Home Editorial In defense of Ultra Street Fighter 4: It’s not time to whine

Within minutes of the Ultra Street Fighter 4 announcement, slack-jawed comment pundits were decrying its existence.

The litany of ignorant insinuation was basically endless: “Milked Franchise 4.” “Super Sellout Fighter HD Turbo Remix.” “Ca$hcom’s Ultra Cashgrab 4.” Every insult was based on the idea that Capcom was somehow evil, greedy, or lazy for creating Ultra Street Fighter 4.

But if those same critics applied their tired thinking to pretty much any other gaming scenario, they’d quickly realize their arguments were baseless, shallow, and just plain wrong.

Same as it ever was, and for the better

Ultra Street Fighter 4 should have come as no surprise to anyone with at least 16 bits of memory about Capcom’s franchising past. Street Fighter 2, Street Fighter Alpha, and Street Fighter 3 all saw multiple revisions designed to rebalance characters, enhance gameplay, and insert fan-requested features. Other Capcom titles, both fighting and non-fighting genres, got similar treatments, too.

Sure, the actual naming conventions could be a little onerous (Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix was easily the worst offender), but the end products were almost universally beloved over their predecessors. Do any of your friends play normal Street Fighter II when they boot up their SNES emulators? Does anyone even own a copy of Street Fighter III: Second Impact? The fact is Capcom’s tweaks have almost always proven to be for the better of each game’s long term fun factor.

The good ol’ days weren’t even that good

Even if you have fond memories of Capcom’s storied fighting game revisions, the invention of DLC makes the switchover significantly better than previous tinkerings.

Let’s imagine it’s 1992 and you happened to buy a vanilla copy of Street Fighter II the day before Turbo came out. You really, really want to play the newest version, but at this point, your options are

  1. Pay $70 (not adjusted for inflation) for a new cartridge
  2. Go fuck yourself

Compare that to the modern day dilemma: players can opt to purchase a new disc for 33% less than typical MSRP ($40 total) or they can magically download the new game version for $15 without ever going to a physical store. Behold the power of the digital age.

The facts don’t lie: upgrading to new versions of Capcom games is easier, faster, cheaper, and more fair than ever before.

The grass sure isn’t greener elsewhere

Of course, that whole cheap upgrade thing is, for the most part, unique to Capcom. They’ll give you new characters, balance tweaks, and features for a few bucks and a GB or two on your hard drive.

But what if you want the 2014 updates for Madden? For Call of Duty? For Assassin’s Creed multiplayer?

L-O-L, you’re outta luck. Despite the small changes that are typically made between these iterations (NEW KILLSTREAKS AND CAMO GUYS!), you’ll have to shell out full price for any of these updates. And while you could argue the changes between Madden 2012 and 2013 are significant enough to warrant an extra $60… oh no, wait… you can’t.

Just give the people what they want

Finally, a lot of players have complained that most of the characters being added to Ultra Street Fighter 4 are “cut and pasted” from Street Fighter X Tekken. And while they’re pretty much correct, those characters were included in SFxT specifically because Street Fighter players begged for their existence.

Are we really to believe that just a year and a half later Hugo, Poison, Elena, and Rolento are dogmeat? These characters climbed to the top of user polls and spiced up their respective games. Not only that, they each add something Street Fighter 4 sorely needs.

  • Hugo: Bolsters the game’s puny grappler roster
  • Poison: Adds a much-needed fourth gender to the series (male, female, Seth, Poison)
  • Elena: A refreshing kick-only character without Adon’s grating laugh
  • Rolento: Less traditional, poke and weapon-based moveset

Players asked for characters like Sean, Karin, and Urien, but how much would any of these personas really added to Ultra Street Fighter 4’s variety? They’re basically all just derivative versions of Sakura.

Knowing is half the battle, and we only know half

Even if you’ve digested all this and you’re still not happy, keep in mind that (as of this writing) we still know almost nothing about USF4. There are still six new modes yet to be announced, for Gill’s sake! Will we see the return of Championship mode? New single player trials? Online training rooms, tournament support, or something else?

On top of that, there’s still a completely new, fifth character to be unveiled, not to mention, oh, thirty five characters’ worth of property changes.

When all is said and done, Ultra Street Fighter 4 really will be the most complete, balanced, and well-rounded fighting games ever made, if not the best. And you’ll be able to pick it up for just $15.

Or, you know, you could just buy a few maps in Call of Duty.


9 replies to this post
  1. Are people really complaining about this? And by “people” I mean anyone who isn’t a button mashing, corner jump-backing scrub.

    Speculations on the 5th character? Asura seems to be the leading guess atm. I wouldn’t hate that if done right, I could see him playing similar to Bryan from SFxT.

    • Asura was already debunked by Ono. And since the 5th character has never appeared in a fighting game, this turns down EVERY CHARACTER that has shown up in ANY fighting game.

  2. …How is Urien derivative of Sakura? I don’t know too much about Karin or Sean, but Sakura and Urien play nothing alike. 0_o

  3. This would be a good article if it didn’t come off as written by an angry ten year old. Insulting the people who’s minds you are trying to change doesn’t come across as a good strategy.

    The article tone comes off as elitist, with no respect for another person’s opinion, and the “L-O-L” makes you come off as a typical internet douche.

    Are you also a mod on the Gamefaqs forums? It feels like this came from there.

    • The difference between this post and something from Gamefaqs is that he actually has a coherent argument with valid points. The vitriol is the flavour, not the point.

  4. Great article that needed to be published. With regard to the “copy+paste” accusations levelled against Capcom regarding the addition of SFxT characters, it’s important to note that if Capcom were to include 5 brand new characters, we’d be waiting a lot longer than Q1 2014. Fortunately I think most of the complaints are coming from a small minority (casuals) who either weren’t around during the SF2 golden years or are completely out of touch. Great read.

  5. I’m really excited for this update. I really wanted Alex in the game but Hugo is just fine..(LOL who’ll go in the background of the construction stage when playing with Hugo..) I somehow have a feeling that the additional character will come from the onimusha series…all in all great article!!!

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