Finally! Super Street Fighter 4 has released in a form that actually looks and feels complete, on a single system, uniting the fanbase. No more, “Oh, you have this version, sorry I have that version, I guess we can’t play online together.”
Well, to say that the game is yet complete would be erroneous, as there are a few things both little and large that could make this experience better yet. It’s actually very difficult to write an article like this, as Capcom releases so many versions of Street Fighter so close to each other that buying any version of Street Fighter seems like buying a piece of plastic that you’re going to throw away the moment the next version releases, and writing an article like this seems to just taunt Capcom to bring their next version out all the sooner.
That said, me being on the fence about actually diving back into Street Fighter after the burn that was Alpha 3 puts me in a position to simply not care if Capcom rushes out 10 more versions of SSF4, 3DE or otherwise. With that said, I DO like what I have played of SSF43DE, and I do have some suggestions for future versions and sequels that will ensure my (and many other gamers’) continued and increased interest. Enough of my blabbering. THE ARTICLE BEGINS NOW…
First and foremost, the next edition should be a Wii version that is connectable with the 3DS version. I had to get the obvious one out of the way first. Capcom’s shown a lot of love for the Wii system and its audience, not the least of which being bringing Tatsunoko vs. Capcom into existence, and again in bringing it out of Japan, and even going so far as to host consistent online events for Monster Hunter Tri! To abandon support at this rate would be throwing an immense investment, both in finance and in inter-company relations, down the drain. Capcom’s Yoshinori Ono had hinted about cross-platform connectivity and play, and basically asked us to wait for an announcement at E3 2011. It’s common sense that not only CAN Street Fighter be made for the Wii, but made better for it. By allowing connectivity to the 3DS version, you not only get all the sales of people who are waiting on getting the 3DS until more RPGs come out for it (hint hint: Atlus, Vanillaware, SquareEnix, Jupiter, Intelligent Systems, and SEGA), but you also avoid splitting the userbase by allowing people who bought the Wii version to fight against those that bought the 3DS version. “Oh. I got the Wii version.” “Really? I got the 3DS version.” “I guess we can’t play together OH WAIT, YES WE CAN!” Bonus: As an incentive to buy both, you can import and synchronize your save data from one game to the other. Better than paid DLC? Definitely.
Preview Costumes and Colours. I liked the old system, archaic as it may seem to some, where pressing Light Punch chose one colour, and pressing Heavy Kick chose a different one, and so on. There are more customizations to choose from, such as taunts, costumes, and victory sayings, so the additional piece of GUI between character selection and battle start seems the most logical way to handle it. Still, it would be nice to see what the costumes actually are, like in Street Fighter Alpha where the character sprite’s colour would change to match your selection the moment you made it, except that in this case you’d get a view of what your character looked like before you committed to it.
If loading times are an issue, have a little sprite representing the character. Negligible loading AND a functional and stylish, extra angle from which to view your favourite fighters.
Dual Language Release. Makoto’s “Chestou!” Just sounds so dry and underacted when spoken by her English voice actor. Most of the English actors just don’t seem to put the energy into their characters that the Japanese do. What’s worse is it doesn’t even seem like the English actor for Ryu even TRIED to pronounce “Tatsumaki Senpukyaku.” However, it’s understandable that the players will want to understand what their characters are saying if they don’t know Japanese. The easy solution? Include both sets of voices! The long-time, since-Super-Nintendo-fans can enjoy the original “seiyuu” that sound familiar, while the newer, more casual high-definition-fans get the English voices they are comfortable with.
Offer mail-in rebates and trade in deals. This is more for the inevitable 2nd or 3rd 3DS release of this where they include, hopefully, some of the items on this list! With recycling motivating companies to use less packaging in their Wii and DS game boxes, why not take it a step further and offer a mail in rebate for people that purchase the next version of SSF4? Send in your SSF43DE cartridge, box, manual, and get a rebate for your purchase of SSF43DE-Turbo or whatever they call it!
Training system akin to Flying Dragon 64. I drop that name specifically because Flying Dragon on the N64 had a training system that ran you through each of the character’s moves, specials, supers, and some combos. Then, you can switch up the training mode so that you’re fighting against a CPU where the lifebars don’t matter. This way, you can get a constant feed of training time without having to stop and start between matches. Perfect for practicing strategies against characters that you’re having trouble with. Here is displayed one of the command-list practice sessions from Flying Dragon:
Extra modes like in Tatsunoko vs Capcom. Call me spoiled, but there aren’t enough words to describe the quality and quantity of pure win that including something like “Ultimate All-Shooters” in TvC was to me. Having something like this keeps the matches fresh, allowing you to take a quick break without swapping out the disks or hitting the Wii menu for some VC action, and the best part is, if you’ve been swapping controllers between rounds, now you can all pick up your controllers and join in some 4-player action. In a Street Fighter 4 remake, this could be as simple as allowing players to practice the bonus rounds, or even turning them into minigames of their own when played indivually, with friends or alone. The possibilities are endless, and I strongly urge Capcom to explore them.
Bring back the “Dramatic Battle” mode. One good thing that emerged from Alpha 3 was this mode, which allowed for a two-on-one setup. I may have mentioned earlier that I love games with cooperative modes, and bringing back Dramatic Battles would make for some fantastic multiplayer, especially if they went as far as to allow for 2-on-2 multiplayer matches as well!
Here’s a demonstration of the Dramatic Battle from the Arcade version of SFA3
Return of Custom Combos. You may think I’m asking for a lot, but this is the kind of dedication and effort that matches the quality of Nintendo’s in-house first-party efforts. The appeal of the custom combo is the appeal of creativity, and having a pro-level panic button. Under LITE-control circumstances, any beginner could use a touch-screen macro (or a controller with a pre-programmed macro button) to activate their Ultra in a sticky situation, whereas a pro would have to calmly enter the command and time the final button press to coincide with the moment of execution. But even the pros panic at times, and when they activate a custom combo, they have the ability to not only turn the tides, but to do it in their own unique style! And when they don’t have to panic? They can bust out their super or ultra whenever they please! Having that option on the fly is very important to me, and a lot of the reason why Street Fighter Alpha 2 is my favourite Street Fighter of the entire series. I even bought the SNES version on VC, despite its flaws, just to have quick access to some Super-or-Custom-combo-you’ll-never-guess-until-I-use-it action! I loved humiliating my opponents in a close match by spending a Level 3 Custom combo on nothing but light punches, ending the match in my favour and netting me a unique victory mark. It didn’t do much damage, but when you’re both down to 5% or less, the damage it does do counts.
This video shows of a series of pro-level Custom-combos for Sakura. I love the repeated taunt-attacks against Dan!