Basically, a thread for things you notice in matches in the SFA games, or stuff you think other people might not be noticing. Or if you just get bored and wanna post something.
Ryu vs Sak
The basics of the matchup: Sakura has the better pokes, and the better VC midscreen. Ryu has a hurricane kick combo which does a lot of stun damage, but it requires the opponent to be standing, and must be done when close. Sakura has a crossup loop- hit confirm combo to Fierce DP (sho’o ken), crossup jumping Forward, repeat. Can be escaped with Ground Recovery (2K), but you can get punished for that if she guessed that’s what you’d do.
Theme: Ryu has trouble with Sakura’s normals- to beat them he has to either block (A3 has a guard bar, so that can lead to bad things) or counter. He can keep her outside of sweep distance and throw fireballs, but that requires balls of steel to some degree. Both are playing V- ISM, which means that whenever one of them jumps, it’s risky for the grounded one to commit to using an anti-air attack, since the jumper can activate V-ISM mid-air becoming invincible for a second and attack on the way down.
Advantage is with Sakura in this matchup, but it’s not SO bad.
b+FP and s.RK are both really good pokes. The sweep is OK, but sets up a crossup. Jumping Short has a lot of horizontal range and good priority. Worth poniting out that Sakura’s hurricane kick isn’t really safe like in CvS2, so you don’t see it so often in A3 unless a specific player/Character is having trouble against it. Her VCs are really good, as she can do big damage from midscreen or in the corner, and as a little triva fact, if Sakura activates and does a Jab DP as soon as possible, the opponent will get hit if they weren’t blocking. VC can also be started with an overhead. Walkup->throw also sets up a crossup.
S.Jab beats Sakura’s s.RK (and I think the b+FP also, though it’s wasted effort if it trades), and his fireballs are better, though are risky. Shoryuken beats most anything, of course, but likewise is a big risk. Sweep and other low attacks can also beat the s.RK, and the sweep sets up a crossup (though like Sak, he needs to be at the right distance). Hopkick (f+FK) goes over low attacks and can be canceled into any of his special attacks, though it is somewhat hard to confirm beforehand. Worth noting that the hurricane kick goes over fireballs with the right timing.
Ryu’s VCs allow him to push people into the corner (fireball, followed by a hopkick canceled into hurricane kick before he lands, low attack and repeat the process), and he can sneak a reset into his corner VC by throwing in an overhead, or pausing and doing a low attack. Ryu also has an infinite of course, but while 2P Ryu can still do some nice combos afterward, 1P Ryu is the one with the real version of it. He can do confusion VCs, the most simple of which is just to activate VC1 (Jab+Short) and do sweep, crossup jumping Forward, repeat. Works because the shadow of the jumping attack is gonna hit about the same time as your low attacks. Damage isn’t great, but you can link it to a corner VC if you’re close enough.
And now you’re ready to actually watch the match.
10 seconds into the vid, just pointing out that Ryu does a Groud recovery to get close after the anti-air Jab to keep pressure applied, instead of getting pushed out and working his way in. Ryu looks like he gets the Roundhouse hurricane kick on accident; Ryu’s axe kick (b+RK) is a good move, but if you do it after a crouch or after passing by the down position on the stick, you of course get the hurricane kick.
@13 seconds in, Ryu tries to cover the whiffed hurricane by guessing a Fierce DP, and it goes…badly.
@20 seconds, Sakura’s got the lead now, and is in no particular hurry, and is being defensive. Ryu trying to guess a fireball or at least a whiffed poke, but is wrong and that leads to the end of the round. Ryu may have been trying to do a hurricane kick to get on the other side of Sak, but if that’s the case it didn’t come out.
@41 seconds Ryu falls for a simple high-low game- Sakura’s jumping Short allows her to jump in really late and still be able to have it hit, and Ryu ends up guessing that’s what she’ll do. DP is risky for Ryu to do as anti-air, since he has to decide whether or not she’ll have already landed, and then aside from that, decide whether or not to gamble that she’ll actually attack and not activate V-ISM on the way down.
Combo to Fierce DP, Sak waits out the ground recovery and is right, combo again, but since Ryu is in the corner, he doesn’t bother to use it- she obviously won’t go for a crossup in the corner, so she’ll just waiting to hit him out of the roll again.
@50 seconds Ryu does a hurricane kick while jumping and floats over Sak and guess-activates against her poke. Combo to the corner, but he gets a SP DP instead of a fireball and Sak lands. Had he done a Fierce DP instead it looks like it would have connected…
@1:18 Ryu tries to do the rush elbow after his jumping Short, but Sak, either fearing the sucker throw or an overhead, attacks with one of her faster moves.
Looks like Ryu tries to cancel the overhead into a DP to counter Sak’s counter, but gets the fireball by mistake; When Ryu activates V-ISM it’s harder to get Shoryukens out than with Ken/Akuma.
Match 2 [media=youtube]Mpzl0_JHuhk[/media] **Round 1** 7 seconds in, Sak tries to combo to the DP but because of negative edge gets the Short hammer punch move. Ryu tries to punish with c.SP into RK hurricane, but is too far. 11 seconds, Ryu activates as anti- air, but since he can see Sakura's already landed in the freeze frame, so he decides to throw her to the corner. Ryu's VCs from that range dont' do much damage anyway, so he may have been planning to wait and throw her even if she'd still been in the air. Ryu basically has the advantage in that situation anyway, though it may still be a total waste of meter if he guessed wrong- If Sakura had activated in the air, Ryu would still be able to activate and Shoryuken her. If she didn't activate, he still would have had the option. The risk here was her landing and then activating on the ground, since if her timing is good, it means Ryu would have had to start doing the DP motion before she activated. It would have probably been worth the risk to Sakura anyway, considering she gets to strip him of his meter, and he won't be doing much damage anyway. As it was, the Sak player was planning on letting his meter run down after he activated, but got caught by the throw. 27 seconds, Ryu lands an early counter hit sweep. Just pointing out that he could have gone for a crossup into the hurricane kick dizzy combo here, but he obviously didn't want to corner himself, not to mention the fact that Sakura's VC works as anti-crossup, and he's not looking to let her even up the match. 35 seconds, Sak lands a jumping Short after the crossup loop. It looks like the Ryu player still thought he had room to get crossed up, but was wrong. Jumping Short with Sak can also get you a stupid high-low game. In the context of the match, you also might wanna look at the fact that the Sak player just did an empty jumpin (fakeout with j.FP) like 20 seconds ago, so the Ryu player may have been looking for a throw or something and just gotten caught sleeping. You'll notice after the second DP combo by Sak, he does a Ground Recovery (KK roll). As I mentioned before, this is often a bad idea, but the Sak player outsmarts himself and Ryu's guess to get out of the corner works. The Sak player was going for another jump, and on the way down could have done an attack, waited and activated V-ISM, land and poke, land and throw or activate or overhead. The corner is a bad place to be. 39 seconds, look like Sak guessed an axe kick or other poke and was wrong. Ryu has done the axe kick in particular (back+Roundhouse) 4 or 5 times already in this round, always at about that range, and it's one of Ryu's better pokes. For those of you who play 3S, or at least against the CPU, it's something like Gill's standing Roundhouse, only less insane. Either way, he'd attacked twice in a row before the activation, so it was sorta like the old fireballx2 into DP trick. Not only is it not worth the meter for Ryu to try and counter-activate- Sak was already low on health, for one thing- in A3 when you activate and get hit out of a VC, you lose 50% of your meter. So if you can afford to wait someone out, it takes them longer to be able to VC again. If Ryu would have attacked right away Sak still would have had like 40% of her meter (for those of you who don't play A3 enough, I'll remind you that you can activate at 50% and above). As it was, by waiting 4 seconds, she ended up with 0%. Doing that sort of thing can backfire, of course- Ryu cornered himself to get away, and had Sakura not had a fireball which disappeared after it travels the length of the screen, Ryu could have been pinned down while she approached. But Sakura isn't a character who can do much if she activates wrong, at least midscreen and Ryu's air hurricane kick lets him get further away than most other characters can. **Round 2** Sak has no meter anymore, which means Ryu can be more agressive. He jumps right away, and she calls him on it, but he activates a bit early and avoids the b+FP which hits a little high. He hits her her with two reps of the simple high/low VC and two things happen at 56 seconds: Sakura wakes up with a hurricane kick. Hurricane kicks and some other moves get you off of the ground instantly, so if someone crosses you up, you pop up into the air instead of them being able to combo you, at least in the normal way. Also, if you notice, Ryu ends the third rep by doing a crouching Forward into a fireball to push Sak into the corner, as opposed to just going for more damage and having them both end up midscreen or cornering himself. 1:12, Ryu accidentally gets the RK hurricane instead of the axe kick, and gets punished with the combo to DP by Sak. She tries to cross him up, but like Sak did earlier, Ryu cancels to a hurricane kick so the DP won't combo. Sak calls it though, and he gets juggled by a b+FP. At 1:20, Sak tries to activate and anti-air VC vs Ryu's jumping Forward, but only gets a standing Strong instead of a VC2 activation. Ryu doesn't follow up, since he was expecting a block. 1:25, empty jump by Sak, Ryu blows his meter. She activates when she lands this time. Looks like Ryu had a botched throw attempt (b+FK+SP), though if Sak activated soon enough, it wouldn't have worked anyway. **Round 3** Starts out in the same situation as Round 2, Ryu has meter and Sak doesn't. He corners her right away, this time, and she gets hit by an overhead to the corner VC, which he botches the ending of. Sak proceeds to get hit with like 6 attacks in a row (all of them done earlier than Sakura's, btw, because they had to be to win), lands the VC but Ryu calls her on a jump and takes the round.