Interview Time! is back. This week's special guest is a dedicated Viola player. Yes - even though SOULCALIBUR V is quite new and 1.02 began the Viola bandwagon, there are players who picked her up earlier. One of these players is a former SCIV Setsuka player, Trace_AFJ from Spain.
Di: Introduction is what is one of the basics of an interview. When did you start playing the SC series and how has it been going until now?
Trace_ AFJ: First of all I would like to thank you Di because the work you´re doing and the kind purpose you had beginning these interviews, is a very good idea!
I began playing since Soul Blade. I was so little back then! But I fell in love with the game since that moment - the characters, the music, the atmosphere... it was amazing! I wasn´t able to play SC because I never had Dreamcast, lol, but when SCII came out I played and enjoyed it as everyone did, and the same happened with SCIII, wich is my favourite. My high level playing adventures started with SCIV and now… we have SCV ;).
Di: Please let our readers know a little about the Spanish community.
Trace_ AFJ: Well I don´t know much about the very beginnings of the Spanish community because I joined it during SCIV days as I’ve said, but I think they were during the SCII era and they were very actives in the times of SCIII. We had very good players back then, some of them remains more or less active, like Aivan, Wesker, Mitsu, Sacred... and others just disappeared like Takira, Pulu... I didn´t have the pleasure to meet some of these players, but they traveled a lot and met other pr0 players like Kayane or Maxou!
After SCIII era was SCIV´s turn, and it brought new players like Samael, Alex_3D or me, who kept SCIV active in Spain with other players too that I can´t mention because the interview would be eternal then, hahaha! And after IV came V, a lot of tournaments are being organized (like IMPACT) and I´m happy with that, hope the game will live longer than IV in our country lol.
We had a webpage called spanishcalibur but we had some troubles with the webmaster and the page just closed its doors after we decided to leave (DRAMA!)... it was very sad because the Spanish community has allways been characterized by the strong friendship between the members... but we had other plan and thanks to Samael, our new webmaster and some veteran players that supported him and help him we have now soulcalibur.es now. You can check it here http://www.soulcalibur.es/public/wordpress/ Our community never stops growing up!
RTD vs. Trace_AFJ at Cannes 2k10
Di: You were one of the few people who played Viola on a high level pre 1.02 patch. Why did you choose her instead of Patsuka? He seemed to be a much more natural choice since you had placed Setsuka earlier.
Trace_ AFJ: Remembering Setsuka make my heart hurts... I just can´t understand the idea of Setsuka being replaced by "that"… That´s a little bit hypocrite from my side, because when I talked to Daishi at Impact I told him I liked Alpha Patroklos, wich is not true =P
Just picked Viola because she looks cool, and Pat doesn´t (for me). She is very flashy and I like characters with style and hard execution, and also she has a lot of moves that look like Zafina from the Tekken series (I play Tekken too and she´s my main there so...).
She was a good character even before the patch in my opinion, but anyways, my choice when I pick a character is not based in tiers, I just want that character to be funny to play with and looks cool in personality and physical aspects, according to my personal tastes.
Di: Where in the tier list would you place Viola?
Trace_ AFJ: That´s a difficult question... after 1.03 she is high tier. I don´t think she´s top because she lacks of range, better punishers, safe moves and good aGI, but her pressure game, her pokes, lows and 44A BE make her a very difficult character to deal with. She´s near the top but is not that good in my opinion, people don´t know yet how to properly defend against her though...
Trace_AFJ vs. daGOTTh at European SC Impact finals
Di: Recently we've been seeing some people picking Viola as their secondary characters (e.g. Keev and Kayane). Do you think more and more people will be choosing this path?
Trace_ AFJ: Viola has become a very good character, so now some people pick her because she´s good, they like the character or simply to learn how to defend against her.
I don´t know about Keev, but Kayane liked Viola and started training with her before the 1.02 patch, she played her because she loved the character and was very surprised of my Viola at SC Impact European finals. She told me that she liked her pressure game a lot and that reminded her of the old Xianghua playstyle. That´s why she´s playing her!!
Knowing the American players and showing all my respect to them, probably we´ll see some American players using Viola. Just give them time. They love OP characters, haha.
Di: What would you recommend people trying to learn how to play against Viola? Maybe they should learn how to use her in order to understand her mechanics and weaknesses?
Trace_ AFJ: Well, basically learn to distinguish when she´s W/O (with orb) or N/O (orb set), N/O is the most dangerous mode, W/O is very unsafe and useless because she can´t use BEs, W/O 8A+B is launcher punisheable - always remember that.
Basically, learn to punish and how to stop her BEs, keep the distance, don´t let her go close to you.
Learn to JG or step N/O 8A+B, learn how to interrupt AAB and BBB properly, learn to punish 44AB – it is interrupteable if you delay it too much and punishable without BE, learn to avoid 44ABE without using meter, using an aGI or stepping the second orb hit, using an auto-step move... learn how to avoid 22B BE traps, and the most important, try always to stop 6B+K mix-ups. If you see that Viola is using 6B+K close to you, use 2A or 2K super fast to stop what comes after. It is very hard to react to, I know... also learn how to avoid 6B+K mix-ups on block, like 6B+K 1K or 6B+K 6B, you can punish the first with some chars (Pyrrha, a.Pat, Xiba) and you can GI or auto-step the second one. Predict and see 1A+B and punish it because is veeeeeeery unsafe and also punish N/O 3B, which is -14, you can even CE on it, that´s very important.
Di: Would you rather see SCV staying with the 1.03 version or getting one or more updates in the upcoming future?
Trace_ AFJ: Who knows. I´m going to keep the positive spirit and say yes to new updates, but it’s going to be difficult if we have another patch in the future...
Namco doesn´t seems to care much about the soulcalibur series, I think we all want Super SoulCalibur V to happen, but focusing more on the gameplay, more moves, more characters, even better balance, a good story mode, old modes of SCII and III back. It is not that difficult! You did it in the past, so why couldn´t you do it now, Namco?
Di: Anything else you would like to add?
Trace_ AFJ: Yes! Maybe it would be interesting to talk about the origin of my nickname, I think it may be is a curious thing for some people here. "trace" comes from "trazo" a Spanish word, which means "line", but is related to a drawing, because I´m an art student and love the character design. You can see my last original character down below ;)
AFJ is because I love horror games with beautiful and delicate girls as main characters, so A goes to Alyssa from "Clock Tower 3", F is for Fiona from "Demento" aka "Haunting ground" and J for Jennifer from "Rule of rose". I should add much more initials but it just can´t be, it would be ridiculous! xD
OK so thanks a lot for the interview Di! It was a very cool experience!