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Broken combo at launch?


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So I am having some considerable trouble getting S rank on very hard and expert and I'm hoping to finish without reaching lvl 100. I'm not having much luck with strategies I've found online but I've seen some people mention some broken combos that were near unstoppable before they were patched out? I'm trying to find some info on those since I have a physical copy and can still use them. Or is it this black coffin thing because I can't get that to hardly work, enemies instantly go around the wall and it takes like 3 times to work.

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I think the "broken combo" at launch was the black coffin/airtight strategy. It's what was recommended in the guide on this site and some other forums too, but I also couldn't get it to work. The enemy always strafed left or right and dashed straight toward me, even after calling Vegeta out for support to hold them back. I was tempted to roll back patches too, but feared that my save wouldn't be compatible since it probably had additional moves and clothing items that weren't available at launch.

I ended up brute forcing my way through level training 1 on expert over and over (the one with Dio, Blackbeard, and Vegeta) until I found a strategy that works and somewhat memorized the AI patterns. Some people say you don't need to perfect the first round to get S rank, but in my experience I only ever got S rank if I got perfect in the first round, and if I took enough damage I finished the second round with my awakening finisher just for added security. I'll detail my experience below if you would like to try it.

- I put Death Beam on R2 + Square. It's the fastest projectile in my experience and has a farther reach than most. You can fire it almost instantly if you don't charge it, and it only takes a second or so to fully charge. You'll want to use this move often to interrupt Dio and Blackbeard when you're out of reach from their special attacks.

- R2 + Triangle went to Hundred Rending Fists. Another post on this board talked about pressing square to attack three times next to the enemy then letting out an immediate hundred rending fists. Even if the enemy blocks the first three attacks, they always seem to try and dodge backwards while you're in the middle of executing hundred rending fists. As long as I used the move instantly without charging it would always connect because it does a short lunge towards them. The AI frequently tries to punish you in this game the first chance it gets which is why I think it tries dodging backwards at the end instead of continuing to block. It's also a guaranteed 100 hit combo (104-107 if you juggle them with basic square attacks a few times) which adds to your final score.

- R2 + Circle went unused. Feel free to put whatever here or experiment, but I never used this slot for S ranks.

- R2 + X was assigned to Black Meteorite. I still had this move equipped from my attempts at what the guide laid out, but it's a solid move regardless. It fit the J Skill I already had leveled up which powered up dark element moves, it travels a far distance to hit the enemy, and it also has an over 100 hit combo, which is great if you didn't land a hundred rending fists that match for some reason.


Once you have your moves equipped it's all about knowing when to use them. Never fire off death beam randomly. Always make sure the enemy is unable to move or block before using it, otherwise it'll miss and then you're open to a counter attack and have to waste time charging more energy.

Dio almost always starts the match trying to use his grab special move. YOU CAN NOT BLOCK THIS. You can either dodge it or move back a little before the round starts and fire off a death beam. He's easy to bait into using his close range special if you get the spacing right, and you can charge death beam and hit him with it while he's stuck in his animation. If you get farther away he might go for another grab special, or use his checkmate projectile. Checkmate has decent reach, but hes stuck in the animation long enough for you to side step out of the way and land another death beam on him. His awakening finisher can be safely blocked without losing health, leaving him open for a hundred rending fists to push him away afterward.

Blackbeard is the easiest of the three to fight. All of his specials can be avoided if you're far enough, he uses them often if you aren't within melee range, and they're slow to execute. Once he was out I'd spam away with charged Death Beams every time I'd see him winding up a special move. His finisher won't even connect if you're a short distance away from him. Only tricky part for me was that rarely he'd rush in to try a basic grab on me if I blocked too often, so if you see him closing in try to side step him if you can. You can usually end the round pretty quick here if Blackbeard is out long enough and you bait him into using his specials.

Hopefully you'll get your perfect round before Vegeta is switched out, because he's a huge pain to deal with compared to Dio and Blackbeard. He spams his projectile specials, it's hard to find a window to attack him afterwards if you blocked, and they all do chip damage when you block, preventing S rank. If his health bar was low enough, I always ended up rushing in to keep constant pressure on him, using three light attacks and ending with hundred rending fists. It's a bit dicey, but I've pulled through with it more consistently than keeping my distance like with Dio and Blackbeard. Vegeta has a huge cooldown animation after using his finisher, Final Flash, so he's completely open for a few seconds.


If you can get that first perfect round pulled off then you can be a lot more lenient in the second round and still get S rank. I'm not saying this makes it easy like black coffin airtight combo probably did, but it is a doable strategy. I also understand your reservations about leveling to 100 (and you don't have to for this, I got my S ranks at around level 80 I think) but you may need to eventually anyway if you don't have 1,000,000 gold yet. The missions that drop the most gold only get unlocked if you can get your created character to max level, and it seems like a bigger timesave in the long run.

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