Wednesday, November 2, 2011

I can control it because she's totally getting nerfed

So, it'd seem like having blogs is the cool thing to do at the moment, and by 'cool', I mean Weng's doing it again and I refuse to be bested by him. Plus I've still got this url until the end of January, so it feels bad to waste it. The blog's name isn't all too relevant anymore since I haven't played Pokemon in a while, but Scizor's still OU because Bullet Punch is still an amazing move, so whatever, works fine. Plus, most of what I do now is fighting games, and Pokemon fight, right? Anyway, getting on with the post.

So, for those of you who don't know, I'm a pretty big Dead Rising fan. As someone who's a little bitch, its a bit funny for me to be a fan of zombie games, since even the newer Resident Evils scare me. Luckily, Dead Rising wasn't scary in the slightest, due to its highly comedic undertones, but the drama it managed to maintain with the fact that thousands of people are dead, some to psychopaths, was impressive. Frank's one liners manage to match even Horatio Caine at points. 'I always knew you had a crush on me, but I don't go for flat girls' is probably my favourite, and its not hard to work out the context of it from the obviousness of the puns.

Getting back to the point, Frank West is now in my mainstay fighting game, Marvel vs Capcom 3. I'm probably a bigger Spidey fan than Dead Rising fan, but with the web-slinger being nerfed in a most painful way (movement options and damage going down for a character that was about B tier is never a good sign) I'm going to try to move onto Frank in Ultimate so I can at least try and stay in mid-tier. I have no qualms against playing low tier characters, but I do like being able to win, so if he's B-tier or higher (obvious just in terms of feel, since we all know early tier lists exist only so we can laugh about how wrong we were later on), I'll try to commit. So, with that in mind, I was quite hype for Frank. I thought for sure he'd be revealed at NYCC, since Capcom was convinced that people in the West loved Frank, but evidently they realised that Phoenix Wright might be a bit more of an important reveal. I thought Frank was going to be revealed early on, to be honest, given he was meant for vanilla and thus should've been completed soon, especially since he was probably going to be a clone of TvC. Thankfully, since TvC Frank was neither good, nor felt like Frank, I was completely wrong.

Assuming everyone here has seen the trailer and gameplay videos, its fairly easy to tell straight away Frank is nothing like his TvC version. Not only are his moves quite different, including being able to use his camera on point, he has something almost unknown to fighting games: a level up mechanic. The way this works is by taking pictures, Frank can build up photography points, or PP. Starting off at 0, it takes roughly 5, then 20, then 50, and finally 100, to get to each level. Each level either improves his existing moves or gives him new moves, such as the amazing Cap-esque cartwheel and otg sweep at level 2, the ground bounce on his otg axe increasing in size, and at level 4, all his normals gain access to the famous Paddlesaw, a chainsaw connected to an oar. This obviously increases his range greatly, and also gives his normals chip damage. At level 5, his damage goes up even higher, so I can't really fathom him not being powerful at that level. The trouble, of course, is getting there.

Each photograph he takes is worth one PP, but gains an additional PP for each hit in the combo before it. Since the camera otgs, this makes it quite easy to get a few points in one shot even with Frank by himself. A basic LMHS MMHS chain gives you 9 points, so if you can work in one more hit, it'll only take two combos to get level 3. Of course, this opens wide up with assists. Using Dormammu's Dark Hole as a good example, since it deals 10 hits, you can do an impressive LMHS MMHS camera, call Dormammu, relaunch MMHS, camera, to gain 33 points in one combo. If you add in another assist, which must presumably be a wall or ground bounce or hitstun decay will make them drop out, you get, with Nemesis assist as an example, LMHS MMHS camera, call Dormammu, relaunch, MHS, camera, Nemesis, S, j.S, camera, for a ridiculous amount of points in one combo off the most basic chain possible. If you can add in his lightning legs-esque stab move, who knows if you can get even more hits? Furthermore, camera is super-cancellable, so you can go camera xx cart hyper and not sacrifice any damage while getting these levels. If you wanted to burn x-factor or risk the vomit of the alcohol, I have no doubt you could get level 5 in only one combo. So, then you have to wonder, how easy is it for Frank to get in at level 1?

Of course, with his huge range at level 4 and hype, coupled with the roll through projectiles from level 2 and up, Frank should have no real problems with any keepaway less hardcore than Hawkeye and Arthur. But with only one point each from camera shots, it'll take a bit to get to that level 4. Frank's zombie summoning ability returns from TvC to remind everyone that Dead Rising is, in fact, a zombie franchise, but its done different this time. Rather than focusing him around zombies like the TvC version did (rather incorrectly, really, given how much Frank has access to), we've only seen two zombie moves so far, rather than the ability to summon zombies at any of three points on the screen, plus the zombie shopping cart, plus the ability to giant swing zombies. The first is a zombie toss, which works much akin to the few bubble projectiles you see in fighting games. The zombie, if it hits, grabs the opponent, holding them in hitstun for long enough for Frank to down a bottle of alcohol, then decide if he wants to hit them. This should be a perfectly fine pressure tool, since you can't really risk the hit from the zombie. The second is the zombie giant swing, where Frank spins a zombie around and then tosses them. This looks a bit too slow to be useful, but it may have super armour or some other property we haven't seen yet. The move had hyper armour in TvC if I remember right, so let's hope for that. He also has a pie projectile that does pretty pathetic damage, but travels in a nice arc, and apparently gets better as he goes up in levels, so that should be useful for closing the distance at early levels too. 

Once in, Frank has two supers in addition to his basic combo hyper, the shopping cart. The first is an invincible startup level 1, which, as everyone knows thanks to Bionic Arm, can be dangerous. So if the opponent tries to throw a projectile too close to you, you can always just throw this out if you have the meter to get in on them in the knockdown time. The second is an anti-air grab somewhat reminiscent of his level 3 from TvC, but except for the animation, is more similar to She-Hulk's anti-air super. Since we're assuming here you're building around Frank and thus have good assists for him to use with the camera otg, you can also get a full combo off this with a camera otg into combo afterwards. Failing that, you can still just throw out camera xx shopping cart for a bit of extra damage. This should be good, ignoring potential start-up and invulnerability issues, for preventing the opponent for simply jumping and air dashing straight out of the corner, which is where any rushdown character not named Captain America wants you to be. Frank also has, in addition to the camera, a self-otg should you want to just get more damage and use on of your assists to get in. Doctor Doom's Plasma Beam is probably the one I'd go for, since that also gives you a way to mixup with roll and Doom is looking pretty great in Ultimate. And, of course, he has his knee drop that cancels all momentum and drops him, which should be greatly useful for surprise crossups.

Let's say, though, that you want to run Frank but have someone else you want on point. Thankfully, we already know Frank's assists. His first makes him run forward with a shopping cart. This one got used a lot in the gameplay footage but we didn't see it hit much, so I don't know whether its a hard/soft knockdown or air techable, which makes it hard to determine its value. It could be as good as Akuma's old tatsu, but its hard to say yet. His second does his on point mini-lightning legs repeated stab move, which also increases in power with level in the same way the point version does. Given this one gets better, its probably the assist you'll want as point Frank for when you tag Frank out to heal. His last one is Morrigan and Ammy's meter building assist, though we don't know the timing on it yet. It may as fast and amazing as Morrigan's or as slow and useless as Ammy's, but here's hoping its the first. A lot of people expected him to have his camera as an assist, like TvC, but I guess they decided an otg assist that let's him level up off-screen was a bit too good. I agree with them here, as it'd greatly diminish the impact of the level up ability, and make him into a straight 'run this guy as anchor because he'll always be better there' character. 

So, with all this in mind, I'm really happy with how Frank looks in UMvC3, and glad they tried harder to represent him as him than TvC did. Also, even after seeing how awesome Rocket Raccoon looks, I'm still happy with my decision to be more hype for Frank, though I, like everyone else, thought Frank would be revealed with Nova. I think, if that were the case, people would be a lot more happy with Frank than him standing in RR's hype shadow at the moment (based on impression's from SRK's opinion at the moment).

So, how was this for a first post back? Leave your comments either here or on the Facebook status I'll inevitably make for it. Or just tell me on msn, I guess.

Also, looking at the tags tells me I have posted very, very little since Marvel came out. I'll have to change that.

EDIT: Now with movelist confirmation!
236L for the stabby move
236M for the baseball bat
236H for the otg ground bounce hammer
623A gives you the roundhouse kick, L for middle, M for low, H for feint
63214+A gives you the zombie giant swing projectile
Charge back forward gives you the zombie bubble projectile (profound sadness)
6H is the pie projectile
22H for the wine chug that boosts camera
236S gives you the camera itself
And lastly, A+S gives you the roll

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