Things Street Fighter IV Could’ve Done Better
I’ve never been a believer in the legitimacy of launch week video game reviews, but i think it’s fair to take a critical look at SF4 now that we’ve all played it for a year. There’s no question about it, SF4 is a great game. That said, there are a few minor areas that i’d try to improve if given the chance.
Ultras Take Too Long
Don’t get me wrong, they look absolutely awesome. If i had to pick my five favorite attacks in Street Fighter history as of right now, at least three of them would be SF4 ultra moves. However, there’s nothing worse than getting hit by an ultra when you’ve only got 5% life remaining and still having to sit through the entire animation. It would be nice if the game could calculate that the ultra was going to kill me and give me the option to skip to the next round. The KO screen needs to go away faster too.
Challenge Trials Don’t Teach Strategy
I’m all for anything that helps new players appreciate the finer points of the Street Fighter combo system. Yet it is somewhat of a waste building such an amazing learning tool, then missing the opportunity to teach practical tactics. Why isn’t there a “DP through five fireballs” trial, or a “Find three moves that beat Blanka’s Electricity” trial, or a “Sweep Sagat four times without getting hit” trial?
The Combo Counter Stays Hidden until the End
Obviously Capcom decided to revert the combo counter to SSF2 style for aesthetic purposes, because they didn’t want numbers and words obstructing their cinematic ultras. However, providing a running total would’ve been far more helpful and convenient for players. Many supers and ultras hit multiple times in quick succession, making it quite difficult to figure out what went wrong when the counter finally appears displaying one less hit than expected. Seeing the numbers increment in real time makes it much easier to pinpoint exactly where something failed to connect.
Unlocking Bonuses Takes Forever
To be fair, SF4’s Time Attack and Survival runs are surprisingly well designed. Each presents a fun and interesting challenge, with the right number of handpicked CPU opponents to match the stipulations. If you inspect them on an individual basis, you’ll agree with that assessment. The problem is there’s too damn many and they all unlock something important. Nothing’s more tedious than having a console break down and needing to unlock everything from scratch. Capcom should’ve provided a way around this headache. For instance, scoring gold medals in all ten Hard runs should unlock everything earned through Normal difficulty and unveil the entire roster instead of forcing us through Arcade Mode thirty times.
Trading Hits at KO
A tiny complaint, but when two characters trade hits and one of them dies, the screen freezes to show both of them reeling in hit stun. It would be far more useful and look way cooler to freeze slightly earlier, showing both characters attacking. The SF3 series got this one right.
Jumping Over Opponents in the Corner
Nothing is more annoying than accidentally jumping over training dummy Dan when trying those Hard Trial combos for the 50th time. SF4 has unusual jump properties in general, but the ability to jump over cornered opponents just seems outright weird.
Why Do All the New Characters Have To Be Good Guys?
Abel and C.Viper both have mysterious origins and seem to change allegiances multiple times throughout the story. Yet at the end, they both side with the heroes. Why? C.Viper would have worked much better as a villain. Kind of a cop-out, really. Otherwise, i actually enjoyed the animated feature DVD included with the Collector’s Edition.
Well, that’s it for now. So what do you guys think of SF4 so far?