Guard Cancel: FreeRunner

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 Monday. If you’d like to be featured, email or PM me in the forum.

1. How long have you played KOF? Which KOF was your first? Which is your favorite?
I have been playing KOF since high school. My first KOF was ’95, me and my brother used to play it on a demo disc he had on the PSX. It really picked up during my kaillera days. Hmmm. I would say my favorite KOF woud have to be between KOF 98 & KOF 02UM. Even though it is hated, I do have a soft spot for KOFXII.

2. Why KOF over all of the other fighters?
Well the thing that draws to me to this series is the sheer amount of mobility options you have in the game. It also doesn’t make me feel helpless if I play a certain way, which some games tend to do sometimes. Also the characters are very diverse which is always a good thing.

3. Are you a tournament player? If so, list your tournament rankings
I once played in tournaments for Smash Bros. Brawl. I won a couple locals in that game but nothing too big. Even though I am in NYC, there aren’t any KOF tournaments here. My hope is that when KOFXIII comes out to consoles, there will be plenty of tournaments in my area. I am also planning on travelling to tournaments out of state as well, I just need to save up XD.

4. Do you have a local scene or do you rely on online play?
Yes, I have a local scene here (One of the few perks of living in NYC). I intend to get involved a bit more near console release. I also use online play as well, you can say I utilize both online and offline play. Now let’s hope that KOFXIII’s netcode is solid.

5. Do you prefer pad or stick? Why is that your preference?
I can play with both, but my prefer to use stick. It is just easier for me to execute whatever I need to do on stick. In the event I do not have access to a stick, I can adapt to a pad just fine.

6. What advice do you have for new players?
I know that newcomers like to watch videos of top players and see the tactics they use. However, there is a difference between applying a strategy you saw to your game and outright trying to mimic the player. I see this all the time in other games where someone is trying to copy whatever pro they saw on a video’s playstyle. Understand that what you are seeing in a match is mostly player based (Which means some of stuff they would do sometimes would have only worked in that match). It’s good that you learned something like a block string from a video and saw it being used and how a opponent would react to it. However, you must understand that trying to copy a person’s playstyle is not going to help you at all. You could say that how you play is a bit similar to said person, but don’t go out your way to copy them on purpose (You don’t want to pick up their habits too, do you?). Be yourself and try not to mimic, originality goes a long way. Also never be predictable, mix it up and always learn to adapt to your opponent.

7. How do you choose a character and team? How do you choose the order?
I choose my character based on what type of gameplay I feel like using or it depends on the player I am playing and the characters they use. The order of my team depends on how reliant they are on meter. My 3rd character is sometimes the MVP of the team I am currently using.

8. Which type of character do you prefer?
I usually prefer characters with alot of mobility options. They tend to be the most fun to me.

9. From a purely gameplay perspective, who is you favorite character?
Well, kinda hard to choose since I like alot of characters and choose random alot. I guess if I have to pick a favorite, it would be Mai. I just love the options she can use to move around the screen. Also I love how she fights in the air. Honorable mentions also goes to Leona, Terry, Ramon, Choi, K’ and Kula.

10. How often do you practice or train in KOF alone?
I usually try to train at least once a week. I also practice with other players if I have the option to do so (Which is kinda rare). However, that is gonna change when I get my hands on KOFXIII.

11. How do you gain new techniques, strategies, setups and combos? Do you watch match videos?
I usually think outside of the box and do alot of experimenting. Anything that comes to my head, I always try it to see if it would work. Sometimes I bust out a different game as a training exercise. Without giving too much away, I take what I learn from a game like Sonic or Mario (or whatever platformer/game for example) and add it to my KOF gameplay. As far as match videos is concerned, I watch them from time to time. Nothing beats actually playing the game though.

12. Have you played KOFXIII yet? Did you like? Will you buy it?
I tried it out,but haven’t been able to play as much as I liked though. I did enjoy my limited time with it and it only made me want it more. KOFXIII is a first day buy for me, it seems to me SNK is really trying their hardest this time around.

13. Will you continue to play older KOF games while playing KOFXIII?
That is a tough question. KOFXIII is going to take a HUGE bulk of my gaming time so it is going to be hard to focus on any of the previous KOF’s. With that said though, I may play a older KOF once in a while. Gotta give respect to the oldies once in a while .

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