Are you ready? Are you pumped? You’re not scaaared are you?

Street Fighter’s “Epic” return? Way to forget about SF3, Zero, Vs, CVS etc…

Well the Street Fighter 4 news embargo was lifted yesterday so a ton of info came flying out from Capcom’s Captivate 08 event. I won’t cover all the news here, as I am sure you can get hold of that from plenty of websites anyway. But I do want to make a note of some of it here & comment my thoughts on it.

The character roster is the biggest dissappointment for a hardcore SF fan. I knew hoping for SF3 or SF Zero characters was highly foolish, but I at least expected a LOT more new characters. As it is, it’s basically now just SF2 CE in 3d with four new characters only one of which has any kind of appealing design (ie: C-Viper). But Rufus, Abel and El Fuerte? I know the masses didn’t take to the absolutely wonderful characters in Street Fighter 3 .. but I did! 3rd Strike has the most characters I like of any Street Fighter game in fact. I guess boring or comedy characters are what the masses want though. I know some more characters will probably end up being time-unlocked in the arcade or added to the home versions, and I know Dan and Fei Long are supposedly in too (comedy & boring again then!). But I don’t expect more for characters arriving (at least in this version of SF4) than Seth, Gouki, Cammy, Dee-Jay and maybe T-Hawk.

Another strike against, moves-list wise this is looking like a step backwards from SF2 HD Remix. Guile going back to having a non-overhead hitting “upside-down kick” and the really tough to perform super-move motion is not going to endear me. 😦  Of course it looks like I may actually get to play this before HD Remix anyway at this point, but we’ll see.

I really can see this all working to plan though with regards to the ‘draw back the casual SF2 fan’ idea. Promotion wise this is the best Street Fighter by FAR. The trailers so far have been absolutely awesome. Even the annoying voice over guy is somewhat hilarious. Appalling, but in a strangely right way, kinda like the VF5 character voices. And the trailer timed to Epic with the “What! Is! It!” lyrics timed to each hit of Guile’s Ultra, as well as other little nods to the lyrics is just very cool. 🙂 But it’s just a shame I will barely be able to use that Guile Ultra in the actual game! (at least against good opponents).

Graphics.. well, it’s secondary really to me, but this is starting to look really fantastic. The improvement over earlier versions is simply dramatic:

So my biggest hopes for SF4 end up being all about getting more people to play against, getting more people back into fighting games (hopefully a few of my friends!), some great online play solutions… and if possible rejuvinate the fighting game market – which actually already seems to have happened. Although its possible SF2′ Hyper Fighting on XBox Live should really take much of the credit for that.
As one commenter I saw posted though: “I’m still buying this on day one”. Very, very true, no matter what reservations may remain for me. This is a big ticket fighting game and even if I prefer to fight for the future with less popular stuff, this can only help fighting games overall. 🙂

Fight well and your exploits will surprise and amaze!


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