Bahn Unplugged: Volume 9 Feature - The Next Level

Bahn Unplugged: Volume 9

Guess who's back? Back again...

Article by Chris Bahn (Email)
March 2nd 2006, 11:40PM

It was nearly two months from today when I posted my last editorial musing that discussed things like vacationing and my addiction to a certain 3D fighter. Yes, I am talking about Dead or Alive 4, a game that staff and friends alike are ever more convinced I'll continue playing for months to come. Shane from EGM jokes that I need to "find a better game" while others have dismissed it nothing more than a button masher.

My verdict obviously lies in the polar opposite of such negativity. Extensive doesn't even begin to describe the amount of time that I've vested into this game. I don't do it solely to inflate my rank (more on this later); it's just that I am really impressed with the game design and graphics. I've developed a better understanding of the characters, but there's obviously plenty of room for improvement. Christie remains my all-time favorite. She's exceptionally quick and agile, giving her a significant advantage against much of the DOA cast. I had nearly gave up on her because despite her swift combos, I felt that her combat style was a bit predictable. But in the past few weeks, I picked up some new strategies and techniques that gave me significant advantages against other players.

Throwing for example, took some time to master as I had to learn how to look for openings (or create my own). This is where baiting came into play, which for Christie, really works in my favor. Most players usually just spam a canned combo like P, P, P, P -- a sequence which any player with common sense would counter by the second or third hit. Skilled players, however, will trick opponents into thinking they're going to complete the entire string. And like clockwork -- many tend to go for a counter attempt, which then opens up an opportunity for another attack. I used to just initiate a P, P, Throw -- which worked great against a lot of turtlers and those who attempted to counter my moves. Recently, I became an active forum participant on forums and found that there's a certain percentage of players who aren't fond of this offensive tactic. They call it "cheap", but hey, everyone's entitled to their opinion. Since I strive to avoid being a one-trick pony -- I've started to mix up tactics to prompt throw attempts and it's working really well. Another thing that also helped was to pick up a few new characters. Out of the entire roster, I am mostly comfortable with Christie and Hayate, although I can offer decent competition with Kokoro, Helena, Kasumi and Hitomi. My goal is to get them at the same level that I am at with Christie, which will make me a force to be reckoned with.

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