I’m about to say something that might send shivers down your spine. In fact it’s quite disgusting if I say so myself. I have never really got into any Street Fighter game. Now before I receive an abundance of Hadokens aimed at me, just read on.
I always admired the Street Fighter games, but the honest truth was that I was terrible at them and I hate losing so naturally I didn’t play the games I wasn’t any good at. However, I have matured now and with all the hype surrounding Street Fighter 4 I just had to buy it. I will write a few short blogs detailing my progress as a Street Fighter ‘noob’ and my thoughts on the game.
The opening cinematic is very impressive. I love the art style of Street Fighter 4 in general and I think this helps keep it current gen while harking back to the days of old by sticking with the 2D fighting. At first I hated the opening soundtrack – it sounds cool at first, but then it breaks down into a High School Musical style song. I have to say though, it has grown on me in the last week and I’ve been caught numerous times singing along to it. It’s just so catchy it makes you want to sing and dance…and then completely demolish and humiliate your opponent.
The menu system is very sleek and I love the fact they’ve intentionally kept the arcade feel to everything. With all the casual shovelware being released at the moment, it’s nice to see Capcom unashamedly made a hardcore game, keeping it accessible, but making sure to please Street Fighter fans. The modes are basic, but in all honesty you don’t need anything else when the game is entirely about beating the crap out of your mates (in the game of course!)
I went straight into arcade mode easily beating the first level via the trusty method of button mashing. (I see you all cringing). It soon became apparent that wasn’t going to get me far. I lost out to Blanka – darn him and his stupid electricity every time I jump. In fairness to me I had left the difficulty on medium. In any case, I decided to move into trial mode. There are plenty of characters to choose from and it’s good to see the usual culprits as well as fan favourites and new fighters. I decided to be rather cliche and picked Ryu – what a dude. No one else could sound as cool saying “Hadoken” like him. Mind you, not many people can shoot blue fireballs from their hands. In my opinion the trial mode is far better than the training mode as it enables you to perform set moves in order to progress. Only when you complete the combo’s can you move on. It’s a good way to make sure you remember the moves and to prevent future button bashing.
The trial mode can be frustrating though and this is one of the few gripes I have with SF4. I how complex some of the moves can be – especially stringing them together, but in both the manual and in trial mode, it can be very difficult to understand how to pull the moves off. To me, some of them seem near impossible! For instance, I STILL can’t pull off a heavy punch and then a hadoken straight after with Ryu. I can do them one after the other, but not in the timeframe trial mode sets you and it’s similar with other fighters as well. I find the ‘charge’ moves particularly frustrating.
But therein lies the beauty of Street Fighter 4. Players who are less able to pull off the hard moves and play with the more complex fighters will likely stick to the simple stuff, allowing those with the skill to shine. As they say, Street Fighter has always been easy to learn, but hard to master. More on my Street Fighter training next week.