.EDIT: I made an identical thread in the Fighting Games Discussion Forum. Don’t post here! I’m not gonna read it!
I’m sure I’m forgetting a lot, but anyway…
- Contrary to what I’ve been hearing, N-Groove is far from dead in Japan. Lots of high level players still using it, like Iyo (N-Dhalsim/Rolento/Maki2, a very famous player who uses an outdated groove, funky characters AND doesn’t roll cancel!) and Togawa (various teams, usually N-Iori/Ryu/Sagat). If I were to rank grooves in terms of popularity there, it would go something like this:
- C-Groove (35%)
- A-Groove (25%)
- K-Groove (18%)
- N-Groove (17%)
- P-Groove (4%)
- S-Groove (1%)
-Character selecting trends over there are quite a bit different than over here. I’ve seen a specialist for almost every character in the game and they ALL looked really impressive, barring the very bottom tiers. However, I heard there’s some guy that has King on his tourney team and he’s supposed to be good… and Iyo was messing with Kyosuke for a bit. For a while I thought it was pretty impressive… until I realized I’d been hit by like 30 combos and still had 60% of my life bar :D.
Some characters that never see the light of day here are surprisingly popular there, especially Raiden. Lots of those. A good number of Makis also.
Much like Ohnuki started the huge Chun-Li fad before, Daigo has created an equally big Guile trend. Guiles everywhere!
No doubt inspired by Yuu (C-Sagat/Kim/Rugal2), I saw a surprising amount of C-Kim/Rugal/Another teams.
Not nearly as many Blankas as I would have thought. Even less Cammys. TONS of Sagats, though. Easily the most picked character.
Kyo is a total offensive beast. Kinda like a CvS2 Makoto, but not quite as scary. Still easily the scariest character in CvS2. In the Arcadia SBO pamphlet, Kyo is listed up there in the “characters to watch for” along with the likes of sagat/blanka/cammy and A-bison/sakura.
Fake cross-up set-ups are also pretty popular. You get knocked down, the guy jumps over you and it totally looks like you have to block the other way, but for some reason the guy is still in front of you and you eat a fat combo. Also popular is another kind of fake cross-up, where you block the cross-up and start blocking low, but for some reason the guy lands in front of you… kinda like what happens with Hibiki’s j.roundhouse.
Random note, but important tourney matches bring out the Touret’s in me. I’m usually pretty easygoing, but when I’m playing a match I REALLY want to win, I start cussing like a fiend! Some guy had a camera pointed right at my face while I was playing in SBO, so if I somehow make it on the DVD you might see my dark side. :mad:
Character Specific Stuff:
I’m not sure how Yuu set it up (possibly with mid-screen dive punch into lv2 kick super, cancelled into wall press to take you into the corner), but Yuu has a really cool looking guard crush pattern with C-Rugal. He knocks you down in the corner, does a REALLY meaty jab fireball and dashes up to you. You block the very tail end of the fireball and then he does close roundhouse into reflector. From there he either throws you and repeats the process or continues the guard crush sequence with something like walk-up roundhouse fireball, followed by low roundhouse into fireball. Something like that anyway. He also mixes in tigerknee jab dive punch thingies here and there too.
One of the weirder things that I saw was Rugal’s low strong being used as anti-air and anti-CROSSUP against a lot of characters (like Blanka!). Apparently Rugal gets very small and skinny when he does that.
Rugal probably has the best dash in the game. Lots of times I got dash-thrown before I had even realized what had happened.
Japanese Rugals are different from American ones, in that they don’t randomly RC the wall grab and hope they get lucky. Actually, I don’t remember seeing one wall grab that wasn’t comboed into.
This might not be new to everybody, but Raiden’s cross-up fierce splash into jab jab short, combination thingie does like 65% guard bar and is safe. If you get crossed up again, the very last hit guard breaks you. You then get comboed into lv3 for like 95% damage.
Raiden’s got 3 really good RC moves:
- The combination thingie (big payoff and safe if blocked, also does a good chunk of guard bar).
- The drop kick (easy to do and fast enough to counter lots of stuff on reaction, like fireballs, jump-ins and whiffed moves).
- The breath (totally beats up chars that can’t crouch it… especially in non-rolling grooves)
- Jab shoulder into 720 is a really good tick/deterrent. Sets up some nice mindgames after a blocked shoulder.
Since Rock’s run-behind-you move is completely invincible for the first 10 frames or so (while he “disappears”), you can use it much like you would use a DP. Example: Rock throws you with fierce, then does strong elbow thingie to cover your tech roll attempt. You don’t tech roll, and Rock looks wide open above you as you’re getting up. You stick something out to punish it, and Rock goes through it and gets behind you for the free 360 grab.
Some Rock grab set-ups…
- 360 grab in the corner, juggle the laser, then juggle like s.fierce or something. I’m not sure if I remember correctly but you then buffer the fierce into the run-behind-them move and grab them again? I dunno. Maybe it’s like the above set-up where you bait them by whiffing something that looks vulnerable and running through it.
- Close short, grab. Sounds ghetto, but LOTS of people were getting caught by it. I also saw him (Densetsu no Otaku… K-Kyo/Hibiki/Rock, all around top-player) mixing it up with close short, low forward into elbow.
- Low jump roundhouse, run forward a tiny bit and grab.
Contrary to popular belief, Kyo’s rekka-kens are very rarely safe. However Kyo can counter your attempt to punish it by doing the 2nd/3rd hit of the rekka REALLY late. Like the first 10 times this happens to you the Kyo player gets a free roundhouse throw on you while you’re thinking “WTF?” And from there it gets REALLY scary.
It looks ugly, but Kyo’s low forward has surprising speed/range/priority. It buffers into super too.
Once Kyo knocks you down and gets over you, he has a crazy high/low/throw mix-up, all of which sets up another mix-up.
- Low jump d+fierce. Instant overhead on bigger characters and puts you back down on the floor for another mix-up.
- Roundhouse throw. Un-tech roll-able and also leaves you right next to Kyo.
- Low short into whatever combo you decide, all of which do some ungodly amount of stun damage.
I’ve seen many matches where the Kyo player gets in close, knocks the opponent down, then successfully mixes up until it’s over. I’ve also seen many Kyo players get like 5 roundhouse throws in a row because the opponent is too scared to uppercut (Kyo blocks, gets free low strong into up-kicks into dp+roundhouse, which is basically guaranteed dizzy at that point) or stick something out (which will get beaten by the low shorts).
The common mix-up I saw to get the intial knockdown is pretty similar; get them to block low shorts, then either:
- Overhead d+fierce
- Walk up roundhouse throw
- Walk up shorts again. This counters attempts to counter the other two options, and also has the most damaging result.
So basically, once Kyo gets in, people just freeze and let themselves get thrown over and over.
For Maki, I never thought her mid-air 720 was practical at all, but I saw Iyo land lots of them. On me. It’s easily one of the most humilating things to get caught by in CvS2.
One thing that I thought was too advanced to ever work was to tick into 720, but instead tigerknee it and grab their attempt to jump away. Impractical? Maybe, but I saw it happen a lot.
When you combine usage of c.fierce and s.roundhouse for different angles, Maki has a very tight anti-air defense. Even against low jumps! Occasionally I saw close roundhouse being used as anti-cross up also.
Backwards run into tigerknee off-the-wall moves are really good, especially the jab wall jump one. They all have their uses though; Dive kicks are fast and have really high priority, the grab is actually useful that low to the ground, and the short drop thingie for baiting anti-air attempts.
I’m not sure how it is set-up or executed, but when you knock the opponent down in the corner, you can do some really cool stuff with the off the wall moves, like a cross-up dive kick that I swear is unblockable (actually I think you might have to block the roundhouse dive kick one way and the forward dive kick the other), off the wall dives, or drop down with short and do something else, like go low or do a 720. Sounds fun… too bad I didn’t get a chance to (attempt to) talk to Iyo and find out his secrets