As some of you know, I’ve been working on ST:HDR with my good friends, Seth Killian and David Sirlin. I work at Microsoft, on the XBLA team, and it’s been my priviledge to ensure that ST:HDR will be a premium experience on the 360! It’s been really tough keeping things under wraps with the NDA and all, but now that ST:HDR is closely approaching beta, I’ve been authorized to tell you one of the biggest suprises for ST:HDR!!
Capcom has been closely working with Microsoft to make sure that the 360 version is as close to arcade perfect as possible. Believe me, as someone who actually OWNS an arcade cabinet of ST, I’ve been pushing VERY hard to make sure that every frame is as close to perfect as possible. With that said, we also understand that ST is after all a very old game, and that we need something to draw in the new audiences we all want in order to make ST:HDR the true success it is meant to be.
There’s a big item that we deal with on the Xbox team when we do arcade conversions – the controller interface. You see, while the old arcade setups were a joystick + buttons, modern gamers are used to the Xbox 360 controller. The fact is that our target market doesn’t really know about, or use the old joystick setups. And kids who are entering the market in some cases have no idea what an arcade cabinet is. It doesn’t make a lot of sense from a business perspective. We don’t want to force people to buy an expensive joystick to play a game that costs less than the peripheral. We want to make sure that the game is not only fun, but competitive, when using the official 360 controller.
Now how many of us have been in the situation where our opponent is dizzy, you know you’ve got him, and then you screw up that crucial dragon punch or combo? I’m sure everyone remembers Afrolegends vs Daigo at evo! That’s not only frustrating for the competitive tournament player – it can be a killer for the new player. That new player has thousands of games to choose from on the Xbox live marketplace. We want to make sure that that new player has a great time playing, and make sure they aren’t frustrated by archaic controls.
Now David has done an amazing job at making some of the moves easier to do. But no one can take lag into account, and even a DP motion can be really tough for a new player who has never picked up a stick before. That’s why we are really proud to announce a new feature for ST:HDR – combo mappings. If you are using an xbox controller, you’ll be able to map a move or set of moves to a button. Think of it like a ‘record’ function for the controller. So for example, you might want the left trigger button to be a jab dragon punch. The right trigger button might be Boxer’s low jab x 2, stand jab, super. This way, new players can play the game as it was meant to, as a strategic game, without the frustrations of lag or difficult controls.
Players will have the option to map, or “record” any series of moves into a button. Advanced combos are also possible. If playing Ken, you might set the right trigger button to do crouching short, crouching short, standing short XX super!
Now I know that some players may think that this will be too easy. Here’s the great part. IT’S COMPLETELY OPTIONAL. Advanced players can still play as normal, on pad or on stick. You can completely disregard this option! You can make private games with friends who prefer to go “old school” and not use this option. Or you can play with new players and let them show their stuff. Either way, ST:HDR will be accessible and competitive at all levels of play.