Sigh….I didn’t want to do this but…
Here we go.
So I’ve been playing Street Fighter V for a while since it’s second week of release and player a bit of the beta as well. I have to start by saying I’m loving the game! I’m not as fast a learner as others so even now, I’m still trying to play with SFIV logic at times and just get my face smashed in, but I love the journey of learning this game. Now I’m just climbing the ladder in rank mode, sometimes having winning streaks until I get to that inevitable ceiling for rooks like me to get wrecked every other game. As I’m playing gleefully as can be I… cant shake this unsettling feeling.
As we know, SFV came to us with unfinished content, mostly that being Arcade mode, a real Story Mode, expanded lobbies, Store section and more. So at first I was outraged! Now this disgusting half finished game trend has infested our fighting games. Then after speaking with some friends, they pointed out to me that “Hey they let us know what they were doing and they told us upfront that the game would be coming barebones so it can be pushed out for the Capcom Cup”. For those unaware, Capcom Cup is a pro gamer event where professional players compete. So the C wanted to give the players enough time to get their hands on it. I then thought, “Well silly me! If they told us and then they were upfront about it then— but wait… I didn’t even know about this until a friend told me.” I checked the Steam page to look for it but it showed no notes regarding this information. Then I checked maybe the back of the retails copies in stores and oddly enough they were no news of that either. I checked my email, perhaps something was sent to me but no. Where was this news? How would someone -NOT deeply invested in the fighting game community- be fed this information? The answer is simple, they wouldn’t be fed that information. Then, my blood turned to sea water…salty, salty sea water. You see I understand (now that it’s been explained by those more enthusiastic than I) why Capcom did what they did, but the bottom freak’n line is they sold that game full price, without an front-page warning, as a completed game. I don’t care what they said in a blog or a YouTube clip, you sold the game top dollar up front..
I had a somewhat similar gripe with Destiny when I played it on first release, I couldn’t shake the feeling that I was playing a piece of a game. However in Destiny’s case, that game they gave you was the entire game. Yeah it had problems and boy unless you just lived for the shooting and nothing else it got boring pretty fast with the lacking story and loot system that seemed to work against you mostly. All the issues were cuddled with, “Don’t worry, it’s a 3-5 year game, it will get better!” What!? Who ignores all the false promises of a game for something that may happen down the line? Excuse me for that little tangent, moving on – the point I’m making is this game needed to be clear with its entire audience, or not include them in the process at all. What do I mean by that?
How about offering the version of SFV we have currently have as a separate entity. Call it the Capcom Pro version, the SFV Bare Knuckles edition; call it something that lets everyone who picks it up know right from the start that “Hey this is for those who want to train for the Capcom Cup and for those who just don’t care about the full content of the game”. Yes that does sound like an Early Access type of deal but connection issues aside, I feel like the core game play was solid enough that it could have done so. It would’ve worked and clarified everything, but when I start up the game and see the features in the menu grayed out BUT I’ve already given them my full dollar.. it just irks me.
Even as a fan of Street Fighter who has played every version including the hilarious EX versions, I cannot let it slide. I cannot let shady moves slide, not with Year 1 Destiny, nor with “No-it-will-be-the-best-thing-ever-trust-us Evolve”, and I have to call em’ out on it. The casuals who just want to play Street Fighter and don’t follow the blogs (I guess I’m a casual) were not made clear, but defenders will use the post as cover for complaints. It’s not okay, it’s not fine just because I enjoy the game. Capcom needs to pay more respect to casuals because, this may sound crazy, casuals matter! If people think that pros are the only reason fighting game are successful and then it shows how the gaming community has been poisoned. I care about the gaming community and don’t want us to just be slowly jaded into letting games give us IOU’s for the money up front. What are deadlines? What are expectations? Our expectations are slowly being lowered by the ugly environment gaming is becoming on a whole. It’s like how the gamers cheered and roared when PS4 announced they will not have DRM on used games like it was friggin revolutionary and unheard of. We have to understand that a great uncompleted game is still an uncompleted game and when people want to sit down and say just deal with it, but then turn and criticize other shady practices of the gaming industry, at some point you have to just pick side. Comply or Defy; either call out BS when it’s there or just be thankful that games are being sold at all, then nothing should upset you.
I have another post about Street Fighter that I will be posting soon so stay tuned for that. I have some movies coming up as well so look out for some much needed reviews.
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