Is Super Street Fighter IV a bad move?
In a world full of updates and downloadable content, which would be the better option?
For those that are unaware, Super Street Fighter IV will not be a full priced game. A confirmed price has not been announced, but the game will be cheaper and that’s what matters. The original title will also be over a year old by the time Super Street Fighter IV is released. This isn’t a case of literally just buying a game only to see a new version coming out.
Now that we got the pricing out of the way, let’s do a quick recap of what the new game will have. There will be around 8 new characters, every character will be tweaked and rebalanced, and every character will get an additional ultra attack. Online is also going to be revamped and bonus rounds may return as well. Every single intro and ending is going to be remade for the story mode, due to the feedback from reviewers and fans. This isn’t a new level, or a costume pack. Super Street Fighter IV’s content is significant. There is nothing to be bitter about.
We need to ask ourselves how this game would work as downloadable content. The game isn’t magically going to be priced at $5 because you think this is a multiplayer skin for a first person shooter, so let’s get rid of that mentality. The old version of the game would practically become useless as there is so much new content in Super, so why should we be forced to use the original game to play the new one?
In terms of just the content alone, the community will end up being fragmented if it’s DLC or on a disc. Owners of the original game will have none of the tweaks or moveset changes as those with the expansion would have. Playing online together would be impossible unless there was a toggle to remove all the changes. If someone is paying to play Super SFIV, we highly doubt they would want to go back to the original and lose all the new gameplay and characters.
Let’s also think about this: Fighting games were made for competitive play with real people right next to each other. If SSFIV was DLC, how would you travel to a friends house to play the game with ease? You would either have to bring your PS3 over, or you would have to log into your account on a friends PS3, eat up one of your five activations, and then download the expansion. It’s a hassle. Of course, they could just buy Super SFIV as well to make things easier.
With a disc based solution, all the content is right there at all times. It was always annoying when a friend didn’t have a costume DLC pack, so imagine how annoying it will be if there are 8-10 missing characters and missing moves. Also, in the unforeseeable future, a disc based title will always be playable as long as you own a system that can play the game. That may not always be true for a download as we don’t know how that will be handled generations from now.
What about the people who don’t have online or the capabilities of downloading a large file with ease? A disc based solution allows for all of the original SFIV purchasers to buy Super SFIV if they wanted to. A DLC option would automatically remove certain individuals from getting the game due to various reasons.
We do have to wonder though, what is the best option for Capcom? How much does it cost to manufacture all the new discs in addition to the added development costs? It’s a given that the hardcore fans will get Super Street Fighter IV, but what will the sales look like after the more casual crowd has already had their fun with SFIV? Could this option actually limit the potential buyers instead of expand them?
Now, there is a concern that we have regarding Super Street Fighter IV. Will the costume packs from SFIV be compatible with the new game, or will they be given to everyone? There is no reason why anyone should have to rebuy a costume pack, so we hope that has been accounted for and taken care of.
Are there any hardcore fans that are against the idea of Super Street Fighter IV because it is not DLC? While there may be concerns regarding gameplay tweaks and other possible mishaps, it is highly doubtful that someone would be against the title being on a disc. In fact, the Street Fighter community is going crazy just by the thought of the game not having an arcade release.
If you didn’t like Street Fighter IV, there is a possibility that SSFIV can change your opinions. Perhaps some of the modifications will be the ones that you specifically wanted to improve the game. Just a small tweak can change the whole way the game is played. You are not buying Street Fighter IV twice, we can assure you that.
Look at Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix as an example. Compare that to the game it was expanded from and try to do certain moves. Properties were significantly changed and whole new ways to play were given that just weren’t even possible before. Even the motions to do certain moves were modified. Would anyone argue that HD Remix is the same as Super Turbo? Not anyone with sense.
If you never played or bought Street Fighter IV, then you really have absolutely no say regarding this. Chances are, people who didn’t even bother with the title are complaining about it as if they mattered. Remember, this is for the fans that wanted more. Not for the ones that don’t have any interest.
What about the people that sold Street Fighter IV for whatever reason? They would have to rebuy SFIV and then buy Super Street Fighter IV, just to play the version that they originally wanted. That seems like a far worse strategy than releasing a disc for SSFIV.
If you bought Street Fighter IV and liked it, then you got your money’s worth. Chances are, if you liked the game, you still play it. What other genre of games allows you to continuously play for months, years, or even decades? How many people still play Marvel vs Capcom 2, or Third Strike? People still play variations of Street Fighter II!
Is there a single fighting game out there this generation that has had a significant content upgrade such as this? The closest one is Tekken 6 in the arcades, which then became Tekken 6: Bloodline Rebellion. There is nothing wrong with giving the community what it wants, and there is nothing but pure benefit for the fans.
As it stands right now, this could be a very good experiment for Capcom. Is DLC really the only way to expand a game? Why can’t a game just be changed so much that it’s better off being a new title completely? This is basically Street Fighter IV II, so why can’t it be treated as a different title?
A potential problem that we see here is if Capcom decides to constantly release new updates for SFIV after Super. If Super Street Fighter IV Turbo comes out a few months after the release of Super, that will be frowned upon. There is no reason for Capcom to limit their vision of Street Fighter IV, but they should be aware that people can’t just keep buying a new disc over and over again in such a small time period. Maybe some DLC for Super SFIV will be better than another disc title.
We argue that even in this world full of version updates and downloadable expansions that the benefits of a disc outweigh a download. Not only is the content worthy enough of a disc, but when Super Street Fighter IV comes out, there will still be new players to the franchise and to IV. Why should they be forced to have the original title, and then download gigs worth of new code and content, just to play the version of the game that they originally wanted?
Why not have the game has DLC and a disc? According to Capcom, there is just too much content. Not only that, but imagine the compatibility nightmare that would become. There would be people with SFIV, people with a DLC version of SSFIV, and then people with a disc based SSFIV. We can’t imagine how much extra work would have to go into the game, just to make sure that nothing is broken due to the variations of the game that would be out.
Fans of Street Fighter IV wanted more, and that’s exactly what Capcom is giving. Nobody that bought SFIV has any entitlement to any of the additions just because they purchased the original title. Of course, they will be getting a special bonus when Super comes out, but that’s a whole different story.
What do you guys think? Super Fail Fighter IV, or Super Awesome Fighter IV? Let us know. Don’t forget to check out the newly released pics of Dee Jay from Capcom Unity. Be sure to read the links below for interviews and more opinions regarding SSFIV.
[Gamespot: Super Street Fighter IV Impressions - First Look]
[Destructoid: How to STFU about Super Street Fighter IV]