Holy crap, I’m exhausted. It’s raining like crazy tonight… (now that was yesterday and it’s afternoon here as I’m posting this)
The test in Akihabara was f*cking great. Lets start with initial impressions.
First off, I walked in and there was a big TV screen in the game center. Under that screen was a huge sign, saying ???(NO PICTURES). Sorry guys, I really wanted to take some footage.
The first thing that I noticed were the backgrounds to the stages. They are bright and colorful, and have lots of animation. Nejibako’s backgrounds are also nice, and very detailed, but SupiTenka is maybe a little more eye catching. I can distinctly remember what some of the stages look like: there’s one in a kind of native town, one that’s in America, a Texas like town (maybe Earthquake’s stage?), one is in New England and features American looking monuments, and of course you have your very Japanese looking ones. There’s even one that takes place on a raft, with nice looking water. There is always a judge present, and he basically does everything the judge in SS2 did, like throwing confetti and holding his flags up and whatnot. I’m glad the judge is back. If you activate the items, there’s also a guy that runs behind in the background and throws them into play.
The graphics are really nice. I think Imoya is really putting a lot of effort into this game, even more than Nejibako (although I think Nejibako looks good). The sprites are 90% good and 10% so-so. Some of the sprites could use a little work, IMO. Earthquake needs work… but overall the game looks really good. All of the special effects (hit effects, fireballs, etc) look nice, even nicer than Nejibako in some situations. Menus are sharp. Character art is beautiful! It looks so nice! Maybe it’s not as stylized as SS0S, but it really fits the games light-hearted feel. This game feels quite lighthearted compared to the darker Nejibako, I think. The character that wins has a nice, large picture of them emblazed on the screen at the end, and Hanzos picture looks sweet! Haha, my favorite character is Hanzo so.
I’ll talk about the system a little bit now. This system is much much much more complicated than Nejibako, because of the ‘Spirit Select’, where you can pick one out of 6 spirits that change the way you play. So I don’t know too much, but I’ll say what I noticed. I also am looking at some Japanese sites to clarify/confirm what I saw. When you see (?) that means Im making an assumption based on what I saw but Im not too sure
For every spirit, a few things are the same. You always will have a life bar, a sword meter, and a power gauge (used for super attacks).
Buttons are layed out like this.
??? 1 2 3
??? 4 5
Depending on the spirit you choose, stuff will work a little differently, but they all seem to have these commands in common.
1 - a weak slash
2 - b medium slash
3 - c hard slash
4 - d kick
5 - e ‘special’ button
AD - Pick up item off the ground. (Includes items thrown from the background and your weapon if you drop it. You can pick up bombs and throw them at your enemy!)
BC - Throw (guard crusher)
E - Depends on the spirit chosen.
I’ll try to explain the ‘spirits’ now…
? - Ikari(Rage) Spirit - Brute strength. Your sword meter is very huge. However you seem to drain it faster when you attack. This might appeal to fans of the old old school SS, because it’s all about good timing and killing in 2-3 hits. This mode has none of the evasive properties of the other modes, save for one attack. By hitting AB, a blue spark will appear on your weapon for an instant, and then you will do a huge slash that drains your entire sword bar. If the enemy is attacking and you time that blue spark with their attack, you will attack through their attack (I think you might still take damage though). The attack’s strength depends on the character, obviously, but I saw anywhere from 1/2 life to 2/5th life. You get power bar by blocking hits and getting hit. Simple system, it seems like you have to play much slower than the other systems. When your bar is full it starts to drain quite fast and you have a limited time to do a super. You also get stronger. One thing interesting to note, when you’re knocked down your bar doesn’t drain at all; it only drains when you have complete control of your character (this applied to all ‘spirits’). Super move is quarter circle forward AB.
? - Shin(Truth) Spirit
In this mode you have dodging that is similar to Samurai Spirits Zero Special, but you cannot jump forward. All of this is done with the E button, and is virtually identical to the commands in Zero Special. E by itself is a hop in place, back and E is a slightly backwards hop. Down and E is a low duck that evades all high attacks. Down-forward and down-backward plus E allow you to roll forwards or backwards, evading some high attacks. The super move, done by a half circle forward and AB, will break the opponent’s weapon (while in other modes the weapon is just knocked out of their hands). They cannot recover it immediately, but after a set period of time it is thrown back into play where the other player has a chance to pick it up again. This mode wasn’t picked often and I am not sure about details. I’m trying to find Japanese forums explaining more in detail, if anyone knows a site give me a link.
? - Kiri (Killing) Spirit
This spirit is a little different. Pressing E will allow you to dodge into the background, similar to the S groove in CapSNK2. Forward and E allows you to swing around to the back of your opponent, ala SS3. It looks like a pretty safe move, but Im sure you can be thrown out of it. You can also guard in mid-air by pressing E in mid-air (crazy!). The gauge drains very quickly when filled, but you can continue doing super moves until it runs out. In this mode, you can also charge your bar yourself by holding AB, it seems. Interesting system. Certain characters can charge their bar very fast, others slower (?), for example Enja filled his in less than 3 seconds Super move is quarter circle forward AB. I believe that in this mode, when your bar fills completely, you automatically stand still, do a small taunt, during which you cannot be hit at all (attacks pass right through you), after which your bar starts to drain. I cant remember if it was this particular one though.
? Ten (Heaven) Spirit
This is the combo heavy spirit, taking elements from Samurai Spirits 4. It has the same dodging system as the Kiri Spirit, it seems. Pressing AB does the combo slash from SS4. You can chain it in different ways. Some ways knock down the opponent, other ways allow you to attach special moves to the end. There is a lot of freedom but it is essentially a dial a combo system (that doesnt make it boring to watch thoughthe harder links look quite difficult to do). The reach depends on the character, and some characters have more reach than others, but the AB slash is relatively fast. You must hit the opponent to do the combo, i.e. they cant block. Pressing ABC allows you to do a rage explosion, which knocks the enemy back. It seems like it can interrupt anything. The character looks like they are being shocked with red lightning and the other character is slightly pushed back. The timer stops while in Rage mode, and your power bar slowly clicks down. ABC again gives you Issen(a dashing, one hit attack), which can be comboed, is fast, and does a lot of damage! Its also very stylish. Once Issen is used once, your bar becomes gray and cannot be filled again. Super move is (still) quarter circle forward AB. When the gauge is filled, it drains much slower than the Rage or Killing Spirits, but also it depends on the character.
? Rei (Zero) Spirit
Basically exactly the same as SSZeroSpecials system. Exactly the same dodging system. In SS0 dodging, forward + E is a forward hop avoiding attacks, E by itself is a hop in place, back and E is a slightly backwards hop. Down and E is a low duck that evades all high attacks. Down-forward and down-backward plus E allow you to roll forwards or backwards, evading some high attacks. Meditation is done with AB. Seems similar to SS0, where different characters gain more bar through meditation. Rage explosion works like the Heaven Spirit, with the same animation, same input (ABC), but unlike Heaven mode, you can use it in the next stage again. Time stops here as well. I dont know what you can do after Rage explosion. I believe with the Zero spirit you can also do the weapon parry. It leaves the opponent VERY open. When your disarmed and do it, the opponent is also disarmed. Very cool looking now I dont know if the command changed. The slow motion mode is back and everything turns black and white except for the player who activated it. This mode is activated with DE, and while in it, ABC is Issen. You can only use Issen once before your bar is useless, I believe.
? Ken (Sword) Spirit
This mode is very different, with a parry like system. Down + E dodges high attacks, back and E low attacks, and I think just pressing E will dodge jumping attacks (?). When you make a successful dodge, the whole background turns black and white for a half second (dont worry, it looks cool) and there is a hit effect, and it feels very similar to a parry from SF3. Also, there is another super bar superimposed over your life bar that rises. When that bar starts flashing, you can do a new type of super move called??? the Secret of Justice. This move is like a secondary super move for every character and it does a lot of damage, but you have to parry a lot in order to do it. There is also a thing called Perfect Guard???which can parry super moves and other huge attacks completely, but I have a feeling that it takes that new super bar to use it the Perfect Guard uses AB to activate it. I have no idea how it works, but I think I saw it once.
The regular power gauge rises as you attackin other modes it rises as you take damage only (?), and of course you have your regular super move. Oh also, when your bar fills in this mode it doesnt count down at all, it just stays full.
Dang, thats a lot of system. I hope they can balance it!
Ill talk about the characters I can remember clearly just a bit there are too many to talk about all of them. Like over 40. A lot of them went unused.
Hanzo his art is bad ass. His strong command throw looks sick, as he flies up in the air really fast, and comes down at a high speed. Does nice damage, but he has a small delay after he lands where he fixes his scarf, or something (prevent rushdown?). His teleports are all intact but the positioning changed for the better, you are in a better position to use a follow up attack, it seems. I used him once and I enjoyed it very much.
Cham-Cham Sprite and sounds were updated. Looks nice, all the old moves are intact. Very cute and picked quite a bit, second only to
Inoha Holy crap, the ultimate fanservice character. Her super is a throw, when it connects a huge paper screen drops down, she strips her clothes off and slashes you a bunch of times, leans back with her boobs in the air like shes praying on the ground, and slashes you again before it ends. Has two hook sword looking things, almost like Talim from Soul Calibur. Although very fanservicy, also seems like a deep character, with air and ground fireballs (they look like little paper airplanes) that move kind of slow but can be aimed in different directions. She also has a spinning attack in the air like May from GGXX (guruguru attack!). I think 1 out of 2 people in the game center lining up to play picked her. Her artwork is 1/3 her face and 2/3 cleavage. I cant emphasize enough how fanservicy this character is.
Robot Guy Cool! Uses buzzsaws, has a throw where the opponent becomes part of a chibi puppet show. Is really slow in mid-air but there is a small platform on wheels that launches him into the air. This platform can spin and attack while he is in the air, so its an interesting mix-up. Looks very powerful in the right hands.
Enja People were trying to pull off his death combo but no one could get it right. I wanted to see the damage
Charlotte Looks very strong. Has a rose taunt, where she throws a rose in the air that is similar to Dudley in SF3. I think its a little unbalanced because you can only block it high, and your opponent can then sweep you and repeat. If you block low then he can combo you when the rose hits. I hope that they fix it. Overall she looks strong. Can combo her throw move.
Big guy with the Cannon Sprite looks a little eh, but it gets the job done. Can scoop the opponent into his cannon and fire them out. Can also fly on his cannon like its a rocket. Many people were using him. Combos looked pretty strong. I didnt see the firing move that takes a long time to prepare. The best part about him is that when he wins, his daughter jumps in and says Papa Kakooiii!! (Youre so cool dad!) Its cute.
Nicotine One person was using him. Has a nice combo where after linking his little shadow combo he can pull you in with his cane. Other than that I dont know. Sprite looks fine.
Seiger Seiger!! He was very cool. His big arm/shooting attack does 12 hits all the way across the screen but has super lag after its complete. Has a combo where he hits you in the air, catches you and does a backbreaker. After breaking your back he laughs for a second. It elicited laughs from the entire audience, which is impressive in Japan. Sprite is huge and very well done.
Guy with the Beads His throw still does a lot of damage. Almost half life.
Kusarigedo They changed his voice. He really sounds like hes throwing up when he does his vomit move now. I saw him killing a lot of people. No run, but kind of forms a ball and hops forward instead when you dash. His throw still does about half life.
Kazami has a new attack like Liu Kang from Mortal Kombat, where he jumps on you and kicks you a bunch of times. It looks cool,
Mina Used her once. Gone are her charge moves. They are replaced with half circle moves. Weak slash fires a barrage forward, strong slash fires after an automatic jump in the air. Her hop over the enemys head, fire an arrow move is nerfed considerably, she cant jump very far at all, only right next to the enemy. She has new ways to use the arrows you shoot into the sky but I died before figuring it out
Guy with the big Mallet He can heal himself just like in SS0 but not for that much. Seems strong in the right hands. Helpers are strong but maybe he himself isnt. He can use the gun as a regular move and even combo it, but it doesnt do that much damage.
Andrew Guy with the rifle. Hes kind of hmm not as bad looking as I expected but not that great of a design. I really dont know how he plays but he didnt look so bad.
Mizuki Her moves are changed around a lot. She seems faster, but more vulnerable with the demon flying out of her skirt move not blocking the enemy for very long.
Rimururu Seems very strong, and has nice links to her super ice attacks.
Nakoruru I almost wish they used the new Nejibako sprite, but she still looks fine.
Gaoh Seems harder to use and link stuff than in SS0S, but overall still strong enough.
Ukyo Has a new move that looks like Moriya and Yamazakis whipping move. Long lag at the end. Looks badass how he sheaths his sword at the end of the move differently.
Ukyo female clone Saw someone winning big time with her. Has the air fireball and a version of Ukyos new whipping move that hits differently, but looks no less cooler.
The Shin spirit, hmm … I believe you can also turn into a Chibi version of your character, but I have no idea what it does/means. The person did some command, there was a puff of smoke, a chibi version appeared, and then disappeared.
Again, I saw it with my own eyes but I have no idea what it means…
The ability to break your opponent’s weapon seemed quite powerful though, except certain character are strong without their weapon =P
I’m sure Cham Cham has at least one move but I didn’t see any at all… her 2 command throws do a lot of damage though. Both the flying one and the ground one.