Guard Cancel: CB|Moony Blues | Chicago, Illnois

Guard Cancel is an interview series profiling KOF community members and players. 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.
Moony Blues Pic

1. How long have you played KOF? Which KOF was your first? Which is your favorite?

I’ve been playing KoF for about 3 years now. I’m relatively new to the fighting game scene, an’09er as it would be. And because of that, I unfortunately missed out on a lot of the previous KoF games. KoF XIII was my first experience with the series, and so far it is my favorite with ’98 coming in a close second.

2. Why KOF over all of the other fighters?

Custom colors, ‘nuff said. Haha just kidding, although there’s something great about giving the entire cast Jojos skins. When I first found the local scene where I went to university, I was there for Street Fighter and Mahvel, but there was one setup of KoF XIII where a few guys were grinding it out. I loved the sprite work and animation, but the combo system and especially the movement sold the game for me. The neutral game of KoF XIII at a high level is fantastic to watch; it’s like a dangerous dance between the fighters, as described by one of those guys.

3. Are you a tournament player? If so, list your tournament rankings.

I’d like to compete in tournaments, but unfortunately I haven’t had the resources to travel far from the Midwest because of being a poor college student. I was at UFGT X this past summer and went 2-2. And hopefully, now that I’m out of school and trying to settle into a stable job, I’d be able to attend a lot more majors.

4. Do you have a local scene or do you rely on online play?

Very fortunately for me, there’s a pretty great scene here in Chicago, Ignite Gaming Lounge and Galloping Ghost Arcade. Although, I still got online for keeping up with my old scene from university. Shout outs to James Jr., D00dlebug, Flexo, and Humbag!

5. Do you prefer pad or stick? Why is that your preference?

I much prefer stick over pad. Having a square gate makes me feel much more comfortable in game. Being able to know exactly where down-back is is great (I play charge characters in SF).

6. What advice do you have for new players?

My advice for new players is to learn to feel very comfortable with the movement options in the game; running, hops, jumps, rolls, etc. Maneuverability is key, you can’t hit your opponent if you can’t keep up with them.

7. How do you choose a character and team? How do you choose the order?

For me, choosing a character to play in a fighting game is like the hardest thing. There are a lot of factors that I juggle around with until I can finally decide. First, I want a character that looks cool, whose design is pretty sweet. I guess it’s more than just looks, but the whole aesthetical package; the design, the voice, the attitude, behavior, posture, move set, etc. With the move set, it’s especially important that it feels good to play with. Typically, when I’m looking at which characters to play, for any fighting game, I’ll go into training mode or combo trials with the characters that I think are cool and just see what they can do. If it seems like something I won’t enjoy, I’ll move on to the next dude.

One thing in particular that can make a character more appealing to me is if they are an underplayed character. I really love the idea of “character specialists”. People like Smug, Snakeeyes, Zeus, I could go on, who have near mastery over characters that people can overlook, showcase some of the coolest tech, and blow our minds. That’s the kind of player I want to strive to be. The great thing about KoF is that you can have one slot for the dude you really want to play, even if they aren’t good, and fill the rest of the team with top tier killers, haha!

Choosing a team order usually comes down to how efficiently it uses meter. The team I play currently and the order is; Mature, EX Iori, and Vice. It’s also easy to swap Mature and EX Iori. I put Mature first though because it’s where I feel she can get the most work done. She can get a lot of mileage with just a drive, while her HD combos are a bit lackluster without a lot of meter. She also can build meter pretty fast with her rekkas. I feel like she also has the potential to overwhelm an opponent and get a lot of momentum. For EX Iori, he can go almost anywhere, while Vice does best from the back.

8. Which type of character do you prefer?

I enjoy playing footsie-based characters. Love playing Vega in SF4. There’s a part of me that wants to play pure rushdown, but I don’t have an off switch. If I’m going in, I’m going balls deep, which gets me blown up. Playing a character that needs to play footsies well makes me calm down and play solid, while I can still have the potential to go full ham when I want to, haha!

9. From a purely gameplay perspective, who is your favorite character?

My favorite character is Mature. I just find her fun to play. I really like her normals, I think she has a pretty good set of specials. Her HD combos look really cool. I do kind of have one small gripe with her though; she’s like one small quality of life change from being a really solid character. I do feel she is a bit underpowered, maybe just because I think she has an especially difficult time with the top tiers.

10. How often do you practice or train in KOF alone?

I usually try to get an hour or two every other night, more depending on if I don’t got anything else to do.

11. How do you gain new techniques, strategies, setups and combos? Do you watch match videos?

I mostly learn things from watching tech videos or match footage and just trying to see what I can reverse engineer from it and apply it to my game. Just messing around in training mode seeing what can fit.

12. What would you like to see in a new KOF game?

With the next KoF installment, I’d love to see it control as tightly as XIII does but with a game system something closer to ’98, or like 2002. I really like how drive cancels work in XIII, but I think HD is a bit too powerful. I would love if they brought a huge roster as well, I want to see Shermie and Blue Mary back.

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