I’ve said it before and I will say it again: Street Fighter is undoubtedly one of my favorite video game franchises of all-time and hands-down my favorite fighting game series of all-time. You cannot deny and you cannot knock what Capcom has accomplished with this title; in fact they pretty much invented the “fighting video game” genre as every other fighting game has paid some sort of homage to the Capcom classic in some way shape or form. Some fighting games have even been downright rip-offs such as Fighter’s History.
Fighter’s History was seriously the biggest Street Fighter rip-off ever created and the worst part is they actually won the lawsuit Capcom filed on them but that is another story for another day, what I want to talk about is what happens when Capcom starts ripping itself off: Newest case in point: Ultra Street Fighter IV which is due out in a couple of months.
This is now the 4th Street Fighter IV incarnation, following vanilla Street Fighter IV, Super Street Fighter IV, and Super Street Fighter IV Arcade edition. Each title brought new characters who were mostly old characters who had not been included. This newest go-around brings us Poison, Rolento, Hugo and Elena – all of whom are pretty much directly ripped from Street Fighter X Tekken. We also get a 5th “new” character, and Capcom promised us it’d be someone who hadn’t been done yet, so we got this:
…DeCapre. If you mix those letters up you get “Dee Crap.” When I heard we were getting a new character, I figured either it would be an all-new character or someone that hadn’t been rendered into the game engine yet from Street Fighter III or Street Fighter Alpha. Instead we get this rather boring swap of Cammy “but it’s all good because she is from the comic books which barely anyone in the United States has gotten to read!”
Please, Capcom. This is one of the biggest “cheap way outs” I have ever seen. Putting pants and a mask on Cammy and calling it a new character (albeit this character uses a different set of moves) does not make a new character and this whole thing seems kind of lackluster when you think about it.
Multiple versions of the same Capcom game are nothing new: We’ve seen Street Fighter II, Champion’s Edition, Turbo, and Super Turbo. Even Street Fighter III had 3 versions of itself. However, in those days we were young, impressionable and easy to please – we didn’t realize we were paying for the same game four times. Now as an adult I see that Capcom loves to rip us off by regurgitating the same game over and then sticking out their hand demanding payment. Then again, I’m not sure what’s worse, Capcom rehashing old characters, or what we get when Capcom makes new ones as Street Fighter IV and subsequent versions have had some really awful character designs.
The final boss of Street Fighter IV, Seth, is horribly lacking... in hair, a stomach, or any sort of originality; even his entire moves set consists of moves from other fighters. Rufus is pretty much a joke character due to his obesity and his annoyance factor. El Fuerte isn’t really that interesting because he's essentially a Rey Mysterio rip-off, and I’m not even going to start on Hakkan, the oil wrestler who has red skin for no apparent reason and who seems more like someone’s erotic fantasy since he’s constantly covered in lubrication.
Characters like this make you wish Capcom had done better a few years back so they could have purchased SNK when they had the chance since what they did with Capcom vs. SNK was nothing short of fantastic.
Instead those character rights went to Playmore, a company who regurgitates the same crap so much even Capcom goes “damn that’s cheap” as most of the King of Fighters games have looked the same since 1994. Anyway, I love fighting games, but I am starting to see why people are so down on them; they haven’t really given us much in the way of innovation in years and while the old saying goes “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it,” if you wear the same underwear every day it’s going to start to smell pretty musty.
I guess what I am saying here is that I hope Ultra Street Fighter IV is the last we see in the “Street Fighter IV” franchise and that Capcom decides to go back to the drawing board and find something all-new to bring us, whether it is Street Fighter V or an all-new series. Of course that is probably wishful thinking as I’m sure their next stop is to bring us about 10 games on X-Box Live Arcade, 2 more Street Fighter IV re-makes and to continue NOT making any more Mega Man titles.
Capcom – I love you like a wife who refuses to have sex with me. And my balls are getting pretty blue. As blue as Mega Man's armor.