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My thoughts, musing, and hypothesis.
So Street Fighter V revealed a new character yesterday. Rashid. A middle eastern guy with a turban who attacks with tornado attacks. Here’s his trailer:
So immediately after his release, people screamed racism. Example of SFV Racism and Rebuttle. Sure he’s pretty stereotypical. But is he racist? I just feel the need to point out it’s Capcom. A Japanese developer. Most of their games are built on stereotypes. He’s definitely not worse than the rest of the cast. Dhalsim the Indian yogi? Zangief, the communist Russian? Have progressive characters ever come from Japanese developers? Or just stereotypes of big boobed women and heavily accented caricatures. Now granted I love these big boob women and heavily accented caricatures, but I’m not defending them for their all too simplified character development. What I’m saying is that they are making a game, and as long as they don’t show negative stereotypes, some type of generalization for character identity is needed. Sure, it would be great if every character is multifaceted with deep personality traits, but that’s not going to happen espcially in fighting games. So let’s try to be understand what this is supposed to be. Fluff entertainment. And let’s turn the outrage down a few notches to at least a 4.
So Street Fighter V has just been officially announced, and if you know me, you know I’m a Street Figher fanatic. Here’s the gameplay trailer for those who haven’t seen it yet. Watch now then continue on to my thoughts why I’m really worried.
Seen it? Good. Why I’m worried about the health of this game, even though SFIV did gang busters. Okay first off, the animation looks a little choppy and spark heavy. Kind of 3rd Strike & Street Fighter Cross Tekken -ish. A little more gritty, a little less cartoony. That’s personal preference but I think it’ll play less well to the masses. And I want this game to suceed.
Secondly, the combo system looks like SFxT’s combo system. There seemed to be a launcher, a legit Chun Li air combo, and even a ground bounce hit or maybe it was an OTG. This is not good, as most people did not like SFxT, and there combo system doesn’t play well to the casual crowds, mainly because they do too much damage, making the game not fun. When your character dies in one or two combos, you feel like you didn’t even play, and it gives a poor experience to everyone. Further evidence to me that it’s utilizing the SFxT engine is that it seems like Ryu combos straight into his Fireball Ultra from the ground, no FADC required.
Lastly, this game is most likely coming out in 2016. But SF4 Omega is out in 2015. We’re still getting updates of the old game. SF4 came out the door in such a big way because it had been 10 years between Street Fighters and 4 was a throwback to the original SF2, that everyone liked. While 4 has been out for 5 years now, can we really say that this game is on the shelf and has nostalgia legacy? SF5 looks like it’s adding a some new mechanics, taking it away from the original SF2 that everyone knows and loves.
Oh and I guess for real lastly, it says it’s PS4 and PC exclusive. I’m sure this will be a timed exclusive and it will go to Xbox eventually, but why cut a large chunk of your American player base off? Sony must have paid a lot for the exclusive and Capcom who is rumored to be in dire financial straights probably needed the payday. But would it make up for lost Xbox sales out of the gate? I’m not sure.
I hope this game does well, and in full disclosure I will be getting this on Day 1. Maybe even before Day 1 if I can find a local mom and pop place to sell to me early. But I just worry about the life of this game and how well it will do out the gate. Prove me wrong fighting game community! Prove me wrong…
Recently I got some time to play some games and have been playing through the Last of Us. Now I bought a PS3 specifically to play this game. It won numerous game of the year awards. It’s been optioned for a movie. I could not get away from how great it was. “The story!” I was told. “The emotional connection!” I was told. From the trailers and review blurbs, it’s about a guy who has to escort a girl through post apocalyptic zombie wasteland. Okay I’m down with all of that. It also looked a lot like Uncharted being from Naughty Dog, and a 3rd person shooter with some light platforming so all in all this looked a full win propisition.
So I finally popped it into my Black Friday purchaded PS3 and started playing. And lo and behold…. I’ve been scammed! It’s not a 3rd person shooter, it’s a stealth game! No fun run and gun action wtih zombies. It’s all about moving slow and creeping around. Okay that was a little bait and switch, and normally I hate stealth games, but there have been a few I’ve really liked. (Beyond Good & Evil, Velvet Assassin) Those games have a generally smooth game play when you are caught or setting up the scene. But not Last of Us! See the problem with this game is the “Clicker” zombies. (or mutants, or plants, or whatever these things are SUPPOSED to be.)
They kill you in one hit unless you have a shiv. You HAVE to shoot them in the head to kill them. It’s ridiculous that one touch is death on these things and you have no dodge or quick move command. You move about as fast Leon in Resident Evil 4. Clickers outrun you. The other thing is your combat is pathetic. Your recticle moves around constantly like you are some ADD kid who chugged 4 expressos. I was told by defenders of this game that this was a “story” feature as the protagnist Joel is not some trained soldier or warrior. And that’s just BS. The guy has been a survivor mercenary running illegal goods for 20 years. He carries guns all the time and hangs out with other mercs. Though the course of the game I’ve killed HUNDREDS of people, soldiers, and zombies. I have to be a halfway decent shot and fighter to survive. So why is combat so crummy in this game?
Beyond the mediocre stealth gameplay there is just some decisions that leave my head scratching. What’s with the unecessary forging system in the game? What’s with the circular level design without a mini map? Areas with the cloud of spores and particularly the parts where you have to swim in flooded buildings are just mazes in similiar looking rooms looking for the one bland staircase you over looked to progress you to the next area. With such a linear storyline (and linear isn’t a bad thing) why isn’t the level design more straightforward? It’s like every area was designed as a spiral.
Last of Us isn’t a bad game. It does have a great story with well thought out characters. It has insanely high production value. The problem is it’s a GAME. Not a movie. The gameplay needs to match the story to make it the total package. I always say that making games are harder than making movies, and Last of Us is good example of that. Last of Us is a really good game, it’s just not the end all be all of gaming.
So I finally got a chance to sit down and play the Ouya, courtesy of Binkley, as mine hasn’t arrived yet. The Ouya is the new hyped console system that runs the Android operating system. I won’t go over the specs but you can always check them out here. The thought of a console that runs Android apps has me really excited with the possibility, that maybe it can bridge the gap between the casual and hardcore world, and open up new possibilities for developers. However playing around with it I was kind of underwhelmed, but it does have a lot of potential it can grow into.
So we figured we jump on the bandwagon, and during our lunch break, my office made this. Guess which one I am?
So had another big show at LA Comedy Sportz. This was a whole new set, entirely new jokes. I purposely didn’t want to repeat any old material, and see what works. See for yourself and compare with the original stuff. Future shows I think will be hybrids of old and new stuff.
So I entered the Anime Expo Last Comic Standing contest this year. On Saturday I competed against 34 other competitors and had to do 2 a minute set in front of judges. I made the top 10 cut, and came back the next day to do a live show in front of two hundred plus people, which was then judged by audience applause. Not to be sour grapes, but I think I should have won judged on audience applause, as the first 2 people brought along posse’s of friends to cheer them on after each set, but the crowd seemed pretty tied. Oh, well. But top 10 isn’t bad for a guy who didn’t resort to a single sex joke, poop joke, or rape joke. Seriously, it took about 6 seconds before one guy started resorting to rape jokes. I was just sitting there shaking my head. I weaved in some new stuff, polished some other stuff, and tried in a brand new joke that sort of fell flat at one part. That’ll show me to try brand new material in the middle of a contest I guess. I felt I was rushing really fast in this because I had 15 minutes worth of material, but was told that I only had 8 minutes right before the show. I should have just ignored the time constraints like most of the other contestants.
Had a great Memorial Day weekend of friends and family, and also squeezed in a show at BANG Comedy Theater (www.bangstudios.com). Big thanks to Binkley for filming it. Here’s a clip. Before the days of soft cushy thumb sticks, do you remember the plastic sharp edged d-pads? I mean the absolute worst was the Dreamcast one but the OG Nintendo one used to leave my thumbs sore and bruised from tense Mega Man 2 sessions.
I got quoted in the Wall Street Journal. 45 Minute interview, and the line I get was the sitting around in my underwear and reading hunger games. I’m trying to bring the level of discourse down in the wall street journal. Haha. The print article is on the link, and the video mentions me but not by name. I like how everyone knows I was laid off after though haha. I have a job now!
And the video follow up to the article