In-Depth Character Discussion: Shiva

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In-Depth Character Discussion: Shiva

Post  Charco on Thu Jan 10, 2013 8:00 pm

*Original post by Reinhart.

Last update (07/12/2014): As of version 5.1, Shiva has got a police call alternative! Also, the glitch on SOR2 Shiva's combo paired with SOR3 Pause Delay has been fixed. All good reasons to update the guide. A new section about his police call alternative was added, and the paragraph about his combo was partially rewritten. There are also other changes, additions and fixes here and there.

Previous update (02/11/2012): added info about a couple of additions new to version 5.0a; added "quick overview" section; some sections were reorganized and/or partially rewritten; general strategies are now more fleshed out.


First the movelist, then some analysis.


Normal attacks

Rush combo: B, B, B, B (2 Downward Chops, 1 Palm Strike, 1 Upwards Kick)
Rush combo finisher: Hold B, then release / Press Y (Upwards Kick)
Back attack: B + C / Press Z (Reverse Kick)
Defensive Special: A (Flaming Kick)
Offensive Special: Forward + A (Tiger Palm)

Jumping attacks

Vertical jump attack: C, then B (Downward Kick, knocks down)
Jump attack: Forward + C, then B (Jumping Kick, long range, knocks down)
Diving attack: C or Forward + C, then Down + B (Jumping Palm Strike, briefly stuns the opponent)

Running attacks

Blitz 0 Stars: Forward, Forward + B (Final Crash)
Blitz 1 Star: Forward, Forward + B (Final Crash) (Covers slightly more range, inflicts more damage)
Blitz 2 Stars: Forward, Forward + B (Jumping Reverse Kick)
Blitz 3 Stars: Forward, Forward + B (Jumping Reverse Kick + Somersault Kick)

Grab attacks (get close to opponent)

Vault over opponent: Grab, then C (you can switch from grabbing from front or from behind)
One-hit frontal knockdown: Grab, then B (Elbow Strike)
Flurry combo: Grab, hold Forward + B, B, B, B (3 Hook Punches, 1 Stomach Punch)
Backwards throw: Grab, press Backwards + B (Leg Throw)
Grab from behind: Hold from behind or grab from the front and vault over the opponent, then B (Bodyslam)

Weapons special attacks

Knife: Forward, Forward + B (Running Slash)
Sword 1: Forward, Forward + B (Running Slash)
Sword 2: Forward + A (Side Slash)

Blitz attacks X button combinations

1 Star: X + Forward, Forward
2 Stars: X + Up, Forward
3 Stars: X + Down, Up, Forward



--------------------
Quick Overview
--------------------

Pros
+ Very fast: most of his moves are swift and have little recovery time (especially SOR3 Shiva)
+ Good strength, especially on his grappling moves and throws
+ Basic combo has great reach and priority
+ Excellent offensive special
+ Excellent grappling game: he can repeat his flurry combo up to three times (no other character can)
+ Useful Blitzes that enhance his mobility
+ Above average walking and running speed (on par with Blaze)

Cons
- No police call: on harder settings he can get heavily outnumbered No more! Now Shiva has a police call alternative, the super speed.
- Blitz Attacks can leave him open if used inconsiderately
- SOR2 Shiva's Blitzes require some practice and coordination to get the most out of them


----------------------
In-Depth Analysis
----------------------
Both versions of Shiva are very powerful, but their playstyle is a little different: SOR3 Shiva is all about moving around and taking full advantage of his speed, while SOR2 Shiva is a master of combos and multi-hit attacks.


Basic Combo
One of Shiva's best assets is his basic combo. It has amazing range and priority, and its hitbox even seems to extend a little behind Shiva! It's great for poking and for crowd-control, and with the right timing it can easily interrupt a lot of enemies' attacks (including bosses). SOR2 Shiva's combo is obviously slower, but it hits two times more and inflicts considerable damage; SOR3 Shiva's combo, even though it hits two times less, it's unbelievably fast, with almost no recovery time.

Anyway, whether you're playing as SOR2 Shiva or SOR3 Shiva, it's actually possible to adjust the number of the hits (and thus the damage and the speed) of the combo by changing the Pause Delay in the options, making the two versions of the character interchangeable in regard to how the combo behaves. Using SOR2 or Remake Pause Delay will cause the downward chops to hit two times each, and the whole combo will hit for a total of 7 times (of course, SOR2 combo is slower and Remake combo is faster). Using SOR3 Pause Delay will cause the downward chops to hit one time each, for a total of 5 hits; less damage, but incredible speed and recovery.

Playing around with the Pause Delay thus has a somewhat greater impact on Shiva than on other characters: some players may prefer the bigger damage output given by the SOR2 or the Remake Pause Delay but, on the other hand, the extreme speed of the combo with the SOR3 Pause Delay gives Shiva a swiftness and a mobility vantage that is hard to ignore.

Should you prefer the more damaging version of the combo (as I do, actually), then it's best to use the Remake Pause Delay, as it speeds things up quite a bit and allows to play the character more aggressively. Although not as lightning fast as the SOR3 version, the Remake combo it's quite fast, enough to be safe to use even in the most crowded situations.

Note: in SORR V5.0 and V5.0a, there was a glitch with SOR2 Shiva's combo when using SOR3 Pause Delay which allowed him to repeat the combo indefinitely with the enemy unable to react. The last hit of the upwards kick would not connect (unless executed at a certain, precise distance), leaving the enemy standing on his feet, stunned and ready to get punished again. This is fixed in V5.1 and the kick now connects and knocks down correctly.


Grabs & Throws
If the combo is Shiva's bread, his grabs are the butter. Shiva has one of the best grappling game of all the characters, and much of its excellence lies on the fact the he is the only one who can repeat his flurry combo up to three times (and not two) before having to perform a finisher. This gives him the best grappling damage output of all the characters (except Max). Also, his flurry combo is extremely quick (even SOR2 Shiva's), so he's not easy to interrupt when grappling an enemy.

When having to perform a knockdown finisher after the flurry, the neutral one (the elbow strike) is the best choice, as it's more damaging. The regular flurry finisher has more range though, so it can reach surrounding bystanders that the elbow strike would not.

Shiva's throws are excellent too. The leg throw deals great damage and sends enemies far away; the bodyslam, although a bit less damaging, is the move to use against enemies who can land from throws (SOR1 Hakuyos, Mona & Lisa and Shiva himself, for example). Also, the little hop Shiva does after the bodyslam still benefits from the invincibility granted to throw animations, so don't worry about it. Both throws work against every type of fat guys, don't be afraid to send them flying!

Note: in SORR V5.0, Shiva could not throw/slam SOR3 Big Bens and SOR1 Bongos. As of SORR V5.0a, he can.


Jumping Attacks
While there's not much to say about his neutral jumping kick and his downward jumping strike (they're good and do their job), his offensive jumping kick it's one of Shiva's best tools for crowd-control: it comes out instantly, has good range and does good damage. Running jumping kicks are an excellent way to quickly knock down multiple foes at once and create yourself some breathing room.


Back Attack
Back attacks are often overlooked, but Shiva's back kick shouldn't be underestimated. It's very quick and it has good range, so if someone is approaching from behind and you don't have the time to deal with him, knock him down with the back attack. It deals the same damage as the upwards kick but in one single convenient hit.


Special Moves
Again, the keyword is speed. His defensive special (the flaming kick) executes fast, deals good damage and also works wonders to stop incoming aerial attacks. His offensive special is one of the best of the game: much like SOR1 and SOR2 Blaze's Kikosho, it's a one-hit knockdown that comes out fast, inflicts a lot of damage, and it's excellent to intercept fast-moving enemies and to end combos.


Blitz Attacks
Shiva's Blitz Attacks are powerful too, but they must be used with care as they can leave him open to counter-attacks. The rule here is that SOR2 Shiva's Blitz Attacks hit more times and inflict more damage, while SOR3 Shiva's hit less times but are more reliable. Each approach has its advantages and disadvantages.

All of SOR2 Shiva's Blitz Attacks are active since the very first frames, so they can be effectively mixed with the basic combo for heavy damage. The Final Crash it's perfect as combo finisher (especially the 1 Star version) and 2 Stars Blitz works wonders too (the 3 Stars version, instead, it's less safe, because the last hit of the jumping reverse kick doesn't knock down). Both 2 and 3 Stars Blitzes are excellent for catapulting into crowds and hit multiple enemies, multiple times. Getting full damage out of SOR2 Shiva's Blitzes can be tricky, though: it's not always easy to position yourself correctly to land all the hits, and for some of them to connect you must be quite close to the enemy. Using Blitzes wisely, however, it's extremely satisfying and rewarding, as they're really useful for decimating crowds.

SOR3 Shiva's Blitz Attacks are not active on the first frames, which means that they cannot be linked to the main combo (the Final Crash can be used as combo finisher, but it's not as foolproof as with SOR2 Shiva - more about this later). 2 and 3 Stars Blitzes are only active from the frame in which Shiva's leg is first engulfed in flames, which means that they will miss if used right next to the enemy, they must be executed from afar; their damage is good (although less powerful than SOR2 Shiva's Blitzes) and they're wonderful for hit & run techniques. Also, since less hits have to be landed to get full damage compared to SOR2 Shiva, SOR3 Shiva's Blitzes are easier to use and more reliable.
If playing on the hardest difficulty settings, where enemies move faster, be careful when connecting the Final Crash after the main combo: since its first frames are not active, if you don't perform the move quickly enough enemies sometimes will be able to escape. It's just a matter of learning the timing and being quick to input the motion for the move, though: it's definitely possible to reliably use the Final Crash as combo finisher with SOR3 Shiva too.

Both versions of Shiva should not abuse the 3 Stars Blitz because if the somersault kick at the end misses it can be countered. Also, many bosses can block and/or counter 2 and 3 Stars Blitzes, so use with care.

It's also worth noting that both Shivas' 1 Star Final Crash covers slightly more range and deals more damage: just a little for SOR3 Shiva, but significantly so for SOR2 Shiva, whose Final Crash becomes almost as powerful as SOR2 Axel's Grand Upper.

One thing that I like to do as SOR2 Shiva is to perform the first three attacks of the combo, then quickly execute the 2 Stars Blitz with the X button combination (since it's not always possible to do it the simple way). It takes some practice to get the timing right, but the damage is heavy!


Weapons
Shiva has special moves with the katana, the knife and the kunai. His katana standing special is very powerful but a little on the slow side, while the running special is both powerful and fast (especially SOR3 Shiva's version), and it's excellent for clearing crowds. SOR3 Shiva's knife/kunai special has decent damage and priority, while SOR2 Shiva's - although not very damaging - it's useful for its range and speed. Having a weapon, however, strips Shiva of his basic combo, which is one of his main strengths, so depending on the situation it may be better to avoid weapons altogheter.

Note: in SORR V5.0, Shiva couldn't perform the special move with the kunai. As of SORR V5.0a, he can.


Super Speed
Shiva has finally got a police call alternative! For 1 minute, his walking and running speed gets doubled (and he gets a nice after-image effect). It's not a smart bomb, so you still have no means to damage all enemies on screen at once, but for 1 minute you can have a clear advantage over the enemies. One minute may not seem much, but it's actually a lot of time in relation to the flow of the game: there's a lot that can happen in one minute, and there's a lot of damage you can dish out in one minute if you move twice as fast. Moving around more quickly means three things: you can better dominate crowds, you can better anticipate your enemies and you're better at escaping. In other words, the super speed allows Shiva to become even better at what he does best.

When is it best to activate the super speed? It's obvious: when there are a lot of foes on screen and when you're facing fast enemies or fast bosses. What moves is it best to use when your speed is doubled? If dealing with crowds, the moves that immediately knock down enemies: the upwards kick, jumping kicks, the back attack, offensive and defensive specials. If dealing with bosses, then the super speed makes it easier to evade their attacks, move around them and attack or grab them. Blitzes are riskier because if something goes wrong you're left wide open, so I'd advise not to use them unless there's the perfect opportunity. Play it safe: remember, we're trying to squeeze the most out of our minute of super speed.

You might be tempted to activate the super speed as the last chance before dying, as you'd probably do with the smart bomb specials of the other characters, but that's not the best way to employ Shiva's super speed. If you get hit too many times and die, it's one opportunity wasted! Do not wait to get too heavily outnumbered, do not wait when you're about to die; do not wait for the worst, anticipate it instead. Activate the super speed to help decimate medium-sized groups of mid to high tier enemies: knock some of them down with jumping kicks and upwards kicks, then quickly move to another group and deal heavy damage with combos and offensive specials. Exploit the invincibility frames granted by the throws and keep an eye to enemies approaching from behind. As Shiva, you've got amazing range and recovery times, so make good use of these features when in super speed.


-----------------------
General Strategies
-----------------------
Previously, Shiva had one glaring flaw, he lacked a police call alternative. He now has his super speed to help him get out from the most difficult situations, but he still lacks a "panic button", a smart bomb to damage all enemies on screen at once. While on normal/hard difficulties it doesn't matter much, on harder settings it can pose a problem on the later stages, where there are large crowds and you're heavily outnumbered. Luckily, Shiva is very good at basically everything else, so his strength lies in correctly using all the means he has to defeat enemies.


SOR3 Shiva
As SOR3 Shiva, the mantra is: stay on the move. He is blazingly quick and he can combo, grapple and jump his way out with extreme swiftness and ease. Common jabs are so fast and have such priority that they're usually all that it takes to interrupt or outrange enemies' attacks.

Thanks to the the awesome speed of his frontal flurry combo, grabbing an enemy before finishing the main combo it's quite safe to do, more than with other characters: unless heavily surrounded (and playing on the hardest settings), most of the times you'll be able to execute the flurry combo and perform a finisher before other enemies can interrupt you. This, in conjunction with the good damage of his throw and slam, means that you should use and abuse his grappling moves. However, don't get carried away: if someone gets too close, stop the flurry and quickly throw the enemy you're holding.

2 and 3 Stars Blitzes are good to surprise distant enemies and to move to one side of the screen to another while dishing out damage in the process. They're also useful to get away from crowded situations.

Also, let's not forget about the offensive special, which provides a quick and powerful one-hit knockdown move: invaluable against fast bosses such as Jet, Abadede, Zamza and Shiva himself.

In conclusion, getting the most out of SOR3 Shiva means learning how to capitalize on his great speed and on the short recovery time of his moves.


SOR2 Shiva
SOR2 Shiva, instead, must be played more slowly (especially if using his native Pause Delay). Take advantage of the huge hitbox and range of his jabs to keep the enemies at bay, rely on his specials and jumping kicks to keep the situation under control, and rack up hits with the Blitzes when the opportunity arises.

SOR2 Shiva's grappling game is just as damaging as his SOR3 counterpart, but it's not as fast (the difference isn't big, though), so it plays a slightly smaller role in extending his damage output before knocking down an enemy. SOR2 Shiva, however, excels in linking his main combo with the Blitzes. Ending the combo with the Final Crash, other than being quite damaging (especially if using the 1 Star version), it's also safer than it looks: the recovery time it's usually fast enough to prevent other enemies to sneak in a hit. Connecting the combo with the 2 Stars Blitz can be risky if surrounded (and a little tricky to do if using the X button combination), but the resulting damage it's huge.

Also, while overall his mobility isn't on par with SOR3 Shiva, it should not be underestimated: he is still one of the fastest characters in the roster.

In conclusion, as SOR2 Shiva the rules should be: take your time, don't be reckless and make full use of the variety the character offers to decimate the enemies.


Last edited by Charco on Sun Dec 07, 2014 3:58 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: In-Depth Character Discussion: Shiva

Post  Shadow Fist King on Wed Aug 07, 2013 9:14 pm

I main Shiva. He's just so awesome. Very Happy

I've observed that SOR2 Shiva's attacks seem slightly faster but weaker than SOR3 Shiva. For both versions, however, the katana is the best thing to have, since its blitz attack is both incredibly fast and powerful, making it useful for cutting down the annoying ninjas (LOL) but not quite so useful against Jets Crying or Very sad His Tiger Palm, especially when added in at the end of an attack combo, is also great for blasting away multiple enemies, including and especially the ones who can block (in which case, it hits about 3 or 4 times).
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Re: In-Depth Character Discussion: Shiva

Post  Solinarius on Sun Dec 01, 2013 4:38 pm

I put some time into Shiva 3 recently (survival of course >_<) and wow does he accumulate points fast. So fast, in fact, that Electras started dropping in around 50k, Jack as late as 65k! In 5.0 I thought Elle was king, but she can't touch that. My strategy has just been using the grapple flurry on as many enemies simultaneously as possible because of its damage-to-point ratio and it nets KOs fast as well (200 points per KO, after all). Throwing still remained important of course, since the grapple flurry is merely a supplement.

Shadow Fist King wrote:I main Shiva. He's just so awesome. Very Happy

I've observed that I don't know what the fuck I'm talking about in this paragraph.
Fixed that for you, Sherlock.
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Re: In-Depth Character Discussion: Shiva

Post  Charco on Sun Dec 07, 2014 4:01 pm

Giving this thread a bump as Reinhart has taken the time to update the original post (which I have now edited). Since SORR V5.1 introduces important new features for the character, he has updated the guide, adding new info and rewriting a few things here and there.

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Re: In-Depth Character Discussion: Shiva

Post  Reinhart on Sun Dec 07, 2014 4:40 pm

Thanks Charco for updating the post!

Some sort of "police call" for Shiva was something I'd always wanted, since SORR V5 was first released, so it was a very nice surprise to see it introduced in V5.1. I think the super speed suits both his character and his playstyle, it adds a new layer to his gameplay but doesn't make him too overpowered (seeing as he is already very strong by himself).

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Re: In-Depth Character Discussion: Shiva

Post  Charco on Sun Dec 07, 2014 6:45 pm

Yeah, I love his new police special Smile

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Re: In-Depth Character Discussion: Shiva

Post  DarkThief on Sun Dec 07, 2014 6:57 pm

Charco wrote:SORR V5.1 introduces important new features for the character

Yeah, the biggest feature being that Shiva 2 is now playable Razz

(his blitzes suck balls compared to Shiva 3 though, but the rest is too good to refuse)

Some sort of "police call" for Shiva was something I'd always wanted, since SORR V5 was first released, so it was a very nice surprise to see it introduced in V5.1.

I'm almost disappointed in a way, as he and X are the main baddies and are good enough to not have one. But still, it's nothing compared to the other toons. (as it doesn't do any damage)

Let's hope X gets one next time around to complete the set...summoning waves of 1-2 friendly Galsias/Donovans for the same length as Shiva's special would be nice Wink

I think the super speed suits both his character and his playstyle, it adds a new layer to his gameplay but doesn't make him too overpowered (seeing as he is already very strong by himself).

Yeah, it's not abusable against Shiva/Rudra because he has to vault over them for his slam (which gives double the chance of losing)...whereas Ash can just run up and do it (literally) like a boss Razz
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Re: In-Depth Character Discussion: Shiva

Post  Reinhart on Sun Dec 07, 2014 8:26 pm

DarkThief wrote:Yeah, the biggest feature being that Shiva 2 is now playable Razz

(his blitzes suck balls compared to Shiva 3 though, but the rest is too good to refuse)

I disagree on this one, I find SOR2 Shiva's blitzes to be very good. They work differently from SOR3 Shiva's, they should be used in combos and they're very damaging when most/all hits connect. Actually, the blitzes are one of the reasons why I overall prefer SOR2 Shiva to SOR3 Shiva.

DarkThief wrote:I'm almost disappointed in a way, as he and X are the main baddies and are good enough to not have one. But still, it's nothing compared to the other toons. (as it doesn't do any damage)

Let's hope X gets one next time around to complete the set...summoning waves of 1-2 friendly Galsias/Donovans for the same length as Shiva's special would be nice Wink

The idea of Mr. X summoning thugs (and Shiva summoning ninjas) goes back as far as SORR V4 was released, and some of us were discussing what could be added to V5. That was... man, 7 years ago!

Mr. X is already pretty strong as he is, but yeah, now he's the only one without a "police special". Who knows if we'll ever see another update, but if we do, I hope it includes a police alternative for Mr. X, for completeness' sake. Personally, I'd like it to be something different, not a smart bomb, just like Shiva's is unlike any other character. Summoning baddies sure sounds interesting.


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