Some thoughts on Melty Blood (but mostly about H Ryougi)

(Warning: There is going to be a ton of fighting game lingo tossed around here, so if you’re not interested in Melty Blood or the fighting scene in general, you can ignore this post.)

I’ve always had this lingering interest to learn Melty Blood.  I think the key moment that deeply impressed me was during a particular year of SBO where Kubo got backed into a corner during one crucial moment and then got comboed…but didn’t die.  By all rights he should’ve died, but due to some wonky system mechanic or another he was able to furiously mash his way out and cheat death (although he eventually lost anyway lol).

I ranked that moment up alongside Daigo’s Evo moment.  Would’ve been better than that if Kubo actually won, but he didn’t.

So now Melty Blood: Actress Again is at Evolution 2010.  I’m practicing my ass off for it, and the results are starting to show a bit.  It’s been a long time since I’ve devoted so much practice time since Tekken Tag, so it’s kind of strange.  Half Moon style Ryougi is the character I’ve decided to stick with, so it’ll be all or nothing — no counterpicks for me.

Back in August (when the game first came out), everyone was sleeping on Ryougi.  Is she good?  Is she bad?  Which version is the best to play?  Why aren’t there any vids! (lol)  Everybody wanted to know.  That made her really interesting in my eyes, because I wanted to see what she was capable of — a choice that eventually lead me to Half moon.

Half moon Ryougi is weird.  She lacks the unblockables the other two moons have, limiting her fear factor on defense, but she has the most varied offense.  She can literally command pressure from anywhere on screen, making her extremely flexible.  The other styles mainly focus on her normals to gain momentum, but this Ryougi can use her knife to extend that reach and keep the pressure going.  That’s pretty big, if you ask me.

I remember a couple of things people were saying about her.  “Her overhead is too slow; don’t use it.  You’re missing out on her AAD and Last Arc.  Unblockables are better.”  That’s fine, I thought.  You don’t get anything guaranteed after an unblockable anyways, and getting a Last Arc is really situational.  Her overhead can actually combo into something, which is good.  It’s not an unblockable, but it adds another guessing game to the mix, upping Ryougi’s fear potential.  Funny how a lot of people were getting hit by those overheads in a few tournies…

Lot of credit goes to Nandeyanen and Shlowpoke over on Melty Bread, though.  The former plays against top-level people all the time and has solid execution skills, and the latter showed me how to really do damage with H Ryougi.  I use two variations of combos he’s pioneered (I’m assuming both are guys).

Still though, to her detriment I don’t like the fact that Ryougi takes ass damage — two combos and she’s done for.  Her attack speed is also fairly slow, despite her range; plus she dashes way too long in the air.  Kind of like a weird Hakumen; lotsa range but crap for speed.  She has very few options on defense, so you’re relegated to spitting out random shield bunkers to regain momentum or shielding jump ins (but that’s hella risky).

I’m still testing out sandoori setups as well as trying to figure out what playstyle suits her best.  Sometimes you have to sacrifice damage to gain flow, like cutting her midscreen combo short and throwing in j.236B.  It’ll send them to the corner instantly, so you can IAD toward them and end up above them, keeping the momentum in your favor.  You lose roughly 1500 points of damage though, so you have to make sure you land that damage.  She’s got lots of options, but it’s hard to say what playstyle to go with.  Do I do more damage or do I rack on the pressure to crack their defense?

Hard to say.

I’ve got gameplay basics down.  I just need to test it out against real players and even more talented people in the game.  Then I’ll be ready for Evo.

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