capcom had no choice but to make sf4/ss4 move like that, because they wanted to attract new players. third strike, though loved by its fans, was a financial failure. personally, i started the street fighter 3 show on the first sf3 (which i hated and played for 1 game then quit), and by the time third strike came out i was in college and the arcades were dead (mostly). anyway, like sirlin said a while back, it’s the stages in sf4 that mess the game up, they’re just too big. yeah, there is some weirdo priority hitbox crap, but those are all capcom’s decisions. they do this crap because they don’t want new players to get destroyed in 40 seconds, lose hope, and quit.
that’s what would happen to you back in arcades, but it was magnified even more with sf3, and what really made it worse was the parry. i used to hate the parry system, but now i love it. see the thing is, back in the old school days if you got destroyed you could say “ok, i got destroyed, but i’ll come back and at least i got a few hits in.” . you couldn’t do that once capcom implemented parries. with parries, not only would new players get raped, but they’d get raped, parried, perfected, ridiculed and they’d leave the arcade feeling utterly demoralized, so much so that it made many not want to play the game ever again. like me, back in 1997. lol.
the street fighter 4 engine is a gateway game to fighting games in general. capcom is trying to ease long lost fans and new players back into the genre; and i bet when street fighter 5 is released it will amp up a few things, slightly, just to get everything moving forward again. it’s also why street fighter 4 chronologically precedes sf3 third strike–storywise. yes, sf4 is slow, and third strike is fast and elegant. no, the focus system isn’t as rewarding as the parry system. but i’m pretty sure that once street fighter 5 is released–probably for ps4–it will be something very interesting.
but i like ssf4 a.e., and i like third strike now. if they could just make a frankenstein version of those two titles for street fighter 5…