Let me start this article by saying, "I am not qualified to judge this game." Now that that's out of the way, on to the judging! Really though, the last time I played Street Fighter was maybe 7 years ago renting SF3. My last significant time spent playing would have to be around 1996 on my Genesis. Of which, aside from among my small group of friends, I was not very good at it.
So I bought Street Fighter 4 today. I knew I would suck at it, but my fighting game hiatus has just been going on too long. I'm happy to say I remember most every SF2 character's special moves (save for Dhalsim's teleport which I could never really pull off), and the game feels very familiar. Having watched about every bit of media I could find on it, I found I even had a good grasp of the new special and ultra moves. I don't know about someone new to fighting games, but if you've ever played a Street Fighter before, the gameplay feels very intuitive. I like the game.
So what do I have to nitpick on? Wellllll, Zangief, Abel, and Seth. Possibly others too, but I'm only about 5 hours into the game. Zangief and Abel are very grapple heavy fighters. They're also fairly powerful. Coming up against them in arcade mode, I got my ass handed to me repeatedly. Playing Ken who has a somewhat limited normal attack range, it seemed like no matter what I tried, the two of them would pull me out of it and slam me down for a good fifth of my life bar....on Easy no less. Everything from a strong Shoryuken to a crouched light punch and they could just cancel it in an instant. I could come in by landing a jump kick and they would still recover and grab me in the middle of my second attack. I'd be just climbing up off the ground only to find myself in another pile driver before my punch could land. Needless to say, it was very frustrating.
It seems to me that there's two problems with this. First is that both of their grapples seem to counter everything. I'm alright with Abel's midair throw since it seems to actually make sense when he pulls it off, but the pile driver and tornado throw are like a rocket launcher in a game of paper/rock/scissors. Secondly, the time span that the computer can pull these moves off in is uncanny. I understand there are some pretty amazing players out there, but a full rotation on the d-pad takes SOME time. It doesn't seem like this was accounted for in the AI, still on Easy.
Somehow, this just seems fitting.
Now you may notice that I mentioned Seth up above, but neglected to include him in the griping. Well, another blog
has done that better than I ever could.
A last couple issues from my first day in the game. The text in this game is TOO F***ING SMALL. I play on a 22" standard definition flat screen tv and I cannot read 80% of the menu text. And the move lists? Forget about it. Obviously not a game breaker here, but it's seriously annoying.
Lastly, internet play seems to be a bit....lacking. It might just be because of my bottom of the barrel skill ranking, but when I went to quick play, only 3 matches were listed at once. And the first 20 or so I entered either were already full or I was simply unable to join. I'm hoping to find some cool people to hone my skills with (If anyone wants a gracious punching bag on Xbox Live, let me know!), but I'm a little disappointed with waiting 10 minutes just to get into a "quick" match. Also, Capcom, I'm sure the world would really appreciate some sort of tournament options or something, so uh get on that, eh?
Ahhh, that feels better. Overall, I do really like the game. Just needed to vent a bit. Maybe it's just been too long since I've had to deal with the fighting game frustrations. Let's see how long my existing stock of controllers lasts. read