Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Matches against Laugh, Mago, and Sako

Playing against Laugh was interesting. I'm so used to playing John Choi's Ryu. It was a good change of pace. He played very strong and in the end it was even. At the end of the last day, I got to talk to him. Laugh said he liked my Ryu which meant a lot. He also wanted to mention something that he noticed in my game play. He told me that I rely on reactions. He also said that it was okay to play like that, but in the cases where you get punished with a focus it may be hard at times. He also compared good reactions to Ricky's. If you don't have Ricky-like reactions you have to be careful at times, he told me. I agreed with him. I remember hearing Alex Valle commentate on Perfect Legend and Kineda(Terry's) first to five sets. Valle said that ground game players look for mistakes. That may also be a double-edged sword since a player may occasionally not make mistakes. I thought it was very interesting of Laugh to tell me this as I thought this as well.

After I played Laugh I money matched Mago. The first set was first to 3 for $20. It was amazing playing him. His block strings, footsies, and spacing were off the charts. I struggled very much. I lost 0-3 very quickly. I asked Mago and his translator Nekohashi how I did in the sets. Mago said I did well but that I needed to stand my ground and fight back. The next time I fought him for another first to 3 for $20. I was able to keep up barely. I blocked his mix-ups in the corner after a forward throw. The mix-up is a jumping strong and a close fierce into ex rekka to make it safe. The jumping strong never crosses up in the corner. Occasionally, he would do forward throw, crouching short or jab, jumping strong, and he would land in front of you instead of behind. I had seen that setup before since I had studied Mago's videos. However, after blocking those setups he changed it up. He did the same setups but used jumping medium kick to cross me up. I got killed from that alone in one round eating big damage. His footsies were remarkable. I still attempted to challenge him. His reactions were very fast. He focus crumpled and even ex chicken winged through the fireballs I threw in his face. I also attempted to low forward his 50/50 setups on wake-up after throw. He told me not to do that but instead to use saving attack(focus attack). Finally I played him a first to 5 for $20. I asked him if we could do first to 5 and he said it was okay. Before we started Nekohashi told me he noticed my changes. Nekohashi said, "Everything that Mago and I have told you to do... you are doing it. That is great! Go for it!" With that I took every round as if it was my last. Most rounds were really close and I felt I was keeping up with Mago himself. I ended up losing 1-5(1-11 overall). I was impressed in taking a game from him and I felt Mago was impressed as well.

Afterward, Mago told me to not throw fireballs in certain situations, but you must throw fireballs. My buddies and I laughed but it made sense. Before leaving Nekohashi gave me some words of wisdom. I believe it was mainly from Nekohashi but a bit from Mago. He said, "I like the way you play for I play Ryu too. I think it is like Super Turbo." He then said, "You are missing something. Your heart is weak." He then pointed to the wall while giving it a loud thump saying "Daigo..." and then lightly tapped the wall and said "You..." He was having trouble getting to his point but I believe he meant that I need to be solid in very specific situations. The rounds where I kept up with Mago came down to very specific solid situations. I failed to come through and lost the round.

The next day I played Sako in a money match. I fought his Cammy and his Rose. I tried to remember how he played against me in SCR where I lost to him 0-2. I was able to take advantage of his movements by using low forward into fireball or ex fireball. I beat his Cammy and he switched to Rose. He couldn't get anything going and I beat his Rose beating him 2-0. It felt good since the last time I had played him. I later played him again and lost to his Ibuki 0-4. I tried to play it the way Daigo fought against Acqua in Gods Garden. However, I should of played it the way Daigo played Momochi in the first Gods Garden. Nekohashi helped me translate into what Sako was telling me. He said, "You must move forward. You play too defensively. You must throw fireball."

After Sako left Mago came over. I immediately hopped on to fight him. It was amazing how much I was able to keep up with him. I ended up barely losing 1-2 in casuals. The last round came down to a pixel. I was very satisfied and I believe Mago was as well. Air(Kenny) was there and told me good job, but that I need to have super meter to make the match easier. Meter management is really important against Fei Long.

Playing these players gave me an idea of what is the next level for playing Ryu. That is the master level: Fireballs. :)


P.S. My buddy Alex recorded some of my matches against Mago. I'll let you guys know when they are up on YouTube. Thanks again for reading. Hope to hear from you guys soon! :)

P.S.S. My buddy Mike Chow(Abel) fought Mago and lost 1-2. Mago said he was impressed with his style. My other buddy Javier lost to Mago(0-4) and Sako(0-4). Mago told Javier he knew he had studied Tokido's videos. We all laughed. He needed to use more jumping dive kicks instead of demon flip kicks. Sako told Javier to knock him down more and vortex on his wake-up.

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