My tag is Apollo Ali — I’ve been playing FGs ever since I got SF2 for the Super Nintendo. I used to go to the arcade and get my ass whooped by MSP in MVC2 every day and I would torrent EVO grand finals and watch them over and over again. Unfortunately, I never really got into a local FGC community — none of my friends are into FGs — and instead became deeply involved in Project M, the mod for Super Smash Brothers Brawl, and I’m known as one of the best commentators in the game nowadays. However, I’ve been to MVC3 tournaments, 3rd Strike tournaments (pre SF4!), and have basically played and explored every single Capcom fighting game.
It’s funny, because watching you guys tear apart SFV and it’s characters reminds me so much of the community tearing apart SF3, which has now been canonized as an iconic entry in the franchise.
I come to this subreddit everyday because I love Street FIghter 5 and I want to learn about it. In my opinion, it’s my favorite SF yet — it’s modern, every character has become more distinguished in their look and design, and it’s by far the most intuitive SF game I’ve ever played. 3rd Strike is a better game, imo, but SFV is the more complete package. Does it have weaknesses? Sure — the input lag, poor PR, and clipping are definitely issues. But my main takeaway, especially from the Chun/Yun/Ken era of 3S, is — are all the characters usable and interesting? And for the most part, this seems true. SF4 may have been better, but I’m sorry — I’ve never liked that game. Focus was a weird system that made footsies into this extremely strange thing that was NOT rewarding or intuitive. Explaining focus to my friends was always difficult. What I love about SFV is throwing out a normal is a commitment. And that’s why it’s the first SF that any of my Smash friends have gotten into. They respect the footsies. They understand that it’s about spacing. And the combos are doable. These are all incredibly well-implemented design goals by Capcom. Perhaps at the top level it’s less interesting and I won’t get into those complaints — but that’s probably less than 1% of the playerbase.
Going to EVO was incredible and revitalized my love of the game. Tokido and Punk’s storyline was incredible to watch unfold live, amongst all those people. Also, when I saw Abigail, I got HYPE. His feel was something I’ve NEVER seen in SF before and my mind was racing about all the possibilities. But then I go on here and the negativity is so overwhelming that it knocked the wind out of me. I saw so many things that seem very myopic and bitter in a way that I don’t relate to. For instance…
* **On new DLC characters**
“We need old characters! The game is tanking and they want to release new characters!”
Okay, if you’ve followed old SF games, Capcom loves to delete all their old characters. This is why SF3 was so hated — because it only started with Ryu and Ken. But it introduced all those great characters you guys clamored to have back in S1 — Alex, Urien, Ibuki, etc. I think it was brave of Capcom to not ONLY change old characters like Bison and Ken, but to ALSO introduce a bunch of new characters. Everything is redesigned from the bottom up. It’s not easy doing that work but Capcom seems committed to it as a design goal., Heck, even GUILE is so different than he’s ever been.
The reason SF4 is my least favorite SF was because it was a nostalgia grab without any interesting ideas to innovate Street Fighter. The chars were mostly cut and pasted from SF2 and the new character designs were a mixed bag. Which leads me to point 2.
* **DLC character designs**
“Abigail is a freak! This doesn’t belong in Street fighter! I’m ashamed by Capcom.”
In my opinion, a good SF design does a few things — does it look like a World Warrior, from a fighting tradition? Does it look fun to play? Can you tell the characters story by looking at him? Ryu — he’s Japanese, he looks like a cool karate master, and his frayed sleeves tells you he doesn’t care about looks.
Urien, another character the community now loves, was DESPISED on first reveal. I was around then — Why do we have a guy in a THONG fighting? That’s not a Street Fighter! Why can’t we just get Guile/Blanka/whatever?
Of course, Urien references the great Greek wrestling tradition. You can tell he’s got some magic-thing going on with him in his intro. He’s ripped. He’s egotistical and wnats to show off his body.
I feel like most of the new SFV designs accomplish this way better than SFIV. Rufus , Viper and Hakan dont really answer any of my above questions — they don’t really look like any recognizable martial arts or fighting style (sorry, Hakan looks nothing like a Turkish oil wrestler), and I can’t understand for the life of me what they’re about on first look. I actually think Abigail accomplishes this well. He’s a freak of nature, in the old tradition of SF, a punk-y street brawler who uses his muscle to overwhelm you. A literal Street Fighter, distinguished from Hugo by being a brawler and also much less technical. His insane size ALSO makes him like Blanka or Dhalsim or Birdie or Urien or Necro. A big weirdo who’s terrifying. Plus, all the DLC characters have these little gameplay quirks that make them interesting — I’m looking forward to Abi’s hard punches and I’m sure someone is gonna do something interesting with him in tourney.
It may be good PR or whatever for them to release old characters, but new characters are good for the series. In ten years, you’ll probably all want Ed, Kolin, and Abigail in the next series.
* **PR, Esports, and the Sinking Ship**
“Capcom is fucking us over. Their PR is terrible and if only they released the right characters, the game would come back”
TBH, I don’t GAF about esports. I play an illegal game, lmao. BUT as a Project M player, I see how relentless negativity on a game can kill it. Melee and Smash 4 players relentlessly shit on PM and it’s hurt us. Yes, Capcom is fucking up its PR super duper hard. But that’s stuff only YOU guys will notice. Because you’ve been with Capcom forever and you’re on this subreddit every day, like me. Capcom needs to attract new players and it needs the communities help in doing so. I’m sorry, but Sagat is not going to bring hundreds of people to the game. People will come to the game through word of mouth. People aren’t going to GG right now because of Baiken. They’re going because everyone says its fucking awesome. As my cousin who never liked SF before SFV said about the community — “I’ve never seen a community so relentlessly destroy it’s own game as with SFV.”
Now, if you hate Capcom’s decisions and think the game is boring, that’s fine! But like, what does the relentless negativity really do? It can be so toxic in here that it’s almost unbearable. We can have multiple successful games — DBZ and Tekken and GG may hurt SF, but I believe that they can coexist peacefully. Also, often times criticism in here can be so black and white, when I think we should all just listen to Tokido — “FIghting games are great.” Let’s spread that. This may be a downswing for SF, but let’s not be so critical that we put the series into dormancy like with SF3.
Also, Capcom was pretty dormant during the SF3 years. We still made it work with love for the game. It wasn’t ideal, but at least we could all agree SF3 was a fun game, despite it’s very OBVIOUS balancing flaws. IDK how to accomplish that kinda consensus for SFV, but I wish EVO would do that for folks.