iPlayWinner.com has just released its first Super Street Fighter 4 tier list, and by all reasonable estimates, the list has some highly questionable results.
According to IPW, the list was composed by polling the top SSF4 players in the country. But even the most casual of players would probably say it doesn’t appear to make any sense. While this is no surprise (as accurate tier lists typically take months or years to come together), I applaud IPW for having the courage to post what will probably turn out to be a far left-field tier list entry.
Here’s a quick summary of Ramirez’ findings, as stated on IPW:
A: Rufus, Akuma, Abel, Dictator, Boxer, Ryu, Chun Li
B+: Ibuki, Zangief, E. Honda, Blanka, Sagat, Guile, T Hawk, Juri
B: El Fuerte, Dhalsim, Cammy, Fei Long, Ken, Seth, C. Viper
C: DeeJay, Adon, Dudley, Cody, Gouken, Claw
D: Rose, Gen, Hakan, Guy, Makoto, Sakura, Dan
The first thing to note is that this lists puts Rufus as the best character in the game. While our rubber-suited roly-poly from vanilla SF4 was certainly formidable, he didn’t receive many notable changes from the last iteration outside of his new Ultra (which is arguable equal to, but not better, than his last) and a nerf to his Snake Strike damage. How these changes make him the new Sagat is anyone’s guess.
We’re now to believe that Seth and C. Viper are somehow worse than Juri (who, mind you, has a large catalog of unsafe moves). I’m not saying that Juri is bad but… okay, I’m sort of saying that. While she has decent tools at each range, it seems most other higher-tier characters (including Seth and Viper) have better options. Besides, Juri’s Tanden Engine® is what, 2 inches wide? Seth’s makes up his entire fucking stomach.
Likewise, is it logical to suppose that Fei Long is better than…anybody? He was almost garbage in SF4, and received only the smallest improvements in Super (and one of the worst Ultras in the game). Meanwhile, Rose got tons of buffs (better recovery on all moves, more Ultra setups, a great new Ultra, more damage, easier to use moves, etc) and she’s still under Bruce Lee? Give me a break!
As pointed out at GameFAQs, it’s also pretty ridiculous to imagine that Cody has a bad matchup vs T. Hawk. Given Cody’s incredibly annoying potent keep-away game, strong anti-airs, and laundry list of ways to punish most of Hawk’s moves, you’d imagine the fight to be strongly in the inmate’s favor.
Sure, I could be wrong. Odds are, I probably am wrong. But, odds are, IPW is wrong, too. The whole concept of tier lists is to use large amounts of real match data to compile accurate matchup scenarios. Not to pop quiz “pros” and make something up for the hell of it. Could Juri be top tier? Sure. But is IPW (or anyone, for that matter) in a realistic position to make that claim?
Only time will tell.
Note: This post has been edited after further consideration of the unfair tone in which it was originally written.