Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Super Classic Costume Pack out Today.

The second-to-last costume pack for SSF4 was released today. It contains new alternates for Blanka, Guile, Dhalsim, Fei Long and Gen. Personally, I really like Blanka's 2nd alt, it really changes the appearance of his model, and looks great in motion. I like Fei's too, it's a shoutout to Bruce Lee's Kato outfit. 

The pack is available for 320 Microsoft points, or $3.99. The next pack will be the complete collection pack, coming out on July 27th. Still, good timing on Capcom's part, as now all the costumes are available shortly before EVO.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Devastation 2010 SSF4 Results

Devastation 2010 concluded over the weekend, and while there were many other games, the SSF4 tourney was notable in that the Top 8 finalists were composed mostly of characters that normally do not see top 8 finishes in majors. 

We had Marn's Dudley win it all, beating Valle's Ryu! And there were some strong finishes by Juicebox Abel, Combofiend's Guy, Buktooth's Ibuki, floE's Juri and NinjaCW's Makoto! Plus Filipino Champ's Dhalsim and Mike Ross's Honda! Definitely not the usual top 8 roster. Anyway, for guys like me that like seeing non-top tier characters do well, this weekend was quite a breath of fresh air. 

The game is only a few months old at this point, and I know that one tournament does not a standard make, but I hope that this is a harbinger of things to come at EVO, you never know, Yeb beasted in vanilla with Gen, and we've seen Inthul's Fei Long do well in Super. 

Is this the year a Dan player wins EVO? Watch out! 

Monday, June 14, 2010

SSF4 Tourney Mode Patch Dropping Tomorrow

That's right, when you boot up SSF4 tomorrow, it's very likely that you will have to load a new patch. However, it will be the new Tournament Mode! Yup, an actual tourney mode not too dissimilar from the Championship mode from vanilla SF4. Oh, and there will be a few bug fixes as well, taking out unblockable Ultra setups and infinites. More info is here.

Oh, and don't forget that the Super Brawler costume pack goes on sale tomorrow as well. If you are a fan of Commando Abel, Inca Fuerte, Mecha Gief, Chinese Zombie Rufus and WTF is that outfit Honda, get in line and purchase your costume pack.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Transformers: War For Cybertron demo now available on XBL.

Yeah. Go get it. What is it? It's a demo for this. Go now. 

Monday, June 7, 2010

Impromptu Manga Review: Kenji

Some time ago, I chanced upon an unknown (to me) martial arts manga called Kenji. I didn't think I would like it at first, given that the main character was basically a little boy, and that it looked like it was going to be targeted at young readers. The protagonist, Kenji Goh is introduced as a third-grader living in Tokyo, which I believe makes him 8 or 9 years old. The introductory arc is simple enough: he defends weak classmates from bullies, learns kung-fu from his spry grandfather (Kyotaro Goh), gets into trouble with his parents for fighting, etc.

 My interest level perked up when his grandfather starts explaining certain stances and techniques. For example, after an altercation with some thugs, his grandfather uses a body check called tieshankao. I recognized this move from Akira Yuki, in the Virtua Fighter series! Later on, more techniques are dissected and actual notable people from the history of martial arts are discussed. As the story progresses, I can't help but marvel at how well-researched the narrative is. Of course this is probably due to the author's (Ryuichi Matsuda)  past as a practicing martial artist. Soon, the structure of the story is changed by several events: Kenji's grandfather ends his visit to Kenji's home and returns to his country home; Kenji meets a young girl from a Yakuza family(!); and lastly, Kenji goes to live with his grandfather during summer vacation and begins to learn kung-fu in earnest. Particularly, he begins to seriously learn Bajiquan. During his training, more martial arts styles are introduced or mentioned, like Shotokan and Goju-ryu karate, Kalaripayattu and Xing Yi Quan,  His classmate Taichi also ends up training with Kenji and his grandfather over the summer holiday. 

After the summer holiday, Kyotaro visits Kenji in Tokyo for a final time, and tells him that he is leaving for China, to fulfill an old promise from his past. In the short interval before his departure, Kyotaro teaches Kenji some final Bajiquan lessons, imparting some "secrets" of Bajiquan to Kenji. 

After his grandfather leaves, the story skips forward in time about 5 years, and rejoins 

Kenji as a young teenager around 13-14 years of age. He is now in junior high, and he encounters Akira Kazama again, the young daughter of a Yakuza family mentioned earlier. Through her, he becomes embroiled in some gang warfare and his experiences lead him to resolve to learn new methods of fighting. For example, he attempts to learn how to fight multiple opponents. Through his search for answers he encounters even more schools of martial arts. In particular, he learns about Daito-ryu Aikijujitsu, and Taijiquan. 

A little later, Kenji is at a new school, and again runs afoul of some local toughs, but later becomes accepted by his peers there. The focus shifts to boxing for a short while, and Kenji is drafted by the school boxing club to fight in an inter-high tournament. Of course, this means it's time for yet more martial arts history lessons, this time dealing with Jack Dempsey and Floyd Patterson, the latter of which used a jumping punch that Kenji instinctively used to win his bout. 

A short time later, Akira takes Kenji to visit Inoue, an old acquaintance from Akira's former gang, who now has given up on gang life and works at a Chinese restaurant in Yokohama. While there, Inoue introduces Kenji to his boss and "master", Zhang Ren Zhong. Coincidentally, Zhang is also a Bajiquan practitioner, who learned the art from the same school in China as Kenji's grandfather. Of course Kenji asks Zhang to teach him Bajiquan, as he has had no further instruction in the art since his grandfather left. Zhang muses on the great coincidence of their meeting, and says that he believes that their encounter was a "Wish from the Sky". In other words, a destined meeting. He asks Kenji a few questions as a test, and accepts Kenji as a disciple when Kenji answers correctly.  

Kenji spends the summer at Zhang's restaurant, learning Bajiquan, while he works in the restaurant kitchen and shares a room there with Inoue as well. The resumption of Kenji's training in Bajiquan begins an entirely new story arc, and sets the stage for his further growth as a martial artist. This is getting quite long, so I will take a short break. Next time I will finish the narrative review, and talk about several of the overall themes presented in Kenji.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Venue Change Impressions

With the continued growth of Wednesday Night Fights, there had been some talk of expanding the time slot to accommodate the increasing number of participants. When I first started hosting Fight Nights, space and time were not an issue, mainly because we rarely had more than 6-8 players at one time. However, as we've started attracting more and more players, we started to see averages of 12-16 players weekly. Unfortunately, due to the relatively small size of the venue, we could not comfortably have more than 4-5 setups going, and people were not getting to play as much as they'd like. Two hours is plenty when you have less than 10 people, but once the number hit over a dozen, it's not quite enough time.

       I attempted to negotiate more play time with the venue, and made some suggestions. Unfortunately, we were unable to come to a mutually satisfactory arrangement, and I started looking for an alternate venue. I had noticed that Hastings, a retailer in my area, had an open space in its store that used to be a cafe. It had more room, tables and seating, and enough power outlets for use. I set up a meeting with the store manager, and was pleased to find out that he was excited about having Hastings as a venue for the Fight Nights.

 Well, this past Wednesday we had our first Fight Night at the new venue, and I am pleased to report that we had a great turnout. 22 players in total, with 7 setups going at once. Feedback after the session was consistently positive, with most players appreciating the extra space and additional time. Plus hey, there was a couch to chill in! Hopefully, we can maintain the growth of the event, and we plan to start holding tourneys and ranbats in the coming months. 

So here we are, starting fresh in a new place, with some new faces, and many familiar ones. I hope that things stay positive in the new place, and I'm looking forward to seeing how the scene grows after this change. In the meantime, we'll keep playing and leveling up. Many thanks to Lycan, Sev, Squabbler, eraser, Duckie, Cylus, pJan, FlyMike, Bishop, Krit, Wootsick, Bryce, Semosh, Sunstone, Gouken dude, Matt and everyone else who was there. If I don't know or misspelled your name, I apologize. And if you happened to be a participant in any of the Fight Nights, thank you. We couldn't have done it without you.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Rufus, a Study in Character Design

"FuriousJodo wrote: 

I'll never main her, but I am totally obsessed with her (Chun Li) as a character for some reason.

Hiryu02 wrote: 

I'm like this about Rufus, for some reason."

 With the release of Super, I notice that I've been playing Rufus more and more. I wasn't a big fan of his in vanilla, mainly because he was considered to be OP, given the amount of damage he was able to put out, especially in conjunction with his easy-to-combo Ultra. Now due to the across-the-board damage nerf the entire cast received in Super, Rufus went from doing ridiculously high damage to only doing somewhat-high damage. Personally, I'm thrilled. I feel that it makes playing him require more effort, and you actually have to land stuff more than twice in a round to win it. But that's a discussion for another time, I digress. 

Anyway, I'm really beginning to appreciate the design that went into his character. I will be honest, and tell you that I'm not a big fan of his default costume, but I really love his first alternate. I think it's mainly because I can't figure out what the hell he's supposed to be wearing in his default outfit. Some kind of riding suit or something? His alternate outfit has more cool touches, I think, even with the pigtails. For example, take the "Wu" kanji on the back. Wu is the Chinese symbol that stands for "martial", as in martial arts or a martial way. I feel that it strongly fits his personality, and his backstory, which describes that he taught himself Kung-Fu by watching martial arts movies and reading kung-fu books! He also supposedly traveled through China to see the different Kung-Fu styles, and reinforce what he had learned.

I also notice more and more little details, like the way he shakes his head, Bruce Lee-style, after landing a palm thrust. The way he holds his hands when he does a cr mk, or the little light-footed shuffle he does when Spectacle Romance is blocked. Or even just the way he lands from a back throw. Little things, I know, but they add so much. Rufus isn't a character that looks good in still images, one has to see him in motion to really grasp the fluidity of his movement.

I especially like the Snake Strike animation. He leaps, stabbing furiously with each limb, and yet manages to land like a ballerina from a triple axel. Again, now that I pay attention, I see the multiple styles blended in his own, as befits his self-taught martial way. Bajiquan, Tai Chi, Snake style, Baguazhang, and more.

Of course, his effusive, motor-mouthed personality is great too. Win quotes that are so long you can't read them before they go away. Or the hilarious gestures and movements in his Rival cutscenes. I used to hate the fat man, but now I have a strange new appreciation of his design. 

Now I'm aware that the Rufus we see today is very far from the original idea for his character. He was originally supposed to be a slender black guy with a shaved head, wearing the "pimp gi" outfit that is now Ken's first alternate costume. He was going to be called "King Cobra" and was going to use a blend of breakdancing and kung-fu as a fighting style. However, at some point during the development process, one of the art directors suggested making him fat, an idea that the main designer (Daigo Ikeno) liked. Eventually, the design changed so much it bore almost no similarity to the original work. I'll be honest, at first I was totally turned off by the character and the grotesqueness of his physique. But over time, I've come to appreciate the originality of the design. 

It took me the entire life-span of the first game to realize this, but Rufus is a damn good character. Belatedly, my hat's off to you, Capcom.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

SSFIV Hitbox Data

Hey guys, if you are always hungry to learn more about Super, you really need to head over to eventhubs and check out the links to hitbox data for all the characters.

Why is hitbox data important? Well, once you understand how to interpret the images, the data can tell you a LOT about how attacks interact with each other. For example, did you know that certain jumping punch attacks make your lower section invincible to fireballs? Which is why sometimes it looks like someone's legs should have been hit out of the air by a hadouken, yet somehow manages to avoid it.

It's something you may want to browse through, there are some surprises in there.
Links and main article are here.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Six months later.

In opening, I'd like to apologize for not having updated for the past few months. Many things have happened, Super came out, tourneys went down, salt was dropped. It's been quite eventful.

Another reason I hadn't been updating was because I felt other websites like eventhubs and iplaywinner, did a much better job of posting up news bits. I didn't want to just repost content from other sites, so I stopped doing that. Not to mention, it's not like a million people browse this site, so if I didn't have something, I'm not depriving anyone of info.

In the meantime, I'm glad to report that Wednesday Night Fights has grown beyond my expectations. From a small group of 5-6 regulars, we have been pulling an average of 12-15 players at every gathering. We've had great turnouts at the tournament's we've run, and many local players who had not enjoyed vanilla SF4 are now playing a LOT of Super SF4. All in all, the scene is looking nice and healthy now.

Of course, the scene is nothing without the players. I'd like to thank the regulars that first formed the core of the Fight Nights, without whom I'm sure I'd still be spamming EX TT and other online-only shenanigans. Lycan, Sev, Squabbler, Eraser, Duckie and Cylus, thank you.

Of course I can't leave out FlyMike, whose mid-game commentary has both spectators and opponents rolling. Bishop, Shinblade, Big Majin and Lil Majin, it's always good to see you guys at gatherings and tourneys, especially now that it seems you guys are having fun with Super.

I've seen some awesome things in these six months. I saw Lil Majin and Cylus battle it out tooth and nail for the grand final at the first Fight Night tourney. The disbelief at Lil Majin getting taken out at the next tourney. The same one in which wootsick comes out from nowhere to take the top spot, beating out Cylus in a brutal throwdown. Desperation Ultras actually connecting. Mental guards being shattered. Players dominating, and in turn getting dominated. New game, new characters, new players, new matchups.

In closing, I'm happy to report that the local scene seems to have been revitalized, and it feels like it's steadily growing. Also, through the generosity of Sev, I'm actually going to EVO this year with several of the regulars. That ought be be fun to write about. Anyway, I'll try and keep this blog more relevant, and try to actually post stuff of interest. Don't be surprised if I do a retro arcade game review or something. But for now, I'm concentrating on SF4. I picked up a new main after all. There is much to learn, and a long road ahead.

Monday, March 1, 2010

SFIV Powerplay Beatdown Tourney RESULTS!

Okay, I have the results from Saturday's Memphis tourney!

1st-Lil Majin - Gief
2nd-Cylus - Balrog
3rd-Severin-X - Abel
4th-Joe - Sakura
5th-pJan - Blanka/Honda
5th-Lycan - Ryu/Akuma
7th-eraser224 - Bison
7th-FlyMike - Honda
9th-Hiryu02 - Abel/Gen
13th-Squabbler - Akuma/Ryu
17th-Hampton - Bison
17th-Duckie - Sagat
17th-Red Dragon

My apologies if your sig is misspelled, this is how it was logged in Tio.

Anyway, congrats to the winners, and thanks to everyone who attended. We had a great turnout, much better than expected for a small local tourney like this. I was hoping to get maybe a dozen, and we had over 20 people show up. Hopefully we can all do this again sometime, I think there will be some vids posted later. I hope everyone had a great time. Thanks again, and I hope we all fight again sometime.

For more post-tourney comments, check this thread here.

Friday, February 26, 2010

SFIV Tournament is TOMORROW.

Just a reminder, tomorrow at 5:00 PM we will begin the first ever Powerplay SF4 Tournament. Here's a quick rundown of the info:

- Registration fee is $10, which includes the $5 venue fee

- Official platform is Xbox 360, but we will try to have a PS3 setup also available for those who prefer.

- Bring your own controller or stick. This is VERY important. We will try and have classic pads and fightpads available, but if you prefer a stick, bring your own.

- Start time is 5:00 PM, but I suggest showing up by 4:00 PM for early registration and to get warmups in.

- We will be playing on in-house monitors, which will be tested beforehand to ensure we are using the ones with less lag.

Full info is at the link below, I hope to see you there!


Thursday, February 18, 2010

Makoto, Ibuki and Dudley CONFIRMED!

I know that if you care at all about SF4, you've already seen the new introduction trailer for the new additions to Super SF4. Well and good.

However, you may not have seen the Japanese version yet, which in my opinion contains vastly superior voice acting, especially in Dudley's and Makoto's case. The new Ultras are sick, especially Dudley's Rolling Thunder, which thanks to 3D camera angles is now revealed as an homage to the Dempsey Roll from Hajime no Ippo!

To view the trailer, just click here and select the SUPER Promotion Trailer #4. Oh, and bonus tease at the end...heh.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

SFIV Tournament is a go!

Hey guys, I apologize for the lack of posts of late, but I've got a great announcement to make up for it.

I am pleased to announce what will hopefully become the first of many tournaments,
the Street Fighter 4 PowerPlay Beatdown!

When: February 27th, 2010. Tourney proper starts at 5:00 PM

Where: The location for the event will be PowerPlay Videogames in Cordova.
Address is 841 N. Germantown Pkwy, Cordova TN 38018. It's directly beside the Outdoors INC. However, it can be a bit tricky to locate, so here's a Google Maps link

Registration: $10 (includes $5 venue fee)

Format will be double elimination, best 2 out of 3 per set. Semis will also be 2 out of 3, but we may bump it up to 3 of 5 if time allows. Finals is 3 out of 5. Loser may switch characters, winner must keep same character. We will be on 360, but we will do our best to also have a PS3 setup for those who prefer it. We will have casuals before the official start at 5:00 for warmups.

BYOC. Bringing your own controller or stick is highly recommended. I will try to have Fightpads and classic controllers available for public use, but in the end if you want to be sure that you'll be on a controller you prefer, bring your own.

The tourney will be held on the in-house monitors, which will be tested beforehand to ensure we are using the ones with the least lag. May the best player win.

Prize money will be determined by number of entrants.

If you're going up to Final Round in March, this is a good opportunity to get some practice in. This is the first one I'm helping organize, so hopefully we can do this on the regular.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Super SF4 Release date announced! More info!

So last night Capcom unleashed a bunch of new info regarding Super SF4. We now have a release date: April 27th, 2010. Also, there will be a collectors edition, that includes a new anime DVD, a soundtrack disc, and an artbook. The official release is quoted below: 

Super Street Fighter® IV will be coming to the Xbox 360®video game and entertainment system from Microsoft® and PS3 system on April 27, 2010 in North America and April 30, 2010 in Europe. The follow-up to the critically acclaimed Street Fighter IV will further redefine the 2-D fighting genre with a host of new features including new characters, new ultra combos, new online modes, the return of the famed bonus stages and retuned online and offline gameplay. Super Street Fighter IV’s new characters include Street Fighter’s first Tae Kwon Do-styled fighter - the deadly female fighter Juri - classic Street Fighters such as Cody, Guy, T. Hawk, Dee Jay, Adon and more to complement the full roster of returning fighters from Street Fighter IV. Featuring all new user-selectable Ultra Combos and advancements to the online gameplay and matchmaking, Super Street Fighter IV is the ultimate vision of Street Fighter.

Also, new videos were released, you can view the english versions below:

You can also view the original japanese versions at the JP Capcom site, here.

And lastly, don't forget that we'll be having our weekly SF4 session at PowerPlay Videogames in Cordova tomorrow night, from 7:00-9:00 PM.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

New SSF4 Video! Fight Night Tonight.

It's the new era of hype all over again! The newest video just released has a look at several new ultras and costumes. All I can say is GET HYPE! SSF4 is coming, kids. Get your one-inch punch on! Check it out HERE.

Oh yeah, don't forget to come to fight night tonight, I hope to see you guys there.