Welcome to a new feature that’s going to be taking place here at The Internet Trashcan. So, you’ve got a multi-billion dollar industry, one that is becoming more and more mainstream, yet time and again, we see absolutely retarded design decisions that just make you sit there and wonder who the hell thought this would be a good idea.
Which brings us to Dumb Video Game Design Decisions. I am going to talk about Street Fighter IV, a game that I am sure some of you out there may be familiar with. More accurately, I am going to talk about one dumb design decision in particular that is fairly commonplace in most fighting games, but which Capcom has taken to Extra Level of Hell type depths.
First off, I want to say that I enjoy Street Fighter IV immensely. It strikes that perfect balance of new and old features, tone and feel that is so hard to find in sequels nowadays. I’ve always been a sort of peripheral fighting game fan, being of mediocre-to-decent skill, but I’d have to say that it was a chance spotting of a Street Fighter II arcade cabinet in Kalispell, Montana, of all fucking places, that was the ‘turning point’ for me with regards to video games. So, it was a happy surprise to sit down with Street Fighter IV and have it be like an old friend coming to pay a visit.
What would otherwise be a great game is marred by the ‘unlockable’ characters format that is a staple in genre of fighting games. Yes, I can understand that designers need to come up with some way of making the game ‘replayable’ for people, but why does it have to be at the expense of one of the MAJOR selling features in a game?
What makes this incredibly retarded, though, is that unlike other games which have ‘unlockable’ characters, where you simply have to beat the game to unlock a character, SFIV has several characters which need to be unlocked via a couple of qualifying conditions. For Gouken, you have to complete the game with Akuma. Then (in single round matches) get at least 1 perfect, 3 Ultra Finishes, 5 first attacks all without using any continues.
And yes, I can see that this might be an homage to the Sheng Long April Fool’s Joke that EGM ran many, many moons ago and for some people, doing something like unlocking Gouken isn’t an issue, as you can mulch through the game rather easily. However, I can’t help but think that this decision is counter-intuitive: the people who will plow through the single player content aren’t going to be folks who are going to be spending a lot of time on the single player content. They’re going to want to be playing online or playing the 2 player version with friends. The folks who are going to struggle to get characters unlocked are the ones who will (more than likely) be spending more time on the single player content for their shits and giggles.
So, you’re forcing people to indulge in the content of your game who have no real interest in that particular aspect of the game, while penalizing players who are more likely to be using said content. Brilliant. Why don’t we start inducing vomiting in bulimics or pass a law that requires bears to shit in the woods?
Also, I am dismayed that there was no bonus stage that involved the complete destruction of a car. Second, what the hell was up with those anime sequences? Don’t half ass things, Capcom, which is what producing something that makes Dragonball Z look GOOD is.