We've recently caught up with Ryan 'Prodigal Son' Hart, a long-time tournament player who's competed and won multiple major championships.
As he recently has adjusted to new priorities in his life, Hart still has a foot in the door for competitive gaming. PVP Live asked him to share his thoughts on the new update, meta changes, and more.
What are your thoughts on the Season 2 patch?
I'm happy about the release of a new version, I think this allows people an opportunity to recreate themselves and use their minds to improve areas of their skillset.
How would you describe the direction for Street Fighter V?
It certainly seems like Capcom wants a more aggressive game, they are tweaking defensive tools to ensure that when a player has the upper hand, he can keep it.
I commend them for taking on the heavy load of a large community and trying to sponge in as much feedback as they can. Considering the views of the community in this way is excellent for creating an interactive circle.
Do you feel the game needs additional sub-systems or combo variances to give it more depth?
Street Fighter has never needed to be about massive King of Fighters or Killer Instinct-style combos. Street Fighter has always donned it's own suit, savored it's own flavor. Back in the day — jump hard kick, hard sweep was my best combo after a jumped fireball. My point? Hard, solid and to the point: that's Street Fighter!
With that said, Street Fighter has introduced a number of combo systems and a number of iterations so now I do feel they are in a unique position to turn it up a notch in the combo area. But I feel that would purely be a fan service contribution and not an organic advancement.
You’ve used a variety of characters last season. Briefly give us your opinion on their newest changes.
Guile, in my opinion, has improved purely based on the plus frames he's been given when things hit now. He has shortened V-Trigger combos due to the 3 bar to 2 bar V-Trigger reduction. In place of that, he now has more combo opportunities in the normals department. Both on normal hit and on counter hit, he's a changed man for the better.
Ken hasn't really had much happen to him that is [character] specific, however the general game changes hurt Ken as a character. Ken's toolset out the gate is not that solid. He has short range with any of his good normals, and anything with range is either slow or punishable/react-able.
Ken functions multi-purposely on the idea that your opponent is unaware of one option based on being prepared for another. This means that Ken's offense forces him to put himself at risk to gain the upper hand, and as these 50/50 situations will not always pan out, he needs to be prepared to switch to defense when he is taken out of his offence.
In Season 1, Ken had better defense due to invincibility frames on dp. This meant that the opponent always had to consider this as a threat and move accordingly with this in mind.
Even in Season 1, where Ken is definitely a stronger character, he didn't even reach Top 8 at Capcom Cup where multiple world class Kens were present. Other factors and characters were also different then too of course.
In any case, in Season 2 Ken is not a weak character by any means as this game generally doesn't pitfall anyone below competition level. His overhead buff is great! I've won a couple clutch games off that, haha.
Do you have have plans to explore other characters?
Yes. I will learn Akuma, of course, as everyone is looking into him right now.
Do you feel the update allows players to play a more reactive, neutral style?
Possibly! I've yet to really see a massive difference. But whether it's a new game, a new character, patch update, or even all three together, we are always adjusting in some way.
Which characters do you forsee being the strongest or weakest in 2017?
No idea right now. That's too hard to say, we were only just about there on Season 1 with that to be honest.
Do you feel there should be another patch update before CPT begins?
I don't know to be honest, I'm still very new to Season 2. I find people will always just answer this kind of question based on what they personally want, if you know what I mean.
Where would you like to see SF V a few years from now?
On TV! Terrestrial TV as a standard broadcast! In 2011, when I was in Korea for World Cyber Games, I could not believe my eyes when Starcraft was just on my TV in the hotel room. I could definitely do with switching over to Temple of Ascension on Channel 4 for some action after the morning weather report predicts rain — oh wait, more rain! [laughs]