Over the weekend at the Capcom Cup 2013 fighting game tournament, Capcom unveiled more details about the upcoming release of Ultra Street Fighter IV—including a hint as to the still-mysterious 5th character.
So, here’s a rundown of what got announced, and my personal take on each of those announcements.
The Feature: As they did with Street Fighter X Tekken, Capcom is adding in the ability to head into Ultra SFIV‘s training mode with a friend online.
My Take: Love it. I never actually used this feature in SFxT, but that was less because of my interest in it, and more because I didn’t really know anybody who was into SFxT. Getting together with a friend in a training mode lets you get in some invaluable hands-on time with the game and its systems, offering up the chance to try strategies and practice sparring without the worry of life bars or time running out. To this day, I still recall spending countless hours playing against a friend in Asuka 120% Burning Fest‘s training mode, and walking away with far better knowledge of what I was doing. So, getting to do this online in Ultra SFIV is a very welcome addition.
The Feature: A new Team Elimination mode has been added to Ultra SFIV, where two teams of three players will go head-to-head with one another in a style version similar to SNK’s The King of Fighters franchise. When one player is eliminated, the next player on their team enters in the next round, while the winning player recovers a small amount of health.
My Take: This is, to me, a pretty big change. While the idea of team gameplay of some sort isn’t new—the Alpha series played with 2-on-1 matches, and of course Street Fighter X Tekken is one of many Capcom fighters to offer teams where characters can be swapped in and out—this is the first time a mainline Street Fighter title has included a team mode as a major portion of the game, as well as the first time this sort of “taking turns” teamwork has come into play. I’m excited, but not too excited just yet. I think it’ll definitely be an interesting addition to Street Fighter IV, and I love that each teammate can be played by an actual human (instead of just having two people each controlling three characters). Because of that, you’re going to see some really fun, potentially exciting gameplay. At the same time, I don’t know how the mode will be embraced. Will it become a major, legitimate part of the Street Fighter IV experience—or will it struggle to be find traction the way true, “traditional” 1-vs-1 Street Fighter has?
The Feature: Capcom’s lovable game-producing scamp Yoshinoro Ono still hasn’t revealed the identity of Ultra Street Figthter IV‘s fifth and final character, but he did let slip this hint: she’s a she.
My Take: Now, you’d normally expect that I’d be excited about the mystery character being female, but my brain is telling me to temper any such excitement lest I be sorely disappointed. Some around the internet are speculating that the character will be Decapre, one of the Bison Dolls (clones like Cammy) who wears a mask and fights with claws. Take the Cammy character model, change her up a bit, give her two of Vega’s claws, and you’d be halfway there. And that’s my concern: that an option like that would be the easiest route to take, and thus that’ll be the route taken. Plus, you know, given that we know the character won’t have appeared in a previous game, that negates the choice I’d most love to see—Karin. I will happily admit that I was wrong if, when the character is finally revealed, we get someone who is totally original and exciting. Until that happens, I’m not getting my hopes up.