Street Fighter IV

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Street Fighter IV

Post by JaySevenZero » January 13th, 2019, 1:03 pm

Here's where you can contribute your memories and opinions of the Street Fighter IV series for potential inclusion in the forthcoming podcast.

Friendly reminder to all that where feedback for the podcast is concerned, we love it - but self-editing (brevity) is appreciated. We do want to include a breadth of opinions where appropriate, but no-one wants a discussion podcast that’s mainly reading. Better to save yourself time and cut to the chase if you can.

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Re: Our next podcast recording (1.2.19) - 355: Street Fighter IV series

Post by Stanshall » January 27th, 2019, 3:28 pm

More than ten years on, the Focus Attack Dash Cancel mechanic feels as exciting as it did when I first played Street Fighter 4 in a packed arcade in China. Although simple enough to execute, it offers amazing versatility in both attack and defence. The first time I realised I could cancel a fireball, then follow it across the screen to apply extra meaty pressure, I was grinning at the mischief it could cause. Likewise, when I learned that I could turn defence into attack by dash cancelling through an opponent's projectile, it was a revelation. It also brought about my all time favourite moment in any game.

My mate and I would play endless rounds of Ken vs Ryu, night after night. He was a really solid player, excellent at controlling space with projectiles, and he regularly used to anti-air me into an Ultra Hadoken or, even worse, trade hits into Ultra and take rounds where I'd been well ahead. It used to drive me mad. While Ken's kara throw is krazy and his mix-ups are marvellous, there's no easy way to set up his Ultra and I would regularly moan about this on a bad night, much to my mate's delight. I felt the wins tipping in his favour, I needed to find something extra and so I began to practise.

Without going into too much detail, a fierce dragon punch hits four times. If you cancel the second hit, it lifts the opponent off the ground enough for you to dash forward into another dragon punch, and so on. By turning on maximum meter in Training Mode, you could juggle the dummy back and forth across the screen, cancelling one DP after another. When I visualise it, I can still feel the inputs in my muscle memory, Then I practised cancelling the dragon punch into Ultra, hoping for a reliable set-up to finally turn the tables. To my disappointment, though, it wouldn't properly connect, and I couldn't understand why. Finally, after a lot of practice and even more frustration, I learned that the shoryuken needs to be a Counter Hit or you don't get enough juggle to land the full Ultra combo. It was hardly reliable, but I waited for my chance.

Shortly after, we were deep into another session. I was getting thrashed, trying to find a way through and then all of a sudden it happened. Just outside sweep range, I read the point blank fireball before he'd thrown it, absorbed it with the focus attack and dashed through straight into a fierce shoryuken. I don't know whether I caught the recovery frames of the fireball or the start up of a jab but the words I'd been waiting for flashed up: Counter Hit. It happened without any conscious thought. Dash Cancel. Full Ultra. Boofff. Ken Wins. It was a game changer and we both knew it. I didn't even celebrate, I just enjoyed the sweet silence. The most skilful thing I've ever done, months and months in the making, it was the best gaming moment of my life.

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Re: Our next podcast recording (1.2.19) - 355: Street Fighter IV series

Post by Stanshall » January 27th, 2019, 3:32 pm

(And I do apologise for the length of this one, but I thought I might be bold as it's lighter on feedback than most threads. It's also a story that needs a bit of mechanical context, I think!)

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Re: Our next podcast recording (1.2.19) - 355: Street Fighter IV series

Post by Magical_Isopod » January 28th, 2019, 12:52 am

TWR: TOO MANY RELEASES

I have only very brief experience with Street Fighter IV. At the time I picked it up, the Super version had already been out for a while, so I picked it up thinking it was the "complete edition". Silly me. I was a little miffed to find out there were at least two other releases out there - an Ultra and an Arcade Edition, each incrementally more complete than the other.

My history with the series at that point had been primarily with the Sega Genesis version of Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo, though I'd also dabbled a bit in Alpha 3 and Third Strike. I picked T. Hawk and played a few rounds and was just... Kind of underwhelmed. by that point, I had already moved onto BlazBlue as my fighting series of choice, and contrasting the gorgeous spritework of BlazBlue with Street Fighter's chunky 3D models did not work well in Street fighter's favour - it felt harder to figure out things like hit boxes, timing of moves, stuff like that. It wasn't awful by any means, it just felt stiffer and less reliable than sprite-based fighter's. Plus on an aesthetic level, I can't say I'm particularly fond of the comic book art style they chose for SF4.

Ultimately, SF4 is not a bad game by any means. It just felt a bit also-ran compared to not only it's contemporaries, but also juxtaposed against the more mechanically interesting Third Strike and Alpha 3. For my money, there are just more interesting and more visually appealing fighting games out there, and SF4 kinda felt like it didn't do enough to reach beyond SF2 nostalgia and make something truly special.

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Re: Our next podcast recording (1.2.19) - 355: Street Fighter IV series

Post by Stanshall » January 28th, 2019, 3:46 am

But...It's mechanically one of the deepest and most complex fighting games ever made, much moreso than 3S or Alpha 3, and its success dwarfed every other fighting game of its era.

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Re: Our next podcast recording (1.2.19) - 355: Street Fighter IV series

Post by Magical_Isopod » January 28th, 2019, 3:51 am

Stanshall wrote:
January 28th, 2019, 3:46 am
It's mechanically one of the deepest and most complex fighting games ever made, far moreso than 3S or Alpha 3, and its success dwarfed every other fighting game of its era. It's far from an also-ran.
Complexity to one is obtuseness to another. SF4 felt overly convoluted which, when considering the issues I had with 3D models over sprites, just made for a less enjoyable experience for me. You're allowed to love it. I strongly preferred BlazBlue in the day. I found the mechanics of Third Strike and Alpha 3 to be more *interesting*, even if less complex. Que sera sera.

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Re: Our next podcast recording (1.2.19) - 355: Street Fighter IV series

Post by Stanshall » January 28th, 2019, 8:13 am

Spoilered to not clog up the issue thread.
Spoiler: show
Apologies if I was a little abrupt, middle of the night post, been up with a stomach bug.

I'm genuinely interested in what you found convoluted or obtuse, though. It's probably seen as the poster child for both an extremely accessible and extremely deep fighting game, which I assume is a big part of its riotous success. I also assume respectfully that you played more than a few rounds of T. Hawk to reach that conclusion? I'm also genuinely interested in what you found more interesting about 3S and Alpha 3, especially the latter.

I would also like to say that I found the 'also-ran' comment pretty unfair by whatever metric we could choose, though. It was by far the most successful and most visible fighting game of its generation and it massively reinvigorated the FGC alongside the rise of streaming. It brought back the millions of lapsed SF2 casuals like myself and taught them how to plink. It was a genuine phenomenon.

Looking ahead, I only really got into BlazBlue last year with Cross Tag Battle on the Switch and I've really enjoyed it. I can see how it has a totally different appeal and approach to SF4 and how someone would prefer what it does. Really looking forward to the new one coming this year.

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Re: Our next podcast recording (1.2.19) - 355: Street Fighter IV series

Post by Magical_Isopod » January 28th, 2019, 8:44 am

Stanshall wrote:
January 28th, 2019, 8:13 am
Spoilered to not clog up the issue thread.
Spoiler: show
Apologies if I was a little abrupt, middle of the night post, been up with a stomach bug.

I'm genuinely interested in what you found convoluted or obtuse, though. It's probably seen as the poster child for both an extremely accessible and extremely deep fighting game, which I assume is a big part of its riotous success. I also assume respectfully that you played more than a few rounds of T. Hawk to reach that conclusion? I'm also genuinely interested in what you found more interesting about 3S and Alpha 3, especially the latter.

I would also like to say that I found the 'also-ran' comment pretty unfair by whatever metric we could choose, though. It was by far the most successful and most visible fighting game of its generation and it massively reinvigorated the FGC alongside the rise of streaming. It brought back the millions of lapsed SF2 casuals like myself and taught them how to plink. It was a genuine phenomenon.

Looking ahead, I only really got into BlazBlue last year with Cross Tag Battle on the Switch and I've really enjoyed it. I can see how it has a totally different appeal and approach to SF4 and how someone would prefer what it does. Really looking forward to the new one coming this year.
Spoiler: show
As a general course of pleasantry, it's unwise to infer someone's opinion is wrong, especially when it's based purely in subjective reasoning. SF4 was just not as fun, nor as flashy, as other fighters I've played. I could honestly care less about what's most popular or what the critics like the best - I need my games to have a certain je ne sais quois that is incredibly subjective. SF4 is ugly to look at, has a boring character roster, I usually can't stand 2.5D games because most of them feel weirdly out of sync and laggy, and I don't like the "feel" of the button inputs.

BlazBlue? I like it because it's loud and has power metal blasting and all the characters are these weird sci-fantasy anime things. Tekken 6? I love how the general aesthetic and soundtrack feels like fighting on a dance floor - combined with its commendable commitment to reproducing real fighting styles close(ish) to reality. Mortal Kombat? I love the unabashed commitment to cramming everything a 13 year old thinks is badass into this schlocky death metal world full of colliding mythologies. Those were the contemporaries of 2010-ish.

Where does that leave SF4? Pretty low on the priority list. It's mostly SF2 characters in a game that isn't too different from SF2, and with an art design I think kinda looks bland and uninteresting.

Third Strike? I have no idea how that game works - but I LOVE all the weird characters on the roster, and some of the really diverse play styles therein. Alpha 3? It was just bright, and loud, and the announcer guy is so happy to be there. Those games were FUN and FLASHY in a way I really dig. You could say SF4 was too, but it wasn't the same. This was an era of CAPCOM with boulder punching and box art Mega Man - a really lame, self-referential, Family Guy level of cringe-worthy self-reverence. Everything is "over the top" in ways that don't seem cool, but feel more like someone uncool pretending to be ironically cool. I'm just not on with it.

If you're expecting a journalist, objective break-down on why SF4 doesn't shit gold, you won't get it. My views on it are super subjective and personal, as someone who grew up on SF2 and moved on to bigger and better things. Street Fighter just got left in the dust - it just isn't the fighter for me.

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Re: Our next podcast recording (1.2.19) - 355: Street Fighter IV series

Post by Stanshall » January 28th, 2019, 10:22 am

Spoiler: show
Honestly, with all due respect, I asked you to give examples so I could understand your perspective, out of genuine interest. As it is, I now understand that you may have simply meant something different by the words you used.

There's a lot of talk about 'mechanics' these days and it happens to be the thing which I probably find most interesting and satisfying about video games, so I wanted to ask the question. I was also especially interested in a critical opinion of SF4 because it's so often held up as a gold standard for fighting game mechanics.

With that in mind, if you champion the mechanical superiority of Third Strike and Alpha 3 and explain this by saying, "those games were fun and flashy", you're not talking about 'mechanics'. That's not a question of subjectivity, it's not the right word. Likewise, if you describe the most critically and commercially successful fighting game of its generation as an 'also-ran', I have to say that the word doesn't mean whatever you intended.

I do understand that you didn't like it, however, and I also now get the kind of things you look for in fighting games and why SF4 doesn't tick those boxes. Have you checked out Blade Strangers or SNK Heroines? You might well enjoy them, too. I also appreciate that you didn't post in the thread to be given follow up questions, so I'm happy to leave it there.

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Re: Our next podcast recording (1.2.19) - 355: Street Fighter IV series

Post by Magical_Isopod » January 28th, 2019, 11:30 am

Stanshall wrote:
January 28th, 2019, 10:22 am
Spoiler: show
Honestly, with all due respect, I asked you to give examples so I could understand your perspective, out of genuine interest. As it is, I now understand that you may have simply meant something different by the words you used.

There's a lot of talk about 'mechanics' these days and it happens to be the thing which I probably find most interesting and satisfying about video games, so I wanted to ask the question. I was also especially interested in a critical opinion of SF4 because it's so often held up as a gold standard for fighting game mechanics.

With that in mind, if you champion the mechanical superiority of Third Strike and Alpha 3 and explain this by saying, "those games were fun and flashy", you're not talking about 'mechanics'. That's not a question of subjectivity, it's not the right word. Likewise, if you describe the most critically and commercially successful fighting game of its generation as an 'also-ran', I have to say that the word doesn't mean whatever you intended.

I do understand that you didn't like it, however, and I also now get the kind of things you look for in fighting games and why SF4 doesn't tick those boxes. Have you checked out Blade Strangers or SNK Heroines? You might well enjoy them, too. I also appreciate that you didn't post in the thread to be given follow up questions, so I'm happy to leave it there.
Spoiler: show
Maybe it's because I have mild autism - and I do - but I thought my meaning was more clear than it was. SF4 is mechanically dull insofar as I don't like its mechanics. SF4 is also-ran insofar as it's nowhere near the top of fighting games of its era. You say something is a "gold standard" - I always take that to mean "most people approve of it". To infer from that is: "but some people don't". There is no such thing as a perfect score or an absolute best, and to assert there is is to miss out on the valuable niches that suit the indvidual. Imagine if we ALL liked only the same games?

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Re: Our next podcast recording (1.2.19) - 355: Street Fighter IV series

Post by Stanshall » January 28th, 2019, 12:49 pm

Spoiler: show
I appreciate that 'people like different things' but it kind of neuters the idea of a discussion forum. It's most interesting to me why someone has a preference, not simply the fact that they have a preference or what that preference is.

My first question was 'what don't you like about the mechanics in this game?' After an entertaining rant about Capcom's marketing and SF4's ugly graphics, you explained that you think the mechanics are 'dull'. Again, I'd love to go beyond statements of 'interesting/boring'. I was hoping for at least one specific point about one specific mechanic, given that you made the initial criticism.

Likewise, my other question, 'what do you like about these mechanics?' garnered great praise for an announcer's voice, anime and metal. That doesn't address the mechanics, either, but it was fun to read nevertheless.

I hope you can see then why my conclusion is that you either misused the word 'mechanics' or you think it means something else. If so, that's absolutely fine and I should really have clarified by giving some more examples. Or, very possibly, you're just not interested in talking about the minutiae of a game you're not that arsed about!

Either way, I will definitely leave it there because my posting in this thread is exactly why I've tried to take a break from forums over the past month. That's totally on me, by the way, nothing to do with you.

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Re: Our next podcast recording (1.2.19) - 355: Street Fighter IV series

Post by James » January 28th, 2019, 3:21 pm

Hi both! Thank you so much for your comments. You've both encouraged me to think long and hard about my thoughts on SFIV's complexity, approachability, and impact on the fighting game genre. I think there's a middle ground to be found between your respective perspectives. With your agreement, I'd like to dive into that a little on the podcast recording on Friday.
To give you a picture, I'm currently sat, paper in hand, furiously scribbling notes about fighting games released between 2000 and 2008. I think it's a fascinating period in the genre's history, and your discussion has fired me up to think a lot about it.

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Re: Our next podcast recording (1.2.19) - 355: Street Fighter IV series

Post by Stanshall » January 28th, 2019, 3:51 pm

Of course that's fine with me, glad the spoilered back and forth was of some value in sparking a few thoughts - even if we didn't get too close to common ground!

And one more thing, I absolutely love this 'Impractical Combo' guy, he really captures the insane goofiness and creativity and the frankly pointless complexity the game offers:

https://youtu.be/ol0cULzLdqw

The kara combo is hilariously unnecessary.

Can't wait for the show!

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Re: Our next podcast recording (1.2.19) - 355: Street Fighter IV series

Post by James » January 28th, 2019, 3:55 pm

Haha, the editing alone has me laughing. :-D

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Re: Our next podcast recording (1.2.19) - 355: Street Fighter IV series

Post by Magical_Isopod » January 28th, 2019, 7:17 pm

James wrote:
January 28th, 2019, 3:21 pm
Hi both! Thank you so much for your comments. You've both encouraged me to think long and hard about my thoughts on SFIV's complexity, approachability, and impact on the fighting game genre. I think there's a middle ground to be found between your respective perspectives. With your agreement, I'd like to dive into that a little on the podcast recording on Friday.
To give you a picture, I'm currently sat, paper in hand, furiously scribbling notes about fighting games released between 2000 and 2008. I think it's a fascinating period in the genre's history, and your discussion has fired me up to think a lot about it.
That's really cool! I'm not sure if I'd agree with your stance if this were politics (Third Way, no way, etc.), but it deffos lends to good critical analysis. If I were to lend a more general comment: I think when you have an Internet full of tier lists and frame-by-frame analyses of movesets, what often gets lost is... Lots of people play fighting games for reasons other than getting deep into the competitive scene.

Actually, this bit might be an interesting anecdote for the podcast: I actually worked launch day for the original Street Fighter 4, and we actually wound up selling out of copies. Very few of those were preorders. Most of the customers were 20- and 30-somethings who had nostalgia for Street Fighter 2 - a few of them even commented they didn't know a SF3 was even released - and that makes sense, given that SF3 was not really released on the best selling consoles of the day until Street Fighter Anniversary Collection on the PS2. Maybe all of those people are on the EVO circuit - but I doubt it.

I honestly couldn't care less about the mechanical complexities of fighting games. I am perfectly content to button mash until I figure out some simple combos. I love how doing Distortion moves in BlazBlue Central Fiction causes cheesy J-Pop to start blasting while the screen fades to black and your character does some ridiculous super move animation. THAT'S what I'm in fighting games for. I don't care about being good - I wanna be entertained! XD

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Re: Our next podcast recording (1.2.19) - 355: Street Fighter IV series

Post by Stanshall » January 28th, 2019, 9:47 pm

Spoiler: show

Now, come on.

I really don't know why you didn't you just say 'I didn't mean mechanics, I don't care about mechanics' in the first instance, instead of obfuscating the discussion for hours with some call to 'subjectivity'. In future, perhaps you would consider simply holding your hands up, acknowledging the error and respecting others' time. I'm genuinely disappointed. Fool me once, and all that.

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Re: Our next podcast recording (1.2.19) - 355: Street Fighter IV series

Post by Simonsloth » January 28th, 2019, 10:10 pm

Stanshall wrote:
January 27th, 2019, 3:32 pm
(And I do apologise for the length of this one, but I thought I might be bold as it's lighter on feedback than most threads. It's also a story that needs a bit of mechanical context, I think!)
Spoiler: show
Absolutely fantastic post. I love anecdotes like this and glad you got a chance to nail the combo.

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Re: Our next podcast recording (1.2.19) - 355: Street Fighter IV series

Post by Magical_Isopod » January 28th, 2019, 11:49 pm

Stanshall wrote:
January 28th, 2019, 9:47 pm
Spoiler: show

Now, come on.

I really don't know why you didn't you just say 'I didn't mean mechanics, I don't care about mechanics' in the first instance, instead of obfuscating the discussion for hours with some call to 'subjectivity'. In future, perhaps you would consider simply holding your hands up, acknowledging the error and respecting others' time. I'm genuinely disappointed. Fool me once, and all that.
Spoiler: show
No, I still meant mechanics. I have no idea why you feel the need to continue to be so condescending on the topic. "Respect others' time?" Dude, you literally got upset that my opinion didn't conform to yours and then kept challenging my clarifications with semantics, and now you've got your feathers up, somehow trying to deride my viewpoints as gauche in the comments of a podcast series that values individual perspective. I don't quite know what your problem is, but I'm going to decline to engage any further with someone so pretentious and hauty - if you want "objective critical analysis" or however you'd like to frame conformity to your views, maybe try other fora?

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Re: Our next podcast recording (1.2.19) - 355: Street Fighter IV series

Post by Stanshall » January 29th, 2019, 5:57 am

Spoiler: show
I know you didn't mean mechanics because not once in my attempts to engage with you about mechanics have you mentioned one single mechanic in any game in either a complimentary or critical way. Or, to be generous, you don't know what is meant by 'mechanics'.

I'm not upset in the slightest that you have a different opinion. In fact, I was actually interested in your different opinion - hence the questions! Do you see how it all works? I'm irritated because I wasted my time trying to have a straightforward conversation with you when you are unwilling to reply directly to any simple on-topic questions I ask.


You: The mechanics are convoluted.

Me: Oh, in what way?

You: It's just my opinion. The graphics are shit. I like metal.

Me: Yeah, but please do continue about the mechanics?

You: Have you ever heard of a little thing called subjectivity?

Me: Yes. Yes, I have. But...you were saying...about the mechanics?

You: Frame data sucks. Mortal Kombat is badass.

Me: Are you sure you meant mechanics?

You: Maybe try ENTERTAINMENT once in a while, buddy!

Me: But...but...that's nothing to do...

You: Sorry you just can't handle my opinions about the mechanics.

Me: *adds to ignore list*

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Re: Our next podcast recording (1.2.19) - 355: Street Fighter IV series

Post by DomsBeard » January 29th, 2019, 12:12 pm

I could go on a massive ramble like I did with Street Fighter 2 but I won't.

I think for me it is Street Fighter perfected and it probably will never be bettered and is probably my favourite fighting game of all time. I tried to love V I really did but I still went back to IV.

If I had a gun to my head and had to choose one I would choose 2 still purely based on nostalgia and memories however I prefer 4 as it made me appreciate and get good with 6 or so characters which from someone who played just Ken and Ryu for 20 years. It was also responsible for one on my all time gaming highlights.

I was playing as Ryu around 2am one and had a tight match and went into the final round. I can still remember the adrenaline now and jumping off the sofa giving a ridiculous fist bump, enjoy:

https://twitter.com/richspurs24/status/ ... 2706953216

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