Here’s your weekly Northwest VF News Summary…
Memorial Day Massacre
This looks like it could be it. The time could be perfect now and Portland will sort of have its own mini-get-together (it’s not quite a gathering). Yosuke and I are pretty darn sure things will work out this time.
We’ve been challenged by illness (Yosuke once, myself twice), school, and even Mother’s Day (well, that challenged me anyways). But no more! Academic schedules seem to work out, I don’t plan on getting sick again (I hope), and it’s a three-day weekend for crying out loud.
Yosuke’s going to show us what Memorial Day is all about as his VF game puts us six feet under. But hey! It’s a fast-track to seeing the VF light!
PSU to Sponsor Evo 2007 Players
Portland State University will sponsor a few (I believe 4) students by paying for their trip to Evo. However, this arrangement only applies to PSU students. The selected students will be decided by a tournament held by PSU. I believe the tournament will be open. When I find out more of the details (like whether or not it includes Evo West), I will post about them.
Southwest Airlines Deal Expires 5/17
In case you haven’t purchased tickets to Evo West or Evo World yet, Southwest Airlines will cut off their current promotion (or announce a new one) Thursday night. The current deal they have is $99 per way, which doesn’t include tax. More info here.
Report: Friday Night Fights - May 11th
The event which I usually refer to as The Secret Hideout or Friday Night Fights, went very well last Friday. For VF, it was an awesome night. I would love to detail everything about those nights, but I’ll keep it down to the VF.
Andrew’s Akira and Brad have been quite a force in the Portland VF scene. On their own, they are moving in such a strong and good direction. I can’t comment much on Brad at all, but I know Andrew has done well to stuff me in exchanges and maximize damage decently. His Akira is the toughest Akira in Portland because he executes very well.
I need to write some Akira vs. Lion notes for Andrew. My impression is that he knows how to play his characters well, but the next step is to get more matchup specific.
As far as I’m concerned, on the Portland Curve, it’s not lack of skill that makes it difficult for Andrew to play against me. He has the skill, and the general know how. He knows how the game flows. But it’s the specifics of the matchups that lead him to not know that he can punish his opponents so strongly for certain things they do. I get away with things because my Lion puts so much pressure on people who are not used to playing Lion and I don’t give them much chance (in the game) to figure out how they can punish Lion for some things.
I think this will open up the floor for character-to-character matchup discussions in Portland.
Kabukimono is shaping up nicely. He’s only just now picking up VF5 after such a long time away from VF in general. I’m so glad to have a Shun player in Portland who loves to do his research, can watch matches and assess them over their full length of time (I think I have ADD when it comes to watching match vids), and generally loves fighting games. Kabukimono is doing quite well for himself against most of Portland’s players, but he is still at the movelist stage with VF5 Shun (he doesn’t have a PS3). He’s almost beyond that stage though.
ShinRyuJinX and I didn’t get to play enough. But I’m always so glad when he’s there, even if I am zoned out playing VF5 in my own world. Darn him and Andrew going to Taco Bell–I was getting so damn hungry when they were eating behind me. Need to get some more matches in With ShinRyuJinX though, his Pai is always fun and creative.
Thomas is the current player I privately rave on about. Well, maybe not so privately if you’re in Portland. There are some missing basics, but the foundation and fundamentals are there. Thomas is good with spacing, good with defense, and best of all he is good at watching his opponents. If they have a rhythm, he’ll lock onto it. If they have a leaning towards certain classes of attacks, he’ll lock onto it. If they’re very aggressive, he’s patient. If they are patient, he’s more patient.
Things Thomas could get better at:
-Mixing up throws. Goes for chain throw too much, but the problem is he goes for the same link all the time. If he mixed it up just a bit, he’d be doing more damage. And Aoi has so many throws.
-Learning the nuances of VF’s DM/evade system. Still very used to the way evades work in many other 3d fighters. My tips: use evades when you’re in disadvantage because you’ll likely recover when they are already in the execution phase of an attack. Common disadvantage situations include your attack being blocked, you whiff an attack or throw, when you’re getting up. If you know they are going to attack, and you really want to evade their attack during a neutral situation, then don’t evade on prediction in cases like that. Evade on reaction–you want to see animation if you’re going to dodge it from a neutral situation.
-Opponents who evade a lot are giving you a lot of opportunity to throw. With Aoi, this is a good thing for you since she has a strong throwing game.
RaybladeX was the dominant force of the evening. True to the accumulation of talent, skill, and hard work that we know Ray to posess, it showed on Friday night. Ray’s game was still aggressive as always, but his focus was far stronger than I have seen him play with in recent times.
In many ways, Ray went back to basics and it was all for the better and led to some very intense matches showing that Ray can be a super-efficient and scary player when his focus is there. Aside from the focus, Ray took advantage of small advantages better than I’ve seen him done in a long time–he didn’t let small advantages go to waste. For most of the night, he did not over-commit to evades/DMs as he had done a few weeks ago. Patience was also a good factor as he didn’t rush himself into bad situations. All of the above translated very well to the large cast of characters Ray played with. His Wolf is getting better, his Lei Fei stands out, and his Pai scares the crap out of me. On top of that, it’s fun playing against his Akira, Brad, and Vanessa. VF5 Vanessa seems to be an interesting transition right now though.
Another great point was that on 5/11, Ray didn’t play with a “skewed probability” logic. In the past, Ray tended to rely on his opponent to change up, or he just wanted to wait for them to change things up sometimes. If an opponent kept doing something, especially if it was an opponent Ray respected, he would sort of expect them to change it up eventually. This isn’t necessarily wrong, but the trouble comes in if the opponent has a sense that that’s what he’s waiting for, or if Ray is just putting his character in a bad position because he thinks he can eventually gain a good advantage. What Ray did instead this time was to generally not throw himself into so many risky situations–he didn’t try to rely on this awkward plan to trap this opponent who will eventually change things up. He just simply bowed out of bad situations, played solidly, and he didn’t get repeat throws happening to him, or repeat staggers happening to him.
Personally, I think when you try to skew probability, you’re ignoring that your opponent is a human who is responding to what you are doing too. If you keep falling for what he does, he has no reason to stop. Ray didn’t fall into any such thing last week (and he generally doesn’t, but I somehow can feel when he’s going to try to rely on eventual changeups and it gave me so many free points in the past).
I hope to see much more of this focused and tighter play from Rayblade X. It reminds me of the belief that I have in his talent, ability, and love of fighting games.
Ray pretty much dominated me from midnight-3am. By 3am, I started to play a much more focused game and I think Ray’s game forced me to raise my game. From 3:30am-4:30am, we had extremely intense 5-round matches. I hope that both Ray and I continue to push each other in the game like this. By 4:30am it was either too late in the evening or too early in the morning as Ray’s focus wore out because he was tired. But that hour that started at 3:30am was a highlight of the week for me, during a week of many highlights.
P.S. I’ll be posting these newsletters of sorts in the Northwest VFers threads at SRK and VFDC (virtuafighter.com).