Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The New New Challengers


The time has come for fighting in the streets once again

So I picked up Street Fighter 4 PC – despite what you might think, It's not the reason for the lack of activity on here recently. To be honest, aside from a marathon session last weekend while I unlocked the secret characters, I haven't played it that much. It's good like that though: I can play a couple of rounds online and generally be satisfied.

The game itself has definitely justified its reviews so far. It's odd to find a game (that's essentially a remake) that not only maintains the feel of the old game but also manages to feel fresh and new too. Not to mention I finally get my chance to prove my salt against other like minded individuals. Considering I never really had access to a decent arcade growing up, this is like some kind of geek dream come true.

The character roster isn't bad, although its a shame none of SF3's characters made it in. I'm mostly OK considering most of my favourites have made it though.. Although it would be cool to have Guy back as well. It's kind of interesting what they did with the new characters though. The creators specifically did research and attempted to design new characters to specifically appeal to western audiences. It's like they totally forgot that SF2 was one of those World-Wide-Smash-Hit type of things.

Anyway, this isn't the first time it's happened. In Super Street Figther 2, they introduced Dee jay and T Hawk, which I think were both designed by Capcom USA to specifically appeal to an American audience. Speaking of which, it's also interesting to look at the comparisons between the 4 new challengers introduced in SSF2 and the new guys introduced in SF4.

Abel is probably the best designed of the new characters. He's french. He uses a (slightly embellished) real style. He's heavily riffing off of an actual real world fighting legend. His design also would look perfectly in place if he'd been introduced in SF2. As far as story goes he's an amnesiac who's also mercenary who just happens to be a clone of M. Bison (LOL SPOILER). This is (surely coincidentally) almost exactly Cammy's back story in SSF2. I can only assume this is going to lead to a horrid torrent of AbelXCammyXBison slash fiction. Also, Abel is the guy in the picture today.

Next up is El Fuerte. He's a lucha libre (A.K.A Mexican Wrestler), but I assume he's owing more to WWE's Rey Mysterio Jnr. His back story seems to revolve around him entering the tournament to find the ultimate recipe. This kind of “Entering a fighting tournament in order to find a totally unrelated thing” was also done in SSF2 with Deejay, who was fighting to find the perfect beat. However, considering he's never really been seen in a game again, I guess it went pretty well for him. I think there's a lesson in that for all of us.

Crimson Viper is the character designed especially for American audiences is a Angelina Jolie-esque, Pussycat dolls reject mother wearing the tuxedo from Jackie Chan's The Tuxedo. Strangely enough, she didn't end up all that popular in US after all. Personally, I think she looks more like she belongs in an SNK fighting game. I'm stretching it a little, but she can set her kicks on fire. So can Fei Long from SSF2! Coincidence?

Definitely the worst character of the new lot is Rufus, the overweight self-styled kung fu prodigy. Sure, his outfit references Bruce Lee, but all up he's a joke character. Let's face it, as much as I like Dan there's no need for another one of him (i.e. Self taught joke character) and his ability to bounce around like he's made of rubber defy beleif even in the reality of the Street Fighter world. It also doesn't help that his moves are pretty good and all up is probably one of the most powerful characters in the game. I'm going to go ahead and call him the new T.Hawk, since both are American stereotypes annnnnnd... no that's it.

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