Monday, May 7, 2012

Episode 7: A Certain Skullgirls Impression

Doing a better job in maintaining the blog, aren't I? Well I figured since with the semester being over next week I figured I'd have more free time to keep the blog up to at least an semi-weekly basis. Now with that out of the way let me go over my impressions on Skullgirs in greater detail since last post was to focus primarily on what happened in the past 2 1/2 years.

     Well as you know, Skullgirls has been out for almost a month now and I know a bit more about the game now than what I knew in my last blog post. Like I said in my last post I really didn't have any intentions on taking this game seriously, much less playing the game at all. The first time I played the game was at Frosty Faustings 4 and to be honest I wasn't really attentive when I played the game there. I sort of just mashed in order to kill the time while waiting for my MB matches to come up. None of the characters released at the time interested me and I really didn't follow any of the games mechanics so naturally I got scraped pretty badly. I always thought the game could've been fun, but I never took VS games with any amounts of seriousness and knowing that Skullgirls was just that I just let it passed me by at the time. I really didn't bother to do any sort of research for the game until the day the game came out when I decided to give the game a fair chance. I looked at the characters released, looking to see who I liked to play and at the time I really took a liking to Filia and Valentine since they were described as mixup / rushdown oriented characters. From there I decided to look into the mechanics of the game and the one thing that interested me the most was that you could actually decide and play a one man team. Now in case you didn't know, I'm not exactly one to learn multiple characters. I usually pick one and stick with her. Melty Blood? Ciel. Third Strike? Ibuki. Arcana Heart 3? Weiss. You get the idea. I figured with me going into a game that's completely out of my field I should at least try to run a two man team so I decided to run Filia / Valentine. Well that sort of changed a couple of days after playing the game and noticing that my Filia was leveling up while my Valentine stayed a meat shield. It also didn't help that most I played online and offline couldn't get past my Filia so it was then that I decided to run Filia solo and yes people told me that was a bad idea, but me being stubborn I decided to let it rock and it wasn't until Power Up 2012 that I found out that running her as a solo character was a TERRIBLE, TERRIBLE IDEA.

      Let me give you a quick rundown with Filia. She's a rushdown character with amazing mixup in the corner and strong 50/50's midscreen. The bad? Well...everything else actually. Her ground normals are terribly unsafe with the exception of her jabs, lights, and standing MP. On top of unsafe normals, she can't safely cancel her normals into her specials since they're either terrible on block or have punishable startup. she gets around this by having an assist of sorts to extend her ground pressure or to make her advances safe. Her normals aren't very good in neutral either since she has such short limbs on most of her normals and they're not active for a very long time, with the exception being J.HP being her best means to approach in most neutral situations. Now because of both her air and ground normals being very sub-par this limits her approach to air dashing and hitting j.HP and despite it being one of her best normals, it can still lose to much better normals and simply out spaced by jumping back and tagging her. Again this can mostly be covered up by having an assist of some kind. Another issue I'm seeing with her is that her good hit confirmable normals (j.MP and cr.MK) prorates her damage to hell which sucks because you use those two normals a lot as part of her combos and it really hurts her damage potential midscreen. Her damage in the corner however is very strong and it leads to reset city so if you're a fellow Filia player be sure to take advantage of that. Overall I think she's a pretty strong mixup / rushdown character ONLY if she has an assist to cover for her glaring weaknesses. Otherwise I feel that you really gimp yourself by running her solo and playing an ineffective rushdown character with absolutely nothing safe.

     Since I talked about Power Up in my last post I'm not going to go into detail about it other than the fact I ran into a lot of Parasoul players running her 2nd. It was then that I decided I had to have an assist backing Filia's advances on top of making her safe during pressure so I figured I may as well try Parasoul. Let me get this out of the way now...I hate this character in every conceivable way imaginable. I hate her playstyle. I hate her design. I hate her combos. The only reason I'm using her is because she's an amazing assist that Filia can really benefit from. Yes you can make an argument about Cerecopter and Hornet Bomber, but I can't play grapplers and I can't get the grasp of Double's entire design at all so I figured I'd go with the lesser of 3 evils and play a zoning'esque type of character. I've never played a zoning character with any amount of seriousness before so when I'm at neutral with her my mind sort of goes derp. My thought process in playing fighting games is to go the fuck in and beat my opponent before I have to deal with any of their BS. It's how I went about playing MB and for the most part it worked out for me and the characters I play. With Parasoul however she's not really meant to go in like that, but play neutral and let the opponent mess up. I'm not one to let my opponent mess themselves up and if I still can't get in the process of just chilling back and chucking projectiles since I really don't use projectiles in that manner with F-Ciel and Ibuki's projectiles are meant to start her rushdown. At this point I'm still using her, but to be honest she's nothing more than a meat shield who I use in the same manor MvC2 players use CapCom or Psylocke AA assist.

     Now I know I've gone on about my characters and how I feel about them so now I'll go on about how I feel about the game and where do I see myself going with Skullgirls. Despite some of the popular issues I see in the game (mainly Peacock and Double assist) I love the game. I didn't expect to like this game anywhere near the amount I like it now. I was sort of going to play Skullgirls with the intent of just playing the game on the side, but after playing the game as long as I have I can safely see myself making this as main game. Despite not having a strong local scene for the game, the netcode for the game is simply the best I've played in ANY fighter and the players I play online and offline whenever I can make a trip to Columbus makes it worth sticking with it. If I didn't like Skullgirls as much as I did I'd honestly say I would be done with FGs on a competitive level since there's not really any other fighter getting released in the near future that I'm crazy for, except MAYBE Persona 4: Arena. With all that said...thank you for reading the blog post and good night!