The King of Fighters '98: Ultimate Match/Joe Higashi (EX)
The new moves are definitely an improvement over his OG counterpart, but of course there are things missing from normal Joe.
Make use of his zoning strength; you want to fight by batting the enemy closer and further.
At a glance
|Hiza Jigoku||(throw) f/b + C|
|Leg Throw||(throw) f/b + D|
|Low Kick||f + B|
|Sliding||df + B|
|Hurricane Upper||hcf + P|
|Slash Kick||hcf + K|
|Tiger Kick||dp + K|
|Pressure Knee||dp + P|
|┗ Ōgon no Fukurahagi||(during Pressure Knee) qcb + K|
|┗ Bakuretsu Finish||(during Bakuretsuken) qcf + P|
|Super special moves|
|Screw Upper||qcf qcf + P|
|Thunder Fire||qcf qcf + K|
- f/b + C – Unbreakable grab with rollable knockdown. Mashable and subject to team assists.
- f/b + D – Breakable throw with unrollable knockdown. Not preferred because it’s breakable, but it does a fixed amount of damage if successful.
- st.A and st.C – some jump checking and zoning ability; very strong punches.
- st.B and cr.D – have long reach and are strong in the zoning department; the latter is cancellable.
- st.D (he has no cl.D) – extremely strong as a jump checker, but leaves you even more open than OG did.
- j.A and j.CD - powerful in air-to-air. The startup of j.CD has been sped up.
- j.D – downward-oriented, so you can use it jumping in; when used while ascending, it is an overhead.
- Low Kick
- f + B
- Pivotal for combos, this command move combos from strong attacks. Somewhat open if blocked.
- df + B
- If the very tip touches the opponent, there is not so much of an opening. The recovery is a little shorter than in OG. Its speed is quick, and it’s relatively easy to use. When it hits, it does knockdown.
- Hurricane Upper
- hcf + P
- A projectile with slow startup. Its range is wide, so it’ll hit short opponents and hyper-hopping opponents, but it’s not as tall as normal Joe’s so you have to be careful. The speed it travels depends on which button you use, though it doesn’t make much of a difference. The recovery is now shorter, so it’s somewhat easier to use.
- P mashed, (f), (ABCD to halt)
- Joe waves his fist of fury while standing in place. If you press forward on the stick, he will advance forward slightly. It has long reach and the hitbox is relatively solid. It can now be halted by pressing ABCD, unlike in OG. Also, if the very tip hits, it no longer knocks the opponent back so much; however, since his arm positioning alternates up and down, the reach changes because the middle level reaches the farthest, so not all the punches will connect.
- Bakuretsu Finish
- qcf + P during Bakuretsuken
- The weak version doesn’t leave you too open if blocked. The strong version does two hits, and does decent damage; it safely and easily combos from Bakuretsuken, but a counter is likely if it is blocked. Either one does knockdown, but if you are on or after the fourth hit, you can’t use it, and as such it is difficult to use in actual combos.
- Tiger Kick
- dp + K
- More or less, an excellent move for anti-air and stuffing. In particular, the hitbox around his knee has extremely high priority. Both weak and strong versions launch the opponent from the first hit, but now the weak version does only one hit, after which the opponent’s hitbox is gone, so with the possible (?) exception of a ground counter-hit, it won’t use both hits, period.
- Slash Kick
- hcf + K
- Rushing move, very vulnerable. Use solid hit confirmation, and use it in combos.
- Pressure Knee
- dp + P
- A Tiger-Kick like kneeing from a rush. The weak version combos from weak moves and the strong version combos from strong attacks, but the strong from cl.C >> Low Kick will only combo in the corner.
- Ōgon no Fukurahagi
- qcb + K during Pressure Knee
- Does unrollable knockdown. When Pressure Knee successfully hits, this is always a good call.
Super special moves
- Screw Upper
- qcf qcf + P
- A very, very tall projectile that advances across half the screen. For the most part, the weak version will combo from weak attacks (for this purpose, though, Thunder Fire does more damage). The normal version isn’t often worth the trouble due to how slow it is.
- The MAX version is enormous, and will travel all the way to the corner (so it can be launched from afar as long as your opponent isn’t a good roller). It actually does good damage if it hits, and a lot of chip damage if blocked. The weak version travels slower and does more hits.
- Thunder Fire
- qcf qcf + K
- Ranbu-style super, doesn’t lock the opponent, and doesn’t have invincibility. Since Screw Upper is a better chipper, this one is probably best kept for combos.
- cr.B >> cr.A >> (weak Pressure Knee >> Ōgon no Fukurahagi) or Thunder Fire
- Combo from weak moves; very much stronger than before.
- j.C > cl.C >> Low Kick >> weak Slash Kick or Thunder Fire
- When blocked, the best damage control is to either switch to a weak Hurricane Upper or skip out entirely.
- cr.A > st.C >> Low Kick >> all sorts of special moves
- Combo from a weak move; stronger but less opportunities to use it than in OG.
First off, you always want to keep the opponent at mid-range, where Joe hurts the most. The sweet spot is basically from the tip of his standing kicks to the reach of Pressure Knee. If you’re too far away, close the distance with something like Sliding, Pressure Knee, or j.CD; if you’re too close, do things like tapping them with normals, or a rearward hopping D overhead to open the distance.
The improved Hurricane Upper is now an asset, so long as your opponent doesn’t read you like a book. You need to use it in moderation because the right jump means a severe counterattack.
Bakuretsuken has a pretty good hitbox, so you can use it as a zoning move against opponents who don’t have a good stuffing move. You can advance forward, which offers you the opportunity to read ahead and counter an opponent who wants to counter you with a sweep. Also, you can stop it at will now, so you can even use it to turtle up your opponent. After it’s over, watch your opponent carefully; if it seems likely that they will jump, zone with things like vertical jump j.CD; if that’s not the case, try continuing with something like cr.A from a dash to get them on the defensive.
After seeing the jump, you can smash it with Bakuretsu Finish; since it is hard to roll through, Bakuretsuken is a very good offensive defense.
For powerful blockstrings, touch them with the tip of cr.D, and cancel into weak Hurricane Upper. Unless they use a guard-cancel, it’s not a good idea for them to counter it.