I moved the earlier BF posts to the left sidebar. The official site moved here, btw. Watson and Charshu illustration by Emiko Iwasaki from the (now defunct) official blog.
This is a mix of tourney and casual action from Akihabara Leisure Land from this past winter. More videos like this here. (EDIT: and here.) Player names unknown. WMV ~20MB each.
Cedric vs. Odile
DeathBringer vs. Marco
Urs vs. Face
Freed vs. Marco
Cedric vs. Donvalve
Coyori vs. Coyori
Freed vs. Watson
Urs vs. Watson
Cedric vs. Ashley
There are some newer matches from Leisure Land over here. Click "続きを読む" to expand each post for nico videos.
This list as well as the notes come from Arcadia. They didn't have any copy for Freed, so I took a stab at that one. Also I moved Olivia from A-class to B-class and Coyori from S-class to A-class per online discussions.
Where there was complaining about character balance on the net, it was mostly about Cedric and his St. Drop Kick attack. Ced's position at the top wasn't reflected much in tournament results, however. I've included those below so you can see for yourself.
Keeping his opponents pinned down with low-recovery projectiles is Cedric's speciality. His Holy Devotion hits very quickly, which makes it good for air defense or reversals. Although Cedric has some good pokes, he's got scant low attacks [especially if D is held down for St. Drop Kicks] so he's limited to normal throws if he wants to break his opponent's defense.
Ashley's ability to turn a Gachi Drive into an infinite combo is a big weapon, but his basic abilities are strong to begin with. These include speedy jump attacks, command throws with decent range and various moves that leave his opponent open to follow-ups. His Heat Up can be used for a high/low mix-up plus big damage. Ashley doesn't have any invincible moves; lack of a quick reversal is one weak point.
Face has fierce sequential attacks, plus the quick start-up for his Texas Knee and super moves give him an outstanding interrupt and anti-air ability. Quick start-up on the Kouya no Bazooka, in particular, makes it difficult to Gachi. If your opponent tries to stop the sequential attacks using Gachi, you can be in trouble, however. Mix up high/low and use feints [hold the button down during Wild Comeback and Frontier Shot] to baffle their counter attempts or you'll get killed by a couple Gachi Drive combos.
DeathBringer's great range lets him keep is opponent at a distance. He's also got devastating combos off of Gachi Drive hits and good normal throw range. Up close, however, slow moves and a lack of invincible attacks means you'll have to struggle. Whether or not the opposing character can block and counter Death's pokes will change the match-up dramatically.
Good command throws and the huge far standing C are Don's primary weapons. Close C -> Flying Don Cake is a fierce anti-air combo. His crouching A is the fastest in the game. Donvalve was ranked at the top in the spring ('07), but he fell a bit as people became more adept at avoiding his command grabs.
Multi-hit jump attacks, Uraban Cha mix-ups and big hit confirms off weak attacks put Coyori in the top tier [or not.] She lacks any mid range moves, however, and her constant assault is a big target for Gachi Match/Drive attempts.
Urs's excellent hit confirms and big combos plus his terrific counter attack ability give him a lot of stability. He has the potential to go head-to-head with the top tier group. On the other hand, Urs has few good mid range moves and his throw whiff animation is longer than the rest of the cast. Avoiding counters up close is key.
Freed can deal a huge amount of damage in a very short amount of time. Welcome Tempest is a very handy reversal move. Outside of Heat Up! trickery, however, he doesn't have many mix-ups beyond attack/throw. Predictable Magun Jetter attacks can get him in trouble vs. Gachi Drive, too.
Odile & Dokurod
Odile's strengths lie in multi-hit special moves, the cross-up dash and quick Petite Pirouette attacks from the air. She can be tough to Gachi or throw so she can really pin some characters down. Odile's damage off of Gachi combos is poor which means she's in trouble when they go on offense. It seems like her position on the ranks could fall as more research is conducted.
Although he has some standard attacks and a strong okiseme ability, Marco pokes and the low damage they get him, low health and a short jump arc mean he tends to get out-ranged. Since he has a wide variety of attacks, if you can close the gap you'll be in a strong position.
Olivia's normal move pokes and angled jump attacks are both remarkable. She lacks mix-ups and it's tough to hit confirm unless you're very close. Combo damage is also meager so she's fallen into the bottom tier. If Olivia only had an invincible special move she'd probably be ranked higher.
Leveling up can be arduous; plus lacking any worthwhile attacks beyond throw and jump C at level 1 makes things tough for Watson. Score a Gachi early in the fight to make things much easier.
Hopefully this is self explanatory. Missing info is missing. Plus alpha: finals videos @ date.
EDIT: updated 7.23.08
Akihabara Leisure Land Next one August 9th.
Shinjuku Club Sega
|Location||Entrants||1st Place||2nd Place|
|5/19||Leisure Land||30||Rank (Face)||HIT (DeathBringer)|
|6/2||Leisure Land||37||Rank (Face)||Dendoshi (Face)|
|6/17||Pasopi||5||Machida Don (Donvalve)||Kimidori (Ashley)|
|7/7||Leisure Land||22||Mammoth (Ashley)||Machida Don (Donvalve)|
|7/14||Leisure Land||NDS (Cedric) & ? (Face)||mizu (Face) & ? (DeathBringer)|
|7/15||Club Sega||10||NDS (Cedric)||Tomono (Watson)|
|8/17||Club Sega||Rank (Face) & Delbard (Ashley)|
|8/18||Leisure Land||19||Rank (Face)||Shigurudo (Odile)|
|Sept.||16||Gazu (DeathBringer) & Takana Sencho (Freed)||KB (Cedric) & E (Urs)|
|10/13||Leisure Land||20||Tomono (Watson)||Mammoth (Ashley)|
|11/10||Leisure Land||13||Across (Marco)||Shigurudo (Odile)|
|11/10||Leisure Land||14||E (Urs) & EBI (Watson)||Toki no Tobira (Ashley) & Delbard (Ashley)|
|12/22||Leisure Land||18||Gazu (DeathBringer)||Tomono (Watson)|
|1/12/08||Leisure Land||24||Gazu (DeathBringer)||Yagamo (Coyori)|
|2/16||Leisure Land||24||Rank (Face)||Shigurudo (Odile)|
|3/15||Leisure Land||24||Rank (Face)||Shigurudo (Odile)|
|4/19||Leisure Land||22||Kiruchin (Freed)||Mogura (DeathBringer)|
|4/19||Leisure Land||18||Kiruchin & Eternal Force Blizzard||Shindou & Takana Senchou|
|5/17||Leisure Land||22||Shigurudo (Odile)||Rank (Olivia)|
|6/21||Leisure Land||24||Tomono (Watson)||Gazu (DeathBringer)|
|7/19||Leisure Land||23||EBI (Watson)||Rank (Face)|
Here is an excerpt from an interview with the developers that ran in Tougeki Spirits last summer. My translation came out pretty clunky, but you'll get the idea. Interesting window into not just BF's design but the state of fighting games in general here.
* Tachimawari, literally "moving around," is what you're doing in a fighting game when you aren't using some kind of set play (combos, mix-ups, etc.) It's broader than the english expression "poking," but in some contexts the two terms' meanings overlap: "that guy is good at poking" and "that guy is good at tachimawari" are fairly similar in spirit.
Initially, Emiko Iwasaki was hooked on some fantasy comics and wanted to try to bring those themes to an Arc System Works game. She came up with some character designs and, after they started talks with Taito vis a vis the Type X hardware, was asked to realize her creations in polygon form. The basic idea was to make a 2D fighting game that would appeal to a broad audience (i.e.: not just combo maniacs.)
Arcadia: What differentiates Battle Fantasia from other fighting games?
Takuro Kayumi (Main Programmer): We kept the speed under control. I guess the tempo is different.
Emiko Iwasaki (Director/Character Designer): Well, we wanted the focus to be on anticipation and tachimawari*. Once that was settled, it had to be slower. We'd like players to be able to concentrate on the spacing between them and their opponents.
Kayumi: There's a sense that all the games we [ASW] make are combo games, so we were going against that. We felt like outsiders in our own company. (laughs) Even in internal beta questionnaires we were told things like "these moves don't link" and "it's so simple"... we kept at it, mind you.
Iwasaki: Even the higher ups told us, "make it more like Guilty Gear." (laughs)
Kayumi: "Don't mess with the formula!"
Arcadia: As development progressed and you readied new versions, was there a corresponding change in reactions at the company?
Kayumi: Nah, the bottom line was, "isn't it a combo game?"
Iwasaki: A lot of people like Guilty Gear, after all, so there were a lot of Guilty Gear fans coming to work there. (laughs) We were kind of drifting along.
Kayumi: Guerilla warriors, you know? (laughs)
Iwasaki: But even people who mainly play Guilty Gear can see what we're trying to accomplish when they play this game. The young guys are like... "this is pointless," though. (laughs grimly)
Arcadia: What's the scoop on how the Heat Up System came into being?
Iwasaki: From the start, we were on track to make a pretty conservative game. But then we officially got the word to "make it more like Guilty Gear." (laughs) This was only half a year before we went gold. (laughs) Still, we didn't want to go against our original intent. At that point, the Heat Up system was born. If players were able to bust out flashy combos at any time that would wreck what we were trying to do. So now whether it's using super meter, or reading your opponent and landing a Gachi Drive, you aren't going to land a big (Heat Up) combo unless it's some sort of reward.
Kayumi: You know, people were saying "we want to land combos," so we tried to have it both ways by rewarding good anticipation with combo chances.
Iwasaki: I like combo games, too, but when complicated combos are coming at high speed there's a sense that you can lose without even knowing what's going on and this makes it tough for beginners. So instead of thrilling combos, we sought to focus on the fun of battling other people and that's how this game took shape.
[...farther down, with regard to what they'd like to do in future games...]
Iwasaki: I think that when you've got a situation where people who don't know each other are playing games and they're using anticipation and tachimawari, that's extremely fun. I want to continue to capture the fun of that style of play in the future.