Ever wondered what’s new in Final Showdown with regard to the original VF5? We give you a complete overview here that should be worthwhile reading not only for beginners.
Final Showdown is quite a departure from Vanilla simply because there was another VF5 release in between, namely VF5: R, that never hatched into the console world. Therefore, the developer had much time in the arcades to reiterate on many aspects of VF5’s original game system.
Without going into character-specific stuff, we lead you through all the system changes in Final Showdown in respect to Vanilla 5.
Inarguably, the biggest changes can be found in Final Showdown’s revised throw system. So, let’s start here.
- No longer can you successfully register multiple throw escapes. Instead, you have to guess between escaping grab throws with 5P+G, 6P+G or 4P+G. For low throws, the analogous command inputs are 3P+G, 2P+G, or 1P+G. Statistically, this reduces a player’s chance of escaping throws to just 33%.
- Lazy Throw Escape (LTE) is a simple, new technique that helps mastering throw escaping. Press and hold G, then hold P, and hold either forward or backward for escaping a directional throw or leave the stick at neutral for avoiding neutral throws. In so doing, you maintain your guard status, which is especially useful when recovering from a move.
- Throw execution is much faster. Throws now execute at 10 frames instead of 12, and are thereby faster than the fastest standing punch. As well, there are situations now where only throws are guaranteed (namely if your opponent is at a -10 disadvantage).
- Fuzzy Guard is now only possible up to a disadvantage of -5 (for Taka up to -4 only) due to the changes to throw execution. Getting from standing to crouching with a crouch dash forward takes 5 frames (with 2_G 7 frames) except for Taka who is limping behind with his slightly slower, 6-frames crouch dash.
- Catch throws are escapable now. You escape them in the same way as grab throws (see above).
- Throw clashes and 0-frame throws have been removed. Since the reward for throwing has been increased, the risk for using them is increased in a similar fashion now that throw clash is gone. Using a big move now, like in VF4, to abare a throw-happy player is a useful strategy in Final Showdown again. And because 0-frame throws have been removed, all throws now execute at 10 frames. Even though this makes it easier to deal with dash-into-throw tactics, punishing the opponent’s throw or mid/high strings is now harder to punish.
- Catch throws now get counterhit on retaliation. Until now, if catch throws got stopped by an attack, it was considered a normal hit, but in Final Showdown it is now a counter hit. On top of that, if you connect with an attack during the opponent’s recovery from the (failed) catch throw, it will be considered a recovery counter hit. So, for someone like Taka, who suffers a lot from recovery counters, this is a painful change.
The changes to the movement system are no less significant than the new throw system. So, let’s follow up with what’s new here.
- The risk of a failed evade (DM) is now much greater. Getting hit by a circular move in Final Showdown now results in a counter hit. Watching whether the opponent is in open or closed stance has thus become much more important if you’re trying to evade half-circulars.
- The benefit of a successful evade (DM) is now much greater. Successfully evading the opponent’s move allows you to pull off special side-hit combos or, using the additional advantage you got from successfully evading, simply go for a more heavy-hitting, but slower launcher. Also, the recovery on guard is reduced, so even when you have nothing guaranteed, you can go for a big move with relative impunity.
- Back-dashes are faster and more effective at evading an opponent’s attack. However, if you’re hit during a back dash, it will be considered a counter hit, which automatically leads to high-damage combos. Specifically, if a back-dasher is hit by a mid-kick, it will result in a “bum-down stagger” (you fall on your ass), allowing even fairly slow moves to connect and putting the back-dasher in quite a pinch. This is then considered a counter hit, and therefore the damage multiplier is 1.5 times the normal damage.
- No longer can you cancel your back dash with a crouch dash or back crouch-dash. This makes it slightly more difficult to get the right range on your opponent’s wake-up attacks.
- DMP+K is a goner, since it was underused in high-level play. You can now do your normal P+K moves from evade.
- The punch and kick follow-ups for offensive movement (OM) are gone. You will also notice that the farther away you are from the opponent, the less effective is the OM repositioning of your character to the opponent’s side. This makes using OM at a distance for spacing or positioning less useful.
- The control scheme and properties of jumps and jump attacks have been revised. The jumping speed is faster, and recovery on guard is fuzzy-guardable, making jump attacks a real threat and, at the same time, a convenient weapon of choice in fights and okizeme situations now, especially against a throwing opponent. Also, if you’re hit by an attack, the damage is considered to be that of an airborne hit, so it is quite reduced.
There are various other system changes to Final Showdown – no less important than the changes to the throw and movement system – that we have gathered together in this section. So, let’s conclude our little compendium with those.
- Elbows and mid-kicks don’t cause a stagger anymore. Instead, they cause a normal hit stun, which yields more advantage than a normal hit (basically +6 for elbows and +8 for middle kicks). Also, there is no more “half-guarding” of those moves (receiving half the damage for crouch-guarding one of those hits). This change affects both sides. For the attacking side, this is a more reliable advantage, where they don’t have to worry about timing their throw with the opponent’s struggle from a stagger. For the receiving end, there is no need to input commands to break the stagger, so they can move straight on to other defensive techniques (and moves with two or more inputs are now easier).
- The damage modifier has been altered. First up, player health points have been increased from 201 to 221 points. In terms of damage scaling, large counter hits now do 1.75 times the normal damage (previously 1.6x); small and medium counter hits have remained at 1.5x. Similar to that, the air damage modifier has been reduced from 0.8 to 0.7, and moves that slam the opponent down or that slam them while he is airborne are no longer modified, except for the standard 0.7 for air hits.
- The opportunities to get to the opponent’s side are increased drastically, because moves done immediately after a successful evade are considered to be sideturned. The biggest other change is that in order to get a side crumple from a middle kick, you now need to connect it on major counter hit, not just minor counter hit. This means its value after dodging a big move is reduced. There is no change to the +3 frames in sideturned state, where you are unable to guard or evade. Elbows or middle kicks from sideturned will not stagger. In this instance, the frame advantages will stack, so elbows will give +9 and middle kicks +11. After an elbow, punch is guaranteed, and after a middle kick 14-frame moves are guaranteed, making this a very strong tactic.
- The bonuses for guard and hit on side turned have changed. Previously, a big move from the side would give a bonus +5 frames, but in this version it is now +6. What makes this a big change is that after some normal hits you will be able to start a combo. Most big moves are -15 on guard, so from sideturned this becomes -9, so nothing is guaranteed. This gives real incentive to pressure with big moves from sideturned situations.
- Some stages now have destructible walls. New to Final Showdown, some walls can be destroyed when you knock out the opponent against it at the end of a round. The destroyed wall then remains like that for the entirety of the match.
- There is also a change to wall stuns, that is when a move doing 20 or less damage hits the opponent into the wall. Previously, the period of time where the opponent was invulnerable to throws was long and you couldn’t throw an opponent who ducked, but in this version the time is shortened and you can throw an opponent just before they go into the crouching state. The timing isn’t that difficult, and with some practice you should be able to get used to it. This is a big change for characters without a guard-break attack.