We’re finally presenting you the very first SDTEKKEN Talks International interview. Our guest is the American community representative, Rip! Click the link below to jump to the interview.
SDTEKKEN: What’s your nickname’s origin?
Rip: Back in high school, one of my teacher’s couldn’t pronounce my real first name (Reepal), so he said ‘How bout I just call you Rip?’ and I was just like, sure, and its stuck as my real life nickname since.
SDTEKKEN: What are your own and your communitie’s biggest Tekken 6 successes so far?
Rip: My biggest successes have been 2nd at Evo2k10, 4th at UTXII, winning SBO qualifiers with Aris and Suiken to go compete in SBO 2010, 2nd at NCR2009, and other Top 8 finishes in the past 2 years. Of course, JFJ and Suiken held it down for Socal this past year for numerous top 8 placings in the MLG 2010 season.
SDTEKKEN: How many T6 players are there in your community? How many of them take part in tournaments?
Rip: In Socal, we probably have about 30-60 players, but only about 16-20 of them are active in our regular tournaments.
SDTEKKEN: Is Tekken 6 the most popular fighting game there?
Rip: Definitely not. The Street Fighter 4 community had regularly capped 64 man tournaments when it hit the arcade. I dont follow it closely, but I’m sure they still outnumber the Tekken scene.
SDTEKKEN: Is online popular in your country?
Rip: Its hard to say. Its a big country and the connection isn’t good across it while its decent locally. I know some good players who do play online though. I played online for the WCG tournament last year and wanted to kill myself.
SDTEKKEN: Who are your top players?
Rip: IMO, Nin is the best player in the world. I know Anakin owned him up and all, but Nin is still who I consider to be the top player. USA, I’d say Anakin, Fab, Mr Naps, JFJ, Suiken, Kor, Crow, and Bronson.
SDTEKKEN: Any upcoming tournaments worth mentioning?
Rip: No official word on MLG having another season of Tekken 6, so at this point I’d have to say Final Round, Evolution, and if it ever gets announced.. Evo Japan and Strongstyle
Glen: I’d like know how he liked commentating at the MLG events and whether he’d do more commentary on broadcasts or YT vids.
Rip: I loved commentating at the MLG events. It grew on me a lot more than I expected it to. I have no problem jumping on broadcasts if people ask me to.
arro: Who’s your favorite Law player not from the West Coast? And I don’t mean just skill wise, I mean person-wise!
Rip: Its a toss-up between Renikon and kPc. kPc was imo the best EC Law player in DR, however he hasn’t been around in T6 because of the military. Renikon is the best upcoming Law player and its amazing how far he’s come in just this past year. Both are great guys.
Xiaonanigans: What changes would you like Namco to do to Law (if any), and the game system in general, in TTT2?
Rip: Good question. Obviously Law needs nerfs, but I think he can be nerfed to keep him a good character still. #1 Shorten the frames on his parry windows, they are way too large. #2 ff+2,3 is too easily hit confirmable. #3 ws+1,2 is okay as is, but the autoparry window after is too strong. #4 db+3 should be -13 on block #5 3,4 dmg needs to be reduced but properties are fine otherwise. #6 Needs a quick low out of DSS
#7 Faster homing move (dss 3 is high and slow and just a terrible addition) #8 b+1,2,2 is finally perfect for not having launch, no changes necessary. I would love to see a b+1,2,true JF+1 launcher though. #9 DSS 3+4 from DR looked and felt better in combos
I like T6’s game system in general so I hope it doesn’t get changed too much in TTT2.
rinoH: What gave you the idea for LUYG?
Rip: I was listening to MYK’s Tekken Time podcast with Fab, and they were going over some detailed Miguel stuff, and I just couldn’t for the life of me understand what they were talking about and wished I could SEE what they were talking about it.
hi: why did he switch to pad, and what made him do that?
what moves did he find himself smoother with pad than stick?
Rip: This is interesting, because originally I was a stick player because I’ve played every Tekken in the arcade before Tekken 5 allowed us to use our own controller. Since Tekken 2 I’ve also played on Playstation with the controller and felt more comfortable with it. So once T5 allowed us the choice, I went to the pad. Moves are actually harder for me on pad, but movement, ss, backdashing is much easier on pad for me.
Forest: What are your favourite things about Law?
Rip: That he yells a lot, that he flips a lot, that hes not fat, that hes not a girl, that 90% of his DSS moves are badass, and that he can run up your body.
L_Z_N: Before reaching 2nd at Evo 2010, you seemed not to have won any major tourneys in 2010(AFAIK). But you did very well afterwards. Why? What happened between Evo 2009 and Evo 2010? And what motivated you to consistently win after Evo 2010?
Rip: I got 1st at the Tekken 6 Exhibition tournament at Evo 2009 and 2nd at NCR 2009 a few months later, so I think I was doing okay. Nothing really changed in me personally, I just kept learning and applying that knowledge. (also, I got top 8 evo 2k8! That was my biggest accomplishment back then)
johnny: who is your favorite foreign player and why? and which character you would like to be an expert with besides law?
Rip: NIN is my favorite foreign player because he has incredible knowledge of the game and because he’s a jerk. If I could easily master any other character, I would choose Lei because I feel he has a lot of potential to be tricky/confusing.
Super Joe: Mr. R I P,
What are your favorite Kung Fu movies, old school and new school?
Rip: Kung Fu Hustle and Kung Fu Panda.
Meeu: Coming from someone who really don’t know you that much, I would like to ask what are your future plans as a competitive gamer and as a commentator (for levelupyourgame and others)? who would you choose as a 2nd character in TTT2?
Rip: I will probably play a bit more competitively. I’ve been thinking about ‘retiring’ over and over again but T6 kept pulling me back in and then TTT2 got announced, so we’ll see. Commentating right now depends entirely on MLG having Tekken again, but other than that, I’m down to do it whenever if anyone asks. Level Up Your Game will continue. I want to do all the characters before Tag 2 hits, but I think we’ll have to change the format to accomplish that. Second character in Tag 2 will initially be Paul, but I’ll try a lot of other characters as well.
moonis: Who do you think is the current best player in Tekken Nin or Knee or any other? How much expectations do you have with Tekken Tag 2 and Tekken vs Street Fighter?
Rip: I think Nin is best. Very excited about TTT2 of course, but every game needs to be balanced independently. Namco has a done a great job with the last couple Tekken’s so as long as nothing is changing behind the scenes as far as balance goes, then I have very high hopes for the game. TxSF is too far off at this point, but I do hope that when SFxT comes out that a lot of Tekken players pick it up and start beating Street Fighter players at their own game!
tHeRIPGamble: Do you wish that you could land DSS3+4 in a mid combo (say after ws+2, 4,3,4,dss+3+4)? it seems much harder in T6BR.
Rip: Launcher, SSR, 434 dss 3+4 to make it land in the open
What is the reason for your blowing into your d-pad before matches? I’ve seen you do it in casuals as well as in important tournament matches. I am very curious about this.
Rip: Just less friction so its easier for my thumb to glide across it. Makes slides much easier to execute.
9thpixel: Since you lick your d-pad in the name of friction. Where should we arcade stick players be licking to level up our game?
Rip: #1, I dont lick, I blow LOL.
#2 aris’ balls, and as a bonus you can floss with the beard stuck in your teeth afterward
K-Keo: how did you get into tekken? when and why did you start getting serious with tekken, also how long did it take you to start beating top players? what was your first tournament experience like? were you nervous? were your hands sweaty? what is your philosophy on tekken (geting better, being consistant, basically what’s it take to be a top player?)
Rip: Started in Tekken at the Arcade. Friend taught me to use Law in Tekken 1 and it stuck once I learned the basics. Played tournaments in Tekken Tag and 4, but decided to get actually get serious in Tekken 5. I had been playing a looot of Tekken 3, Tag, and 4 but never really tried, so I figured since I spent so much time learning it, I might as well put it to use if possible. The first time I beat a top player was within the first year of Tekken 5. I beat ChetChetty in a local tournament and made it to the grand finals for the first time. Looking back on it, that was the moment that I realized I could compete with top players. Of course I was incredibly nervous (my hands never sweat that much) and had tons of butterflies.
Philosophy in Tekken – spacing, punishing, defense, and general character knowledge is most important. I used to believe in ALWAYS maximizing damage, but I don’t think its as important anymore. Being a top player takes practice, dedication and being open to criticism. You have to understand why you’re losing before you can fix it and improve.
KNDomino: First, thanks for the iphone app! I don’t own an iphone, but if it ever comes out on the android, I’m getting it! :D Anyway, from the very little I’ve seen in your video showing it off, do you think you’ll add frame data to the core moves of each character? Or is that already there? Will you add on more stuff to it later on? And is there any plans for bringing it over to android? :)
Rip: I don’t want to go into specifics on the app at this time, however, initial feedback has been positive. I do plan to add more to it. And I do plan to release it on the android os asap (Sometime this month is my best guess, hopefully sooner than later). Stay tuned at levelupyourgame.com for more info on the app.
KMM: Why did you chose Law as your main char?
When did you start playing Tekken seriously?
How long do you play a month (avg)?
What do you think is the most important factor to improve (comp., pmode,…)?
Rip: I chose Law as my main because he could do flip kicks and run up peoples body. I’ve been playing since Tekken 1. First tournament was in Tekken Tag Tournament. Didn’t start playing seriously until Tekken 5 though. I don’t play much anymore actually, probably about 12 hours or less per month. When I was learning though or practicing up for big tournaments, it would have been about 3-4 hours per day. To improve, good competition is most important. Having someone to push you to get better is very important. Thats why its important to share your knowledge so that your opponents get better because in the long run it makes you better as well. If you hide your knowledge, your opponent won’t beat you, but when you travel its inevitable that you’ll play someone who knows how to work around your tactics and you won’t know how to answer back without that experience.
SDTEKKEN: Anything else you’d like to add?
Rip: No Tekken player gets good by themselves. I just want to thank Chojin for teaching me the basics, Tomhilfiger and Shauno for showing me what high level play was, Cynnik for teaching me how to DSS, MYK and Kane for keeping me up to date with data changes since DR, JFJ for making me push my Law further and everyone else in Socal without whom I would not have experience against a variety of characters.
SDTEKKEN: Thank you for the interview.