Since I'm on a "high" with the cool debut of this board, I thought I'm going to do that report on NYG right here right now, even though I have this huge pile of homework I really should be getting to. /images/icons/crazy.gif <u>THE NEW YORK GATHERING AWARDS</u> I'm going highlight the Gathering by giving out "awards". I will probably write an alternative version that is set in "diary" form some time later. Best Player Debut Since many of us have already played each other, only a few VFers at NYG fall into this category. But the winner, I think we will all have to agree, would have to be HIRO. His amazing ability to predict crouch dashes and escapes makes his Wolf incredibly deadly. Hiro has no problems taking huge risks in order to pull of huge moves. His style makes him an interesting but difficult player to defeat. Also, Hiro is able to play with all the characters with incredible efficiency, which adds great variety whenever the environment became stale (i.e. when there are too many Kages, heh heh). The strategies, combos, and uramawari that he is familiar with for all the characters is mind boggling. Best Character Debut This is no contest. By far, the "new" character that made the most impact would have to be Harold's (aka Kageh) Sarah. Sarah had been a secondary character for Harold, but he had never really played her in much depth prior to NYG. In fact, I can remember him asking me what good combos/strategies he can use with Sarah at the beginning of the Gathering! Harold's primary character was Kage, but because there were so many Kages at the Gathering he decided to try Sarah instead. His Sarah turned out to be very strong indeed, and had the skills to hang with the big boys and rack up a few wins of his own, even against the likes of Hiro, Sumeragi, and Shota. There is little doubt that Harold's Sarah is more dangerous than his Kage. Harold has perhaps the deadliest Sarah in the U.S. that I have seen. Most Oohs and Ahhs of the Show The most stylistic player at NYG would have to be New York's own Nelson, who played a mean and dancing Shun. People may know how to play Shun, but Nelson is the only true master of the character that I have seen in this country. You can clearly see this with some of the stuff that Nelson does with Shun that is not applicable to other characters. His play at the Gathering reaffirmed my belief that his Shun is the most complete in this nation. Disappointments of the Show Would have to be the Boston Crew, for having to leave so early. Argh! I wanted to play with you guys some more...at least on a more private basis. The best matches, I will continue to maintain, take place among small groups. Saturday night was probably the busiest of the Gathering, and it was hard to really get to know how others played based on that. The most intense matches are usually the ones held into the wee hours of the morning...Hiro, Sumeragi, Harold, Shota and I will gravely attest to that. It was Hiro's Wolf, Sumeragi's Lau, Harold's Sarah, and my Kage facing off until dawn broke Sunday morning. Awesome!! /images/icons/cool.gif Most Changed Character As if Sumeragi's Lau wasn't scary enough, it got a whole lot deadlier during the Gathering. Sumeragi's Lau is awesome, but it because a lot more dangerous after some feedback from Hiro. Sumeragi had a few weaknesses/patterns in his game before, but they were largely eliminated after his Lau shifted emphasis from the elbow-palm to punching rushes. Dangerous, dangerous. I had to drastically change the way I played to even stand a chance. My Kage, also after some feedback from Hiro, became a lot "safer" and I tried not to Korean Step as much. The new style, which I debuted on Monday/Tuesday, was effective on some players and not so for some. Heh heh, but that's what being able to adapt means doesn't it? Most Absent of the Show This is tied between Shota and Adam. Although both attended the Gathering, neither played as much as most others did. Hmmm...could it be that both of them had girlfriends at the Gathering? OK OK, I'll say no more. /images/icons/wink.gif Most Improved Player This would definitely be Shitzumon. At the beginning of the Gathering, Shitzumon didn't seem to have as much control as he wanted in his gameplay, but by the end of the gathering, both Shota and I were amazed by his progress. His Jeffry was very respectable by the time the end of the Gathering drew near. Most Feared Player Ahh, this would probably be RSW with his kick flip Kage. /images/icons/smile.gif You know it's coming...but you just can't avoid it!! I would have loved to be able to play RSW's Kage some more, but unfortunately he had to leave early. Surprise of the Show I must tip my hat to Red Ken, aka Jenny from Boston. Girls that play games are already rare here in the U.S., but girls that are able to play VF just absolutely floor me. /images/icons/blush.gif Jenny played a pretty cool Pai, and just about destroyed Andy and me. /images/icons/mad.gif Always a pleasant person to be around with, it was too bad that she had to leave early with the Boston Crew. Jenny, here's to hoping that you can join us again at future gatherings. /images/icons/smile.gif Well, that just about wraps it up. I really apologize things have been going so slow on my part. Again, I don't have a computer set up yet so it has been basically impossible to update the site and implement the redesign. Hopefully, things will begin moving soon. I really apologize for all the ranting and raving I've inflicted on all the poor individuals at the Gathering! /images/icons/tongue.gif Your feedback into this site has been really valuable, and I really look forward to incorporating them soon. Lastly, but most importantly, a huge word of thanks must go out to Adam, Elise, Andy, and Shota for organizing this event and making it work. My stay at New York was nothing less than superb, and the New York Crew were the perfect hosts. So, once again, thanks NYC, thanks Shota.