Monday, August 17, 2009

It's been a long time

Since I've updated my blog. I thought I would share my thoughts on how Capcom can fix up Guile for SF4: Dash.

1.Flash Kick
What they need to do is they have to fix guile's FK somehow. Right now it just gets beat by random jump-ins way too much. It's very hard to cleanly hit people out of the air with it. It also trades with alot of ground attacks. You can't even FK chun li's crouch roundhouse. It just straight up beats guile's c.rh everytime. It doesn't eve trade. Now trying to fix the FK can be tricky. You would think that you would just give it more invincibility, but this might not be the best thing to do. Yeah, it would solve the problem but it would possibly create a whole bunch of other problems. For one, you wouldn't be able to do like c.forward > FB to guile ever, cause he would be able to FK right through the FB. It kind of like how Balrog can just headbutt through your FB. If Ryu does a c.foward into a FB from the tip of the c.forward, guile can easily EX FK through it. But if he tries a roundhouse FK it will trade. The reason why the EX FK goes through it is because it has 5 frames of invincibility. The regular FK has 3 frames of invinciblity. If you try to give more invincibility on the regular FK to make it better, it will more than likely be able to go through any FB. So what I think needs to be done to fix the FK is to change some of it's other invincibility properties or its hitbox. It seems to me that probably its hitbox needs to be changed. It might also need to be given some kind of upper body or lower body invincibility, but not necessarily a projectile invincibility.

Another thing is the FK might have a little too much recovery on it. It does seem to have the most recovery out of any dragon punch-type of move. I was playing one time and I threw out a short FK just before Dan did a jab DP and we both missed. I landed, then Dan landed, then Dan was able to hit me before I recovered. I threw mine out first, he threw his out 2nd, but he was still able to punish me. So it might need a little less recovery. Now I have a feeling the reason why they gave it so much recovery is so that Guile cannot do a deep FK and then ultra. Why you wouldn't want him to be able to do a FK and then juggle with an ultra?...I don't know. I don't think it would be overpowered that he would be able to do this. Balrog can do it, Ryu can do it, Sagat can do it. All these other characters can do that kind of stuff. I'm just not sure what the capcom designers are thinking with the long recovery on the FK. It needs at least 5 frames fewer recovery on it. Another thing about the FK is that I can anti air someone with a short FK and then immediately do a b+forward kick to get away from my opponent while starting a SB charge. If my opponent quick recovers from my FK, they can DP my b+forward kick, mainly because the FK has so much recovery. This is retarded because no other character has this limitation on their anti-air special.

Another thing that needs to be noted about the FK is it doesn't hit behind guile's head like it used to. One thing that you used to be able to do is stop the high crossup attempts. Right now, only the super and the ultra will hit crossup attempts. It's really not too effective to use the ultra to stop crossup attempts because of its startup frames. I think the regular FK should still work like the old FK hitting behind guile's head. Guile's biggest issue is that you can cross him up all day. There's really not a whole lot you can do to get him out of the crossup traps. Whereas everyone else in the game has some way to get out of crossup attempts.

One thing that's really good about the FK in its current form is the range. So if you could reduce the range on the FK while buffing it up, I think that's a pretty good trade off. Of course, I would love to keep the range and have it powerful.

2.Damage Output
Another thing that has been a problem for Guile in SF4 is his damage output. Most people agree that Guile just does not do a whole lot of damage in general whereas Sagat does probably a little too much damage. I think Sagat probably needs a 15% decrease in damage and Guile needs a 15% increase in damage. I don't know if he needs a damage increase all across the board though. Maybe it's just a couple moves. One move in particular that needs to do alot more damage is the sonic boom. Right now it does the least amount of damage out of any projectile in the game. It only does 50 points of damage, where Sagat's does 70. I think Guile's sonic boom needs to do at least 70 points of damage. EX sonic boom needs to do at least 120-150 points of damage.

3.Sonic Boom
Another thing is the jab/strong/fierce sonic booms have different recovery times. This is kind of confusing because historically Guile has had the exact same recovery times on every strength of his sonic booms. He didn't have any kind of broken gameplay because of this. He didn't have any broken combos, he couldn't keep you out any better. Having a fast recovery on his fierce sonic boom wont make him overpowered in the slightest. He would just be like old school Guile. Some might argue that you should have to learn new stuff with your character in this new game. You shouldn't be able to play your character exactly like the old games. As soon as they start giving Guile new moves, I'll start playing him in new ways. Capcom refuses to change Guile, and changes like this sonic boom recovery time don't seem like they do anything at all to his gameplay. I don't think the recovery time on the fierce sonic boom is that bad, it just seems pointless. I would really like to know the reason behind this sonic boom change.

The EX sonic boom has quite a bit of recovery. It might need to be shortened a little bit. One thing that has been suggested to change the EX sonic boom is to have it knock down. This might be a good idea. Guile does not have many knock down attacks. So adding another knockdown attack could help him. Another thing that has been suggested about the EX sonic boom is to have it go very slow instead of very fast. This means making it slower than his jab sonic boom. This would allow him to chase after the sonic boom almost as if it was a shield. He could walk inside it. This could be an interesting change to Guile. Maybe the ability to have both a really slow EX sonic boom and a really fast EX sonic boom depending on which buttons you use for the EX. For example, the really slow EX sonic boom could be performed with the jab+strong buttons and the really fast EX sonic boom could be performed with the strong+fierce buttons.

Another thing I think needs to be changed is Guile's ultra. Capcom has never got the FK super correct in the way it works. It always seems to want to miss. I think it might need to auto-combo similar to Ken's ultra, where if the first hit gets you, the rest is going to hit you too. There's alot of time where I will hit with the first FK on his ultra, just the tip of it, and the rest of it wiffs so I get punished. Also, it's not very good for anti-air because you never get the full hits on it when used this way. Sometimes you just get 3 hits, one for each kick, giving you really low damage. I mean it really does look like an anti-air type of ultra, he's doing flash kicks...3 of them. You would think it would be used for anti-air, but that's not the case with this ultra. It's really used to punish really slow recovery moves when they're on the ground.

Another thing that's really bad with the FK ultra is the motion to perform it. You have to...

1.charge DB (only) DF (or F or UF) DB (only) <--take note of this one UF+K (or U or UB)

This motion is really really restrictive. Capcom has added shortcut motions for the QCF-type of supers, but you never added a shortcut motion for one of the hardest motions to perform in the game, the FK super. It's kind of confusing why you didn't do this. In Super Turbo, the official motion that was discovered (Majestros) was...

1.charge D F B U+K

This motion was actually more lenient than it is in SF4. I'll explain a little more.

1.charge D. When I say charge D you can charge either D or DB F Here you can press F, DF, or UF. It doesn't matter. B Here you can press B or DB. U+K You can press U, UF, or UB. Either one worked.

Now this might seem a little confusing but what this allows for is alot of variation on how you can perform the ultra or super motion. Here's some of the variation you can do to perform the super motion. You can do it the traditional way where you hold DB, then DF, then DB, then UF+K. One variation is you can charge DB, then DF, the UB+K. You might think, "well he didn't do the motion at all" but if you think about what I said where you just have to charge D(or DB), then F(or DF), then B(or DB), then U+K(or UF or UB), then I did meet all the requirements for the motion. The 3rd input meets the last 2 requirements for the super at the same time! You can try all this out on Super Turbo if you like, it all works.

There's another trick you can do in Supter Turbo with the super FK. You can do crossup short > c.jab > c.jab > super. You might think "You just crossed up someone. How do you charge that quick?". In Super Turbo, the first requirement for the super was to just hold D or DB. You can hold D when you jump in for the crossup and you're charging the entire time you're in the air for the super because of this "easier" requirement for the first motion. In SF4, this would not be possible because the first requirement for the super/ultra is you have to charge DB only. What that means is you can't do the super after a crossup like that like you could in Super Turbo. This doesn't work because the second you crossup, that's when it starts charging for the super/ultra instead of right when you leave the ground like in Super Turbo. So making the super/ultra motion more lenient would give Guile more options, and Guile needs more options.

I've had more problems trying to do Guile's super/ultra than in the other Capcom fighters, especially dash > super/ultra. I believe I figured out why this is so hard to do in SF4. It's mainly because of the 3rd input for his super/ultra. The 3rd input you have to charge DB. If you go straight D or straight B, you're not going to get the super/ultra. It's actually really restrictive, compared to other games, to do his super/ultra because of the 1st and 3rd inputs where you have to go to DB and ONLY DB. To make things more lenient in SF4, you should make the 1st and 3rd inputs be B or D. Or an even better idea, perhaps, would be to put in the old Super Turbo motion. Capcom has put in shortcuts for everyone else, so I think Guile needs some shortcuts too.

I think the best way to fix Guile's ultra is to just go ahead and give him the sonic hurricane. The one from CvS2, not the one from A3. All the other charge characters in the game can focus dash through a fireball and hit their opponent with the ultra from really far away. Chunli and balrog can do that stuff from almost full screen away. Guile has to be really close to his opponent to do this because FK ultra doesn't really move him as far forward as the other characters ultras. Most of the charge characters ultra go the entire length of the screen, whereas Guile's only goes about 1/4-1/2 of the screen. If you give him the sonic hurricane ultra with a good amount of range on it like the CvS2 sonic hurricane, he would be able to do things equivalent to what the other charge characters can do. He would be able to focus through the fireball, dash forward, and then come out of the dash with the sonic hurricane. Another thing with the sonic hurricane, depending on how you balance it, Guile could combo into his ultra like all the other characters too. You would be able to anti-air with a FK, and then before his opponent landed, juggle with the sonic hurricane. This is just like Balrog when he hits you with his headbutt, and then juggles you with his ultra. If you give him the sonic hurricane, I would also recommend making the startup and recovery as little as the CvS2 version. In CvS2 Guile was really scary once he had his level3 super charged up. In SF4 when Guile has ultra, people aren't really scared of him at all. Most of the other characters in the game, once they get ultra, you get scared of attacking for fear of getting hit with an ultra. Guile needs to have that same kind of fear put into him and giving him a really good ultra is one way you can do that. The FK ultra is just not going to do that.

5. crouching roundhouse
One thing that I believe needs to be tweaked is his crouching roundhouse. The way it is right now, it is really unsafe to use at higher level of play. It will essentially get punished every time your use it. One thing I would suggest to make the crouching roundhouse better would be to make it a chain combo. This means in order to do the second hit of the crouch roundhouse, you have to hit the button twice. It's almost like how Chunli has the double jumping fierce punch chain combo in the air. If you just hit the button once, you're not totally screwed.

6.range on his kicks
Another thing that might need to be changed is the range on Guile's kicks, in the air and on the ground. In the old SF games, Cvs2, ST, etc. he had alot of range on his jumping roundhouse. Guile could jump over Ken/Ryu's fireballs from further away than most characters and still hit them with his jumping roundhouse. He could play mindgames with them where if he jumps from really far away and decides not to stick out a jumping roundhouse and they decide to do a dragon punch, the dragon punch will wiff and he can punish the DP on recovery. In SF4, his jumping roundhouse pretty much has the same range as every other character of a medium body type. Another thing that sucks about Guile in the air is his crossup. His crossup is his short kick. The short kick doesn't cause alot of hitstun, so if you try to do the crossup too early it won't cause enough hitstun to continue your combo after you connect with jumping short. So it forces Guile to do his crossup really really late. When you do crossups really late, at that point they're really easy to block. You will know which way you have to block for that crossup. The higher up in your jump you press your button for your crossup, the harder it is to know which direction to block. You can't really press the button higher up in the air with Guile because you wont be able to combo after it. One thing that has been suggested is to move his crossup attack to his jumping Forward kick. In SF4 Guile's jumping Forward kick doesn't have a whole lot of uses. It feels like it's almost exactly like his jumping roundhouse. This hitbox is slightly different and it does work pretty good on couple select characters like Rufus or Blanka. For the most part, his jumping Forward kick isn't really used at all. So to give it some kind of useage, maybe you could switch his crossup to his Forward kick. That way, since his jumping Forward kick causes more hitstun, it would allow you to use the crossup earlier in the air.

7.strong punch(MP)
Another thing with Guile that's always been very strange is his strong punch. It's always happened ever since World Warrior. His far range strong punch is this uppercut that he throws out. It doesn't have much range horizontally, but it does have a little bit of vertical range. His close range strong punch is this long ranged hook punch. It visually looks like it would have alot of range on it. Now the problem is you would think his far range strong punch, since it doesn't have much horizonal range and looks like a close attack, would be used as his close strong punch. So when the person is closer range to you, you would do a move that has less range. If someone is in the air jumping at you, as soon as they get close to you, it would switch from a hooking far range punch to a uppercut-type close range punch so that it would possibly anti-air them when they get close to you in the air. The problem with Guile is when someone is in the air and close to him, and you press strong punch, you don't get this uppercut. You get the close range hooking punch which doesn't act as an anti-air at all. Traditionally with the other characters, their close range punches are usually something like an uppercut or something that doesn't have much horizontal range. Their far range punches, like Ken/Ryu's far strong, is this straight punch that has a decent amount of horizontal range. This is exactly what Guile's close range strong punch does. If you switch Guile's far strong punch and close strong punch around, it would be more consistent with the other characters in the game. I dont think this would affect Guile that much as far as his combos is concerned. He might be able to tack on one extra sonic boom in the corner, but with the way damage scaling is in this game, I don't think that would make much of a difference.

8.Bazooka Knee
Another thing that I think should be changed is his bazooka knee. This change wont effect any of the properties of the knee. It is to change the way the bazooka knee is performed. Right now it is performed by pressing f/b+short kick. What I suggest is to press f/b+all 3 kicks. You might think "why would you do this?". What this would do is make his neutral short kick able to be performed while holding forward or back on the joystick. His neutral short kick is really good but unfortunately the way Guile is right now, he cannot do this neutral short kick while maintaining a sonic boom charge(holding back). You get the bazooka knee. So if you move the bazooka knee off of the short kick, it would allow Guile to use this really good "footsie" move while still maintaining his charge. And if you wanted to do the bazooka knee you can just press b/f+all 3 kicks. Another thing about the bazooka knee is that it's not really good as an attack. The main use of the bazooka knee is to get closer to your opponent while maintaining the charge for your sonic boom. Maybe they need to change the hit properties of the knee a little bit. Right now you are at -6 frame advantage when you hit your opponent with it. So your opponent can basically hit you with anything they want, even if you hit them with the bazooka knee. You can hit with the later frames of the bazooka knee to make it a little less. Instead of -6 you could potentially be at -3, but still your opponent can still hit you or throw you even if you hit with it. You also might need to change the hitbox on it to make it a little better. It use to work OK for anti-air, but this isn't the case in SF4. One thing it was really good for is the Sagat fight in ST. If you matched a tiger shot with a sonic boom from about 3/4 screen away, you could do a bazooka knee after this and hit Sagat on the recovery of his tiger shot. This was partially due to the hitbox of Sagat's tiger shot, but also due to the hitbox on the bazooka knee.

9.Kara throw
One thing you might consider giving Guile is some kind of kara throw. From what I've heard in SF4, any of the kara throw stuff is all intentional now. None of them are accidents like they were in SF3:3S. Two of the characters that have really good kara throws are Ken and Vega. Many of the kara throws are done with the command normal attacks. One thing that Guile has more of than most people is command normals. You would think that with all those command normals he would have at least one that he could use for kara cancelling. Maybe giving him a kara throw would add to his sonic boom mixup game where he could throw you from a little further away after you block the sonic boom. Currently he doesn't have any kara stuff which is surprising because he has so many command normals.

10. df+roundhouse
Right now Guile's df+roundhouse has alot of startup(11 frames), and the hitbox isn't very good on it. So it's really hard to use as an anti-air. It's usually better to use one of Guile's other anti-airs. What's semi-good about it right now is that you can juggle with an EX FK afterwards. It's kind of confusing that you cannot juggle with a regular FK, super, ultra, or jump up and airthrow them. It just feels like this move hasn't been developed very well. A couple ways you can fix it would be to make it so you can juggle with a FK afterwards. I think I know why they made it so you cannot juggle with a regular FK. Capcom doesn't want Guile to be able to move around freely and then be able to land the FK in any way. If the FK could combo after DF+RH, Guile could move around doing his footsie game, and then do a DF+RH at anytime, then combo the FK. Capcom wants you to be able to tell when Guile has a FK charge, and the best way to see this charge is to watch his crouch animation. If he's been in that crouch animation for too long, you have to be careful what you do to Guile. I was also curious why Capcom gave it 11 frames of startup. I think I figured that out too. 11 frames is 1 frame more than the hitstun of his jab sonic boom. Essentially that means you would not be able to hit them with a jab sonic boom, and then launch them with the DF+RH. This remains true for the most part. Guile can't connect DF+RH after the sonic boom. There's a couple combos you can do to specific characters where you can actually combo the DF+RH after the sonic boom. Midscreen I found that you can almost combo people by doing jump RH > c.strong > SB > DF+RH. You can ALMOST do that. If the startup of the DF+RH was one frame quicker, Guile would be able to. So that's my theory as to why the DF+RH has so much startup, it's so you cannot combo into it.

One solution I think you can do to fix DF+RH is to get rid of the juggle ability on it all together. Decrease the startup time, and make it about a 6 frame startup attack. Alost fix the hitbox on it so that it hits like Sagat's standing RH or Bison's standing RH. Just make it a regular anti-air, if you didn't want to go the juggle route.

11.Guile's combos
Another thing that might need to be fixed with Guile is the difficulty in his combos. He has alot of 1-frame links in SF4. He only has one combo that's a 2-frame link. That's his close s.jab > c.strong link. The problem with that link is you cannot keep your down charge while doing that combo. You can only combo into a sonic boom after it. That really limits what he can do. I think his c.jab to his c.strong needs to be a 2-frame link. There's so many other characters with 2-frame links and they can combo you easily. With Guile it's really hard, and it's really confusing why Capcom made his combos this way because he is a charge character and it does take longer for him to charge up his specials. So allowing him to do something like c.jab > c.jab > c.strong will give Guile enough time to charge up his specials during the combo. He CAN do this combo right now, it's just extremely hard. Another thing that's kind of confusing is the rapid fire chain combos in SF4. You can't 2-in-1 any rapid fire attacks. And you can't kara cancel them either like you could in ST or CvS2. You can't kara cancel Guile's c.short kick. This is just really confusing because Guile had lots of variation in combos he could do off of all this. I would get rid of this rapid fire non-canceling property or at least give Guile the ability to kara cancel the rapid fire attacks to one of his specials.

12.Air throw
Guile's airthrow is really good in SF4 but one thing I've noticed is that you cannot airthrow immediately upon leaving the ground. If you try to do it right when you leave the ground you will get a jumping short kick instead of an airthrow. It feels like this has almost purposely been programmed in. I'm not sure why. Other characters can do a move right when they leave the ground like Rufus. He can divekick immediately when he leaves the ground. In the old games Guile was able to airthrow right when he left the ground. I could airthrow Ken/Ryu out of their hurricane kicks right as they passed over my head. You can't do this in SF4 because of the airthrow limitation.