I apologize in advance. I need to rant, and I’m likely to get incoherent.
So I bought Street Fighter IV today, like everyone else in the free world. I picked it up before work along with the strategy guide, which as a quick digression, is pretty incredible. It even has frame data and tier lists. An excellent application of twenty bucks, even taking into account that the info is already free on the internet. Strongly recommended.
On lunch break, I flip through the guide and discover that three of the characters I’m interested in learning, Gouken, Gen, and Cammy, are unlocks. In order to unlock them, you need to play through arcade mode with various characters. They are not available for play until you’ve beaten the game. Repeatedly. They’re not available in training. Not online. Not in arcade, or Vs. And Seth, the final boss that you must beat repeatedly? I’m finding him guilty of SNK Boss Syndrome. Fuck Seth. Even on easy.
So you can probably guess my beef, here. In order to access characters, even to practice against them or play them in training, I have to beat the game. How many times? Let’s count!
To get Cammy, win with C. Viper. = 1
To get Fei Long, win with Abel. = 2
To get Gen, win with Chun Li. = 3
To get Rose, win with Bison. = 4
To get Sakura, win with Ryu = 5
To get Dan, win with Sakura = 6
To get Akuma, you win with every unlockable character except Gouken. = 10 (you’ve already won with Sakura to unlock Dan, which I’m pretty sure counts…)
To get Gouken, win with Akuma = 11
And, to get Seth, you need to win with everyone else = 22.
Twenty two times through the arcade mode to unlock characters that are already part and parcel of the scene. Assume ten minutes playing through the arcade mode each time on easy with the number of rounds set to one. Assume that Seth doesn’t whack you real good a few times, and that each time through you never lose a round. That’s two hundred and twenty minutes, or a little over three and a half hours to unlock the characters you’ve already bought with real earth money.
Soul Calibur 4 halfway admitted that locking characters is bullshit by rigging the system so that you could buy the characters that start off locked in an hour or so of minimal effort. Maybe Capcom should have paid attention to that, because after three hours of trying to unlock the characters I want to play, I’m a little less than halfway through the list. That means that if I want to play as Gen or even Dan, God help us, I have to invest all the free time I’m likely to get for a week or so. That’s bullshit. I have two jobs. I’m the legal guardian of my kid brother. I write for a couple gaming sites. I have a girlfriend. To unlock the whole fucking game I just paid sixty bucks for, I now have to grind for a week.
Lock up alternate costumes. Lock up the sound test. Lock up the fucking ending movies and challenge modes. Lock up mini-games. Lock up the copy-cat character, or the goofy alternate weapons. Do NOT lock up characters in fighting games. These characters you’re locking up? Someone out there mains them. And if you do? don’t make it a stone solid bitch to unlock them.
OK. I feel better. The flaming may begin now.