Guard Cancel: steamwolf

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’ve played KoF since around 2004 or 2005? My first was actually 2000 on PS2. My favourite to this day I’d have to say would be the soon to be released KoF XIII.

2. Why KOF over all of the other fighters?
Well I actually like KoF less than Fatal Fury, but I still choose KoF over every other fighter out there because I think its mechanics are better. It has a better cast of characters, and many of them fight with a resemblance to a real fighting style with a mix of fantasy. Street Fighter never really looked like a real fighting style just half-assed attempts at karate etc.

3. Are you a tournament player? If so, list your tournament rankings.
Thus far I have not played KoF at any major tournament. I participated in a Super Street Fighter IV tournament, CEO 2011 and sad to say I tied for the rank of second to last place. Hahaha.

4. Do you have a local scene or do you rely on online play?
We have a small local scene here that’s primarily dominated by SF but some of us like KoF. For SNK titles I mostly rely on online play, but my local scene is beginning to get more interested in XIII.

5. Do you prefer pad or stick? Why is that your preference?
Stick. I prefer stick because I want to have leave no room for error. There are more muscles in the human wrist than the human thumb. Naturally, you get better movement, power, speed, etc. out of the wrist. Some people seem to do good on pad but I stick with what I think works best. Majority of the top level players in any game also use sticks so maybe that says something?

6. What advice do you have for new players?
I’m pretty average myself, especially in KoF where I don’t feel all that great. The advice I can give you would be to play people equal to your level. When I had nothing but dial-up and no one but one friend to play KoF with? We played every day and that alone helped me improve. If you can find that one sparring partner, that will help a lot. Watching videos or coming to Dream Cancel can help too!

7. How do you choose a character and team? How do you choose the order?
Since KoF isn’t very match-up based or tier-based really, I tend to stick with the characters I like the most from Fatal Fury: Terry, Andy, Joe. I usually put Joe first as he’s my weakest and either have Terry or Andy last. Usually Terry as he’s my best. I guess I just play as characters I’ve seen in Fatal Fury or Art of Fighting and I like them for who they are. Style can play a big role too. I’m not big on charge or 360 characters so fireball motions make a difference to me as well as if they’re really slow moving guys.

8. Which type of character do you prefer?
Characters with fireball motions with good recovery on normals and specials, as well as easy to combo with. Not the fastest in the game, but decent speed helps too.

9. From a purely gameplay perspective, who is you favorite character?
Terry or Andy. Terry’s got such great recovery and is easy to use but still viable in higher level play. Andy has lots of great mix-ups and versatility that seems to confuse some players, like Kuuhadan being safe on block etc etc.

10. How often do you practice or train in KOF alone?
Sadly, I wish I practiced more. I usually aim for a couple hours a day but some days I don’t get around to it. I think XIII will push me to do it more often!

11. How do you gain new techniques, strategies, setups and combos? Do you watch match videos?
Usually I will try and look them up on the DC wiki or I will check the threads. I may ask someone who is better than me, or I will just go to training mode and try and figure out what I can. Playing other people usually helps me learn strategies since I like to plan on how to get around things I lose to, and then take that knowledge to training mode and figure out how to stop it. Combos I usually find in training mode as well if I can’t find anything from researching online. I haven’t watched too many match videos but I will be doing that more soon!

12. Have you played KOFXIII yet? Did you like? Will you buy it?
Played it. Loved it. Already on pre-order.

13. Will you continue to play older KOF games while playing KOFXIII?
Even though I never got to play older KoFs at tournaments, I feel burned out on them despite not being very good at KoF. I guess playing my local friends so many times just burned me out in it. If XIII’s netcode is as good as it sounds, I don’t foresee any reason to play an older KoF besides XIII though I really did enjoy XI so that is a possibility for me.

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