As summer rolls along, one thing is always assured: tier lists happen.
And it just so happens that EventHubs has gotten a translation of the newest foray into fantasy fighting placements, courtesy of traducteur extraordinaire, Azrael.
But it’s not just one Super Street Fighter IV tier list, there are two! Pro Japanese players Mago and Nemo (someone finally found him in a Tokyo arcade) have compiled two different character rankings, based on different criteria. The “global list” represents what they’ve gathered from talking to people on forums, IRL, and at the arcades. The “Arcadia list” is their own personal assessments of the characters as they stand.
In other words, both lists are still subjective and anecdotal and, therefore, highly suspect in long-term reliability. As mentioned before, the most authoritative tier lists are the result of compiling thousands of match results, not from idle speculation, no matter how good the players behind said speculation may be. That said, I think even the most subjective results are beginning to show that Super SF4 is one of the most balanced fighting games ever created. The number of tiers continues to shrink as time passes, and the gap between each tier also narrows.
Guile, Abel, Chun-Li, Dictator, E. Honda, Boxer, Rose, BlankaB
Ryu, Dhalsim, Claw, Ken, Rufus, C. Viper, Akuma, Fei Long, Cammy, Gouken, El Fuerte, Cody, Sagat, Ibuki, Zangief, Seth, Guy, AdonC
Sakura, Dudley, Juri, Dee Jay, Hakan, Makoto, Dan, T. Hawk, Gen
Balrog, E. Honda, Guile, Fei Long, Cammy, RufusB
Abel, Dictator, Blanka, Chun-Li, C. Viper, Ryu, Dhalsim, Akuma, Sagat, Rose, Ibuki, Zangief, El Fuerte, Claw, Gouken, Ken, SethC
Adon, Dee Jay, Juri, Dudley, CodyD
Gen, Sakura, Guy, Dan, T. Hawk, Hakan, Makoto
In the “global” list, I think there are a few surprises among the predictable. Blanka and Rose in A while Dee Jay and Dudley sulk in C seems racist counterintuitive (but not necessarily wrong). My initial impression of Dudley was that his tools didn’t make up for a weak distance game and lack of invincibility. That said, I can’t really imagine why Blanka would be rated so highly, when he remains fairly gimmicky overall. I think, however, everyone can agree that Rose has gained major ground in all of her matchups. As for Dee Jay, I fail to see what could possibly place him so low, as he has good projectile games, cross ups, incredibly annoying strong invincible EX moves, and useful, combo-friendly Ultras.
The “arcadia” list fits my preconceptions a little more closely, though I’m still perplexed to see Dee Jay in C tier. No real surprises at either the bottom or the top, though. And if either list is correct (or close to it), I think it speaks volumes that half the cast falls into the second highest tier, meaning nearly every character is competitive. Hell, even the C and D tier characters probably have several matchups in their favor.