Cheats, Codes & FAQs
It's imperative that you understand the basics of guarding. You can pretty much only guard from the front, so, make sure you turn towards an enemy to guard. Remember that if you haven't learned to guard weapons yet, you'll get hit--but, to that end, you can always pick up a weapon and use it to defend against all but bomb blasts and bullets. Also, you'll want to get reguard early. Lots of enemies (particularly in the underground arena) will break your guard with their attacks, which will leave you open to another attack--unless you've learned reguard. Get in the habit after that of seeing when your guard is broken, letting go of the button, and then hitting it again.
Despite how it may sometimes seem, you actually do have a lock-on in this title. The thing is...you have to learn when to use it, and when not to use it. The slightest motion by enemies will cause you to lose your hard lock--they'll often not look like they're doing a shifting attack or sidestepping, but they are. This makes people sometimes think that Kiryuu is nuts and likes to attack in all sorts of directions, when the problem is that the game is thinking about the enemy's motion as if it has the property to make Kiryuu lose his lock, but, there's not too much of a sign that it's happening. When this happens, you'll want to let go of lock and try to go free at it, usually in a string of weak attacks. That's because weak attack strings can pretty much go any direction and don't leave you standing around, open to attack if they miss. However, if you want to turn away from an enemy, you'll note that locking onto nothing doesn't help. Kiryuu will turn towards the enemy as you move him about while he's strafing/shifting, even if you wanted him to look away. So, what do you do? You have to learn to Sway. Say you're fighting an enemy and he uses his move's properties to get behind you (which will inevitably happen from time to time, as it does in all brawlers). You can still avoid his attacks if you're clever enough by shifting as he attacks, avoiding it. For instance, a good player will often be going after one quarry so that he can eliminate him first and not get distracted (such as a guy with bombs, or something). Guys will dash in behind him and do all sorts of moves to hit him, so, the player will use cancel sways or just wait until he sees attacks coming, and then dash forward to avoid the attack, or dash and then roll, which is even better.
If you're surrounded by people, as you usually are, you will definitely want to grapple a guy, if you can. Note that "sumo-wrestler" like enemies and other big guys will automatically break your grapple--no matter what you do (*muttered expletives*). But, if you can find a light or medium guy, grab onto 'em and you have a few options. First of all, you should get used to just hitting the Circle button once, then starting your throw or attack. Why? Becuase if you hit it more than once, you'll have a problem when you grab big and medium dudes, who need you to furiously tap the Circle button within a short time to successfully throw them. Really, you have to be careful with too much tapping of the Circle button. First of all, if you need Heat Energy, you can do the three-hit hold combo with the Square button. That gives a lot of Heat--and another good thing about it is that you can just do the first one or two hits and then pause and start again, if you want to drag the guy to a certain location or something. If the enemies are closing in behind you--or even in front of you, you may want to initiate the throw. When your throw is successful, enemies won't be able to guard against the thrown enemy, and you'll get a nice Heat boost. The enemy will also be on the ground, which is nice, and all enemies near where you threw him will be at least knocked back a little. If your "Goku" kanji prompt isn't flashing, that means you can use the Triangle button to kick the guy back. All enemies get knocked down by this attack--except for enemies you can't even grapple in the first place. It knocks the guy back and usually clears out the people right behind him, plus it gives you a nice Heat boost. Also, you don't have to struggle with big guys to do this like you do with throws--you just do it, so, it's a lot fast- er and leaves you less open to interference. A very nice routine for beating most people in the game besides sumo wrest- lers and other such throw-breaking people is to gr
The Beautiful Pick-Me-Up
So, a guy is on the ground in front of you. What a pity, huh? You have a few options. You can step on him and get that Heat boost (or use a pursuit-style Heat Action for damage and experience), which will force all characters to stand up. Or, if you wanna go all-out, you can get in the habit of either grabbing their feet or going for their head and picking them back up with the Circle button. Enemies that can be grabbed by the leg are plentiful and you'll be able to flapjack them to death with Circle, if you want. You can do that to nail bystanders, too--all of which helps you accumulate some Heat, damage enemies, and keep folks around you off your back. You can also kick them with Triangle, unless you're in Heat Mode--but, you can also use the Heat Actions such as the Giant Swing, if you'd like. That'll hurt and give you experience. But...what about the many enemies who can just kick you away when you grab their feet? What then? Propping them back up by going to their head's side is awesome. If they landed on their back, which is most often the case anyway, you'll end up standing behind them--where they can't block! Seriously, only very fast opponents with the right A.I. such as martial artists will spin around and guard at this point. If you're very fast with the Square buttons, you can actually get in a pretty nice combo from behind. Near a wall, and you'll get a wall stun, which will help you combo them even more. Of course, if they're grabbing their heads and rolling around on the ground, you should know that when you pick them up, they'll be dizzied. That means you can use the Ultimate Mastery on them, if you have that. Not a very nice move to eat.
The Bound System
You may have read this a few times in this FAQ, but there's actually a pretty slick addition to the fighting system in the game this time around--and they call it "Bound." The basic idea is that when you hit against the ground, they bounce a little bit, or when you splat them against walls, they're stunned and fall back. You know what? I call it "juggling." If you play fighters, or even if you played Spikeout, you know all about juggles and damaging combos you can get that way. Most enemies that aren't so huge get bound by the Hammer Hook move, which is done by Square x 3, Triangle, Triangle. You'll notice them bounce a little. You can actually tack on two more hits this way--first, a "free" Triangle (not one done while holding R1!). Then, you can do another one, or if you're stylish, you can lock on, sway towards them, and hit Triangle to shoulder charge. Those are actually attacks enemies cannot defend against. It may not sound like a lot, but, when you combine that with getting them to bounce into a wall? You have the potential of hitting them with a quick combo. Usually, you can only do something like the Body Blow followed by the Quick Knee (Square x 2, Triangle x 2). But, that's enough to cause a lot of damage. Keep in mind that you can hit big guys against walls with Tiger Killer reversals (the Triangle reversal), and a few other things. You'll really want to rely on actual combos, especially if you want to play in the arena or at a higher difficulty level.
Reversals are very, very powerful. As a matter of fact, I think that they're more powerful in this game than they've ever been--unless you take into consideration using the Brawling God Amulet in the second game, using the Flowing Catch (Circle reversal), and then immediately doing the Ultimate Mastery. Bosses would go down in just a few hits. The change to the Parrying Reversal was great. Now, it's more like a "Zero Counter" in Street Fighter--except that it doesn't take Heat Energy. In fact, it gives you back some! For those who have no idea what I'm talking about, you can basically stand there, guarding, and wait for an enemy to attack, then easily just hit Triangle after their attack lands on your blocking arms and hit them. You have a pretty decent window, and it has pretty strong power--in fact, it can interrupt most combos! The Tiger Killer (the Triangle reversal) is still great. It gives a LOT of Heat energy and it knocks all enemies down. What's so great about that? Well, spend some time fighting tons of sumo-wrestler types and see if you wouldn't like them to just fall the heck down once in a while. It also splats them against walls, which is nice because then you can sometimes follow it with a nice combo the opponent can't escape. It's a little squirrelly with that, like Spikeout was, but understanding comboing is really the key to messing people up in the arena and on higher difficulty levels. The Circle reversal, the Flowing Catch, may work only on punches, but it's still a great move. It has a larger window of opportunity than the Tiger Killer does, it gives a lot of Heat energy, and it leaves the guy standing-- and sometimes dizzied. I've even seen big guys get dizzied by it, tho' I've usually had to have softened them up with one or two beforehand. If this happens, and your attacks quickly strike, you can sometimes start them as if they were bound and being juggled. Also, after the Flowing Catch, I should note you can do the Dragon King Mastery Heat
This is probably my main go-to move. Unless a guy is really reverse-happy, like aikido experts in the arena, it's really a great move to just throw out there. First of all, the second hit is a guard breaker and hits most enemies (for some reason), even on higher AI's. Secondly, it bounds smaller foes, who are plentiful enough to make it so you can grab them and slam them into the big guys. It also does decent damage, and builds pretty good Heat. On top of all that--guess what? It's a very safe move. Unless someone is dancing around like a fly and completely avoids the darned thing, all enemies will generally be far enough away that they can't immediately retaliate. If they guard or if they stand far away and they DO start to retaliate? You usually have enough time to react, which is good because you should be going for reversals!
Why You Can't Hit That Guy
OK. You picked up a weapon. You've been waiting to use its Heat Action. But...you never get the "Goku" prompt. How come? Because one of the things about this series is that the fighting has always been more like a wrestling game like Def Jam than Final Fight, or any other traditional brawler. That might not sound like such a big deal, but it is. See, in order for moves to work right, the opponent needs to be in the right status. Unfortunately, that means that they can't be attacking, and they can't be reeling from attacks, in order for you to do an attack that would normally need them to just be standing there. It's a different style than frenetic, dodging, shooting games like Devil May Cry or God of War or something, but, it is what it is, and it can sometimes make you gnash your teeth a little in frustration. Trust me. I've been there, too. But, just so you know, your game isn't broken--you just need the guy to recover from his attack pose, or something.
To Heat Action Or Not To Heat Action
That is the ... well, I put a period, so, I guess it's a statement (apparently). Now, you may feel like you should fire off a Heat Action every time you get into Heat Mode and happen to grapple a guy, or one of the weaklings comes at you and you can do the unarmed reversal. I'd say, unless you have the War God Seal, it's probably a little better to refrain most of the time. As you build Kiryuu up, you will get more and more status effects that apply to Heat Mode. These will usually include things like, oh, the enemy's ability to knock you down or not. You may note that you just kinda stumble in Heat Mode, while you get knocked down when not in Heat Mode...and, you don't want to spend all your time on the floor, right? Still, you should also know that you get experience bonuses for using Heat Moves. You'll normally not notice it too much--the bonus for trash enemies isn't so great. But, when you're fighting a boss? If you know a way to get Heat Actions in easily against him, by all means, it behooves you to do so if you want a lot of experience.
Strategy for Small Enemies
By "small," I don't mean like the children at the Morninglory. I just mean your average nobody enemy, who gets effected by things more than others. Small enemies are easy to throw. They get knocked down by Charge Kicks. They crumple to the floor from a gut punch. They bound from your Hammer Hook. These are the guys you should be using to build your Heat Meter. They're not worth very much, so, if there's a bigger fish around, by all means, fry it with Heat Actions for experience boosts. What's annoying about small enemies is that their attacks are usually weird and reach far. Awkward overheads, for instance, have them dash in, do a hook, and avoid high attacks like quick attack strings while being hard to reverse, because you have to time it with the punch coming to you rather than to them moving around like a jackass. They also use weapons the most.
Strategy for Medium Enemies
These guys stagger when hit with Triangle attacks. They seem a lot like small enemies, with bruiser attacks like the one where they rush towards you and do a headbutt, avoiding most attacks in the process, but when you try to throw 'em, you'll have to tap Circle a lot. There are a few different types of medium enemy, but most will ignore weapons (unlike small guys) and prefer to grab you instead. Be ready to tap X to break their hold, as when they grab you, you lose Heat energy (not to mention, you can get thrown down). If you have the Kawachi Breaking Throw, tap Circle quickly so you can teach them a lesson instead. Despite that, you'll actually probably want to counter these guys with grapples fairly often. They usually break foot grabs, but, if you grab 'em when they're standing, you can usually just throw your foot into their chest with Triangle and send 'em flying.
Strategy for Big Guys
Most of the time, these guys do dohyou-iri-like stamping and other such things that make them look like rikishi (sumo wrestlers). They're also ready to dash in and knock you down, absorbing hits or just ducking right under them. In a very annoying fashion. Thankfully, they don't instant-throw you like they did in Kenzan so much, so, you don't have to fear that. You do have to fear their attacks, still, though. You can't just throw caution to the wind and jam on attacks in these guys' faces--they'll find many ways of going right through your attacks--even the Hammer Hook! So, you'll probably want to just do the first Finish Blow of a combo, and guard when they retaliate. I should also note that you can't grapple them. They'll always break your grapple. In Kenzan!, you could grab them from behind--which was nice. But, you can't even do that anymore. Guess the sport of sumo did evolve in those 400 years? Instead, once you get reversals, go for 'em! Triangle reversal these guys to the floor. The best strategy against them is just to hit 'em with a Blow Kick (Triangle while not locked on). It's fast enough that they can't retaliate--even if they can just stand there and block forever. Then, when they do start movin', you'll probably wanna reverse them with Triangle. Or, you could just say an expletive and go grab whatever the heck is lying around and ram it into their face over and over.
Strategy for Specialists
This is my lump category for boxers, martial artists, and wrestlers. Why did I lump them together? Because they all seem to share a lot of their strategy. Once you start to go off on these guys with a nice attack string, they usually know just what to do and do some sort of attack that will just jump right through the last hit--even if they were guarding up to that point. Here's what you do. Just do some weak attacks, and maybe end the combos with one Triangle--like the Uppercut. Wait to see what they do, and dash to keep the pressure on them. If they try to counter, well, get your own counter ready. A good thing to do with boxers, who usually do a ducking attack, is to pause slightly and then reverse their punch with Circle--that really gets to 'em. The other guys, you'll usually hear a chime, and they'll start some attack with a red or yellow aura about them. They just take hits without any kind of reaction during this time, so, you don't want to attack them because they'll interrupt you. But, the premise is still the same...just, your reaction will depend on what attack they do. If you can time it well, the Tiger Killer is your friend. The martial artists...well, the aikido guys will love to grab your attack and force you to go through a slow, painful reversal. What do you do? Well, you just keep weakly attacking them, until you notice them get into a differ- ent posture, usually raising their hands up a bit. At the end of that, you can hit them--or you can just try to grab them (and sometimes automatically have your grab broken) just to stop them from being in "reversal land."
Strategy for Gun/Bomb Guys
I can't stress this enough. You want to kill these guys. Fast. Guys with knives, stun guns, and swords are pretty annoying, and you will want to take them out so you can have a normal time fighting, but, gun guys and bomb throwers are worse. Bombs do damage no matter what, so long as you're standing near them, and they can even stun you--which they can just do over and over ad infinitum, should they so choose! But, gun guys are even worse in my opinion. Why? Because they just stand far away from the action, slowly creep around, and then blast you so you get knocked down before you can do anything. Shotgun guys pack a lot of damage with their punches, but, strangely, pistol guys are way worse. They can usually just stand far away and fire off an entire volley of shots at you, which does a lot of damage and will make you get knocked off your feet. Seriously, take them out. Get close to them, lock on, and pay attention. If they shoot, dash towards them or sidestep. You can avoid even a gunshot that way. Truth be told, you can actually take care of everyone else while these nuisances are around. You just have to kinda feel when their next attack is coming, and dodge when it does. But, who wants to rely on that?
Strategy for Human Walls
So...you may have noticed that on action stages, they like to set guys right in your way, like, in a doorway or staircase. These guys have big things they swing at you when you get too close, knocking you off your feet. They're really more like obstacles than enemies, I suppose. Here's what you do: you learn the Self-Destructive Mastery. Then, you get close in Heat Mode, wait for their attack, and reverse it to instantly kill them. Failing that, you just get close, sway backwards once when they attack, and then go in and hit 'em a few times, then repeat, so you don't get hit. It's a lot slower that way, tho'.