After extensive play of ST, HDR, and SSF4 I tried to play focusing heavily on the underlying game mechanics and mind games. I realized between the three that Sirlin is a genious when it comes to making and tweaking fighting games. HDR is by far the best version. Reading Sirlin’s notes on his website even further proves it. I first read the notes not thinking as deeply about them and now I realize just how good of a developer Sirlin is. If I say anything out of context or wrong then please correct me.
I thought easier reversals in SSF4 would make there be the same mind games but now new comers could participate in them. It turns out the large window takes out most mind games and baits are much easier to see. You don’t have to commit when the reversal window is that large and I remember Sirlin talking about this a while ago.
I like how Sirlin made some of the moves easier but not too easy. In ST sometimes I would have to concentrate on doing a move that would take me out of the thought process of the match. In HDR the moves are hard enough to do where you have to commit but not hard enough where you have to concentrate too much on the move. This includes Zangief’s SPD motion. Jodim lost a match to me in ST before because he jumped with fierce instead of doing an SPD because of how hard the move is. The best Zangief player I have played against losing a game over jumping instead of doing an SPD. I have seen him jump by accident a few times trying to do an SPD so this was not an extremely rare occurrence. SSF4 the motions are so easy that it leads to spammy gameplay in mid to low level players combined with the easier reversal windows. Also in high level players the slight amount of extra thinking with the moves being a little harder makes close baits more effective.
SSF4 jabs can lead to huge damage easily. This is absurd and Sirlin knew this right away. With plinking now one frame links are easier and a simple jab that is easy to land can now lead to a large ultra combo. Jabs are too safe for this and require not much commitment for this to be good.
Here is my opinion on ultras they can be done and can work for comeback purposes. If you miss an ultra there should be an extremely large amount of recovery like a dizzy amount. It will prevent them from just being throwing an ultra out. A character puts all their strength into a final ultra attack to comeback and if they miss they should be completely winded. HDR is currently the winner here because the ultra system right now is terrible in SSF4.
Back to ST some of the loops are just wrong and so are claws repeatable knockdown wall dives. I have seen top boxers from Japan get hit over five times in a row before and lose a round because of this. O Hawk may be fun to do his loop on someone but is not fun having it done to you. You should always have an option and not simply have to watch yourself losing for over ten seconds.
I have a lot more to say. I do not want to make this too long so I will discuss this more in the coming days in this thread. David Sirlin is a genious the deeper you think about fighting game mechanics and if he was given money to do more patches and further balancing then I feel he could make this game close to perfect. An example change I would do would be changing Zangief’s green hand motion so it will not overlap as much with his SPD as it currently does in HDR. Also for online a ranking system where there isn’t the someone gets on top and stops playing making new players unable to get that high would be nice. I just want to say thank you for the hours of fun gameplay you have given me with HDR and will write up more hopefully. Obviously thanks to the rest of the team although Sirlin was the guy with the vision.