Drive Cancel Tutorial

#1 Posted by MrSlapHappy (209 posts) -

I haven't played many fighting games, but having listened to the Giantbomb crew discuss them in detail for so long I decided to give the PS+ free download of KoF 13 a try. I have spent a bit of time with it and still cannot get drive cancels to work for me. Any tips from those more skilled than I? I have read up a bit and from what I gather, plus the tutorial text, just do one command while another is animating. Maybe I am just too slow and I need to practice more or...well I don't know.


#2 Edited by Fredchuckdave (7129 posts) -

Just do it incredibly fast. The tutorial for this game is kind of ridiculous and possibly harder than just beating arcade mode on very hard. Kyo's moves aren't the worst but they're not the best either for cancelling; for the Neomax cancel you have to go into hyper mode or whatever, which is L1+R1 (not explained anywhere ingame), then do the moves displayed on screen.

For future usages some moves are much easier to drive cancel out of, either due to length or simply by being airborne at the end of them (do an airborne move at the tail end of the animation). The game is rather generous with its input readings so you don't have to be incredibly precise to pull them off, but don't expect to pull off the same exact quick cancel every time; sometimes if the super cancel is a similar motion you'll do that instead, and sometimes it'll get finnicky and you'll do neither.

You're not alone:

Also note Jeff doesn't have the achievement for beating the tutorial, though maybe he just skipped over it?:

#3 Posted by bobafettjm (1710 posts) -

This game is one that I am absolutely terrible at, and I cannot seem to grasp all of the stuff that is going on in it. I decided the game was the most fun for me by just turning it to easy and just play through it.

#4 Edited by Fredchuckdave (7129 posts) -

@bobafettjm: What characters are you using? Kyo, Terry, Robert, King, Mai, Iori, and Athena are all relatively easy to use. If a character has a double half circle Neo Max super then they're probably not worth your time, any character that looks enormous is probably a grab character and thus much more difficult to use. Damage is normalized heavily across characters unlike several other KoF installments, so a Special move does around 10% damage, a Super Special does 20%, a Neo Max does 45% and if any of them is a counter attack then they'll do 5-10% more. It really doesn't matter what move you're doing as long as you're landing them. The Very Hard comp is extremely good at dodging regular fireballs so you have to mix it up, but they're not particularly good at dodging EX fireballs, low kicks, jump-in kick combos, and dragon punches. In fact even the very last boss seems elementally weak to dragon punches that move your character forward.

Edit: It's fine to keep your distance from the opponent just never, ever be a full screen away or they'll spam fireballs like there's no tomorrow, especially the last bosses who have extremely cheap fireballs. Link below the videos to a chart, though it doesn't specify ease of use.

#5 Posted by bobafettjm (1710 posts) -

@Fredchuckdave: I have been using a variety of characters, trying to find one that I like. My problem is that I am just no good at fighting games, despite the fact that I have been playing them since probably around the early 90's. I know my problem is just not spending the amount of time that it takes to get really good at them, but I tend to get frustrated and move on to a different game.

#6 Posted by Fredchuckdave (7129 posts) -

@bobafettjm: I'm not particularly good at fighting games either, or rather I've never really tried competing with other players (at least not since like 2002), but I still get some enjoyment out of beating a fighting game on a harder difficulty and all the non combo challenge mode type things once a year or so. Now I'm sure I could get good or even fantastic but meh, being mediocre at one genre is fine, and the community is probably the second worst next to the God awful genocide worthy DoTA community (which I am fairly competent at). In terms of KoF I played 98 and CVS2 a long ass time ago, and XI like a month ago since I wasn't going to shell out 40 bones for this game, then I got it for free. I imagine playing XI made this game a shitload easier to get into. Fighting comps are fun to deconstruct as long as you're not just spamming a cheap move or using a ridiculously overpowered character like Raphael in Soul Calibur. The last fighting game I played online was MK vs DC, but quickly got bored of 95% of players using Scorpion and no one else.

This video reminded me of the good ol' days some time ago, and is also hilarious:

In general any fighting game in the grab bag archive here is equally fantastic:

#7 Posted by MrSlapHappy (209 posts) -

Thanks for all the information. I have given up on finishing that part of the tutorial for now and have been concentrating on just finding characters I like to play. I have steadily been working my way through the roster and have probably tried between 1/3 and 1/2 the characters.

Some stand outs are Kyo, andy, king, kensou, Terry (a little), Shen and one or two others that I can't put name to face while glancing over the roster on the GB wiki.

I have also tried Mai and Leona and found their style totally impossible for me to understand at first blush. I played a few matches with Athena and while I can execute a lot of her moves, I get the feeling that I haven't the slightest concept of how to properly utilize her.

#8 Posted by Petiew (1380 posts) -
@MrSlapHappy: The trick is to do the Drive Cancel as fast as possible. You want to immediately go from the first motion into the second motion. The moves you need to use in the tutorial are a Dragon Punch [Forward to Down to Down Forward to Forward + punch] Drive Cancelled intoa Quarter Circle Forward +Kick [Down to Down Forward to Forward + Kick]
As soon as you hit the punch button to finish the first move you need to go straight into the motion for the second move. Hopefully that made sense and just didn't confuse you more.
I've barely played this game and am terrible too, but you'll eventually start to see some improvement and have more fun if you keep playing.
#9 Edited by Fredchuckdave (7129 posts) -

@MrSlapHappy: Terry is unbelievably overpowered in XI, but feels kind of sluggish in XIII, both Burn Knuckle and Trap Shoot come out slower than they used to (and do less damage), and his high punch fireball doesn't even go across the screen.

Leona is the worst character bar none, and only seems to have one useful move. Charge characters are generally more difficult to play in the first place, combine that with the worst fireball in the game and you've got pure garbage.

Mai plays like most other characters, fireball and dragon punch with a very easy to block screen crossing move (half circle), I think her EX fan toss is the fastest one in the game. Even though the dragon punch looks slow it does actually hit almost immediately so standard jump in punch, high punch, dragon punch combo works.

I again recommend Robert as almost every move he has is excellent and he also has one of the easier Neo Max cancels since the motions are mirrored (you can do up to 60% of the opponents hp, costs the same as a basic Neo Max and is easier to hit with).

King is the easiest to play character, every super is a double quarter circle, every basic move is a kick and she only has the three moves. I'm reasonably sure she has the only straight air fireball in the game, which can be quite useful. Biggest issue is that she doesn't seem to have an anti air move of any kind, but other than that a reasonably solid character. Her Neo Max is terrible unless you do the Max Cancel which requires landing the also terrible Surprise Rose super special move, so always use her as your first "meter-building" character. The AI version of King can be very annoying, but getting in close seems to work.

The best way to play Athena seems to be just spam fireballs, occasionally throwing in a fireball reflect. You can mix up the air fireballs with the low ones. Obviously this doesn't work on the Very Hard comp but it seems to work on other players based on a couple tournament vids I watched (that I can't seem to find now).

Still no luck getting into an online match but I certainly had fun with the game, 12-13 hours for 15 rare trophies is highly amusing. Plus the menu music is amazing. I could do the finish survival trophy but it ends with the cheap last bosses and you only recover 10% of your hp each round (35 rounds). In XI you got more hp back depending on what you used to finish the opponent, giving you incentive to use variety in your approach, but for some reason they did away with that in this version. Spamming Robert's down back charge > forward kick move becomes the best approach as a result, really dull; enemies keep their super bar so every third enemy has a chance to use their Neo Max, if it lands you're screwed more or less.

#10 Posted by Zomgfruitbunnies (999 posts) -

Question! How does K' play in this one?

#11 Posted by MrSlapHappy (209 posts) -

@Fredchuckdave: Thanks again for the detailed information. You seem to have a pretty good grasp of the mechanics of the game and play styles of various characters. I am afraid much of it might be lost on me.

Considering how much knowledge you have, I have a very basic question about using meter with moves. The game tutorial addresses how to do special moves and how to do the EX version of some special moves. In the tutorial it seems like for the special move, you do the command correctly and he executes the special move. For the EX version, you do the command for that move and the EX version is executed. In my own experience it seems like almost a coin toss whether my character will do the normal version of the move or the EX version of that move when I have one or more bars of meter. I realize that only certain moves have an EX version but for example I can't tell if there is extra input to turn Kyo's ground fireball move from a standard move to an EX move.

#12 Posted by ImmortalSaiyan (4745 posts) -

@MrSlapHappy said:

@Fredchuckdave: Thanks again for the detailed information. You seem to have a pretty good grasp of the mechanics of the game and play styles of various characters. I am afraid much of it might be lost on me.

Considering how much knowledge you have, I have a very basic question about using meter with moves. The game tutorial addresses how to do special moves and how to do the EX version of some special moves. In the tutorial it seems like for the special move, you do the command correctly and he executes the special move. For the EX version, you do the command for that move and the EX version is executed. In my own experience it seems like almost a coin toss whether my character will do the normal version of the move or the EX version of that move when I have one or more bars of meter. I realize that only certain moves have an EX version but for example I can't tell if there is extra input to turn Kyo's ground fireball move from a standard move to an EX move.

You do an EX move by performing the move by pressing two buttons. Either both punches or kicks depending on the move. You can do this for super moves too and get more damaging version that cost 2 meters.

#13 Posted by MrSlapHappy (209 posts) -

@ImmortalSaiyan: AH, I understand now. I remember this from the tutorial now, it just wasn't obvious until i read it in plain english. Thanks!

#14 Edited by Fredchuckdave (7129 posts) -

@Zomgfruitbunnies: K' seems to be solid enough, he has the best dragon punch in the game. I'm pretty sure K' had just regular toss fireballs in XI but he now has a primer move that links to fireballs (and anti air kicks) in this, it comes out fast but the timing on it is weird enough that it would take a long time to get used to if you get in a fireball spam war. Biggest issue seems to be that his neo max is a double half circle, and while I have no trouble doing single half circles or quarter + half circles, double half circles just don't seem to come out reliably. It also has a pretty low range so the main use would be Max cancelling it, but again double half circle is like a 1/5 shot at best for me (though I think it wasn't as bad in XI? Inputs don't read precisely the same way)

@MrSlapHappy:. Are you using L1/L2 to do them (as opposed to trying to press both buttons)? Kyo's fireball is fairly standard, quarter circle L1 and it comes out faster and cuts through opposing fireballs (just tested in Practice, comes out every time with L1). With EX moves you have to experiment and figure out which ones are great and which ones are terrible, generally EX fireballs are situationally excellent. Blocking gives meter, so even if you aren't reliably getting fireballs to work every single time you can build enough meter for an EX, use it to get out of a spam war and advance across the screen.

Finally got into a few matches, all against the same dude. He did have a positive winning record but didn't seem to be all that stellar, lost the first two due to sucking with Kyo and I guess lag makes it harder to get out of corners? Either way I was the only one to land a Neo Max, a cancel combo, or an Ex Super Special move. In terms of damage output I far outdid him in the actual back and forth, just kept getting stuck in low hits in the corner. Won the last match with 10% life left on Robert (King being my other character) after landing the same EX Super Special move twice (smart guy) and hitting him with a fireball after coming out of that animation (he had gone into a super special himself, if the fireball didn't come out I would have lost again). Humorously Robert's charge kick works almost as well as it does against the comp. Getting in a fireball toss war then tossing an EX fireball in after 3 or 4 rounds works on players even better than it does on the comp.

Edit: Got into another match with a level 35 guy who seemed to know what he was doing, lost my first 2 characters to his first guy (though it was relatively close each time) then killed two of his characters with Robert. If only I could play with 3 Roberts I'd be set, sadness. Despite being relatively competent with King Rob outdoes her in virtually every respect and I'm still garbage at Kyo. If anyone wants to play some player matches at some point let me know, PSN is Valgresas.

#15 Posted by Zomgfruitbunnies (999 posts) -

@Fredchuckdave: Awesome! Thanks.

#16 Edited by Fredchuckdave (7129 posts) -

@Zomgfruitbunnies: Also worth noting of K': His normal moves list actually scrolls down to more moves, the vast majority of characters don't and the scroll bar is nearly invisible; easily missed.

I don't feel like I'm supremely overmatched in multiplayer and could likely get competitive within a week and dominant within a month; despite only playing single player for a long ass time. KoF's biggest strength is that you will run into a variety of different characters, not just a billion Kens or a billion Scorpions or a billion Weskers; the playerbase seems to be reasonably creative. The vast majority of characters are usable at most levels of play, and while some characters seem superior it becomes a matter of taste.

Sadly I only have PS+ for another month (would buy it for december if you could buy just one month, alas; have to fall into the abyss after that) so I sort of feel obligated to play as many different PS+ games as possible. That combined with a few recent insanely good sales and I've now got 15 games to play. I've done the whole start from the bottom and climb to the top 0.1%-1% within a month or two thing before (FPS, RTS, MMOs (by far the weakest playerbase), Assassin's Creed), and it is really fun to do (at some point winning is no longer enjoyable in this process relative to losing, winning becomes the expected result and thus immensely less satisfying, hence the different genres) but I think diversity is going to win out in this case. It's surprising how effective most strategies against the very hard comp work against other players, presuming you don't attempt to cheese it; so I'd mark that as quite the positive for this game. Still interested in occasional player matches over the next month regardless.

#17 Posted by MrSlapHappy (209 posts) -

I will add you next time I turn on my playstation, probably later tonight. PSN chilled2thebone

#18 Posted by Fredchuckdave (7129 posts) -

@MrSlapHappy: Sent a friend request, I guess I'll just turn on the PS3 at 8 PM EST or so on weekdays and go back to my silly PC games until I receive an invite or send one. It's somewhat fun to play versus against the very hard comp with "Team Random" enabled on both, every rematch is a randomized team for either side (or you could do 3 individual random characters and have even more variety).

#19 Edited by MrSlapHappy (209 posts) -

@Fredchuckdave: I came on for about an hour and played some other online matches while I was waiting to see if you got my invite. I got worked pretty hard, killed one character in 6 and gave up when one of the dudes just started jumping around not actually attacking me. I'll keep trying but I have a feeling that is probably going to be the result no matter how long I spend on this game. Also, spent some time failing in the missions section.

#20 Edited by Fredchuckdave (7129 posts) -

@MrSlapHappy: Hey just saw your invite if you want to play; I can try to get better at the 5 or 6 characters I'm mediocre with; while I am relatively good with Robert and solid enough with King I'm not particularly good with anyone else so it shouldn't be too bad.

Most of the fun I got out of the game was single player, online was mostly just to verify my hypothesis. If I have time in a few years I'll probably get into KoF XIV or XV online for a month or two and follow the prescribed method. Winning is always more fun when you suck though, and I can only suck for so long.

#21 Edited by Fredchuckdave (7129 posts) -

@MrSlapHappy: Just a few random critiques: You need to block more, fairly simple, you seem to know to block supers but need to focus on blocking other hits. Personally I don't mix up enough so high blocks are going to work most of the time (King being an occasional exception). Odd thing with KoF was even though I was trying to pick bad characters against you there just aren't that many; so while I suck terribly at the lower left team all of those characters are pretty good (Shen is considered top tier by some). Hurray for balance? That's not supposed to exist in fighting games, harumph. It's quite possible to play King as solely a "kicks" character and that should help you get used to doing her 3 moves on command. You seem to be pretty decent with Kensou, focus on getting better with him and you shouldn't have too much trouble with the VH comp, then try to find 2 other characters that you're halfway decent at.

I seem to be much better at Andy than I am at Kyo so guess he's going in the main team; I like Kyo's Neo Max but Robert uses most of my meter anyway. Possible Andy has as good a dragon punch as K' does (Kula's has a similar hitbox but sends her flying across the screen if it misses so meh); range is surprisingly large and maybe has slightly harder hitting normal strong attacks?

Thanks for the fights! We seem to be roughly the same skill level. Didn't mean to spam fireballs with Mai just forgot that her DP is a quarter back circle. Mature is a very interesting character, I wouldn't characterize her as "good" but if one got great with her then it would be really hard to defend against, such a different angle of attack. She actually does have a standing fireball but its a quarter circle + half circle, kind of absurd. Basically a less cheap version of Chin. Had to adjust to the super aggressive Joe style on the fly, was entertaining though my hands got all jittery from all the close endings. Nice work with Surprise Fall, never expected to see it used effectively aside from trying to get the Max Cancel.

Double KO!

#22 Posted by MrSlapHappy (209 posts) -

@Fredchuckdave: I was noticing the blocking thing, as well. The blocked supers feels more like luck, but I feel like at least a couple of those were on purpose. I think my major problem is inconsistency in pulling off supers and the like which leaves me open while I repeatedly attempt different moves and get slaughtered in the process.

Prior to our bouts I had spent a little bit of time with Kensou and had ran through his move list a few times. While we were fighting I could not remember a single move though, otherwise I might have done slightly better. Or perhaps worse, see about about blocking and the failure there of. I had a brief time with Andy, Kim and Ryo each while working my way through the arcade mode where I felt like I was doing well and had a basic understanding of their abilities and since then have been unable to recapture that. Robert kind of falls into that trap as well. I think it might just be that I have been jumping from character to character so much that I can't keep the move lists straight in my head anymore. The only consistent character is Kyo and that is only because of the tutorial stuff.

Playing against you has made another thing evident, despite my like of characters like Kyo, Ryo, Robert, Andy and maybe Terry and seeing how I did with Kensou perhaps I should try out some of the faster characters and move away from the more mid-speed guys.

Anyways, thanks for the matches, we will have to play again soon.

#23 Edited by psylah (2273 posts) -

@Fredchuckdave: I need to find a solid team to work with, the only player I have pretty well down is King, and I tried Joe just the other day. But I think my third might be Athena, she's pretty dope. I need a good ranged / anti-ranged character and her spell reflect is pretty good. Plus, she has a dragon punch analogue for some anti-crossup / anti-air.

Once I get a weekend to put some time into the game and practice, try more characters and know what they do, I should get much better.

Also, maybe I'll figure out how all nine super meters work with eachother and how to use them.

#24 Edited by Fredchuckdave (7129 posts) -

@psylah: The main issue with King is she has basically no anti-air and very little defense against low/crouching attacks (a la Chin); but it's quite easy to build meter with her (albeit also easy to accidentally do a super cancel when you meant to do a drive cancel as well); she doesn't really function all that well as an anchor though, given that her Neo Max is terrible.

You seem to have about 60% of Athena grasped, her super is useful as a surprise move and her Neo Max is also very good, I might elaborate more in the future, but don't necessarily want to screw myself over just yet. Athena's Dragon Punch isn't great (since it just goes straight up with no forward momentum) but it is there I suppose.

In terms of supers the biggest learning curve hump is the EX moves, since they vary tremendously from character to character. EX Fireballs are almost always useful if you want to either cut through a fireball spam or just surprise an opponent with an extremely fast projectile. Hyperdrive mode is okay I suppose, unlimited quick cancels can be useful but I find trying to execute a Max Cancel (thinking about the motions and positioning etc) just gets you killed since you're not paying as much attention to the fight at hand; would obviously get easier with practice. Also the glowing aura kind of gives away your strategy; being able to HD cancel blocked moves doesn't necessarily help if the opponent is smart enough to block in the first place. Kyo's half circle screen clearing grab is much more useful non EX, Robert's EX Super does over 30% damage for 2 bars and isn't that hard to land, King's only useful EX is the fireball, Yuri's EX Dragon Punch is fantastic (low combo to the ground, similar recovery time) but most of them just send you sky high if you miss, most of Andy's supers are terrible, et cetera.

If you watch tournament vids there's a lot of people getting pounded in the corner to about half life then getting out of it and destroying the other character; so I gather its quite possible to swing matches even if you're low on health. My personal experience reflects this. Once someone who's decent with a character gets going its hard to break out of it immediately (but also hard for the other side to break out of your offense if you can); it's not so much combos as logical move transitions (though combos would make it a bit faster). King is probably the easiest character to make decisions with in this regard since her moveset is so limited, opponent is midrange away > tornado kick (optional quick cancel into fireball after the second hit, can be difficult to time), opponent is distant > fireball, opponent is close/using anti fireball moves > Slide HK or Jump in HK > Trap Shot > Quick Cancel into fireball; opponent is recovering > Continue Trap Shot or use low jump fireballs. If the opponent is aggressive from the air or with low moves and positioning then you're probably boned. Not quite the Ken Flowchart (plus she's not broken) but still pretty darn simple.

Main issue is just getting into Ranked matches at all, once I'm in I've only noticed slight input lag errors at worst; the game is definitely playable there's just not a lot of people playing it here. Probably the most balanced fighter out there, if only that held some appeal.

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