MvC3 Showdown Spotlights: Final Round

Sumo = Me

Hey everybody, today wraps up my series of Showdown Spotlights over at Marvel.com.  It’s a shame I’m finished because I had a blast learning about some of the Capcom characters and it was wonderful being able to throw out my two cents on how the characters would play.

Now that so many people have the game, and so many more will have it tomorrow, we can see if anything I said actually carries any truth!  Again, I’d like to thank Ryan Penagos for giving me this opportunity and Harry Go for making such badass banners.  You sir, are a Jack-of-all-trades if I ever met one.  Now let’s go for a ride!

Thor vs. Amaterasu
MvC3 Showdown: Thor vs. Amaterasu
Who didn’t want to see these two divinities battle it out?  I have to give this one to Thor simply because I’m not incredibly familiar with Amaterasu’s abilities outside of MvC3 and I know that Thor is a freaking beast.  In game?  Ammy takes it in a rockalanche.

X-23 vs. Felicia
MvC3 Showdown Spotlight: X-23 vs. Felicia
The ultimate cat battle.  These girls both have claws, they both look good, and they’re both fierce in a fight.  In-game I’ll give this to X-23 due to her crazy mixups but outside, no I’ll give that to X-23 too.  Felicia might have some nifty little abilities but nothing that compares to unbreakable razor-sharp adamantium claws and an amazing healing factor.

Captain America vs. Wesker
MvC3 Showdown: Captain America vs. Wesker
Probably my favorite match up since I feel like it’s so even.  Super soldier vs. mutated freak show manipulator deviant.  I want to give this to Cap cause I know he’s got the heart to get this one done but Wesker…  I mean he’s a bastard!  Nope, still giving it to Cap.  Anyone who takes down the Red Skull can take down some mutated virus jockey.  If anyone was wondering though, I think this was the most even poll, with Cap eeking out a win with 50.07 % of the votes!

Deadpool vs. Dante
MvC3 Showdown: Deadpool vs. Dante
I suppose this match up just had to happen but I wasn’t the one that wanted to see it.  I can’t remember who I had these two up against initially but I was foolish to believe they could be kept apart.  Dante takes this no questions asked.  He has Pooly outclassed in nearly every department except for annoying factor.  Dante ftw.

Taskmaster vs. Crimson Viper
MvC3 Showdown: Taskmaster vs. C. Viper
This one isn’t too difficult to call, especially since C. Viper is just a normal human.  Taskmaster can easily use his superior fighting skills and weapons to bring her down.  I’m not saying that she wouldn’t put up a great fight, but Tasky has tangoed with some of the best that the Marvel U has to offer and those guys would squash her.  Tasky takes it.

Magneto vs. Arthur
MvC3 Showdown: Magneto vs. Arthur
Harry made the best banner for this match up, bar none.  Arthur poking Mags in the eye with his lance?  Awesome.  I put these two together simply for shits and giggles.  I loved how much pluck Arthur showed in that one game trailer as he charged Magneto with his fire bottle.  Heh.  Anyway, the Master of Magnetism crushes Arthur in his metal armor.  Done.  (However would the magic armor pose a problem?)

Phoenix vs. Chun-Li
MvC3 Showdown: Phoenix vs. Chun-Li
Again, another cat fight, but this one is a little more one-sided.  Now I hate playing as or against Chun-Li in ANY fighting game, so I may be biased, but Phoenix wins this one.  She doesn’t even have to touch Chun to get the knockout, just hit her with stuff, choke her with telekinesis, or make her forget all of her martial arts training.  Sorry Chun, or am I >:)?

Sentinel vs. Hsien-Ko
MvC3 Showdown Spotlight: Sentinel vs. Hsien-Ko
Now I personally think that almost every character on the roster, except for maybe the base-line humans, would own a Sentinel.  Honest to goodness, unless you’re dealing with some of the more suped up varieties, or Bastion/Nimrod, a normal Sentinel is just a big pile of metal waiting to be sent to the scrap heap.  And Hsien-Ko has cool powers.  Hsien-Ko FTW!

Well ladies and gentlemen, that’s it for this guy.  Now I’m probably going to go back to my standard one article a week schedule for the wonderful Marvel.com but this was totally fun while it lasted!  Hope you guys enjoyed the showdowns and voted and all that jazz and maybe I’ll be able to hook everyone up with some more cool stuff once the game is in everyone’s hands.

PEACE!!!

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I GOT IN TO GRAD SCHOOL!

A while back I did a two-part post that basically broke down my reasons for wanting to attend grad school at Michigan State University and how I was going to go about achieving that goal.  You can check out those posts here for numero uno and here for number 2.  Well I have good news: I GOT IN! Not too shabby for a guy who’s been graduated for almost two years now.

I got the e-mail and subsequent letter about three weeks ago and since then I’ve been trying to figure out if I should go.  My dad has this nasty tendency of making me second guess myself at every major event in my life (something I’m almost grateful for) and he seems convinced that grad school might not be the best decision.  Why?  1) It’s expensive.  2) It takes two years.  3) It won’t guarantee me a job.

Yes, all three of those things are absolutely true but I have to throw my own counter-points out there.  1) I can get a TA-ship and have tuition paid for and get a little extra on the side and if that fails obviously I can get loans and apply for scholarships.  2) For two years I’ll be able to fully engross myself in comics, publishing, editing, and the realm of digital rhetoric, preparing me more fully for the industry I’m going to be working in come graduation.  2 years is a blessing as far as I’m concerned.  3)  I have no answer to this one.  There are no guarantees in life and no one owes me anything, but I will get a job.  I know that.

I suppose really, grad school is what I want.  It’s what I moved back home to Michigan to do.  I was accepted to a highly competitive Masters program in Digital Rhetoric and Professional Writing, less than 18% of people who applied got in, and I was one of those lucky few.  I’m proud of the work I put in and proud that the Graduate Committee saw some merit and potential in my application.  This is what I want.  BRING IT ON!

Marvel vs. Capcom 3 Showdown Spotlights: Round 2

Me = Sumo

Hey there duders, this week we saw a whole slew of brand new MvC3 Showdown Spotlights on Marvel.com written by yours truly.  Once again I gotta give a shout out to my awesome editor, Ryan Penagos, for giving me this opportunity and also the ineffable Harry Go for making such striking graphics.

Also, I think I’ll just write a couple of sentences on why some characters were matched up with others and shed a little light on my thinking, or lack there of as it were.  Also, feel free to comment on any of these match-ups because gosh knows some of you are going to have something to say.  AWAY WE GO!

Spider-Man vs. Zero
MvC3 Showdown Spotlight: Spider-Man vs. Zero
Alright, so these two characters were part of the last bundle of the roster that hadn’t been matched up yet so I thought, “Why not?”  Zero is a robot with a laser sword and an energy blaster.  Spider-Man has fought cyborgs with those same exact weapons a million times over.  I thought this would be a no-brainer for Spidey but man was I wrong.  Fans totally picked Zero.  I wonder why?

Dormammu vs. Morrigan
MvC3 Showdown Spotlight: Dormammu vs. Morrigan
I had these two going up against each other because they’re both creatures of magic, demons of the highest order.  However, at the end of the day I gave this to Dormammu.  Unless Morrigan dug deep and unlocked her full potential (which has been rumored to equal Pyron’s planet-destroying power) the Lord of Chaos has this easy.

Shuma-Gorath vs. Chris Redfield
MvC3 Showdown: Shuma-Gorath vs. Chris Redfield
This match-up came down to pure appearances: Shuma looks exactly like something you’d find crawling out of a burning Umbrella research facility.  He’s big, green, and tentacle-y.  Chris shoots, flamethrows, and knifes nasty things like that every day of his god dang life.  However, Shuma-Gorath is also a uber-powerful demon who could smoosh Chris into oblivion.  Shuma ftw.

She-Hulk vs. Spencer
MvC3 Showdown Spotlight: She-Hulk vs. Spencer
I was swayed to pit these two against each other purely for alliterative purposes.  I like the way those S’ sound.  She-Hulk vs. Spencer, yeah, I stand by that decision.  Unfortunately Shukie takes this one in a landside.  Sure Spencer’s gone up against some pretty heavy shit, but he’s never gone hand-to-hand with someone who can smash mountains.  She-Hulk would have no problem ripping his bionic arm off.  However, if Rad got the drop on Jen, well then it would be all over for her alter-ego.

Doctor Doom vs. Jill
MvC3 Showdown: Doctor Doom vs. Jill
Ok, I feel bad about this one.  I really do.  Jill doesn’t stand a chance.  At all.  My thinking going into it was that Jill has fought these sort of world domination types before, why not have her throw down with Doom?  My brain must have been running on empty.  Jill is buried in a rockalanche.

Storm vs. Trish
MvC3 Showdown Spotlight: Storm vs. Trish
Two words: Cat fight.  That was literally the only thinking that I had behind this duel.  Storm is a good looking lady, Trish is a good looking demon.  Who do you think would win?

And that’s this past week’s Marvel vs. Capcom 3 Showdown Spotlights from Marvel.com!  Be sure to check out a new Showdown every day leading up to a short nine days away!

MvC3 Character Analysis: Akuma

Enter the Raging Demon!

The supreme master of the Dark Hadou enters the ring ready to test his martial might against the best fighters the Marvel universe has to offer.  Will any of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes stand a chance against Capcom’s Raging Demon?

First Impressions: I cannot stand Akuma in any Street Fighter game, I’d like to get that out of the way right now, but I LOVE the way he looks in MvC3!  Those combos off of his Hurricane Kick look wicked and Demon Flip mix-ups that combo?  Get out of town son.  Prepare to die a thousand deaths in an instant!

Video 1

Video 2

Video 3

Normals
Akuma has very fast normals, his jab is sickeningly quick, and his sweep combos into his launcher which is always a plus (Video 1 – :22).  His aerial combo finisher lets you OTG with either of his aerial beam/fireball hypers making Akuma a ridiculous threat once he’s got you airborne (Video 1 – :53).  On the ground he can combo into his Messatsu-Goshoryu (Uppercut hyper) from a very simple normal combo (Video 2 -:55).  Unfortunately he has virtually no range on any of his attacks besides his low sweep, and even that’s not saying much.

He also a command normal, at least that’s what it looks like.  He basically does a jumping spin kick that can be comboed into and cancelled into Hyakkishu (Demon Flip) mix-ups (Video 1 – :29, Video 2 – 2:01) as well as into hypers (Video 1 – :45).  It has a decent amount of start-up so you don’t want to be using this outside of combos.  Just like in MvC2 Akuma has quick normals but no real range to speak of.  Hopefully that’s where you can substitute Demon Flip shenanigans, air fireballs, and assists to get him in close.

Specials
Gohadoken and Zanku Gohadoken
A standard fireball that can be shot on the ground (Video 2 – 2:10) and downward at a 45 degree angle in the air (Video 2 – :16).  The move does great chip and decent damage (Video 2 – :20) but the ground version ends combos because of its recovery.  The aerial version is good for protecting yourself on jump ins.  It comes out fast, covers a decent portion of the screen, does great chip (Video 2 – :20) and sets you up for combos if it hits.
Seriously look at Video 2 at :20 and watch how much damage it does to Thor on hit and block!

It seems possible that the Zanku Hadoken (air fireball) might possibly OTG (Video 2 – :20) but upon further examination it looks like his air beam hyper hits Thor first and the fireball just tacks on another hit.  The Gohadoken is a fairly standard projectile but the great chip damage and the fact that it lets Akuma get in close make it an invaluable asset in his arsenal.

Title for Akuma's next platinum album? Purple Flame

 

Goshoryuken
Akuma’s shoto-uppercut, he jumps in the air his extended arm covered in infernal purple energy (Video 1 – :30).  It looks like it does great damage and can be comboed into off of a Zanku Gohadoken as you saw in that clip.  Probably not the greatest of combo enders, especially when you take into account Akuma’s great relaunch and OTG game, but use it if you can’t think of anything else to do.  Outside of combos it looks like it might be a good anti-air with some decent priority but who knows, we’ll just have to wait and see.

Tatsumaki Zankukyaku
Oh man, this is the move that gets me excited!  Akuma does a standard shoto-Hurricane Kick but this gets the opponent airborne and allows for some absolutely NASTY combos all potentially ending in OTG beam/fireball hypers (Video 1 – :39).  Light hits once (Video 1 – :41), medium hits three times (Video 2 – :44), and hard hits five times (Video 2 – :34).  It does great damage and it looks like every single version, light to hard, allows for a launch if you can time your dash into jab -> launcher, or just dash -> launcher, correctly, though the timing might be a little strict.

Awww yeah time for some big damage!

The shenanigans Akuma sets up on She-Hulk in Video 1 at :39 are disgusting!  He launches her and hits her with a hard Hurricane Kick, lands before her, hits her with a light Hurricane Kick, and then launches her for an air combo.  That almost seems like it could be done into infinitum: launch -> air hard Hurricane -> ground light Hurricane -> launch -> air hard hurricane etc. etc.  It does great hit stun from the air allowing for combos on grounded opponents and might possibly cross up (Video 1 – :51).  Lastly, the aerial versions (at least the light one for sure) have virtually no recovery time allowing Akuma to combo right after landing (Video 2 – 2:03).  I LOVE THIS MOVE!!!

Hyakkishu (Demon Flip)
Akuma jumps into the air and from this special jump he has 3 different options for attack.  Also, I think that the range for the leap is determined by the strength of the button pushed, but regardless he can:

Hyakki Gosho – Akuma performs a downward palm strike.  This attack causes a downward wall bounce if utilized in combos and can be cancelled and comboed into after his spin kick command normal (Video 1 – :29).  So I suppose that clears up one thing – Akuma is still considered grounded during his command normal even though he looks airborne…  Good to know.  This move comes out really quick and might act as an overhead?  Adds a little variety to Akuma’s combos.

 

I am kicking you in the head!

Hyakki Gojin – Akuma performs a dive kick at a 45 degree angle (Video 1 – :24).  Looks like he can actually use this to OTG into a downward wall bounce for more shenanigans!  It doesn’t cause a downward wall bounce on a standing or crouching enemy but they can be comboed afterwards (Video 2 – 2:20).  This also looks like it might hit overhead but that’s probably asking a little too much.  Last bit, at 2:20 in Video 2 one of his Hyakki Gojin has purple flames and one doesn’t.  I’m thinking that the strength of the button pushed during the Demon Flip determines whether or not your next attack gets the purp!  STD reference kinda sorta!

Hyakki Goho: I think there may have been a typo in the Reviewer’s Guide I received because I can’t find a Hyakki Goho anywhere!  It’s executed using hard attack out of the Hyakkishu but… Is this supposed to be his throw?  The sliding low kick?  I can’t find any evidence of it in the videos either.  If anyone has any idea what this is I would greatly appreciate some info and of course I’ll give you credit!

The only problem I see with the Hyakkishi is the delay in midair on the hard attack version (Video 2 – 2:20).  Akuma literally just hangs in mid-air for a second which opens up a lot of punishment possibilities for his enemies.  Other than that this moves looks solid and the fact that you can combo into it and OTG for a wall bounce is beastly!

Ashura Senku
Akuma does his patented teleport away from enemies or toward them and is completely invincible during the duration of the move (Video 1 – :36).  This is great for getting out of potentially sticky situations but don’t be teleporting willy nilly.  It is punishable and smart opponents will hit you with a hyper during your recovery.  Not much else to say.

You're going to be seeing this A LOT!

Hypers
Messatsu-Gohado Agyo/Ungyo
These are Akuma’s ground-based beam and fireball hypers (Video 1 – :34, Video 3 – 2:23).  You perform Ungyo by holding the attack button.  They do great damage, great chip, and they’re relatively easy to cancel into.  If you need some quick and dirty damage throw one of these out there.  I’m sure you’ll be able to connect one off of his Hurricane Kicks and his standard normal strings that end in Gohadokens.  However, I’m not quite sure the pros and cons of the beam version vs. the fireball version.  Does one do more damage?  One do more chip?  I suppose the fireballs cover a greater area but hit less consistently.  Other than that?

Tenma-Gozanku Agyo/Ungyo (in the air)
Akuma’s bread and butter beam/fireball aerial hypers that he fires off at a downward 45 degree angle.  Connect these off of any hard aerial combo finisher to OTG or during any air combo.  So far I’ve noticed that Akuma only uses the beam version for the OTG (Video 1 – :55, Video 2 – :24, Video 2 – :46, Video 2 – 2: 27), and the fireballs in air combos (Video 2 – 2:06, Video 3 – 1:19).  I’m not quite sure why though.  Regardless, they do great damage and there are so many different ways to set them up!  I have a feeling Akuma is going to want to spend a lot of time in the air just so he can use these.  They’re so freaking versatile!  ‘Nuff said.

Messatsu-Goshoryu
Akuma does three super powerful uppercuts while cloaked in purple flames (Video 1 – :45).  He can cancel his command spin kick into this and the damage is good but why waste meter on it when you can rack up the combo meter and lay into them with some air beam/fireball madness?  Unless this move has some great invincibility, opens up all-new combo opportunities, or works well as a DHC/THC I don’t see it being used quite as much as his beam and fireball hypers.

Welcome to Heaven baby.

Shun Goku Satsu, The Raging Demon Level 3
I don’t know what I can really say about this.  If you play fighting games you should know exactly what it is.  Akuma teleports forward and grabs his enemy unleashing a thousand blows in an instant and doing massive damage (Video 1 – :58).  It looks like it moves WAY quicker than in SSF4 and is invincible at least in the beginning.  He goes through Doom’s Photon Array hyper and Tron’s Bonne Strike and it still connects (Video 3 – 2:13).  It does good damage (not epic ridiculous like I was imagining though), is invincible at start, and goes full screen.  Not only that but it looks amazing, if a little too short.  Use it only when you know it’ll hit: behind lock down assists, during hyper recovery, that sort of thing.

Assists
Gohadoken
Since we haven’t seen any of these in the videos I’m guessing he just does a standard Gohadoken.  Good for pressure and extending ground combos.  Nothing special.

Tatsumaki Zankukyaku
His Hurricane Kick assist.  Probably the medium version, hits 3 times, and puts the enemy into an aerial juggle state.  Probs.

Hyakki-Gojin
Akuma uses his dive kick.  I wonder if this hits overhead because if it does… oh man!  Again, we haven’t seen it in any videos but it could possibly OTG in combos giving a downward wall bounce.  Take all this with a grain of salt.

Miscellaneous
I think Akuma looks awesome.  His Shun Goku Satsu black screen beatdown could be a little longer but otherwise I have no complaints.  Oh and it doesn’t look like he takes damage worse than a newborn infant!  I wanna play this cold mother fudger!

Final Thoughts
Akuma looks terrifying!  One combo and you’re in the air and if Akuma has any meter at all you’re looking at a guaranteed hyper.  He does good damage, doesn’t get knocked over by a strong breeze, has very versatile aerial options and hypers, a mostly invincible and very quick Level 3, and a ton of ways to get in and do damage.  His air fireball puts the opponent on the defensive and Demon Flip shenanigans help to close the distance if a little obvious and punishable.  Hurricane Kicks = amazing.

The downside is that he needs to get REALLY close to do damage because his normals have absolutely no range.  You’re going to have to get creative finding ways to rush down characters like M.O.D.O.K., Chris, and Dormammu with their excellent keep away games.  Other than that Akuma looks solid and a very real threat.  I can’t wait to play this guy!