Street Fighter IV on Test in Akihabara 2/29 - 3/2
I keep up with a few blogs via Google Reader
, and recently came across this entry about Street Fighter IV going on public test (Japanese)
I'm a big Street Fighter fan, but pretty much only Super Street Fighter II Turbo or the new mix-and-max Hyper Fighting Anniversary Edition. Great games. (A brief side-note: last night for the first time in about a month a stopped by the Shibuya Game Kaikan on the way home from work. It is my favorite arcade in Japan: 50 yen games, 3 of the Anniversary edition games, an old Hyper Fighting machine, and there is always great competition there. Sadly, much better than I am. I hadn't been there in a month or two, and they moved the SSF2HF:Anniversary (how is this supposed to be abbreviated??) to the back. Not a problem. But I think they changed the cabinets they were in, because the sticks on all the machines were horribly loose! They were awful! I can usually do a dragon punch 90% of the time (I'm no expert) but I was only hitting them like 10% of the time on one machine! It was awful!)
So the relevant bit from the SF4 article:
・住所：東京都千代田区外神田1-10-5 広瀬本社ビル 2-4F 【店舗HPは、コチラ】
They did a first public test of SF4. Great. But now, this week, they will test SF4 in Akihabara. That's like a twenty minute walk from where I work. They start testing on Friday, and will continue through until Sunday. I think I am going to have to check that out. They will test at the arcade HEY (I don't know that one offhand) and give the address and link to the HEY website
. There is a little "Access Map" button that will pop up a map, and I think I know where it is now.
I'm really looking forward to SF4 because it is supposed to continue on in the SF2 tradition (no parries or air blocking I hope!) and from what I've been reading about it, it sounds like it will be good. Since this is a SF2 post, I also want to say that I really, really hope that the new HD version of Super Street Fighter II Turbo gets released in arcades over here in Japan. I think that is probably unlikely to happen, but it would be great. The information on re-balancing from David Sirlin's blog
has been really interesting reading.
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It was lots of fun - I posted my impressions over at Shoryuken.com
, and got a few questions there. I guess I'll copy and paste my impressions into this comment, just to keep data in one place for posterity's sake.
The below are taken from the shoryuken.com thread.
Hello everyone. I was able to make it over to Akihabara slightly before 5pm. I spent about two and half hours, and played 7 games - the line was about 10 to 15 minutes per play. I played Zangief x3, Ryu x2, E. Honda x2. Here are some impressions.
First, I should preface things by saying that I have played fewer than 100 games of SF3. Parries annoy me, because I think they make the game not fun. Air blocking is also bad. I basically only play SSF2T, or the new anniversary edition that they have over here (which is great.)
Anyway, first off I really like this game. You can't block in the air, there are not blatant parries, and it plays a lot like SSFF2T. It was just fun. It looks great.
When I was playing Ryu, I had some big problems. I had lots of trouble trying to combo forward into a fireball. (I do not have this problem on SSF2T.) I think the timing is just a bit different, and I didn't get a feel for it. I also had lots of trouble doing wake-up dragon punches. I didn't do very well with Ryu. (He's not my main man though. I usually play Zangief, T-Hawk, Cammy, Ryu in that order.) He was lots of fun though.
I played E. Honda twice because people weren't playing him much. (Lots of Ryu/Ken, Abel, Dhalsim, and Zangief) I enjoy Honda, and like his command throw. He seemed pretty good in SF4. His butt-flop move was really good anti-air defense for me: it his on the way up. A late sumo headbutt was very poor air defense for me: I was hit out of it about four times. I didn't try it more than that (fool me once, shame on me. Fool me twi - can't fool me again.) His hundred hand slap wasn't as useful as it is in SSF2T, people can hit you out of it easily, and if you do it for too long (after they block and you get pushed back) I was hit out of it a lot. His super was great - looked really painful when it hit.
I spent most of my time as Zangief, I got a nice 5 game run going. (When you won 7 in a row the machine booted you off.) Zangief seemed pretty strong in this game. His dash forward sucks: I think it is slower than walking and it does not move far. It looks funny though (he kind of lunges low at your feet.) The running suplex is worthless, unless you do the two button version of it, where you can take a hit and keep running. That is great. I think they made the 360 motions really forgiving: while I play a lot of Zangief and THawk in SSFT2, I almost never can pull off their supers unless I jump in. I was hitting it all the time in SF4. The range on his jab SPD is great. You can easily use it to suck people up when they jump from too far away, and play other games with it. The damage on the jab SPD is pretty crap though, and it doesn't feel nearly as satisfying as his fierce one. His banishing fist has changed to a dragon punch motion (like SF Alpha 3? I think? I don't play that game) and is useful. It moves a lot farther forward than I'm used to - I often will do a banishing fist after a SPD in SSF2T to move in on the opponent, but with SF4 it moves me too close, and I don't recover in time to block. You can combo the banishing fist, and there was one Zangief that got a pretty nasty 5 hit combo with the EX version of it (which is pretty nice.)
Zangief's lariet didn't seem as useful to me as I was used to. The punch version lasts too long, and only hits once. I didn't notice if the kick version had different invulnerability properties.
Anyway, it was lots of fun playing SF4, and I'm really looking forward to the release. Abel looks like he'll be fun, but I ended up sticking to the characters that I knew since it was a bit of a wait, and people were playing for keeps. There was one really good Abel that was killing people though. He's mobile and can punish shotokans that fall into patterns (then again, who doesn't?) I don't think I like that you can pop out of throws with the throw command very much. I like how it is in SSF2T, where you don't pop out (leaving the thrower with no damage, just moved back a bit) but instead can throw the throw-initiator. It makes for better mind games I think.
I never once tried to use the (strong+forward) escape move. I just don't have that ingrained in me. People were using it though, and to great effect. Zangief in particular seemed pretty badass if you could hit that well. I also didn't know how to use the revenge meter, since there was nothing written on the machine about how to activate it.
Anyway, lots of fun.
oh, I forgot to mention if you played the vs. cpu machines, you would eventually face Sagat and M. Bison (Balrog for those of you in the US.) Balrog looked pretty tough. I only saw a Dhalsim play vs. Sagat, and Sagat kept through high fireballs which Dhalsim would just low-fierce.
I had wanted to go back on Sunday, but I had too much work to do. I sat at home doing some coding in preparation for a meeting on Monday, and didn't finish until 11pm or so. I'm keeping an eye on the Japanese Capcom SF4 blog though, and if they do any more testing I'll make it out there.
A funny Japanese-language related issue. My Japanese is pretty good, but I have no clue about the vocab used for fighting games. The terminology is pretty specific. Also, I think that our "parry" here is "blocking" there, but I'm not sure. I did talk with a few people while in line, but our conversations broke down a bit when trying to talk about Street Fighter -- and it isn't like there is much else to talk about at that specific event!