<![CDATA[My Site - Blog]]>Wed, 03 Jan 2018 07:06:07 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[Gamescom Exclusive kof xiv Q&A with snk]]>Tue, 23 Aug 2016 23:00:39 GMThttp://ryanjosephhart.com/blog/gamescom-exclusive-kof-xiv-qa-with-snkPicture

​FIRST OF ALL please note that this is NOT the Q&A that was streamed from the Twitch stage at Gamescom 2016.

This is a fully exclusive Q&A with SNK that took place the next day. The questions asked were all submitted by you, the awesome members of the general public.

I was fortunate enough to be able to secure some time with The King Of Fighters XIV Producer – Yasuyuki Oda and Art Director - Nobuyuki Kuroki and get the answers to all your interesting questions regarding their latest installment of the KOF series.

Read on and enjoy!

1. RH: Will we have pre battle intros before fights? It feels kinda empty just going straight in after you select the stage.

ODA SAN: There will be intros between character select and when you actually start the battle.

2. RH:. Is that Story Mode specific or general?

ODA SAN: This will be Story Mode specific as we feel that in Versus Mode people will just skip these to get straight to the action.

3. RH: Will KOF XIV include DLC boss characters from the NESTS saga such as Zero and Krizalid? 

ODA SAN: For the complete PlayStation 4 ver. from day one, DLC boss characters from the NESTS saga such as Zero and Krizalid will not be included.

4. RH: Will Ash Crimson be making further appearances in the KOF series?

ODA SAN: It's possible, someday.

5. RH: What about the characters related to him like Elisabeth, Shen Woo or Duo Long?

ODA SAN: Elisabeth, Shen Woo & Duo Long could possibly make an appearance in the future.

6. RH: What happened to Chizuru? Being a very important character as one of the "3 sacred treasures" like Kyo and Iori.

ODA SAN: Chizuru was pivotal in the story when Orochi was the main antagonist, however since Orochi isn't in this role anymore she is not as important for the story.

7. RH: Since Angel is coming back, will be there some sort of clarification to what happened to her partner K9999?

ODA SAN: Maybe one day we’ll find out what happened to Angel’s partner K9999.

8. RH: What was the fate of Foxy and Diana, are Kula's caretakers still with K's group?

ODA SAN: They are still within K’s group, but right now it’s a mystery what has become of them.

9: RH: Who was in charge of the design of the new characters and how was their overall reception?

KUROKI SAN: At first, we got all our designers together just to get some ideas, but eventually it was mainly Ogura san and one new designer that took the reins. The feedback from Japan and abroad about the new characters has been really positive.


10. RH: Regarding the older characters, how difficult is it to handle the change of characters loved for more than 20 years like Kyo Kusanagi?

ODA SAN: Regarding the gameplay, we make sure that his style will reflect the style in the previous version, then we do some tweaks to make sure he won't be too strong or too weak.

For example we looked at how to balance his jump + down C which has been strong previously and thought about what we should do with this move.

KUROKI SAN: Regarding the design, we looked at characters that have been around for over two decades, and we thought about how we could include new fans as well as old and we wanted to change Kyo's outfit style to please everybody.

11: Are there going to be alternate costumes for all the teams?

​ODA SAN: Not at launch, but we are aware of the requests coming from all over the world, so we'll think about that moving forward.

12. RH: Who was the artist/designer behind Shun'ei since it was mentioned that he had a separate designer from Ogura san, and why he was chosen to be the lead for him?

KUROKI SAN: Yes, you are well informed, it was not Ogura san, it was a new designer. We wanted to introduce KOF to a new generation so we purposely used a new designer for this character.
13. RH: Did that person design anyone else? Sylvie's art in the book is similar to that of Shun'ei and different from Ogura san's art.

KUROKI SAN: Yes, that designer also designed Sylvie and Athena.

14. RH: What was the direction for the new protagonist of the new saga? Kyo, Iori, K' and Ash all have unique and mostly cocky and self centred traits, yet Shun'ei is kind-hearted.

KUROKI SAN: Shun'ei isn't officially the main character, but he will be involved heavily in the storyline of KOF XIV.

ODA SAN: We feel that people are all bored with the headband wearing aggressive type of characters. Those kind of characters are so common now so we wanted to include a shy character who doesn't really show his emotions to add some variety.

15. RH: Where did the concept for Xanadu come from?

ODA SAN: I centered my zen for a month and came up with the concept. (said with a smile)

16. RH: How many of the new characters have been in planning for a long while? Hein seems to fit the original "handsome, smooth fighter" Oswald was originally planned to be, and we finally have a villains team, which dates back all the way to 1994.

ODA SAN: There are tiny overlays where we have used bits of old concepts, like how Luong's move is a little like Ryuji Yamazaki's, but we haven't copied any characters in full in terms of a copy/paste fashion.

​17. RH: Will you have a website that shares character information, behind-the-scenes art, mini-stories and things like this for the fans?

ODA SAN: We actually have an official global KOF homepage with lots of character content already. You can also get information on the new team stories on the KOF XIV official website.

18. RH: Can you please explain the following: King of Dinosaur's Climax move name "Tyra Mosa Dread Carno Gaoh"?

ODA SAN: I lined up the names of my favourite dinosaurs with a dinosaur scream at the end:

-(Tyra)nnosaurus Rex
Gaoh! (resembling a Dinosaur scream)
19. RH: Why is Joe's Climax move name "Baku-Sla Golden Tiger"?

ODA SAN: In the same way as we lined up the Dinosaur names we lined up Joe's special move names together.

-Bakuretsu ken
-Slash Kick
-Golden Heel

His special combination includes these moves in order so we named it in that order.

20. RH: Why is Love Heart's throw name "Goodbye Chicken"?

ODA SAN: Love Heart's design is quite sadistic so we thought Goodbye Chicken would be a good name for her move.
21. RH: Will the pre order dynamic theme be available to purchase after launch as well as the other team themes?

ODA SAN: We are currently looking into this.

22. RH: KOF XIII had HD which allowed cancelling special moves into one another while KOF XIV uses the MAX system opening the use of "EX" moves. What's the design choice going for this?

ODA SAN: What we are doing is actually quite similar to KOF XIII, however there were users who felt that the system was quite hard to use on XIII so we wanted to make everything smoother and more accessible.

23. RH: Will there be legacy controller compatibility?

ODA SAN: Yes, this will be included in the day 1 patch.
24. RH: Will the skin colour customisation option return from KOF XIII?

ODA SAN: As we’ve moved to a new engine with KOF XIV there is now a new process in designing our 3D models. So for now we haven’t designed skin colour customisations, but it’s something that could be considered in the future.

25. RH: What was the reasoning behind the "Rush Mode" combos?

ODA SAN: Well it came to our attention, that some new players are extremely discouraged when they repeatedly press the square button on the PS pad but not much happens. We wanted to include something intuitive for those players also.

26. RH: Don't you think that this could displease the existing core users?

ODA SAN: We had that in mind when we implemented this, so we made sure there were limitations regarding distance and damage to how this worked. We feel we really have created a balance here, and this way we incorporate new players as well as retain the core user base as well.
RH: Well, that's it for my questions, I'd just like to say a big thank you very much for your time today, and I'm really excited about having a new fresh KOF game to play. I can't wait!

ODA SAN/KUROKI SAN: Thank you very much!


With new modes, fresh new characters, brilliant stages, a great musical score and better online than ever before, KOF XIV is definitely going to be awesome! Pick up a copy KOF XIV coming to PlayStation 4 this week!

Release Dates:

North America: 23rd August 2016
Japan: 25th August 2016
Europe: 26th August 2016

Thank you for reading the article and following the series. We hope you enjoyed it and appreciate your time. :) 



<![CDATA[KOF XIV Q&A @ GAMESCOM]]>Thu, 11 Aug 2016 13:35:26 GMThttp://ryanjosephhart.com/blog/kof-xiv-qa-gamescomPicture
Hello People, exclusively for you fans and friends on the 19th & 20th August, I will be doing a King Of Fighters XIV Q&A at this year's Gamescom with KOF XIV Producer - Yasuyuki Oda-san and Art Director - Nobuyuki Kuroki. Write in your questions for me to ask, and I'll add them to the list. Don't just write anything, have a good think about it first. Also let me know who your question is addressed to so we can avoid things falling on deaf ears. This will go up online for all to see and may possibly be lived streamed as well. Get typing now and get hype!! 

King Of Fighters XIV is set for release on Playstation 4 on the 23rd August 2016.

<![CDATA[Blast from the past]]>Tue, 23 Feb 2016 13:41:54 GMThttp://ryanjosephhart.com/blog/blast-from-the-pastName: Ryan Joseph Hart
Handle: Prodigal Son
Origin:  London,  UK
Favourite games:  Virtua  Fighter Series, Third Strike,  KOF  Series, Tekken Series
1: When and how did you get into fighting games?
Ryan: I first started playing games when I was 10. The first game I played was Golden Axe on the arcade. As far as I can remember - apart from my stint with  a vectrex  whilst in hospital having a broken leg nursed - this was the first time I played a video or if not it was definitely the first time I ever saw an arcade machine.

I was just walking past a random taxi office when I saw the games inside. Not knowing  a things  about these machines, I ventured inside to take a closer look. I remember seeing Golden Axe, Double Dragon and there were some other early games too, obviously placed there to entertain customers while they awaited their taxis.
As the machines were vacant I decided to have a go and it was immediately amusing. I didn't really know what I was doing but the basics were clear, beat as many guys as you can without being killed.

I was so impressed by the mechanics of the machine, at the second I press a button it immediately produced a reaction on the screen and each button did something different, seeing this speed of light reaction through the game characters was immensely absorbing.

Much to my knowledge I was immediately hooked and started visiting the taxi cab office occasionally with friends. The taxi cab proceeded to get  Capcom's  Street Fighter game which is where my fighting games road officially began. Little did I know what was ahead of me, damn, I knew I shouldn't have put that 20p in.  haha
2: For more than a decade, you have dominated at various fighting games. Tekken,  Virtua  Fighter and King of Fighters come to mind. Then later Street Fighter III 3rd Strike. Are there any other games that you specialize in, or want to add to your "to do" list?
Ryan: Well, all the Street Fighter games apart from Alpha 3 can be added already I think and there are some other games that I played loads and gotten to a competitive level at (Some examples are: Mortal  Kombat  Series, Power Instinct, Killer Instinct, World Heroes Series, Fighter's History, Breakers, Samurai Shodown, Pit Fighter, Mutant Fighter, Street Smart, Art of Fighting, Last Blade). I just never had the pleasure of entering events for those games as in many cases there weren't regional or national events held (or if they were I just never heard about them).

Even when there were marketing fuelled promotions to spark interest, minuscule budgets usually meant that the prizes were not enough to sustain mass interest from middle - lower level players or help gain a new following from the more casual audience making events like that not worthwhile in some ways.
Saying I was good at would be a blatant lie, haha  but up until a certain point I had always wanted to get into AM3's Virtual On series as I really liked the style of the game,  Katoki's  creative prowess, and the technical differences in how each  mecha  robot (virtuaroid) had to be used and of course the control mechanism itself consisting of two joysticks was what I liked the most.

However after Namco  Wonderpark on Great Windmill Street closed down which was our little gaming haven for years on end, there wasn't really anywhere to get competition on it and I didn't fancy emptying my wallet just to learn the game whilst I was in  Japan.
3: What is your favourite fighting game at present and why?
Ryan: My favourite game is  Virtua  Fighter 5 R I would say, the VF series has always been my favourite ever since I started playing VF3 back in 1996. The mind games on this game are by far the most prominent. Sure every fighting game has mind games but the way you have to read your opponent in VF goes through to a deeper channel of psychology.

You definitely can't say that the other guy got lucky like you often hear on other games. If you lose on VF you really lose. It's a game where each move or type of move has  it's  direct purpose and that's it. You will rarely find a move that beats more than a couple of things and there is always something to beat something, so if you accurately guess a move then you are always rewarded.

The level of satisfaction for correctly guessing or winning on VF is next to none. This is not the case on other games. It's a shame that I can't actually play VF-R as we don't have it in Europe however it is my favourite game in any case.
Out of the games that I do play I would say my favourite is Street Fighter 3 Third Strike. The technicalities involved in playing this game are very enjoyable to use as well as watch. The game can be played in many different ways as the parry system allows for a level of freedom in one's activities. I think that this system also allows more technical players to exercise his/her own level of ability whilst not entirely forcing players to do so keeping the game accessible to a certain extent.

4: When was your first tournament, and what made you decide to enter?
Ryan: My first tournament was in 1994 on  Capcom's  Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo. This event was held in the London  Trocadero  although it looked so different 15 years ago. I lived in  Croydon  at the time and we had a massive Street Fighter scene there too like most areas did back then.  We had the top players and the average players and the up and coming ones as well. I'd say I was about average then, certainly nothing special.
When the tournament was announced everyone got really pumped up for it. Our top heads thought they had a chance, I thought they had a chance too as it goes. However when we went to the tournament we saw the game played in a way we didn't know possible.  Combos into supers were unheard of before that day and boy, did we ever get introduced! :) I decided to enter as everyone was going there and I really wanted to do my best to see how far I could go...which wasn't very far but anyway...
5: What frame of mind are you in before a tournament, and how do you prepare yourself for one?
Ryan: There isn't really a process in my  opinion,  you always know what you're up against because you've usually got an idea of the competition. It's good to put yourself into certain match situations in your head before a tournament to prepare your mind.

For example it's good to dwell on important factors in a  matchup  you know. Like what beats your choices in a set situation, and then thinking about what beats the things that beat your choices and stuff like that. That preparation alone has won me countless tournaments. For the lengthy, game specific and more detailed answer, see below:
This is an interesting question that you always hear but in the case of fighting games I think the answer is a unique one. The feeling you have and  mind frame  to be in for each game is different and you learn this through experience. Let's take VF, Tekken and Third Strike as three examples.

I found that for  Virtua  Fighter, as it is a total lockdown game, you need to fully connect your brain to your hands to allow freedom of dexterity during the match. Sorry if it sounds too weird or technical, kinda  hard putting these things into words at times.

Ok,  lemme  go again,  bascially  on VF you have to make sure that you won't allow yourself to freeze up and not do anything. This is common on  vf  for example and you can often see an amazing top player totally get destroyed in a big event due to this.

The mental lockdown can work in two ways. Totally freezing up and doing nothing or totally going all out on the attack and never blocking, a one track mind either way. This is not good as your brain is not exercising freedom of thought in sync with your  gameplay.
Tekken is more of a patience and self control game I think, i.e. you want to attack but the time is not right. Although the game is played quickly, a whole lot of the time is actually spent waiting for the right moment, as almost anything on Tekken results in a big juggle. A lot of that time can be spent just spacing and looking for that big opening you need.

The psychology in Tekken is also pretty immense as  well,  you really have to get inside the head of the other player to a point where his general game is effected. Sounds cruel and mean right? Well, if you don't do it, you'll be on the receiving end. Your pick...haha
On Third Strike the guessing and  mind frame  on the day do the talking like the others but how 3s is different to the other two is that its more about gauge  build up and intelligent use of the gauges in the match. The gauges make for interesting in game psychology as well as the parrying, spacing and zoning also.

Basically to put it bluntly, the parry system is a function inserted into Street Fighter that allows a player to freely express their mind's prediction at any given moment. That positively gives another dimension to the game and fortifies its potential.
6: Roughly how many events have you entered?  and  how many have you won?
Ryan: Oh wow, brag permission? Ok cool. I've entered well over 700 (799?  lol) events I'd say,  and  I've won over 450 tournaments worldwide. :D (Ryan looks around his body) Man, where's the sell by date on this thing.  lol
7: Over 450 tournaments.... WOW...What is your training Regime like?
Ryan: It's different on every game as you can imagine but generally I'd say whatever I plan to use in the match I'll make sure I have on lock 110%! If I need to use it once in a match I'll practice it til I can do it five times in a row. If I need to use it twice in a match, I'll do it ten times. etc
8: Do you class yourself as an offensive or defensive player? Would you like to improve in any particular area?
Ryan: I would class myself as an offensive player. I think games are more fun played in this manner. On fighting games I find defence is always easier and less enjoyable. I think it takes more skill to cleverly rush someone down than to defend depending on the characters and the  circumstances  perhaps. I would like to improve my defence, as I don't play as often as before, I don't defend like I used to.
9: Now that you are currently living in  Germany, how do you keep trained up at fighting games? What is the scene like over there?
Ryan: Well to be honest, now that I'm there I don't play like before, for example I have no third strike comp there whatsoever so all I have is training mode and my seasonal London trip. I don't think I'm doing too badly though, I've still managed to maintain my winning streak :).

  In any case, if I had to train for an event, I'd use the practice mode and make sure I could do everything all the time, all hit confirms, combos,  setups, etc. I'd make those fluid before attempting to participate in any big events and I'd advise anyone else in my situation (without a big gaming scene around them) to do the same.

Experience is the key here too, just knowing the game helps big time and once you know a game that knowledge doesn't fade too quickly. The only offline scene here is for Tekken and I occasionally play with the guys here but most of them are casual players and not serious about the game. This isn't good for my training but it's fun to hang with them anyway. :)
10: Looking back at past events/tournaments, which one stood out the most?
Ryan: This is hard to say, I really appreciate every tournament I enter win or lose so there isn't really one that stands out more than all the others. I think one of my very recent wins in Spain was quite significant. In the grand finals opponent was from winners bracket and I was from losers bracket in a double elimination finals. I was 3 games down in a first to 5 game match, meaning he only needed 2 more games to win and me off. Then I managed to really get into his game and I won 10 games in a row to win the tournament. I was very happy about that.
11: Are there any players that you have your sights on at the moment? Players that are hard to beat, or you want to learn from?
Ryan: No not really to be honest. I'm not being arrogant in any way with this, there are of course many players out there who are better than me no doubt, and there are many worldwide players who I respect, but it's still no, no and no as I don't really have anyone in my reachable vicinity that I would say I can't wait to challenge, etc. :)

​I like playing the top UK and French players on 3s, but apart from them I don't really feel challenged on that game in Europe to be honest but when I play Zak, for example I really have to think and I like it. I think this guy may have a promising future ahead of him.
12: What advice would you give to players that want to improve their game and possibly become the next "Prodigal Son"?
Ryan: I would say whatever you want to play, try to always play from the heart, enjoy the game, don't play "to be something" at least not at first anyway. If you enjoy playing the game and you have decent competition and you want to get good, you will get good. After that I think you should try to develop yourself using your own creativity and originality, try new things, experiment. You never know what will happen!
13: Should people watch videos to improve their game?
Watching videos is good to get ideas but not to copy what I see directly. I always like to do things my own way and keep things in my own style of play. If I see something like a nice trick done in a match, I'll sometimes go to training mode and play around with the trick and think about what else can be done with it.

I can sometimes push a trick or tactic even further using this method and derive something totally unique. Using videos to develop yourself especially for a new game is best done this way as it's important to exercise one's own creativity with fighting games. It's all the creative guys winning anyway so people who directly just copy what they see without really understanding why it works or what can be done from there are not really strong.        
14: Should people use books and tier lists from Asian countries to improve their game?
By all means use whatever you like, but understand what you are using and don't follow it blindly. If a tier list says a certain character is fifth in the ranking look for things in the sixth character that could make him better than the fifth.

If a guide shows a certain tactic, test it out and see if there is something better than what the guide says or a way out of what the guide says. Be stubborn in this way, always look for more things and never settle for just anything or believe anything you hear. This is one method of evolution that Europe severely lack at the moment.
When Japanese guides are released they only show the best tactics up until that stage in player development there but early guides are never anything like the later guides when the game has been out for longer. Why always have to wait for that later guide?
It's better to just find the stuff yourself and use it before others discover it and it becomes common knowledge. That's what using creativity in games is all about. That is why Japanese players are so good, they are always looking for that next trick, that next tactic to give themselves the edge in competition.

If you want to be a robot just work in a factory. lol If you want to be a sheep there are couple fields ready init. The sheep won't mind sharing couple strands of grass I'm sure. :) My point is nothing is set in stone, just because it's words in a book it doesn't make it gospel.

Tier lists change every week even for games over ten years old, and there are always various versions of games before the final version. This means the game creators and tier list creators themselves don't even get it right. So these things should only be used as guidelines and nothing more.

A character should never be chosen merely on who someone who you don't even know says is best. Create your own tactics and find out who the best character is for you by yourself, this is the way to make a game scene stronger as a unit. If all UK players were doing this we'd be much better at all games for sure. We shouldn't follow people who are also learning too, what sense does that make? Blind lead the blind yeah? No thanks.
15: Do you need to learn frames to be good at a fighting game?
No, you don't. I didn't know anything about frames when I was the  UK  champion on Tekken 3, VF3 and KOF 96. I got  beatdown  (proper  bruckup) so badly on VF during the first part of my first ever trip to Japan, I thought I'd never be good at VF seriously despite already being the UK champion.

However by the time I'd been there a month I could  consistenly  compete with all top Jap players on their level. Top players at the time where people like Masuku-do  hijitetsu  (Iron Elbow Jacky), Chibita,  Segaru, High Tower Akira, Skeleton and Bun Bun  Maru  just to name a few so you know I'm really talking about the top top level.

I just knew the guesses in the situations and that was enough and VF is as technical as it gets. I knew nothing about frames and I'm sure some of my losses are partial to that but to think that frames are necessary to be good is absurd. I will add that although frames were not necessarily necessary once I knew the game, learning the frames later on did however help to understand the game better and improve myself even more.

Frames are really for high level I think and cannot be used efficiently until a person is already really good at the game anyway. If you don't know the game well yet, then you shouldn't be trying to use frames anyway. Once a player is experienced in a game, only then does knowing the frames really help and add additional leverage during battle.

<![CDATA[The World's best Hakan, Ebi interview at Stunfest 2015]]>Tue, 02 Jun 2015 14:14:35 GMThttp://ryanjosephhart.com/blog/the-worlds-best-hakan-ebi-interview-at-stunfest-2015Exclusive Ebi interview! (I do zis 4 ze people my earthlings!)

Today I had the pleasure of meeting the Japanese Hakan superstar, Ebi. In this exclusive interview with the humorous chap, he had some very interesting things to say regarding Street Fighter V, how he got into games, the community around him and of course the character Hakan. Read on and delve into the mind of the world’s best Hakan! 
RH: What was your first fighting game and who was your character of choice?
EBI: My first fighting game was Street Fighter 2 and my character was Ken.

RH: What do you think of Stunfest 2015?
EBI: It’s great! At first, communication was tough here but Poongko has been helping me out loads. I’m very happy to be here.

RH: Where is Hakan in your ranking honestly speaking.
EBI: I think Hakan is ranked at the very bottom or just above, so maybe second to worst character in Ultra Street Fighter IV.

RH: Why did you decide to use Hakan despite the knowledge of his low ranking?
EBI: Well, there is a story to this and it goes back to a session at my friends house some years ago. While we were all playing together using various characters, at some point we all realised that no one was ever using Hakan. Then my friend suggested me to pick him up, adding that he thinks I could be the best at the game if I learned him as no one would know my tricks. I agreed and was confident I could be the very best if I learned Hakan, 

I thought that the character’s unknown areas would aid me in victory and get me to the top. I also really wanted to have something unique, that would be my own so Hakan was a perfect fit there too. We then spent time in training mode and found many tricks and but despite all finding things together, I was the only one that could do the tricks consistently. This gave me more confidence as well as character familiarity and that’s where it all began.

RH: Haha, that’s epic! Thanks for sharing that story. Ok moving away from the lower half of the cast, who in your opinion are the top 5 characters in Ultra Street Fighter?
EBI: In no order I think Evil Ryu, Seth, Rolento, Elena and Ken.

RH: It is globally known that Hakan doesn’t get the best results when compared with the rest of the cast, and many people feel Hakan is ranked low, maybe even the lowest in the Street Fighter IV series. After having used Hakan in every iteration since Super, how in your opinion should Capcom improve Hakan?
EBI:  Capcom needs to introduce a fake oiling up that can be used a feint move to stop characters who have full screen punishes from getting free damage and disabling Hakan from oiling up. 

RH: Interesting, please go on. 
EBI: How Capcom design this move is up to them but it needs to be something that makes his oiling up move more usable. Currently Hakan is completely defenceless once he starts oiling and due to the long animation is totally vulnerable even at full screen, and even to ultra combos. This will stop characters from getting free damage as soon as Hakan starts oiling up. 

RH: Perhaps it could be that he starts the oil animation but it’s a fake and no oil is given it is a mere bait that can be cancelled into blocking or something else to entice players to attack with a risky move. Oh actually forget that, I know someone will say that’s broken or something. However, yes this is interesting, a feint of some kind will introduce another layer of psychology to Hakan’s game too. Brilliant.

Both: (laugh)

EBI: I also feel Hakan needs improvements when oiled up and when not oiled. What Capcom have done with the omega mode Hakan is a lot closer to how I feel Hakan should be. There are also many bugs with Hakan that go unnoticed due to his unpopularity. For example there is one bug where for an unknown reason you cannot rise from the oil cancel once you lay down, it’s intermittent and can happen at any time. Another example is one bug where you cannot grab Elena after her dp is blocked. Despite her appearing to be in a crouched position, when you attempt to grab her it just goes right through her body, there are some others too but you get the picture.

RH: Wow, I had no idea about these things, sounds very frustrating indeed, would be so annoying to lose like that. Speaking of playing vs. is the arcade scene still popular in Japan or are you noticing more people leave the arcades for online now?
EBI: While online is popular everywhere, in the big cities they still meet up and play at arcades, but I’m from the countryside and there aren’t many players in the Mieken prefecture.

In my area as some players aren’t that strong I just have fun with sub characters for the most part. I’ve tried playing main characters at sessions and eventually one by one everyone leaves as they get bored of losing, I’ve been left on my own many times. As a result I decided that using subs with them was more fun for everyone. 

RH: Do you have your sights set on Capcom Cup Finals 2015?
EBI: I just like playing, I enjoy playing. I wouldn’t say I just play for tournaments. The fact that there are tournaments changes nothing for me. 

RH: What do you think about Street Fighter V?
EBI: At the moment it seems as though they want to make it similar to Ultra SF4, but I don’t think making it a totally different game is a bad thing at all. In the same way that Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo attracted one crowd of people and Street Fighter 3 Third Strike attracted another, the more types of people that can join in and enjoy Street Fighter, the better it is for everyone.

RH: Will you be attending any more events this year so we can see your Hakan in action again?
EBI: I’ll be going to Frankfurt Rumble so that’s next, after that I’m not sure. I’ve really enjoyed this trip to Stunfest and I’d like the opportunity to attend more events. If I have the opportunity again in a similar fashion to how R/Kappa got me here this time I’d definitely like to attend more events.

RH: Thank you for your time Ebi, it was a pleasure to speak with you.
EBI: Thank you very much.

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<![CDATA[Decapre's new charge time]]>Mon, 11 Aug 2014 21:41:03 GMThttp://ryanjosephhart.com/blog/decapres-new-charge-timePicture
I really feel Decapre's U2 (Anti-Air DCM) and Psycho Sting charge times have been increased in the new patch, but here is how you can still do those combos in the new patch.

I'm sure this a mistake that Capcom will amend soon, but in case they take a while here is a way you can still do your combos.

For her Target Combo 1 into Anti-Air DCM, this is still possible by just doing the target combo and charging down back immediately after the ST MP input with no delay but the timing is tighter now. You literally do the ultra when the character is about to touch the floor. lol 

There is another way to do it which although gives you more time to charge is a bit tricky to nail down. Stand next to the opponent and press MP for the target combo. As you press the ST MP immediately move the joystick into a crouch position then press the HK at a delayed timing. 

You basically have to charge down back directly after pressing ST MP and delay the HK for a few frames to give yourself more time to charge the ultra but still keeping the Target Combo a true combo. If you  press the HK too fast you probably won’t charge the ultra in time, press it too late and the HK won’t come out at all. Practice the timing until you get it down.

EX Scramble > Psycho Sting > Anti Air DCM

For this combo I used a different method, I tried it many times the old way and it didn’t work so what I did is do the Psycho Sting command but press the button a few frames later than the direction, so Im already charging when I actually press the punch button. So basically you do the EX scramble as normal then charge, then when you are ready to do the Psycho Sting go to up or up-forward or up-back and then to down-back extremely fast press the punch button when the stick touches down-back. Then you do the Anti Air DCM when you’re charged. Here’s how I do it in the video, you can see the inputs of execution so you can see the charge timing too. 
When you look at the inputs, you'll notice that the punch is pressed at the same time I hold down-back on the joystick.

I threw some counter hit goodies in there as well. 

<![CDATA[Tiger cannons in USA]]>Wed, 04 Jun 2014 08:17:48 GMThttp://ryanjosephhart.com/blog/i-tiger-cannoned-in-usaPicture
Hi Guys

I’ve decided to answer some community questions here on my blog rather than individually on social media so here goes:

1) How was your visit to the US this time and do you feel you had improved since your last trip for final round XVII?

My trip was really fun, I enjoyed seeing everyone again and it was great to be able to take part in more than one tournament in one trip out this time too. I feel that I definitely had more knowledge than before on how to deal with certain matchups and this helped me a lot. I also feel that the world is still getting used to the Ultra transition and this is changing everything on a daily basis.

2) At Final Round XVII, you became the first player to qualify for this year’s Capcom Cup, what are your thoughts on this upcoming event?

Well it’s going to run a different course to the AE 2012 events leading up to it that’s for sure. I mean Ultra Street Fighter is probably the biggest change we’ve seen in any of the iterations up until now. 5 new characters, system alterations and multiple character modifications, it’s a totally different game for sure and we’ll see more of this unfolding as the knowledge deepens worldwide. I feel that combos are slightly too easy now with the red focus addition. It’s like anyone can land an ultra-combo in a combo now. Loool Then again it usually takes three bars and in some cases four.

3)  So after ten years of absence, how was New York this time?

Hmm, people are busy, rushing here and there, typical thing in any big city I guess.  I think I’d like to live there for like a year or something, would be great. I really enjoyed all the stuff I got to do there. The taco stand and pool bar evening I had with Yipes and the guys was sick, thanks for hooking that up. Being there again was great and I was happy to win my first ever Battle Circuit too :o) All the people I met at Battle Circuit were cool as well, really cool.

4)  After this trip what are your honest thoughts, which continent is better NORTH AMERICA or EUROPE?

Honestly speaking, when you look at everything, they are both the same. I mean people go overboard when they say that USA is waaaay better than Europe etc, etc. EMP.Dieminion who is arguably top 3 in USA came to Europe for three whole months and was only able to win one singles tournament in that time despite numerous tournament efforts, so that shows we are no pushovers here. With that said no one in Europe can beat everyone in USA although I haven’t heard of anyone that could beat Alioune in a long set. Has any American every beaten Alioune in a long set on Super SSF4, Regular AE or AE 2012 ever? No one in USA can beat everyone in Europe either and that includes all of EG and EMP. The Alioune factor could tip the scales slightly towards Europe but who knows? I think we are all strong and it doesn’t matter who is stronger, trying to topple Japan should really remain the goal since they win mostly everything they care about.

5) So, any thoughts on Ultra Street Fighter IV?

Well I can’t say too much yet, Japan have been playing lots and we just got it and we’re all learning together, fun times really. : ) Let’s enjoy this time of questions and intrigue!

6) After your successful run in USA, what do you think about another USA vs Europe?

The idea is great, but I think it’s a bad time to do any kind of continental exhibitions because the game (Ultra) is brand new and we are all learning the game again, it’s hardly a time where we should all come together to express who is better. Unless the question is “Who are the better beginners”? haha, I think if anything EVO needn’t have been on Ultra until 2015 and let regular AE 2012 rock for this year so the level would have been super high from everyone all over the world. Also the arcade advantage that Japan have would have been fused out if we waited a year, now it won’t even be exciting if a Japanese player wins, or if top 8 consists of 5 Japanese players. Japan usually win EVO anyway so it’s not like they really need an advantage.

7) So how was UFGT 10?

Well I have to say they are super organised at this event, it was so great to experience that. I had real downtime; I could actually go and nap between pools to recharge my batteries after late nights. I was able to spend time with some people, go eat, money match, and play some Ultra as well. It’s a shame it was the last one but I guess that made it all the more special. I held a live panel while I was there too and was able to share some of my experiences coming up in the fighting game world. This was the second time to do something like this and I’m getting used to and really enjoy. Shoutouts to Keits and crew!

I learned a lot playing against Justin's Elena, it's a very different feeling when you know that TU-FADC is punishable, of course this opens up other options on wakeup as now your opponent will be happier to block on wakeup allowing you to do whatever you want. It's a new dynamic, let's see how it develops. I like that the new characters are actually viable as well, I look forward to seeing them more in tournaments.

I was of course very happy to grab my second major in the US this year. Additionally to winning I wanted to entertain the audience as well so I'm quite also pleased as I felt I was able to achieve that in every match win or lose. :)

8) Ok, so everyone has their demon, who is yours?


9) Why Dieminion? What do you find difficult about playing him?

Dieminion is a resource monster, he knows how to use every element to his advantage, whether it be an EX meter, an ultra, an extra ten seconds on the clock, he’ll know how to make it count. Beating Dieminion in many cases comes down to using these elements better than him. He is also very good at knowing when to covertly switch from attack to defence and vice versa which is crucial for a charge character – especially Guile, as giving the opponent’s the heads up would be basically wearing a sign saying “Hey, I won’t be using any special moves for the next ten seconds”. This is a nice cue for any opponent to start imposing themselves. With that said our last encounter in what many now say is match of the year shows that I’m more than catching on. ;)

10) How about Next Level Battle Circuit?

Oh how great it is to have a weekly! I hope those guys know how good they have it. It’s nicely run and the stream is top notch courtesy of none other than Team Spooky of course. I enjoyed being able to mingle with everyone there and they have a different set of high level characters there which is nice to experience.

11) Who was the most impressive player that you saw or played in USA?

Smug. When I first saw heard about him I thought he would be a pompous twat really. I mean his name is Smug and he’s super young, he’s got to be arrogant and cocky for sure right?  But no, he was nothing like that at all. This guy is definitely going places, despite being very young, he is very humble, respectful and knowledgeable. The first thing he did when I entered Next Level, was sit me down and start going into deep discussion about the game, I liked that inquisitive nature very much. It was a pleasure to meet and play him, what a talent! He’s positively my favourite US player for the moment. The Boondocks bead chain was OP as well! :D


12) Will you be at EVO 2014?

It's an amazing event and of course I'd love to be there but unfortunately as I don’t have a sponsor I don’t think I’ll be going this year. It’s quite expensive this year, I remember checking flights when EVO 2014 was announced and prices were already sky high. Haha, as much as I would love to be there I have to just accept that I can’t afford it this time around. :D


<![CDATA[May 12th, 2014]]>Mon, 12 May 2014 09:37:46 GMThttp://ryanjosephhart.com/blog/fighting-decapre

Stunfest 2014 Interview with EG Justin WOng - 04/05/2014

PictureJustin puts on a show with Sho at Stunfest
So after the event I got to have a little chat with EG’s very own Justin Wong about his experience at Stunfest 2014 where he entered almost everything lool Here’s how the interview went down:

1.      RH: So first off, what was your most fun moment of the tournament?

JW: The most fun moment of the tournament for me was definitely playing Breakers, it was super fun just learning the game on the fly and I really had a blast playing it.

RH: Now I understand it was your first time playing the game, you hadn’t actually played it before is that right?
JW: The first time I ever played it was this past Friday.
RH: So you’d only had one day practice?
JW: One day practice.
RH: And you came second???
JW: Well, that’s how good top tiers are.
(Ryan laughs)

2.      RH: Alright, so what was your worst moment of the tournament?

JW: I think my worst moment of the tournament is that I was too busy at the tournament and I couldn’t enjoy the festival.
RH: Right.
JW: Outside of the tournament there was so much stuff going on that I wished I could actually explore
RH: Yeah I see, so would you say that this is something the organisation could improve on?
JW: I think the tournament organisation could be better like USA standards in terms of how they run their pools so that they don’t conflict with other games cos obviously multiple people play multiple games.
RH: Right, right.
JW: Yea, it loses so much time cos it’s like “Wait, we can’t run this match cos we are waiting for this guy in the other tournament and things like that”. So I think definitely they should look into how USA run tournaments, cos now all USA tournaments really good and on time.

PictureLuffy defeats Justin Wong to win Stunfest 2014 making it three years in a row to win the major for Luffy.
3.      RH: So, the grand final between you and Luffy was epic, everyone was on the edge of their seats. Especially as you beat him so convincingly in the Winners finals and in the team tournament, it looked like you were gonna steamroll him. But then Luffy started to pull it back and it made an amazing match. What do you think of this particular matchup; Rufus vs Rose?

JW: I still think Rufus beats Rose but I think Luffy as a player is very smart.  So it came down to player vs player, not character vs character. He pretty much…no, he really definitely managed to annoy the crap out of me with Rose, and that’s what I think France is really good at, like Luffy, Gagapa, yourself (laughs), Valmaster very good at playing that type of level of street fighter, which is trying to crack the mentality of players.

PictureEurope have indeed levelled up since last year. Europe vs USA at EVO 2014!!!! Someone make it happen!
4.      RH: I know the fans want to hear it from you so here we go, right now who do you think is better honestly,
USA or Europe?

JW: I think in a 10 vs 10 scenario Europe is better than USA but in a 5 vs 5 scenario it’s a tossup.

5.      RH: So you think we have more strong players here in Europe?

JW: Yes

6.      RH: What would be your team of ten for Europe and your team of ten for USA if that match were to happen?

JW: For Team Europe I would have:
Valmaster, Tupac, Vryu, Luffy, Omh, Alioune Sensei, Andreas, Ryan Hart, Problem X, Gagapa 

For Team USA I would have:
Filipino champ, Ricky Ortiz, Jayce The Ace, Kbrad, Snake Eyez, Justin Wong, Pr Rog, Dieminion, Marq Teddy, Sanford Kelly

7.      RH: What’s your top 10 ranking of Europe?

JW: My European ranking is:
1.      Ryan Hart
2.      Luffy
3.      Alioune Sensei
4.      Problem X
5.      Gagapa
6.      Andreas
7.      Valmaster
8.      Over Most Heads
9.      Tupac
10.   V-Ryu

8.      RH: What’s your top 10 ranking of USA?
JW: My USA ranking is:
1.      Pr Rog
2.      Dieminion
3.      Justin Wong
4.      Snake Eyes
5.      Ricky Ortiz
6.      K Brad
7.      Sanford Kelly
8.      Jayce The Ace
9.      Chris G
10.   Mike Ross

Honourable mention:

FILIPINO CHAMP, NUCKLEDU, Integra, XSK Samurai, MLSwear, Zeus, Smug, TTC Chris, Keno, Veloc1raptor, IPeru, 801 Strider, Happy Medicine, Rico Suave, Floe, Filipino Man

RH: Well as you did one for the US and as I know a little more about the European players I’d like to give an honourable mention to: F-WORD, AFFI, Perplex, Skatan Milla, Yagami, Necromina, Ixion, 4K, Joker Jokes, Miligano, Jester Power, ISDD, Kusanagi, Starnab, TAAHA, MBR, Emersion, Sheva, YouGenius, MOMI, SchiacchiSempre, YOTA, POPI, Doom Domain. There could be some I’ve forgotten, quite a few good players.

9.      RH: So during your stay, has there been anything that surprised you about France or Europe?

JW: I think the most surprising thing about France is that parking is horrible here, but other than that the community is really friendly, very nice, makes me wish I could speak a little French just to talk to them because they are very hospitable and friendly you know.  They’re mad cool dude, so I wish you know I could communicate with more people more.

10.   RH: Alright, well thanks for that. Umm, so what’s gonna be the next event for Justin Wong?

JW: Well today is technically Monday, I fly and get back Monday night, and I literally have 6 hours and I go back on a plane to New York for ECT
RH: Wow, so you literally get off the plane into a bracket.
JW: haha, Yes!
RH: Right out of passport control into button check. Haha Alright cool, it’s been good having you here and thank you.
JW: Thank You

Juicy 2 Interview series (十質インタビュー)

Fighting Decapre at Final Round XVII- 28/3/2014

So how was it playing Decapre Ryan? I’ve been asked this by many people and honestly in many ways I think it’s too early to tell what the complete experience of facing off against her will feel like. I will say though that Decapre as a character is not simply a Cammy clone and definitely adds new elements and possibilities to Street Fighter.

When I was playing I was trying to be on guard for anything and everything, I couldn’t believe it when she teleported! That was a real FML moment, lol I was happy to have the opportunity to play Ultra and to play against her. I wanted to see all her moves and combos and Combofiend demonstrated fiercely. Just when I thought I’d seen everything, Combofiend would bring out something new. Lol It was a fun experience.

Poor Retsu in that intro, he got no love at all. Lol

I’d still love to see Eagle in this game but that’s just my wishful thinking. : ) I'd main him in a second if he was even half decent. I really enjoyed his poking game in CVS 2 even though I wasn't that good at that game. I think his move set would work really well in SSF4 and he would be so fun to use. He'd be kind of like Dudley but with more range. He wouldn't suffer from strong crouching medium kicks because his standing hard punch range would be able to keep opponents outside of that range. Hmm, I wonder if this would make him too strong? Ah well, I'm not getting him anyway so no point dwelling on it.

So yeah, about what Decapre adds, as well as being the only character to combo her air throw, her Psycho Stream; an ultra that gradually covers ground almost like Dormammu’s stalking flare (“I SUMMON THE POWER” Sorry, had to get that out, lol) combined with a mid-air teleport almost felt marvel-like the way she could just be on top of you then still have the Psycho Stream (ultra-fireball) chasing me down.

I'm sure the Marvel players will have a better example of this but I don't play Marvel so I don't know. :o) It will be interesting to see how people use this for setups, tricks and chip setups at a later stage.

I know that DCM is not three frames anymore but I’m interested to see what the final properties will be for this ultra. It certainly felt like he could punish almost anything I did on block. But looking at how it’s used later will determine a lot for this character I feel. It appeared her ground pound could land in front or behind, it would be interesting to test this out a bit more. I’m hoping it doesn’t become another rinse and repeat move similar to Viper’s flame kick now. I’m guessing the normal one may not be safe on block however so in that case the risk reward would be in the defender’s favour if blocked correctly.

I think it's good that she has enough invincibility on the EX version of this move in order to bait DP’s if she wants to. This is often an area that charge characters suffer in so it will add a new dynamic to her gameplay in close quarters.

I know that there is currently some community dithering regarding Decapre due to her Cammy resemblance in appearance and move set. But when I played Combofiend I saw at least four completely original special moves unrelated to Cammy, not to mention the super and ultra combos too. I mean if given the choice I’d much rather have two characters that look similar and play totally different (Ryu/Ken, King/Armor King) than have two characters that look different but play exactly the same or almost identically, don’t even get me started on Tekken 2/Tekken Tag 2 lol.

So finally, sure Decapre could have looked completely different but she doesn’t so instead of letting that blind us from the positive things lets just focus on what goodness she has. She has unique special moves, unique ultras and specials, she is a charge character which is also different. Only the second ever directional female charge character in SSF4 since Chun Li, so again very fresh.  For all we know she could be super fun to use so let’s see what’s up first before giving up hope without even trying out the finished product. Bare people making noise about Decapre like they're even gonna go in that hard when the game actually comes out. lool

But yeah although there are moves that reflect Cammy’s arsenal I do believe that Decapre will and already does play totally different to Cammy. I'm interested in testing her out and seeing what she has to offer. I’m just going to wait until the final version is out before deciding anything. Casting doubt or judgement before the game is even out is just pointless really.

Right now Capcom are balancing her to fit into the roster correctly and ultimately make her a fun character to use I'm sure. I’m looking forward to her and the game in general. ROLL ON ULTRA STREET FIGHTER IV and thank you Capcom for giving us something new to look forward to.