Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Dengeki Bunko Fighting Climax First Impressions

Got into Tokyo late on 10/11, stayed at Shinjuku Washington Hotel.  Club Sega Shinjuku is in easy walking distance so I played past midnight on the 11th (supposedly it closes at midnight but that definitely isn't the case) until at the very end it was just me and two other dudes on empty cabs testing stuff.  10/12 I played from morning to afternoon at Club Sega in Akihabara, then played again past midnight at Club Sega Shinjuku.

Basic Mechanics (As of now):
Game is ABCD layout, with the D button in the lower left of a 2x3.  D is used for ex moves, supers and assists, if you've played Aquapazza or Blaz Blue you'll know the layout.  Doing an existing special motion and D gives you an EX version of the move for one meter.  You can cancel normals and specials into EXs.  You can cancel EXs into supers.  Doing HCF or HCB D gives you a super for two meter.  There are no DP motions in any of the movelists at the moment.  Everyone has a double jump for now.  Doing D in neutral gives you an assist for free, and if you are doing certain moves you will use one meter to cancel into the assist.  A big note is that some moves can only cancel into assist ON hit, this means pressure strings you think would work (blocked AB -> D assist cancel) do not.  I am unsure if this is all moves to be quite honest.  Everyone has an AB and a 2AB which have some amount of guard points that make them pretty scrubby reversals.  At least none of them are a huge circle that hits behind.  You can also mash these against opponent staggers and they will generally hit.  AB is usually a rush forward type move, 2AB is usually unique to the character.  Every character has a specific BC move, you get two lightning bolts at the start of a match to signify how many times you can use it.  Using it uses up one lightning bolt, you gain one lightning bolt back per round.  Throws are one button with 4 or 6C, you throw tech with 4 or 6C as well.  You cannot lazy dash throw, you need to go back into neutral from the dash and then hit the direction again, but it's pretty fast.  So 6[6]56C.  When blocking strings you can hit A or B or C during them to push block the opponent away, I couldn't tell if it was a different distance depending on the strength of the button pressed.  To be quite honest this leads to pretty dumb mash AB Option Selects while blocking to pushblock until they are out of range and then AB super armor rush if they whiff or if they try to stagger.  There is autocombo in this game off AAAA, it feels unnecessary, think of if Aquapazza had an autocombo.  There is gradual super meter gain as of this build (think Rhiannon from Aquapazza)  Hitting ABC at the same time while being comboed give you a burst (blast).  Hitting ABC while attacking will cancel into an offensive type burst that launches, I didn't see it give meter.  Using it offensively seems to give passive bonuses, it probably regenerates faster as well but there's no meter indication I could see for burst regeneration.  It didn't feel like there was any reason to save burst, I had someone burst on me twice in the same round.

Playable Characters:
Probably the best character in the game at the moment.  She has only two specials but that's more than enough.  Her BC is the best in the game, a roman cancel.  Her 236 is a fireball projectile, and since apparently TK motions are too hard for people (they do exist in the game though) it actually automatically makes you jump low off the ground and pushes her backward to make almost all her strings safe.  j.236EX combos off 236 or j.236 as an easy hit confirm, ground EX 236 is actually pretty huge size wise and combos off normal 214.  Her 214 is an overhead spinning slash.  Grounded 214EX is untechable, aerial EX214 just does more hits (and you can do it off j214 just to spin more)  She has an airdash.  Her AB is a rush forward fire swipe with super armor that knocks down, and her 2AB is a very long range firewave wing slam that has a followup into a firegrab with her firewings if you mash more.  Basically the main thing is this character spits out consistent good damage off any starter she gets.  The Roman Cancel BC lets her freely combo off AB (or anything else) without meter or just make bad AB mash safe.  Because she gets two of these to start off, her burst damage is extremely high and her meter gain (combined with the passive meter gain) is high as well.  It is not uncommon to see multiple 4-5 bar combos from this character in a match.  Both her EXs are very good as well, you can launch off grounded EX214 as it's untechable but leaves them airborne afterwards.  All her normals are relatively fast with good range, jB is your jump-in, jA and jC are air-to-air, you can land after a jC on air-to-air hit and launch with 5B.  5B is decent anti-air, dash 5A is really good at stuffing things and 5C is really fast for a C normal.

I admit I refused to touch this character even with free cabs, so I don't know her moves exactly, but she seems right behind Shana.  Her main specials are her near full-screen lunges; she has one in the air that goes diagonally downwards, one grounded one that goes diagonally upwards and can be jump cancelled, one (Ex maybe?) that goes diagonally upwards half a screen than diagonally downwards, and she has one that goes straight forward.  I believe her AB is actually a forward lunge as well, with guard points.  Her 2AB seems to be a counter that has her do an uppercut that launches with a huge graphical effect when activated.  She also has a sword flurry which seems to be mainly used in combos.  I only saw one super get used, which was an upward chop into a huge flashy auto-combo, doing this super as raw anti-air seemed to work extremely well.  Basically the character has unparalleled movement around the stage.  While not all the sword thrusts are 100% safe, the ability to mix them up plus jump cancel the aerial one lead to a character that has a good angles of approach everywhere on the screen while fishing for hits.

Misaka Mikoto:
236 is a lightning finger point, much like Boyd from Rumblefish 2.  It has deceptively good range and is safe.  214 puts Misaka into the air and floating on a piece of debris, press 6 or 4 to move around to new debris and A, B, or C to throw concrete.  I really do not like her 214, mainly because it's slow to climb on the debris, slow to switch between different debris after she's on it, and slow to throw concrete.  To me it is a free Shana fireball to the face and does not really help her mobility at all.  Her AB is almost the same as Shana's, forward sword run with guard points that knocks down, however she can't cancel out of it into a launcher with BC.  Her 2AB is an extremely good fullscreen low stomp (think slidehead) with guard points as well.  Misaka's BC is sort of lacking, she kicks a vending machine.  While it is unblockable, the hitbox is rather small and the startup is fairly long and easily reacted to.  Misaka's normals are pretty good, 2C is a very long ranged concrete attack, her 5C is an arced lightning bolt that is really good at controlling space, just be aware of its blind spot.  Her jump lightning bolt from the air is amazing for controlling space as well.  Her railgun super is really fast and does a crapload of damage, especially on counterhit and as a whiff punish.  Her autocombo super isn't anything special.  The character felt pretty good but not as stupid as compared to Shana and Asuna.

A brawler-type character with decent approaches and projectiles.  Again I didn't touch her so my opinion is based on what I saw.  Kirino's throw trash projectile is ok but seems less consistent than Shizuo's in terms of stuffing jump angles.  However the aerial version (volleyball) is really good.  Her runpast seems pretty safe and good as an approach, I believe you can change up the follows ups in the runpast into these flying kicks.  She has an air dash as well.  Kirino's AB is the two part spinning move with guard points you see her do on wake up a lot, it's active forever, travels rather far and hits a lot of times; ending it in EX volleyball gives a knockdown after it.  Kirino's 2AB also has guard points, I believe it is this weird uppercut that shoots out 2ch comments, it didn't seem that useful as the range was way more ass than Asuna's and I saw it whiff frequently.  Her BC seems to be a counter that ends with a grounded mount into a slap.  I think 5C is the spin into Kuroneko normal, that move looks pretty active and safe but I think it might be one of the rare moves in the game you'd want to pushblock to punish rather then letting it end near you.  Everyone tried to land crane super raw but honestly that move only works in combos it takes forever to come out.  Her meter was generally better spent on EX trash, EX volleyball spike, and EX run.

Superficially a brawler character as well, though in a different sense than Kirino.  Throws larger trash (washing machines!) that cover a really annoying angle in front of him if you're trying to jump in.  Has huge normals everywhere that are rather slow.  His AB has like a bazillion guard points as he rams you with a car door.  His 2AB I think is the really active taunt counter.  His BC is probably the unblockable upward construction beam ripped out of the ground move that does a crapload of damage.  He has an aerial dive that feels pretty unsafe on block, and a command throw as well.  I'm not really sure where to place this character.  His normal range is amazing, I'm sort of annoyed that he got them instead of Kuroyukihime for the type of character he is.  His car door is probably one of the scrubbiest ABs in the game to mash, his washing machines are actually pretty good anti-air.  His BC unblockable feels way harder to react to then Misaka's because of how large the hitbox is (holding up makes you still get beamed, backdash doesn't get you out of range.)  I actually didn't test mashing AB on reaction to his unblockable.  The more I think about it the more he feels like the character I'd play to actually space people out because of how good his normals are and how good his AB is.  That being said, his normals being slow and single hit means AB mash works extremely well against this character, especially his own AB.

She's supposed to be the poker/zoner of the loctest cast but she's lacking in a lot of areas.  No air dash, slow walk speed, slow run speed, feels like a slower shittier Alice with the exact same blindspots.  236 series is a stab with her mech at different distance directly in front of her, it is reasonably fast.  214 series is a diagonally upward stab with the same mech at different distances.  She can do both of them in the air but unless you TK them their effectiveness is pretty bad there, I was not able to test if TK 236 was an instant overhead (this would help her a lot.)  Her AB makes her mech do a flurry of stabs while moving forward, it is super negative on block and has a very short guard point window (I've had this move lose to single hit jump ins).  Her 2AB is a pose counter, shorter duration and active time than Shizuo's.  She has three different BCs, 6BC is mode blue, 2BC is mode green, 4BC is mode red (don't 100% me on this as I forgot a lot of the time).  Since I didn't watch/read Accel World I had no clue what the colors did, going by pure color coding (like Wei from Blitzkampf) I thought mode red would be attack up and mode blue would be defense up and mode green would be speed up or something like that, but apparently it strengthens long range, short range, and defense respectively.  This still doesn't really explain anything as the character is almost purely reliant on her ranged specials to do anything in the first place, from what I noticed mode blue increased 214 stabbers to 3 attacks (back and forth) instead of 1.  I generally used mode red.  Her normals are decent enough, especially jC and 5C/2C, but 2C whiffs right in front of her and it feels like she doesn't have a good anti-air normal at all.  Pushblock 2C is a lifesaver for this character however.  jC doesn't extend down enough though so whiffing it and eating 2A mash is very common on a crouching opponent on okizeme.  The biggest problems are a lack of projectile and an extreme weakness to AB mash in this game.  Because you mainly depend on 236 to keep people out, people mashing AB on reaction to your single-hit special pokes land free knockdowns on you from fullscreen.  Also the fact that you have no projectile means you have no real way to deal with someone already spamming them besides trying to double jump your way through.  You can catch them on start up with 236 but if they've already started it's very hard to stop a Kirino/Shana/Shizuo projectile wave.  Plus, Kuroyukihime's AB is definitely the worst in terms of guard point mashing, it seems to only have one very short duration guard point before becoming fully vulnerable.  Probably the only character that feels decidedly bad in the game so far.

Delayed ribbons that wrap you up if you're not in a tech state and hold you there.  Really good assist, if your character has combos long enough to combo into her ribbon wrap it's a nice bonus as you can  almost always get a relaunch off her.  In neutral it's good to throw out just to threaten someone, and on oki if you can cross up (Shana air dash) it's a neat trick.

A forward upward whirlwind with very fast startup.  Obvious launcher combo 101 assist, however sort of loses to Wilhelmina in terms of utility.  Doing it on neutral doesn't really gain you any pressure as it's over by the time you're done summoning it, there's no real setups you can make for it either.  If your char has something dependable into Wilhelmina there's sort of no reason to use Leafa.  It does decent chip damage though.

Counter/absorb assist.  Touma sits there with his Imagine Breaker out and basically dares you to hit him with anything.  If you are within range, you will basically explode if you did anything, this means if you threw a close range projectile next to Touma you will explode for it.  Extremely active, the explosion will nullify followup attacks as well for the most part, so it's one and done if you trigger this guy.  An amazing assist.  The best use is on oki and in neutral to basically stop an opponent from pushing buttons (since people really like to push buttons in this game), which also means that generally Touma isn't using your super meter to be cancelled into as well.  That being said, you can cancel into him sometimes? during your strings as well to create traps for AB mashers.

Delayed flower wave that floats upwards diagonally.  Nice dense field of projectiles, however will totally whiff on someone fullscreen as the flowers fly up and away.  It's nice that it's so dense but the assist feels a little lacking as both combo material and string material.

Bike drive-by hit.  I honestly didn't see this assist used much, it does what it says but I didn't really see any combos or interesting tactics involving it.  I do not know if it has any special properties.

Very delayed divebomb.  Decent damage.  In my opinion an awful assist.  Sure it'll combo off whatever you're doing at the time but the delay is so hideously long and he goes away if you get hit too.  I thought he was an overhead to make up for his trash startup (delayed unblockables!) but he's not.  Wilhelmina is easier to setup, better in neutral and easier to combo into.