Sunday, December 13, 2009

Scarred for Life: Weird Fighting F

Most college campuses are pretty big. And during a long day of classes, you're likely to unwind in a place that will become a regular stop. For me, one of those places is the study lounge, known as the cyber lounge by the regulars. Many of the regulars have laptops, and several of the friends I've made in there play a lot of games. But one day, one of them brings in a Japanese homebrewed fighting game which roughly translates into Weird Fighting F. Good luck finding any other information about it besides that link. As it's Japanese, it'll be hard to find more information as most searches (since I assume you're reading this in English) will turn up zero information.

Weird Fighting F has 10 extremely weird characters, though two of them are guys dressed as Mario and Luigi, so they're recognizable. But everyone else is so weird, I actually regret playing the game to a certain extent. Actually, the weird characters aren't the source of my regret, but rather the fact that I got so damn good at this game with weird characters and stupid mechanics.

This is as normal as it gets

There is no story as far as I could tell. Just a bunch of weird characters, each weirder then the last, beating up each other in assorted locations across Japan. Here are the most normal characters: guys dressed as Mario and Luigi, a guy cosplaying as Detective Conan, a photographer, and Buddha with antlers. Here are the weird characters: a naked cyclops wearing a ladybug as a thong (who fights like Marvel comics' Cyclops), a masked pervert wearing a g-string, two guys wearing jumpsuits, one of which has fireballs come out as he does pelvic thrusts, and green man in his underwear who's attacks heavily imply masturbation.

See that green guy getting impaled? Be glad there are no other pictures of him. He. Is. Frightening. In motion.

The mechanics are a mixed bag of stupidity and madness. Right off the bat, you find out your fighter faces in the direction he's facing. In a traditional fighting game (made by humans) the characters always face each other, and turn around when their positions are switched for whatever reason. In this game (designed by Satanists, apparently) you have to manually face the direction you want to attack. This leads to a lot of confusion as you jump over and try attack but instead punch the air in front of you instead of your opponent behind you. Characters also have a lot of health, making matches quite long though you only fight one match. When your health drops to zero, any super bar you had built up is drained to resurrect you. And of course, you have super moves, which range from traditional (a barrage of projectiles) to off the wall (using Mario's trademark super star power up) to plain frightening (a deluge of... well... I'm talking about the green guy).

It's-me! Mari-what the hell am I doing here?

So this game is free to download. Almost free. I suppose it'll cost you something to play this game. Your innocence, your sanity, your soul. Seriously, this game is messed up. It's fun for an hour with friends, but past that, you'll come to realize you've made a mistake. Still, fun is fun, right?


Sunday, December 6, 2009

Character balance: Arakune

This right here encompasses what you can expect from Arakune in Calamity Trigger. As part of the top three, he was typically 3rd or 2nd in the hypothetical S tiers, somewhere near Nu but definitely below Rachel. When you play Calamity Trigger, fighting against Arakune is a massive pain in the butt. His drive, or special ability, gives certain attacks a unique property that curses your opponent. Once cursed, Arakune can summon underworld insects (lovingly nicknamed bees) by pressing any of his four buttons. Arakune is known to have combos that do 6,000 damage without even needing meter to do supers (as a point of reference, Tager, who has the most health, has 13,000 points of health). His new form in Continuum Shift gives him a much more interesting dimension of strategy besides curse and spam bees.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Character spotlight: Hazama

This is Hazama, one of the new playable characters in Blazblue: Continuum Shift. As a new character, his true potential has yet to be discovered, but lots of veterans are counting him out because of his low damage output. While this is true, his attacks look really fast and his drive, Ouroboros, gives him interesting play styles. Ouroboros lets him shoot out chains with spear tips as a projectile, and regardless if it hits the opponent or not, Hazama can slingshot himself forwards and do some pretty trippy stuff. Here's an example of a player in Japan who had discovered some cool tricks with Hazama.

  • 3:05 - As you can see when the match first starts, any good Hazama player can capitalize on a counter hit from his drive attack and immedietely reel himself in for a combo.
  • 3:16 - After hitting Lambda with a low attack, the player goes for an interesting tweak on Hazama's bread and butter combo. Instead using his double jump and continuing the air juggle, he instead lands on the ground and keeps them airborne with another attack, and proceeds to use his chain again to keep pace with his helpless target.
  • 4:10 - after another counter hit with his drive, Hazama hit confirms his Distortion Drive, which tracks the opponent's position regardless. An interesting tidbit to exploit.
  • 5:19 - Hazama's forward throw seems to send the opponent into a diagonal trajectory. Hazama exploits this by hit them with his drive diagonally once, then canceling into a special attack that grabs the target out of the air and swings them down into the ground. He uses his back throw at 5:26 but instead follows up with a horizontal drive.
  • 6:05 - Hazama wins the fight by time out. A lot of players have recognized that Hazama can play a really annoying runaway game since his drive can slingshot him to safety almost every time.
Hazama looks to need a lot of commitment to play correctly. Some may say Hazama only won because there was an actual difference in skill between the two players and not the characters, but Hazama's drive and fast normal attacks make him look like a fun character to play. By the way, his theme song is called Gluttony Fang, and I can't wait to hear the song itself when the CD comes out December 23.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

New in depth video of Juri in action

My favorite little scrappy fight game website, iPlay Winner, has got the scoop on some new videos from IGN with Capcom's own Seth Killian giving commentary on the new characters. Everyone's interested in the new girl for the game, Juri. Here's the video that goes in depth on her as a character.

Juri has caused a stir as the first Korean origin character Capcom has ever put into their fighting game, let alone Street Fighter. As the video suggests, she's sort of a female version of Balrog (simplified as Boxer due to Japanese name changes) but instead of being a boxer who only punches, you play as a tae kwon do fighter who only kicks.

Juri looks to be a herald of the coming changes Super Street Fighter IV will bring to the current game mechanics. For one thing, as demonstrated in the video, she has a special attack that causes wall bounce. This is significant because wall bounce usually implies combo opportunities during their helpless state. Another point is her unique counter special moves that allow her to move at will in response to taking damage. Currently this type of counter is only unique to Gouken and his own Kongoshin attack. Typical flow in Street Fighter IV is a slow sort of plodding between fireballs and jump in attacks. These kinds of attacks can be refreshing especially from a spectating perspective.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

New video of Blazblue: Continuum Shift

The new intro to Blazblue: Continuum Shift has been unveiled--courtesy of intrepid arcade goers at nicovideo and someone who of course transferred it to YouTube. The high quality version is here but you need to have an account at the nicovideo.jp website (and it's in Japanese).

A number of things you get to see besides the attention to detail Arc System Works put into highlighting in the video:
  • At 00:20 you see how Noel's drive, Chain Revolver has changed. Not only is it darker, but apparently the rumors that you can jump-cancel it are true.
  • At 00:26 you see a new move from Litchi.
  • At 00:47 you see one of Tsubaki's distortion drives (or super moves).
  • At 00:58 you see an ominous glimpse of Hazama's astral heat (do want).
Hazama looks like he'll be an interesting chaotic evil sort of character you get to play. Meanwhile, Tsubaki has had the Internet a buzz due to her unique drive which is reminiscent of Order Sol's charging gameplay. It's also interesting to note both Ragna and Jin attack Hazama together at the end, implying they may finally put their differences behind them and work together against a common enemy. As you can tell, I'm dedicated fan and am glad to bring you this latest bit of news about the sequel. Hopefully the wait for the console release isn't too long.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

King Of Fighters XII gets dropped to the embarassing price of $11 USD

Over at Kotaku, the game touted as a revival to classic fighting franchise, King of Fighters XII, has been marked down to ¥980 yen or $11 in US dollars. Even games a year old don't go down that harshly and KOFXII is barely three months out.

Apparently at Bic Camera, one of Japan's biggest electronic chains (think Best Buy but Japanese), has marked the game down because the same copies since it's release have been on the shelves for three whole months. Kind of a failure for a game that was supposed to go toe to toe with Street Fighter IV and Blazblue (both games which averaged more then 80% on metacritic).

Well, I'll be the first to agree that KOFXII pretty much dropped the metaphorical ball. Both of it's contenders had actual content to go with their home console release. Both had extra modes such like a time attack mode or a gallery to view extras that you unlocked. KOF's extra features for home release pretty much amount to play arcade mode and play versus mode online or offline.

Also, it didn't help that the game had certain game breaking glitches.

For those of you not savvy on fighting games, your opponent shouldn't be orbiting around your character after you've powerbombed them from beyond the screen.