Like a lot of people on this forum, I’m really hyped about Super Street Fighter 4 coming out. I’ve pre-ordered the Dojo edition, I watch every video I can get my hands on, and I read every report I can from people who have gotten to play it. I’m hyped, you’re hyped, we’re all hyped. Vanilla SF4 brought a lot of new people into the community, and SRK has reinvented itself to welcome them in. Now, with Super about to come out, this community is about to be tested. We have to ask ourselves a question, one that we may not like the answer to:
What if Super is bad? What if it’s unbalanced? What if it’s just plain broken?
This is something that I’ve never had to deal with. Any time a new fighting game came out that was no good, I just kept on playing what I had been playing before, and that was fine, because there was still a community for it. I played Marvel, I played CvS2, and I played 3rd Strike, and when stinkers like SvC Chaos or Capcom Fighting Evolution came out, I did what a lot of people did: I tried them, decided they were bad, and I moved on. I’ve done the same thing with probably half a dozen different fighting games, but the situation that we’re in now is different.
Right now, if you own a PS3 or 360, your fighting game options are very fundamentally different from each other. The community is larger, but it is also more striated than ever before. You can play SF4. You can play Tekken. You can play KoF12. You can play Blazblue. You can play TvC. You have a lot of options.
Now I don’t know about you guys, but I’m a Street Fighter player. I don’t like Tekken. I don’t like Blazlue. I don’t like KoF12, and I don’t want to play them. As someone who used to play Marvel, I might be convinced to play TvC, but this would mean a heavy initial investment to buy a Wii and Wii compatible stick. That’s a $250+ investment for one game. So if Super turns out to be bad and I don’t want to invest in any of these games, what am I going to do? Play 3s over GGPO I guess, since if Super tanks there will be no one playing Vanilla SF4.
But that still leaves the fundamental question of what we (“we” as in the community) will do. Do we play a bad game in the hopes that Capcom will patch it? Do we play something else and wait for SSF4 Turbo? How do we maintain the new people in this community in the face of a setback? I think this is a conversation that we need to have NOW, not later, so that we’re prepared for the worst while we hope for the best.
Just a thought I’ve been having lately, and I’d appreciate it if some of the older members who have experienced something like this back in the Street Fighter 2 days could comment on it. I’m sure there were times when the most common version of SF2 was a broken/crappy version.