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Saving the Street Fighter Franchise 76

Posted by Soulskill
from the ha-dooooo-ken dept.
Gamasutra did an in-depth interview with Yoshi Ono, producer of Street Fighter IV, about trying to bring the series back to the quality and popularity of the '90s. Ono also talks about broadening the market to include casual players, who were slowly driven away from the game by the increased focus on competitive play. Quoting: "If you think about chess for instance, a kid and a grandfather can play the same game, with the same ruleset, and understand what's going on. I think through our competitive spirit back then; we were always out to out-complicate each other, and make our systems deeper and deeper. It was ok then because there was a wide player base who understood how to play these games, but that's not true anymore. What we're trying to do with Street Fighter IV is bring them back in. There's not a whole lot of other fighting games out there to compare it to, but hopefully, if we play our cards right and get people back in to the genre, we can blossom the genre itself again and spread things out and get it back to the way it was."
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Saving the Street Fighter Franchise

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  • being able to play my nephews at a game i grew up on, and watching them enjoy it also, definetly a nostalgic aspect their I would like to see, so I hope they can retain some of the original gameplay.
  • by PhrostyMcByte (589271) <phrosty@gmail.com> on Friday September 26, 2008 @11:19PM (#25174503) Homepage

    I'm a major fan of the series, so I had a lot of hopes for it. The graphics are noticeably improved, but the gameplay hasn't changed much. These kinds of games don't have a lot of room for depth though, so one can't really expect gameplay to change drastically.

    I think the main problem Street Fighter has is that it's best played in an arcade, with a loud energetic environment surrounded by 5-10 people. Most people (in the USA, at least) don't go to arcades anymore.

    So I played SF4 at Comic Con, it was fun. I still think Street Fighter Alpha 3 was the best of the series, but I'll definitely be buying this for the PC when it comes out later this year

    • by Datamonstar (845886) on Friday September 26, 2008 @11:30PM (#25174585)
      How can you say fighting games don't have a lot of depth? They are the one video game that I immediately think of when I think of depth. One move can have over a dozen different possible responses, each with their own consequences and benefits. Virtua Fighter is a game that is FULL of 50/50 situations where either player really can't win, only not loose so much and the player who successfully baits or guesses his opponent out will probably win. These are games, situations where you have to think not only about what beats what, but exactly why it beats and how to maximize the use of it. Sorry, but FPS games may have their share of tactics, but it's nothing like a fighting game where the situation is always constantly changing and you are being challenged mentally every move you make.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by PhrostyMcByte (589271)
        I agree there are tactics in these games, sometimes much more than any FPS. Combos have certainly stopped being innovative long ago. I would hardly consider combos to be depth. Give me something new!
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Datamonstar (845886)
          Combos are not and never will be equal to tactics. Zoning, baiting and trapping are much more important than combos. Combos are just ways to get quick damage. Those aren't the way to win. You win by creating the situation to land those combos. You know, tactics. I'd very much rather eat a 6-hit Akuma combo in Third Strike than get tricked into a 3-hit reset combo. This is because the damage-scaling makes the 3-hit combo much more damaging. Combos actually limit your damage output. Nasty players know how to
      • by prlucas (1297611)
        Methinks you misunderstand the concept of 'depth'. Meaning of story and meaning.
        • by KDR_11k (778916)

          How's that any meaningful depth in a game? If you want a medium specialized on story and meaning read a book or something, don't expect it from a game that's designed for gaming.

        • In this case, depth is literal. the amount of choices that one move can spawn. There are LOTS. Learning how to respond to a threat is the first step. When you learn that your opponent knows that you know how to respond to his threats is step two... Does he know that you know that he knows? Multiply that by the number of moves possible. Depth.
      • by syntek (1265716)
        I agree. Most fighting games have a lot of depth to them. Someone mentioned Tekken, but I think a better one to site would be Soul Calibur. Any new player can easily pick up the game and kickly learn the basics on attack horizontal (for side stepping opponents), vertical (for quick strikes), and kicks (for an extra mix of quick or devastating attacks). But the further you go into the game you find you can also parry and dodge attacks and that certain moves will leave opponents open long enough to do powerfu
      • by Hatta (162192)

        How can you say fighting games don't have a lot of depth?

        Because most people just end up mashing buttons anyway.

        • by Repton (60818)

          Reminds me of something I read once on this topic, from someone in the industry (I can't remember details, sorry).

          Basically, he said: we want people to be able to sit down at these games and just start playing. If you have to read a 20 page manual before you can do anything, you'll lose a lot of customers. So, button mashing has to be a viable strategy. It doesn't have to be the best way to play, but you should be able to win fights against easy opponents by mashing.

      • by Dr.Boje (1064726)

        Not to put words in parent's mouth, but by depth I believe he was referring to the limits of the gameplay itself (and perhaps story and characters). While I agree that fighting games have a lot of re-playability , they don't necessarily have a lot of depth. Don't get me wrong. Sure, the game is very entertaining at first -- you learn the controls, then you learn special moves, then you learn some strategies, but once you get to the point where your improvements only increase ever so slightly, the game e

        • I was mostly talking about competitive play between two humans. Computer opponents are too predictable, and in fighting games that's exactly what you want to avoid. The entertaining part, for me, is still being able to find good combinations of strategy in games that are over 15 years old. This is depth.

          The ability to put a trap within a trap within a trap and then successfully bait your opponent into seeing only one or two of those traps only to succumb to the third one is depth. It gets deeper with t
          • by Dr.Boje (1064726)

            Now that you've clarified exactly what your definition of depth is, and I don't believe it coincides with the original poster's definition, I have to say there are things I agree and disagree with.

            First, I understand the point you're trying to convey. Coming up with clever tactics and using different strategies against different opponents in order to defeat them does indeed add depth to a game and can be very rewarding for the player. And, yes, while there may be an infinite number of ways that a match ca

            • Each to their own. You basically just said that a game lacks depth because can get bored with it once you excel at it. While that can be true of any game, it is the difference between pros and amateurs. Those minuscule gains are exactly what a pro is out to achieve. They train every day bot to maintain their skill as well as to achieve an ever-higher degree of skill. I don't think any professional will ever say that his sport is "second nature." I'm sure some aspects of it may be reactionary, but any pro pl
    • by prayag (1252246)

      I think the main problem Street Fighter has is that it's best played in an arcade, with a loud energetic environment surrounded by 5-10 people. Most people (in the USA, at least) don't go to arcades anymore.

      This is true for most of the world now. HOWEVER, what were earlier arcades can now be replaced by Wii/Xbox/PS parties where people get together and play on their own consoles. Its not exactly the same but something the new SF (given it is accessible for casual gamers) can find a good support from.

  • Too many scrubs (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Datamonstar (845886)
    no way the old days will be back. People still complain about a fireball + shoryuken trap, even in 3 when they could just parry out. Games aren't supposed to be complex anymore, just fun for about 2 hours so SF4 won't re-create the scene because everyone's moved on. Sure, we'll still have Evolution every year, and it will be dominated by the same players as every other year, and new tactics will be on display, but that is the large scale, which doesn't change very much. On the small scale, at home and in th
    • by WDot (1286728)
      Chess isn't a complex game. It doesn't take long to learn all the moves. However, it is a deep game. It requires cleverness and a lot of thinking (and in some cases, a good bluff).

      Conversely, fighting games don't necessarily need to be complex. To bring new blood into the genre, fighting game designers should aspire to develop a game that enforces a chess-like mentality while keeping memorization to a minimum.

      The Tekken series has been pretty good with not requiring that users grasp a million conc
      • by KDR_11k (778916)

        Depends on how you see that, you pretty much have to know the depth in any competitive game so the complexity/depth split narrows. IMO it'd help more if game tutorials went beyond explaining the controls and went into some of the depth too (e.g. "this is how you perform a standard launcher air combo" and "Roman Cancels are used like this"). It's no wonder newbies feel intimidated when all they know about a game is manualspeak (i.e. an explanation that involves more fluff and hyperbole than actually useful k

      • by drsquare (530038)

        Conversely, fighting games don't necessarily need to be complex. To bring new blood into the genre, fighting game designers should aspire to develop a game that enforces a chess-like mentality while keeping memorization to a minimum.

        With chess you have several minutes to decide your move. In a fighting game, you have half a second or less to mash the right button. The two are incompatible.

      • Chess stopped being fun for me when I realized that so much of it was simple rote memorization.

    • "get off my lawn" (Score:3, Insightful)

      by plasmacutter (901737)

      seriously, you act as if most people, all the way from the late 80's, were not "button mashers".

      The quality of the audience for these games has not changed since then, it was not "better" back then.

  • ... but it won't be how the devs see it. MUGEN pretty much takes up my time when it comes to fighting games. Seriously, it's everything versus everything.

    • Mugen is problematic on Linux right now.

      • by Khyber (864651)

        It's problematic on Windows XP as well, and I doubt it'll work in Vista without some sort of modification to the code.

        • Well, here's the thing. The version of Mugen for Linux that exists today was made in 2002, and supports no necessary SDL features or OpenGL for Video accelleration.

          The Japanese version of WinMugen works better in Wine some cases because of better support for more content.

          (That said Playing as the Green Ranger is a thousand times more fun on Mugen rather than the Sega Genesis game he came from.)

  • That's good, because the worry is that eventually with fighting games, exploits come out. I don't know if you have any sense of what those might be, or if you've totally gotten on top of all of them. Because... in CVS2, people would constantly roll and throw. Do you think that you've gotten them all out of the way so far?

    In CVS2, rolling was not the problem, nor was it the throws. Throws actually beat rolling every time. The problem was that rolls were invincible, and more importantly, they were also cons

  • by mazarin5 (309432)

    Why don't they just release more versions of Street Fighter 2? That should work, right?

  • Jackie Chan (Score:5, Funny)

    by Dwedit (232252) on Saturday September 27, 2008 @12:02AM (#25174793) Homepage

    Get Jackie Chan to portray Chun Li [youtube.com]. (video clip from City Hunter 1993 movie)

  • The reason I paused development is that no one wants to help me develop a NAT punch through. My game plays fine as long as you're not using your router.

    I bring a new thing to the table with my fighter: Up to 1,000 players can fight in the same place, up from the traditional 2. The reason this is cool is that you have new dynamics like FFA, Team attacks, and giving one fighter increased statistics so he is like a boss vs everyone else.
    And the only reason I wanted to do a fighter was to put me in a posit
    • contact the azureus team. they more than anyone would be able to tell you about getting around firewalls : )

  • Later Years (Score:2, Funny)

    by Bwana Geek (1033040)
    You wanna save the franchise? Base the next game on Street Fighter: The Later Years. [collegehumor.com]
  • by Anonymous Coward

    I've been playing SF4 almost daily since its release over here in Japan. This game really brings back memories of how fun it was to play SF2. It also makes up for all of the crap SF3 titles that have come along in the years between the two titles.

  • Smash Brothers? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by orkybash (1013349)
    Yoshi Ono seems to place a lot of focus on bringing completely new, casual gamers into the SF franchise. So why does the article not once mention the one of the biggest "casual gamer" fighting games? He talks a lot about reducing the amount of memorization needed for a fighting game - this is exactly the argument that my friends used to get me into the original Smash Brothers on the N64. Be as derisive as you want, the Smash Brothers franchise (especially in Melee, somewhat less so in Brawl) is incredib
    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by VinylRecords (1292374)
      Smash Brothers is not a fighting game. It's a beat 'em up. Virtua Fighter, Street Fighter, Tekken, Guilty Gear, CvS, etc. are fighting games.
  • Fighting games these days have two audiences, your VF4 hardcore crazy types, or your Soul Calibur I just want to mash some buttons types. I usually only break fighting games out with friends or family, so hopefully SF4 will give me something new everyone can enjoy.
  • But blowing stuff up in Crysis is the new genre...
  • It sounds like Guilty Gear has already done what they are trying to achieve. SFII was quite "hardcore" in that to be really good at it you needed to learn all the combos, get perfect timing etc. With SF4 those things are still there.

    Guilty Gear, on the other hand, is the exact opposite of SF in almost every way. Movement is very fluid instead of precise. Combos do /less/ damage with each move. There are complex aspects to it, but because it relies far more on the basics instead of memorisation and perfect t

  • There really hasn't been a new style of fighting game for a long while. To me, they all have the same weakness... learning curve + reaction time.

    I've played most fighting games and wanted to like them since probably sf2. But everytime I try to play, the skill level of players is so skewed that one party was constantly not having fun. Getting your ass handed to you alll day long just isnt fun for anybody. You can't even learn moves, since you are too busy getting comboed/stunned/thrown whatever do death. All

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