Sorry for a double post, but I didn’t want to wait for someone’s response before I could show the fact that I am actually excited for this game…so much so that I pre-ordered two copies and paid them off three months in advance!
Just in case no one fully understands the prior post affinity made, the biggest major changes to the game are as follows:
[list]Combination Ultimate Jutsu, which allows you to be extra flashy and awesome, but I don’t think it effects damage or anything relevant except hype. Note that CUJ is NOT a replacement for Team Ultimate Jutsu as a whole, but for regular Ultimate Jutsu and the animation portion of TUJ.
Counterattack seems really good, as you’re literally punishing your opponent for rushing you (whether an attack or dash) with a massive amount of guard-crush stun, and the only drawback is temporarily shortening your chakra by between 20-30%. It really punishes that guy who wants to chakra-cancel rush you after you sub out of a situation. It is also very balanced, as you can’t spam it, so it’s not automatically better than substitution.
Guard Break is a bit misleading, as it doesn’t actually break any guards and can be blocked just as easily as any other move, but it does provide effects similar to a guard crush. If your opponent is open, and you are within distance, pressing up on the D-Pad allows you to rush to them and if you connect, the result is your opponent being in a state of guard-crush stun. You are limited to two uses each match, and I feel like it doesn’t last as long as the Counterattack. It also replaces the character-unique top item and has a deceiving range (you don’t move near as far as you think you will), which when you add that it can be blocked if timed incorrectly, keeps it balanced (I personally feel it’s a bit under-powered, but w/e)[/list]
We now have an amazing new change called Drives: Simply put, it takes everything that every character had access to, splits it into three, and tells you to ‘pick one, and choose wisely, because that’s all you get.’ Here are the details to each Drive that we know so far.
[list]Ultimate Drive! As you can assume, this drive is all about Ultimate Jutsu. If you choose this drive, you get access to your Ultimate Jutsu and Team Ultimate Jutsu, but you sacrifice access to an Awakening and the only thing you can to with your supports is to summon them when they are off cooldown. While this seems drastic, it’s balanced by having Ultimate Jutsu reduced to requiring about 30-40% chakra bar. Also, when using TUJ the team no longer charges together but one after the other, which makes subbing more difficult as well as using up to three of their subs. TUJ also does MAXIMUM DAMAGE between both your assists. Note that you do NOT need a Combination Ultimate Jutsu to use UJ or TUJ: you only need select the Ultimate Drive. Note also that you need a full Storm Bar to use TUJ.
Awakening Drive! Once again, anyone who’s touched a Storm game knows about that comeback mechanic known as Awakenings, and they recently added the Instant Awakening in Storm 3. If you pick this drive, unlike Storm 3 in which only certain characters had IA, your character gets access to both and an IA and a True Awakening. This also mean you lose access to your UJ and the only thing your supports are good for is being summoned when their cooldowns are refreshed. IA can be used as long as your chakra bar contains at least 10% chakra and hasn’t been shortened to it’s limit. If you manage to use your True Awakening and do not win, you still obtain a powered-down status, but from what I saw it appeared to not last as long as prior installments. Also in an effort to balance things, during TA it seems that UJ Invulnerability and Throw Invulnerability have been restored. Also during IA or TA, if your supports are not replaced with other options, you may in fact summon your supports. Note that you need a full Storm Bar and to over-charge your chakra for a few moments to use True Awakening.
Last but not least, Support Drive! This one is my personal favorite, as it feels like more of a challenge to win when you select it, but I feel it will be stronger once the full game comes out and you can pick your supports. When you select Support Drive, you lose access to your UJ and any form of Awakening. In their places, however, your supports go absolutely nuts! Both your supports start off in Defense Mode, meaning each match you start with both supports acting as if you choose them to be defensive. This means dash-guarding, and charge-guarding. If you have at least 10% chakra, you can flick the right stick (similar to IA) and you will switch them to Attack Mode, meaning extended combos and Strike Backs. As long as you aren’t actively doing anything and have the chakra, you may switch between them as needed. Once you have about 30-50% chakra, you may input the same inputs you would to perform an UJ: doing so turns your supports on to All Mode for a short amount of time. That’s right, folks! During this time your supports act not only as Defense and Attack, but also Balance (they throw chakra-enhanced projectiles when you do, and one of them will take a UJ/TUJ for you, although this has yet to happen for me)! You also still get to summon them when they come off their cooldowns, and their cooldown times are shortened! Once your Storm Bar is full and you have around 80-100% chakra, you may input the same command for TUJ to perform a Sealing Technique. When this connects, after a short animation of performing a sealing jutsu with your team and dealing very minor damage to your opponent, your opponent now appears a shade of red. If you look up at your opponent’s HUD you’ll notice that their Storm Bar, Chakra Bar, and half of their Sub Bar have been locked. From what I recall, your opponent cannot use UJ, TUJ, IA, TA, All Mode, or Sealing for a short period of time. I believe it also prevents any support aid like charge-guarding or Strike Backs. Note that the game itself says ‘Support’ when it refers to what things Sealing locks, and I feel that either it is referring certain aiding or that it is supposed to lock supports entirely. If it is the latter, that function has not yet been implemented and must be subject to change, as Sealing anyone currently still give them access to their supports via left and right bumpers. Note also that the only person who charges to initiate a Sealing is the lead character. Also, supports still have a ‘health bar’ liek in Storm 3, were they can only get hit so many times after being summoned before that go into a very long cooldown.[/list]
Also, note that anything that says ‘requires Storm Bar level’ to be at a certain amount other than TUJ, TA, or Sealing does not currently function this way: this currently only requires a certain amount of chakra. Also your Storm Bar fills in all the same ways the Team Bar does in previous games, regardless of which Drive you pick, so don’t believe otherwise.