This topic has come up in several threads where it doesn't belong, so it is getting its own thread.
I think ST is better (for reasons that I will soon describe in painstaking detail), but if Evo says "Remix or nothing", I would most definitely go with Remix. I think there were some very good changes, but also some very bad changes, and some changes that just didn't really do anything.
So which version do you like better and WHY? Please, no vague reasons like "ST just feels better". Cite some concrete facts.
EDIT: God damn, sorry this took so long. I just don't have as much free time as I used to.
I love ST, but I acknowledge that it is not a perfect game. O.Sagat is too good. Claw's wall dive is too good. Dhalsim/Ken/N.Sagat should be able to do reversal supers. And so on. There were plenty of good changes made in Remix, and it is a pretty good game overall. Not to mention it has done a lot of good for the community. I would certainly rather play Remix at Evo as opposed to nothing at all. I would even say that Remix is probably a better tournament candidate, because it is on a next-gen console, and a lot of new people are playing it.
But with that being said, I think ST is better game overall for the following reasons:
Wonky Inputs and Things That Don't Work Right
During the development of Remix, we stumbled upon all kinds of unintended "side effects" to the various changes that were being made. At one point, Ryu could store his DP. At another point, he couldn't combo off his overhead anymore. At another point, the characters would always finish their special move vocals, even if they got hit. At another point, Seth was playing Honda vs. Choi's Ryu. Seth was simply trying to use the natural arc (not the invincibility) of the butt slam to go over fireballs, and he was getting popped from half screen away. Seth asked Sirlin what he changed with Honda's butt slam. Sirlin said he didn't change anything, and that Seth is just doing it wrong. So we turn on the hit boxes and watch it frame by frame. Sure enough, Honda has a stray vulnerable hit box halfway across the screen.
All of the above ended up getting fixed, but there are still several things that don't work right or have messed up inputs. For example:
- There have been numerous times that I have blocked while blatantly holding towards. (After attempting a reversal Headbutt with Honda, for example.)
- The new "lenient" input window causes too many accidental moves. For example, walk-up cr.RH xx Fireball results in accidental DP too often. 360 attempts result in accidental DP too often. Even top players like John Choi have complained about this.
- Fei Long can do a Flame Kick without seeming to need the straight back direction. Doing down/back, down, down/towards, towards, down/back+kick will often result in a Flame Kick. (So a [cr.Forward xx super] attempt will often result in a Flame Kick.)
- When someone does a super, sometimes the super spark just doesn't appear. (Seems like this is random.) The result, especially if you can't hear the game, is that it just looks like the game froze, then BAM, super out of nowhere.
- I've had Fei Long "store" the back direction. (I let go of the stick, but he kept walking back, and continued to do so until I hit another direction.)
Changes That Didn't Make A Difference
The whole point of changing stuff was to make the game better. If the change doesn't make the game any better, then you're simply forcing people to re-learn things for no good reason. I talked with Kuni about this at Evo, and he agreed that at high-level play, not a whole lot has changed aside from Sagat. A very specific example of this is Honda's j.Short. The hit boxes were changed specifically so that if the j.Short and the opponent's sweep are out at the same time, the j.Short wins. However, Honda still doesn't have trip guard, and the end result is that if the opponent simply delays the sweep a little bit, Honda still gets swept for free. (Aside: Giving Honda trip guard would not have been a totally outrageous concept. There are already two moves in ST which have trip guard: Chun's head stomp and Dic's j.Strong.)
A much broader example of "changes that didn't make a difference" would be Akuma. He was meant to be a tournament legal character in Remix, but he ended up being almost as broken as in ST (for different reasons though). And then on the opposite end of the tiers, we have Fei and Cammy. Although they are less crappy in Remix, they still didn't really move much in the tiers, and they should have been beefed up more.
Changes For the Worse
The fact that he got O.Hawk's normals is good, but the new dive is not all that useful, and arguably even worse than the old dive. Unquestionably though his 360 is much worse, and that was his main offense. There was no good reason to add whiff animation, especially with only 1 active throwing frame. Hawk was perhaps the worst character in the game, and should have gotten nothing but buffs. It is irrelevant that his 360 command was made easier in Remix, because good Hawk players could already do 360's whenever they needed them.
If the goal was to remove his throw loop (which I think is not a good goal, addressed below), just make his 360 give full-screen bounce back. Adding whiff animation kills the throw loop, but it also makes every single 360 attempt easily punishable, even 360 attempts that wouldn't lead to the loop. If Hawk manages to get in (which is pretty hard), he should be rewarded with a virtually risk-free 360 attempt.
My only suggested change to Sirlin was to remove D/F+medium kick. I don't feel that you have to change stuff just for the sake of changing stuff. Look at Ryu. His character design was solid, and he stayed almost exactly the same. I feel Chun should've been treated similarly. Seth was also in agreement with this. However, she is now significantly worse. Here's why.
The fact that it's easier to do it is really not a buff, because top Chun players could already do everything they needed to with the old command. I think the only new thing she can do with the easier command is [walk-up st.Fierce xx Lightning Legs], but I'm not convinced that that is any better than [walk-up st.Strong, cr.RH, follow up with a guessing game], or with [st.Jab->st.Jab->cr.Jab xx Lightning Legs]. In any event, Lightning Legs do less damage, less dizzy, and have worse priority.
Ground Spinning Bird Kick:
If the new SBK had anything other than a charge motion, it might be useful, but it's fairly uncommon to find yourself within half screen of the opponent AND charged. Additionally, you can't do it on reaction to punish fireballs, which means you have to anticipate the fireball. If I anticipate a fireball, [j.RH, st.Fierce xx Lightning Legs, dizzy, repeat for +80% damage] is a much better option than [one hit of the SBK, then possibly get hit back for free].
Aside from that, in vanilla ST, with the opponent on the ground, the distance and speed of her Short SBK made it reasonably usable in the right situations. With the new arc, it will generally only hit on the way down, which takes too long. Also in ST, she could also use it to escape a variety of situations that would otherwise mean certain death. (For example, SBK through a meaty fireball that otherwise would've killed you.)
Air Spinning Bird Kick:
If Chun gets cornered, she has a really hard time, and her best option in ST was to build meter with jump back whiff air SBK over a fireball. She would land instantly, and could do it again if they tried to throw another fireball. But now with the way she floats in the air, she gets bopped for free, leaving her with no good options.
Also, the new motion for her air SBK (charge down, up+kick) messes up the ability to do instant jump straight up RH as anti air from a full crouch. You'll end up getting instant air SBK, which means you get bopped for free.
I think the reason why people feared this move is simply because they didn't understand it. First of all, you have to block it low. Secondly, Chun can not even cross-up half the cast with her neckbreaker. For half the cast, you ALWAYS hold down/back. There is no guessing game. (See D/F+Roundhouse Shenanigans
under the Advanced Tactics section of the Wiki.) Chun has pretty crappy anti-air, so scoring a knockdown with neutral j.RH or upkicks or whatever was a big accomplishment, and you should be rewarded with D/F+Roundhouse shenanigans, because you probably got hit clean or traded the last three times you attempted an anti-air.
Chun has good normals, and a good throw, but what really made her dangerous was the super. It is what won rounds for her, either directly (by hitting with the super) or indirectly (by threatening with the super and scoring a walk-up throw). In some matches, her best strategy was to simply build meter (probably losing 40% or more in the process, blocking and getting hit by fireballs), then super. If you landed it, you probably won the round. If you didn't, you probably lost the round. She needs that big damage.
And I disagree that the [st.Strong / throw / super] guessing game is "mindless" or "mashy". It is actually pretty damn hard to land the full super against a smart opponent. Perfect example is Justin Wong. Not an ST specialist, but an extremely smart player, and I rarely hit him with stored supers. I could see toning down the damage a little bit. However, it got toned down entirely too much. I don't think Sirlin took into account the fact that it is now considerably harder for Chun to build meter.
Unlike Boxer or Chun or Claw, a mediocre Dic is not very threatening. (And I'll be the first to admit that I play a mediocre Dic.) It's the expert-level Dics that are scary. Given that there are only maybe two or three expert-level Dics in the world, people have erroneously assumed that he's not that good in ST, and I'm fairly sure this is what lead to him being beefed up more than he needed to be. He definitely had weaknesses (no good anti-air or reversal), but these were balanced out by his fast walking speed, safe Scissor Kicks, st.RH, and the ability to win the round, guaranteed, off of one single mistake (or one lucky guess).
Getting stuck in a fireball trap in the corner used to be a really sticky (but interesting) situation. The fireball character had the clear advantage, but if the Dic player was smart and crafty, he could get out. Now it's simply a matter of blocking one fireball, getting a charge, then Devil's Reverse through the next fireball on reaction. It's a get-out-of-jail-free card, and it's dumb. There's no guessing game or thinking involved.
Neutral j.Strong isn't a huge buff, but it makes forward-moving specials like Boxer's low rush or Cammy's Canon Drills punishable with relatively little risk and 50% damage (follow up the neutral j.Strong with forward j.Strong x2, super). He really didn't need that.
Fake slide into throw is a gimmick that people will eventually stop falling for, but the fake slide itself is actually quite useful for gaining positional advantage. It used to be that if you were full screen, it was kind of hard to get into a threatening position. You had to take some kind of risk (jumping, head stomp, etc). Now you're able to close the gap really quickly, and relatively safely. The distance of the fake slide puts you in perfect range for a st.RH follow-up against shotos. While it's not quite as dumb as the Devil's Reverse out of fireball traps, it does lessen the degree of cleverness and craftiness required to play Dic.
Lack of Quality Assurance (QA)
It is pretty obvious that there was a severe lack of QA with Remix. Simple things like fireball explosions weren't even done right. Take Chun's fireball for example. Despite what it looks like, this fireball
did not make contact with Vega. It simply dissipated in front of him. There should be no explosion. And look at Ryu's fireball explosion from point blank range. Why is it three full character lengths behind the opponent
Even really basic stuff like the menu
and game settings weren't done properly. It's pretty frustrating to have to re-configure your buttons multiple times because the game simply "forgot" that you had set them. It's pretty frustrating to have to manually turn the game's music off multiple times when it just randomly kicks back in.
This doesn't pertain to Vs. mode, but it is also extremely frustrating that there is no way to look at the hit-boxes frame by frame. Turning on the hit-boxes could have been the single coolest feature in any home port of a SF game, but it turned out to be extremely hard or impossible to utilize, depending on the move. Try to figure out the hit-boxes for something like Fei's flame kick or Dic's Psycho Crusher. There's no way you can see what's going on. (Aside: Japanese ST technical guru T.Akiba has taken it upon himself to manually capture all the hit-boxes
- still a work-in-progress.)
Inconsistencies and Contradictions
- Why does Guile get an easier motion for his super, but not Claw?
- Why does Hawk get whiff animation on his command grab, but not Honda, especially considering that Hawk is worse
- Why remove Hawk's round-ending tactic (corner throw loop) given that it is really hard to set up, really hard to do, and only guaranteed against a few characters, while leaving in Dictator's round-ending tactic (ToD combo) which is much easier to set up, much easier to do, and guaranteed against the entire cast?
- Why fix random input window length, but not random damage or random dizzy?
- Why dumb down some inputs (360/720 motions, Tiger Knee motions), but not reversal timing or super cancel timing?
Random input windows and special move commands really were not an issue in ST, and they did not need to be changed unless the goal was to remove all randomness, or make the entire game easier to play. In and of themselves, these two items don't represent a positive change in Remix (input window is definitely a negative change), and in the big picture, they are just confusing and needless.
Better Balanced != Better Game
I think most people would agree that Remix is slightly better balanced, but that does not mean it is a better game. The input window issues and button mapping resets are especially bothersome, but another major complaint that I hear is that Remix just isn't as fun as ST. Of course "fun" is totally subjective and can't be broken down scientifically, but look at it this way: In ST we have character designs like Chun and Dic and Cammy and Hawk and so on who required a lot of creativity and craftiness to win with. It's exciting to play as (and to watch) such characters. But now in Remix, regardless of where they moved in the tiers, they all got dumber. Chun is now a clownish circus character who struggles to build meter or mount any kind of a real threat other than st.Strong and throw; Dic gets out of fireball traps for free and can close the gap with less thought and risk, among other unwarranted buffs; Cammy mindlessly does cr.Forward/Canon Drill/Hooligan, and still isn't even that good; Hawk desperately tries to get in using a dive that doesn't really help him much, and then when he finally does get in, the opponent neutralizes the threat by simply doing a reversal.
While Remix may have corrected a good number of ST's problems, Remix also inadvertently introduced a good number of its own problems, made numerous changes for the worse (or changes that didn't actually make a difference), and dumbed down the game overall, both in terms of special move commands, and in terms of strategy. I don't feel that the positives outweigh the negatives.
I'm not saying Remix is a bad game. I would give it a 6.5/10, but I would give ST an 8/10.