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Crimson Relic

Assassins Creed: Revelations - Review from Crimson Relic

By: Crimson Relic Jan 6, 2012 | 1 Comments

How does AC: Revelations stack up against the other games in the series? Find out in my review.

   

      Where to begin? How about the beginning? So I pop this baby in and get treated to a pretty killer CG scene.  After playing for about 30 mins, I get through the introduction and into the city of Constantinople. Some things I notice right off is that they have changed the way your health bar looks, as well as the map. Also Eagle Vision(if you don't know what this is, play an AC game) has been mapped to the right analog button instead of Y or Triangle(depending on what console you're playing on) and that button is now how you use shooting weapons such as the throwing knives or hand gun.  Why the devs decided to change all this in the third part of the Ezio trilogy is beyond me, but I get accustomed to it anyway.

     I start playing the game proper and it's the usual AC stuff. New things that are added are a Hookblade to make traversing the buildings a little faster and allows you to utilize various "ziplines" around the city. Also, they added a bomb-making mechanic which was touted as having "hundreds of combinations" for different bombs. I'm sure this is true, but I only used a select few and not very often in the game at all. It was easier for me to just take out my enemies in all of the usual ways - Crossbow, Swords, Hidden Blade, Throwing Knives and Handgun.

     The graphics seem to have not changed at all since the last game. It still looks good, but this is one reason I don't like games in a series coming out every year. It seems better when a game gets more development time and a new engine. I had trouble getting into this one like II and Brotherhood. I don't know what it was. One thing I did not like for sure was the "Tower Defense" crap. I do not like TD games and I hate they put that crap in AC. Also, the fact that your  Assassin Den's get attacked and you have to go play that stupid shit to get them back. I know you can get a master assassin in there to stop it from happening, but fuck. 

      I collected an Animus Cube(like the feathers and flags in previous games) and it said 1/100. I said no fucking way I'm going to collect 100 of them. Then I find out you have to find these things to play Desmond's levels. I collected around 30-something during my course of the game and it allowed me to do almost all of the D man's sequences. These parts of the game are strange first-person affairs in which you "summon" straight blocks and ramps to get around the levels while Desmond tells you all about his past.

     As far as the story goes, it definitely wrapped up Altair and Ezio, except for the later-in-life Ezio DLC Embers, which I'm not purchasing.  It's shorter and smaller than Brotherhood was. Brotherhood seemed perfectly paced, as I was able to get enough money to rebuild all of Rome. In this one though, it went by so fast that I never had enough money to buy all the stuff I wanted and I only rebuilt about 50% of the city.

     All of the best parts were in the last 25% of the game to me, save less than a handful of moments earlier in the game. I enjoyed II and Brotherhood more. It was still nice to wrap some things up and see the cool stuff at the end. It was another open ending, so looks like there's definitely another one coming. I hope they wait until next-gen and add a lot more stuff, because by now the formula is starting to get a little stale for me. I unlocked a costume about 30 mins before I beat it that made me look like Desmond in Ezio's time. That was cool and weird at the same time.

*I did not play the multiplayer. It may be great, but I don't play games like this for the MP.

Community Blog

Crimson Relic

Halo: Reach Beta First Impressions

By: Crimson Relic Apr 30, 2010 | 3 Comments

Has Bungie made Halo multiplayer even better? Is it even possible? Yes...yes it is.

     After a solid 5-hour session last night with the Halo: Reach Beta, I just gotta say, wow this is fun!  Bungie is the king of multiplayer.  So far only two maps are available, Swordbase and Powerhouse. Both of these maps work well with all of the gametypes, which include Slayer, Covie Slayer, King of the Hill, Headhunter, Capture the Flag, Juggernaut, Oddball, S.W.A.T. and Stockpile. I really didn't think I was going to enjoy Headhunter(collect skulls and take them to goal areas) or Stockpile(collect flags and take them to goal areas), but they were surprisingly a blast to play!  Each map is littered with tons of cool weapons, many of them new. Powerhouse is well-rounded with open and close-quarter areas, plus multiple tiers. Speaking of multiple tiers, Swordbase has tiers like crazy. At first it's a bit confusing, but in no time you'll be taking the flag up the lift to the 2nd story for a nice shortcut.

     I don't know how to explain the feel of the game, except that it just feels tighter. You know how H2 felt "tighter" than H3? Well it seems to be back to that. The armor abilities are a blast and I love being able to pick a different load-out each time I spawn to respond to the current situation.  The new armor lock ability is cool. You become invincible and if you hold the button down long enough, you send out an EMP blast that disables shields.  There were many times last night I would be waiting for someone's armor lock to run out so I could blast them, only to have my shields blown away and the guy run up and melee me. Whenever I pick the ability to sprint, I'm loving it. Halo has needed some sprinting for a while, and while it's unfortunate that it is an armor ability instead of just a default move, it's still really cool. You jump further and smack harder when you are sprinting. The jetpacks are fun to use as well and in some gametypes seems almost necessary to get to where you need to be quickly. I tried flying up out of the level onto a ledge and despite Bungie saying you could leave the field of play, I was was stopped by the dreaded invisible walls. That would be the only minor gripe I have about it so far, which is nothing when outshone by the awesomeness of this game.

     More info to come as the Beta continues!

Community Blog

Crimson Relic

Activision Becomes Bungie's New Publisher

By: Crimson Relic Apr 29, 2010 | 1 Comments

Who could have seen this coming?

     Early this morning, Halo developer Bungie announced on their website that they are entering into a 10-year partnership agreement with Publisher/Developer Activision.

"Today, we’re poised to open a new chapter in Bungie’s history—one that begins with a partnership between Bungie and Activision and ends where we always knew it would, with World Domination. Our Next Big Thing now has a concrete path, leading from our studio to the platforms of our choosing. The business formalities are behind us. Our Constitution remains unchanged. We are still Bungie, still independent, and now we are free to bring our stories to an ever bigger audience."

     Thomas Tippl, Chief Operating Officer of Activision Blizzard stated this about the partnership:

Bungie is one of the premier studios in our industry and we are extremely pleased to have the opportunity to work with their talented team over the next decade,” stated Thomas Tippl, Chief Operating Officer of Activision Blizzard. “Bungie has developed some of the most compelling and successful games, multiplayer experiences and thriving fan communities, and this alliance underscores our long-standing commitment to foster the industry’s best creative talent. Our unprecedented partnership with Bungie will enable us to broaden our pipeline of exciting new games as we continue to strengthen our industry position and pursue long-term growth opportunities.

     With what happened between Activision and Modern Warfare developer Infinity Ward earlier this month, it will be interesting to see just how freely Bungie will be able to create the games they want to make. I will be happy to see Bungie finally get to make a game other than Halo and also have the opportunity to make games on other consoles. This union will shape the future of what we see from Bungie after Halo: Reach later this year.

    

Community Blog

Crimson Relic

SSFIV Developer Blog: Final Character Adjustments

By: Crimson Relic Apr 20, 2010 | 1 Comments

Devs of SSFIV tell us what balance changes have occurred for Cammy, Fei Long, Sakura, Rose, Gen and Dan!

Devs:

Hello everyone! This is Tsukamoto.

I got to go with producer Ono to an event in Hawaii! Sorry I got to kick back in a nice warm country. Even though the nice wide beach was right before me, with the pre-sale presentation overseas I didn't get to go... No, the most important thing is that everyone knows more about Super Street Fighter IV, so forget the beach, we gave it our all for SSFIV promos!

This week, together with the battle planner we'll be talking about the adjustments to Cammy, Fei Long, Sakura, Rose, Gen, and Dan!

Well then, first off tell us about the adjustments to Cammy.

Read full story...

Community Blog

Crimson Relic

Marvel vs. Capcom 3 Updated Ver. 1.1

By: Crimson Relic Apr 20, 2010 | 4 Comments

A trailer has hit the internet that confirms the rumor that Marvel vs Capcom 3 is in production.

So here it is. We see Iron Man, The Hulk, Wolverine, Ryu, Morrigan and Chris Redfield. It's all just a scripted sequence, but right at the end we see the only snippet of actual gameplay as Ryu throws out a huge hadoken. Looks like the graphics are going to look a bit better than TvC, but not quite SFIV level.


This was the info that Capcom gave out to the public:

• The game is set for a spring 2011 release date on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.

• Right now the development team is looking at having about 30 characters — or so — in the roster.

• Seth Killian said that fans can expect "a healthy dose of new blood" when it comes to fighter selection.

• It's a 3-on-3 tag team fighting game, players build their own squads and uses Assists as well. Very similar to MvC2.

• The title uses an advanced version of Capcom's MT Framework, which powered Resident Evil 5 and Lost Planet 2.

• MvC3 has aerial combos, hyper combos and other original gameplay systems.

• The game is officially titled Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds.

• The goal is to get 100 pieces of music in the game, that includes old favorites, new tracks and remixes. The 'Take You For A Ride' song won't be returning, at least, it's not planned right now.

• There are no plans for an arcade, PC or Wii version.

• The team behind this wants this game to have a strong storyline.

• Development started on MvC3 in the summer of 2008.

 

Community Blog

Crimson Relic

SSFIV Developer Blog: Character Adjustments Part 2

By: Crimson Relic Apr 13, 2010 | 2 Comments

Devs of SSFIV tell us what changes have happened for C.Viper, Rufus, El Fuerte, Abel, Seth, Akuma and Gouken.

Devs:

Hello everyone! This is Tsukamoto.

We'd like to keep things rolling from last week in talking about the character adjustments. This week, together with the battle planners we'll be covering the SFIV newcomers C.Viper, Rufus, El Fuerte, Abel, Seth, and also Akuma and Gouken as well.

Let's get right into it - please tell us about the adjustments for C. Viper.

Okada:
C. Viper is a character that has been heavily influenced by player feedback, so we wanted to adjust her while keeping her image from the last game as intact as possible.

Sano:
We've made some adjustments to the moves that she could just spam. For example, her Burning Kick, where even if the opponent blocks Viper is at an advantage. While there are no changes if the move hits or misses, on block we've added a few extra frames of recovery.

Any other adjustments?

Okada:
We've also made some adjustments to her Crouching Medium Punch. Her Crouching Medium Kick is pretty good, so Crouching Medium Punch gets overlooked. In order for Crouching Medium Punch to have more of a presence in the game, we've given it a bit more priority so she can use it as a counter-poke. But since Viper's play style is pretty fast-paced, it may be difficult to find the right time to use it. We improved it to just give her a nice accent. So it won't really affect her fight style, but in those times where Crouching Medium Punch lost out, now it will win.

How should we use her ultras?

Okada:
Burst Time (Ultra 1) is an ultra that had to be combo'ed into, and required a fair bit of technique, but Burning Dance (Ultra 2) is a lot easier to use. Rather than in a combo, this is a move you can hit on its own.

Now let's talk about Rufus's adjustments.

Okada:
The biggest adjustment is that the damage on his Dive Kick has been reduced. We looked into various areas, and we felt that what gave people the most problems fighting against Rufus was the Dive Kick, so that's what we focused on for the adjustments. We tried completely nerfing it, but then Rufus would have been pretty much unplayable. We went through a lot of trial and error for this, and since we didn't want to take away Rufus's playstyle or his fun, we decided to keep the move as-is and just reduce the damage.

Sano:
As you may have read on the blog before, damage is being reduced all across the board, but Rufus in particular has seen a slightly bigger reduction in damage out of all the other characters. Of course, everything hasn't been reduced, but we've been working on the stuff that he could just spam, or moves that were too strong.

So in Street Fighter 4, Rufus was just a strong character that didn't need any technique?

Okada:
That's not quite it. Of course, technique is necessary for controlling your character. Just, since his damage output was so high, when he got an opening he could do more damage than the other characters, so we are adjusting that aspect. Also, many players felt that they didn't know how to retaliate against Rufus's attacks, or they had problems knocking him down. While we haven't particularly weakened Rufus in this area, we feel that the strength adjustments to the other characters will better help them here. As for the feel of play, Rufus is perhaps the most unchanged from Street Fighter 4. So for those who enjoyed playing as him in IV, you can play him the same way in Super Street Fighter 4.

What type of move is his new ultra, Big Bang Typhoon?

Sano:
The main thing about his new ultra, Big Bang Typhoon, is that it deals out quite a bit of chip damage. So when you have ultra stored up and your opponent is trying to run away from you, you can use it to chip them to death. Also, it has a fairly large hitbox, and it vacuums in jumping opponents, so its pretty good as anti-air.

Okay, now please tell us about El Fuerte's adjustments.

Okada:
In Street Fighter 4, El Fuerte was known as the random character, so we tried to adjust him while keeping that intact. In order to be effective as a random character, technique is necessary - so in Super Street Fighter 4 as well we are keeping the feel of his play.

In general, what type of adjustments have you done to his moves?

Okada:
We've raised the damage on his Guacamole Leg Throw (Air Grab). In battle, hitting it is fairly difficult, so we gave it a damage boost to compensate. We've also made his target combo forward kick easier to connect, and probably what most people are concerned about - we're leaving his Infinite Loop Combo in.

Tell us about his new ultra, the El Fuerte Ultra Spark.

Okada:
We made it as a counter if you can match your opponent's movements. The move slides him forward, and it counts as a throw move in that state. The throw range while he's sliding is pretty wide, so if you can match your opponent's movements its a throw that will win out a lot of the time. It works great against grounded opponents, and if your opponent is trying to match your moves then this works nicely as a counter.

Against which characters does the El Fuerte Ultra Spark offer an advantage?

Okada:
If I had to choose, I'd say Ryu or the other projectile characters. The sliding goes under projectiles. Also, the throw period is fairly large, so you can do the ultra upon seeing the fireball and have it hit. But rather than just projectiles, its a move for your opponent's big attacks.

Fuerte was considered to be one of the weakest characters in vanilla Street Fighter 4, but how about Super Street Fighter 4?

Okada:
As we haven't really done a lot of buffing to Fuerte himself, maybe his position hasn't changed? (laughs). But the weak parts of him, as well as things like hitting the move but not being able to do that much damage, we have been strengthening that. So by that, players can bring out their ability more and he should be easier to use than he was in IV.

Next tell us about Abel's adjustments.

Okada:
First, we've make Sky Fall (Air Grab) easier to use. We intended for it to be anti-air, but the situations where it could actually be used were on the few side. So we've adjusted it so that its a little easier to catch people with it.

Tamamura:
We've also adjusted his sweep. It now hits from a little farther away now - its a small change but it will have a big effect on his matches. Also, his Far Standing Light Punch now comes out a little faster. In general, Abel's normals have gotten a little better.

Tell us about his new Ultra, Breathless.

Okada:
Breathless is a grab ultra where he dashes forward and pressures his opponent. You can't combo into it, but with super armor you can dash in and absorb a hit, really take it to your opponent. Also, if you hold the button down you can delay when it comes out.

Tamamura:
You can also cancel it. So if you think its going to whiff for sure, just stop it. (laughs)

Okada:
Also, as your opponent is getting up, you can start Breathless, and just before they get up, cancel it, and then just throw them regularly - my recommendation!

Against which characters does Breathless offer an advantage?

Okada:
Characters who can control distance pretty well from afar, as well as characters who do lots of mix-ups in close. It works great at all ranges, but it can be kind of hard to hit against jumping opponents.

Please tell us about Seth's adjustments.

Okada:
For Seth, we're basically tuning down the moves that are too strong, and balancing him better as a player character. We are increasing the recovery on his Yoga Teleport, reducing the priority on his jump back/up Hard Punch, and taking a look at his attack power. However players shouldn't feel as though his moves will lose functionality, as the things you can do in IV will remain the same in Super Street Fighter 4.

Seth had was considered to be fairly strong in IV, do you feel that he's about the same in Super Street Fighter 4?

Okada:
Among all the characters, I feel he's on the strong end. Conceptually, he is similar to Akuma. So, he can deal a lot of damage and has good combos, but if he gets rushed down he's weak.

Tell us about the new Ultra, Tanden Typhoon.

Okada:
As Tanden Stream (Ultra 1) is a good all-purpose projectile-type, we wanted to give him a more tricky ultra in Tandem Typhoon. The basic uses are anti-air, chip damage, and combo'ed into. Its not quite as all-purpose as Tanden Stream, but it feels nice when you hit it in a combo, so all you combo fans out there please give Tanden Typhoon a try.

Now tell us about Akuma's adjustments.

Okada:
We've adjusted his Demon Flip Throw. In IV, regardless of whether it was blocked or missed, Akuma was at an advantage, but now Akuma is going to have to use it more carefully.*
(*Azrael's note: It sounds like Okada is talking about something that isn't a throw, but the move name he says is the Demon Flip Throw, so... I dunno what to tell you.)

Sano:
Akuma is a character who deals out a lot of stun, isn't he?

Okada:
Yeah... he has loop-like combos and near hit-confirm combos, so in IV he could really dish out a lot of stun. So with one opening he could hit a loop combo and then in the next combo the opponent would definitely be stunned - almost like he gets 2 openings for the price of 1. We wanted to give his opponents a better fighting chance, so basically we've adjusted the stun on those strong combos so that they don't dizzy so easily. However, for Akuma players, if you read your opponent well and hit a really difficult combo, it'll do a bit more stun than it did in Street Fighter 4.

Tell us about his new ultra.

Okada:
We made it with the idea that it would be hard to hit, but once you do it'll feel awesome. It's almost kind of romantic (laughs). Of course its got its usefulness, and can be used in combos and what not.

And finally, please tell us about Gouken's adjustments.

Tamamura:
We've adjusted the Counter Attack (Kongo) so that it will be easier to perform. I believe a lot of people had problems with this, so hopefully this meets your expectations.

Okada:
As for other stuff, his overhead and all of his normals come out a little faster.

Tamamura:
We've also increased the hitbox on his Hurricane kick, so it will be easier to hit.

Tell us about his new ultra, the Denjin Hadouken.

Tamamura:
Denjin Hadouken is a bit unique in that even if it's blocked, it will increase the opponent's stun by a percentage. And if you hold down the button, you can charge it up for more damage. You can also use the hold to delay the timing, to catch jumpers.

Have there been any changes to the CPU boss characters?

Okada:
The boss characters are completely different from the playable versions. The boss versions of Seth, Akuma, and Gouken are the strongest (laughs). They may look the same, but their frame data is completely different.

Tamamura:
Many players told us that CPU Gouken was on the weak side, so we've re-adjusted him to be more like a boss character. The moves may look the same, but their functionality is much stronger. On the hardest difficulty setting, they'll give you a run for your money. However, we have made the easiest setting a bit easier, so a wide range of players will be able to enjoy the game.

Do you have any closing comments for everyone looking forward to the game?

Okada:
The characters we talked about on today's blog were brought to completion by the players. As such, we adjusted them to keep the interesting and fun parts they had in IV. As for the original characters from IV, we're trying to preserve that originality, so that players can continue enjoying in Super Street Fighter 4. As for Seth, Akuma, and Gouken, we didn't want to take away their feeling of being strong characters - keep their feeling of being bosses, but as player characters, adjust the areas that needed adjustment. The basic feel of the boss characters hasn't changed from IV, but hopefully the adjustments made will allow their opponents to feel that the player is skilled, not just that the character is good. Also, with new ultras for all of the characters, you have a new choice of attacks to choose from, and this adds to the ways you can enjoy playing. I would like for everyone to enjoy the new features in the game.

Tsukamoto:
Well, I hope you all enjoyed today's entry. If you want to try out some of these changes for yourself, there are various locations around Japan offering demo play, so if you can check it out by all means please do so!

And next time! For the final entry on character adjustments, next week April 20th we'll be talking about Cammy, Fei Long, Sakura, Rose, Gen, and Dan. I think there's a lot of interest in next week's characters as well, so be sure not to miss out!

As you may have read on Ms. Shiozawa's blog, this blog will be concluding soon. While there may not be many entries left, we're going to give it our all right up until the very end!

See you next week!

Community Preview

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Super Street Fighter IV Preview

By: Crimson Relic Apr 9, 2010 | 9 Comments

Once again the Tournament of World Warriors is upon us. So what's in store? Check out this preview for all the info on Capcom's next entry in the Street Fighter series.

  With the release of Super Street Fighter IV only a little over two weeks away, the hype is building! Gamers all over the world are anticipating the release of this title, eager to get a hold of the new characters and let everyone feel their heavy hand. With all of the additional content this version has to offer over Street Fighter IV, the price of $40 brand new is a steal. So just what is the extra content we're getting? Let's see.


The Characters:

     In addition to the original 25 characters from SFIV, there are now 10 more warriors to battle with. Three of them are taken from SF3: Third Strike-Makoto, Dudley and Ibuki. Three more are from the Street Fighter Alpha series-Cody, Guy and Adon. On top of that are two brand new characters-A practioner of Tae-Kwon-Do, Juri and a Turkish Oil Wrestler, Hakan. Dee Jay and T. Hawk are returning as well. There have never been so many fighters added at once before, bringing tons of new match-ups. All of the original 25 have also been re-balanced. Changes have been made to properties of moves, frame-data, hitboxes, combo's and in some cases new special moves have even been added. The icing on that cake is that all 35 fighters now have two ultra's to pick from.

Characters and Features Trailer:

Online Modes:

  • Endless Battle Mode: This is basically the 8-player lobbies we are used to. Two players battle it out while the other 6 spectate the match and voice chat is open for all to communicate. The fact that this mode was missing from SFIV left many fans scratching their heads. The days of quiet 1v1 battles are almost over!



  • Team Battle Mode: In this mode you  have teams ranging from 2v2, 3v3, 4v4 or any mix of those, so you can have 2v4 or 4v3 if you wanted. It will continue searching for other players to fill the empty slots for you so you don't have to create room after room, as long as the slots are not set to "private".



  • Replay Channel: Capcom has went above and beyond this time with the replays. You can watch and save other player's battles, as well as your own. The only requirement to upload your replays is that you have won 3 battles in a row. There are filters in place that will make searching for the type of replay you're looking for easier. They are "Alpha", "Turbo and III", "Bosses" and "Newcomers". When watching a replay, you can choose to see input data from the controllers or joysticks, along with damage/stun/combo data. You can also choose to watch in slow motion or utilize the new ability to watch the match frame-by-frame! In any online mode if you are watching a match, with the touch of a button you can record and save that match to your hard drive! Thought that the match wasn't that good, but then something cool happened? No worries. Just press the record button and you'll get the match in its entirety! You can also gather up to 7 people with you in a lobby to watch one of the replays you have and anyone can save it.




Stages:

     SSFIV has 5 new stages to offer:

African Savannah Stage:



Construction Site:



Street Marketplace:



India Stage:



Seth's Stage:



     Many fans(including myself) do not think this is enough stages. Seth Killian has confirmed that they have heard our cries and know that we want more, though there is no word whether we will be able to get some as DLC or not. The stages that we have gotten are nice looking though and are a welcome addition.

Other Extra's:

  • Bonus Rounds: Remember smashing the car and breaking the barrels in the original SF2? Well these bonus stages are back in the Arcade Mode for your destructive pleasure.


  • Intros and Endings: Since SSFIV is set one year after the original, there are new intro and ending animations for all 35 characters. It was said by Ono in the beginning of SSFIV's development that he had heard the cry of the fans about the quality and length of the cutscenes and promised that the ones in SSFIV would be much better. Unfortuntely they ran out of time and money, resulting in actually worse intros and endings for everyone. Now instead of actually being animated, you watch still screen pictures with voicework over it.
  • New Alternate Outfits: All of the returning fighters will get one new costume, giving them 3 in total. The 10 new warriors will have 2 costumes. Capcom has unfortunately decided of going down the path of having you pay for these new costumes as DLC unlocked from the disc despite major complaints from the community when they did this in SFIV. You can either buy packs of costumes individually over time or wait until they all come out and then by the all-in-one pack.
  • Colors: So in SFIV you had 10 colors you could unlock for your clothes. This time there are rumored to be 12 colors. The 11th(Inky look) and 12th(Hand-drawn look) colors have been confirmed as becoming available if you have a SFIV save file on your hard drive.

super street fighter iv
Super Street Fighter IV on sale free shipping and a $10 credit

     So now that you know what's up, what are you waiting for?! Pre-order Super Street Fighter IV today, or win it for free right here on Gouki.com! Hurry, Dojo Edition pre-orders for the PS3 & 360 versions are already sold-out!

http://gouki.com/Story/Details/super-street-fighter-iv-super-giveaway

     For any fan of Street Fighter, this game is a no-brainer. If you haven't picked up SFIV yet, then this is your perfect chance to get in on all the action. Practice up!

Community Blog

Crimson Relic

SSFIV Developer Blog: Character Adjustments

By: Crimson Relic Apr 6, 2010 | 1 Comments

Developers of SSFIV tell us what they've done to balance 6 of the characters.

Devs:

Hello everyone. This is Tsukamoto.

All around us, it looks like spring as the cherry blossoms are beginning to bloom. But with the heat generated from the National Tournament, it feels like we skipped spring and went straight to summer! I'm really grateful to those who participated. Thank you very much!

And we also had a huge announcement from producer Ono! SFIV arcade players, thanks for waiting! I was also a bit surprised, but I believe that the confirmation of an arcade release of SSFIV happened because you all poured out your hearts for it to Ono! That's really great! But it looks like we're gonna get busy again!

This week, continuing on from last week, together with the battle planners we'll be talking about the character adjustments for Guile, Dhalsim, Balrog, Vega, Sagat, and M.Bison.

Let's get right into it - please tell us about the adjustments for Guile.

Okada:
Since Street Fighter 2, Guile has been a character who can't do his special moves instantly, but with plenty of good normal moves. Since we wanted to work on that area in Super Street Fighter 4, he's the only character in all of the game who we've made adjustments to his charging time, and we've also made some big revisions to his normal moves.

Sano:
We also worked on his offensive priority quite a bit.

Okada:
We've also changed the functionality of the Guile High Kick (Down-Toward + Hard Kick), which many people didn't quite know how to use. In SF4 we intended for it to be an anti-air for when Guile doesn't have a charge, but in SSF4 we've added combo functionality to it.

Combo functionality... which means we can juggle after it?

 

Okada:
Yes. You can juggle after it with EX-Flash Kick, etc., and you can use it in combos. We've also adjusted his Spinning Back Knuckle (Backfist) so that you can combo it after a Sonic Boom. We've also made it so that his Reverse Spin Kick (Upside-Down Kick) makes low attacks miss more easily, and tried to make him more like his old self.

Tsukamoto:
We've also made some corrections to his combos.

Okada:
Yes, we have. The Guile players who gave it their all with his combos, they didn't really get enough reward for their efforts. That was the biggest thing about his combos, so in SSF4 we took that into consideration and we're adjusting the amount of damage his link combos do.

What about adjustments to his special moves?

Okada:
Guile is all about the Sonic Boom. But in SF4, when getting into a fireball fight he ended up on the losing side. That's not really Guile. Even though his Sonic Boom is a charge move, he's supposed to be the one to win in a fireball fight. So in order to get closer to that idea, we've made some slight adjustments to the charge time for Sonic Boom to make it stronger.

What type of move is his new ultra, Sonic Hurricane?

Okada:
As the Sonic Hurricane is a move based on being grounded, you can use it to pressure your opponent, do chip damage, or just keep your opponent in front of you and stop them from moving. We've also made it so that it can be used in combos. So then because of that, it does a little less damage than his Somersault Explosion Ultra I. So if you want to take off big chunks of damage, use Somersault Explosion, but if you want an all-purpose attack plan with lots of variations, then you can use Sonic Hurricane.

Sounds like Guile's been buffed up.

Okada:
Yeah, I think he's risen up to the middle class at least. We've also given him a fun new move, so if you can use it when you have a chance I'd be happy about that.

Tsukamoto:
Ah, this was a bit of a secret topic during Hakan's reveal trailer. Guile's sunglasses.

 

Sano:
If you enter in the command, Guile puts on the sunglasses. Do it again, and he takes them off. ... And that's really all it does (laughs). We also wanted to make the sunglasses cancellable.

Okada:
Jump Hard Kick, Standing Hard Punch, Sunglasses! (laughs) But this would just aggravate the player on the receiving end, so we gave up on it.

Next, tell us about Dhalsim's adjustments.

Okada:
The character who won the first national tournament. Dhalsim is a character where the players have found a lot of really interesting ways to use him, which surprised even us. But his overall damage output was kind of low, so the reward for reading your opponent wasn't that great. So if the player wasn't exceptionally skilled, there were many rough spots in using him. Although there was the thought that if we made him stronger in Super Street Fighter 4, those who were already good with him would just be even better, but as we wanted a wide range of Dhalsim players to be able to enjoy him more, we decided to give him some improvements.

Sano:
Isn't he the only character who hasn't has some kind of numerical reduction?

Okada:
Yeah, I think we talked about this the last time, but in order to increase the number of turns in a fight* we've reduced the damage output in general for all characters - all except for Dhalsim. His damage was low to begin with. Also, we've slightly increased his counter attacks. Since Dhalsim is a character who has difficult normals and trouble with footsies in close, we've improved his throw, and made his Drills better, which many people wanted. So for the Dhalsim players who felt like they lost once their opponent got in close, in Super Street Fighter 4 I think that will be a better fight for you.

(*Azrael's note: In the last blog they mentioned making the game so that if you read your opponent twice, you would probably win - they were adjusting SSF4 to increase this number, so "turns" probably refers to this.)

Many people wanted the his Yoga Fire to be sped up...

Okada:
We haven't changed the speed of Yoga Fire, but EX-Yoga Fire now goes full-screen, so you can pressure people from areas you couldn't before now.

What type of move is his new ultra, Yoga Shangri-la?

Okada:
Yoga Shangri-la is a move that can be used during Dhalsim's unique jump arc. As its for grounded use, it won't throw an airborne opponent, but its really good when used with his teleport. To put it simply, Yoga Castastrophe is a move for starting an attack string, while Yoga Shangri-la is a move for ending one.

Sano:
The hitbox for Yoga Shangri-la is pretty big, and sort of similar to the headbutt Drill. So its difficult for an opponent to tell in an instant whether Yoga Shangri-la or Headbutt Drill is coming, and that adds some variation to his attack patterns.

 

Now then, please tell us about Balrog's adjustments.

Okada:
As Balrog was already a pretty strong character, I think he was pretty high up in the tiers in Street Fighter 4. So we wanted to keep his current playstyle intact, but make his freedom of use a bit better. Probably the biggest adjustment is that we've re-examined his input priority. In SF4, his Dash Uppercut and Grand Dash Uppercut sometimes wouldn't come out, or would come out on their own, so we've adjusted this.

How about his new ultra, Dirty Bull?

Okada:
Dirty Bull is a throw type move that deals out massive stun. Balrog is a character who can make his opponents clam up and then deal out chip damage, or if he breaks their guard he can deal out big rushing damage. But if he has his opponent guarding, for the most part he can really only do chip damage. So now he has the Dirty Bull, which is another way of breaking his opponent's defenses. As was said before, the move does massive stun - so if you hit it after getting in a good rush attack, there's a high likelihood that your opponent will be stunned. For those looking to dish out big damage, you'll want to stick to Violent Buffalo, but if you want more ways to pressure your opponent, then I think Dirty Bull is a nice choice.

 

Now please tell us about Vega's adjustments.

Okada:
We've made Vega stronger! Probably the biggest thing is that we've given him more overheads. His Piece of Mercury (Down-Toward + Medium Kick) was a high attack, but in SSF4 it now hits overhead. Many people said it was hard to get knockdowns with Vega in SF4, but with this attack hitting overhead now this should increase his attacking options. Also, we mentioned this before, but we've made his claw and mask more durable, so they don't come off so easily now. We're also adjusting his vitality even when he has the mask and claw, so I believe players will be able to use a stronger playstyle. We've also increased the invulnerability periods on all his special moves and made them stronger.

 

Sano:
To give some specific details, we've made his Scarlet Terror unthrowable, so it can be better used against Zangief's Screw Pile Driver. Also, his Medium Punch Rolling Crystal Flash will cause guard stun until the very end, so he doesn't have to worry about it being interrupted by an attack with invincibility, and can use it safely as a chip-damage move.

How about his ultras?

Okada:
First, we've vastly improved his Bloody High Claw. Now it hits on the way up, the same as his EX-Flying Barcelona Attack, so there are more situations in which he can land it. Also, Splendid Claw reduces his hitbox and moves along very quickly. Bloody High Claw does good damage and is good for anti-air, while Splendid Claw is for grounded opponents. I think Splendid Claw is easier to use than Bloody High Claw, so that adds to his strength.

Many people feel that Vega isn't quite as agile as compared to his Street Fighter 2 version...?

Okada:
Really though, in SF4 Vega is one of the most agile characters in the game. It's just that he's tall and his legs have a particular movement to them, so if you look at the image it doesn't look like he's moving much at all.

There were also a lot of opinions that his claw throw-away move came out too easily.

Sano:
We have taken another look at the inputs for that. Except for those who do a lot of inputs from crouching position, it shouldn't really come out on its own anymore.

Well then, now tell us about the adjustments to Sagat.

Okada:
Sagat was well known as a strong character, and we on the development team felt so as well. This time around, we wanted to retain what he could do, so we went with reducing his damage output. Using the moves and combos he often utilized as a reference, we adjusted his attack power, and we also took another look at his Jumping Medium Punch, which people felt was lopsidedly strong. Of course, you have to read your opponents movements in order to be able to hit them, but as his combo window for attacks was on the long side, we adjusted that as well.

Sano:
Basically, the situations where he can just throw something out and it will be okay - those have been reduced.

Okada:
Yes. If you look at him as a whole, the nerfed parts sort of stand out. But we thought that just nerfing him was kind of sad, so we've given him a new move. The "Angry Charge" (Angry Scar) uses up meter, but affects the functionality of his Tiger Uppercut. If Sagat hits Tiger Uppercut during Angry Charge, it does more damage, and it increases your chances of beating your opponent with an air combo. So this is something you should try to do when you have meter.

 

Sagat was called the strongest in SF4 - what do you think his position is in SSF4?

Okada:
Now, I feel like he's either 1st or 2nd. Its not that his position has changed, but our adjustments have allowed for the other characters to close the gap on him. So its not that we've just made him weaker, but we've made the other characters more competitive with him.

Sano:
So for the players who used Sagat before, instead of thinking that they won based on the character's ability, now they can think that Sagat is strong because the player is strong.

What type of move is his new ultra, Tiger Cannon?

Okada:
In contrast to Tiger Destruction, which moves him forward, Tiger Cannon is a powered-up version of his Tiger Shot. As Ryu is his rival in the story, we also figured that Tiger Cannon would be a nice accompaniment to Ryu's Metsu Hadouken. It doesn't have the destructive power of Tiger Destruction, but its a projectile move that can be used regardless of where the opponent is on screen, and I think it will be nice for those who want to improve their footsie game.

And finally, tell us about the improvements to M. Bison.

Okada:
I think there are a lot of skilled M. Bison players in SF4, but Bison didn't really have a good go-to move. Bison's signature move is his Psycho Crusher, so for our adjustments we took another look at his usage of it.

The usage of Psycho Crusher?

Okada:
We've increased the functionality of Psycho Crusher to bring back the "Psycho Tail" image from back in the day. In the past, it would do chip damage even after he passed through the opponent, and trip people up, so we've made adjustments to bring that back. It was often said that the Psycho Crusher was useless in SF4, but now you can use it on wakeup to give Bison an advantage.

 

Are there any other areas that have been changed?

Okada:
We've improved the EX-Psycho Crusher's ability to negate fireballs. So now he can nullify a fireball and keep on with his attack.

What kind of move is his new ultra, Psycho Punisher?

Okada:
His ultra in IV, Nightmare Booster, was mainly meant for in-combos, and has high damage output. So his new ultra, Psycho Punisher, is a move to help M. Bison against projectile characters. He flies in a parabola, so in those times when projectile characters are zoning him out now he can use this ultra. Also, the biggest feature of Psycho Punisher is that its a command move. So you can use it without having to store a charge.

Do you have a message to everyone looking forward to playing the game?

Okada:
Of the characters we talked about this time around, I believe people were the most concerned about Vega and Sagat. We've improved Vega so that he finally feels like one of the strong four bosses (Four Kings i.e. the World Warrior bosses), so to all the people who have stuck with Vega I really want to say thank you. As for Sagat, as Ryu's rival I don't think his position as changed, but he has a lot more openings than he did in IV. So for people fighting against Sagat, be sure to take advantage of those openings and take the fight to him, and I think it'll be a good match. For Sagat players, you may feel that he's really been nerfed, but he's got a new move, and his position as The King (or, the emperor) hasn't really changed, so please enjoy him in this game as well.

 

Tsukamoto:
Well everyone, did you enjoy today's entry? Sorry to those whose characters we haven't talked about yet. Please wait just a little while longer! Next time we'll be talking about the adjustments for El Fuerte, C.Viper, Abel, Rufus, Seth, Akuma, and Gouken.

See you next week!

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Crimson Relic

Halo: Reach Beta Info

By: Crimson Relic Apr 3, 2010 | 3 Comments

Juicy tidbits gathered from around the net that YOU need to know for the Halo: Reach beta.

In Reach, Elites are bigger, they’re faster, and they boast better shield technology than their Spartan counterparts.

Size matters. And when we say Elites are faster, we mean it. Natively, Elites walk at the same pace a Spartan runs at full sprint - Add Evade into the mix, and they’re easily the most agile combatants on the battlefield in multiplayer.

Unlike Spartans, their health is not limited to recharging in thirds as their vitality is whittled away in stages, but will recharge fully without even the need for a health pack. Their health also recharges faster, as do their shields. Significantly faster.

So, how are we gonna work them into multiplayer? Well, in a number of ways. In some circumstances, like Arena, you’ll only square off Spartan vs. Spartan or Elite vs. Elite. In others, well…stay tuned.


Evade is an Elite-only Armor Abilitiy, it's the barrel roll seen in the vidoc. (As I suspected. I wonder if there are any other Elite specific abilities...)

Armor Lock is a small portable shield that surrounds the player, giving him a short invincibility, and delivering an EMP blast.

Active Camo is like AC from H1/2/3, but it also works as a Radar Jammer. I'll jam the radars of other players, friendlies, enemies, and your own.

And then, there's Jet Pack.

I think you understand how this works. Holding down a button will enable players to fly up in the air for short amounts of time.

All these AA need energy to be used. A gauge is shown in the HUD, when it's empty, there's no more energy, and you'll need to wait a short amount of time for it to be full again.

None of the AAs are blocked, all are available from the get-go. Playing SP or MP will influence which AAs you can use, and how you pick them. In SP, AAs are available before starting the mission, or can then be picked up during the mission. In MP, players choose before the game (or before respawning) their specific Load Out. Each Load Out offers a different weapon/AA. (This indicates Bungie will not let players create and save their own loadouts, I suppose to prevent abuse of certain combinations.)

Jetpacks will be featured in certain parts of the campaign, but not in all of it. Different AAs will be available in different levels, depending on what the mission needs. In MP, the AAs available for the Load Outs will be set by the gametype/map. Jetpacks will be in the beta. In the full game, players will be able to enable/disable Jetpacks in Custom Games.

Loadouts:

At the beginning of each match or round, and again every time you wait out your respawn window, you are given the option of choosing a Load Out.

Load Outs are not player created or defined, but rather playlist and/or game type specific. Essentially, they allow you to choose your Armor Ability, your starting primary and secondary weapons, and your grenade cache on the fly.

For some playlists, that might mean every Load Out features the same weapon sets with only the Armor Abilities to distinguish them. For others, it might mean that as the game goes on, you’ll have access to more and more choices based on a number of factors we can fiddle with.

That's just one example to the right. Many gametypes will feature more uniformity in the initial selection.

What it doesn’t mean is that you will be creating your own custom Load Out to bring into Matchmaking. You’ll be choosing from our prefabricated offerings, based on what’s best suited for each gametype.

Don’t worry about power weapons being available right from the start, either. In most cases, you’ll still be finding those distributed via a number of methods throughout the battlefield, though if circumstance warrants it, we certainly can start you with, say, the Rocket Launcher.

And, of course, you can still loot the corpses of your fallen foes and you’ll still find sweet stashes of weapons strewn carelessly about the map for you to find and acquire.

Interview:

One new weapon we’ve yet to really talk about is the focus rifle. This is the Covenant really long-range “reach out and burn your face off” sniper-slot weapon. We didn’t want to make just another sniper rifle, but we did want to fulfill that type of role so we made the focus rifle that utilizes a slightly different, “tracking” skillset. It’s not an instant kill weapon, it does significant damage, but you need to hold it on your opponent for approximately one and a half seconds to kill them. It’s more about long range suppression than instant death, but it still falls into the category of pseudo “power weapon” so it won’t be all over the map or included in load-outs.

HAMRICK: The focus rifle is probably the most frightening weapon to be attacked with in the entire game. It’s definitely the one I’ll be watching closest in the beta and we’re still tuning it.

MERRILL: The plasma launcher is the Covenant’s answer to the rocket launcher and Spartan laser all rolled into one. It’s primarily designed as an anti-vehicle weapon but it’s still quite effective against infantry. It charges then fires up to four super-heated plasma rounds that all track against bipeds and vehicles. It’s not actually firing plasma grenades, but the rounds do have a similar delay time from when they stick to the target and eventually explode. There’s a delay that leads to some really spectacular chain-reactions as well as quite a few “from the grave” medals.

HAMRICK: My favorite part of the plasma launcher is the delayed explosion for each round and the resulting chain reaction.

MERRILL: Another new weapon in Reach is the grenade launcher, aka “the pro pipe.” This was primarily designed to fill a similar role to the plasma pistol and give the Spartans an EMP-capable weapon. It has two modes of fire – manual and auto. If you pull the trigger and release it, a single round will fire and detonate upon hitting a target. If you keep the trigger held, the player can choose when they want the grenade to detonate. You can essentially leave a cooked grenade on the ground around a corner as a trap and detonate it from a distance or have it explode in mid-air to take down a flying opponent.

HAMRICK: It’s important to note that we definitely do not view the grenade launcher as a “power-weapon” like the rocket launcher or sniper rifle. We want this to be something that can be included in load-outs; it’s more akin to the shotgun in that regard.

HAMRICK: Another new weapon in the beta is the plasma repeater. It’s basically the Elite answer to the assault rifle.

MERRILL: We needed a good equivalent to the AR that we could include in multiplayer but not have it break the campaign. We needed to leave the plasma rifle as fairly weak with slower projectiles in single-player to fight against but we also needed something similar, but better, for the Elites to wield in multiplayer. It is their “jack of all trades, master of none” mid-range weapon. The main defining aspect is that it’s heat-based.

HAMRICK: Your rate of fire for the plasma repeater is tied to its heat. It won’t outright overheat like the plasma rifle does but as it heats up the rate of fire will slow. You can manually vent it, all or partially, and your rate of fire will increase accordingly. You can also still melee or throw a grenade while you’re venting.

MERRILL: One side effect of the overheating is that as the rate of fire slows, the accuracy actually increases.

HAMRICK: The shotgun is also back. The biggest change in Reach is that it will now only fire inside the crosshair – previously it would sometimes fire out of the reticule. The projectiles are a bit tighter grouped now, doing a bit more damage and making you have to aim a little bit more, but the range is also just slightly increased.

JARRARD: There will be plenty more staples making their way back to Reach as well, all rebuilt from the ground up and looking better than ever. The plasma pistol now has a slight area-of-effect EMP blast when an overcharged blast hits. It can hit multiple targets (including yourself if you’re not careful). The magnum is back and it packs a punch, especially when you can land headshots. This is going to be an old friend in Reach, the effective secondary weapon you’re happy to have in your back pocket. You’ll also see needlers, sniper rifles, the gravity hammer, energy swords, rocket launchers and assault rifles.

JARRARD: Load-outs let players pick from a set of weapons and armor abilities, suited to their play style, which they’ll get access to when they spawn. For example, the “Airborne” load-out includes the jetpack, assault rifle, and magnum. The available load-out options will vary depending on which gametype is being played. In matchmaking this is something Bungie will configure but in custom games, players will be able to define their own load-out options. Things get very interesting in team games as players coordinate their load-outs and respective strategies while their opponents counter with their own tactics.

MERRILL: Think about load-outs as kind of a “dynamic class” system. We liked some of the elements you get with a class, but we’re not changing your base model or locking you into that choice. You drop in with your preferred play style, but if you decide your chosen load-out isn’t working, the next time you spawn you can select something different.

HAMRICK: That’s the nice thing because it happens a lot – as a match progresses, you and your team will shift to different load-outs and so will your opponents.

JARRARD: Nothing needs to be unlocked or “earned.” All the weapons and abilities in the game will be available from the outset but not all will be included in every campaign mission or multiplayer gametype. There will be plenty of items to unlock in the armory to customize your Spartan but they are strictly visual upgrades.

HAMRICK: An ability that we haven’t talked about yet is Armor Lock. It’s kind of a throwback to the old school bubble shield but you always have it on your person and it’s intended to keep you safe. It’s kind of like a block. If your opponent closes on you with a shotgun or is about to land a melee blow or run you over with a vehicle, you can engage Armor Lock and become temporarily invulnerable. You can’t move, aim, or shoot. You’re stuck there, but you can’t be killed. You can do that up to three times on one charge or you can do one sustained lock for a few seconds.

There is also a knockback and EMP blast component. The longer you hold your Armor Lock, the more pronounced the effect will be. There are three different tiers – if it’s just a short lock, I’ll get a small knockback and a tiny bit of EMP up to the max level, which is a much larger knockback and EMP blast. It’s really intended to say, “hey, you better not mess with me, I’m extremely dangerous even though I’m trapped in here!” It’s particularly effective against vehicles as well. Also, if you’re stuck with a plasma grenade or have needles in you, they’ll be knocked off when you engage Armor Lock. (FINALLY! A WAY TO SHAKE OFF STICKIES! AWESOME!)

HAMRICK: Yeah I can use Sprint and a sword to come at you like a freight train or I could use Sprint to run away from you when you’re coming at me with a sword.

MERRILL: And then I would use Armor Lock on him as he’s about to hit me with the sword and stun him and then come out and unload my shotgun.

 

More info on the way. See you all in the Halo: Reach Beta!

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Crimson Relic

Next Zelda Announced!

By: Crimson Relic Apr 1, 2010 | 3 Comments

Team Ninja gets there first go at the Zelda franchise.

Last night it hit the interwebs that the next main game in the Zelda series is in development and is being headed by Team Ninja. Nintendo has seen the great success this developer is having with their project Metroid: Other M and worked out a deal to also work on another of Nintendo's beloved series.

Not much info is known about the game yet. What is known is that Link is supposed to be faster, stronger and all-around more bad-ass. The elves of Kakariko village have ancient techniques stored that they will teach to Link, such as teleportation, elemental magic and using two swords at once! More information to come soon!

click here to buy Zelda video game

 

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Crimson Relic

SSFIV Developer Blog: Dudley

By: Crimson Relic Mar 8, 2010 | 2 Comments

Time to go in depth with Dudley.

Devs:

The Super Street Fighter 4 developers are back again this week, discussing how Dudley plays and why he was included in the new title.

Although Dudley is fairly true to his Street Fighter 3 form, Capcom staff talks about how he was tweaked in this iteration. A big thanks goes to Azrael for translating this latest blog entry.

Hello everyone. This is Tsukamoto.

This week I'll be joined by director Okada and the head battle planner Sano, as we talk about the last of the new characters from Street Fighter 3 - Dudley - and things ranging from how he was chosen and what not.

First off, please tell us why Dudley was chosen to be added in the game.

Okada:
He was chosen for Street Fighter 4 because a lot of the development staff were really passionate fans of him, and he is extremely popular overseas. He is so popular that when producer Ono went to Europe to get opinions about the next installment of Street Fighter 4, he was consistently asked or requested for Dudley to be in the game. Also, we had a lot of requests from overseas fans to see the dream match-up of Dudley vs Balrog.

Is being a boxer the secret behind his popularity?

Okada:
Dudley's stylish boxing fight style is definitely very popular. We also feel that with his high approval rating in Europe, many Europeans want to support a fellow countryman.

What do you think is Dudley's charm?

Okada:
His character charm from Street Fighter 3 was to read the opponent, get in on his terms, and then take away their life in a flash - good rushdown power. Another part of his charm is that his attacks are very strategic. For example, Dudley has a lot of feint-type moves. He can get in close and counter his opponent's throw attempt with an attack. He's also got moves that are for the sole purpose of getting in close. If you are good at reading your opponent, then he becomes a very strong character.

Does Dudley play the same in Super Street Fighter 4?

Okada:
Yes, we have emulated Dudley's "hit and run" style as well as his fight style of getting into those open spaces from Street Fighter 3.

Sano:
Yes, his ability to control distance through various movements hasn't changed. For example, with his "Short Swing Blow" he moves back for a moment and evades his opponent's attack before launching his own - if you can use this well you can get in your opponent's face in an instant and really mess with them. Also, we brought back his "Thunder Bolt" from 2nd Impact, which can surprise people up close. Dudley also has plenty of target combos, so finding a way to get in close and utilize them will be one of the keys to victory.

How did you bring about the feel of Dudley?

Okada:
As Dudley is Mr. Gentleman, we included some gentlemanly components in his motions. His image is that of an orthodox boxer, who wastes no movements.

Sano:
Even though he's a fighter, he doesn't have that gritty Street Fighter feel, but more like that of a sports athlete. You won't find him fighting in the back alleys - he's got a strong sense of sportsmanship, and he is always polite.

Okada:
For boxers, of course we already have Balrog, but Dudley and Balrog's fight styles are completely different. Balrog just charges in like a rampaging bull*, his attacks are straight-forward and he's in your face, while Dudley is more of the "dance like a butterfly, sting like a bee" type, who focuses on footwork and keeps his distance. So Balrog wants to just land powerful single blows, while Dudley wants to use his footwork to hit multiple target combos and eat away at your lifebar.
(*Remember that Balrog's name in Japanese is Bison - so this is sort of in reference to that.)

Has he lost any moves?

Okada:
He's got all his moves from the Street Fighter 3 series. As Sano mentioned before, he also has the "Thunder Bolt". Personally, this is a move I wanted to see come back in this title, so I asked the designers and engineers about it and now its back.

What kind of move was the "Thunder Bolt"?

Okada:
If you use it when the opponent least expects it, I think its a fairly useful move. Also, it does pretty good chip damage, so I think it'll be good to finish off near-dead opponents.

Sano:
"Thunder Bolt" is one way to really throw your opponent off-guard. Use it immediately at the start of the round to have your opponent moving at your pace, and then use it with good timing to really throw off your opponent's spacing.

As the ultras are selectable this time around, tell us about the features of both of his.

Sano:
First lets talk about the "Corkscrew Cross". The first hit doesn't have a whole lot of reach, but you can use it within combos. It has a lot of various uses - for example, after launching an opponent from EX Machine Gun Blow, or after an anti-air from a high position.

Okada:
We've made this "Corkscrew Cross" in this game as a different version of his "Corkscrew Blow" from Street Fighter 3. In Street Fighter 3, the Corkscrew Blow did a lot of chip damage, had a huge hitbox, and had very little startup, so it was a tool with a lot of functionality. However in this title, the Corkscrew Cross is short-range and somewhat more limited in its usage. So that gives it a different feeling from the Corkscrew Blow from Street Fighter 3.

How about his other ultra, "Rolling Thunder"?

Sano:
For "Rolling Thunder", in order for it to be able to pass through projectiles we've given it a fairly long window of invincibility. Since there's no parry in Street Fighter 4, this is a way of dealing with fireball characters. So when you're taking on fireball characters, I'd recommend this ultra!

Okada:
When Dudley has the meter for "Rolling Thunder", this increases his mid-range options and makes it harder for fireballers to throw that fireball, so this is an advantage for him. Also, even if the opponent blocks he keeps on punching, so this can also work for chip damage kills.

Do you have any moves you would recommend?

Sano:
I'm going to go with his ducking. It lets him evade fireballs and get in close.

Okada:
At the beginning of development, ducking didn't have the ability to avoid projectiles. As Dudley was the first Street Fighter 3 character we added to the game, at that time we hadn't yet decided on how to fit them into this game. So at that time, he couldn't evade fireballs and he wasn't very Street Fighter 3-ish.

Sano:
Yes, the first Dudley was one who was based completely on Street Fighter 4's system.

Okada:
But then during development we had a lot of people experiment with him, and when we also tried him out we felt that as-is, there was no point in adding him to the game at all. So then we thought about the Dudley that players wanted to use, and how to bring that about, and that's how ended up with the ducking's current function.

Why didn't it go through projectiles at first?

Okada:
Ducking doesn't just avoid opponent's attacks, it's also a dash is it not? So at first, we worried that no one would use his regular dashes. And that this would be unbalanced. On that note, ducking is a move that we had to continually adjust right up until the end.

Sano:
If we think about it, Dudley is a Street Fighter 3 character that we are trying to put into the Street Fighter 4 series. So we went through a trial and error process with him, and the direction we settled on was to keep as much of the Street Fighter 3 feel as possible. We also did this for Ibuki and Makoto.

Are there any other moves you would recommend?

Sano:
While it's not technically a move, I would recommend his rose throw. Since this was a taunt in Street Fighter 3, its formal name is "The Rose of Victory". Okada said we absolutely had to have this, so it was added in. Of course, that wasn't the only reason (laughs). In order to add the rose throw we had to add a completely new system, and it took a lot more work than expected.

Okada:
We had proceeded without the rose throw through the middle of the development stage, but it just didn't feel right not to have it. The rose throw is one of the more memorable taunts from the Street Fighter 3 series, and it's also one of the most trademark aspects of Dudley. I'm glad we were able to get this in as a special move.

Sano:
This was also touched upon on Ms. Shiozawa's blog, but after throwing the rose Dudley can close the distance on his opponent. So its not something you can really exploit, but its not useless either. Also, the rose homes in on the opponent's head without fail.

Okada:
Yes, it even homes in on them during a jump.

Sano:
If you're in close and you time it carefully against your opponent's jump, you can whack them pretty good. So this can keep your opponents grounded, which is where Dudley likes them.

Tsukamoto:
The rose only makes contact with the opponent, it doesn't take away damage right?

Okada:
Right, it doesn't do damage. We thought about making it do 1 point's worth of damage, but we figured anyone who got KO'ed from the rose throw would be pretty pissed off so we gave up on that (laughs).

Who out of the existing Street Fighter 4 characters would you say is similar to Dudley?

Sano:
That's a really hard question. A Street Fighter 4 character who plays like Dudley... I don't think there is one. Balrog is also a boxer, but their playstyle is completely different. So for fighting style, maybe the closest would be... Dhalsim?

Okada:
Yeah, Dhalsim's stretching arms control the distance, and with his Yoga Teleport he can get in close and attack you, so in that regard maybe they're kinda close.

What is Dudley's best distance?

Okada:
For options, that would be mid-range. For doing damage, up close.

Is Dudley a difficult character to use?

Okada:
His actual controls aren't that hard. However, his playstyle really requires a psychological warfare, so in that sense he may be suited better for tactical players. If you are the type who likes to do what you want to do and hit a good combo to decide it all, maybe he's not for you, but if you like to think "Well, in this situation he'll do this move," or "if I do this I can irritate him and bait out this move," the type who really likes to read your opponent, then I believe Dudley is right up your alley.

Tsukamoto:
For games as well as real fights, good players are able to utilize these mind games. If you can get caught up in that aspect of Dudley then he'll be an interesting character to use.

Last week you also said that reading your opponent was necessary for Makoto's gameplay - does that mean that they are similar characters?

Okada:
Well, both characters require reading your opponent, but how that plays out differs between then. For Makoto, more than countering she's more about reading in order to land her moves. For Dudley, if you make a mistake in reading your opponent's options then they will evade your attack and Dudley gets countered, so he has to think about about which move he wants to make the opponent do, or how he's going to pressure. He matches up with his opponent's moves and then decides his, so that point is different.

Do you feel Dudley is suited towards beginner, intermediate or expert players?

Okada:
I'd say from intermediate to expert. I think he's harder to use than fireball characters, but as for the feeling of play itself I think he's quite normal.

Which matchup would be the most interesting for Dudley in this game?

Okada:
Of course, that would be Balrog!

Based on what we've just taked about, Dudley seems like he'd have the advantage over the straightforward rushing Balrog.

Okada:
Nah, they both have their distinctive flavors, so I think it would make for a pretty good matchup. Dudley with his light footwork and target combos seems like he'd have the advantage, but once Balrog starts pressuring he brings a lot of power. So its hard to say which is better, and I think it'll make for a good fight. If nothing else, seeing two boxers duke it out is just cool (laughs).

Tsukamoto:
Ducking the opponent's attack and trading blows looks really cool, and if you see your opponent is Balrog you can think "Okay, let's settle this!" and get really into it.

Do you have any final words for the players looking forward to Dudley?

Okada:
For Dudley, same as with the other Street Fighter 3 characters, while there may be some differences here and there, we've done our best to preserve his feel from that time, as well as add a Street Fighter 4 playstyle as well, so please look forward to that. I'd like to new players to try out Street Fighter 4 Dudley, and even for those players from Street Fighter 3 I think you'll find a new way to play him. It'll be pretty interesting.

Sano:
As Okada said, we've done out best not to disturb how it feels to control him, so I think you can play him with the same sense you did in Street Fighter 3. And of course, there's the revived "Thunder Bolt"! If you can find cool ways to use this, I'll be really happy!

Tsukamoto:
Including the new move, train up and polish your moves as well as your individual playstyle! Then take it to the ring to develop your fighting spirit and guts. I'll also give it my best!

Well then, we've covered the Street Fighter 3 characters over these past three weeks, and I hope you enjoyed it. As we've been hearing a lot of opinions about this, I think we'd better cover some of the existing characters as well. We're just getting started with preparations, so please look forward to it!

See you next week!

Community Blog

Crimson Relic

SSFIV Third Strike Character Walkthroughs

By: Crimson Relic Mar 8, 2010 | 3 Comments

U.S. SFIV Champion Justin Wong shows some detailed tactics for the 3rd Strike characters.

Dudlely:

Ibuki:

Makoto:

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