Psychic Force 2012/FAQ
Wait, did you say Taito? wtf is this game, dude
Taito was going to make a sequel to Kaiser Knuckle/Dan-Ku-Ga but somehow that led to a shmup and fighting game having a child that was heavily inspired by Marvel's X-Men, CLAMP's X/1999 and just general 90's goodness. Throw in a phenomenal ZUNTATA soundtrack and that's money. Shmupulation translated some great interviews with the dev team about the creative process that you can read here!
So what kind of game is Psychic Force 2012?
Unlike your traditional 2D or even 3D fighters, the Psychic Force series is wholly unique in that it is fought in an enclosed cube on a 360 degree axis. Characters are constantly in the air and can move freely within the cube. The cube itself can be interacted with thanks to a wall bounce mechanic.
The game is still fundamentally a basic fighting game but with an extremely unique focus on neutral, spacing, reads, and movement. Most characters have only one guaranteed combo near the wall with any other combos being entirely spacing dependent and quite freeform while some characters have no guaranteed combos at all but rely on other strengths instead. The game still has the basic character archetypes; zoners, rushdown, hit & run, traps, and even a grappler!
Thanks to a lenient input buffer, there’s very little in the game that can be considered executionally demanding as well. As such, PF2012 is considered a game that is easy to pick up but hard to master.
Any VODs to look at?
The entirety of the EVO Japan tournaments is a great place to start; both 2019 here and 2020 here, here, and here. STALKER frequently uploads Japanese streams to his youtube and he has also made a tutorial playlist with character overviews that you can see here.
Who should I play?
The phrase “play whoever you want” is 100% accurate at any level of play. The game is actually well balanced enough where even at a high level of play you see every character represented. Most inputs are pretty universal among the cast so execution really isn’t a barrier once you get the hang of the system. It’s just a question of what kind of playstyle you prefer. Every character is to some degree a zoner due to the nature of the game but the following table below should help to give you an idea as to which characters fit into which categories.
- Note: These can be considered highly subjective. This table is merely a tool to categorize characters based on archetypes, but most characters can be played according to the user's preference.
- S+: Wong, Genshin, Burn, Regina
- S: Emilio, Wendy, Might, Keith
- A: Carlo, Gudeath, Patty
- B: Gates, Setsuna
- S+: Wong
- S: Emilio, Genshin
- A+: Burn, Might, Gates
- A: Keith, Regina, Carlo
- B: Gudeath, Wendy
- C: Patty, Setsuna
- S+: Genshin
- S: Emilio, Burn, Wong
- A+: Wendy, Might, Regina
- A: Keith
- B: Gudeath, Carlo, Setsuna
- C: Gates, Patty
- S+: Emilio, Wong
- S: Burn, Keith, Setsuna
- A: Might, Carlo, Gudeath, Genshin, Regina
- B: Wendy, Patty, Gates
- Notes: As you can see the tiers can be pretty diverse. The old SRK tier list has drastic differences from the modern ones by Japanese players and even those have notable differences. That said, the game itself is extremely well balanced. So don’t worry too much about tier placement and choose who you're most comfortable with.
Join the Psychic Force Central 2012 discord! Predominantly PF2012 is played on NullDC Bear. No rollback yet sadly but thanks to the generous input buffer in PF2012 it’s not as big an issue as it is with more traditional fighters. There’s a setup channel with instructions on how to get started, once you’re ready simply ping a region for games in the matchmaking channel! Have fun!