Cammy is considered one of the five worst characters in Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo (ST) along with Zangief, Blanka, Fei Long, and T.Hawk. It only took a few changes in SF HD Remix to give her a big boost.
Cammy’s hooligan throw motion is one of the most frustrating commands in ST. Not only does it end in up/forward which results in accidental jumping sometimes, but it also closely overlaps the spinning backfist command.
- Hooligan Throw: quarter circle forward + punch
- Spinning Backfist: quarter circle back + punch
After you do the command for hooligan throw, remember to hold a direction on the joystick and press kick when you’re close to the opponent (and still in the air) to actually throw them.
Just the ability to do Cammy’s hooligan throw reliably makes her easier to win with. It’s a really good move (though most characters can just jab her out of it). Cancelling low forward into Hooligan Throw is now easy and pretty effective. You can catch beginners all day with this throw, and it’s still very effective against experts when you hooligan throw just as they commit to doing a move. Use your good low medium kick to poke and when the opponent pokes back, do your hooligan throw.
Here’s some trivia about the spinning backfist. The very first change I made in all of SF HD Remix was allowing Cammy’s spinning backfist to go through fireballs. All three versions can now do this and she even has lower body invulnerability during this, but her head is completely vulnerable the whole time, so you can smack her with high moves if you know she is going to spinning backfist. Her regular full body vulnerability returns, of course, by the time she lands from her hop.
The spinning backfist now has a much bigger hitbox on the second hit. After several experiments, this was the most effective way to make sure that the move no longer failed to get the built-in two hits. If you hit the opponent with the first hit of this move, it’s now extremely likely that the second hit will also hit and knock down.
If you’re blocking fireballs at full screen and you try to spinning backfist through them, a good Ryu will probably hit you out of it on reaction. What’ more effective though, is when you predict that a fireball is coming and your backfist a little early. In this case, you’ll be safe and often hit Ryu’s hands and knock him down. Another good use of this move is when you’re rushing the opponent down with cannon drills (see below), you can mix in the occasional hooligan throw or jab spinning backfist, using the lower body invulnerability to your advantage.
Cammy’s biggest change is that her cannon drills are now much more safe on block. (Trivia: this is the second change I attempted to make in the game, only weeks later did I finally figure out how to do this one.) In ST, cannon drills could be safe on block only from a very particular distance. Now there is much more leeway so with a little knowledge of ranges and which strength to use, you can make this move safe on block every time. Note that as before, it’s very vulnerable at the top so jumping straight up and attacking as you come down is a counter.
The safe cannon drill lets Cammy really put the pressure on. From the right range, she can do pressure strings such as cannon drill, cannon drill, low forward (for spacing), cannon drill, low short, low forward, cannon drill, cannon drill, etc. And as soon as they hesitate, Hooligan Throw.
Former Evolution world champion Tokido said that Cammy worried him the most of any character. “Too easy” he said. When I asked what he suggested I do, he thought for a while and then said that increasing recovery on cannon drill would make her terrible again, so “maybe it’s ok to have an easy character after all.” A closer look at the move shows that you can actually dragon punch it during several points in that pressure sequence, but it is admittedly hard to hit otherwise. As a result, I lowered the priority in the front of the short version of the cannon drill. The short version is the one you can do repeatedly because after you do it, you’re in a pretty good position to do it again. If you commit to doing just this move, the opponent should now be able to hit you out with the right move.
Cannon Spike: Safe Attack into Safe Attack?
Cammy stayed in the state I described above for a long time. There has been no question that she’s good, it’s just been a question of whether she’s second tier or has creeped into the top. After playing her quite a bit, two things started to bother me, and they both had the same solution. One is that she’s just incredibly good against Zangief and T.Hawk. She can cannon spike anytime she’s within range and force them to block or get hit by her invulnerable move, then she’s completely safe afterwards. It’s abusive, and she doesn’t even need that against them considering her low forward alone is very good against them.
The other problem is that she started to feel a lot like ST Balrog in that she can keep up the pressure (in her case with safe-on-block cannon drills), then do a safe-on-block, invulnerable cannon spike at any time. That is the exact same sequence that was deemed “too good” for Balrog, but now she had it. (In ST, Balrog can do safe low rush punches, then immediately follow with an invulnerable, safe-on-block buffalo headbutt).
I felt uncomfortable with this, so now the cannon spike is not completely safe on block. It still bounces her back, but if she does it from too close, T.Hawk is able to counter with an immediate stand roundhouse and Zangief is able to counter with low roundhouse. She can still currently get away with a safe Cannon Spike when she does it from a bit farther though, so we’ll have to keep an eye on this.
Jumping Strong Punch
Cammy was very good against Dhalsim in ST because of one move: jump strong. Dhalsim really had no answer to this move at all. What was a bad match before became a horrendous match in HD Remix. To address this I reduced the size of her hitbox on jumping strong (only towards/away, the straight up version remains the same). The change is microscopic. I think the impact on the game in general is negligible except that tiny change allows Dhalsim's slide to hit her jump strong (well not the jump straight up version, but the jumping toward/away versions). This makes that match a lot closer to even, especially considering Cammy upgrades like spinning backfist going through fireballs.
The invulnerable, always-safe-on-block cannon spike was nice with Cammy, but she’s a more versatile, fair character having a safe-on-block cannon drill instead. I think it’s a fair trade, and she’s still a strong character. The cannon spike is still often safe, so she didn’t even trade that much away. Cammy can now go toe-to-toe in previously very difficult matches against Ken, Ryu, and Sagat (spinning backfist!) and her easier hooligan throw and safe cannon drill allow her to pressure and deal good block damage to the non-fireball characters, too.