Tag Archives: sumoslamman

UMvC3 – Frank West Madness – They See Me Rollin’


The man with the plan, the savior of Willamette Parkview Mall, the one and only Frank West runs point on my totally awesome UMvC3 team.  Why?  First and foremost it’s tons of fun finding new ways to level him up.  Second, he has really fun combos and surprising mix-up ability.  Third, Level 4 and 5 Frank is an absolute beast.

Below I’m going to go over Frank’s movement.  I know what you’re thinking, “an entire post dedicated to Frank moving around?”  He has more tricks than you might think, not all of them useful, but if we’re getting down and dirty with Mr. West why not go for broke?

On the Ground
Frank’s walk speed isn’t really anything to write home about and neither is his standard jump.  His wave dash on the other hand is pretty alright and can help you connect combos you couldn’t otherwise.

The Slide (D+H): Online you’re going to see Frank users whipping this bad boy out all the time.  It goes under a fair amount of projectiles, has decent range and priority, and is kinda safe.  Great for dodging projectiles and scoring that first hit.

The Slide (Level 4-5): The range increases, allowing for projectile punishes at longer ranges.

Desk shows off some more creative ways to use Frank’s slide while chucking zombies.  I’ve never tried to use this in a match but it looks kinda awesome.

The Roll – Level 2+
The roll makes Frank’s ground game a million times better.  The roll gives him access to mix-ups, makes his block strings safe(r), and gives him a legitimate way to avoid just about anything his opponent throws at him.  You can even power through nearly full screen beam hypers by rolling, x-factoring, and rolling again into Survival Techniques, as Yoshinator demonstrates in this little clip

Use it after a kneedrop to get you out of some sticky situations, use it in the corner on incoming characters for some mixup shenanigans, use it behind assists to cover your approach, it’s a poor man’s excuse for a teleport but god dang we’ll take it!

Air Mobility
I know what you’re thinking, “Air mobility?”  What I mean here has nothing to do with air dashes, hovering, or teleports, because Frank can’t do any of that crap.  He can however, drastically alter his momentum once he takes to the skies.  His air mobility doesn’t change as his level increases.

Air Tools of Survival L (QCF L): Frank breaks out the plunger/broom/paddle saw and attacks, which halts all of his forward momentum and causes him to remain stationary in the air.  This is great to avoid chip from horizontal style hypers like the Metsu Hadoken, Goddess Bracelet, you know.  Granted if you’re super jumping over the beam already…  Well it’s always good to have options right?

Air Tools of Survival M: Frank hauls off and swings for the fences.  Again, his forward momentum stops and he plummets to the ground.  You can still attack while falling, after you recover of course, so you’re not completely helpless but you’re probably going to only want to do this one in combos.  If you need extra airtime definitely use the L version.

Air Kneedrop (D+H): Frank loses all of his forward momentum and plummets to the ground, scoring a hard knockdown if he connects with the enemy’s noggin which opens up opportunities for photographs, Tools of Survival H, or assists to continue the combo.  There aren’t all that many hypers this move will help you avoid (if any?) but it’s a great option when your opponent is just holding down/back and it comes out quick enough to surprise the occasional turtler.

Ok, in the next post I’ll break out some of my own strategies for landing that elusive hit and some combos I rely on when I finally get in.  As always if you have any questions, comments, or whatever feel free to type something down below.  You can follow me on Twitter at KingofBreaker for tons of fighting game coverage and other such stuffs’Til next time freaks and geeks!


SumoSlamMan’s UMvC3 Team Breakdown – Frank, Thor, Ghost Rider

What’s up everybody?  I know it’s been a long time since I’ve posted anything, seriously about a month, and I want to rectify that immediately, this being a new year and all.  I want to talk about my main team in Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Frank, Thor, Ghostrider.  This series of articles will attempt to examine each character’s strengths and weaknesses, assist abilities, their positions on the team, and my priorities with each.

Part 1: The Overview

This team is built to get Frank to Level 4 off of any stray hit.  Frank rocks the point position, Thor backs him up with Mighty Spark, and Ghost Rider waits in the wings with Chain of Rebuttal at the ready.  This team has some really surprising synergy too.  Their DHCs work well enough, it’s pretty easy pumping Frank up to Level 3/4, and Frank and Thor’s assists are great for whatever character is on point. At this point Ghost Rider feels like a rather one-dimensional character and I’m really only using him for his assist (thinking about changing it up to Rocket Raccoon soon), but I really enjoy leveling up Frank, their DHCs are definitely workable, and I like playing with such a unique team so on with the show!

Frank West works point

The Point Man

Why do I play Frank on point?  Well next to Thor, Frank is my favorite character in this game.  He’s got a ton of fun and useful special moves, he can relaunch out of nearly any situation, he has an anti-air hyper, he can toss zombies at the enemy, and when you put in the work he becomes an absolute monster at Levels 4 and 5.

Frankly (pun intended) as noted above, the point of this team is to get Mr. West to Level 4-5 off of any hit.  As long as my two assists are alive that’s totally possible.  That being said  I don’t have a ton of advice for playing Frank alone because very rarely does Frank find himself without backup in my matches.  I don’t mean that I’m so stunningly great that Frank always has assists, it’s just that he’s usually the first to go and then it’s up to Thor and Ghost Rider to hold the line after things go south.

How do I level Frank up?  My strategy for pushing Frank into that mythic land of Level 4 is gratuitous use of Thor’s Mighty Spark assist.  You guys have probably seen videos where Frank combos into Dr. Strange’s Eye of Agamotto or Dormammu’s Dark Hole assists right?  No?  Well then check out Dream King’s totally awesome Frank combo vid here.  Anyway Mighty Spark’s initial start-up blast radius works in much the same way.  Off of any hard knockdown call Thor, take a photo that pops them into the electricity, which does a nice little 7 hits, and carry on with the damage.

My main b&b to Lv. 4 uses Thor and Ghost Rider’s assists, works anywhere on the screen, builds 1.5 meters, does a decent 730k damage, and leaves the opponent in the corner.     If I have enough meter and I’ve got a low-health character caught in the combo I’ll DHC into Thor’s Mighty Tornado for a nasty 930k.  I’ll post some combo vids in the next installment.


The Second in Command

I love Thor.  While I don’t doubt that the ass-kicking Asgardian would rather be out on the front lines, I really like him in the second slot.  Why?  Sadly I’m not the greatest with Thor, I’ll admit that.  I have trouble consistently zooming around the screen with Mighty Strikes and I choke all the time going for Mighty Hurricane grabs.

I feel like I can get the most damage out of him as an assist for Frank.  However if I need to DHC for a nice Mighty Tornado or what have you I’ll definitely let Thor mix it up.  In the second spot he’s always available for Mighty Sparks assists and Mighty Tornado/Thunder make great DHCs after any Blue Light Special, Survival Techniques, Hellfire Maelstrom, or Spirit of Vengeance.  DHCing into Mighty Punish after Survival Techniques sets up some nasty resets that almost always results in a dead character.  Get the spinning knockdown into a M Mighty Smash and let the reset shenanigans begin!

When Thor is on point and Mighty Striking around the screen, Shopping Cart is an awesome pseud0-lockdown assist to set up the Mighty Hurricane.  Unless I’m punishing or going for a reset, this is one of the only times I’m comfortable attempting the grab and it’s usually pretty successful.  Speaking of assists, I have yet to find a decent use for Ghost Rider’s Chains of Rebuttal when I’m working with Thor.  I just can’t seem to capitalize off of a hit on reaction, heck even when I see it coming it’s nearly impossible because Thor move’s so slowly after foes.  In the corner it’s fine but mid-screen it’s a nightmare.

When it comes down to it I really just think Thor is the coolest.  I love his character model, his animations, his voice actor, everything about him is just awesome.  Now I just need to get better with him.

Give me your soul!

The Anchor

Ghost Rider is my MvC2 Tron: I only use him for his assist.  Chain of Rebuttal comes out fast, covers a large part of the screen, and causes a wall bounce.  With Frank I usually have no problem scoring some sort of damage when it connects but with Thor… Ugghh.  Ghost Rider as an anchor honestly isn’t all that great.  He has some phenomenal Level 3 X-Factor damage but it’s so hard to get in without assists.

When I do eventually hit my enemy I really enjoy doing Ghost Rider’s combos.  I use Mighty Spark after his flame pillar OTG for some pretty decent damage, but unfortunately, at this point in my hands, the Rider just isn’t a super combo heavy character.    Depending on the matchup I’ll put Ghost Rider on point and lock my opponent down with Mighty Sparks and Shopping Carts.  Conditioning them to expect the Jump S opens up a lot of people to his ok 2L and far reaching 2H.

Every day I think about switching Ghost Rider for Rocket Raccoon.  Rocket’s got better assists, more versatile combos, more useful DHCs (for this team in particular), and not many people are playing him.  The only problem is that he seems very very execution-centric and I’m not all that great with my hands.  That’s why my second team is Nemesis, Hulk, Spencer.  I think Ghost Rider is fun, but I could probably get better everything elsewhere.  For now, this is what I’m working with.

End of Part 1: The Overview

So that’s my team in a nutshell.  It’s not the best by any means but I’ve had a decent amount of success with them.  I’ve gotten to 7th Lord a few times but grad school and life always seem to get in the way and BOOM, the next thing I know I’m back down to 9th Lord losing to your and your grandmother.  Blech.  Anyway, next I’m going to be focusing on some specific Frank strategies and combos that I use in matches so be sure to check back soon!

You can follow me on Twitter for more fighting game madness at Kingofbreaker
Find me on Xbox Live at iFight4Food 

Weekly Want List – September 14th, 2011

Grad school is in full swing.  I can hardly believe it!  Everything is going well so far but I’m not here to talk about that.  I’m here to talk comics!

DC Comics
Green Lantern #1

Red Lanterns #1

Image Comics
Gladstone’s School for World Conquerors #5

Severed #2

Super Dinosaur #4

Marvel Comics
Black Panther: The Man Without Fear #523

Daredevil #3

Fear Itself #6

Fear Itself: Hulk vs. Dracula #1

Fear Itself: Monkey King #1

Herc #7

Scalped #52

Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 Character Primer – Doctor Strange

By the Hoary Hosts of Hoggoth!
When I said earlier that I wouldn’t be doing a Dr. Strange primer I think my reasoning behind that hinged upon the belief that most people reading my posts know who Dr. Strange is.

Upon further deliberation of that perceived fact I came to the conclusion that while comic fans know who the good doctor is, the fgc’s knowledge of Marvel’s mystical menagerie is probably severely lacking, so listen up while I lay down some arcane info on Earth 616’s Sorcerer Supreme, Dr. Stephen Strange!

In the beginning the good doctor was nothing more than that: a doctor, more specifically a very talented neurosurgeon.  Unfortunately his unparalleled skill was accompanied by an unadulterated arrogance which ultimately led to his downfall.  Bereaved by dead family members his skills couldn’t save he lost the use of his hands and fell right to the bottom of a bottle.

Luckily he happened upon the Ancient One, Earth’s Sorcerer Supreme, who decided to take Strange under his wing when he helped the wizened old wizard against his former pupil Baron Mordo.  As an apprentice Strange helped the Ancient One defend the Earth from various mystical enemies but was forced to kill his teacher when Shuma-Gorath, that’s right all you MvC fans, threatened to enter our universe through the mind of the Ancient One.

These are the sort of shenanigans that go down when Shuma's in town.

With the Ancient One dead the mantle of Sorcerer Supreme fell to Doctor Strange and he’s protected Earth, the galaxy, our dimension, and various other universes ever since.  Oh sure there have been occasions when he’s been stripped of his title, cut off from his mystical energies and the beings they’re derived from, or un/willingly passed the torch (we’re looking at you Brother Voodoo) but in the end Stephen Strange is Marvel’s one true Sorcerer Supreme.

While he’s never been quite capable of holding down his own series he helps out whenever there’s a threat too huge for his fellow heroes to handle.  Whenever something Lovecraftian threatens to burst the boundaries between the mortal plane and the outer dark you can bet Strange will be there to send it back to the blackness!

So with that short and sweet history lesson what exactly is Doctor Strange capable of?  He’s a normal human who, without his magic and talismans, is just about as fit as a man his size that engages is moderate physical activity.  Olympic athlete he’s not.  However, with the aid of the Vishanti (Agamotto, Hoggoth, and Oshtur) he can do just about anything and is said to be one of the Marvel Universe’s most powerful beings.

Boom goes the dynamite!

Honestly, the guy can rearrange matter, teleport anywhere, shoot beams of magic energy that freeze, explode, electrocute, disintegrate, and he could probably create one that did all four at once plus more.  He can hang out in the Astral Plane, close up black holes, navigate dimensions that would drive any normal person insane, levitate, see the truth, and on and on and on and on.

But for all his mystical might if his hands get messed up he’s out of the fight.  It seems as though he channels most of his power through his hands, heck there’s even a comic titled “The Mystic Hands of Doctor Strange” but without them he’s gotta call on the powers of some very dangerous heavy hitters.  Demons like Zom.

This leads to
this, leads to
THIS! Who needs hands when you have spiked wheel thingys on your wrists?

In-game he uses the Flames of the Faltine, which is to say Dormammu’s fire.  Huh?  Let me explain: Dormammu and his sister Umar, and a few others are known as the Faltine, beings of immense mystical powers that are all but omnipotent in their home dimensions.  How Doctor Strange has managed to harness these potent eldritch energies is beyond me, but clearly not for the Sorcerer Supreme.

He also makes great use of The Eye of Agamotto, which is the good doctor’s go to arcane artifact.  I don’t know of any instances off the top of my head where he uses a Soul Sword, the Grace of Hoggoth, or that disc attack, though it strikes me as odd that Oshtur alone of the Vishanti isn’t a patron of a move in Steve’s arsenal.  HOWEVER!  I want everyone to notice that during his level 3 hyper Strange binds his opponent with the Crimson Bands of Cyttorak before blasting them with to smithereens.  It’s the little things 🙂

I’m won’t delve too deeply into an analysis on his special moves because Seth Killian has done that for you in the videos below, but I will say that Doctor Strange is looking amazing.  I can’t wait to see what the pros bring to the table when they get their hands on this guy.

Doctor Strange Breakdown 1

Doctor Strange Breakdown 2

As always you can follow me on Twitter at Kingofbreaker and if you feel like destroying me in MvC3 when I’m not playing Deus Ex you can reach me at iFight4food.  Until next time everybody, Sumo out!

UMvC3 Character Analysis – Nemesis T-Type

What is this "High 5" you speak of?

AWWWW YEAH!  Nemesis, the b a mo fo from the Resident Evil series makes his first fighting game appearance ever in Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3!

I don’t know how hyped you guys were when you saw him bust on the scene in that leaked character lineup but I about pooped my pants.  I love the big characters and I can’t wait to team him up with the Incredible Hulk and wreak a storm of devastation upon my enemies!

First Impression: Utterly grotesque and preeminently awesome, Nemesis looks pretty darn slow but makes up for it with some surprising range on a select number of normals and two totally awesome hyper combos.

Video 1

Video 2

Video 3

Video 4

The majority of his normals seem par for the course when it comes to a bruiser like Nemmy.  They’re slow but have decent reach and look to do pretty alright damage.  I’m more interested in what appear to be his aerial command normal, the one where he shoots the tentacles out of his outstretched hand (Video 1 – :27).  It has great range (I wonder what the actual hitbox looks like?) and helps Nemesis exert some mid-range pressure but I have a feeling people will be fishing with this move just like they do with Haggar’s pipe.

Geez what's the hitbox on this thing?

It also appears that he has this same command normal, if that is indeed what it is, on the ground (Video 4 – 1:26).  His jumping hard attack looks like it has great ambiguous cross up potential (Video 3 – 1:44) and I’m really curious as to whether his bazooka uppercut (Video 3 – 1:23) is a normal or a command normal.  Speaking of move classifications, what do you guys think about the Q-like overhead punch he has and uses to great effect pulverizing the Hulk here (Video 4 – 1:34)?  Normal, command normal, or special?

The reason I ask is because it looks like it can be cancelled into, wall bounces, and leads to huge damage.  I think it’s a special but…

Q Punch
Yeah I decided to include it in here anyway.  Like I said before leads to some seriously damaging combos (Video 4 – 1:34) and is a little like Spencer’s Armor Piercer in that even if you’ve already used up your one wall bounce the Q Punch will cause them to float just enough so that you can connect his Rocket Assault hyper OTG from a full screen away!  Definitely a move you’ll be seeing often, but hopefully not too often because it looks wicked punishable.

Shoulder Rush
I’m thinking it’s a command normal but I saw a little red energy animation on a few occasions and decided to include it in the specials section.  Nemesis crouches, rushes forward, and hits the enemy with his shoulder (Video 2 – :20).  Can be cancelled/linked into Q Punch (Video 1 – :50) and lowers Nemesis’ hitbox significantly, making him a much smaller target for a second or two.

Look at the reach!

Rocket Blast
Nemesis shoots a rocket at his enemy.  Looks as though it hits OTG at a downward angle, fires straight (Video 1 – :40), and possibly upwards.  Also looks as if it can be tiger kneed in the air to add a little more damage to ground combos (Video 4 – :56).  Seems like a pretty average projectile but I’m sure almost all the cast can crouch under the normal straight shot version.

Command Grab
Looks like a pretty decent command grab with some serious range.  Can be done to snag aerial characters from the sky (Video 1 – :50) and on the ground in front of him (Video 2 – :33) though Nemesis is so tall it almost looks like the normal height one misses crouching characters!  Whips enemies to the ground and bounces them for a combo.  I wonder if this takes up one ground bounce or if it’s like Thor’s Mighty Hurricane and is just a way to start a combo from the throw? Regardless, it’s just another great tool to add to his repertoire.

Rocket Assault
Ok, I cannot get over how freaking awesome this hyper is.  Nemesis launches a volley of rockets at his enemy that OTG and after the last rocket hits he jumps into the sky and smashes down on his foe, sending them careening into the air just a little higher than Nemesis’ standing height.  Why is this so awesome?  It OTGs from full screen (Video 4 – 1:34) and then puts Nemesis right back into the enemies face for mixups!

Say hello to my little friend!

It’s not like Hulks Gamma Tsunami or Thor’s Mighty Thunder or Haggar’s Body Press.  When you use those midscreen they put the enemy a little too far away to immediately continue pressuring.  Nemesis breaks the mold in a very dangerous way and with the aid of a lockdown assist I can only imagine how scary he’ll be when he’s got you in the corner after landing this hyper.

I’m even more geeked about Rocket Assault because it looks like an amazing DHC choice.  I want to use Hulk and Nemesis together so when a Gamma Tsunami puts them a full screen away I’ll DHC into this, pick them up with the three rockets, curb stomp them, and get right back in there.  If Nemesis is on point and I connect with this I’ll DHC into Gamma Crush right after they get sent flying after the hyper’s last hit, catching them on the way up and on the way down.  I wonder if it’ll pick them up OTG while the rocks from Gamma Quake hit?  Hmm…

Also I know we’ve really only seen it hit OTG but when I was watching the most recent Capcom Unity stream I saw the first rocket fire straight out so I’m assuming you can change it’s trajectory if need be.  Cannot stress enough how useful this move looks simply because it puts Nemesis back in his opponent’s face from anywhere on the screen.

Umbrella Combination (Swing for the Fences)
Hulk and Sentinel’s super armor attacks got nothing on this bad boy.  Nemesis hauls off and starts throwing haymakers while slowly moving forward (Video 4 – 1:06).  Might as well call him the Juggernaut because it doesn’t look like anything stops him, not even other hypers!

While the super armor may tempt you into throwing this out whenever I think it’ll only be useful in some very specific situations.  Namely, it looks like a great way to bait X-Factor.  Catch your opponent in a move with a lot of hits, startup, recovery, or whatever and they’ll be forced to X-Factor.  If this were any other hyper with such big gaps between hits an X-Factor cancel might present a significant threat, but because of the super armor your opponent will need to block to stay safe and then you can DHC out of there.

Ok, so possibly a great way to force an unwanted X-Factor but you’ll still need to worry about quick DHCs into Taskmaster or Wesker’s counters.  Those’ll likely put an end to your reign of terror.  Not only that but moves with lots of invincibility or that navigate the opponent out of Nemesis’ killing field (Gamma Crush, Body Splash) and possibly some throw hypers will beat it as well.  A perfect example of when to use it is given when Nemesis blows through the Kikosho.  Chun-Li had no meter to DHC.  That’s when you want to use it.

The punches have ridiculous range but hit high so I’m assuming a lot of characters will be able to duck under this and it might be completely useless against characters like Amaterasu.  Overall a great hyper but very situational.


Level 3
The most disgusting hyper in Marvel vs. Capcom history.  Nemesis transforms into his nasty super saiyan of grotesqueness form, tentacles, tumors, and all and puts the hurt on his enemy (Video 1 – :54).  Not much else to say about this besides it’ll be great for unsuspecting enemies when you’ve got the meter.  The damage looks pretty ridiculous, with a level 3 x-factor destroying half of Super-Skrull’s life (Video 3 – 1:45)!  Also looks like it can be cancelled into from his ground tentacle command normal, which he does in both examples.

Straight Rocket
Nemesis shoots a rocket straight through the air (Video 2 – :50).  Looks like it can be crouched by nearly everyone.  Probably won’t be his assist of choice.

OTG Rocket
I have no idea where I saw this but I’m almost positive I did!  If someone can link me I’d greatly appreciate it.  Might be good for characters who can’t OTG themselves.

Clothesline Rocket Blast
Nemesis runs forward with a Q Punch and then fires a straight rocket.  I saw this on the Capcom Unity stream.  Looks like a very subpar “Get offa me” assist simply because he’s so damn big and it doesn’t seem to have any invincibility.

Oh my gosh Nemmy’s enormous!  While that’s an immediate draw for me he’s going to be highly susceptible to instant overheads.  Also, for some reason the green slime explosions that follow some of his normals look kinda shoddy.  Maybe that’s just me though.

Final Thoughts
While probably not the best of the new characters, I think Nemesis has a ton of charm and a lots of potential.  I can’t wait to try him out with Hulk and work some decimating DHC combos into my game.  Then there’s the fact that he’s big and slow and he’s going to need a lot of help from his assists.  I think all of Dr. Strange’s assists look like they could help Nemesis out alot, especially the Eye of Agamotto which has some serious lockdown potential.

Until I see what’s up with Iron Fist I have a feeling that my team is going to be Spencer/Hulk/Nemesis or some variation of that.  I CAN’T WAIT TO PLAY THIS GUY!

Again gentleman, let me know what you think in the comments.  You can follow me on twitter at Kingofbreaker and if you see me on XBox, iFight4food, feel free to demolish me in MvC3 because I’m utter trash.  Gutter trash for all you Dudley fans out there 🙂

Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 Character Primer – Rocket Raccoon

You don’t know who Rocket Raccoon is?  Seriously?  You’re such a n00b.  Actually no, you’re not because Rocket is an incredibly obscure cosmic Marvel character, that is unless you read Guardians of the Galaxy.  If you don’t and you’re still painfully unaware of this anthropomorphic space vermin’s existence read on; you’re definitely not alone.

Until recently, say 3-4 years ago, Rocket hadn’t been in much of anything since the 80’s when Mike Mignola (of Hellboy fame) was pencilling the critter in his 4 issue mini.  Now he’s a central member of the Guardians of the Galaxy and  a playable character in Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3.  Not too shabby Mr. Raccoon.

For those of you uninitiated in Marvel cosmic lore Rocket was originally a glorified orderly on Halfworld, a planet that functioned as an insane asylum in the Keystone Quadrant.  Rocket, along with his first mate Wal Rus, took care of the “Loonies” on the fertile side of the planet while the robots who’d originally served as the patient’s wardens built the inmate’s toys on the other half.

A trade war erupted between the two largest toy manufacturers, Judson Jakes and the serpent Lord Dyvyne, both were aiming for a monopoly, and stuff hit the fan.  In the end Rocket and his friends emerge victorious, curing the Loonies, deposing Dyvyne and Jakes, and even escaping from Halfworld through the previously unassailable Galacian Wall.

The anthropomorphised animal's last stand!

Honestly, no explanation can do this series justice; it’s that bizarre, but if you’re interested you should definitely check it out, if only to get a taste of Mignola’s mainstream pencils before his highly stylized Hellboy stuff. I’ve included links to the mini-series issues below from Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited.  For those of you who want to cash in your MDCU subscription you got with the MvC3 Collector’s Edition, you should totally give it a shot.

Rocket Raccoon #1
Rocket Raccoon #2
Rocket Raccoon #3
Rocket Raccoon #4

Now Rocket’s blasting bad guys as the unofficial co-leader of the Guardians of the Galaxy and he’s not afraid to pull out the big guns.  I’ve heard rumblings around the interwebs that people are thinking he might play something like Cable, with a reliance on beam specials and hypers.  I’m of a like opinion, though to a lesser degree, but before we get into that, what’s Rocket capable of?

Firstly, he’s a raccoon.  A genetically modified raccoon, but a raccoon all the same.  He’s the got the strength, speed, agility, and reflexes of a raccoon his size.  His sense of smell and hearing are far more acute than humans but physically Rocket’s not too much of a threat.  One well placed punt and he’s down for the count, but you wouldn’t know it given his scrappy demeanor.

Nope, not afraid of some blood on his gloves.

While he may not be able to bench press the bar he more than makes up for it in other ways.  He’s a master strategist and tactician and well versed in all sorts of weaponized violence.  Whether it’s a bomb or a blaster, in Rocket’s hands it’s especially deadly.

Rocket doing what he does best.
Rocket doing what he does best.

So how might he play?  I, like a few other folks, think he’ll be a very heavy projectile based character, much like Arthur.  Factor in his diminutive vertical capacity and he’ll be a perfect fit for Team Can’t Touch This: any combination of Amaterasu, Arthur, Joe, and Rocket.  I’m guessing he’ll have super short strikes for normals like Joe but hopefully Capcom will give him a quick ground dash and an 8-way air dash to get in close and apply pressure if needed.  Flight maybe?  I also hope they equip him with either a jet pack or rocket boots;  I mean they do call him “Rocket” for a reason.

When I said projectile heavy I do mean projectile heavy.  He’s probably one of the few characters that honestly doesn’t have the physical capacity to handle himself in a fight.  Oh wait… Tron, M.O.D.O.K., never mind.  He’s much more comfortable with guns in his paws and fighting in zero gravity means he gets to play with some massive death-dealing machinery.

That gun's definitely bigger than he is. Like way bigger.

Personally I think calling Rocket a cute and fuzzy Cable without seeing how he plays is silly, but I suppose the comparison can be drawn.  I think he’ll have an awesome projectile game with quick dashes to help him start combos.  He’ll be a zoner for the most part, like Arthur or Chris, bringing the pain from a distance and you’ll need to get exceptionally close to do damage with his tiny raccoon limbs.  I think he’ll be a strange mix between Joe, Arthur, and Chris.  Does that make sense?

I want to see him wielding a ton of different futuristic-looking guns bigger than he is while flying all over the screen raining deadly light down on his enemies.  I hope he has an 8-way air dash and a rocket pack/skates.  I hope he becomes #1 on people’s Most Annoying Character lists.  I hope he’s viable because I think he could be tons of fun to play.

Regardless, I hope this gave you guys a little info on good ol’ Rocket Raccoon.  If you’re craving more Marvel madness let me know in the comments and if you’d like me to do one of these for Doctor Strange I’d be more than happy to oblige, though I figured people knew enough about Marvel’s magical mystic.  I don’t want to be redundant.  Should I add more Marvel history or just stick to the pertinent fighting game stuff?  Also let me know if you’d like me to analyze the gameplay videos of the newly revealed characters like I did for MvC3.  I’d like to do one for Nemesis this week.  He looks so boss.

If you’d like to destroy me online in MvC3 you can friend me on X Box: iFight4food and you can follow me on Twitter at kingofbreaker if you so choose.  Until next time, this is Sumo signing out!

Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 Character Primer – The Immortal Iron Fist

The Immortal Iron Fist!

When I first heard that Iron Fist was making a playable appearance in Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 I was really excited.  I still am, though I wasn’t a fan of Danny in any big way until recently when Matt Fraction and Ed Brubaker knocked it out of the park with their Immortal Iron Fist series.

They made Danny Rand relevant (again?), no small feat after languishing in relative obscurity for nigh 30 years.  Fun, fresh, wonderfully vibrant and human, The Immortal Iron Fist captured whatever it is that makes comics great and put it on the page for everyone to see.

That’s all well and good but I have a strong feeling that quite a few members of the community were and still are thinking, “Why Iron Fist?”  Why not Gambit or Venom or any one of the other characters that they voted on.  But I think that’s exactly the question: Why not?  Some people might cry and moan but the fact remains that the green and yellow-gilded kung fu master made the cut.  I’m here to explain why that’s so awesome.

I wish I had gotten this out a little sooner, before Maximilian’s Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3: MARVEL CHARACTERS BREAKDOWN, and if you’ve already seen it I’ve got a lot more info for you so keep reading.  Quickly, Iron Fist is the title held by corporate mogul playboy Danny Rand.  He’s the champion of K’un-Lun, a mystical city that appears in our dimension once every 10 years, and even then in the unreachable K’un-Lun Mountains in China.

Danny grew up there, orphaned when his parents died searching for the city in the snow.  He trained with Lei-Kung the Thunderer, the king of kung fu at K’un-Lun, won a tournament and was given the honor of facing Shou-Lao the Undying, a terrible dragon whose chi gives the Iron Fists their powers.  Against all odds Danny defeated Shou-Lao and plunged his fists into the monster’s molten heart, granting him access to the dragon’s nearly limitless chi and transformed his fists into things unto iron.

Danny vs. Shou-Lao the Undying!

Currently he’s teamed up with the other Immortal Weapons: Fat Cobra, Dog Brother #1, the Bride of 9 Spiders, the Prince of Orphans, and Tiger’s Beautiful Daughter and they’re out in the world doing kung fu and kicking tons of ass.  And there you have it, an oh so brief synopsis of the life and times of Danny Rand.  But that’s not really what you came here for was it?  You want to know what he can do, what powers he has, and how he might play in UMvC3, right?  Luckily for you that’s what I’m here to talk about.

First let’s tackle what Danny can do and what his powers are, super or not.  At the most basic level Danny is a master of kung fu and multiple other martial arts and is probably one of the top 5 best martial artists on the planet.  He’s got the strength, speed, reflexes, and agility of a human in peak physical condition. Think olympic athlete, but when you factor in the ancient burning chi of Shou-Lao the Undying, that’s when things start to get a little crazy.

In the earliest comics Danny Rand had just what his moniker suggests: iron fists.  He could punch through solid brick and steel, block bullets, and hit bad guys really really hard.  But in the most recent Iron Fist comics Danny and his predecessors have utilized Shou-Lao’s chi in some incredibly amazing ways.  Wu Ao-Shi, an Iron Fist known as the Pirate Queen of Pinghai Bay, infused her arrows with the dragon’s power, transforming them into burning bolts of death that seemed to rain from the heavens.  Bei Bang-Wen, an Iron Fist during the Opium Wars, could tap into Shou-Lao’s chi and use it to enhance his cerebral abilities and see possibilities and strategies no one else could.  Iron Fists are nothing if not inventive.  Hint hint Capcom!

Danny once formed a massive chi dragon that flew from his fist (think Talbain from Darkstalkers) and I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw something like it in UMvC3 as a tribute to the werewolf.  Shou-Lao’s chi makes him more durable, stronger, faster, and grants him access to certain, less aggressive abilities.  He can heal himself, hypnotize his enemies, catch bullets out of thin air, smash into trains loaded with explosives AND survive (not exactly less aggressive…), and lots more.  Basically he becomes more than human while channeling the dragon.

Form of: Chi Dragon!

In short, Danny’s a physical powerhouse who can dish out a ton of damage.  Unfortunately, he’s still baseline human and he still bleeds profusely if he’s shot or stabbed or beaten on by supers and he can’t harness Shou-Lao’s power to infinitum.   Don’t get me wrong, all those years of training and the dragon’s chi help him stand up to most meta human threats and legions of Hydra agents but if his chi is drained he gets smacked down just like any normal guy and his healing powers pale in comparison to Wolverine’s.  I imagine him being a little like Akuma in UMvC3: powerful but sporting a glass jaw.  I hope that’s not the case but…

And don’t expect too many projectiles. I know I was talking about that chi dragon but that’s just wishful thinking.  Iron Fist does most of his fighting with what you’d expect: his fists.  Unlike Maximilian I don’t think he’ll be slow.  He’s a small dude and he relies a lot on his speed while dealing with bigger threats so I expect him to be a bit faster than say… Spencer, maybe on par with Akuma, nowhere near Jill.

One thing that Max mentioned that’s definitely worth thinking about is that Iron Fist is a tabula rasa.  He’s a clean slate because he’s never been translated into a fighting game before.  If there’s something that I hope Capcom does take into consideration when they’re designing Danny’s move set it’s the almost campy way the names of his and the other Immortal Weapon’s attacks appear on the page.  Here’s a quick example:

Burning Chi Thunderfoot!
Davos definitely needs to teach Danny the "Bastard's Black Heartcrusher" before UMvC3 comes out!

See what I mean?  I would love to see kanji or symbols appear when he did certain specials/hypers just like She-Hulk has onomatopoeia WHAAAMs showing up when she drop kicks somebody.

In conclusion, Iron Fist is an awesome addition to the ranks of the MvC series.  He’s got a lot of fun history, a great look, very cool powers, especially when he’s channeling the chi of the dragon, and lots of room to grow into his own unique character if Capcom’s willing to put in the time and effort.  Get pumped for the Immortal Iron Fist!