The labours of Labrys

So it's another one of these, the blogs with the alliterative titles where I attempt to learn fighting games.

And since Persona 4 Arena has been out in Europe for a few weeks, let's do that.

I've played a lot of Blazblue, I'm still no better for it, but at least I knew kinda what to expect going in. But picking up a new character is proving to be a lot harder than I thought it'd be. I played Tao pretty much exclusively in Blazblue, meaning I got very used to how she moved about the screen, and managed to consign a few BnB's to muscle memory.

But now I'm having to unlearn all that in favour of a new character... Initially I wasn't sure who to go with, Yosuke seemed a little like Tao in that he was pretty zippy, but I wasn't quite sure about the rest of his move set. Naoto also seemed pretty fun, but I was never very good at controlling space. So in the end I played the safe card and picked Labrys, because she's on the box (and you can't go wrong doing that, right?).

Now Labrys is slow, maybe not the slowest, but it's taking me a lot of time to realise I can't just beat people to the punch like I did with Tao. She's comparable to Hakumen I suppose, only she has some ranged options, and a lot more overheads. But everyone seems to have a lot of overheads in this game. P4A only seems to use quarter circle inputs too (apart from the odd charge and double down), which isn't that much of a shock coming from Tao, as she didn't have anything except those inputs, but it does mean people I play online are far less likely to screw up their inputs.

Speaking of online, it's been going pretty poorly for me. The new auto combo feature denotes that people I'd normally win against in Blazblue because they didn't really know what they were doing, are now able to do a fair amount of damage to me with the help of a standard combo. Yes they're pretty easy to block in most cases, but stuff like Chie and her high followed by a low seems almost like luck if I can block both in an online situation, and it's not even that laggy! I'm probably just being bad...

As for specific matches, I seem to have taken to playing whack a mole with Labrys' overhead and hoping it hits. I'm really liking the fact DP is just a button press away now too, Tao never had a DP, so I'm still getting used to the idea of just being able to mash out of stuff (I should probably stop that...). Fun fact: I keep accidentally inputting the awakening axe super.

Anyway, here's sameoldstuff letting me win one of the many many matches we played, just uploading one of the wins to spite him for being better than me.

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Adventures in Melty Blood: Actress Again

Let me just start by saying I'm terrible at fighting games, so it's a bit of an odd dichotomy that I enjoy them probably more than any other type of game. The 2D types especially, the 3rd dimension always seems to confuse me more than it makes things interesting. And air dashing is a must, I'm not sure why, but things tend to look way crazier when people are darting about the screen, which equates to more fun as far as I'm concerned.

Probably a bad idea, or a good idea? I dunno.

So, mainly spurred on by the wait for Persona 4 Arena, I figured now would be as good of a time as any to brush up on how to input quarter circles and other really basic things. I should probably be doing this on Blazblue, but what the hell I thought, as I committed to buy a copy of possibly the most hilariously named mainstream/niche fighter around; Melty Blood: Actress Again.

There always seems to be a core of people during EVO playing it, and it's fascinating to watch. Obviously there's going to be a few problems starting out, firstly the aforementioned bad at fite games, and secondly I don't understand a word of Japanese. Luckily the game is pretty well documented around the internet in places like metlybread and so on, even if their focus is on the more up to date version of the game. I spent the week or so the game took to arrive learning about the different types of moon, how each of the characters play, and more importantly, how to get PCSX2 to work without crashing... Emulation seemed to be the best way to go about being able to use a comfortable controller and not have to suffer though the blurry output of a PS2 proper.

It's a lot easier when they stand still.

In the end I settled with learning (pretty loose term) Shiki Ryougi, as you can't really go wrong with picking a character that's on the box... Plus her last arc is super flashy. Having played a lot of Blazblue, it was a little jarring at first to go back to lower res sprites, but they're really nicely animated, ducking, jumping and dashing all look really fluid, even blown up on a larger TV.

It plays very much like it looks, it's a bit quicker than anything else I've played, inputs don't seem as strict as I thought they'd be either, I seem to be able to break into whatever I like most of the time. I've still not quite got the basic combos for Full Moon Shiki down yet, but I'm getting there.

Now I just need to dupe some people into playing with me locally...

Anyway, hopefully time (mis)spent in the world of Melty Blood will go some way towards preparing for the folks who have had a 10 month head start in P4A. If anyone is still playing that is...


The thrown trials of Tao

It takes so long, does so little and leaves me so open. On top of failing to take advantage of 2 guard breaks; THIS NEVER NORMALLY HAPPENS IN MY MATCHES is my excuse and I'm sticking to it... Though I do get an un-techable throw off one (thank you 1.03). Thoroughly deserved loss... 

Shame I've not really been able to attend as many fite nites as I'd like to, but I seem to have really few free evenings now. I'll probably be putting it off a bit 'till at least Arcana Heart 3, so then I can reassure myself it's me being bad at fighting games rather than me being bad at Tao.
Special thanks to sameoldstuff though for being online every week to hand my ass to me, you've made me marginally less scrubby... 
Anyway, I'll be back in the near future! Maybe with some AH3 videos or more likely more BB:CS!

The trolled trials of Tao.


Good news is there seems to be a semi-regular Xbox based Fight Night now (even if it is sometimes just me and one other person). Bad news is EVERYONE IS BETTER THAN ME!

I should probably put a bit more time into learning some proper combos rather than relying on the 2 or 3 BnBs I’ve acquired since I started. But mashing out is such a difficult habit to escape…

In terms of videos I’ve probably had the most entertaining matches so far with sameoldstuff’s subs. I’ll get round to putting up one of the 30 hit 5k Noel combo videos up, but these ones are a little more entertaining than watching me die without getting a hit in!

First thing I seem to need to learn when fighting Hakumen is DO NOT HIT HIM. It takes me about a round and a half before I realize grabs are the way to go, as at least it’s more difficult to punish than my pretty predictable flurry of attacks. But yeah, Hakumen quits punishing me halfway into round 3 just so he can astral me in the worst possible way! How mean.

Video 2 is more Hakumen based astrals after he spends the majority of round 3 blocking like someone who can see into the future, except this time I totally see it coming, taking the opportunity to troll myself for entertainment purposes…
So! I urge any (bad) Xbox players to get in on the Fight Nights which are held on Thursday at 9pm GMT (or BST I think we're in now), so I can at least start posting some wins again. Either that or I'll have to wait 'till the CS 2 patch drops Platinum and try and destroy the people just starting out with her, to make myself feel better...

Also on an unrelated note, new capture device! I've gone back and updated all my previous videos, so you can watch me be bad in HD!


The troublesome trials of Tao.

Finally found the time to jump back online, and I'm terrible. I was terrible before, but after not playing for a while it's somehow got worse.
But who cares! As long as I get the odd astral and hella jump Cs it's all good!
Anyway, on to some new improved BlazBlue: Continuum Shift videos. Figured I'd post a loss first as I have plenty to pick from, I'm going to assume that people that weren't that good at the game have moved on and all the people who were stayed are really good, I'm using that as my excuse for everyone being better than me.
So, Ragna knows to Inferno Divider every time I drive full screen, however I don't know not to drive full screen when Ragna knows to Inferno Divider. Can you guess who wins? Also, curse you rapids! Why must I fall for you every time!

Second match is actually a win! Seems like the only Hakumen I fought this evening. I do some dumb stuff as per but he manages to do even more dumb stuff which means I get my PSR above 0!
Look forward to fighting some of the Giant Bombers if we get an XBL room sorted. Hopefully there'll be some videos of that in the next blog. (or not if noone lets me win!)

The transitional trials of Tao.

I'm going to run out of "t" words aren't I? 
So! Even though I said I probably wouldn't be posting anything 'till I transitioned over to  Continuum Shift, I'm going to post this, as the wait seems longer than it did all of 2 MONTHS AGO. 
I've recently acquired a Fightpad, I've heard good and bad things about them, but decided to take the plunge as I found one cheap. I must say I'm finding it to be a vast improvement over the 360 pad's analog stick that I was using before. Face buttons are easier to mash! I miss far fewer inputs and it just feels better.  
It does come with a little downside though, I can now pull off Taokaka's astral 100% of the time. I couldn't do this before on the stick as I'd always input a forward or a down-forward (although there was that one time vs a Nu where it came out without too much fuss...). Anyway, this has lead to me losing a fair few games as I was going for the astral as oppose to finishing them properly :( Oh well, as long as you win in style I suppose! 
As for videos, here's one of me flailing about with a Tager the day after I got my pad. No astrals here I'm afraid as I was still getting used to using a D-pad over an analog stick. But there are plenty of Hail Mary distortions on my part as seems to be the trend with most of these videos. Tager gets his revenge in round 2 with a YOMI COLLIDER!!111 though, well I say yomi, I was ducking an awful lot. He also seems to assume Tao is more magnetic than she actually is with full screen 720s a plenty. I should also really REALLY stop throwing stuff in matches too. 
Stuff thrown at Tager: 13
Spark Bolts dodged: 1/3
This isn't for that tuna: 1


The tentative trials of Tao.

I'm getting better! Honest! Apologies for posting so soon after the last one of these but hell, I don't know how blogging works anyway.

Right, the last videos were relics of just over a month ago, since then I've put in some pretty casual practice up to this week where I really put some time in online. I feel it's kinda payed off, I appear to be beating people now who would've stuffed me previously. Not to say I'm no longer making stupid mistakes or not comboing properly but it's going much better.

Seems only right to start with another Noel match as that was one of my first victories online when I started this endeavor. This one didn't have the good grace to barrier burst early and stand still for ages like the first one however, so I really had to work for a win. There's a few times where I fail to block or decide to try and pull off a move that really isn't going to happen but overall there's less mashing and more coherence to play now.
Throws that weren't teched: 0
Failures to follow up on a lucky 6C: 4ish
Stupid pounce useage: 1 

The other match that I feel I have to post is one vs a V-13 player who clearly outclasses me in every way. Just to show the caliber of people playing online, it'd be nice to match his standard of play at some point but that's probably a long way down the line. I think he was on the phone for rounds 1 and 3 as he later messaged me! But the trip to fantastical fish land and a Jubei cameo were success enough for me!
Rounds won: 2
Rounds shouldn't have won: 2
Cat people: 1 
Anyway, thanks for reading if you got this far and I'll hopefully have some more videos up when BlazBlue: Continuum Shift releases here in October.


The terrible trials of Tao.

I recently acquired a capture card thanks to impulse buying and was trying to think of ways to put it to use. So I've come up with the idea of me attempting to learn the fighting genere. My weapon of choice will be Blazblue: Calamity Trigger and I'll be attempting to main everyones favorite cat type thing Taokaka.
It was a toss up between this and Super Street Fighter IV, they're both great games but I prefer the competition on Blazblue, as even if I get it handed to me, chances are I made something flashy happen.
Anyway, on to the video. I'm just recording wins at the moment, as they're few and far between. Logic is it'll be easier to tell if I'm improving as I'll hopefully be getting more of them. My first win is against a Noel player who's clearly at my level as they didn't destroy me. On top of that they seemed to be having their own problems as they tended to burst early and not really punish me for anything I did (even though I did a good job of just throwing myself into their attacks anyway). 
Random 6A: 30
Failed 214214C: 11
Divine intervention baseballs: 1 

The next video comes from about a week later, I like to think it looks like I'm getting better, but I'm still throwing out moves randomly and not really checking what my opponent is doing. This one is against a Ragna player, luckily for me the majority of people I come up vs play either Jin, Noel or Ragna so I have a bit of insight into what he can do. I promptly ignore this insight and throw myself onto his sword. However this Ragna doesn't quite seem to have mastered throw teching, so I abuse that a bit which leads to a win in both rounds. Joy.
Un-teched throws: 3
Don't want(s): 1
Time stood still like a lemon: 19 seconds 

So, after presenting my absolute scrubbery it's time to go work on some more combos and generally being better. Hopefully it'll be taunt loops before 2011! I'll continue to upload videos to my channel and not spam here so much, so if that interests you for whatever reason feel free to jump on and flame me. I'll be playing on Xbox Live too under the tag of "Mwngy" if anyone equally new wants to get some practice in without getting destroyed. Aaaaaaand I'm still hyped for BlazBlue: Continuum Shift that should be arriving here in October!