Hi! I had the honor of attending the closed loketest on 8/24, so here’s everything I remember. The information on every character except for Izayoi is pretty sparse, but pay attention to the system mechanics! This isn’t super professional, and I don’t have a lot to say about a lot of the characters, but here’s what I can remember, hopefully it helps!
You can catch videos of the loketest red vs white tournament here:
Who is that red izayoi player who really can’t get over one of Izayoi’s main gatlings being gone??? HMMMMMMMMM???
The game feels pretty similar to CP (So if you are trying to hold out for CF, play CP right now) with refinements, so it does feel rather fresh despite having a lot of familiarity. The hitsparks aren’t nearly as obnoxious as they are in vid and the game/hud look much nicer in person. A lot of things are reanimated, voice clips redone, etc.
Crush Triggers: Crush triggers are much faster, and have changed from 30f startup to what feels like (sub?) 20f startup (Maybe 17? Might be pushing it, but it is quite fast). This is BIG, and gives a lot of characters pretty stable ways of opening people up. Unfortunately, short charge crush triggers push back SUPER far on guard break, and don’t offer a ton of frame advantage. The amount of frame advantage seems to differ character by character, where Izayoi could combo off of hers but Naoto couldn’t. Not SURE about the frame advantage on block, but the recovery didn’t seem quite different, so I didn’t bother to look into it. It does let more characters work CT into their combos for sure. This is great for resource characters, where just the untechable time lets them structure better combos. For 25 meter!!! Longer holds offer more break time it seems, making the charge actually useful. It also causes proration on hit to increase, where an immediate crush trigger would scale the combo a bit more (seems to offer the same hitstun though). Overall, it seems like most characters can really only combo off of guard break in the corner with no charge, but honestly that seems to be enough. There’s a big threat that 25 meter poses in the corner, and it provides a great way to target barrier usage. I definitely definitely like this change.
OD: OD times might be more standardized (seems pretty short, maybe I feel this way because of JCCOD change), but it’s just a hunch. I haven’t looked into that so explicitly. Doing ODC or ODGC yield half of the full overdrive duration, and and OD inputs done while the opponent is in hitstun cause ODC state (so no more JCCOD). My hunch is that all OD’s start at 4 seconds, and cap out at 8 seconds at lower life.
Combo Timer: Seems shorter, or Izayoi’s starter ratings may have shifted around. Honestly, I’m not entirely sure, so take this with a grain of salt. I definitely feel like the latter is likely, but I have seen things that have hinted towards both being true. Untechable values may have been shifted around across the board, but combos are definitely looking shorter as caused by character changes or system changes.
Barrier + Throw: I’ve heard that barrier will universally push people out of 2A canceled into throw range on block. It definitely applies to some characters, as Izayoi I could no longer do dash 2A Throw. Some were saying barrier pushback felt increased, but it doesn’t really (only) feel that way to me. Throw range looks much smaller on the ground, which could cause that. Vaccum airthrow still exists, lol.
General: The game feels a bit faster. Maybe hitstop reduction? Not sure how to test that out, there could be a couple of things that factor into this. A bunch of characters move/dash noticeably faster. Not totally sure on this (no real way to test this), but it seriously felt quicker on hits, so i’m heavily leaning towards hitstop reduction. Also, damage counter numbers turn red when you get a damage buff from either active flow, or counterhit.
Exceed: >Exceed is a new mechanic to CF! It’s like a meterless super you get while in OD. All of them are single attacks that perform a short animation on hit, but don’t complete on block or whiff. They all have a blue “flash” on their usage.
~2k normally, 4k in active flow. Didn’t really check the min damage, but it doesn’t really seem so high. I’ve seen it do ~300 damage, so it can’t be all that much. Honestly, kind of weird? Couldn’t really find a place to use it well to increase damage, I was almost always better off just doing a good ODC combo. In any case, cancels off of normals, but it’s sorta slow. Maybe around the same speed as crush trigger. Ends your OD immediately. Can function well as a reversal, because it doesn’t have a superflash. I’ve heard theyre rather safe on block, but it may vary character to character.
Active Flow: >Active flow is a new mechanic to CF that is somewhat like vorpal from UNI, but it isn’t a tug of war type deal. Your character’s active flow level is independent of the other character. You get it from performing good actions like teching throws, using invuln to go through attacks, blocking well, pressuring, hitting your opponent…you get the idea. You get it for playing well, and it grants you speedy burst regeneration and a 10% base damage bonus for ~10 seconds. If your burst is full, your Exceed super gets really buffed, having twice as much base damage.
Biggest advantage is increasing your rate of burst regen imo. If you think you can get it, it makes using your burst quickly useful. Or even popping OD before you get into active flow, so you can use the exceed damage buff. Damage increase otherwise seems kind of negligible. Pretty hard to keep track of, feels like something that kind of just “happens”. I didn’t really get to plan around when happens to take advantage of the properties. Kind of just comes and goes, so it compliments a general approach like “i’ll confirm with my burst, so that I can put myself in an advantaged position early and use active flow to regain my burst” but that goes out the window if your opponent bursts too so its like…okay.
Active Flow Applied (Taken from a post I made on DL):
currently, using OD early and getting your burst back was fairly easy, but now this benefits you from an offensive standpoint, as getting your burst back off an early OD (not 100%) involved wagering some risk/reward (defending, or even getting hit), and if you won the round decisively you’d end up with less burst than your opponent by the start of the next round, lol. but in CF, killing someone quickly off an OD confirm pretty much means you get your burst back by the start of the next round, or you can use your OD to kill them if necessary. Active flow mostly ties into burst management, which is why I stressed the importance on burst recovery over damage boost.
You can kind of just feel it out, as “if i play well, ill have more chances to use my burst” because the ways to get it are so flexible.
Using your OD early for a good confirm is a good idea because you contribute to your active flow counter, and hopefully maintain an advantaged position. Even if they burst, the burst differential is not only 30%, but you’ve already chalked up some active flow, meaning you’re that much closer to getting into a heavily advantaged position, but more importantly, if you get hit, as long as you can defend well you are likely to get your burst back quickly.
But you have to keep in mind where your opponent’s active flow is too. If they burst, then just go into active flow and get half of their burst back, it wasn’t really worth it to trade bursts, because the chance of you benefiting from the trade is much lower depending on where active flow is. Even if you get into active flow, get OD, and hit them, they get another burst back. You want to make the most of the chances you take and when you do land a hit, you want to either create a situation where you can easily call heavy momentum without burst interfering on that hit, or your next hit (early OD).
And OD timers are standardized this time around so doing burst safe combos is pretty hard. Burst has also been buffed to where it’s active frames catch some forms of invuln (led ley, maybe izayoi aegis, etc), so they DO want burst to be a good option too. Overall, OD plays a big role in conjunction with active flow.
It’s honestly pretty easy to just think of it as top player privilege to get more burst atm, lol. But theyre definitely aware of the feelings that go into it and want to change it accordingly, so maybe the mechanic might change a bit by the time the game is released. It definitely just happens if you play well, lol.
Characters named Naoto, Hibiki, or Izayoi:
Naoto and Hibiki Impressions:
Hibiki…long story short, Hibiki looks “OK”. Very underwhelming, leaves much to be desired as far as offense goes I think. Seems pretty tricky in neutral and some cool normals / approach, but I definitely need to see a lot more before I’m impressed. I don’t really have a lot to say, he kind of just does things lol. Not sure how he’s supposed to be played, I guess tricky neutral? I could offer a writeup on his tools and stuff, but someone could definitely do a better job than me. Overall though, my impression is that his offense seems kind of limited. He does have a teleport that covers a lot of space, and tools that cover good ranges, so he’s not so limited against characters with ranged tools. A high jump, big air normals, but overall dont add up to much at the moment. Damage and conversions seem alright, but he’s a bit overshadowed by what i saw from Naoto.
Naoto looks solid from the jump. Huge hitboxes, good frame adv, normals are good, drive moves are good, great run speed, good airdash distance. crouching AA with hitbox right above him, loooooooooots of invuln on DP. Solid tools for offense when he gets in (Anti air / Standing hitbox unblockable, think muzzle flitter but also catches people jumping). Dash special crossups, freedom with dash cancels, etc. He looks like he has a ton of options when he’s in. Looks like a very versatile brawler character! I’m pretty interested in seeing how he turns out. Seems to do good damage, has good offense, solid neutral tools. Pretty much all he needs, easily visible from the jump.
General: Normal mode feels faster, again. Dash acceleration on the ground seems to be up. GA is kind of the same, but jump height may have been increased. Here and there, a bunch of things felt ‘faster’ but i’m not sure if theyre actually faster or if its system. Confirms are good ($$$) and there’s a lot of really really broken shit lmao. Izayoi feels…really strong. Better than before, and I already thought she was top. Hopefully the eyes that watched me are merciful and do not nerf her too hard, but I definitely expect to lose some of this stuff. I am sorry if I got this character nerfed.
Combo Rate: Seems to be back to 80% in GA, Not sure about normal mode but it feels like it’s still 80%. So they might have normalized that. But definitely ++ in Gain Art.
Crush Trigger: Off fastest CT, can combo in the corner, but midscreen you need to Phorizer to make up for the range.
6A – Gatlings into 6A removed. Not sure if you can still 6A 5D/2D. Doesn’t force crouch, not sure about bonus proration. I have no clue how to combo into this lol.
6B – SPECIAL CANCELABLE INTO AIR SLASHES (yes, you get a combo for hopping over lows and hitting people with this fucking 24f airborne overhead yes this is wonderful YES FUCK YES)
6C (NM) – Animation is a bit different for the bits, but the move seems the same. Still frame adv on stance cancel.
6C (GA) – ~Neutral on block, much less hitstun now, but jump and special cancelable.
3C (NM) – Izayoi slides forward when you do it now, a la 5C. Cool, could see it being useful.
j236C/j236B/j623B – All generally send the opponent in the same direction, so you really just want to aim at them while confirming air hits. Rather fast, and TK’d Slashes are comboable with jA or 623B or w/e so they do seem pretty good for footsies low to the ground. Izayoi’s momentum stops immediately, so this can also bait some AA’s effectively. Not sure if they run body property though, didn’t test that explicitly. In recovery all the way until she hits the floor, but it isn’t CH. Didn’t notice landing recovery, so it must not be significant. Super super useful for defensive space control. Cancel into Strike Fall and D teleport on hit only.
jA – Not sure, just a hunch but prob back to 7f startup (was 6f in EX).
jB – New animation, Izayoi kicks out horizontally. God hitbox. God normal. High, horizontal space coverage, seems pretty active, comes with a crossup hitbox. Think somewhere between Ragna jB and Ragna jC I guess? It’s fast, far for the speed, not a ton of recovery (more than old jB, but with a hitbox like this it’s fucking good).
jB/2B – Maybe starter rating reduced? Not sure.
236A – Doesn’t move her back as far on the ground. Looks weird, lol. Maybe frame adv has changed? Less pushback means you can use it for midscreen combos, I did get a link off of A saber midscreen.
236B – Less untech time on standing hit, but it’s pretty negligible. Air hit still emergency techable. Can’t whiff cancel into astraea anymore (boo).
236C – More untech time? Or just causes opponent to stay lower to the ground. Causes emergency tech instead of air tech (yay). Can’t whiff cancel into astraea anymore (boo).
623B – Increased hitbox in front of her (harder to low profile) and recovery is no longer counterhit in it’s later frames.
Astraea – Launches super high and super far. Opponent techs in air. Combos into 6C midscreen with no teleport, lol. B teleport lets you cross up and do 5C, which is pretty useful! Crossup Aegis midscreen, lets go? Maybe? In corner, height sets up for …3C 236C~6D 6C 623C 5B all done as fast as possible.
Strike Fall – Retained the mirage thruster cancels, but lost Astraea cancel (you will be missed). Still has a bounce, but it’s back to the old positioning! Your opponent is like, right in front of you when you land. Yay. Might mean midscreen 5A pickup is back, but I only went for Phorizer since I pretty much was running old combos.
236D – God. Big D saber is gone, but it is not missed. New D saber creates 3 small sabers that hang in front of Izayoi, then shoot out after a bit. The angle is like…kind like centered at a ~40 degree angle, but the space coverage is huge. Easy crossups + grimy shit, hilariously strong space control. In the air, it shoots out in a fan as well, but without the hang. in OD, this move is like the actual stupidest thing I have ever seen in BB. it shoots 5 instead of 3, and it is actually just stupid. in the air, anything below or in front of her is just BODIED. If you have one thing to be hype for or pray that it doesn’t get nerfed, it is this. Oh yeah, it costs 1 fucking star.
Phorizer – More recovery, so its easier to punish on block. Still fast as fuck.
Trans AM – We’re back, baby. Maybe. Cooldown is much shorter, but I’m not sure if the old loops from 1.1 are possible. Definitely much better than it was in EX, like from the jump being able to use the bits is so fucking nice. Definitely better than EX. Definitely, definitely better. I’m so glad.
Other obvious stuff i didnt mention: its the same.
Characters not named Naoto, Hibiki, or Izayoi (and my rather weak, limited impressions of them):
Ragna: Seems strong. Nightmare edge seems solid, it doesn’t really have a ton of recovery, but the angle that berial had will be missed. Followup can be RPS’d on block, maybe? Knockdown looks good in front of him, but losing those midscreen confirms could hurt. Followup corner carry is pretty serious. But outside of berial, confirms look good. Dead spike might have less untechable time though, or maybe it’s a result of a combo timer change. Couldn’t tell. 2D Special cancel on block and hit, lol (no longer hits low). Tsuika doesn’t push back as far. GH hit state looks hilarious but it doesnt really affect anything, maybe makes some combos a bit harder/easier. Blood scythe is still pretty whack, but air blood scythe now causes slide and is comboable midscreen and corner (saw 2A pickup in the corner, but crossup blood scythe hit is a thing). Seems like blood scythe replaces berial. Doesn’t really seem that different overall. Combo route changes, slightly safer pressure, but still ragna. IAD DP is still good! Exceed is simple and funny, but i like it.
Jin: Maybe RIP. Lost a lot of cancel options. 5B 6A is gone, 5B throw cancel is gone. But it looks like it has less recovery, so that might be it’s saving grace for pressure usage. 6C 6B might be gone. New air D fireball is pretty funny, though i didnt see a ton of intricate uses. New combo parts with ground 236D flower seem like Ky forcebreak lol. Hits on block are a bit spaced out though, so you can use it for oki much better than you could old ground 236D. New C DP is really fast gets 5A into a pretty decent combo. Much less invuln though, so harder to use to beat other reversals. Still can be used for combos into 5B with the height, though. Ice Car whiff combos are still a thing, but more restrictive. Dash C DP routes work midscreen. New 3C goes far, but has a bit of recovery. Slower, so combos off D DP might be restricted. Looks like he didn’t really get anything super significant. Old confirm potential was already very good, and they just weakened his pressure game. New EX fireball (the ice flowers) seem hard to use as effectively as things like the old j236D. Exceed is like, he freezes you, does a series of attacks and then breaks the ice.
Noel: Still noel, but she looks like she got a ton of new cool things to mash drive on you with. j2C wallbounces in the corner, so she can do stuff like j2C (wallbounce) airdash jB/C blah blah. There are a ton of new drive things that i have absolutely no idea about. 6D is a crazy looking low with a ton of invuln that travels like across the screen, definitely a solid neutral tool. I saw a lot of naked recover drive strings that really looked like they were plus (the reload animations looked HELLA short) but that might be OD only. Reload animations looked short otherwise, but maybe not plus unless in OD. Lost her overhead in drive i think? so it seems like her new drive pressure revolves around frame traps. Not too much to say. Her exceed looked silly, thats all I remember.
Rachel: I did not see ANY RACHEL AND I AM SO SORRY. From what I hear, there were a lot of nerfs ;_;
Amane: New fireball is really important lol (small tornado that runs across the ground). It seems pretty good, and he overall seems a bit better, but maybe not good enough. 3C is slower, but his other C normals look faster with better hitboxes. 6D can be held, and even started traveling on the ground?!?! (apparently this is tracking) It moved pretty fast, lol. Not sure if thats automatic, might end up being a nerf lmao (i wrote this before i heard it tracked, so if it won’t whiff, we’re still in business). Still amane. His exceed is kinda cool, he just does flower things (active flow) and then slams you into the ground with his kimono, sideswaps.
Arakune: I didnt see any arakune.
Azrael: Doesn’t really look very different. Got a DP, but it’s kinda jokey. Hitbox doesn’t seem too great, he does like a knee up or something and then goes flying over you and does a slam very far away. maybe the slam is plus, but it doesnt look like theres any reason to be in that area lol. Slam doesn’t seem to have a hitbox that makes crossups possible. Looks the same, really.
Bang: Didn’t really see any.
Bullet: She seems like she got a lot of good things, she might actually be strong. Her new 5D is fucking huge, a bit slow close up but the range goes super far super quickly. No invlun, but the threat is super useful. Combos into 5D might be rip, but jD is still the same. Miq Cap can be followed up with 5B or 6B in the corner. She got a command throw!!! Praise Be!!! 1k damage and knockdown right in front of her without any heat, comboable for sure at 2 heat (3.5k to 4k?). Not sure about followups at 1 heat. Heat does NOT GO AWAY ON BLOCK YES COOL THANKS. That in conjunction with new 5D might let her actually fucking chase people down, seems kinda crazy tbh. Her exceed is cool, but I don’t really remember what it looks like. I just remember doing it and being like “ok its cool”. New 5D + No Heat Loss + Command Throw definitely seem like a solid ground for her to work with. Heat is much more dangerous than it used to be.
Carl: New Tenezzera looking move seems cool, good for his pressure. Still, seems pretty lacking in terms of high low mixup. Not sure what he can do, I think they took away the doll overhead so he might have a really hard time doing fuzzies and stuff. Aside from that, he still seems to be carl. He came off as a little bit less threatening than he used to be, but the new doll rush move is OK. His new overhead looks like a nerf, lol. Unless he still has his old 6C, i dunno.
Celica: Cool! A lot of new cool things that I dont understand. She looks like she regenerates a lot of HP, but she might have to actually cause herself to lose the hp in some way. I think she can blow HP to put super armor on certain moves like celica upper, and then part of her lifebar turns blue? All I really remember is looking at her regain like 1k and I was like what just happened. Doesn’t really seem to have gotten anything significant in terms of neutral control, but i’m not sure if that was her problem in the first place. If the healing mechanic is good enough, she can get somewhere. General strings and such seem to be stronger though.
CLICA V2: Ok, i learned what she does. Her lifebar has a special blue portion that gets tacked on everytime she lands a drive move. The end of her drive string has a healing move that can be used to regenerate 10% of her max hp at a time. She can spend life to powerup her specials with the doll, and that costs all of her blue recoverable health. Projectile is better, can challenge projectiles now with her new charge, but characters who used to beat her in neutral with good normals…still kind of do. But her conversions off ranged pokes and pressure seems to be a bit better. Along with her healing mechanic, she seems to be able to actually pose a threat on offense.
Hakumen: New counter shoulder tackle thing is really weird, lol. Costs 1 star, and sends him flying with a parry. I think it catches both highs and lows, though. Not sure if it’s frame 1, that would be pretty stupid. On succesful parry you can do the followup, or cancel it into his other specials. Still does the hakumen thing. His exceed is like…he kicks you on the floor and then does Misogi with the sword, lol.
Hazama: He has 2 chains again!! Wow!! Chains on no cancel have less recovery (seem to put you in more blockstun at a closer range than they used to), but they don’t cause stock regen on block (yes. yes. i have waited years for this). A cancel still causes him to lose a stock. He can’t do level 1 moves from stance without doing the new special first (which puts him into stance, but doesn’t have a lot of range, so I dunno) making it very obvious when he can act after going into stance (fuck yeah). Command throw damage is up now, he gets like 2.2kish. Still stance nerf is pretty big lol. Coupled with the stock nerf, I dunno where he’d stand. Big nerfs though, IMO? Fighting against him, those were his most threatening points, so its relieving to see that gone, but it’s funny that his command throw is better than Bullet’s, lol. Gasho (stance flash kick) is also notably slower, and houtenjin doesn’t have any invuln so he’s weaker on defense.
Kagura: I didnt see anything.
Kokonoe: Similar to EX i guess. new spinny move is hilarious, and might actually end up being plus if you do it right? When i blocked it, she was not that negative. She flies to the graviton when you do it, and it kinda looks like aigis megido. Kind of funny if they just whiff it though and you get away from the graviton, lol. New bunker followup where you set the bomb on the opponent and get oki, the bomb explodes after a pretty long time so there should be a bit of setplay that can be structured from it.
Litchi: 6C(2) without staff is soft KD now, less untech time after tsubame too maybe. Didn’t really get to see much :>
Makoto: Didnt get to see much of her either :<
Platinum: Aside from her new item and Mami changes, I couldn’t really tell what was up. New item is a boomerang, she can throw it out and catch it and it will replenish the usage. The throwable arcs are pretty good. One goes straight ahead very fast, and comes back a bit more slowly, the other one thrown from the air is like a hook, going forward and down and traveled back along the ground. Overhead Mami looks faster than it did from the previous loketest, but the arc is the same. Didnt get to see the super boomerang :(
Relius: Maybe RIP? New command throw seems pretty useless lol, pretty slow. jA only hits like 3 times now, gad leis is faster but it seems minus on block. 214A soft kd on more heights now, which is good. 2C less untechable time, combo routes seem a bit more restrictive. ~214C followup to 236C/j236C seems like ass now lol, it sends them straight up and doesn’t wallbounce. Very hard to combo. Unsummoned 214B (is this the overhead) is fast, but summoned 214B is the same. 22A is slower (only 22A, not 22B or 22C), 3C 22A will cover everything except for backroll midscreen, and covers everything in the corner. Blue combo if you don’t tech though, which could be bad depending on combo options to put you back into a knockdown situation. Dunno, nothing really seems so stand out, looks like a lot of nerfs. His exceed is cool, he jojos poses while you get beat up and then he does this cool thing that i dont understand.
Tager: Didnt see any :<
Tao: Only saw one match, she really didnt seem different lol. New jB looks alright.
Tsubaki: New move looks…okay. Not sure why I’d need to be afraid of it, but she lost a pretty solid move for that. Kind of a bad tradeoff. Overall looks pretty much the same, I played vs tsubaki in the red vs blue tournament at the loketest and didn’t really see anything cool or different.
Terumi: Lol. I’m glad, it seems like they nerfed this character again. j2D isnt overhead, 6D animation is different. Fast, very short range, not a lot of whiff recovery. Goes into old animation on hit. 4D is the new overhead? Dunno if thats the right input. reactable, only super cancelable (yes). 6C sends them up into the air? Dunno what that does. But he seems less threatening on pressure tbh, lolll.
Valk: Still valk, hilariously. Wolf meter looks like it drains faster, and I think oki/confirms are a bit weaker but wolf neutral and pressure are still really strong. His standing overhead looks alright, something you can just throw out. Dunno, seems like valk but (very, very slightly) different lol. Not REALLY weaker or stronger. I’d say, slightly toned down thanks to changes in wolf meter, so passive neutral against wolf is that much more effective.
Lambda: Didnt see any :( Really wanted to see her new moves and shit! aaaaaahhh
Mu: new move is crazy!! moving the bits to attack, holy crap. looks like she can lay the pressure on super thick. Looks strong, lots of cool stuff and pressure. Didn’t get to see enough, but watching a strong mu play her and use the new move was impressive from the jump. Her pressure strings are super freeform so the hitstop reduction means her pressure is relatively hard to keep up with!
Nu: Uhhhhhhhh, backwards wheel on standing hit only staggers, new move is pretty slow and flies at a rather high arc. Definitely not the same space control as spike chaser. New j2D angle is very very steep, almost right below her. Combo rate down. Looks like she lost a lot of combo selection. Supra rage uncomboable without gravity, lost it’s startup invuln. Didn’t get to see a lot about the variants of the new moves, but as an opponent i’m very glad about the new j2D angle and backwards wheel changes lol. Definitely seems like she lost a lot. OD Super is no longer overhead (no unblockable with RC 3C) and gravity seed seems a bit different. Slower recovery perhaps?