Guard Cancel: Reiki.Kito

Guard Cancel is an interview series profiling KOF community members. The goal is to get to know the people behind the tags. Guard Cancel will be published every Friday. If you’d like to be featured, email

1. How long have you played The King of Fighters? Which KOF was your first? Which is your favorite?
I have played KoF since 1998. I’ve loved the game ever since I went to LA and went to a local arcade and saw KoF 2000, my first one. I played it one time and fell in love with it. My favorite has to be XIII.

2. Why KOF over all of the other fighters?
I like KoF because of the gameplay and the characters. My friends were into Street Fighter and Tekken with juggles, but I liked that KoF did more with special moves and command normals. It feels like every character was unique, more than the other games.

3. Are you a tournament player? If so, list your tournament rankings.
I am a tournament player with KoFXIII being my first competitive fighting game. I actually facilitate the Southtown Ranking Battles in San Francisco. I’m pretty low-rank in 14th place, but I’m working my way up the ladder.

4. Do you have a local scene or do you rely on online play?
I organize players to play at Southtown Arcade via facebook and just good old phone calls. We organize meet ups to play and practice or just see each other at the arcade.

5. Do you prefer pad or stick? Why is that your preference?
I prefer the pad because I grew up with it. I couldn’t really afford an arcade stick when I was little so I depended on the d-pad. I can say it hurts when I try to transition that to stick play, but I’m working on it.

6. What advice do you have for new players?
Don’t be discouraged by what you see and how you do. You really learn a lot from losing and it takes dedication to not only participate, but to run events. Be consistent and you’ll see improvement! I remember I could barely pull off an Ein Trigger + Second Shoot with K’ and now I can do combos! Also, don’t forget where you came from! When you get good, help out those that are trying themselves.

7. How do you choose a character and team? How do you choose the order?
My team is K’, Terry, and Maxima. I choose my characters mostly on their looks rather than their techniques. When I first played KoF, the first characters I saw were Maxima and K’ so I’ve stuck with them. Terry is just Terry, how can you not like someone so awesome? I choose K’ first for his high damaging combos and good pressure, Terry 2nd for his meter combos (he needs drive meter for his extended BnB!), and Maxima last to use all my meter to do Maxima press combos

8. Which type of character do you prefer?
I prefer characters that are straight-forward with decent mix-ups. These characters might have overhead moves, but also different extensions from their normals. It lets you change up their combos and gives you more tools to play with. They need fireballs, but they don’t have to be the basic Ryu and Ken types so they’re not boring or predictable. A good example is Shen or K’. They both have nice extensions or mixups, that give you tools to deal damage or get in. You can be creative with them.

9. From a purely gameplay perspective, who is you favorite character?
In terms of gameplay, I really like Terry ogard. His gameplay is very “in your face” rather than defensive. He’s a versatile character even in XIII and continues to surprise you with new things every day.

10. How often do you practice or train in KOF alone?
I used to practice for as long as I could in training mode. I’d practice links and timing for combos for hours, going over the same combo till I could get it right. I’d go over scenarios to see if I could get the same results. I do feel as though training alone to a point is good, but playing other people, using moving targets, is much better.

11. How do you gain new techniques, strategies, setups and combos? Do you watch match videos?
I try to practice combos in training mode and break them up into sections. I spend a great deal of training mode time just trying to get the timing down on combos. I do watch match videos, and find them very informative. Most of the time, I like to bump my head in the dark to learn what I can and can’t do in situations. I’ll spend a lot of time fighting stronger opponents to learn defensive and offensive strategies. If it works on the best, it’ll work on the rest.

12. Have you played KOFXIII yet? Did you like? Will you buy it?
I have played it and I love the game. I like all the features for being so simple, but open-ended. I intend to pick it up as much as I can.

13. Will you continue to play older KOF games while playing KOFXIII?
I would like to continue playing KoF XI and collect the older games. I would really like to play Garou: Mark of the Wolves! I only got to play it once so it’d be great to play it again.


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