Tougeki DVD + Haruno Anno's magic

So, Tougeki DVD is finally in my hands. The wait was long, let me just say this and don't go any further. Whatever. It had some awesome matches, and we watched them on Mitsu's projector, which was indeed the best way to do so.
Too bad that the DVD itself was poorer than the other years, that's a big shame. Too many big names are missing this way, so Enterbrain plz change your mind for next year. Yeah, that and put 3rd Strike in the competition again.

One interesting thing I found in the Arcadia Magazine that came with the DVD (uhm, should be the opposite) was not Daigo's column, not the frame datas for VF5, not the 600 pages for Lord of Vermilion and not the fan art pages either. It was this:

Haruno Anno's column. This time she interviews the girl that got top4 in this year's Tougeki (Arcana Heart 2). It was cool enough to post it like this, out of the blue. I know you agree.


AEX Ranbat Milano #2.6 we + Peyosan's magic

Not so much to say I guess... Missed out another practice opportunity on friday, I just arrived in Milan on Saturday right before the beginning of tournaments. It was the last ranbat before Christmas (is it that big of a deal? Apparently yes), so the turnout was a bit lower than expected. Well, SFIV was still around 16 people, with some new guys joining, but 3rd Strike was just a 5 men battle. Yeah... A lot of our usual people had other things to do, other guys there could have joined but weren't really interested, so I said fuck it and let's roll this way. I placed 2nd again but this time it didn't feel that good, Spinal got 3rd place and of course fran won (using Yun all the time). I beat everyone else quite convincingly during the tournament, but he just destroyed me both in group and final, so I've got a lot to think about for next time. In the final I just looked like a food with no solution to his improved dive kick game, I guess...
It's a shame that we keep missing players like LEVA and mitsu at the ranbats, by the way. And many others could come more as well, but that's how it goes this season, so whatever.
SFIV results were pretty much the usual, with Rushing (AB/VI) taking it, followed by Coden (SA) and Bucio (RY). This weekend they'll go to this tournament in Rome to clash again with the guys that, as of now, won more in SFIV. Let's hope for a good battle. Yeah, because that kinda rivalry is the only interesting thing I can find in SFIV :/
But let's back to us. We spent Sat night at EXG's playing 3rd Strike, of course. Fran immediately passed out for like some hours (and later came back to beast on us), while me, EXG and Togo kept rotating. Following day I was in good company and took a nice walk in the center of the city, which was nice. I also found the lamest Starbucks' ripoff ever, THIS, but let me say that it rocked, ahah. It's just starbucks with a different name, so it worked out pretty well!

And that's it for the weekend. Let's talk about shooting games now. It's been a while since last time we had something this big, but this week we published Peyosan's amazing Dodonpachi Dai Ou Jou western record. Check it out here, it's worth it. Definitely made me miss those good old shmups times... Well, Mushi Futari 1.5 etc. etc. will definitely pass by my house for some reason, so I'll check it out. I don't know if I want to mess with downloads and stuff, and they also say that Black Label is fucked up somehow, so maybe I'll just check out Ultra to see what happens... You never now.
Anyway, major props to Jck for encoding Peyo's video that well. It looks amazing even on YouTube.

So that's all. Next post will be about... Uh, I have no idea.


AEX Ranbat Milano #2.5 weekend

So here we are again. Last friday there was a nice session of various games at Makhbeth's, but I was unable to attend. Too bad, but whatever. The following day after travelling all the morning it was ranbat time. This time I wanted to focus on 3rd Strike and I surely did. After sign-ups and setting up the brackets I completely avoided SFIV all day long, and a big thanks goes to the guys that ran that tounament. Rushing Monkey in particular, who even won it.
Anyway, I managed to get a better 3s warm up than usual, and then my group ended up being quite easy, so I was ready for some knockout action. My part of the bracket had Biollo (UR, #2.4 finalist), SpinalBlood (KE) and Rushing Monkey (GO/MA, season 1 3s winner, now fully focused on SFIV) as major threats. I got to play Biollo in the second turn and last time agains him in the group didn't end well, so I was a bit worried. But I knew how to beat him, and this time I just did what I had to in order to win. Not easily, but it was a 2-0 afterall. He's a very good player overall but he still does some stuff that I can easily punish with Chun and he has some bad habits. Always good to play him though (he's very, very good at Super Turbo, btw).
In the meanwhile Spinal randomized out Rushing! That was really unexpected, lol. But Spinal can be very solid too. He just put too much random in it this time... Just too much!
So I was in semifinal against him. And it wasn't so hard, since recently even though he's always doing good, he's not able to beat me. I don't know why precisely, he surely could do some harm to me as well.
So my first ranbat final was against fran, of course. LEVA and Mitsu weren't there, by the way. Since he's almost sure (we should do some math, but whatever) about winning this season he was using Hugo and Yang in tournament along with Yun. With me he started with Hugo, and he lost in a close match. I was relaxed because I didn't expect to win, and that was GREAT. But my stick started doing crazy stuff, like pause the game and other random inputs. It's not a new thing too... And what did I do? I didn't change it for game 2. I lost it against Yang and only after that one I changed it with another one that I didn't like much, so whatever. Next time I'll try to be smarter... But anyway, I was happy enough for my first RB final, so for this time it's ok.
For full results just remember to check AEX in a few days, as usual.

After that, we also had the time (and the will) to have a 3s team tournament. It's always great to teamplay in this game. Honestly I think that it's the best format too...
I asked EXG (aka gogu, YU) to team up because I feel we really think the same about the game and we both are in a good moment. I was right, we ended up with a close, very close second place. In the final fran killed both EXG and me with a clutch Gigas in round 3. Full bracket for 3s teamplay here: challonge bracket.
After that we also had tons of freeplay... I particularly enjoyed a little session with Rushing. There is always something to learn from him.

So what do I think about 3s in Milan now? First of all, it's the only place in Italy where the game gets some real love. Second thing is: we already have some very good players and that is not news. Last thing: some other players in the background are actually improving and are slowly becoming a threat: me, EXG, BlueDragon (his execution is awesome, but his style is wild, lol), Biollo, Spinal and so on. We also have new players (CFC) and other dedicated heads that will do good (Togo, Jck). We have to keep playing no matter what. No matter what.

The day ended chilling out a bit with fran, LEVA, Togo and EXG. The latter also gave me a place to sleep, so we ended the night-chat talking about... 3s all the time. There is no game like this, definitely. Sunday I just went home, so that's it.

Random note of interest (?): I just bought a HTC Tattoo. It's an awesome smartphone that will allow me to do some wonders like twittering live from events and also stream some stuff... Hopefully it will be useful for my thesis at uni too, but that's another story.
3s wise, something cool might be happening soon in Milan... So let's see what happens.


AEX Ranbat Milano #2.4 & Inferno Cyber League

Took me like a week to finally sit down and write this, but whatever. Last weekend, Ranbat #2.4 and ICL SFIV tournament took place in Milan. 2 days of gaming that attracted players from everywhere in north Italy (Milan, Turin, Trieste, Veneto etc., everyone was chill as hell), Rome (these guys are on fire), Slovenia (Kekken & Champ too good as usual), Naples (Jinbe and Manlio = top tiers IRL) and even Spain! It was nice to meet RickyTTT (SVB 2009 champion), Kenichi and Amano. He's living in Padova at the moment, so we plan to play together again soon, and that's a cool bonus.
So, who won in SFIV? Italy or Spain? And who cares?
For full results check AEX in a few days, but well... Saturday Ricky (Sagat) won the ranbat. But the fight against Mitsu (Rufus) was close. Sunday we all went to Monza at the local Lan Point, where Beta and the Inferno esports team organized a pretty sweet event. We helped with the rules and ran the thing (it was a very demanding task, ~70 players attended and there were a few minor issues, but it went down quite well), so we did our job as well. Ricky this time wasn't abel to confirm his invincibility, and top3 was like: Shirl (Gouki, Rome), Sean (Viper, Rome), Champion (Gouki, Slovenia). There were a few upsets during the tournament but eventually it was nice to see Shirl take his revenge (even though indirectly) on Ricky! I got in top 32 and it was the right place for me, top16 was all made of dedicated players... And fran, who hates the game but is good enough and uses Rufus.

Anyway, let's talk about serious business. This time (well, Saturday at the ranbat) 3rd Strike was big enough with 21 players, or something along that line. Unfortunately I hit the 5th place wall again. Now that it's single elim, I can't get to the semis, last year with double elim I got there almost everytime. What's wrong with me? Part of the reason is the stress of running events (doubled this year with SFIV), it's an excuse but it really hurts my play. Also, talking with some other "new generation" (lol) player we realized that we just lack consistency and we should be able to always hit that minimum of performance that we must expect from us. No matter what. Anyway, I really believe that all this time isn't wasted. We have some players in Milan that can do well, we just need the years. We started last year to have regular tournaments so it's like we are in our 2003 or something. Plus, the situation isn't exactly easy, so props to us anyway.
Sunday night I had a nice private freeplay session with EXG too. Let's keep it up, it's all I have to say! And just to reinforce my statement, I quit SFIV once and for all, lol. I never want to waste my time again playing this game in tournaments. I don't like it, I don't like my useless character (but that's my fault, lol) and I never practice it anyway, so it's all good. More energy for 3rd Strike.

Next weekend in Milan will be in November, and maybe I'll travel to Slovenia as well for one of their awesome tournaments. Stay tuned for other news from AEX as well...


Melty Blood Actress Again: Moon Styles (ITA)

Nessuno gioca a Melty Blood in Italia, tanto per cambiare. Quindi per agevolare la vita di nessuno, ho raccolto/tradotto le informazioni riguardanti i vari moon style di Actress Again. Perchè sono i moon style a rendere AA talmente meglio di AC che non mi ricordo neanche più per cosa stessero la A e la C del nome.
Buona lettura, e se vi interessa (dubito) postate sul forum!

[Crescent Moon]
Lo stile più vicino ai vecchi Melty Blood. Privilegia velocità e combo. Caratteristiche dettagliate:

  • possibile il Reverse Beat
  • il Magic Circuit parte a 100% a inizio match e puo' arrivare fino a 300%
  • a 300% si attiva il MAX mode. In questo status, che dura finchè la barra non torna al 200%, si possono utilizzare due EX specials al costo di una
  • è possibile entrare in HEAT mode tramite la pressione di 5E o 5A+B+C ogni volta che la Circuit bar è uguale o superiore a 100%. Quest'azione rende il proprio pg invincibile per qualche istante e, se l'avversario è vicino, lo allontana (con wallslam, se vicini al muro). Inoltre quest'azione ha recovery
  • durante MAX e HEAT mode è possibile utilizzare la propria mossa Arc Drive. Questo riporta la Circuit bar a 0% in Heat e a 100% in MAX mode
  • in MAX mode è possibile attivare il BLOOD HEAT mode (premendo 5E o 5A+B+C), durante il quale è possibile eseguire Last Arc e Blood Heat Arc
  • la Healt bar recupera (l'energia rossa torna gialla) sia durante HEAT che BLOOD HEAT mode. In quest'ultimo caso il recupero è più veloce. In ogni caso non c'è recupero durante il block o hitstun
  • durante HEAT e BLOOD HEAT mode il timer del gioco si ferma fino al termine delle modalità in questione o fino all'utilizzo di Arc Drive/Blood Heat Arc Drive/Last Arc
  • è possibile attivare il Circuit Spark (5E/5A+B+C) quando si viene colpiti, sia a terra che in aria, durante il MAX mode
  • è possibile effetuare roll o schivata (dipende dal pg) sia in aria che a terra premendo 2E o 2A+B
  • è possibile di effettuare Shield, EX Shield ed EX Guard. Quest'ultima si effettua premendo indietro nel momento esatto in cui il colpo avversario va a segno (stile Just Defend in Garou o Instant Block in Guilty Gear). Se quest'azione va a segno la Guard meter si rigenera
  • dopo un EX Shield a segno è possibile continuare con qualsiasi tipo di mossa. Dopo uno Shield normale invece è possibile proseguire solo con mosse speciali
  • è possibile eseguire lo Shield Bunker eseguendo 214D durante il blockstun. Funziona più o meno come un'Alpha Counter e costa 50% di Circuit Bar

[Half Moon]
Difficile descrivere questo stile, che si pone chiaramente tra gli altri due (danno avvicinabile al FM con esecuzione più simile al CM) ma che si differenzia realmente nelle sue caratteristiche specifiche:

  • possibile il Reverse Beat
  • la Circuit Bar parte da 100% e arriva ad un massimo di 200%. Raggiunto quel punto si entra automaticamente in HEAT mode (non attivabile manualmente). Il BLOOD HEAT mode non è disponibile. La CB torna a 0% dopo che l'HEAT mode si è esaurito
  • durante l'HEAT mode l'energia rossa si rigenera lentamente e il timer si blocca
  • essere colpiti durante l'HEAT mode attiva automaticamente il Circuit Spark. Ma se il 200% viene raggiunto mentre si sta subendo una combo, è possibile decidere quando effettuarlo
  • dodge effettuabile sia in aria che a terra premendo 2E/2A+B
  • EX guard non effettuabile
  • EX Shield non effettuabile. In caso di Shield (normale) andato a segno, parte in automatico uno shield counter che lancia l'avversario
  • lo Shield Bunker si effettua con 214D. Costa 100% di CB, non effettua danno ma è più veloce e ha un recovery migliore rispetto a quello delle altre modalità
  • nuovo follow up (6AAA) disponibile dopo un 5A

[Full Moon]
Stile quasi avvicinabile a Guilty Gear, enfasi sul danno per hit piuttosto che sul numero di hit di una combo. Vediamo i dettagli:

  • Reverse Beat non effettuabile
  • è possibile caricare direttamente la propria Circuit Bar premendo 5E/5A+B+C (alla KOF EX)
  • si inizia con la Circuit Bar a 100% e si arriva ad un massimo di 300%, raggiunto il quale si attiva automaticamente il MAX mode. Durante quest'ultimo è possibile attivare il BLOOD HEAT mode premendo 5E/5A+B+C
  • dopo il MAX mode la CB torna a 100%
  • durante il MAX mode è possibile passare all'HEAT mode interrompendo attacchi base (solo on hit/block) e (alcune?) special (anche on whiff) con 5E, stile Roman Cancel in Guilty Gear. Questa tecnica è chiamata Initiative Heat
  • attivare HEAT o BLOOD HEAT mode non ferma il timer del gioco ma fa recuperare in maniera istantanea l'energia rossa nella healt bar
  • Circuit Spark effettuabile sia a terra che in aria
  • roll o schivata non effettuabile
  • EX guard e Shield sono possibili, non effettuabile invece l'EX Shield. Dopo uno Shield è possibile continuare con una special o con un follow-up specifico (236D) che lancia o manda a terra l'avversario (rispettivamente nel caso di high e low Shield)
  • è possibile eseguire lo Shield Bunker eseguendo 214D durante il blockstun. Funziona più o meno come un'Alpha Counter e costa 50% di Circuit bar

Discussioni varie e altre informazioni qui, sul forum di AEX. Se per caso siete giocatori di MBAA (dubito) e incontrate il requisito di vivere in Italia... Presentatevi in quel topic. C'è una lista di giocatori che sarebbe bello far arrivare a 5, un giorno!


Videogames History 2009 weekend (Oct. 2/3/4)

During the last months we had several ranbats/meetings in Milan, but this event was special enough to make me feel like writing about it. First of all, what is VGH? It's an annual exhibition about the history of videogames, with a very nice "museum" (which I didn't care much about, but it was indeed nice) and a lot of space for gaming-related communities, shops and such. Me, Jck and Nev put together a stand for Arcade-Extreme, with STG arcade boards, a 3rd Strike setup and our videos going on the whole time. It was quite a success, with a lot of random people getting interested as well as well known faces getting there all the time (lol at this sentence). We even arranged a SFIV tournament but... Let's start from the beginning.
Friday was the day before VGH. I had to get to Milan that day because we were supposed to set up everything during the night. So I ended up having a whole free afternoon in Milan, because the only decent cheap train was in the morning... And it was great because I was able to join fran for a 3rd Strike session with just him. Superb practice for the following days, and great to find out some other patterns and problems with my game. Play against him is useful every single time for a lot of reasons... Well, you kinda have to have the right attitude though. Otherwise it can be difficult, lol.
The following day, Saturday, was VGH day one. We did standard stand "work" all the time... Well, I played A LOT of 3rd Strike against a lot of various people, basically. In the end we were able to run a 3rd Strike tournament as planned, the interest was high enough, and we even had to cap the tournament to 16 people only (double elim) in order to finish it on time. Fran was supposed to come at the exhibition that day but... He was a no show! Therefore I was able to win the whole thing without big troubles, except for Jck's Urien that suddendly decided to perfect me once during winner's final just to add a bit of suspance! Anyway, it was good to get some people interested in the game, SFIV players included (this is very important, in my opinion). The prize was nice as well. Oh, the after party was not bad either, good times and some beers with SFIV heads, basically.
Day two, Sunday. This was supposed to be the main day, and it was true. Way more people joined the event, there were some tv reporters as well... Some crazy stuff happened, lol. It was good to take a picture of Rushing Monkey (top SFIV player) with a PS3 PAD in his hand while getting interview by tv about "how he got started with videogames"... That was random!
Eventually we were able to set up some 360s and run a proper SFIV tournament, which ended up being pretty fun overall for some reason. During the day I was able to enjoy Mushihimesama Futari as well (thanks Nev!), with some real time coaching by RF2 (well, AST-DGN), another owner of the board. I wasn't able to try Ultra as much as I wanted, but Original was good enough. And Ultra-easy, which is good when you have clueless people watching you play in ecstasy, lol. The 360 port is going to be region free... I'm gonna think about buying it, but I don't know. The only STG that I'd really like to (maybe) play nowadays is Futari's GOD mode, which is not included in the port. Damn.
Anyway, the day ended well and I was able to get on a cheap train in time to get home at 1:30AM after a 6 hours long stupid trip. Not too bad :/
Whatever. For full results and stuff about VGH, please check AEX's homepage in a few days. We'll have pictures uploaded soon as well, so watch out for our galleries as well.
Geez, this post was long... Not going to happen again soon, I guess!

New beginning

I got tired of my good old blog for some reason. Well, mainly because it wasn't on a Google account and that was bad, yes, that bad. So visit it one more time just for the hell of it and then leave it alone.
Uhm, or maybe I should keep it as a reference for my past and future activities regarding shooting games... It was born like that, maybe it should stay like that even now that I'm mostly a fighting games player.