A few insights and ramblings between two veteran webhamsters, directly after Prof came back from the 2nd loketest at Shinjuku.
13:49 Prof : "Man, your luck sucks, this was the best beta test SNK's had in a few years" ?
13:49 Gunsmith : ….. *cries*
13:50 Prof : Well if it makes you feel any better, their recent beta tests have been awfully, awfully horrible
13:50 Prof : Samurai Shodown Sen was a disaster, KOFXII had only like 5 people on line, etc etc
13:50 Gunsmith : How many people in attendance you reckon?
13:50 Prof : At around 1 PM, there were about 30-- 15 on the head to head machines, and about another 15 on the single player machine
13:50 Gunsmith : That must be encouraging for SNK. Did they have any extras, like cosplay models, or just two machines with the game?
13:50 Prof : no, you don't have cosplay models at beta tests. it's simply just a machine inside an arcade, just that it has a long line and an attendee keeping record of what characters are being used.
13:50 Gunsmith : So how were the new characters? Vice and Takuma or did you see any others?
13:50 Prof : Vice, Takuma, Hwa Jai
13:50 Gunsmith : Ahhhhh. So... did we get a Sagat clone or Joe sprite swap?
13:51 Prof : Like it was expected, Hwa was a Joe with head swap. His normal moves were pretty much the same as Joe's, though he plays a bit differently.
13:52 Gunsmith : Could you explain a little more about how Hwa Jai plays? I presume he plays more like Adel? More poke style?
13:53 Prof : Hwa Jai has the same normal move sets as Joe. But due to the lack of a projectile and differences in his special moves, he seems somewhat more prone to fighting in closeup range
13:54 Gunsmith : Aha....
13:54 Prof : He basically has two moves- his Dragon Kick from FF1, and "Dragon Tail", which is pretty identical to Joe's golden heel
13:55 Prof : The Dragon Kick is interesting because it has a different quality depending on the button you press, and whether you're on ground or in the air
13:57 Prof : Well then, let me just jump to his specials- His Dragon Backbreaker can be seen in a few of the videos from HK so I don't think there's a need for explanation. I saw him doing another one where he executes a Ranbu attack while floating in front of the opponent-- I beleive it's the Dragon Dance, x2+P
13:58 Gunsmith : So how about Doppo Orochi?
13:58 Prof : Mr Doppo.. his normal Kouken is HUGE
13:59 Prof : it's almost as big as a Haoh-shoukouken. You can see it in the HK videos
13:59 Gunsmith : Blimey.
14:00 Prof : He's missing his Zanretsuken so I'm not sure what connects after his Shippukyaku. I think I saw someone EX'ing into a Ryuukoranbu, but don't quote me on that
14:01 Gunsmith : Who were the most popular characters at the test?
14:02 Prof : The new characters and standard characters. That's to say, Takuma, Vice, Mai, Yuri, King. And Kyo, Terry, Iori.
14:03 Prof : Hwa was rarely picked. He seems to be a poweful character in terms of attack damage, but he just looks a bit too bland, I guess.
14:04 Gunsmith : Vice is half a sprite swap, but at least's it's still Vice
14:05 Gunsmith : Mai looks pretty cool with white hair. Did you see any cool colour schemes?
14:05 Prof : Yeah, she plays pretty differently from Mature. It's funny though that she does her sexy KOF98 intro pose when she misses on her new throw
14:06 Prof : Glad you asked. There were a number of pretty interesting colour schemes--
14:07 Gunsmith : Just saw "black" Robert. That'll go down well over here!
14:08 Prof : You've probably seen Terry with Robert's costume color already, it's on video and also on the official site
14:08 Gunsmith : Yeah, that's cool
14:08 Prof : Well, Robert also has a Terry color, and he looks exactly like him-- except without a hat!
14:09 Prof : Kensou also has a Duolong color. One player picked both of them in the same team and they looked like brothers
14:09 Gunsmith : Oooooh cool! That's going to be fun
14:10 Prof : Humm what else... you've seen the Venom Raiden. There's also a color where he's totally naked on the upper half.
14:11 Gunsmith : Yup, had to post about Venom on orochinagi! Totally naked... hmmm well that leads me to a thought
14:11 Gunsmith : Remember we were talking about SNK's plans for DLC
14:11 Prof : That's about it as far as I can remember in terms of the best palettes. Yuri's is still the most impressive, IMO.
14:11 Prof : Yeah
14:12 Gunsmith : And that there doesn't seem to be much to sell apart from soundtracks and stages
14:12 Prof : My bet is that they'll be setting the colors
14:12 Gunsmith : considering hand drawn sprites, the only other thing would be unlockable characters
14:12 Gunsmith : But I thought, what if they charged for a palette editor? I'd pay for that, what do you think?
14:13 Gunsmith : (and describe Yuri pls)
14:13 Prof : That'd be a thought!
14:14 Gunsmith : I remember making nude Cammy on CVS
14:14 Prof : Yuri, you know you can wipe out her stockings with one of the colors, no?
14:15 Gunsmith : !
14:15 Gunsmith : service servicu!
14:15 Prof : some of the other colors lets you change it into short leggings, thighhighs, etc
14:16 Gunsmith : Have we had any anime references in KOF since 96? This rebirth is really premature
14:16 Prof : Anime references?
14:17 Gunsmith : Yeah, you know, like all the Eva stuff, the names of characters, Polnareff etc
14:17 Prof : you mean, like K9999 being a total copyright infringement of the anime "Akira"?
14:17 Gunsmith : Oh yeah, and using Tetsuo's Seiyuu. That was awesome
14:18 Gunsmith : But nothing like that in 12 or 13 eh?
14:18 Prof : Well, KOFXIII really has nothing new, it's mostly a remake of the old animations
14:19 Prof : So nothing that I can think of straight off the top of my head, Doppo's pose, maybe that's it
14:19 Gunsmith : Ah well that's something! Does the game look 90% complete as reported?
14:19 Prof : yes it does, *but*
14:20 Prof : The machine had to be reset like 3 times every hour, which is unheard of even at beta tests
14:20 Gunsmith : !?!
14:20 Gunsmith : It crashed?
14:21 Prof : that's not a good sign, considering its release is less than 3 months away
14:21 Prof : I believe so, I wasn't watching the screen while they happened but there's no other explanation
14:22 Prof : I saw once where Vice's throw and Kyo's attack collided simultaneously and Kyo just froze in low air, uncontrollable
14:23 Prof : So there's definitely a few bugs there
14:23 Prof : There was something similar in the previous beta, I beleive-- King hit her surprize rose when she got hit, and the opponent just froze in midair
14:25 Gunsmith : Yes, that was it, we all saw the video. It's interesting that while Taito X2 is windows based, it doesn't seem to have the capcity to be patched via internet. Could solve a lot of financial problems for arcade owners, but on the other hand, less money for arcade distributors. Poor SNK. Outsourcing programmers? You spoke about how Capcom are going to release SSFIV after the console release is patched and balanced. SNK is really playing catchup now then
14:25 Prof : Well, players already found an infinite with Feilong in SSFIV. I heard it's limited against Juri only, but there's no doubt it'll be patched for the arcades.
14:25 Gunsmith : unless they charged for the patch
14:26 Gunsmith : Yeah, saw that video too, easily patched I think. At least Joe's XII infinite was dealt with quickly
14:28 Prof : Oh yeah btw, I'm sure you've read it on my BBS but there's no taunts
14:28 Gunsmith : ..... not impressed.
14:28 Prof : and one victory pose per character
14:28 Gunsmith : So what's with Iori's new move? It looks.... interesting
14:28 Prof : on the other hand, if you're playing single player mode
14:29 Prof : there's a dialogue conversation on EACH ROUND
14:30 Prof : It's nice, but I can see it getting annoying after a while.
14:30 Prof : Iori has a new move? I don't think I've seen it
14:31 Gunsmith : Hmmm.... text... I imagine there'll be lots of storyline, as it's easy to enter text. Hah, maybe they'll supply storyline DLC.
14:31 Prof : Well... maybe. They've tried selling text on cell phone before with XII.
14:31 Gunsmith : The guy in charge of DLC must be tearing his hair out. It's so important but what can they do?
14:32 Gunsmith : Text on cell phone?!?!?!
14:32 Prof : Sell a good netcode as DLC?
14:32 Gunsmith : I'D BUY THAT!
14:32 Gunsmith : Perhaps they could sell DLC combo guides!
14:33 Prof : Unless my memory is serving me wrong, I think they were selling like, first previews of KOFXII on cell phones
14:34 Prof : you know, one of those "if you're a member you get to learn the first details!" thing.
14:34 Gunsmith : Maybe that's why only 5 ppl turned up to the beta test
14:35 Gunsmith : That's not a bad idea... everyone was on their cell phones in Japan. I saw quite a few iphones and ipods too
14:35 Prof : Well, they had multiple beta tests back in XII. And the lines got shorter each time
14:36 Gunsmith : ouch
14:36 Gunsmith : On the subway, this guy was watching TV on his phone (althought the streaming was a bit jerky)
14:36 Prof : oh yeah, that's one-seg tv, it's got the resolution of a neogeo game
14:37 Gunsmith : I bet a few fans would be happy with anything that had a neogeo resolution! So were you happy with Mai?
14:38 Prof : Mai is really, really easy to use. Very straightforward. I think her feirce Ryuuenbu either has a strong hit detection or some invincibility, because it can be used as an anti-air
14:39 Gunsmith : Yes, I thought I saw that on a video.
14:39 Prof : In terms of cleavage, her body's not overly wobbly-- like, you wouldn't see her buttocks moving like in 96'.
14:40 Gunsmith : hehe
14:40 Prof : Her NeoMax is the same as Max2 in 2002, except without the hip dances
14:42 Prof : She has her charge down>up Musasabi now, and you can cancel it like in previous games-- but I don't think you can switch it to the throw, at least at the current stage of development.
14:42 Gunsmith : But are you happy with her so far? Or just "meh"?
14:43 Prof : She's good! All the three females characters are.
14:43 Prof : That reminds me, Yuri has short hair now, in case you didn't realize
14:43 Gunsmith : Ah. I just assumed I couldn't see her ponytails.
14:44 Prof : Nah it's totally cut, she's got a kind of Jaggy hairstyle on the back
14:44 Gunsmith : Interesting. Still, No Shermie No Buy!
14:44 Prof : Shermie dead! Shermie dead! No Shermie here, get out!
14:45 Gunsmith : Vice and Mature are dead too! There's always an excuse to bring her back!
14:46 Gunsmith : I just saw Terry's Clark costume!!!!
14:46 Prof : That reminds me-- Vice has an alternate color that makes her half-transparent! She's a GHOST
14:46 Gunsmith : What the hell! But see! She's dead!!!!!!
14:47 Prof : Oh yeah, come to think I guess that was a Clark color.. didn't realize it
14:47 Gunsmith : Is XIII is the first KOF with a male announcer? Harumi Ikoma out of a job?
14:48 Prof : Oh, yes. They've finally got someone who can actually announce in ENGLISH, not ENGRISH
14:48 Prof : The announcer is actually good in this game.
14:49 Gunsmith : Oh . This is where they spent the money?
14:50 Prof : Well, it's money well spent, then!
14:50 Prof : Oh yeah, continuing back with Yuri
14:50 Prof : you can't see it in the videos, but she actually wobbles a bit in her victory pose
14:51 Gunsmith : wth! What has Yuri got to wobble? She grown up now?
14:52 Prof : Well, little wobble. Very little.
14:52 Prof : But she sure seems to like that Yoyuuchi victory pose-- she's even doing it in the victory screen illustration.
14:52 Gunsmith : There's not much appeal for paedophiles in this game
14:52 Prof : well, you've got Kensou
14:53 Prof : Oh btw that reminds me
14:53 Gunsmith : no kiddy characters - Kensou is wayyyyy too old! Sagaido must be annoyed
14:53 Prof : If you've got things for redheads, you can ditch Iori for Vice because she's a lot redder
14:54 Gunsmith : Explain
14:54 Prof : Well, just look at her sprite at KOFXIII's official site!
14:55 Gunsmith : OK. Joe's B looks like it's not cancellable anymore?
14:55 Prof : That's what I hear, but noone was using Joe while I was around
14:57 Gunsmith : I just saw a video, but wasn't sure as the player wasn't very good. I think it's no longer cancellable which will make a lot of people happy
14:58 Prof :
14:58 Gunsmith : Do you think people were pleased with the game overall?
14:59 Prof : Yes, I'm pretty sure. They kept looping on the line, which is a good sign.
15:01 Gunsmith : Do you think you'll buy it then?
15:01 Prof : Humm, sure, why not?
15:01 Gunsmith : coz you didn't buy that stick at yodobashi!
15:02 Prof : But I'll probably outplay the game while it's out in the arcades
15:02 Prof : That stick isn't meant for me! It never was!!
15:03 Gunsmith : Come back to Neogeo layout!!!
15:03 Prof : So any other Q's?
15:04 Gunsmith : Do you wanna sleep?
15:04 Gunsmith : What's your favourite colour?
15:04 Gunsmith : Was the producer there?
15:04 Gunsmith : Did you ask about netcode
15:04 Prof : Nah I'm still good
15:04 Prof : Oh right-- you know that this beta test is taking place at 3 locations?
15:05 Prof : Hong Kong, Tokyo, Osaka
15:05 Prof : I think the producer was in Osaka, didn't see him.
15:06 Gunsmith : Ah yes, just heard. I hope Osaka is just as busy. HK seemed busy, and KOF seems to be way more popular over there
15:06 Gunsmith : You going to the test tomorrow?
15:06 Prof : I think so?
15:07 Gunsmith : Well, if I can think of any more q's, I'll pop you an email. I'll let you get some rest now I think I might hook up my ps2 and give 98um a go
15:07 Gunsmith : I noticed in Tokyo I couldn't find any 2nd hand copies of 2k2um. It was still popular in the arcades
15:08 Prof : I'm amazed you didn’t ask about the Neomax stuff actually
15:09 Gunsmith : Well, there's a lot of chat about that right now on the forums. What was the most impressive then?
15:09 Prof : Oh ok, I haven't checked most of the forums yet so you probably know better.
15:10 Prof : The most impressive was.. probably Doppo's
15:11 Prof : The most weirdest was Clark's, because he did it a few times without the opponent at hand
15:12 Gunsmith : @ 4.27
15:13 Prof : yeah that's it
15:13 Gunsmith : Holy crap!
15:13 Prof : It looks like Akuma's from Double Impact though
15:14 Gunsmith : Oh yeah. Meh. I gotta go grab a late lunch. Domo arigatou for the chat, let's catch up later!
15:14 Prof : K, lates!