What the hell?
No seriously. What. The. Hell?
Between you and me, I haven’t been a fan of the direction fighting games have gone. Yes, I’m an old school gamer. Hell, I’m an old school Street Fighter fan.
I played the original Fighting Street for the TurboGrafx-16. Yes, I am that old school. I remember the TurboGrafx-16. No wait, I PLAYED the TurboGrafx-16 (Bonk’s Adventure was hellafun). Back to Street Fighter…I played Street Fighter II at the arcade. Guile was my boy, but I was also pretty good with Ken. My all time favorite memory was when I went against Vega with Guile. You see, back in the day, Vega was considered to be a unique and difficult boss. He was faster than anyone. He also could jump higher and farther than anyone. So, he gave me some difficulty.
So I want you to picture this. It was the 3rd round. We both were low on life and battling it out. Trading blows. Blocking. Time was running low. He jumped. I did the flash kick (we called it the razor kick). I missed and he got in another hit. One more and I’m dead. Game over. So I jump away, trying to get distance, but Vega wasn’t having it. He launched himself high into the air. You know the attack. The one where he grabs you mid-air and german-suplexes you on the way down. He was going to hit me. No way to avoid it. So I jumped right at him and hit the kick button (I think it was medium). I grabbed him mid-air and came down with a back-breaker, winning the match. I swear, it all happened in slow motion. That’s how it felt.
When I play fighting games, that’s the type of experience I’m looking for. Just like in a real fight. It’s not fancy moves that wins the day, but moves that occur in the heat of the moment. That’s the type of excitement that I think everyone looks for.
And I think Street Fighter IV does not provide that. Heck, I don’t think most fighting games out there provide that (outside of Injustice)
Every time I play a modern fighting game.. hell, any fighting game after Tekken came out… it all feels like one huge gimmick. Now before you jump all over this and rush to the defense of this game, hear me out. Okay? Just hear me out.
Let’s look at Ryu. He can jump, punch, kick, and block. He has three special moves: hadouken, shoryuken, and tatsumakisenpukyaku. Now a combination of those is more than enough to beat almost any opponent. I know, since that’s all I tend to use. But nope. There’s more. He has two special moves.
Shinku Hadoken – an overglorified hadoken that stays stuck on the opponent.
Metsu Hadoken – a nifty looking hadoken
These special moves are a bit more difficult to do than the normal moves. But that’s okay, they do more damage and… as I said… they look really nifty. When I’m in the middle of intense combat, those special moves are next to impossible to do. They require an extra second or two in order to get them right. And in that time, the opponent can (and often will) force you to eat your own feet.
But maybe you don’t have trouble doing them. I’m wagering most people don’t and I just suck at Street Fighter IV and at life in general. I think there still is some trouble with it. Here… watch this:
There’s a lot of flash to the attacks. And I mean a lot of flash. I don’t think there’s much substance though. It takes out all the strategy in the fighting game.There’s no need to try to use punches, kicks, blocks, and the basic special moves. There’s no nail-biting taking place. All the player has to do is wait for the opening and then hit the right button combination. And if they hit, they do tons of damage. If they don’t, then they will have to recharge their meter.
But you know, maybe that’s just me being all bitter and a good player can do that with no problem. And more, they can use it with as much ease as every other move and can strategize with it.
What about the computer who can do these moves with ease?
What about Akuma who can do his near instant-kill special move?
What about all the other characters that can do their special moves out of nowhere in a heartbeat?
These moves give the computer a huge advantage over any player. And it’s not just the ungodly amount of damage done. When I’m playing the game, I’m in a good rhythm. My moves are almost pure instinct. But when the computer does a special move, I see lots of flash and graphics and blah, blah, blah. It focuses on that and I can’t see my character. I’m taken out of my rhythm.
It’s a freaking break in the action. All to look cool.
I hate that.