Guard Cancel: Running Wild

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’d say about a good ten years or so. My first KOF was the original Fatal Fury on Sega Genesis. Does that count? It is subtitled The King Of Fighters! No? well okay, there used to be a pizzeria in my town that had a Neo-Geo cabinet with KOF95 and Samurai Shodown 3 and I’d play those everytime I went there. I didn’t really get into KOF, and SNK in general, until the rise or Emulation around 1999/2000 with emulators like NeoRage making their rounds on the internet. I’d say King Of Fighters 2000 was my favorite of the earlier KOF’s, because I love charge Robert, and that was the game that introduced Vanessa, the best boxer in SNK history next to Rick Strowd… or maybe Vanessa really was just Rick Strowd after the sex change operation. I also love having Shingo as a Striker. What a dork. Joe is a pretty dope Striker too, and Ramon is hilarious paired with Ralf or Chang. Kim also had one of my favorite moves in that game, his forward+A. Love that thing.

2. Why KOF over all of the other fighters?
KOF promotes a much more offensive game, and unlike Street Fighter, jumping in isn’t the worst thing in the world to do because you have several different jumps and other mobility options like running, rolling, etc to get in. KOF characters also have alot of special moves that make them very mobile and enable them to close the distance easily, like Terry’s Burning Knuckle, Andy’s Zaienken, etc. Overall I like that KOF’s gameplay is so much more faster paced, and I dig alot of the characters, the presentation, soundtrack, all of it.

3. Are you a tournament player? If so, list your tournament rankings.
I used to take part in some online tournaments on Kaillera years ago for games like Garou:MOTW, Street Fighter Alpha 3 and other old games, but never placed really high, and GGPO wasn’t around back then either to offer the best online experience. A little over a year ago I went to my first real major tournament, it was for Super Street Fighter IV, Tekken 6 and BlazBlue, and I got bodied hard. Up til that point I was purely an online warrior, and it gave me a good wake up call. There is going to be a KOFXIII tournament coming up this Winter not far from me. There are not many KOF players here in Upstate NY, so I’m gonna do what I can to take that fight money lol.

4. Do you have a local scene or do you rely on online play?
Yes, I do have a local scene, which I just found out about a year ago. The guys here play mostly SF4 and MvC3, but I usually bring my setup for some good ol’ classic fighting games, we played alot of 3S and some CvS2. I’ve been doing what I can to build interest in KOFXIII, we got a few guys that are into the game and I hope when it’s released shortly I can take attention away from UMvC3+SSF4AE and get more people into it.

I play online as well, I’m often on GGPO and Supercade, but I’ve been really trying to step up my offline play. Fighting games are so much better with real people, whether they be strangers or friends.

5. Do you prefer pad or stick? Why is that your preference?
I prefer stick, I played alot in arcades in my youth and I like having the closest thing possible to replicating that feel. I’ll admit though… I’ve been seeing alot of that HitBox thing, I kinda wanna try it out and see how moves I’ve had difficulty with like Geese’s Raging Storm or Duck King’s Break Spiral work out.

6. What advice do you have for new players?
Join and mingle with the players, lots of good folks here. I also recommend checking out if you have a local scene nearby. I never knew a scene near me existed until I got my new car, and decided to check’s match making section and found a group of players in a city about a half hour away from me.

7. How do you choose a character and team? How do you choose the order?
I mainly play with characters that I know I can combo easily into DM’s with, safely build meter, and deal good damage without needing meter. Order doesn’t matter much to me as I like to change it up every once in awhile, but I’ll usually save the hardest hitting character or the character I work best with for last.

8. Which type of character do you prefer?
I like characters with straight forward compact combo’s and high damage, like Terry, Shen Woo, Ralf, Maxima, but I also like the Kyokugen guys, Ryo, Robert and Takuma, as I think they are well balanced and do well many areas.

9. From a purely gameplay perspective, who is you favorite character?
I’d have to say Shen Woo is my favorite because he’s all damage without being a slow poke, his offense is relentless, and he does so much with a simple bread n’ butter. I also love his power-up SDM. Now that I think of it… he kinda has a bit in common with Makoto, my favorite Street Fighter lol. Both have that rush punch, a command grab, strong normals, the power-up, and do big damage with compact combinations.

10. How often do you practice or train in KOF alone?
I like to screw around randomly in training mode when I’m bored, which is pretty often. I like to try out and test new things, or try to figure out new characters. I do a bit of “training” online if you can call it that, test out stuff in online matches on GGPO/Supercade.

11. How do you gain new techniques, strategies, setups and combos? Do you watch match videos?
Lot’s of trial and error. I read up on threads on the forums here at Dream Cancel often, check out strategy wiki’s, and I watch alot of match video’s, especially off streams.

I also like to buy print strategy guides. I like to read those while sitting on the John.

12. Have you played KOFXIII yet? Did you like? Will you buy it?
Yup, I’ve played it, and I love it. I will definitely buy it for myself if Cyberfanatix doesn’t lol. I’m in the final round of their trivia tournament, winner gets a copy of the game. So please root for me. =D

13. Will you continue to play older KOF games while playing KOFXIII?
Definitely, I’ll still play them on GGPO/Supercade, and I have 94 and 95 on Neo-Geo Station. I really need to download 96, I need my Boss Team fill.

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