Feb 222010
 

Remember how Street Fighter 2 was great because everyone could play it? Well here, at long last is where I’d like to start with some commentary on Street Fighter IV. This is Part 1 of a five part article.

Part 1: Execution

This move looks pretty hard to do...

I feel my #1 problem with SFIV is the same issue I have with the development of most Vs Fighting games over the years; they seem to constantly try to increase execution complexity & usually at the same time reduce, or at least de-emphasize, other forms of complexity, that I enjoy more. You can see this on many levels in SFIV, and my previous article about complexity covered this too. David Sirlin also covered it brilliantly here and a few more related thoughts here, and an excellent interview here.

Now I’ll say right away that the level of execution needed to play at a high level in SFIV is simply too much for me – it alienates me. This wouldn’t matter so much if the game had good matchmaking and netcode that would allow me to get playable games against people on my level regularly, but it clearly doesn’t have either of these things. Ironically I main Dee Jay in HD Remix these days, a character who in fact has a fair few link combos much like SFIV’s combos, albeit with easier timing, and yet I can’t do them very efficiently even in HDR with Dee Jay. However the difference is that my inability to do these complex combos reliably doesn’t hinder me too much in HDR, whereas in SFIV it feels critical to be able to compete. Of course, despite the fact I can compete and do reasonably well in tournaments at SFII, and for what it’s worth am ranked #436 on XBL at HDR (sadly no other fighting games have non-broken ranking systems to compare!), I’m clearly a sucky n00b/scrub that has to STFU because I can’t do a FADC into Ultraaaa!!!!!11, so, let’s look at who can. At the time of writing I have the full 100 people on my XBL Friends List. These vary across a wide spectrum of players from ‘casual’ gaming friends to hardcore fighting game tournament players. Now one of the “friends” on my FL is actually just a holding account for XBL European HDR players, so I’ll ignore that one, but also include myself for a sample of exactly 100 players.

Played SFIV an Over-Average Amount, based on Achievements: 55 (55% of Friends List)
Got “Proof of Battle” Achievement: 38 (69% of Over-Average Players)
Got “Technical Fighter” Achievement: 13 (24% of Over-Average Players, 34% of those with “Proof of Battle”)
Got “No Challenge Too Hard” Achievement: 2 (4% of Over-Average Players, 5% of those with “Proof of Battle”)

Explanation:

Average Achivements Unlocked on SFIV (based on mygamercard.net figures) = 158.41
“Proof of Battle” Achievement = Play 500 Xbox LIVE battles. (Ranked match or player match)
“Technical Fighter” Achievement = Clear NORMAL Trial in Challenge Mode.
“No Challenge Too Hard” = Clear HARD Trial in Challenge Mode.

 

Capcom.. do you know what 'Normal' means?

The best figure for me to illustrate my point is that only about a 1/3 of players on my FL who took to SFIV seriously enough to play over 500 battles online could even get the ‘Normal’ level Achievement in training mode for doing combos. And don’t forget, you just have to do a combo once ever for it to count for this Achievement, this doesn’t actually count getting good enough to use them reliably in competitive play. Unfortunately I can’t get any statistics on how these players manage to do execution-wise in “real fights” so to speak – this is all just indicators. Whilst there are many possible explanations behind this data (people didn’t enjoy doing the combo mode so didn’t even try?), however you spin it, it’s still incredibly obvious that what Capcom considers “Normal” really isn’t normal at all.

So SFIV execution is too hard for me, and the majority of my FL it seems. But then, are many other players fine with this anyway? Am I actually in some kind of tiny minority here? Were (are?) there lots of original Street Fighter 2 players sitting around saying – you know what, this game is good, but it’s just too darn easy to play. I can execute every move & combo perfectly every time, what would be better was if it was much harder to do the moves. (And if these players existed, I’d hope they were entering and winning every single tournament around to prove how easy it was!), or do a lot more players perhaps feel like, say Chris Bateman here:

“I can’t handle fighting games at all, mostly because of the complexity of the control space. I like a game which gives me a small number of atomic actions and asks me to use them well, not a game that requires me to memorise/learn a complex control scheme”

Think back to when you first played Street Fighter (whichever version). Were people complaining about it being too darn easy to do a 3-hit combo with Ryu and Ken, or were they marvelling every time someone did something like a 2-in-1 combo or a Spinning Pile Driver with Zangief?

When it comes to the sales figures for mass market games, only two fighting games even enter the picture -

Street Fighter II: The World Warrior (SNES) – 6.3 million
Super Smash Bros. Brawl (Wii) – 8.43 million
Super Smash Bros. Melee(GameCube) – 7.09 million

 

So it makes me wonder why Street Fighter, which had it’s most commercial success in the title with the simplest control method continues to add more and more execution complexity with every iteration? (with only a single exception – SSF2T HD Remix). Sales figures for XBL titles are much harder to come by, but it’s well known fact that Street Fighter 2 Hyper Fighting, also one of the easiest SF games to control – in fact easier than HD Remix (no complex super motions) is one of the top selling games on XBox Live Arcade, and HD Remix also sold very well.

What really gets me annoyed though, is that the promoters of Street Fighter IV do seem to realise the fact that most people would prefer simpler controls, and SFIV was repeatedly marketed as “welcoming to newcomers” and to offer “easier execution” – which actually only translated to easier reversal timing & easier to do dragon punches – when the vast majority of the game was about far harder execution. It’s pretty obvious why they don’t actually dare say the truth that this game is similar to SF2, except if you want to be able to do a max damage combo, you’d better be a twitch-stick-skills-demon or practice to attempt to train your muscle-memory for years. So instead they gloss over it and, well, blatantly lie about it. Seth Killian even talks directly about execution barriers here (in SFIII) and doesn’t make any connection that SFIV is really almost as far in the wrong direction here:

Another great tidbit I first noticed from a podcast at Gamer’s Corner here, was that (late in their Sirlin interview) they point out that nowhere in any of the instructions in-game or out of game in the actual manual, does it ever describe what a link combo is. Yet they are there in the “Normal” Challenge Mode, and expected for a player to do them, without any knowledge as to how if they don’t go and search around on the internet as well. The other great point made in this interview is how much worse these link combos end up being in the already pretty dodgy netcode in SFIV.

Now success and popularity can be measured in many other ways, and aren’t the only thing you might be aiming for in a game anyway, and there are clearly a lot of gamers that do enjoy SFIV. It’s the most popular fighting game around right now (other than Smash) yet I still worry that it’s essentially yet another game that spells a pinball-like dead end for fighting games.

“Eventually, to keep the pinballers playing, the games became so advanced that entry-level players faced an impossible barrier.”

And I also wonder how much more successful SFIV would be if it retained some of its flashy crowd-pleasing effects, graphics, characters and yet had simpler execution requirements more similar to those of SFII. What’s also worrying for SFIV is that even for the hardcore experienced players who actively love all of the execution difficulty buried within it, there’s still very little new going on in SFIV, and so they might very well prefer to stick with SFIII 3rd Strike, Marvel Vs Capcom 2, Guilty Gear, KOF, Arcana Heart or whatever other fighter they were playing.

To be fair, you definitely do want some level of execution complexity to make a fighting game fun. In summary ‘doing combos’, or literally just hitting buttons, gives a kind of fun to players – in fact it’s the sole game element of a huge number of ‘rhythm action‘ games! I talked about this a lot more in execution flow before, the trouble is it’s very hard to change this ‘difficulty’ setting within a fighting game for different players. You could attempt to do it with different characters, or with “Easy Modes”, like Capcom Vs SNK 2 EO (“Easy Operation”) on the XBox – yet I’ve never seen a successful attempt at this in a fighting game. Almost all characters are reasonably equally hard to play well (not necessarily win with) at a high level, and most ‘EO’ style modes don’t work because they are either too limiting to use -eg. throwing out semi-random special moves, or actually too advantageous, eg. auto-guarding in between any missed attack, to use competitively, and thus they are relegated to the realm of a training mode, rather than the game proper.

There’s also a few more arguments about having difficult execution, that I saw summed up well in this thread over on sirlin.net.

“There is a case to be made for button inputs that are longer than just “press one button,” because they force you to start thinking about your move a little ahead of time.” – Robyrt

However I’d argue that if you just want to force a time delay, you can instead make the whole move itself have more of a delay, or more ‘startup frames’ perhaps. That way it would take the same amount of time to do for every player, not just those with excellent execution can do it ‘fast’ and the others can’t. Again, it all comes down to what skills you want to test in a game.

However the underlying point that I think is being made here, is that execution limits can actually make a decision matrix more interesting – ie: they can prevent a game to become  too “solvable”. I cannot find the reference at this time, but I know this was one of the reasons Sirlin made attacks in Kongai (a game with effectively zero execution tests) usually successful 90% or 95% of the time. I’ve written about this before as I felt it mirrored upper-mid level play in Street Fighter. The difference however in any game with any kind of execution tests is that it will tend to be unsolvable enough by its nature. For example even if a game was just to press the right button out of 4 at the perfect moment, they’ll still be enough differential in players that will or won’t make mistakes, and will or won’t get the timing right; again, see any number of ‘rhythm action’ games that use this as the basis of their gameplay. Still, I think the point about execution tests potentially increasing a decision matrix stands up at all but the very highest level of play:

For example, I’ve been knocked down by Ryu and I’m ‘waking up’ with Deejay. Ryu is standing close to me, but I expect Ryu to throw a fireball for tick damage and to push me away again. I know I can block with 100% certainty, or I can go for a wakeup reversal super which will go through the fireball and kill Ryu..but I know I can only pull it off 30-40% of the time, and if I fail, I take full damage from the fireball and am in a much worse position again.

This decision matrix is a lot more interesting than if it was one button press I know I could always do either move with almost perfect timing. It would always be wakeup super! And the game would totally change as now as a good Ryu player would know to never throw that fireball. Whether this would make a better game or not is another matter entirely…! Note there would still be a valid mindgame here even if both players could do either move perfectly, as the DeeJay player wouldn’t want to waste his super move on a Ryu he was sure was going to block it… so knowing this Ryu may actually want to throw the fireball, as he doesn’t suspect DeeJay will use the super now. Yomi layers everywhere again. ;) (This is exactly why Kongai works as a game in it’s own right, even with no execution tests).

Remember though that these % execution tests are individual to each player. At the very top level of play every single player will be tending very close to 100% execution anyway. Although in games like Street Fighter IV or III, you can argue that the execution level needed is so high, that, under pressure, even the top players in the world make enough mistakes that the decisions are not so clear cut. However once again, this all just leads to a game that tests your execution skills way more than your strategic or tactical skills, as its impossible to calculate these odds that you can do a move in a given circumstance until you try – and if you know its the right thing to do and try but fail, obviously it wasn’t your decision making that failed you!

As a side-musing, it’s interesting to consider why a game might want to test certain skills over others. Most people have some preconceptions about what skills a videogame should test, but there’s actually an enormous scope. For example what about a competitive Wii game which required such physical skills that actual Olympic Athletes were the best at it?

I think personally whenever I can’t perform the main viable & important moves in a videogame at least over 50% of the time, then the execution barrier becomes “too high” for me to play at a high level.

As I commented here:

“It’s a matter of taste really of how much you slant towards the more strategic side of making the optimal decision(s) and the execution side of making it hard to actually perform those decisions – and even take decisions away from players of lesser skills, so they might know what they want to do, yet can’t do it.”

 

However as I’ve discussed many times here on Agoners, you could also completely ‘fix’ an online videogame for this problem simply by having a wide range of skills in a playerbase and by using good matchmaking. For example I think Street Fighter III: Third Strike is actually an excellent game at my medium level of play at it – but there’s no readily available way for me to find and play against people at my skill level. At least there’s still a small hope that Super Street Fighter IV might manage something along these lines. But the combo system certainly won’t be changed. Should Street Fighter be about really high execution complexity (eg. El-Fuerte’s infinite combo), or is that akin to asking someone to “juggle 5 balls whilst playing chess”? I guess most people’s opinion tends to be determined by how much you enjoy the chess part vs the juggling part.

To be Continued in Part 2

  10 Responses to “Fourts and Chaos Part 1: Street Fighter IV and Execution”

  1. Good stuff again Remy! Here are my thoughts about execucion in SFIV and other fighting games. First of all I agree that the execution test SFIV represents is too much for sure. Then I have to say that we should distinguish execution difficulty from complexety.Guilty Gear XX eg. offers you a big number of possibilitys for combos, block strings etc and a BnB contains usually more inputs than in SFII but they are not prohibitively difficult even if its more to learn/memorize.I would call this execution complexety. The execution difficulty in SFIV comes mostly through the tight timing required and the sometimes high APM. Look at the well known Ryu BnB Shoryuken->FADC->Ultra which is a lot of inputs but also in a very short window of time and with strict timing too. This is what makes it difficult I guess.
    I would say its realy a mater of tast if you pick a fighting game with biger execution complexety or a smaler. But a fighting game that raises execution difficulty is just a worse fighting game because a fighting game is about zoning, spacing, mindgames etc and the more difficult the execution gets the more it takes away mental resources for the interesting parts of the game because mental resources are limited. Thats it!

  2. Thanks Joe. I certainly get the distinction you’re making. I’m imagining two different long combos, both of which require 10 button presses. However one of which requires very little timing (you can press each button within 60 frames of each other move ending), and another combo that needs each button to be done within a 1 perfect frame of each other move ending. Clearly the 2nd combo is far harder to do than the first, even though there are the same total number of button presses.

    I’m trying to take a neutral view on what a “fighting game should be about”… like you I’d prefer an emphasis on spacing etc, but in reality many fighting games are not very much about that, and they have their audiences too.

    Personally I don’t like either of the 10 string combos above; both would annoy me in a game. I’d rather it was a simple 1 or 2 hit combo, than having one player play a single-player combo game for 10+ seconds!

    As an aside – I’ve never been able to do even basic combos in GGXX actually either, I’m not even sure what they are, the game’s totally confusing to me. However I’ve also never been able (or had the incentive) to learn, as all versions of it either have no or absolutely rubbish online modes, I’ve only ever been able to play that game by myself; as you can imagine, I didn’t get into it very much for that reason. Still, it didn’t feel like a game I’d like very much for the reasons mentioned above. It’s also not just the potential for long and/or difficult combo strings, it’s also how necessary they are to compete in that game. In something like MvC2 they are absolutely vital – SFIV is actually somewhat better than some other games in this regard for various reasons, I’ll get into more of that in later parts of this article though. :)

  3. I think you make a vaid point, but disregard the possibility that “normal” complexity is different for everyone. I can’t do FADC into ultra consistently either, but I don’t fault the game design for it. I enjoy the fact that there is more I can learn to do, and that the game has a skill-based depth which I can appreciate. Before I read your opinion that SF4′s controls were too complex, I never thought about it that way. I just thought that if I could do those crazy inputs, I would just be able to punish my opponent more for each mistake they made. But even without the ability to do super difficult combos, I can still just as well win with basic anti-airs, good footsies, etc…
    Of course that is not to say that difficult, high-damage combos don’t swing the game favor in one way or another, but that advantage can be compensated for with smarter playing. And even if I hate high complexity control characters, I can just stay away from Viper, and enjoy characters like Blanka, Boxer, or even Gief.

  4. Great comment Shushu, thanks. I don’t mean to disregard the fact people have very different execution ability levels though: “the trouble is it’s very hard to change this ‘difficulty’ setting within a fighting game for different players”.

    I admit you do have to factor in the other parts of things I don’t like about SFIV very much as well to get my whole “view” of it though. I likely could put up a lot more with the high execution tests, if everything else about it was more fun too… but I don’t think it is.

    I definitely think SFIV’s at least a lot easier than some other games like SF3 or MvC2 for example though. But it’s still more complex than SF2; and as the vast majority of people, and even gamers, find that game difficult enough, I think if you’re going to make execution requirements harder than SF2, you’ve got to consider why you’re doing it. It seems especially unnecessary in SFIV when it was meant to broaden the appeal and be accessible, and they had another game coming out at the same time (HDR) that was doing it far better. So SF4 may have succeeded with “appeal” overall, but I don’t really think they succeeded in accessibility.

    I also completely agree you can ‘win’ via much simpler means in SFIV. In fact, I won the majority of my games online; I’m actually not that bad at it. Yet I also don’t feel like I’m “really playing” it in the way I can SF2, where nothing’s completely out of my reach, and I can at least compete somewhat with the best players around.

  5. Nice article, Remy. I’m a semi-casual player but a big fan of the series since the old days of Street Fighter 2. Kara throws, tick throws, option selects, frame traps–all the in game secrets will overwhelm the novice player and even the experienced player at times. Couple that with the execution barrier and you have a recipe for disaster.

    Why does Honda’s Sumo Smash have to be a charge move? Why are there charge characters in the game to begin with? The two poster boys for the game don’t use charge moves, yet landing some of their combos still can be a challenge(Ryu’s FADC anyone?). So if all the characters had special moves using the quarter circle forward, quarter circle backward, SRK foward, SRK backward motion wouldn’t that make the game more accessible for people?

    I’m just saying–that one change to the system would open the game up to the masses and still be able to keep the hard core aspects that the fighting game community likes. Charge characters and 360 characters do limit the number of people who’re willing to play the game and as I pointed out earlier using Ryu or Ken ain’t no walk in the park either.

    But there’s an elitist bent to Street Fighter now. Capcom can’t be bothered to provide a competent in game tutorial mode for new players. “Search the internet, scrubs,” is what they tell newer players.

    It’s a shame really as Street Fighter could easily recapture the mass appeal it had back in the old days. It really is like just what happened to pinball. Everyone used to play pinball until the game became so complex that it required that you devote so much energy to becoming competent that it wasn’t fun anymore.

    But I’m just a mid-level scrub who can’t land Ryu’s FADC into Ultra, so what do I know.

  6. Thanks for your comment Ninja Bob! :) I can tell you feel along similar lines to me here. I wouldn’t necessarily agree with you about charge moves though. Whilst I agree it would simplify the game for initial learning (less looking at character move lists), I actually always played charge characters since almost my first times on World Warrior, purely because I could actually do those charge special moves and I could never get motion specials out – I’m still far worse at them than I am with charge moves even now. I doubt I can ever play a character that relies on a SRK motion to a high level. I’d also be worried that taking out charge moves would remove a big element of character diversity too. I think they are pretty key to some of the design of Street Fighter.

    However I don’t think FADC combos add nearly so much to the game!

    Your point about elitism is really well-made. The lack of decent tools & tutorials to allow new players into the game is terrible.

  7. Remy, I actually suggested taking out the charge characters because most of the newer players I’m trying to help complain about them the most. But as you pointed out doing the SRK and fireball motions can also be a chore to some players. It is annoying that moves don’t come out when you know that you’re doing them correctly and the blame lies squarely with Capcom. Having a gazillion or so inputs where there’s a 50/50 chance that when you tap the joystick forward twice you may get a dash or you might get a SRK is just plain wrong.

    I pull my hair out at times when moves don’t come out–especially online. Yeah, I know that I might need to employ the “double tap” method for a move to come out but why? I did quarter circle forward, tapped medium punch–nothing happened. “You tapped the button too fast or too slow,” says the Jedi level Street Fighter. “Try double tapping.” Oh, I see..I tapped the button too fast so the move didn’t register, so now I have to tap it twice even faster to insure that the move comes out. Or maybe I need to tap it twice but slowly. Classic.

    It would be nice if Capcom would implement a control scheme where the player decides what kind of inputs he wants to use. They did it in SNK vs Capcom 2 game with the “EO” control scheme but maybe it was really the SNK team who came up with the idea.

    You could have the current SF4 mode where you need to be part Jedi master and part concert pianist to be able to play at a high level. They could call that mode “Elite Mode”. The purists would love that. This mode would leave the control scheme as is and the elite players would be free to mock the new guys and tell them: “It’s not the game. You need to work on your execution, scrub. Practice those one frame links till your fingers bleed.”

    Charge characters could still have their moves and Zangief and other grapplers would keep their 360 and 720 moves. Call this mode “World Warrior” or Street Fighter 2 mode.

    You could have my “Shoto Mode” where all the special moves use the SRK and fireball motions. The elitists would, of course call it “Noob Mode” and bitterly complain if some player happened to use Shoto mode and a PAD.

    Ignoring the fact that, most of if not all the cast already use the SRK and fireball move set anyway.

    I say go ahead Capcom and embrace the Dark Side completely and stop toying with the notion of being a Jedi when you know you’re a Sith. But it would be nice if the option was given to the player.

    My main gripe with Capcom and Street Fighter 4 besides the lack of a tutorial mode is how they seem to favor certain characters, while making others work extra hard to get the same results. Cammy and Guile have to work way harder than Ken, Ryu and of course, Sagat to inflict damage on their opponents. Not to mention that their Ultras can’t be comboed easily and even when they do hit the damage is minor. Cammy and Guile also have to rely on “shenanigans” to get the job done. While Ryu and Ken can rely on simple crouching jab combos and sweeps mixed in with their fireball/SRK game.

    I like Cammy–I like Guile. Why should they be cannon fooder for the rest of the cast? The virtua Fighter series is balanced–there’s noreason why Street Fighter can’t be balanced as well..

    I’m not sure why Capcom can’t see that some of these high level tourney players, the modern day equivalents of the pinball wizards in 1970′s, are going to kill the franchise if they’re catered to at the expense of the so called “casual fan”. I know that there are thriving arcades in California and in New York but people outside of those two states and the world buy and play the game.

    Do you play poker, Remy? You know that the poker boom was caused by a noob player, Chris Moneymaker winning the World Series of Poker in 2003. Poker rooms in all the major and minor casinos suddenly started sprouting up as a flood of new players entered the poker “scene”. Contrast the boom in poker with the Street Fighter scene.

    No novice or mid-level player would stand a chance against Daigo or Justin Wong at EVO. If a pad player beat either one of those guys, I’m sure the elitists would riot in a display of nerd rage not seen since the Jar Jar Binks character was introduced in the Star Wars saga.

    But just like in poker where a seasoned pro can get beat by an unknown in a poker tourney, that element of “anything can happen” needs to be in Street Fighter. You said that in SF2, “nothing’s completely out of my reach, and I can at least compete somewhat with the best players around.” Right now to play Ryu at a high level you have to be able to do his FADC combo into Ultra 1. There’s an execution barrier placed around the character that doesn’t need to be there at all.

    Were FADC combos really needed? Folks at Capcom keep saying that Street Fighter 3 Third Strike failed because “parrying” was so very hard to do. Well, while I’m no expert parrier, but I can pull the move off pretty consistently and I can count the number of times I’ve landed Ryu’s FADC into Ultra combo in a match. Am I a scrub who needs to spend eight hours in the training room doing that FADC into Ultra? Maybe, but there’s no way I’m devoting that much time to a learning a combo that might not even come out.

    Street Fighter 3 failed because no one knew it was actually in arcades until it was too late and the arcade scene was dying–not because the parry was too hard to do.

    Remy, I like to think that Capcom listens to the fans but it’s clearly obvious that unless you have Seth Killian on speed dial, the chances of them listening to you are pretty slim.

    Calling Third Strike too “technical” while you need a degree from MIT to read and calculate frame data in order to memorize more than a gazillion techniques in SF4 and Super SF4 is laughable.

    I want my Street Fighter back–minus the elite nerds who rely on piano, double tapping and plink techniques, option selects, kara throws, kara cancelling and all the other crap that makes Street Fighter a chore to play.

  8. Cheers Ninja Bob, while you hold probably more extreme views than me on some of this stuff, I can agree with your general line of thought. I hope you read the rest of the articles in this series as I’ve covered a lot of that already elsewhere. :)

    As for Capcom, I do think they do understand to a certain extent. There is a lot of rhetoric about appealing to casual fans, the trouble is, they don’t seem to actually see this through in the games they make. So their words appear to be empty right now; but I’d be more worried if it wasn’t there at all. Ono is clearly thinking about it, http://www.videogamer.com/ps3/super_street_fighter_4/preview-2304-2.html
    “Now I’m not sure about that just yet, because with Street Fighter IV and Super Street Fighter IV I don’t think we’ve managed to pick up all those people who’ve never played fighting games. We’ve managed to pick up some of the people who used to play Street Fighter II, but not all of them, and I don’t think we’ve managed to pick up those who’ve never played fighting games. So what we would like to do is lower the entry barrier for those who have never played the fighting genre before so we can convey that fighting games are a good tool, a good fun thing to have per family. That’s what I’ll be thinking about in the next few months.”

    To be fair there were a few concessions in SFIV with easier timings for reversals and specials; but, as you say, then they go and mess that up by adding a gazillion more things that are far harder to do. No I don’t think FADC is needed whatsoever.

    I don’t play poker but I am very aware of it. I didn’t know that story about Chris Moneymaker though, that’s interesting. I don’t think SF is very comparable as a game to poker though, as whereas their are some styles and characters that are akin to gambling; the overall game is really a high % skill-based. Basically it’s way closer to chess or tennis than it is a game with a high luck element in it. So a novice wouldn’t have stood a chance against a Daigo-level player in any fighting game.

    BTW a pad player DID beat an “OG” elite player in the latest HDR tournament:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9GcxmO1D31E

    And HDR is the current Street Fighter around I could recommend to you. It’s still got incredibly high skill levels and execution requirements, but at least it’s a lot lower than something like SFIV.

  9. Fantastic related article (and comments debate) about this:
    http://shoryuken.com/content/strategy-corner-role-execution-350/

  10. A really interesting interview with Seth Killian and Derek Daniels mostly about SF4′s combo system:

    http://shoryuken.com/2014/09/01/on-the-chain-link-fence-seth-killian-and-derek-daniels-talk-combo-systems/

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