tempest in a teacup

the pointless musings of a strange recluse

Looking backwards

I’ve mentioned before how SNKP dumping all the new things they introduced in KOF XII irritated me. Capcom has been doing something similar with Street Fighter IV, and needless to say that move has puzzled me as well. It’s not that I don’t understand the motivation behind the move – it’s that I think that it’s not going to help at all.

Ostensibly the idea behind returning these series to a time when they were less loaded with subsystems to master is fairly obvious – to make them more “accessible” to beginners. There’s nothing wrong with making games easy to learn – as long as they remain difficult to master. That is the key thing that keeps people playing these games for so long. And when you think about it, a game like Guilty Gear XX really is no more accessible than Street Fighter II, since at the lowest level, they are based off the same principles.

Anyway, back to Street Fighter IV. Capcom is trying to draw in the people who played Street Fighter II back in its heyday, yet who didn’t stick with the scene after that. I have to say, I’m highly skeptical that this will work, and the evidence on the Internet doesn’t really help to convince me otherwise.

For instance, take a look at this video on Youtube. It’s a video of a Ryu player in Street Fighter IV (the video uploader claims it’s Daigo Umehara, but that hasn’t been confirmed). Still, it’s pretty clear that the guy knows what he’s doing. However, the comments on this and other videos are rather revealing:

it’s not that hard to do fire ball over and over again then kick a few times . I hope D dark is on this game so I can show you a real beast.

How is this guy good? He constantly spams a load of Hadouken. The guy is aweful.

good?…all he does is spam hadouken.

These are the people Capcom is trying to sell this game to. Good luck with that.

If anything, they’ll think “omg, this is going to be just like Street Fighter II!”, hop on Live/PSN and get their asses kicked a bunch of times by players who stuck with the scene over the years (and have thus become really good), chalk it up to people being cheap or not “playing for fun” and quit the game for good. Which is probably why they stopped playing Street Fighter II, come to think of it. There will probably be a few who will attempt to learn the system and actually get better at the game, but I doubt they will be in the majority.

Disclaimer: I don’t claim to be an expert at fighting games (anyone who has played against me knows what a pushover I am) but I do like to think that I know why people continue to play these games, and thus why trying to attract new players with misguided attempts to rekindle nostalgia isn’t going to work.

(I’ve been writing way too many negative posts lately, haven’t I? I’ll try to think of something more positive to write about next time)

5 comments

5 Responses to “Looking backwards”

  1. PenPen says:

    I don’t know, I don’t even see a SF4 around here in arcades.

    Doubt that SF4 is going to make huge changes to the arcade landscape though.

    I doubt anything’s going to change. Hardcore players are still hardcore and still pwns casual players easily. Casual players, unless they really devote time and energy into the game, won’t have a chance to beat the guys with pretty good skills.

    It’s not like you’re going into an arcade, play 10 rounds of some popular fighter and thinking that you’ll be owning guys who played that for 5 years plus. Not going to happen.

    Speaking of which, I think my KOF investments are beginning to reap some rewards, I’m paying less and less per game in the arcades. :D

  2. PenPen says:

    By the way, I’m not sure why but I can’t post that comment in Fierfox.

    • PenPen says:

      Oops, I meant I can’t post it because it says I don’t have Javascript and cookies enabled, which I had. Weird.

      I’m supposed to contact you according to the error message, lol.

  3. Apath W says:

    The scenario SS describes (newbies -> “OMG!! Awesome!” into “He cheats; I quit”) has already occurred with the Xbox Live release of World Warrior. I seem to recall that the game sold well at release but I don’t know if it had any prolonged success at market (virtual though it may be). Maybe it did, since Capcom seems to again be courting the nostaglia factor that gave SF2XL it’s initial windfall.

    That or they’re just stupid

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