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Mister Zero



I've recently been raving a lot about Street Fighter IV and it's problems. Most people I talk to don't understand what annoys me about it, so I've decided to dedicate my first ever blog entry to the issues I have with the game.

Let me first start by saying this rant is based on the XBox 360 version of the game, you know, the one where you can't use the default Xbox controller to play with because it registers so terribly? Spending $30+ for a new controller on top of buying this game should not be mandatory. Somehow I've come CLOSE to my normal playing ability, but I'm still not fully confident I'm playing at Street Fighter Alpha 3 on Playstation accuracy. The 360's D-Pad in no way works to play this game, and the analog stick is decent, as it ends up being somewhat close to playing with a fight stick.

Now, don't first-glance me. I'm not bitching because I suck at the game. I've been playing Street Fighter's incarnations since 1992- Street Fighter II: The World Warrior on SNES and Special Championship Edition on Genesis. No, I didn't start on arcade because where I live, there are virtually no good arcades. Since then I feel I've become a pretty accomplished player, starting out by playing as Ryu, Ken and other Shotoclones, branching out and trying charge characters and attempting to get good with the lesser-used like Dhalsim. I've settled on Cammy, as she's always been a favorite of mine(since Super Street Fighter II, that is) as far as moves and she's not bad to look at, either. ;)

Before I verbally beat the crap out of Street Fighter IV, let me first take you back to it's release and my first impressions. February 2009- my best friend gets ahold of the game and calls me to come over and see it, which I do, and I'm very impressed with what I see and play. The game seems to be almost everything I could ask for in a Street Fighter game minus a few of the old bonuses the old games had. No bonus rounds, special modes(aside from Time Attack, Survival and obligatory Practice modes). I had my blinders on anyways, so I didn't notice this at first. I was however, very impressed with the Trial mode that taught you useful combos and essential moves and timing. I ws happy and wanted the game immediately.

About half a year later, the game was still $45 pre-owned at the local monopolizing 'GameStore.' I check eBay and within a few minutes I found the game for half the price and bid, the game was mine. It arrived and I began to play at my hearts content. Until I bit deeper into the game and hit a bone.

At first I had to unlock some characters, so to Arcade mode I went. The game's AI was pretty good at Medium level, it gave me a bit of a challenge, which surprised me. Finally, the last battle came, a new guy named Seth.

Let me stop here to talk about this guy. Named after Seth Killian, Capcom's Community Manager who is rumoured to be a pretty damn good SF player, the character is storied to be a new body created for M.Bison that absorbs information on fighting styles and incorporates others' special moves into his own. This allows for Seth to have a special move for every situation imaginable. Couple that with super AI that Capcom developed for the game and you've got a pretty tough opponent. A little TOO tough. Something about the AI seems to make it able to read which move you're going to use and pick you apart at every button press. Many of his moves hit waaay more than once to further increase the difficulty, or should I just say, the cheapness. Ridiculously multi-hitting moves abound in SFIV and that's another crack I'll uncover here.

I also noticed that he was a bit overpowered. Like many other characters in the game, some of his normal hits and special attacks drain a lot of life and for no apparent reason. The others I speak of are Sagat, Honda, Blanka, and Zangief. But wait, of course I know a couple of these guys are overpowered to balance how slow or easy to hit they are. This has always been the case with a few of them, including Zangief and Honda. There's no reason for Sagat and Blanka to take this seat as well. I've had about a 4th of my life bar drained by Sagat's regular heavy uppercut(not Tiger Uppercut). Blanka can usually just sit back and charge any of his special moves and be ready to drain your life at the blink of an eye. And like Sagat, he's also coupled with devastating regular attacks like his low heavy punch, and heavy kicks.

Sagat also has a problem with multi-hitting specials. His Ultra combo, Tiger Destruction(guess the name fits..), can tear you apart. Also on this list are Ryu's Ultra Hadouken, Ken's Ultra Shoryuken and of course, Blanka's Ultra. Akuma's Ultra Instant Hell Murder is an honorable mention, but it can be easily avoided so it's not on the list. Sagat, Ken, and Akuma also have dangerous multi-hitting normal attacks as well. These are all somewhat petty annoyances because they can be avoided, but I feel I've lost too many matches just because half of my life bar was drained by a stupid attack that is just way too overpowered and hits too many times. Anything over 17-hits without a normal combo added beforehand is just ridiculous unless we're playing Killer Instinct.

Needless to say, most people who you play against online choose these cheap powerhouses to bait an easy win. However, this is only the tip of the iceberg with online play issues. Why do people online want to win other than supremacy over others? This is still unclear to me aside from the recently added Championship mode, where you can rank up by gradually building points. See, there's also a Ranked online mode which uses these things called BP, Battle Points. How they are awarded and their use is somewhat of a mystery. Seems like I'll win a match and win maybe 5 BP, then I'll lose the next one and 100 BP will go with it. Why? Nobody knows but Capcom.

The easiest way of connecting to play someone online is supposed to be the Quick Match option. I'm not sure why but this is always hit-and-miss. It gives you a list of three different players to choose from each time you enter or refresh, and beside the name it shows they connection speed in the form of a colored bar. The best being green, then yellow, orange, and finally red. Well, you'd think green would be the best to connect to, so you try them when you see them. Sometimes they just won't work! From connection, it's then broken down into language preference. My default language is English, so I'm supposed to be able to connect to English speakers more readily than other languages. Again, somehow this doesn't work right. I'll be allowed to play Hiro in Japan with a red bar, but not Johnny in California who has a yellow bar. Why, Capcom, why?! I usually end up just making my own room and letting only certain people with a high enough bar play. Kinda shitty that I have to do that, but that's how it works best.

I'll talk briefly about the 'Special Modes,' but there's not much to say. There's Time Attack and Survival mode, if you fully beat them you unlock taunts or costume colors. You'd think it would be semi-easy, as most people like to have these features from the start. No, no. Capcom didn't bar any holds here, either. Going through these modes is ridiculous as anything else in this game. They sometimes make you play through most of the characters in the game before ending a SECTION of the trial. I think there are 5 or so sections of each mode, and to unlock anything, you have to beat them all. The easy mode for each is decently paced and difficult, but the hard mode, which counts for the most bonuses is crazy. The first match or two you have to beat anywhere from 14-22 characters to even finish the section. It just makes everything annoying to say the least. There is no reason for this. I can understand that maybe some of the tournament players(the best SF players of all) would appreciate the challenge, but everyone else who is an average player like me just gets pissed and disappointed. I'm not willing to become a tournament player just to unlock some stupid alternate costume colors. I don't have THAT much time to waste.

Or do I? I am sitting here, after all...

Citations, just to prove I'm not just blowing steam:

Capcom admits overpowered characters: http://www.joystiq.com/2009/07/13/capcom-admits-to-overpowered-seth-and-sagat-in-street-fighter-iv/

Capcom says Seth will be even cheaper in SSFIV: http://kotaku.com/5385868/capcom-seth-will-be-cheaper-in-super-street-fighter-iv



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I've got to say I really like Street Fighter 4 and I haven't noticed too many character's being overpowered. But then again I don't play online, I just play with friend's when we all get together for the occasional game night, and let's just say our gaming skill's aren't what they used to be so we're probably not the best judge anyway. :P

I definitely agree with you regarding Seth though (such a cheap b*****d), and about the 360's controller which is so frustrating to play SF4 with.

Great blog Mister Zero, really enjoyed reading it. :)

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  • Retromags Curator

A well-articulated rant that will, hopefully, spawn more blog entries like it. Easy to read, and critical while still being fair; these are two things that are very difficult to balance but you handled them perfectly.

I'd have thrown rage quitters into the mix as well, as I've sat and watched friends play online before, only to see their opponents "mysteriously" lose their connection when their life bars drop below one-quarter mark. Over and over again. Are your stats REALLY that important that you can't stand to lose? There are no trophies or achievements that depend on you getting X number of wins in a row without losing as far as I know...

In any case, great work, and I hope it signals more good ones to come!



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Ah, I always meant to throw in that I don't HATE hate the game, I'm addicted to playing it. I just can't get over some of the flaws it has, they shouldn't be there.

Yeah, I was going to add in rage-quitters, too, but it hasn't been a terrible problem for me. I though of adding the difficulty of the Trials mode. I felt like I was going on a bit long, though, especially for anyone who might not play Street Fighter much. I tried to keep the interest for everyone up a bit.

Glad that someone actually read this.. I had doubts because of the length. I try to be well articulated, but I'm definitely no English major. My use of grammar and vocabulary is sometimes a bit sketchy!

Thanks for reading! :Yahooo:

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I am going to try and respond to this in the flow of the original post.

NEVER play stick based fighters on the x360. It is a well known (in the fighting game arena) that you just can't use the x360 controllers at all. You are correct in the fact that their response time is so horrible you will throw the controller. This is based on how the x360 controllers are designed.

Cammy is and always has been cheap. ESPECIALY when using her online where lag WILL be an issue.

Seth is a bastard. Plain and simple, but I can not say with a straight face that he is any more difficult then Gil was. To counteract his stupid fast/multihit moves (and a throw that has insane reach) he is limited to only a few real moves (which can be blocked). I have literally seen Gil kill someone in like 3 seconds.

Sagat is overpowered and everyone knows it. As for Blanka, that Low Heavy Punch has been doing crazy damage since the beginning...kind of a trademark for him. They have said before they just don't feel right adjusting/taking it out because of that.

Online is online...people suck and will do anything to win/not get a lose. I have ranted on this before. As for BPs...well, they actually have a formula for that one (I will try to find it for you) but Basicaly, if you lose to someone with less points/rank then you...well you take a SERIOUS hit that takes days to recover from (VERY stupid inclusion).

The unlocks in SFIV was COMPLETLY uncalled for. I like the idea of unlocking characters. I like unlocking endings/intros. Heck, I like unlocking clothing items, but there needs to be a system like Tekken where you get money along the way and you can buy stuff you haven't unlcoked (or it just unlcoks randomly over time). There are some characters (Guile) that I just have no intention of ever playing enough to pull off a normal 4 hit combo into a 17 hit super combo ending with an Ultra just to get his last color swap.

So in the end, from one SF player to another, I feel your pain but things have been worse (Gil) and the game is a bit better on PS3 (controller) but there is a stupid amount of inborn button lag that slows SF down to a pace that isn't practicle and like you, I have lost the love I once shared with the game back in the SNES days.

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I've got to say I really like Street Fighter 4 and I haven't noticed too many character's being overpowered. But then again I don't play online, I just play with friend's when we all get together for the occasional game night, and let's just say our gaming skill's aren't what they used to be so we're probably not the best judge anyway. :P

I definitely agree with you regarding Seth though (such a cheap b*****d), and about the 360's controller which is so frustrating to play SF4 with.

Great blog Mister Zero, really enjoyed reading it. :)

yea i know exactly what you mean regarding the 360 controller...it absolutely sucks for fighting games -_-

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