Was there any doubt? I posted a while back that leaked shots of achievements for a supposed Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition on the 360 suggested the update was coming. The only questions at that time were 1) will it be a disc or DLC update and 2) were any features outside of 4 new characters coming? Captivate has brought about answers to both those questions.
The trailer below leaked out ahead of Captivate’s media embargo until the 12th. Basically, yes, we are getting Oni, Evil Ryu, Yun and Yang and yes there will be new features in terms of online and replays.
What we’re not getting is any further addition to the roster (Alex and Urien fans, like myself, are crying their eyes out now) and there are strangely enough no new stages. To top off the oddity, SSF4AE players will be able to match up against regular SSF4 players so no idea how they’ll manage the rebalancing issues there. 2 versions of the game coexisting perhaps?
My gut feeling is just that this is too little too late. Simply because, like with the original release of Super Street Fighter IV, the community has been aware of these additions for way, way too long. Even now we still don’t know when this will actually hit the XBLA or PSN. I’d written about Capcom’s PR strategy on this topic before. I didn’t agree with the approach then and I don’t now. This had obviously been in the works since at least November. Stringing us along all this time comes off seeming callous at best, downright malicious at worst.
It’s a shame since a release which would have wildly excited me not too long ago has instead left me a tad too indifferent for my liking.
Anyway, check out the SSF4AE DLC Trailer at Metacafe. Most other media outlets seem to have pulled it already, probably at the Capcops’ behest.
This is my very brief retrospective on Warzard, perhaps the most under-appreciated 2D fighter of all time. A few years back Capcom’s legendary CPS-3 arcade system was finally cracked and opened to emulation by everyone with a 2Ghz Pentium or better. Unlike NAOMI, Atomiswave or some of the other emulation holy grails, the Capcom Play System 3, despite its popularity, only had six games. Three of these were versions of Street Fighter III and two of Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure. All of them were ported to the Sega Dreamcast in one form or another but were still pretty rare, due both to small print runs and also the relatively short shelf life of that console. The last CPS3 title, Warzard, or Red Earth as it was known (or unknown) in the West is nevertheless the rarest of them all. It was never ported to anything and, given the suicidal nature of CPS3 boards, is one title you’re unlikely to legitimately find in a playable state anywhere. Pity that, since Warzard was also one of the most unique titles Capcom ever made.
First off the game only has 4 playable characters and this alone was enough to cross it off tournament calendars and nix any longevity it might have otherwise enjoyed. The campaign plays like an RPG with exp, levelling up and learning new moves and so clearly there was a single-player focus in development. Although who exactly Capcom thought it was targeting with a one man progression-based 2d fighter – an extremely crowded category (and by this point mostly a 3d genre anyway) – I have no clue. Although I’ve always liked the idea of a game built solely out of over-the-top boss fights and so I’m happy enough with the design. Thing is, it would have been infinitely better suited to consoles and yet ironically was the one CPS3 game to get shafted with ports. Shame that half the campaign map is unvisited- clearly there was some intent to revisit Warzard with Super / Turbo style upgrades with the obvious proviso that it did well at the arcades. And it didn’t.
Technically, Warzard was to Street Fighter III what Darkstalkers was to Street Fighter Alpha. It was Capcom’s first experiment with the CPS3 and there’s no mistaking that. I suppose that’s why they were willing to let it die out so readily. The zooming in and out that was relatively smooth in SFIII is blocky in Warzard and there are texture artifacts all over the place. Framerates are inconsistent and while animation is generally pretty decent I haven’t seen slowdown this bad since Street Fighter II or half of the original NeoGeo library. Then again the game boasts the largest sprites in any Capcom game and I suppose moving them around was a taxing affair for hardware in the late 90’s. It’s pretty, and there’s definitely some retro charm in seeing 2d graphics chug.
Since this didn’t turn out to be much of a retrospective, I’ll considerately pass you on to Hardcore Gaming 101’s great rundown on the title, its mechanics and a bit more of the background info than I care to recite right now.
In the end it’s with a heavy heart that I have to commit Warzard to the anals of things with potential that went unnoticed due to poor timing, marketing or something else utterly inane in hindsight. Bah. Let’s just watch this full playthrough of Leo’s story mode that I’ve prepared below and be done with it. It’s almost time for Marvel Vs Capcom 3 anyway which essentially invalidates (or justifies, depending how you’re swinging) everything I’ve complained about here. Oh well.
Anyone who gives half a damn about Street Fighter will probably have heard of the revelations this last week. Evil Ryu and Oni were confirmed in the arcade version of Super Street Fighter IV after a code got out that enabled them for play. The news made the rounds and even found itself on the front page of Destructoid. Then Capcom stepped in.
The Capcoms had Youtube accounts – all of them – laden with copyright strikes. Those strikes are permanent and in cases where multiple videos were posted, each was counted as a separate infringment. According to Youtube’s 3-strikes policy, many accounts with months and months of legit videos were taken down with little chance of appeal. Then, adding insult to this grievous community blow, Capcom started requesting that arcades involved disabled use of these two characters.
You can see why they might be pissed off about this. These two characters are not really that fresh – although I maintain Oni may as well be a new character – but they do resonate with fans. When, not if, the long rumoured console DLC for SSF4: Arcade Edition comes along, two overpowered semi-bosses will be a big draw with marketing. And I’m pretty sure marketing was the department most upset.
However the fact remains that everyone knows about this. Hell, everyone knew when those achievements shots leaked out months ago and had their suspicions solidified by an official trailer a few weeks after that. Capcom’s attempts to silence the news, entitled as they are to do so, are misguided. You can’t put a lid on this now and essentially all the strong-arm tactics are doing is dirtying the brand. Capcom itself is coming off as a bit of a jerk and the reaction to these two characters hasn’t even been universally positive. They’d be better off scrapping their roadmap now and just releasing the DLC. As much as I’d like to think so, I don’t think they have anything left up their sleeve after E.Ryu and Oni. Bring on MvC3.
The last time we heard from Ono-san was that Yun & Yang were set to appear in Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition and it was set to come out December 16 in Japanese arcades. The last we heard about DLC options for consoles was that they had been denied by Capcom HQ. This new news throws that into disarray.
Eventhubs has now published screenshots of alleged new achievements for the Xbox 360 version of SSF4. Not only do they show Yun & Yang on consoles, apparently confirming that DLC, but also reveal what appear to be boss challenges in the single player mode. One appears to be series veteran Evil Ryu, while the other a new version of Akuma. We already have Shin Akuma in the standard SSF4, so, based on the name of the achievement, people have taken to calling him ‘Oni Akuma’.
achievement 1: defeat evil ryu on hardest
achievement 2: defeat oni on hardest
achievement 3: beat arcade mode with yun
achievement 4: beat arcade mode with yang
achievement 5: beat arcade mode with evil ryu
achievement 6: beat arcade mode with oni
All Ono has to say about all this is ‘Yipe! What the hell was that? ;O’.
This is all interesting news, especially since with these Yun & Yang, Evil Ryu & Oni Akuma, the often rumoured Alex and Urien would bring the total new characters up to 6, a number heavily bandied around in the past.
December 16 is looking very, very interesting about now.
Artwork of Shin Akuma by Calvin Clyke.
I main E. Honda in Street Fighter IV and he’s always been able to deliver wins, although it hasn’t always been easy. There was always a certain pride in winning, and an excuse to use when losing as Honda – he was a low tier character. Times have changed though and over the last year he’s jumped from near the bottom to currently the number one spot on the ever-debatable tier list! Move over Sagat, it looks like there’s a new God Tier in town and I have no idea how it happened.
The thing people never consider when talking about tiers is that they are determined by considering various matchups at the top level of play. When you’re talking about lower levels, even just one notch down from pro, things change a lot. Honda has never been able to compete that well at the top- almost none of his moves are safe, his command throw is the worst in the game and all his normals have huge recovery. Add to that an uncomboable ultra and inability to get through fireballs and you have one solid low to mid character. In theory. In actuality Honda deals damage and takes it like no one else. That makes him scary. Most lesser players will either not know how to respond to his weaknesses or, more likely, panic in executing them through plain fear of the life they’ll be losing if they mess up.
Apparently that’s changed and Honda can now compete at the top. The fact that his EX Headbutt has more invincibility, and that all of them go over low Tiger Shots throws out the matchups a lot. Beyond that though I really don’t know what makes him that much stronger and would have to guess it’s mostly to do with how the metagame has changed. Other characters generally saw nerfs with the move into Super SF4, but Honda was left mostly unchanged and I have to guess that made all the difference. Since I’m out of touch with the scene now I can shrug and feign ignorance on that one.
Funnily, I remember another Honda player here in Sydney – then using Guile exclusively – saying that Honda was ‘trash tier’. This was back in 2008, before the console versions of SF4. And it was true. He wouldn’t stand up in very high play but at the same time his brute force made it easy to dominate the vast bulk of players out there. Now he is considered to be a lot stronger, and since I can’t tell all that much of a difference with him, I don’t know if that knowledge makes me happy or not. Maybe I just need to relearn all the matchups.
It will be interesting to see how things change with SSF4 Arcade Edition and if Honda retains his spot atop the wormpile then. The devs plan on detailing changes to everyone’s favourite sumo next week. Until then, have a gander at current tiers circa October 2010, compared to when the game first came out. Both are thanks to Eventhubs.
Super Street Fighter IV Tier List – October 2010
Street Fighter IV Tier List – 2008
Urien defined the whole Street Fighter III era for me. Realise that’s pretty sad given he’s a practically naked buff man in a thong whose name both is an anagram of ‘urine’ and probably intended to Romanise into ‘Julian’. Regardless, I’ve always wanted him to transition into Street Fighter IV, even though his broken Aegis tricks will probably be gone and even though he’s already present in spirit in the form of Seth.
Anyway, Mr. Yoshinori Ono tweeted the cryptic image below. He likes to do this kind of thing quite a lot. In fact he indirectly announced M. Bison, Seth, T.Hawk, most recently Yun & Yang as well as a bunch of others with this mostly-obscured teasing iPhone shots. The Blanka toy’s always there, in case you were wondering.
Question is, is this Urien? Could also be Alex- the two of them have both been rumoured for ages and are long overdue. I’d much prefer the former and however this turns out it only makes me clamour more for that Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition DLC that Capcom is so reluctant to greenlit. I don’t have an arcade near my work anymore so I’m in a kind of bind if they decide to keep it coin op.