My little VF4 (test) rant...

Discussion in 'Junky's Jungle' started by feixaq, Aug 13, 2001.

  1. feixaq

    feixaq Well-Known Member

    First off, let me preface this rant by saying that VF4 is a *great* game and definitely worthy of the VF moniker... I just have a couple of gripes (totally IMHO, of course) that make me a little disappointed in the game. Of course, some or all of these issues may have been resolved in the final version (as opposed to the test version at SVGL), but I doubt it...

    In terms of playing background, I played Sarah and Lau in VF1, Akira, Kage and Lau in VF2 and VF3. (Of course, I played with all the other characters, but these were my go-to characters.)

    The play mechanics of VF4 emphasize short recovery times, nonguaranteed followups, fuzzy input, and nonproportional risk-reward ratios, making the game particularly masher or semi-masher friendly. Now, this is obviously not something new; the whole design of VF4 was to make it more accessible to new players and this has been noted in both interviews with AM2 and in plenty of posts on VFDC and other VF websites.

    Still, the *extent* of "accessibility" makes it pretty frustrating for those who are seeking to put in the extra time and effort to learn the game inside and out... more than any other VF game, it's quite possible for someone who has a marginal idea of how to play to beat a skilled player.

    It's interesting how you see the same pattern occur in game sequels... the original game has a cult following, the sequel is designed with more "game balance" and "accessibility" features that end up making it less appealing to hardcore players. Two examples:

    1. QuakeWorld had the almighty rocket launcher, from Quake 2 emerged the railgun gods. As for Quake 3...? Widely known as graphically superior, but the gameplay was so "balanced" that gameplay was bland compared to QW and Q2. You couldn't run routes because weapons spawned every 10 seconds, you couldn't hoard ammo, you couldn't get one-shot rail frags.

    2. Same thing with Tribes -- Mach V skiing, Heavy Offense cappers, etc. made it such a compelling FPS game that people have been playing it for 3 years. Tribes 2 on the other hand? HO has been nerfed, shrike interceptor has been nerfed, wildcat gravcycle has been nerfed, etc etc. Result: 4 months after its release, T2 is #5 on the GameSpy online charts (behind CS, Q3, UT, T1(!)), the entire development team has been fired, old school T1 vets don't particularly like the game, and all in all, it's nowhere near the online success that T1 was.

    My point being... some aspects of VF4 have been nerfed way too much, while other aspects have been powered up, such that the risk to reward ratio is out of whack. I don't proclaim to be a VF4 god, but I *have* spent approximately 45 hours playing VF4 test at Sunnyvale Golfland in the past week alone.

    Case in point: Kage. More specifically, his nerfed elbow. It really *is* bad. Don't let the Kyasao/Joh movie clip fool you, it has been toned down way too much (unless it comes out faster in the final version, but it doesn't look like it). You can't counter a blocked PPPd+K with an elbow. Bleh. In a matchup between Kage and Jeffrey, where both characters are duking it out up close and personal, you'd expect that Kage should have the upper hand in "hit" moves whereas Jeffrey should have the upper hand in "throw" moves. Nope. Jeffrey has better "hit" and "throw" moves, PLUS the moves all do comparatively more damage. Jeffrey's upper comes out faster and does more damage than Kage's elbow. Jeffrey's low kick does more damage. Jeffrey's b+P+G throw does the same damage as a TFT, Knee, PP,b+P,d+P+K,K and has better range to boot. (Don't even get me started on the df, df+P+G =)

    As a result, Kage players are *forced* to play a midrange game (which some may construe as cheap). db+K (throw-counterable), f,f,P+K+G (throw-counterable), df+P+K, uf+K+G... *sigh*. I can tack on exotic combos onto most float situations, but it still doesn't add up to a simple canned move by, say, Jeffry, Jacky or Lei Fei. *That*, IMHO, is an example of unbalanced risk-reward.

    How about the fact that Kage has to go into his Jumonjo stance to autoreverse high P with a crawl-between-legs move that takes off 10HP but no followup thereafter is guaranteed, whereas Jacky has an auto-inashi anytime that you can follow up with a df, df+P+G, or Lei Fei's independent stance that autoreverses ALL single-fist moves (high P, low P, elbows, you name it...) for 40 points damage?

    Case in point: Akira. Awesome character in VF 2.0, slightly toned down in VF 2.1, still an interesting character in VF3 with the guard breaks, PIT and DLC... but in VF4? Incredibly tough to play against an average Jacky, Pai, Jeffrey, Lion or Lei Fei. No more option select a la VF2, guard break is crap, surprise exchange and the PIT surprise exchange (f,b+P+G, d/u) BOTH have no guaranteed followups (although bodycheck is quite likely in the latter case), Akira special #3 gets taken OUT of the final version... all this means that Akira more or less has the same repertoire of moves as before, but most situations are no longer guaranteed... you had better be EXTREMELY proficient with the SPOD and DLC in a match situation to get anywhere with this guy =(

    Case in point: Lei Fei. Repeatedly pressing kick, with some knowledge of guarding against attacks, will get you pretty damned far. K --> (Miss stance) --> K --> (independent stance) --> K,K (regular stance)... that's a wide variety of moves just by mashing K. How about PP --> (independent stance) --> autoreverse all P except double-fisted moves? *sigh* Don't get me wrong, I *like* playing Lei Fei, but he's the new Jacky ^_^ (lots of powerful moves without a commensurate risk in execution/recovery phases). Not to mention VF4 test doesn't even include the combos that are in the final... uf+K+G PPP and df,df+P,P, d+P+K,P for example.

    Okay. Getting late, so I'll end this rant. Again, don't get me wrong, I love playing VF4. It's just frustrating some times that 2 out of 3 characters that I loved playing in VF2/3 are... shall we say... rather tame in VF4. Maybe the final version addresses some of these issues. And maybe getting my hands on the Arcadia book that gives frames for all moves will help shed some light on countering more effectively. I can only hope...
  2. Mr. Bungle

    Mr. Bungle Well-Known Member

    good post...

    just from following poorly translated japanese pages with babelfish, a seemingly huge amount has been changed since the test version. i think the version at svgl is very old, too, from around may.

    the joh_kyasao movie showed the TFT, knee, P, PPb+PK do ~90-100 points...elbow looks a bit better there, too. dunno, though. will have to see.
  3. ice-9

    ice-9 Well-Known Member

    I don't know if you guys noticed, but Kage's throwing range has been much improved. In that Joh/Kyasao clip, note how everytime after Kage staggered Jacky (elbow or sidekick) no dash is required for the throw. If this is the case, a weaker elbow may not be so bad after all, although whether or not the no-need-to-dash thing applies to all characters is a different matter.

    A lot of Chris' comments hit home to me, because what he felt was exactly how I felt when I played the test version in HK (check out my VF4 mammoth report). I thought Lei appeared excessive only because we didn't know how to stop him as we've only just begun playing...but that "final" clip (Lei versus Jacky) worried me. If that was really the championship match, there is cause for concern because that Jacky didn't seem as though he knew what to do against the Lei player, and I didn't think the Lei player did anything spectacular either.
  4. Chanchai

    Chanchai Well-Known Member

    Why lei scares me at the moment:

    -He has moves that at least look fast (maybe it's actually the Lion property or maybe they really are fast).
    -Combos to boot, among them.... imagining Kage's hop kick turned into a huge combo starter.... cringe.... (fortunately, a lot of them look OTB, I'm curious where quick rises apply in the final version)
    -Strings.... I'm thinking Soul Calibur here....
    -Range... his dashing punch seems like a nice move against those who love to ease the pressure off of themselves by backdashing, it's probably screwed by dodging though.
    -Reversals... what does this guy not have?!
    -Had to fight a masher scrub using a test version Lei on me.... Though I won the match, it was freaking annoying. Even "safety play" seemed hard to do.

  5. ice-9

    ice-9 Well-Known Member

    If I was playing that Lei player as Kage, I'd be on the lookout for those pesky stances. You wanna stance? Eat my f,f+P+K+G or my f,f+K+G damn it!
  6. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Just want to point out that, with new characters is that people are not so familiar with their moves:

    "does it hit high? low ? Oh darn, I forgot again."

    So, I 'd reserve judgement on Lei or Vanessa for that matter until a few months down the road.

    BTW, did I read the move list from Sega official website wrong for Akira, how come the HP reversal is both b+P+K and db+P+K. WTF, he reverse both high and mid with db+P+K?
  7. feixaq

    feixaq Well-Known Member

    I checked out the Joh/Kyasao clip again. Yeah, it does look like Kage's throwing range has gone up since the test version. (Right now, I have to dash in to throw with Kage in VF4 test.) Guess we'll have to get the Arcadia mook (okay, I give in, "mook" it is =) to get detailed throwing range data to corroborate.

    Also, the fact that Kage players have to use f,f+P+K+G or f,f+K+G much more frequently in VF4 just to stay in the game makes me shudder... these are high risk maneuvers, and being "forced" to use them as part of your regular arsenal of moves isn't exactly my cup of tea. (Again, this may have changed in the final version, so I'll stop griping already.)

    Other things that may have been mentioned before, but are worth repeating...

    1. Back throws are pretty much worthless now that you can escape back and side throws with P+G. (I escaped two Jeffrey backbreakers yesterday.) Better to go for a hard hitting move now...

    2. You can escape semicircle P+G throws with just the last joystick motion. e.g. escape Wolf's GS with f+P+G now

    3. I believe you can input two command throw escapes in VF4. e.g. vs Akira, df+P+G, f+P+G will stop the df+P+G, b,f+P+G, and db, f+P+G throws. Unsure whether you can tack on a regular P+G escape at the start to make it a triple throw escape.

    4. Jeffrey's failed pounce results in a stagger when recovering, but isn't a throw opportunity. (Urgh, I kept forgetting about this yesterday.) Use a hard hitting move instead.
  8. feixaq

    feixaq Well-Known Member

    Uh... I have a pretty good idea which Lei Fei moves hit high, mid and low. =) BTW, I found an interesting Lei Fei flowchart at :


    (Not all of the above work in the VF4 test version though.)

    I'm eager to see what Vanessa has to offer... she has the longest movelist of any character on the website.
  9. feixaq

    feixaq Well-Known Member

    <--- testing biopic :)
  10. Mr. Bungle

    Mr. Bungle Well-Known Member

    he actually does dash in, just not very far.
  11. Mr. Bungle

    Mr. Bungle Well-Known Member

    reversals are standardized now. b+P+K for H level moves, db+P+K for M level moves, d+P+K for low moves. so for example, akira would have to use db+P+K to reverse jacky's punt kick. and kage now has to use db+P+K to reverse M level single fist attacks (it's the same animation). pai has to use df+P+K to inashi elbows.
  12. ice-9

    ice-9 Well-Known Member

    Sure? I saw the movies on a pimply 800x600, 11-inch screen so I may have missed a step, but it seemed that Kyasao didn't dash in at all and that the movement forward was already part of the throw animation. Could be wrong though. Don't have the movie on this present computer, maybe someone can doublecheck.
  13. ice-9

    ice-9 Well-Known Member

    Just want to point out that folks in Japan good enough to get to the finals of a tournament should know by now what the levels of attack are.
  14. Guest

    Guest Guest

    It seemed to me that that Lei Fei player was a better player overall... he managed to successfully recover from staggers most of the time whereas the Jacky guy kept eating staggering low kicks and failed to recover from the staggers they caused. Although I'm sure a lot of that has to do with the lack of familiarity with Lei Fei's moves... did anyone else notice that his low crescent kick managed to sweep beneath Jacky's low punch at the beginning of Round 2?
  15. AlexMD

    AlexMD Well-Known Member Content Manager Lei

    "whereas the Jacky guy kept eating staggering low kicks"

    Speaking of which, DAMN I CAN'T BELIEVE THEY HAVE LOW STAGGERS NOW, oh well at least the final is out now so they can't add any more pinches of DOA to the mix /versus/images/icons/laugh.gif/versus/images/icons/laugh.gif
  16. Mr. Bungle

    Mr. Bungle Well-Known Member

    it's there, for both throws. it's very, very quick, very short. look at his feet twitch. i didn't quite so much mean dash as in dashing in half a meter, but the kind of dash you need to do, for example, in vf3 after blocking some moves. just the kind of dash you buffer in real quick to assure that you're in range.
  17. ice-9

    ice-9 Well-Known Member

    Ahh, soune. That doesn't make it as good, but the guessing game once the opponent is staggered definitely seems to have been improved for the attacker.
  18. CreeD

    CreeD Well-Known Member

    I remember the exact same comments being made when VF3 came out. Masher jacky players were the new satan, and one halfbaked moron can learn low kick--> throw and crush experienced players.
    The only thing that held true was that masher jacky players were still a little frustrating after a few months, and TB fixed that with double low kicks being toned down.

    This is going to sound almost a bit RSW-like, so I apologize in advance, but are you sure it's the masher's skill level that's the problem here? Or the character selection? You mention moves like f,f+PKG with Kage and I start to wonder if you're serious. Oh sure, I trust you that the elbow is toned down, but you can't just say "Don't let Kyasao fool you, it's unusable". ... sorry, but if Kyasao can use it vs. players with legitimate skill, surely you can't feel it's outside your ability to use it vs. so-so or crappy players.
    "b+P+G with jeff does more damage and range than the TFT"
    PLEASE! Come on, you know the TFT is the best throw in the game. I hate seeing 40% or more life disappear from a dinky b+P+G, u+P from jeffry too. But you will never RO with it half so much as with a TFT. I can't comment on damage except that the damage in the kyasao clup for a TFToD is still close enough to 50%.

    Re: Akira - SPoD and DLC has always been the name of the game with him.
    his guaranteed followups to various throws like SE and RBC were (almost) all gone by VF3TB. So does d+P+G, f,f+K no longer guaranteed? Does ST, SJK, DLC no longer work? If akira's short shoulder is tough to minor counter, I bet he's still a top tier character in a year.

    Don't be so easily discouraged. You *are* playing an unfinished version, and there's a good chance there will be a VF4 v.2 or TB out eventually to iron out any other cheapness. Meanwhile, if a scrub is still reaming you with button mashing, pick jacky and show him how it's done.

    <font color=blue size=11 face="Times New Roman">
    CreeD </font>(possible sig)
  19. feixaq

    feixaq Well-Known Member

    Um, you can't really RO with the TFT anymore because any decent challenger will always pick a walled arena vs Kage. Even in the open arenas, TFT Knee PPb+P d+P+KK doesn't travel very far. The farthest you can float an opponent, AFAIK, is TFT d+P+K P d+P+K P PPEK (against light characters). The fact that you can input double command throw escapes makes it tougher for Kage as well... been elbow staggered? Use b+P+G d+P+G and you avoid the 2 most damaging throws.

    Of course, Kage can always input f+P+G df+P+G or b+P+G df+P+G to counter Jeffrey's most common throws... BUT... given the increased ability to buffer crouch dash throws, and Jeffrey's better throwing range cf. Kage, and Jeffrey's upper executing faster than Kage's elbow or FC,df+P or df+P or f+P+K P+K or df+P+K, Kage really has to play a mid-range game now.

    Again, I would like to point out that all this is in VF4 test, not final, so things MAY indeed have changed for the better, and we'll know for certain once someone gets a hold of the frames from the Arcadia mook.

    SE followup not guaranteed
    RBC followup not guaranteed
    PIT SE followup uncertain (need to reconfirm bodycheck and SJK followups)
    PIT SE RBC followup uncertain (need to reconfirm b,f+P and SJK followups)
    d P G break guard followup uncertain ( SJK not guaranteed; need to reconfirm b,f+P followed by DLC OTB)
    ST followup uncertain (SJK, short shoulder, Yoho, single palm all not guaranteed, AFAIK, but I'll reconfirm)

    Ultimately, I'm not overly discouraged... just a little disappointed ATM with some of the mechanics/balance in VF4 test. I'm quite sure that given enough time, and perhaps after a revision or two, this won't be an issue, but for now, let me rant for just a wee bit /versus/images/icons/wink.gif

    P.S. Don't have a problem defeating true scrubs, but it's a heckuva lot harder to use Kage or Akira to defeat a Jeffrey or Lei Fei that has a rudimentary idea of game mechanics.

    P.P.S. I *can* use Jacky, but I have a longstanding dislike for this character since the PPEK and puntkicking days of VF1, so I try to avoid playing as him. I end up using Lau (which, I admit, is a lot more "accessible" now) or Wolf (all hail the P--GS or d+P--GS and the new dodge catchthrow!) to get 10-20 win streaks. The day I can achieve that with Kage or Akira, I'll be a happy camper! /versus/images/icons/laugh.gif

    P.P.P.S. Argh, I'm trying to edit this post and all the "+" characters get blanked out... *sigh*
  20. Guest

    Guest Guest


    His dashing punch can be stopped by a attack (I think by a middle attack). Also by escape. You can reverse it too.
    If blocked, the opponent will stagger.

    Reversals... Lei does have reversal. After P,P, Lei becomes a one leg stance. If the opponent executed a punch, Lei will grab it automatically. Only useful for a beginner tho..

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