The King of Fighters '98/Brian

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Introduction

He's a super star. May be Al Bundy in disguise.

Gameplay Overview

Brian is a low tier character. His main strenght is that he can deal up to 60% of damage in a combo without meter, but he has several downsides like a slow and very short jump, and mostly crap normals and specials. His main game plan revolves around trying to land a crossup (Screw Body Press mainly, also j. C) and then following up with a devastating Brian Hammer string.

He can win, but it'll be an uphill battle against a good player that's aware of Brian's gimmicks.

In EXTRA mode he becomes a bit more versatile and scary: he gains the dash infinite ([d + C] x n during a dash), his Screw Body Press while dashing and a the 50% damage boost while in MAXIMUM. He can be a good pick in an EXTRA Kyo team.

Definitely not a character for beginners.

Combos

  • crossup Screw Body Press (or j.C), cl.C (1 hit) xx qcb + K ~ hcf + P ~ d,d,d + K ~ d,u + P / Any other Brian Hammer combination
  • cr.B, cr.A xx qcf x 2 + K (don't do it in a corner, the final hit of the DM won't connect and you'll be open for punishment)/ dp + K
  • crossup SBP / crossup j.C / j.C, cl.C (2 hits) xx qcf x 2 + K
  • (EXTRA mode only) dash d + C x n (infinite)

In-depth Analysis

Normal Throws

b or f+C - Breakable, forward knockdown, back turned, rollable

b or f+D - Breakable, forward knockdown, back turned, rollable

C throw preferred since you recover from it faster, I guess. Neither is very good though.

Normal Moves

Standing A - Use it as a poke to keep your opponents grounded. Uncancellable and misses crouching characters.

Standing D - Not too terrible as an anti-air.

Close C - Your main follow-up after a crossup/jump-in. Hits twice. Cancel on the first hit except for a qcb + P x 3 Hammer or a qcf x 2 + K DM.

Crouching A - Not very fast, but long ranged and cancellable. Use mainly as a poke and in a combo from c.B. You can cancel it into a qcf x 2 + K DM or a DP + K.

Crouching B - Similar to c.A, only it hits low. Hence it works as a combo starter.

Crouching D - Pretty fast sweep, but uncancellable and quite vulnerable during recovery.

Jumping C - By far, Brian's best normal. Fast, great as a crossup, really nice hitbox. Main jump-in and a good alternative to SBP as a crossup.

Jumping D - Decent air-to-air attack. Against grounded opponents, you can combo a second j.D if you do it somewhat deep. Useful as a jump-in-jump-back safe pressure.

Command Normals

d+C in air - Use this any time the screw body press is impractical (too little range). Smashes other jumpers down to the ground, does good damage. Can work really well as a short jump attack. Like most moves of this type it stuns a lot, and in EXTRA mode you can do a dash infinite with it.

Special Moves

Screw Body Press (qcf+P in air) - One of the biggest bullshit moves in 98, this is Brian's bread and butter. Trades with or snuffs damn near everything, is quite safe, and flies in different ways depending on how you're jumping. Running and short jumping sends him shooting forward with little vertical range, while tigerkneeing it sends him flying clear off the screen and covering ridiculous distance. Once you've learned how it works, you can fly in pretty much any way you please.

To use it as a crossup, do it just as you start to descend in your jump. If you successfully pull a crossup, follow up with the Brian Hammer string of your choice.

In EXTRA mode, if you do it during the starting frames (when he's going up, before he reaches maximum height) of a dash, Brian will do a very safe and useful arc that will hit your opponent in the head area and go to the other side of the screen; it can even crossup. An easy way to do this is to do f, dp + C.

Brian Tornado (hcf + P) - Brian's Psycho Crusher. Don't bother. It doesn't do very good damage and it's ridiculously unsafe.

Hyper Tackle (hcf + K) - Not terrible, but only if used sparingly. B version is faster and goes a shorter distance, D version has a long startup and travels a longer way. Does okay damage and has okay priority. Has autoguard frames while he leans back (after the first 5 startup frames, before he tackles).

Rocket Tackle (dp + K) - B version is pretty useless as an anti-air (and overall), and has only a couple of invincibility frames at startup. Knocks grounded opponents down. You'll be better off avoiding using it.

D version also has only a few invincibility frames at startup, but after those it has several autoguard frames and its hitbox makes it a decent antiair. It doesn't knock down grounded opponents, though, so don't use it as a reversal against them.

Brian Hammer (qcb + P) - Overhead. After the initial qcb + P, you can do the following strings:

  • qcb + P ~ qcb + P (reverse knockdown, face turned)
  • hcf + P ~ d,d + P (forward knockdown, face forward)
  • hcf + P ~ d,d,d + K ~ d,u + P (forward knockdown, face forward)

The first two versions do around 25% damage, and you recover quickly enough to go for a crossup Screw Body Press on wakeup.

The third version does around 40%, but the recovery is longer so it's harder to pull SBP shenanigans. The damage is beastly enough, though.

Desperation Moves

American Supernova (qcf,qcf+P) - Jumping anti-air grab. Nearly useless (the area in which it hits is completely bizarre), but goddamned hilarious if it succeeds.

Big Bang Tackle (qcf,qcf+K) - Great priority, decent damage, ridiculously unsafe. First charge is the only one that really hurts. Useful mainly as an anti-air (nice hitbox for that task -don't use it as a reversal though-) or in combos (very damaging; SDM version can do around 80% in a combo), avoid using it in any other situations. Zero invincibility / autoguard frames, but DM version can go through normal (not DM/SDM) projectiles and the SDM version gets hyper armor instead.