Monday, April 2, 2012

Street Fighter x Tekken + Winter 2012 Anime Review

Recently, there's been something interesting that has occurred in the Pittsburgh scene.  For one thing, we were able to hold ranking battles for our scene which we did stream.  There was some issues with running the tournaments mainly because of the time constraint, but I think it went pretty well overall even with all of the complications that happened.  But the more interesting was what turned out of Street Fighter x Tekken and it's future in the Pittsburgh FGC.

Now, SFxT was a game that alot of people were looking forward to when it was coming out.  It seemed to be a fun game that allowed you to play two different characters from both Street Fighter and Tekken franchise.  The combo system seemed pretty free with what you were able to do with it and damage seemed pretty high so games would be fast paced.  But in the end, when it came out, SFxT was little more than a modified Street Fighter 4 engine with different mechanics which weren't very well thought out.  So for the first few weeks,  Pittsburgh really liked it.  But after ranbats, there was a common consensus that the game was kinda stupid.  I thought about what my own complaints were with the game that really made me think that this game wasn't that great to play.

Before I get into my issues with the gameplay, there are a few complaints that I have about the SFxT interface.  For one thing, the gem system is terribly implemented.  The approach that they took was each character has slots where they have 2 slots for different kind of gems, but in order to change these gems, you need to navigate back to the main menu, and then go to the specific menu option for gems in order to change them.  This makes it nearly impossible to have more than two people play the same character if they all use different sets of gems (which they most likely do) which makes it really bad for a tournament settings or even a casual get together.  There is one other complaint that I have when you actually play the game.  When you hit someone, the life bar shakes as if from the impact.  This is pretty cool and allows you to feel the impact of the move, but at the same time, just gets in the way when you're trying to see how much damage you're actually doing and how much life your opponent has.  It's pretty important when you want to tell whether you need to use meter to finish off an opponent or just a simple combo will finish them off.  Now with my main complaints with the interface have been addressed, I want to talk about the gameplay issues that I think that SFxT has.

This move also got better ;__;
Now, before I go into this, I'm just going to put the disclaimer that this is talking about no gems so if these are issues that may be fixed with gems, that would be great, but I doubt it.  So, one big issue that I have is how the chain combo in SFxT works.  Now the way that SFxT made chain combos work is that it works from weak moves to strong moves regardless of whether it is kick or punch.  Now the problem with this is that it completely changes how footsies work for each character.  Say for Rufus, a move that becomes really good in footsies in SFxT is s.MK.  You can chain this into cr.HP into launcher which is guaranteed as long as you hit with s.MK.  Which is great because then you can hit confirm into a combo to your partner.  This unfortunately turns out to be stupid because it allows Rufus to be play footsies even though he's suppose to be rewarded from close, which he's also heavily rewarded for..... which means what?  Why would this happen?  This makes it so that once Rufus get's his first damaging combo and get's a life lead, he doesn't have to always be in your face anymore because he still has this strong footsie tool which will go into a full combo.

Which brings me to the second issue with this game, footsies.  Footsies in this game are rewarded too much.  If you can hitconfirm one of your footsies tools into a full combo, footsies become that much more dangerous.  So say we have a Rufus vs a Hugo, something that's seems will be pretty common.  So, if Rufus get's a hit confirm and combos into EX Galactic Tornado, he takes a good 500 damage from Hugo.  At that point, there's no reason for Rufus to go in and risk getting anti-air grabbed or piledrivered.  So at that point, Rufus can go to footsies range and just stay there.  If Hugo gets hit by something just from footsies, instead of just getting hit once, Hugo has to go through a whole combo which is stupid.  So, Hugo has to be cautious of even just getting hit once because it will end up in a full combo which takes away time, and more life from him.  So Rufus wants to stay right in s.MK range and keep Hugo from getting any closer while Hugo wants to approach and get in but avoid getting hit from s.MK.  So, Rufus and Hugo kinda stand around s.MK range which causes a bunch of time to just go down.  This causes alot of dead time to happen until either the Rufus player gets bored or the Hugo player decides to take alot of risks to try and get in.

Screw this game, I'm outta here and 
I'm taking my shit with me
The footsies that result from the  badly thought out chain combo system causes alot of dead time to happen during rounds which often brings the timer into play nearly every round.  While going around footsie range is still tense, it ends up being really time consuming.  Maybe this issue will be fixed by people playing the differently, but until then, this is what I think is the main problem with the whole time out issue.  Characters can do alot of damage, but it's all for nothing because of the footsie game.

TL;DR - SFxT is pretty flawed, learn KOF/BB/P4A/SG/AE/MVC3 instead.

This was just too cool to pass up
Now, moving on to anime I'm just going to talk about the anime that I found to be interesting.  
Papa no Iukoto wo Kikiknasai! turned out to be much classier than what I expected.  It was alot more about family and just being able to be together which ended up pretty good.  
Persona 4 Anime also turned out pretty nice, but there was a lot of stuff that turned out to be missing, but it was pretty good in the end.  
Ano Natsu de Matteru had a story and drama that was quite well executed which I think was great.  
Black Rock Shooter seemed to have interesting story and drama along with a different way of presenting it with the whole entire other self world, but in the end it kinda confused me more than anything else.  If I watched it all at once, it would probably make it better.  
Danshi Koukousei no Nichijou was really amusing in general because of the random humor that it had.  Some of it was a little repetitive or obvious, but it was fun and amusing.  
Chihayafuru is a show about karuta which has both shounen and shoujo aspects in it, with the whole competition factor along with relationship problems along the way.

All of these animes are pretty recommendable depending on your preferences of course, but I think each one of these is pretty good.

I has lots of homewark
Mountains of tedious homework are piling up on my sad head

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