Fightin' Game Fanatics

Fightin' Game Fanatics: UltraDavid

We chatted with fighting game veteran--and lawyer--David Graham, aka UltraDavid, to get some tips on MvC3 and much more!

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We love Marvel fighting games and we know you do, too, so we're starting a new series of interviews with top brawlers from the community.   This week we’ve got David Graham, aka UltraDavid, Street Fighter veteran, lawyer and commentator at Wednesday Night Fights, talking about his Marvel experience, his favorite “Marvel vs. Capcom 3” matches and so much more!

By Ben Chabala 

Marvel. vs. Capcom 3

Marvel.com: Did you play any of the Marvel Vs. series games before MvC3?

UltraDavid: I had played MvC2 at home hanging out, but I never took it seriously, until “Marvel vs. Capcom 3.”  I never played “Marvel Super Heroes” or any of the previous games.

Marvel.com: What made you pick up the game?  Was it the next big thing and you just had to get your hands on it?

UltraDavid: Exactly.  Exactly right.  As soon as it was announced, I went to make sure I could play it when they had previews of it in LA and in Las Vegas.  I had a chance to go out to CES and try it out.  I loved it.  As soon as it came out, that was the game that everybody was playing.  I’m playing these games just for the competition and that was where the competition was at--is at still--and that’s why I was interested in it.  I think it’s a great game too, luckily.

Marvel.com: Coming from a Street Fighter background, how difficult was it to adapt to the frenetic pace of MvC3? 

UltraDavid: Well “Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo” is actually a very fast-paced game and that was the game I came in to the competitive scene on, so I’m used to having to react quickly to all sorts of things. It took me about a week to lose the “What’s going on?” look and absolute panic I was feeling.  It just took experience.  Luckily, I get to play against people like Justin Wong and Floe all the time, so I had to pick stuff up quickly or I would get destroyed.  I still get destroyed, don’t get me wrong, but in order to lessen the amount of destruction I had to really adapt quickly.  It’s actually been great for other games too, because now when I play “Super Street Fighter 4” I find that I have faster reactions.  I have faster reactions to people jumping in, I can do dragon punches faster and I can see that they whiff a move and punish it more easily.  It’s all that kind of stuff that’s been really useful in other games.

Sentinel screenshot from Marvel. vs. Capcom 3

Marvel.com: Now that you’ve learned the ways of “Marvel vs. Capcom 3,” what do you like most about it?

UltraDavid: The thing that I like the most, by far, is the space control.  That’s what I find most interesting about fighting games--they’re all about controlling space.  By controlling space, you force your opponent to take damage and get mixed up; so in MvC3 that’s more apparent than in most games.  In MvC3 you have the side-to-side horizontal movement, but you also have all of this up and down movement.  Characters with air dashes and flight can really make use of the extra space.  It’s something that I haven’t really messed around with and it’s something that’s unique, and there are all sorts of new traps.  There aren’t just traps on the ground, but traps in the air and you have all this extra space to work with.  I think it’s really interesting to control all of that extra space.

Marvel.com: You’re a regular commentator at Wednesday Night Fights and you’ve been to Final Round and a host of other major tournaments; you had to have seen some amazing matches.  Can you name your favorite?

UltraDavid: Yeah, my favorite match is probably the one that’s been most viewed, the Bionic Arm match at Final Round.  It was Combofiend (She-Hulk, Taskmaster, Spencer) vs. Marn (Magneto, Zero, Sentinel) and it was just a crazy crazy comeback for Combofiend.  It was probably the first time that we had seen high, high level MvC3 play at a major tournament.  It was a time when you saw all sorts of new technology, people doing things you’d never seen before, and we weren’t familiar with a lot of the characters, so in that set you get to see all sorts of new stuff that Combofiend and Marn are doing to control the opponent; new ways to control space; just new tactics in general.  I loved it because it was a comeback set and it was a great new technology set.

X-23 and Wolverine screenshot from Marvel. vs. Capcom 3

Marvel.com: Also, in watching all these great players, are there any characters that you don’t see much of?  Do you think any character is under-utilized thus far and just needs the right player to get their hands on him or her?

UltraDavid: I actually don’t really think so.  I think we’re getting a really good cross-section of characters and that most of the characters that are good get a lot of play.  There are so many people playing this game in tournaments all over the world that we get to see enough character variety.  There are people who like the character themselves, or just the play style enough, that we get to see basically everybody.  Sure you get to see more of Wolverine and Amaterasu, and the top-tier characters, but that always happens.

Marvel.com: As a guy that plays “Marvel vs. Capcom 3” and watches the best of the best duke it out on a weekly basis, what advice could you give to upcoming MvC3 players?

UltraDavid: I’ve been asked this question a lot and the number one answer is: think critically.  What I mean is, you’ve gotta think seriously enough about the game to be able to overcome everything that gets in your way.  Always think about how to improve.  For me, I wasn’t a good player until I went to law school, because I never thought about what I was doing really.  It was more of a guessing game.  You need to break down the game, figure out what works and what doesn’t, analyze your opponent, and get in there.

She-Hulk screenshot from Marvel. vs. Capcom 3

Marvel.com: Do you have a favorite Marvel character?

UltraDavid: Well I’ve always liked She-Hulk, me being a lawyer and all. But I’ve actually read X-Men and Beast stuff, so I gotta go with Hank McCoy.  He’s a super-smart renaissance man with fancy degrees, but he also has super-human athleticism and strength.  That’s rad for me because I’ve always been kind of a book and school nerd with a thing for learning random stuff.  I’ve played sports my whole life and wish I was better at them, and oh yeah, I’m unusually hairy for a human being.  Heh.

Marvel.com: A nigh-omnipotent celestial being grants you one super power.  What do you choose?

UltraDavid: I always try to cheat.  I always say that I could change into anything I want, and that includes changing into someone who can teleport, or who has telekinesis, or who has stretchy arms or whatever.  So yeah, I try to kill as many birds with one stone as possible.

Marvel.com: So you basically have the power to have every power?

UltraDavid: Essentially, but not necessarily simultaneously, unless I want to be a guy that has every power possible at the same time, and then yeah, I’ve got every power.

Follow @UltraDavid on Twitter and at facebook.com/UltraDavidFB, as well as on his law website www.DPGatLaw.com.

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