Fight Your Rival: Episode 5!

Welcome to episode 5 of Fight Your Rival! This week, we talk about the recent partnership between CBS, MLG, and Twitch.tv, talk about even more Tekken Tag Tournament 2 console features, and even do some time travel to 94! What are we doing there? You’ll just have to watch!

FYR Holiday Special: Easter Eggs in Fighting Games

Technology, baby!

While you stuff yourself with various forms of nourishment and search your home for various colored eggs packed with deliciousness, reminisce with us about some of the best easter eggs in fighting games. While DLC and competitive play have made unlockable characters less common, there are no shortage of sweet hidden bonuses throughout the history of our genre. These are just a small sampling of the gems tucked away within some of our favorite brawlers.

Akuma in Super Street Fighter II: Turbo

One of the most badass and beloved Street Fighter characters of all time, Akuma’s first appearance came in Super Street Fighter II: Turbo upon clearing the game in a specific manner. Even better, he was unlockable for those nimble enough to input his code at the select screen. Akuma is far from a secret in today’s games, as some of the best Street Fighter 4 and Marvel vs. Capcom 3 players in the world still main him.

Mortal Kombat Hidden Kharacters

The MK franchise has become just as famous for its hidden treasures as it is for its brutal combat ever since the first incarnation of the game. From Reptile in MK1, to Smoke in MK2, to a whole trove of ninjas such as Ermac and Rain in UMK3, some of the most popular Mortal Kombat characters of all time began as easter eggs that inspired entire groups of friends to crowd around an arcade cabinet in an effort to unlock them.

What’s even better, Netherrealm Studios kept the tradition alive in last year’s Mortal Kombat reboot. Classic Smoke could be seen poking his head out as you fought in a haunted forest, much like he did in Mortal Kombat II. The original forms of Noob Saibot, Reptile, and Jade were also fightable under the right conditions, which made for a supremely satisfying throwback to the days where in-game technology was discovered via word of mouth, as everyone mashed away at MK at your local pizza parlor.

King of Fighters XIII Backgrounds

See anyone familiar?

While there are few hidden characters and unlockable items in SNK’s fantastic King of Fighters XIII, the amount of fan service tucked away in every background is through the roof. Whether it’s KOF 94′s Team USA hanging out at the factory stage, Samurai Shodown’s Haohmaru kickin’ it at the AoF Temple, or the Bernstein family getting to business on Sky Noah, almost every stage of KOF XIII is sure to bring a smile to the face of any diehard SNK fan.

You must defeat Sheng Long to stand a chance!

Source: EGM


And finally, one of my favorite easter eggs: The one that doesn’t exist! Ryu’s Street Fighter II win quote of “You must defeat Sheng Long to stand a chance” had troves of arcade dwellers pondering, “Just who is Mr. Long?” While “Sheng Long” was simply a mistranslation of Ryu and Ken’s signature dragon punch, many fans believed it was a person who trained the karate duo. Electronic Gaming Monthly decided to capitalize on the speculation for their 1992 April Fool’s issue, falsely revealing that Sheng Long was an unlockable character in the game. While EGM became the subject of many a fighting game fan’s rage, the community’s scars were somewhat healed when Gouken, the real master of Ryu and Ken, was included in Street Fighter 4, bearing a similar appearance to the mysterious Sheng Long that sent players scrambling 20 years ago.

——-

And that does it for us. Whether they were near-impossible unlockables or just rumors that got taken too far, easter eggs are a staple of the genre that we would love to see more of nowadays.

What are some of your favorite fighting game easter eggs?

Editorial: How Should The FGC Grow?

In the days following Rob Steele and LI Joe’s conversation on April 4th during the ThisisLIJoe stream, there has been a firestorm of discussion involving “how will Brazzers sponsoring players affect the FGC?” There is an interesting point to consider in all of this. How is it that an individual’s decision, and ultimately action, can come to affect the entirety of the FGC? Did the FGC get branded as violent, unfriendly, and dangerous after Noel Brown beat the hell out of Smooth Viper at 8 on the Break?

No, but was that notion already there… A little bit, it’s about the culture that has been carried for years within the FGC.

From a business perspective, Brazzers has nothing to lose by sponsoring LI Joe. For one, this has been amazing publicity (most of it was free) and has been directly to their target demographic (18-35 year old men), so of course Brazzers would want to get into the FGC. Some have complained about how this makes the FGC look bad following the events of Cross Assault and I have to say this plainly about the FGC. Is the FGC sexist…. A little bit. The language, the fashion…we have work to do as a group before we can even begin to discuss the ramifications of big time sponsorship and money into the scene. We need to clean up our act as a group and change what is acceptable practice in our circle before we can even start talking about meaningful corporate sponsorship from companies who are not directly related to the FGC. Because people are asking how Capcom will respond to a company like Brazzers trying to get into EVO, we will have to ask how any other major sponsor will want run an ad for their product after one featuring a  drawing of a scantily clad woman with an overabundance of cleavage . Meaning, Capcom, SNK, Atlus and many other game companies are in many ways responsible for atmosphere that bred the culture that Brazzers is now capitalizing on.

More than that, we have to ask an very serious question, and this is one that strikes to the core of what we are as a loose affiliation of players. Are we as individuals going to be penalized for our clothing, our affiliations, or our potential sponsors? Because if we are then it seems that the tournaments we hold so dearly are not nearly as open as we were led to believe. So what does it mean when a player pays their entry fee and does their thing but cannot say where they got their money from? Sure, the EVO tournament organizers can stop LI Joe from putting ZZ infront of his name on stream. But can they stop him from wearing a T-Shirt? I would have to ask how they can justify doing so after announcing the Mai Shiranui shirt promo for KOF XIII entrants. Even if they do stop him, will it matter? Meaning even if they shut Brazzers out of every major EVERYONE will be talking about it. So it’s not like it’s going to go away.

If people want the FGC to become more prominent then we need to become more professional during primetime. Meaning we have to improve our look from nine to five if we want things to grow. Insofar as to say that every prime time main stream should be as professional as possible (think Ultra David and James Chen style of commentary) and keep the ridiculousness on the side streams after dark. For example last year during So Cal Regionals they ran a Nor Cal v. So Cal 5 v. 5  (which was some of the most fun I had watching a stream in a while).

The important point about this is not the hype or the craziness but instead the timing and airing decision. Whereas it’s not that the hype has to disappear, but it should be during off hours or on a secondary stream. This 5 v. 5 was held late around 11pm if I remember correctly and on the alternate stream. Which is important, because it allows for people to still have their fun and sponsors can avoid potentially awkward situations when the hype gets heavy.

So we can still be crazy, hype as hell, and get as loud as we want. But if we want to expand fighting games beyond the niche that they are, then we need to start carrying ourselves differently when the eyes of the world are upon us.

tl;dr

Stop wilin’ out when other people are watching! Do it after dark!

EVO Registration Open Now!

Registration for this year’s Evolution Championship Series is open! Register before May 1st to save an additional $2o, and don’t delay, as there is absolutely no on-site registration for the country’s biggest fighting game tournament.

Entrants to the KOF XIII tournament will receive a free T-Shirt from Atlus publishing co.

Start grinding, get ready and most of all get hype!

LET’S GO!

Register Here! http://evo.shoryuken.com/evo-2012-player-registration/

Day One Technology: Footsies

Footsies are the fundamental skills that a player uses to gain and control space. A player who does not control the space that they occupy is someone who is giving their opponent an opportunity to take control of a match. Meaning that without a solid footsie game a pressure game cannot emerge.

Poking:

What is a poke? A poke is a long range, fast attack that is used to contol the space infront of a character from max distance (for example Ryu’s cMK, Guy’s sMP, or Fei Long’s cHP).  Poking establishes your space in front of you and keeps your opponent from trespassing in your space looking for opportunities to either attack or throw you. Defense is then by extension more than blocking. It is also defined by space management, and by managing space you can serve to minimize risk and maximize opportunities for damage by finding optimal distances to launch an attack. This creates a problem because while you’re trying to establish your space, someone else is right in front of you doing the same thing.

This then creates a problem how do you get in if you are being kept out and keeping your opponent out?(I am discussing this from the perspective of a mirror match for now)  Look at this match between Daigo and Air, two of the best Ryu players in the world (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EaWX5J_H5wA).  Watch how they use pokes to define their space and hunt for knock downs to start their okizeme game (this will be discussed next week). Some might say “they’re not just poking they’re throwing fireballs!” But fireballs are just long pokes and in SF4 (because you can not parry, Just Defend, roll, or do anything else some other games use to neutralize fireball pressure) a fireball becomes a very strong poke that does chip damage(here’s another longer set to demonstrate the point. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pjZIWYqznOA&feature=related). For example, Guile’s Sonic Boom is faster than many normals in the game in terms of start up and recovery and also Ryu’s fireball at certain distances is used to set up a myriad of traps. At two minutes in, notice how from about two and a half character lengths away Daigo neutral jumps and walks backward after a series of hadoukens instead of answering with his own hadouken to draw Air into a space where it would be difficult to react to an EX Hadouken (watch Air’s inputs as Daigo does the EX hadou. You see him inputting a Hadouken as Daigo’s EX Hadouken hits) to end the round. Spacing is critical in mirror matches and is in many ways what separates a player that is dominant when a match goes their way from the start and someone who can grind it out and come back from a disadvantage.

Waddling: Many times you will see players moving just outside of poke range, this is a very useful method to bait an attack and score a counterhit. It is a very simple but versatile technique that is critical to finding openings. (Watch how Kuroda uses waddling to dissect his opponents http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xVIsP09vE4I&feature=related)

Spacing As It Relates to Tiers:

In every 2d fighter the ability to control space defines tiers (from Akuma in ST, to Benimaru’s stB in KoF XIII) by applying pressure to your opponent you are able to stop theirs. Watch how Fuudo’s Fei Long was able to control the ground against Poongko’s Seth during Evo 2011 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dC_X9OadYvs). Fei Long’s rekkas, are for the purposes of this discussion amazing footsie tools. From rekka distance a fei long player has to be feared, especially before he was nerfed in Arcade Edition 2012 and it was safe on block up to two hits. It is a serious point of frustration for many players especially when you cannot enter into your own optimal space because your opponent’s character controls that space better than yours.

P.S. Eventhubs has hitbox data for most of the SF4 cast. http://www.eventhubs.com/news/2010/may/19/hit-box-information-super-street-fighter-4/

Norcal Regionals 10 Results

UMvC3 NCR winner Col.CC Filipino Champ

Now, onto the west coast for the 10th anniversary of one of the biggest majors around. Tons of top players flocked to Northern California for NCR, and the level of play was predictably hype. The always solid EG Ricky Ortiz snagged yet another Street Fighter title, and EG Floe continued to justify why I play Guy. Korean Street Fighter threat Infiltration can now call himself one of the first true Street Fighter X Tekken champions, while Col.CC Filipino Champ’s victory in Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 proves that Phoenix is still alive and well in 2012.

The full results are as follows: (via Shoryuken)

Super Street Fighter 4: Arcade Edition ver. 2012

1. EG|Ricky Ortiz (Rufus)
2. Infiltration (Akuma, Gouken)
3. PR Balrog (Balrog)
4. RZR|Latif (C. Viper)
5. coL.CC|Combofiend (Oni, Abel)
5. LU|Alex Valle (Ryu)
7. CCG|Air (Ryu)
7. EG|Floe (Guy, Rufus)

Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3

1. coL.CC|Filipino Champ (Magneto/Doctor Doom/Phoenix)
2. 86|Knives (Spencer/Sentinel/Akuma)
3. PR Balrog (Spencer/Wolverine/Wesker, Spencer/Dante/Wesker, Spencer/Wolverine/Felicia)
4. Padtrick (Vergil/Wesker/Strider)
5. Neo (Wesker/Magneto/Phoenix
5. OMG Itz Andre (Wesker/Magneto/Vergil)
7. Infrit (Nova/Spencer/Sentinel)
7. CFD|Hi I’m Nastyy (Wesker/Frank West/Super Skrull, Captain America/Ryu/Super Skrull)

Street Fighter X Tekken

1. Infiltration (Ryu/Rolento)
2. FC|NYChrisG (Xiaoyu/Hwoarang)
3. EG|Floe (Jin/Rufus)
4. coL.CC|Combofiend (Julia/King)
5. Lamerboi (Guile/Rufus)
5. CSH|LPN (Hwoarang/Juri, Cammy/Rufus, Sagat/Zangief)
7. Jimmy Tran (Rolento/Kazuya)
7. Epic Gaming|Clakey D (Zangief/Hugo, Rufus/Hugo)

King of Fighters XIII

1. TC|Chris KOF (Shen/Duo Lon/Iori)
2. TC|Yoshi (Billy/Hwa/Shen)
3. FC|NYChrisG (Kyo/King/Benimaru)
4. CCG|Air (EX Kyo/Saiki/EX Iori)
5. TC|TheBeast (Billy/EX Iori/Shen)
5. Laban (EX Iori/Benimaru/EX Kyo)
7. TDO (Kyo/K’/Iori)
7. coL.CC|Combofiend (Maxima/Takuma/Ralf)

Soul Calibur V

1. No Face Killer (Ivy, Nightmare)
2. Alex J. (Xiba, Leixia)
3. Xephukai (Astaroth, Patroklos)
4. Signia (Mitsurugi)
5. SSnortme IM Dop3 (Viola)
5. Hates (Cervantes, Nightmare)
7. Ceirnian (Viola)
7. RevVeg (Mitsurugi)