFour VirtuaFighter.com Joined: Posts: 1,572
    O.Sagat loses to Boxer, Dhalsim, and Claw. He goes even with or barely has the edge against Dictator (and Fei according to many). And he a few 6-4 matches that aren't easy like Chun or Zangief. O.Sagat is not really that powerful of a character despite what others think. He has a tiny throw range, can't soften throws, and his dragon punches can be punished easily by most of the cast. He's not invincible. People tend to overrate his prowess and exaggerate his abilities because he has a few, emphasis on few, really lopsided matches. He is not like 3S Chun where she literally has advantage matches across the board against the entire cast. And even then I don't see anyone who is competitive in 3S advocating that she be banned.

    Boxer is good but his only really lopsided matches are Cammy, Blanka, and N.Sagat. And Cammy and Blanka can end that match with one solid knockdown. N.Sagat is the only one who really has to make so many guesses to win the Boxer match that it's very frustrating. Every other match that Boxer has is closer to even than lopsided in my opinion. And Boxer's Super is not as strong as people think either. I've seen Hawk players dragon punch him out of his Super tons of times this year for example. And of course you can often throw him out of it in the corner when the Super twitches. Boxer also is the easiest character in the game to safe jump by far, he has the longest rising animation from knockdown, and his reversal attacks outside of his Super (headbutts) have tons of starting frames. Look what happens to Boxer when Zangief or Hawk knock him down, it's basically game over unless Boxer has a Super, and even then both characters can guess right and knock him out of his Super and keep him from doing anything other than taking damage.

    Claw and Dhalsim are both very strong and I'd argue that one of them is the best character in the game, well above O.Sagat or Boxer or Chun. Personally I'd say that Claw is the best character in ST because he has incredibly powerful offensive options. But both of them are the easiest characters to dizzy. Just two hits from any medium or heavy attack can often dizzy either of them. Dhalsim has problems with throws as well. I believe Futachan (Ryu) took out a team of three Claw players at a tournament recently.

    The point is that every character in the game has multiple weaknesses that can be exploited or taken advantage of. No match in ST is not winnable. Every character has the right tools to win even their worst matches. Of course the top tier characters in ST are good, look at the ST system, damage is high, stun is easy to inflict, the game moves incredibly fast, and most characters have huge damage combos, throw loops, and Supers. But the low tier characters have great tools as well.

    As far as balance goes ST turned out extraordinarily well. I think it's the most balanced version of SFII, better than even Hyper Fighting. I don't think Capcom ever imagined that all these years later that ST would evolve into the game that it is now today. Every N.Character is considered competitive (all of them but Fei were represented at SBO last year). And last year I believe that every team at SBO had a different makeup (and that was a 16 team tournament as opposed to the 32 team tournaments of years past). And I'd say that more than half of the O.Characters are even competitive. The amount of change the game has seen, characters like O.Hawk emerging into dangerous tournament warriors after being considered below competitive for years, Taira turning Dictator into a low risk defense oriented footsie character and rewriting the book on Dictator, N.Hawk walking 720s and new throw loops being discovered, Komoda and AFO succeeding with Blanka consistently at the highest levels of play to the point where Komoda was considered the best in Japan. Look at how much was packed inside of a game that is only a few megabytes of data, compared to the massive multiple gigabytes sized games now, is almost unfathomable.
    VF5:FS - Akira, Jean, Wolf, Taka
    VF4/EVO/FT - Wolf, Akira, Goh, Kage, Jacky
    ST - Dictator, Hawk, Boxer, Honda, O.Hawk, Sagat, Ken, O.Boxer, Claw
    3S - Q, Gouki, Ryu III
  • oldschool_BRoldschool_BR Projectile spammer Joined: Posts: 2,442
    Futachan did beat a 3 Claw team at the last Thunder Beast Cup, but D lost for free to one of them (MAO) at the same tournament. The game is awesome, but there are definitely a few issues regarding balance:
    • all Guile-like characters (Guile, Chun, Dee Jay) lose to Ryu, but beat Ken convincingly;
    • Ken is quite weak against the top tier
    • As great as they are, most times I see Komoda and Nakamura against the cream of the crop with top tier + Ryu, they lose;
    • Rog's headbutt beats pretty much every other move in the game. Including O.Ken's jab SRK due to defensive hitboxes being often out of reach;
    • Most Cammy's offensive options get countered by the same move and on reaction;
    • It is hard to get the hits on Claw: he can try many of his invulnerable reversals on wake-up;
    • O.Sagat has similar strategies against shotos, but the latter ones must react faster to apply them, have shorter reach on their normals, do less dizzy damage, can not punish Sagat's limbs by jumping straight up nor can sweep a jump guaranteed after a projectile. They have a really hard time;
    • Honda.
    IMHO, if Capcom did HDR the right way, there would be no question as to what game to play. But hey had to use gay anime style art, add absolutely horrible music (WFT, really), not support the game after the release, remove half the characters from the game and due to basically zero effort on it (they didn't even produce it) it did not get feedback from the very best players of the world. I suspect if one lists the best 3 players for each character, no more than 3 of them were listened to.
  • mrdhalsimmrdhalsim Joined: Posts: 378
    The potential is there for o.Sagat and claw to get advantages that are too good. With old/Super Sagat, it's about two things, namely 1) the high speed of his tiger shot fb projectile, and 2) his recovery time (and those two things complement one another). His throw range isn't any worse than just about anyone else except honda and sim. Yeah his dp move is something of an anomaly but if you get caught by it low it is very powerful. But that's ok, you probably won't get hit too often because you'll be too busy blocking tigers most of the time. With claw, it's mostly the wall dive, but he also has extras: extra range, damage, and speed. Dhalsim is very strong but slow and has NO reversal to wake-up attack with. Good all around almost as good as Chun Li that way.

    Boxer's super not so good?? It's the best one in the entire game. throw him out of it?? yeah good luck with THAT strategy. Boxer is extremely strong, and his wakeup move does him just fine. However you can outguess the player but you've got to do it really well. Facing him on hdr speed or online it gets even trickier esp with dp characters. Chun Li is powerful esp when you have her beat by almost half her lifebar, but you know you can't rest because in a couple seconds, two fast walk up throws can win her the round.

    Totally agreed about ST's longevity. When Alpha 1 came out people were all like why do you want to play that old game?

    "WAIT everyone STOP, STOP the tournament from starting, Thao wants to practice Sagat's dp first, he gets to do that because it was so powerful in ST and he needs to adjust!"
  • mrdhalsimmrdhalsim Joined: Posts: 378
    btw here are much better videos for Execution Aid in more practical use: first one is Giga's Zangief tutorial for 360 motions (thanks VF4 for re-uploading this one), and etotheng's CPS1 chain combo tutorial:


  • VirtuaFighterFourVirtuaFighterFour VirtuaFighter.com Joined: Posts: 1,572
    His throw range isn't any worse than just about anyone else except honda and sim.
    Sagat has the second shortest throw range in ST. Boxer, Dictator, Blanka, Chun, Dhalsim, and the grapplers can reliably tick Sagat out of throw range so that he has to reversal uppercut the throw. If you know that your opponent will reverse then you just bait and punish the uppercut with something that knocks down. If you think that your opponent will block, then you throw. Or you simply commit to throwing no matter what and see how well your opponent's execution is. Or you tick and then block and see what your opponent does.

    If he uppercuts, and the reversal message comes out, you know he is on point so you might try throwing less. An uppercut without a reversal message means he might be off that day with his execution, so going for a throw is likely less risky. A whiffed punch normal means he failed to uppercut or tried to throw out of range, both lose to a throw. A whiffed kick normal means he either guessed that you'd block and he wants to push you away or he wasn't aware of the threat of a throw. And if he simply blocks, it means he either froze, or predicated that you would try to bait him into reversing.

    I can't believe that you're complaining about O.Sagat when you use Dhalsim, who is generally considered to be a better character than O.Sagat. I've seen more people rate Dhalsim as the best character in the game than I have O.Sagat (Claw as well).
    VF5:FS - Akira, Jean, Wolf, Taka
    VF4/EVO/FT - Wolf, Akira, Goh, Kage, Jacky
    ST - Dictator, Hawk, Boxer, Honda, O.Hawk, Sagat, Ken, O.Boxer, Claw
    3S - Q, Gouki, Ryu III
  • jpj1983jpj1983 Joined: Posts: 156
    it's not about how the characters stack up and what match is winnable, etc etc, the dissent stems from these two characters being very strong while simultaneously requiring less effort on behalf of the player

    nice read, reaffirms a lot of what i've heard from other people from japan regarding the scene over there and how peoples views on certain aspects differ, like komoda being regarded as the best (as opposed to the person with the best winning record - which back then would've probably been otochun or kurahashi)
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