Street Fighter HD Designer: Wha? Street Fighter IV Ain't Simple

You got issues with Street Fighter IV? Backbone's David Sirlin - one of the designers who worked on Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix - got issues with Street Fighter IV.

Writing on his own blog, Sirlin takes objection to everyone banging on and on about how easy and accessible Street Fighter IV is:

When I read about the 100/100 scores, I see again and again how "simple and elegant" the game is. Two super meters, a 3-tier focus attack system, and all the complications above seem to fly in the face of that. Even more though, I hear how "casual friendly" it is. This is deeply mysterious and I'm not sure why this so often claimed. Not every game has to be casual friendly, so it would seem more honest to just explain how casual unfriendly all these things are. Qcf x 2 +PPP all the time, extra button presses to throw, extra button presses to roman cancel, and many, many extremely difficult link combos work in concert to create that impenetrable wall of execution between you and the actual game (the interaction between you and your opponent). I wish we could get rid of all this stuff and focus more on the gameplay itself.

Funniest part isn't how upset he is over such a thing (nor that he's not actually comparing SFIV to his own game), but how right he is!

A Few Things About Street Fighter 4 [Sirlin, thanks everyone!]


    I don't think he's right at all, nor do I think he's read any of those reviews properly. SFIV is both simple and deeply complex. Any newcomer would be able to string a few hits together and pull off a few specials. They don't need to know about all that fancy stuff if they don't want to, and they'll still do okay.

    Our own Mr Wildgoose proved that the other night, didn't he? First time ever playing a Street Fighter and he managed to pull off a win. Perhaps Sirlin is just worried no one will buy HD Remix now that IV is out.

    SFIV? Pfft...PFFT I SAY! Bring on King Of Fighters XII

    The problem with Street Fighter 4 is once you move up to an intermediate level of play you will quickly hit a big wall in terms of required knowledge and skill.

    Having a firm understanding of the game's mechanics is an important part of becoming a great player. Sirlin is right about the complex combos, unecessary extra button presses, tiered focus, ex moves, x 2 supers, cancels. That's a great leap in required knowledge to advance in skill.

    Of course you don't have to learn all that extra stuff, but, that won't stop your opponent from using it against you. Effectively you'd be playing with an overwhelming handicap.

    Compared to the older Street Fighter 2's, you had a set of moves and beyond being able to perform the moves, the only other skill required was timing. It was simple and elegant. That's what made it so addictive. Street Fighter 2 is still the easiet to pick up and play of the whole series.

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