VF4 Report from Hayward, Part 4 Okay guys, here it is, the final report.Ã‚Â This oneÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll have most of the fun stuff. Quick note on CPU AI: I was watching some random clip yesterday when I noticed CPU Jacky doing some cool shit.Ã‚Â This is vs. A human, BTW. Jacky did P (G), which the player guarded, then Jacky did the Clothesline (F,F+P+G).Ã‚Â It may not sound like much, but he did it really quickly, like a human player forcing the oppt. to guard, then throwing. WhatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s more, in the same round just a moment later, Jacky did P (G) which hit the guy playing, then he did another single P(G), that was guarded, then the clothesline AGAIN!Ã‚Â It was hilarious, and really intelligent on the part of the CPU I thought.Ã‚Â It was just cool to see it use the same flowchart with a little change twice in one round. ANIMATION HereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s where VF4 outshines all previous VFs, and every other fighting game I can think of.Ã‚Â I remember reading at Core that the AM2 team said they put most of their efforts into the animation and characters, and it really shows.Ã‚Â If the stages are lackluster (and they really arenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t, even if thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s the overall impression I gave in my last report), the characters more than make up for it.Ã‚Â In both animation and models, they are superb.Ã‚Â Having really immersed myself in VF starting with 2 (although I did play 1 some), I was a little disappointed with some of the animation in 3.Ã‚Â I felt some of the characters moves looked stiff, jerky, and less stylish than in 2.Ã‚Â But in 4, not only does everything look REALLY smooth, but all the characters animation looks better than ever, with the possible exception of Lion, who IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll probably always feel was at his coolest in 2. Most animation seems to improved by having more definition between the beginning and end of the move.Ã‚Â Some people noticed that AkiraÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Dashing Elbow looks slower, but it doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t feel slower at all, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s just easier to see whatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s happening as he winds up, rather than snapping almost instantly into the completed move like he does in VF3.Ã‚Â ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s hard to know how they did this, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not like the frame rate increasedÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ On top of all the fighting animation, there are the intros (each character has at least 3 for sure, but maybe 4), the victory poses (same deal, 3 maybe 4), ring out animation, new hit animations, time over, waiting to continue (defeated by CPU), and even a special animation for when you press start to continue.Ã‚Â TheyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re always moving somehow. If you havenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t seen any of the clips, characters begin a fight with an intro sequence, that usually lasts about 3 seconds, and has a couple cuts/angle changes.Ã‚Â They also talk most of the time, but sometimes they just yell or ki-ai or hiss or whatever.Ã‚Â These are a nice addition.Ã‚Â The victory poses are the same as they ever were, but now they talk to the camera a little more than before.Ã‚Â You can still select different poses by holding the buttons.Ã‚Â They only drag about the poses is that in the beta, they usually always happened at the same camera angle.Ã‚Â Sometimes this is cool as the camera gets really close, but itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s be nice if itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s mixed up in the final.Ã‚Â I also noted in another post that there are no longer replays or victory poses after each round, just the final round. The ring out animation is probably the coolest addition.Ã‚Â Unlike VF3, when your character goes out of the ring, they donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t just do some generic "flop" animation.Ã‚Â They stumble out of the ring, and go into some unique routine ring side.Ã‚Â Jeffry gets all pissed and shakes his fists while stomping around.Ã‚Â My favorite is Akira, who continues to hold his fighting stance for a moment before looking left, then right, then realizing he isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t in the ring anymore.Ã‚Â ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s pretty funny, and is one of many goofy animations that give VF4 something itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s predecessors were lacking in: a sense of humor. Mind you, the game still comes off as pretty serious, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s just that at some moments (usually involving Wolf and Jeffry), it gets downright hilarious.Ã‚Â ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s cool because the fighters are so well realized that they can go from really serious and hardened looking to letting go with some goofy taunt thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s like something out of NintendoÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Punch Out.Ã‚Â AM2 kept most of this to the big guys, like I said; but I really like it. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s like you can get all serious and into it with the intro, then crack your ass up when you win. The other new bit of animation comes after loosing to the CPU, when your character goes into a special pose and broods while he/she is waiting for you to continue.Ã‚Â This was done in the earlier games, but itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s more pronounced and specific now.Ã‚Â Jeffry looks at the camera and shakes his fists at you, egging you on.Ã‚Â Each time his hands move, the camera jerks forward a little more in unison.Ã‚Â When it gets close, the angle changes and it starts again.Ã‚Â Akira goes down on one knee, staring at the ground shaking his head.Ã‚Â The camera is just over his shoulder behind him.Ã‚Â If you continue, he looks up and the screen zooms right into his face very quickly; like heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s been re-ignited.Ã‚Â If you donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t continue, at 0 he slams his fist into the ground and the whole screen shakes.Ã‚Â It looks great, and draws you into the game a little. These guys are now overflowing with animation.Ã‚Â You have to see it, weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll be seeing new things for weeks. CHARACTERS PAI Along with Aoi, Pai was the only char. I didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t try the day I played.Ã‚Â I can say that she has a good amount of new commands, and seems like sheÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll be great in the hands of a good player.Ã‚Â While her 1P costume is a little bland, even when compared to her 1P VF2 costume; her 2P looks awesome.Ã‚Â I like the color scheme, and it all moves nicely.Ã‚Â Her shoes are cool, as is her little hat.Ã‚Â During her intros PaiÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s face looks very slightly edgy, especially in her 1P as her hair etc. is pulled away from her face.Ã‚Â If you look at the old shots where sheÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s looking at the camera with her hands up, you can see it.Ã‚Â SheÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s the only character that suffers from this, but itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s very minor. From what I saw, a lot of PaiÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s new chains are fast, and some of them lunge forward a good bit.Ã‚Â Her KPK combo is quick if I remember correctly, and I also remember seeing a new PPKK combo.Ã‚Â I think she canÃ‚Â also start a chain from sweep, but I could be wrong.Ã‚Â Many of her new moves reminded me of Ein in DOA2, the way he lunges at you while switching levels and attacking quickly mixing spin kicks with straight hand strikes.Ã‚Â The animation of her f,b+P+G wall throw is really nice, and it takes good damage.Ã‚Â Most of her moves take similar damage to her VF3 self, with a few exceptions, like her standing K+G kicks.Ã‚Â If you get nailed with a b+K+G, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll eat about Ã‚Â¼ to 1/3rd of the life bar in the version I played.Ã‚Â Her d+K+G seemingly cannot be PKG rolled out of, and a pounce seems guaranteed.Ã‚Â If you check out her sequence at the Sega site, you can see her new "stance", but Yamcha and I couldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t figure out exactly what this did, she sort of steps back and poses. Most of her air combos do similar damage to 3 as well, but I think people will be comboing like crazy with her.Ã‚Â I noticed that after blocking her PPPu/b+K, it feels like a throw isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t guaranteed.Ã‚Â Even after a flat out run at her, it still looked like she could recover first.Ã‚Â She also has some kind of new jumping forward middle spin kick. PaiÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s dodge attack looks like her b+K+G.Ã‚Â IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m not sure what her charge attack is.Ã‚Â Even though I didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t try her, Pai looks like a lot of fun to play this time. LAU Lau looks like a badass, he also looks about 15 years older.Ã‚Â Even in VF3 his face was still pretty smooth, not anymore.Ã‚Â He shows the use of Shen Mue techniques more than anyone else IMO, as his wrinkled face has that kind of rubbery quality that many Shen Mue characters have.Ã‚Â Both his costumes have tons of detail, the dragon on the front of his green/gold/maroon outfit is beautiful, and draws further ties between Lau and the villain of Shen Mue.Ã‚Â I like the genie shoes.Ã‚Â The only strange thing about Lau visually is that in this build his hair on his head is sort of like a smooth, black egg with a hair texture.Ã‚Â It isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t shiny, and itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not noticeable right away.Ã‚Â I only saw it during his loosing pose, when he bent down.Ã‚Â The blue light shone on it and revealed it to be perfectly smooth.Ã‚Â This kind of thing is what I meant back in my fisrt post when I said they used polys only right where they needed to.Ã‚Â Ã‚Â They spared no expense on other parts of his model, but probably just figured youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d never notice the top of his head.Ã‚Â JeffryÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s head has the same issue. I guess that LauÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s animation has been completely re-done from the ground up.Ã‚Â One of the agendas of AM2Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â would seem to be to make sure to accentuate differences between characters, even when they have similar moves.Ã‚Â LauÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s elbow no longer looks like Sarah, Jacky and KageÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s elbow. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not a huge difference, but itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s there.Ã‚Â His elbow palm looks pretty different than before.Ã‚Â He seems to have lost a little range with some moves, but it might have been my imagination.Ã‚Â Many VF4 characters have a slightly more "compact" feel to them; seems like they have a little less range, their limbs feel a little shorter etc.Ã‚Â Strangely, while sometimes LauÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s arms seem shorter (like during his b,b+P), they seem longer at other times, like during his single palms. His Double Palm, a charge attack, is now done by simply hitting (holding) P+K.Ã‚Â The quickest version seems a little quicker than the old one.Ã‚Â The new b+P dodges slightly, and the K you can add floats enough to do a b,b+P, PPP,d+K.Ã‚Â It isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢tÃ‚Â a high float, but the b,b+PÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ hits really low now.Ã‚Â He has a d+K, K+G like PaiÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s low kick, sweep.Ã‚Â The Chisotai (f,d+K) is still one leg, and seems about the same, maybe a little slower or something, I couldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t put my finger on it ( JeffÃ¢â‚¬Â¦.?). Since the crouch dash is so easy now,Ã‚Â standing Upper Cut Knife Hand combos are easy to do.Ã‚Â I couldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t get his d/f, d/f+P to come out, and I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t remember seeing the ShakaShou (d/f+P) either, but IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m sure that one must be there.Ã‚Â He has a couple new elbow strikes, but I canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t remember the commands/exact animations (something with P+K).Ã‚Â One of them sort of turns and comes up from lower.Ã‚Â Still has the P,b+P,f+P. DidnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t see any new throws.Ã‚Â Was able to do the elbow, palm, d/f,d/f+P+G seamlessly.Ã‚Â I forgot to try the giant K+G.Ã‚Â His dodge attack is a new single palm, looks like it has good range. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d say LauÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s gonna be a monster, given the new combo game, and he doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t seem to have suffered any losses overall.Ã‚Â One of his victory poses is hilarious, he talks to the camera while holding his hand out in front of him, closed with his thumb out level.Ã‚Â He starts to move his arm, and when I was expecting him to make a "thumbs down", he dropped his hand down and points at his crotch! WOLF Wolf has been powered up pretty substantially, and is the receiver of a revamped throw game that gives him a big advantage.Ã‚Â He looks good, which was a relief after some of the screens I saw.Ã‚Â His face animates nicely, and his new personality is both serious and totally goofy.Ã‚Â His jaw and chin are wide now, and his neck is also wide, giving his head a kind of bell shape.Ã‚Â Sometimes he reminds me of a bratty fat kid from the 6th grade.Ã‚Â His voice is deep and a little froggy now.Ã‚Â His taunts are really funny, he look at the screen and says stuff like "SoÃ¢â‚¬Â¦..what?" orÃ‚Â blowing you off with his hand "AwwwÃ¢â‚¬Â¦. Go back to school!".Ã‚Â When heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s wearing the indian costume with the feathers flopping around on his face, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s just too fuckinÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ goofy that he says this stuff, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s great! In contrast, during his howl he doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t look funny at all, he looks hard as hell.Ã‚Â The indian costume isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t as cool as it could have been, and is probably the only letdown for me about the new Wolf. While most of his throws seem to function the same as before (aside from the small exe. time all throws have now)- the SSD, Wrist Lock, Body Slam, Catch, Frankensteiner, Arm Whip; the 2 big exceptions are the Brain Buster (P+G) and the Giant Swing. The Brain Buster is kind of a mystery to me.Ã‚Â When you hit P+G, he lunges forward quickly, a little farther than when heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s doing the Arm Whip (f,f+P+G), and it actually looks like heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s missed a catch throw. Then just as that animation ends, he makes another noise and the B.B. begins.Ã‚Â ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s like a double throw.Ã‚Â Like I said, I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t totally understand it yet, but itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s pretty deceptive and strong. As noted elsewhere, the Giant Swing is crazy now.Ã‚Â Remember how Jeffry could pick up Shun from anywhere on the screen in 2 if Shun was sitting down?Ã‚Â ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s kind of like that, without that much range obviously.Ã‚Â Or like ZangiefÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Spinning Piledriver in SF2 Turbo, Hyper Fighting.Ã‚Â Ã‚Â He lunges forward really quick, and if youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re standing, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s like you get sucked in.Ã‚Â In counter situations, it never misses.Ã‚Â On top of that, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s damage occurs gradually during the throw, with the last bit tagged on when you hit the ground.Ã‚Â If you donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t PKG roll, youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll eat about 60% damage; rolling takes away that last little bit, giving about normal GS damage.Ã‚Â If he misses, he has a small special animation (looks like a normal missed throw, but a little lower), and he ends up right in front of you.Ã‚Â The range is probably just a little over the "ready, go" distance.Ã‚Â I think Wolf can probably nail the GS off the line at the beginning of the round.Ã‚Â Following up seems impossible now, as it looks like he recovers slower.Ã‚Â People better learn quick to TE the GS! Since moves can be done out of dashes way later than before, the SSD (d/f,d/f+P+G) also has better range, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d imagine the Arm Whip does as well.Ã‚Â Most of the throws from the Catch seem the same.Ã‚Â His dodge attack is a dodge to the side, then a small lunge into a throw.Ã‚Â It works really well.Ã‚Â If you get them from the side, youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll get the leg scissors (which can be escaped), and if it hits in back you get the Back Suplex (like doing b+P+G from the Catch), and it looks like you could RO with it if you were placed right.Ã‚Â Or maybe this happens from the frontÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m not positive.Ã‚Â The suplex seemed to come out more than the side throw. The Short Shoulder is slower than before, but it gives a goos float, still goes under high attacks, and the screen shakes when he does it. SS, P, P, SS is really easy.Ã‚Â I didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t mess with the knee too much.Ã‚Â His Dragonfish Blow (f+P,P) is better.Ã‚Â The Body Blow is quicker and seems to have better range, while the second hit also comes out quick now, and looks a little different.Ã‚Â The second hit kind of looks like the second hit of ZackÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s triple uppercut in DOA.Ã‚Â Still has the Lariat, but IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m not sure what the command is now (f,f+P?); Grizzly LariatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s still there, too.Ã‚Â HeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s the only person so far IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve found 2 charge attacks for.Ã‚Â The first is his Shoulder Tackle (b,f+P), and the second is his P+K backhand chop, which looks more effective than in 3.Ã‚Â Screw Lariat still there, and most of his K+G moves seem the same, you can still hit downed oppts with the b,f+K+G, and the Rolling Sobat looks better now.Ã‚Â Both drop kicks still in effect. Yamcha and I tried out the low punch reversal, it animated nicely, and leaves the opptÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s back exposed.Ã‚Â IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m not sure what followups are available.Ã‚Â I couldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t get his new tackle to come out.Ã‚Â Other than the low P reversal, I didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t see any new moves for him, but IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m sure many are there. Basically, if you play Wolf, youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re gonna be very happy. JEFFRY Like Wolf, Jeffry is kind of a goofball at times now, and at other times seems tough.Ã‚Â His 1P costume is the classic Jeffry outfit, but now his pants seem like theyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re canvas or a heavy linen as opposed to sweat pants.Ã‚Â They have a nice texture.Ã‚Â His 2P is kind of a mix of his 2Ps from 2 and 3, with the leg shields and armor from 2, and the tie-dye shirt form 3 (no shark teeth, though).Ã‚Â In one of the cooler intros in the game, he says "what are you doing?!" to the camera, then hits it to the ground.Ã‚Â One of his win poses is really goofy, he says either "I win" of "I an the winner" and strikes this down on one knee muscle-man pose while smiling.Ã‚Â But his face transforms into a crazy cartoon, pretty hilarious.Ã‚Â When serious, Jeffry looks much older than before. In the past IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d actually heard people say that they didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t think Jeffry was black.Ã‚Â IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m not sure why people would think that, but now Jeffry is absolutely 100% a black man, and itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s cool.Ã‚Â His voice is pretty grainy now, it doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t sound like theyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re using the same voice actor for Wolf and Jeffry anymore. Jeff wrote a nice report on Jeffry in him "mammoth VF4 report!", saying that he found Jeffry to be among the strongest characters in VF4.Ã‚Â While I did screw around with Jeffry some, I didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t feel quite as strongly about his strength.Ã‚Â The things that make Jeffry stronger now seem to be changes to the system that evertone shares, and not really to Jeffry himself, IMO.Ã‚Â IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m not saying heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s weak, but I didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t feel the big jump it seems like Jeff did; admittedly I wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t using him too much in vs. play. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s undeniable that heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s powered up due to the ability to do longer air combos, and they take nice damage.Ã‚Â HeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s also benefited from the same dash- throw game as everyone else with f,f and d/f, d/f throws.Ã‚Â But to be honest, I felt he wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t really spectacular, and had actually been weakened in a couple key spots. First, his Knee Push (b+K) no longer knocks down every time.Ã‚Â IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m not sure exactly what the perimeters are for when it does and doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t, but I got a standing hit with it a few times.Ã‚Â It might give a stagger on certain hits.Ã‚Â I can understand why they did this, when followed by a small pounce it was a pretty easy and safe way to chip away at the life bar (not that other characters donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have similar options). Second, as I mentioned in the throws section, his Devil Reverse Claw has been slowed WAY down.Ã‚Â You can still use it, youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve just gotta be careful. Next, a few of his moves seem to have lost some of their range and/or speed.Ã‚Â Remember how I said Lau seemed a little "compacted"?Ã‚Â Jeffry seems to have the same thing going on, like his arms are a touch shorter.Ã‚Â The Kenka Upper and Middle Hell Stab both suffer a little from this.Ã‚Â It could have no actual effect on the usefulness of the moves, but they seem to have a little shorter range, and the K.U. seems slower to me.Ã‚Â For the moment it seems like heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s lost the Heel Attack (b,f+K), although it could be there with the VF2 command, f,d+K.Ã‚Â His new b,f+K, the Heel Axe doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t look to be any kind of big asset.Ã‚Â ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not all that quick, Jeffry doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t move forward at all while doing it, and itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s pretty useless as a combo starter as far as I can tell.Ã‚Â I got it to hit at the end of a combo, but the result wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t anything special.Ã‚Â His old Heel Attack had more speed, range etc. Lastly, his dodge attack seems weak compared to others.Ã‚Â IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m not really sure how to use it.Ã‚Â He does what looks like his elbow drop (b,f+P?) from VF2.Ã‚Â ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s range seems pretty short, and it doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t knock down,Ã‚Â I guess itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a set-up move.Ã‚Â Perhaps it forces the oppt to crouch? I will say that his dash elbow, upper was gotten better Ã¢â‚¬Ëœcause the upper will float now, VF2 style.Ã‚Â DE, upper, P, DE, upper is an easy combo that gives some good distance.Ã‚Â Other that the Heel Axe, I couldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t find any new moves for Jeffry, but again IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m sure theyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re there.Ã‚Â IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m probably just playing devilÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s advocate here, and IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m sure Jeffry can be every bit as strong as Jeff says.Ã‚Â But as someone whoÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s spent a good portion of my VF time playing Jeffry, I wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t blown over by his new form; he didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t seem nearly as improved to me as Wolf or Akira.Ã‚Â Maybe itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s just meÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ KAGE heh, hehÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ Kage.Ã‚Â Well, ifÃ‚Â you want the definitive report on the changes made to Kage, again check out JeffÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s (Ice-9) "Mammoth VF4 Report!"Ã‚Â For all intents and purposes, it looks like Kage is almost a totally new character in the way he must be played.Ã‚Â The reason?Ã‚Â His main move from VF2 and 3, the elbow, has been almost totally reduced to uselessness. While Kage players are undoubtedly pissed about this, as a non-Kage player, I think itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s interesting.Ã‚Â Not because Kage is weak now, but because it looks like weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re gonna see a totally new way of playing him. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m gonna venture a guess that AM2 decided they wanted him to be a little more colorful than Kage has been in the last 2 chapters.Ã‚Â From what IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve seen so far from the new Kage, he seems a little like Shun now: you might have to use some goofy and tricky moves at the right time, and fool the oppt into falling into some traps.Ã‚Â This is total speculation, but the first time you see Kage crawl between the oppts legs (and I mean CRAWL like baby crawl, not slide like Lion), youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll know what I mean. Back to that in a minute.Ã‚Â Kage looks pretty good, despite some discomfort expressed by all about his new costume.Ã‚Â In his "Blue Devil" costume, one of the first things youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll notice is he now has a big scar across the middle of his face.Ã‚Â It goes from one side to the other in diagonal across the bridge of his nose.Ã‚Â ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s pretty defined, not just a texture.Ã‚Â At first, his head looked a little big and round in the blue get up, but I got used to it quickly and it looks normal now.Ã‚Â ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s like the cloth on his head isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t wrapped as tight, or is thicker.Ã‚Â His pants are baggier now, and have a pleat in the side thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s shaded.Ã‚Â He looks meaner and more serious in the face.Ã‚Â IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve actually grown to like the " shredder" costume.Ã‚Â It has good detail on the fabric, and the chrome effects on his helmet and armor (itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s like a dark chrome) are done well.Ã‚Â Thank God I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have to see that disco shit anymoreÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ugh.Ã‚Â I never saw KageÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s mask come off in 4 (maybe we have to get 20 wins again).Ã‚Â Ã‚Â His intros are cool, in one he sort of cartwheels into the ring, youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve all seen the one where he drops in from above.Ã‚Â And his victory poses are among the best in the game, IMO. Like Jeff said the elbow is VERY slow, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d say itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s about as fast as JeffryÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Dash Elbow.Ã‚Â The range looks a little better, but itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s really slow.Ã‚Â You could probably reverse it visually.Ã‚Â The animation has changed too, he puts his hand into his trailing hand as he hits, and doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t lean forward as much, like heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s kind of sliding sideways. While Jeff said the heelkick (d+K+G) seems worse, it seemed about the same to me; but heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d know better.Ã‚Â The new dynamics of the TFT are out of my range of assessment.Ã‚Â I will say that hitting with the Knee during the TFT gives a different hit animation, it seems a little mushy.Ã‚Â He says "Ikuzo!" (letÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s go) during the Izuna Otoshi. The b,b+K+G is WAY slow now, probably the most slowed down move IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve seen.Ã‚Â Again, I have to assume theyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re trying to get Kage players away from his bread and butter moves here.Ã‚Â His d/b+K on the other hand works well, and is difficult to PGK recover from at first.Ã‚Â His dodge attack is his old d/f+P+K.Ã‚Â The kick that can now be tagged onto the KageYaiba (Dragon Punch) hits the oppt down into the ground, and since it hits near the apex of the punch, it wonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t work in low-hitting DP combos. I had written in an earlier post how I thought his new P+K stance, Hagakure Ryuu worked, but I was totally wrong, and now can safely say I have no idea how it works.Ã‚Â When you tap P+K, he crosses his arms across his chest, and assumes the stance.Ã‚Â He has a new middle kick in this stance that looks a little like AkiraÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s middle kick, and I think he can punch as well.Ã‚Â When Yamcha and I tried it, I punched Kage and he crawled between my legs, finishing with a little kick to my back side. Yamcha also did the roll I previously thought was automatically triggered by an attack, he said itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s just P+K again.Ã‚Â I saw him switch stance again once here, but have no idea how or what it meant.Ã‚Â IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m even more confused after playing and trying it myself. I guess one of is charge attacks is his QCF+K handstand move, but again here I was a little at a loss.Ã‚Â He would do a little kick, but I couldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t really get him to stay up on his hands.Ã‚Â DidnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t see any of the other moves Jeff talked about like b+K,K,K or the new K+G movesÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ only tried him a few times. Looks like youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll have to think a lot to win with Kage now.Ã‚Â IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m excited to see how he pans outÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ maybe IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll start playing Kage.Ã‚Â Seems like he now has the kind of underdog appeal I like. SARAH Another fun character to use.Ã‚Â SheÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s getting more and more unique.Ã‚Â It has to be said SarahÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s tits and ass look GREAT!Ã‚Â Nice and pointy on the topside, and she mustÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve worked hard to get all that ass into those leather pants.Ã‚Â Seriously though, Sarah is the sex object of VF4 bigtime.Ã‚Â Her 2P is perhaps my favorite costume in the game.Ã‚Â The punk rock studded belt, the boots, just too cool.Ã‚Â Her face, like Pai and Aoi looks good.Ã‚Â No more pale, pasty faced zombie girls in VF4.Ã‚Â Sarah intros with some cool-headed taunts, like "letÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s begin" and another one about taking it easy on her.Ã‚Â CanÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t really remember her victory poses. Sarah was probably my least frequented char. In VF2 and 3, but she seems pretty damned fun now.Ã‚Â Her new stance is activated by b+P+K, and it comes out with a sort of jumping kick, then sheÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s standing on her hind leg, front leg bent up in front of her.Ã‚Â It doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t look like HwaorangÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s flamingo.Ã‚Â She moves her hands back and forth quickly Bruce Lee style while in the stance.Ã‚Â I know thereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a kind of hit throw from it, but I couldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t do it.Ã‚Â I just did K,K d+K, and d+K.Ã‚Â Yamcha was saying that you can punch to end the stance. She can move back and forth if I remember correctly, but IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m not sure about side stepping/8-way movement. She has almost all her old moves, I couldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t find one she didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have, but I only tried her once or twice.Ã‚Â Still has the Moonsault.Ã‚Â All her throws seem intact, but I didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t try her catch throw.Ã‚Â IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m not sure what her dodge attack is.Ã‚Â Her charge attack Ã¢â‚¬Â¦ I think IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll be screwing around with Sarah some as well this time, really fun.Ã‚Â Sometimes during her win pose, the light reflects off her eyes. JACKY "Come on, boy!"Ã‚Â JackyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s so Billy Idol itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a joke.Ã‚Â They should just give him the accent.Ã‚Â HeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s one of the few characters whose face looks like it could use just a LITTLE work.Ã‚Â Not because it looks rough, but because heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s just a little ugly and stiff looking from some angles.Ã‚Â You know how almost all the characters faces in PS2 TTT are an eyesore? Almost none of the VF4 characters suffer from that, but Jacky borders on it at times.Ã‚Â IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m probably making it worse than it is, and itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s just subjective.Ã‚Â His costumes are cool.Ã‚Â The straps on his 1P animate nicely, and it isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t too shiny or fashioned out.Ã‚Â Just looks like a casual riding suit, sort of like a stripped down version of Yusaku from LB.Ã‚Â His 2P also looks good.Ã‚Â The leather looks pretty real, but sometimes it has kind of a white "glow" to it, like itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s always close to a fluorescent white light.Ã‚Â If they toned that down a touch, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d give it that matte sheen of leather perfectly.Ã‚Â The only one of his intros I remember is where he spreads his arms out to the sides in front of him, palms open and up, moving a little at the hips B.L. style, and says "LetÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s go, baby"or something like that.Ã‚Â One of his new victory poses is he steps back starting to turn away from the camera, then kicks way up right into the screen and says some shit.Ã‚Â Looks cool.Ã‚Â His hair looks really good and animates nicely.Ã‚Â The light catches the different layers. Like Sarah, I only played Jacky a little.Ã‚Â Most have talked about his new double middle kick, his low, high kick, and how his double low kick has been slowed down, though it knocks down.Ã‚Â You can recover easily so as not to get stomped.Ã‚Â After the kickflip he wipes his nose and says "Come on, boy".Ã‚Â IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m not sure if he has the sway hook kick (b+k) anymore, couldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t get it out.Ã‚Â He has some kind of auto reversal, I think itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s like b+PÃ¢â‚¬Â¦Ã‚Â Switching stance is now PKG, and it allows you to do it really quickly.Ã‚Â His new b+P+K+G stance is cool looking.Ã‚Â He steps back about 2/3rds of the way across the screen (about like HeihachiÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s shadow step, but straight back), and lifts his front leg.Ã‚Â You can then high or low kick.Ã‚Â Jeff goes into good detail about it in his report. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m not sure what his dodge attack is.Ã‚Â His charge that I saw is done by d/f+P, P+KÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s his quick hook to the body, then he kind of scoots forward while charging with his fists apart at his side, then hits.Ã‚Â I canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t remember what the hit looks like, I just remember the goofy charging animation. The Beat Knuckle looks good again, I think he lifts his back foot up a little like 2, no guard animation.Ã‚Â I didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t see too much else new for Jacky yet.Ã‚Â HeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s fun to use like Sarah.Ã‚Â The only new combo I did with him was Knee, (wall) b,b+P, d+K.Ã‚Â Style over damage, but I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t remember getting it off outside Megamix before.Ã‚Â Should be strong as he ever was. SHUN He really is a drunk monkey now.Ã‚Â He looks, moves, and acts like a monkey.Ã‚Â The first time I tried him, I said "Whoaa!Ã‚Â He feels so WEAK!"Ã‚Â This exemplifies something about VF4: all the characters FEEL really different.Ã‚Â Fast characters move fast, power guys hit hard.Ã‚Â They really did give them their personality back, and it transmits right into the joystick in a really tangible way.Ã‚Â When I took control of Shun, he felt really sluggish and light at first, just the way he looks.Ã‚Â But when you start entering commands, heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s quick and agile.Ã‚Â It feels like heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s drunk until he attacks, then heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s focused and sharp.Ã‚Â ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s about the coolest thing I "felt" when playing 4.Ã‚Â I was totally expecting to get my ass kicked, but I got a few wins! Shun is one of the better looking characters.Ã‚Â HeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s just really well realized all around.Ã‚Â YouÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve probably all seen the shots of his 1P, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s basically his classic yellow, green and red affair. His 2P is kind of a spin-off of his blue outfit in 3.Ã‚Â His top is dark blue and maroon, with light grey pants and high white socks with little brown kung-fu shoes. It looks kind of formal.Ã‚Â No hat, and his 2P sake bottle looks like white glass with a yellow marble pattern.Ã‚Â His face is almost hidden by his flowing beard and his eyes are sunken deep into his head.Ã‚Â He looks ancient, like he could drop dead any second.Ã‚Â When he drinks, he gets red quick as Yamcha said, hands included.Ã‚Â His voice isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t as squawky as in 3, and the only intro I remember is him getting up slowly from sleeping. Again, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m gonna deviate from what Jeff felt about Shun.Ã‚Â I thought the chouwan seemed totally improved in range and power, and it always gave me a good float.Ã‚Â I havenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t played enough Shun to say for sure, but it felt really positive, to me.Ã‚Â The other thing I noticed right away is his pounce, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s very quick and has big range now.Ã‚Â It reminds me of PaiÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s pounce.Ã‚Â I canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t imagine missing with it. Doing d+P+K+G causes Shun to sit down, not drink.Ã‚Â I couldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t get him to drink standing up.Ã‚Â And I think his sitting drink only gives 1 DP if I remember correctly (either that, or the P+G only gives 3).Ã‚Â He still has his K,PÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ strings from laying down.Ã‚Â When you fall down with d/b+K, (K), G, he doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t get up whenever you want, you have to wait a second now. The dodges are done with PKG, and you can go u/f,d/f/u/b, b or d/b.Ã‚Â I tried to do the JiJii Cyclone, but couldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t time it right.Ã‚Â If you P+K,K, the kick looks a little different.Ã‚Â He sort of kicks forward and drops his leg out from under himself.Ã‚Â Ã‚Â IfÃ‚Â you do PKG after the K, heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll go into the handstand.Ã‚Â His dodge attack is the old f+K+E, and his charge attack is a kind of elbow that winds up really slowly at full charge, and then comes up when it hits, turning.Ã‚Â The command is d/f+P+K, and like I said earlier, Yamcha and I dropped our jaws when we saw the full charge damage, over half. He has a new move with d/b+P+K that I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t understand at all.Ã‚Â He sort of winds around backwards moving his hands around him.Ã‚Â It looks like it could hit several times, but I only saw the last little flip of his hand hit once.Ã‚Â Maybe itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a stance.Ã‚Â I did a double cartwheel combo first try, and Noah did mule kick, P, d/f+P easily.Ã‚Â You can delay the sweep after his d/b+P way late.Ã‚Â Both he and the oppt. yell now while escaping his b+P+G throw.Ã‚Â CanÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t remember much else right now.Ã‚Â Shun is pretty neat-o in 4. Okay guys, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m gonna poop out a little here as IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve been typing for days trying to get this done and I canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t take it anymore.Ã‚Â I just want to breeze over Lion, Aoi and Lei-Fei to get to Akira.Ã‚Â Sorry if this is a letdown to anyone, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m exhausted.Ã‚Â If people want to hear about them or have questions let me know.