Hype, competitive drive, and high-level Guilty Gear: BornFree talks to Kizzie Kay at SoCal Regionals 2018

Also: the power of sibling rivalry to inspire the competitive urge…

At SoCal Regionals 2018, BornFree caught up with fan-favorite UYU|Kizzie Kay, widely recognized as one of the best Guilty Gear Xrd REV 2 players in the world. They talked about the state of Guilty Gear (and what’s in its future), Dragon Ball FighterZ, and what it takes to play multiple fighting games at a high competitive level: “I ask trusted friends very important questions, and I get very important answers.” Check it out below.

If you enjoy BornFree’s content, why not check out his channel on YouTube?

Source: BornFree


Get to know the history of FGC interviewer BornFree in “Salt Shakers” podcast

Tekken expert Reepal “Rip” Parbhoo shares his FGC history with BornFree

BornFree catches up with Oil King at SoCal Regionals in this interview

Shoryuken interview: Dead or Alive 6 director Yohei Shimbori discusses development, DLC, and the franchise’s legacy

The team is working to make DOA 6 the best it can be at release, with plans for the future coming at the tail end.

Shoryuken was invited to a private event in San Francisco on October 4, 2018, to get a hands-on look at the most recent build of Dead or Alive 6 and to interview the Director and Producer of Dead or Alive 6, Yohei Shimbori, along with the Creative Director for Team NINJA, Tom Lee.

Together we discussed the title’s development,  DLC, and how DOA6 aims to be the best in the franchise.

DOA6_Logo resize

Austyn “Lazybones2020” Roney: It wasn’t too long ago when Dead or Alive 6 was first announced at E3, and yet, at the time, it felt like the title could have come out the next day. How long has DOA6 been in development?

Yohei Shimbori: It’s hard to say exactly when development started, the overall concepts began about two years ago but I was working on other projects at the time. It was about a year and a half ago was when the general preparations for development began, around last winter was when the first prototype was in development. From that prototype, we then went full speed ahead into development.

Lazybones2020: How has the reaction been? Have there been any significant changes to the game that have been implemented based on the feedback?

Shimbori: It is definitely something we take note of. That being said, most of the title’s changes were implemented on our own, but there were some slight changes based on the feedback that we are seeing.

When we think of something that is entertaining or amusing, we immediately want to try it out. Sometimes we like to implement some specific points from the players, like in regard to things like the side-step. It is a game made mostly of our ideas, but we do like to see feedback from the players.

When it comes to negative feedback we tend to not dwell on that too much. From people who have actually played the game, there hasn’t really been any negative feedback and they have all felt the game was much more fun than they thought it would be.

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Lazybones2020: Speaking of fun, I really liked playing with Diego, he has a very interesting style I haven’t seen very much of in fighting games. He has a very intense playstyle with a very raw power to him. How did his development come to be?

Also, when developing a new character, how do you determine what gaps are in the roster that need to be filled with a specific playstyle? How do you look at the roster and say, “Okay, we need a character like that?”?

Shimbori: To the second part of the question, to filling in the roster, sometimes ideas just really pop into my head and I go, maybe this might be kind of fun. But these ideas really come when I analyze the audience and see what kinds of things they are looking for.

In the case of Diego, it’s a little bit different. For this one, I actually talked to Tom Lee, and I asked him “What kind of male character should we add?” And Tom came up with about three different ideas and one of those was a character who was from the city, from the streets, someone who was rough and tough and I thought that really fit the theme of the game which is intense fighting entertainment. I then talked with Tom about what his personality should be like, what are his values, but I really think that Tom should take the rest of this answer.

Tom Lee: I feel you answered most of it. [laughs] I think there was a need for a character like Diego at this time, at this stage of fighting games. He was a collaborative character. Our Western background and their heritage combined created Diego.


Lazybones2020: A few things that were announced a little bit earlier at TGS were the pre-order bonuses and the deluxe edition bonuses, one being Nyotengu and the other being Phase-4. Why were these characters chosen for these purposes?

Shimbori: In terms of Phase-4, we didn’t plan to put her in, but we thought, “Well, let’s give it a try!” That’s the mindset we had when putting her in. We felt having her was better than not having her.

For Nyotengu it was a different case. We were with the dev team, we were over budget and over our development schedule. We felt that if we wanted to get her into the game, normally I don’t think we would have been able to, but she is a character that I really like, so I had to think of a way to get her into the game. That’s when we thought that having her as a bonus would be the most realistic way we could do it due to our pretty intense circumstances.


Lazybones2020: Certainly, that makes a lot of sense when you put it that way. Another thing that I noticed with the Deluxe it includes twenty-five costumes, but there wasn’t a mention of a season pass for additional characters. There were multiple versions of Dead or Alive 5, is that something in the endgame that you are thinking of doing with Dead or Alive 6, or will it be one title that will be supported into the future?

Shimbori: I think at this point right now, we don’t have any plans for a “Last Round” or an “Ultimate” version for the game, but those are the plans for right now, they can change. In terms of a season pass or DLC in general, that is actually something we are discussing right now, and we are determining how we should proceed with that. It might end up being a similar business model, it might be something different, we have yet to finalize any plans for DLC.

Lazybones2020: There may not be an answer for this question with it being a ways away from release, but for the pre-order bonuses, the PlayStation 4 version of the game gets a theme, but the Xbox One version of the game gets a Ryu Hayabusa costume.

Once upon a time, the Dead or Alive franchise and Xbox had a really close relationship, with Nicole, a Halo Spartan in Dead or Alive 4, who was a very unique addition to the game. Will the costume be a continuation of this previous relationship or is there another reason for the Xbox being given a costume with its pre-order, and a theme was chosen for PlayStation?

Shimbori: It is a really hard question to answer, at first, I wanted to do themes to both, but Xbox doesn’t do themes. After this announcement, there was a lot of feedback from the fans saying they would be more interested in getting a costume instead of a theme, and it’s something we have learned from for the future in what our fans are wanting.

Hayabusa Armor Halo 3

(The Hayabusa Armor is a fan-favorite Team NINJA reference found in Halo 3, which while being unlikely, I hope makes its way into Dead or Alive 6 through the Xbox One’s pre-order bonus)

Lazybones2020: That’s okay, it was just a question I had to ask! I’ll keep my fingers crossed!

The new trailer that just came out that announced Tina, Bass, and Mila is very exciting and it’s nice to see these story elements come together. Dead or Alive is a franchise that has a long-running story that is very deep and complex, how is Dead or Alive 6 going to take the story that has been laid out and propel it forward?

Shimbori: I can’t say too much about the story at this point, but I can say that with Dead or Alive 5, we saw some new issues and problems that came up in the story. Some things were not resolved, some of the new characters didn’t have as much of an impact in the story so these are the kinds of things we are looking into for Dead or Alive 6.

Lazybones2020: To all of the fans out there who have been with the franchise and to all of the people who are now becoming interested in the title, what is one thing you want them all to know about Dead or Alive 6 and how it will suit their needs?

Shimbori: There are too many things to mention to just pick one, but I do think that to the new players, I would have to say, “Hey! Why haven’t you played Dead or Alive?!” Dead or Alive 6 has visuals that are incredibly beautiful, and the game is much easier to play, I feel this game will be one that all players will enjoy.

And to the fans specifically, from around the time the game was first announced at E3, there have been some misunderstandings about the game and I want them to feel at ease. We are making this game for the fans, we aren’t trying to make this game into Tekken. Dead or Alive is Dead or Alive. It’s going to be much more exciting and the quality is improving the further we get into development.

I hope that everyone, you will believe in us and come February 15th, I hope that we can all come together and have a big party around the world and enjoy Dead or Alive!

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It won’t be long until we have answers to all of our questions about Dead or Alive 6 as we wait for its release on February 15, 2019, on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC. Until then, stay tuned for additional announcements and updates for the title right here at Shoryuken.

Additional source: Dead or Alive


Tina, Bass, and Mila bring out THE MUSCLE in the newest Dead or Alive 6 trailer

Dead or Alive 6 will be coming to arcades

Team NINJA’s Yohei Shimbori discusses Dead or Alive 6’s graphics, gameplay, and its yet-unrevealed female newcomer

Get to know the history of FGC Interviewer BornFree in “Salt Shakers” podcast

Interviews are typically designed to get a deeper insight into the biggest players in our tournament scene — and no one is better known for getting interesting interviews than Mark “BornFree” Sheridan. It’s no surprise that the man that lives in the post-match minds of players for his job also has more than a few stories to share himself.

“Salt Shakers” is a New Zealand FGC Podcast hosted by Drax_8, working to cover NZ’s events and local FGC talent. Salt Shakers also serves as a stream for some NZ events, which you can catch on their twitch channel.

Source:  Salt Shakers

BornFree catches up with Oil King at SoCal Regionals in this interview

Find out the truth about the man behind the shorts!

Taiwan’s Oil King has went from being known as the guy in the short shorts to a very consistent player in 2018. Over the course of the year, he has consistently made top 8s, and even taken down his first premier event in Xi’an, China.

While at Socal Regionals, BornFree caught up with Oil King, and discussed his beginnings in fighting games, as well as his choice to play Rashid — which he claims to not be the inspiration behind his name. He also discusses his thoughts on Street Fighter V currently.

Source: BornFree


BornFree gets Sako’s opinion on Menat, Sagat, and G in Street Fighter V, and the importance of keeping the fun in fighting games

Speedkicks shares his love of Tekken 7 Season 2 in this new BornFree interview

Tom Cannon offers insight on the classic Umehara vs. Valle Street Fighter Alpha 3 match and origin of “The Beast” with BornFree

BornFree gets Sako’s opinion on Menat, Sagat, and G in Street Fighter V, and the importance of keeping the fun in fighting games

“G is not necessarily strong… but interesting.”

Sako is well-known as a Street Fighter execution monster and longtime top player — and his Menat is turning heads and winning Capcom Pro Tour events this season. His technical approach and understanding of Street Fighter V makes his outlook something worth listening to — so BornFree asked him what he thinks of the last two DLC fighters of Season 3, Sagat and G.

The verdict? Sagat is pretty weak compared to the rest of the roster, while G falls somewhere in the middle — not overpowered, but with an interesting design. He offers the opinion that even Nash — the other character Sagat player Bonchan has become known for in SFV — is better than poor Sagat.

But that’s only a snippet of BornFree’s full video interview with Sako, which you can see below. They also discuss what Sako loves about Menat (and his fear she’ll get nerfed), his drive to find new combos, and his outlook on training and competition. And the SFV player he fears the most right now is Fuudo!

Source: BornFree


Tom Cannon offers insight on the classic Umehara vs. Valle Street Fighter Alpha 3 match and origin of “The Beast” with BornFree

VesperArcade talks about the strengths and weaknesses of Street Fighter V’s President of the World, G

Speedkicks shares his love of Tekken 7 Season 2 in this new BornFree interview

Speedkicks shares his love of Tekken 7 Season 2 in this new BornFree interview

“For me, a video game is a puzzle with an objective to figure out. Spending that time understanding how win a game of Tekken, that’s where the fun is.”

Speedkicks is easily one of the Tekken scene’s most recognizable top talents. What might be less known is that the journey he took to get there started in Tekken Tag Tournament 2‘s beta test — and a lot of labbing to understand the puzzle that is fighting games, as opposed to some nebulous goal of “being the best”.

In his hour-long interview with BornFree, he shares his origin story, his love of Season 2’s re-balance, and his concern over Tekken World Tour’s new format. If you want to learn more about a top Tekken player’s mindset, this is the interview to watch!

Source: BornFree


Tekken 7 Season 2 roundup: Eddy late FC 3+4 links, Master Raven wall bounces, and more!

FrameWhisperer explains why wall bounces aren’t working in Tekken 7 Season 2

Tom Cannon offers insight on the classic Umehara vs. Valle Street Fighter Alpha 3 match and origin of “The Beast” with BornFree

Tom Cannon offers insight on the classic Umehara vs. Valle Street Fighter Alpha 3 match and origin of “The Beast” with BornFree

A look back at earliest days of the East/West fighting game rivalry.

In 1998, Daigo Umehara came to Nickel City arcade in San Francisco (well, technically a ways south of San Francisco) to fight in the Street Fighter Alpha 3 World Championship — and ultimately faced off against Alex Valle in an East-West battle that has become legendary.

At SoCal Regionals 2018, BornFree took some time to watch the footage of this epic event with fighting game OG and Shoryuken co-founder Tom Cannon, who provides lots of insight into how the whole thing went down — because he was there!

Tom Cannon talks about the California competitive scene at the time, how little was know about Japanese players ahead of Umehara’s arrival in the USA — and how much of an achievement it already was for Valle to come out on top against all the other USA competitors before going up against Umehara. He also explains how, very shortly after this tournament, Daigo Umehara gained his title as “The Beast”!

Source: BornFree


Bonchan shares his concerns over Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition’s Sagat in candid BornFree interview

Tom Cannon talks Evo Japan, tournament saturation, and women’s movements in the fighting game community with BornFree

Shoryuken interview: Daigo Umehara discusses the current Street Fighter V meta & gives advice to new players

TVNZ’s Re:Sports interviews Vizard|Reno ahead of Red Bull Kumite NZ 2018

“Even if I don’t win, any chance to go to a tournament and compete against the best New Zealand has to offer is an amazing opportunity.”

Sebastian “Reno” Musumeci is the latest star in “Re:Sports”, a segment of New Zealand’s state-owned TV network “TVNZ”. His lighthearted and optimistic approach belies the skills that, just a month ago, earned him a sponsorship with VizardGG.

This Necalli pro knows his competition — GhostChips and WaZa, previously interviewed on the same show — aren’t going to give up easily, particularly with a trip to Paris on the line. But with a strong character and a strong will, Reno is ready for the Red Bull Kumite NZ 2018 Qualifier on September 22nd, 2018.

Source: Re:Sports (via SliWill)


TV New Zealand interviews 17-year old top Street Fighter V player Ghostchips

TV New Zealand interviews Street Fighter V player and family man Mighty Ape|WaZa

Red Bull Kumite 2018 Japanese Qualifier results

Bonchan shares his concerns over Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition’s Sagat in candid BornFree interview

“Sagat is not able to assert offense (…) He’s the weakest character I play right now.”

sfv ae sagat promo

Sagat pro Bonchan may have felt like a miracle happened when his main finally got announced in Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition, but as he’s developed his own take on the King, he’s become concerned with his place in the meta. He shares those concerns, and how he’d personally adjust the character, in his latest interview with BornFree.

“The number one thing I want to change is Tiger Knee,” he shares as he recalls the freedom of Street Fighter IV Sagat. Despite his hesitation, he’s still playing the character in tournament, and will play him in most situations — unless his opponent picks Guile, that is.

Source: BornFree


BornFree praises the “Begin Training with this Character” feature, recently added to Street Fighter V

How strong is the King? VesperArcade discusses Sagat’s strengths and weaknesses in Street Fighter V

Daniel Lindholm’s version of Sagat’s classic theme shows how cool it can be to be King