Friday, December 31, 2010



To be honest, this was the toughest category by far, sadly only because none of the nominees really stood out. The Baroque from Tatsunoko Vs. Capcom narrowly edged out FFXIII's Paradigm Shift job-changing system which was slick, but ultimately not that much fun. BioShock 2's Protect Little Sister segments were a lot of fun, but ultimately not very original. SSFIV's Ultra Select has been quite a game changer, but when compared to SFIII's Super Art select, it's really not all that new.

The Baroque is not tremendously original either, borrowing heavily from Guilty Gear's Roman Cancel, better known these days as BlazBlue's Rapid Cancel. The SFIV series also has the EX Focus Attack. All of these expend meter to cancel an attack during its animation, normally to either extend a combo, or to cancel out of a blocked move to avoid punishment. The X-Factor in the upcoming Marvel Vs. Capcom 3 performs a similar cancelling function, bestows boosts based on when it is activated, and has been seen in early videos to allow characters to X-Factor cancel one Hyper into another, or the same Hyper. Double Magnetic Shockwave == "Welcome to Die".

The Baroque has a couple of interesting characteristics that differentiate it from the aforementioned. Instead of using meter, or a one time activation (ala X-Factor), Baroque sacrifices a character's recoverable red health to activate the cancel. Once activated, subsequent attacks in the combination recieve a damage bonus based on the amount of red health used to execute the Baroque. This all adds up to some intense comebacks, wherein the more badly beaten a character is, the greater the potential damage they can unleash.

In the VS series, traditionally, a character will slowly recover their red health while tagged out. The choice then becomes, swap characters so that the injured partner can come back strong later in the match, or throw caution to the wind and go for Baroque.

Marneto says Welcome to Die, Keits

And, man, do I like comebacks.

This pic is actually from Marn vs. Keits at the 2010 Midwest Championships. To be clear, Marn does not use Baroque for comebacks in TvC, since he's never behind in TvC. Baroque is kind of broken on a rushdown character with extended combo's like Martin Phan's Zero because it can be used over and over again in a match.

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