A Gem of a Jam: Capcom's Latest Street Fighter x Tekken Announcement Draws Predictable Ire

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Posted by Alex (1973 posts) -

Capcom seems to be trapped in a recursive nightmare of late, a Groundhog Day scenario that nobody at the company can quite to figure out how to break out of. Most every time Capcom makes some significant announcement about one of it's products, the fires of the Internet's rage begin to burn anew. It doesn't matter if it's definitively bad news or not--as soon as the press release, video, or tweet goes out, someone finds something terribly wrong with the situation, and the vitriolic comments start flowing. No matter what the product, no matter what the situation, Capcom just can't seem to get the fans on its side.

Take the most recent example, pertaining to the company's 2012 fighter Street Fighter x Tekken. This is a game that fans have been excited about for a while, and it's easy to see why. Though it appears to be approaching the genre with a simplified structure, at least compared with the last couple of entries in the Street Fighter franchise, the action is nonetheless extremely competitive, fast, and thrilling, and not in that dumbed-down Marvel vs. Capcom 3 way, either. For people who found the high level play of Super Street Fighter IV a bit too much to handle, it appeared that a game perhaps geared toward them was on the way. And on the other side, the fighting game super fans looked excited for a new Capcom fighter to pick apart and analyze ad nauseum for the sake of potential tournament play.

Then New York Comic-Con happened.

At NYCC 2011, Street Fighter series producer Yoshinori Ono and Capcom community manager Seth Killian were on hand to demonstrate the latest announced feature of Street Fighter x Tekken: gems. Essentially assignable power-ups, gems are context-sensitive boosts that can be activated during a fight provided certain conditions are met. One example might be that during a fight, an attack boosting gem will only be activated if a fighter hits two special attacks successfully. There are gems in categories of defense, attack, speed, cross-gauge, and assist. Apart from the main categories, there are apparently a whole host of sub-categories that further make the whole situation altogether confusing. How confusing is it? Watch this video of Ono and Killian demonstrating the system for the first time, and see how well you can suss it out.

To a seasoned fighting game vet, maybe that description makes a good amount of sense to you. Me personally? I went boss-eyed about halfway through.

What is immediately decipherable is the reaction to this new gem system. To say it's been mixed would be akin to calling the assassination of the Archduke Ferdinand a "problematic situation." Debate has been heated in the weeks since the NYCC announcement, with more than a good chunk of that debate falling on the side of those who believe the gem system is a game-busting decision. Much of the criticism seems especially directed at Ono's comment that this new system is designed to bridge the gap between the hardcore and the casual players, perhaps inferring that a newer player could somehow purchase techniques they'd otherwise never manage to pull off.

Fan reaction since the NYCC unveiling of the gem system has been passionate on both sides.

Making matters more complicated, several packs of gems will be released as retailer-exclusive pre-order bonuses, or as exclusives with the Special Edition release of the game. Others may be released as DLC, causing some to accuse Capcom of creating the system as a ploy to force players to pay their way to victory.

Normally I don't make it a habit of reporting on random Internet rage, because it's random Internet rage, and generally, it's best left to its own devices to suss itself out. However, I was struck yesterday when Killian came out and gave an interview to Gamasutra yesterday, specifically in an attempt to quell the rage regarding this new system.

On the subject of game balancing:

"I don't think there's any combination of gems which will help a weak player beat someone who's much stronger than them," he says. Auto-block has, in particular, "sent people into a tizzy," says Killian, "because it's like, can't you just block everything? Well, yes, but it requires meter from your bar."

In other words, the gems have activation conditions. A Boost Gem might require being hit a certain number of times to activate. An Assist Gem will "almost always" be active only as long as you have energy in your meter, which you must build up by fighting.

And on the money issue:

"There's also worry about this guy [that] has more money and buys the special edition -- will he have an advantage over me?" The answer, says Killian, is no. "The gems, in the way we've approached them, are balanced against each other."

"If one gem has a bigger damage bonus, it has harder activation conditions."

It's a completely reasonable explanation that nonetheless hasn't appeared to do much to quell many of the fears of the players. In part, it's because of this next comment on the status of the gems as DLC and pre-order bonuses exclusive to certain retailers.

"At this point we're still sort of figuring that stuff out," says Killian. "The game comes with some gems, some of them will be available as preorder bonuses and things like that." Some may be available packaged with DLC, as well.

That reads like the half-answer of a man generally unsure of things, not necessarily the kind of messaging one might want to try to get across to sooth a searing fanbase.

The deep seated anger over the cancellation of Mega Man Legends 3 continues to burn, with fans still trying to get the project restarted.

Then again, if Killian sounds weary, he's got good reason. This is hardly the first Capcom fire he's had to put out in the last couple of years. Whether it's questions of expansions going to disc instead of DLC (Super Street Fighter IV or Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3--pick your poison), issues surrounding some of Capcom's more questionable DLC practices, or the straight up PR disaster that was the cancellation of Mega Man Legends 3 for the 3DS, Killian and everyone involved with Capcom's community management has essentially been under constant fire. By this point, you'd half expect that everyone over there hides under their desk before clicking "send" on a press release.

Think I'm being melodramatic? Let me put it this way: during San Diego Comic-Con this year, just a short week after the announcement of Mega Man Legends 3's cancellation, a rumor went around the Internet that a fan had walked up and punched Killian in the face. Absurd as that sounds, my Twitter feed was clogged with retweets and commentary on what could have sparked such an attack. Of course it turned out to be a total lie, but because of the animosity drummed up prior to the show, people easily believed it was true.

As with most problems, the issue at hand is likely a good bit more complicated than pure blame on the publisher itself, nor is it easily dismissable as typical Internet rabble rousing. Capcom fans, perhaps above the vast majority of other publishers, tend to be an extremely passionate lot. One reason for that likely stems from the fact that Capcom tends to put out titles in more niche-oriented genres. Fighting game fans are often up in arms about something, so it's of little surprise that something as potentially game-changing as this gem system has upset them. Anything that fundamentally changes the field of competitive play is typically scrutinized, perhaps often beyond reason.

Another thing that makes Capcom unique is its sense of community. Every publisher and developer has a community manager these days, but few video game communities are cultivated with such passion and fervor as with Capcom titles. Killian's work on behalf of the company's fighting game franchises borders on obsession at times, and the amount of community outreach the makers of Mega Man Legends 3 did before its unfortunate demise was pretty much unheard of. Games like Call of Duty and World of Warcraft have impassioned fanbases, but there is usually a sense of distance there that enforces the notion that these games are at the whim of the developer, not the fans. With Capcom, it's almost the opposite. You talk to anyone involved in the early development forums who saw Mega Man Legends 3 get flushed down the crapper and go swirly, and they'll talk about that game as if it were their own. Even now, months later, MML3 fans haven't quite gotten over that whole situation--a fact probably not helped by the constant reminders by departed series creator Keiji Inafune that he would really like Capcom to keep the series alive.

It is, in a way, a problem of Capcom's own making. By engaging the community with such regularity and intensity, the response back to them becomes amplified by several orders of magnitude. It's a classic damned if you do, damned if you don't scenario.

But back to Street Fighter x Tekken for a moment; it's worth noting that not everyone sees this addition of gems as a total disaster, or at least not the one the loudest online posters seem to believe it is. Plenty of players seem intrigued by the possibilities of what gems could be in the context of the game. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Killian himself seemed legitimately excited by the possibilities inherent to the system:

"Ultimately, this is one of those things, as a concept, that we were talking about maybe two or three years ago, and I was excited by it. And when we got more into the implementation, I was like, 'I dunno about this.' And then once we got hands on with the actual systems, and it tickled me with what I call the 'nerd feather' of theory fighting and stuff, where I started to see the possibilities, it became instantly exciting," Killian said.

Some agree, though a subset of that group sees potential for another problem, one that's actually the polar opposite of the most popular topic of discussion.

Noted friend of Whiskey and current TwitchTV community manager Jared Rea remarked to me yesterday during an IM conversation that while the intent may be to try and give newer players a new route to accessibility, the likelihood of the converse happening is far more likely.

"The problem with systems like Gems in Street Fighter x Tekken is that they tend to achieve the opposite affects that designers are seeking," he said, "As they tend to overly complicate the process of punching another dude in the face. While it's not a genuine comeback mechanic, we've seen this situation before with Ultra Combos (Street Fighter IV) and X-Factor (Marvel vs Capcom 3), where a new gameplay system is introduced with the intent of making the game more accessible to newer or lesser skilled players, but really all it does is reset the gap on a larger scale and the rich tend to get richer."

Occupy Wall Street metaphor aside, he does seem to have a point.

Whether the rage over gems proves to be unfounded or justified remains to be seen, but the unpleasant cloud of this fan reaction isn't likely to dissipate any time soon.

"Gameplay mechanics like Gems are a lot like giving a civilian a sniper rifle," he added. "Yeah, they might shoot someone's eye out but they lack the tools to maximize its potential. Put it in the hand of a trained soldier, however, and the damage that weapon can inflict is far more significant. So while you can argue that a Gem like auto-block or some sort of massive power buff may make things easier for a new player to mount a convincing offensive; just imagine when you give those same tools to the likes of Justin Wong or Daigo Umehara."

Whatever the intent, it's safe to say that Capcom has a long way to go toward convincing would-be Street Fighter x Tekken players about the value of the gem system, especially among the competitive fighting game scene, where tournament directors are already grumbling that they may have to out-and-out ban gems from tournament play, depending on how accessible they are to everyone. Most tournaments tend to ban DLC anyway, but this is a bit of a different case.

Similarly, it seems like Capcom is a long way from where it was a few years ago, riding the wave of good feelings following the release of the original Street Fighter IV. There was a time when the company seemingly could do no wrong. Nowadays? If the vocal portions of the fanbase are to be believed, it appears wrong is all they can do. It's a PR problem that Killian and crew are going to have to tackle head-on; otherwise, this infernal roundelay of negativity they keep finding themselves in will just keep repeating itself, over and over and over...

Staff
#1 Posted by Alex (1973 posts) -

Capcom seems to be trapped in a recursive nightmare of late, a Groundhog Day scenario that nobody at the company can quite to figure out how to break out of. Most every time Capcom makes some significant announcement about one of it's products, the fires of the Internet's rage begin to burn anew. It doesn't matter if it's definitively bad news or not--as soon as the press release, video, or tweet goes out, someone finds something terribly wrong with the situation, and the vitriolic comments start flowing. No matter what the product, no matter what the situation, Capcom just can't seem to get the fans on its side.

Take the most recent example, pertaining to the company's 2012 fighter Street Fighter x Tekken. This is a game that fans have been excited about for a while, and it's easy to see why. Though it appears to be approaching the genre with a simplified structure, at least compared with the last couple of entries in the Street Fighter franchise, the action is nonetheless extremely competitive, fast, and thrilling, and not in that dumbed-down Marvel vs. Capcom 3 way, either. For people who found the high level play of Super Street Fighter IV a bit too much to handle, it appeared that a game perhaps geared toward them was on the way. And on the other side, the fighting game super fans looked excited for a new Capcom fighter to pick apart and analyze ad nauseum for the sake of potential tournament play.

Then New York Comic-Con happened.

At NYCC 2011, Street Fighter series producer Yoshinori Ono and Capcom community manager Seth Killian were on hand to demonstrate the latest announced feature of Street Fighter x Tekken: gems. Essentially assignable power-ups, gems are context-sensitive boosts that can be activated during a fight provided certain conditions are met. One example might be that during a fight, an attack boosting gem will only be activated if a fighter hits two special attacks successfully. There are gems in categories of defense, attack, speed, cross-gauge, and assist. Apart from the main categories, there are apparently a whole host of sub-categories that further make the whole situation altogether confusing. How confusing is it? Watch this video of Ono and Killian demonstrating the system for the first time, and see how well you can suss it out.

To a seasoned fighting game vet, maybe that description makes a good amount of sense to you. Me personally? I went boss-eyed about halfway through.

What is immediately decipherable is the reaction to this new gem system. To say it's been mixed would be akin to calling the assassination of the Archduke Ferdinand a "problematic situation." Debate has been heated in the weeks since the NYCC announcement, with more than a good chunk of that debate falling on the side of those who believe the gem system is a game-busting decision. Much of the criticism seems especially directed at Ono's comment that this new system is designed to bridge the gap between the hardcore and the casual players, perhaps inferring that a newer player could somehow purchase techniques they'd otherwise never manage to pull off.

Fan reaction since the NYCC unveiling of the gem system has been passionate on both sides.

Making matters more complicated, several packs of gems will be released as retailer-exclusive pre-order bonuses, or as exclusives with the Special Edition release of the game. Others may be released as DLC, causing some to accuse Capcom of creating the system as a ploy to force players to pay their way to victory.

Normally I don't make it a habit of reporting on random Internet rage, because it's random Internet rage, and generally, it's best left to its own devices to suss itself out. However, I was struck yesterday when Killian came out and gave an interview to Gamasutra yesterday, specifically in an attempt to quell the rage regarding this new system.

On the subject of game balancing:

"I don't think there's any combination of gems which will help a weak player beat someone who's much stronger than them," he says. Auto-block has, in particular, "sent people into a tizzy," says Killian, "because it's like, can't you just block everything? Well, yes, but it requires meter from your bar."

In other words, the gems have activation conditions. A Boost Gem might require being hit a certain number of times to activate. An Assist Gem will "almost always" be active only as long as you have energy in your meter, which you must build up by fighting.

And on the money issue:

"There's also worry about this guy [that] has more money and buys the special edition -- will he have an advantage over me?" The answer, says Killian, is no. "The gems, in the way we've approached them, are balanced against each other."

"If one gem has a bigger damage bonus, it has harder activation conditions."

It's a completely reasonable explanation that nonetheless hasn't appeared to do much to quell many of the fears of the players. In part, it's because of this next comment on the status of the gems as DLC and pre-order bonuses exclusive to certain retailers.

"At this point we're still sort of figuring that stuff out," says Killian. "The game comes with some gems, some of them will be available as preorder bonuses and things like that." Some may be available packaged with DLC, as well.

That reads like the half-answer of a man generally unsure of things, not necessarily the kind of messaging one might want to try to get across to sooth a searing fanbase.

The deep seated anger over the cancellation of Mega Man Legends 3 continues to burn, with fans still trying to get the project restarted.

Then again, if Killian sounds weary, he's got good reason. This is hardly the first Capcom fire he's had to put out in the last couple of years. Whether it's questions of expansions going to disc instead of DLC (Super Street Fighter IV or Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3--pick your poison), issues surrounding some of Capcom's more questionable DLC practices, or the straight up PR disaster that was the cancellation of Mega Man Legends 3 for the 3DS, Killian and everyone involved with Capcom's community management has essentially been under constant fire. By this point, you'd half expect that everyone over there hides under their desk before clicking "send" on a press release.

Think I'm being melodramatic? Let me put it this way: during San Diego Comic-Con this year, just a short week after the announcement of Mega Man Legends 3's cancellation, a rumor went around the Internet that a fan had walked up and punched Killian in the face. Absurd as that sounds, my Twitter feed was clogged with retweets and commentary on what could have sparked such an attack. Of course it turned out to be a total lie, but because of the animosity drummed up prior to the show, people easily believed it was true.

As with most problems, the issue at hand is likely a good bit more complicated than pure blame on the publisher itself, nor is it easily dismissable as typical Internet rabble rousing. Capcom fans, perhaps above the vast majority of other publishers, tend to be an extremely passionate lot. One reason for that likely stems from the fact that Capcom tends to put out titles in more niche-oriented genres. Fighting game fans are often up in arms about something, so it's of little surprise that something as potentially game-changing as this gem system has upset them. Anything that fundamentally changes the field of competitive play is typically scrutinized, perhaps often beyond reason.

Another thing that makes Capcom unique is its sense of community. Every publisher and developer has a community manager these days, but few video game communities are cultivated with such passion and fervor as with Capcom titles. Killian's work on behalf of the company's fighting game franchises borders on obsession at times, and the amount of community outreach the makers of Mega Man Legends 3 did before its unfortunate demise was pretty much unheard of. Games like Call of Duty and World of Warcraft have impassioned fanbases, but there is usually a sense of distance there that enforces the notion that these games are at the whim of the developer, not the fans. With Capcom, it's almost the opposite. You talk to anyone involved in the early development forums who saw Mega Man Legends 3 get flushed down the crapper and go swirly, and they'll talk about that game as if it were their own. Even now, months later, MML3 fans haven't quite gotten over that whole situation--a fact probably not helped by the constant reminders by departed series creator Keiji Inafune that he would really like Capcom to keep the series alive.

It is, in a way, a problem of Capcom's own making. By engaging the community with such regularity and intensity, the response back to them becomes amplified by several orders of magnitude. It's a classic damned if you do, damned if you don't scenario.

But back to Street Fighter x Tekken for a moment; it's worth noting that not everyone sees this addition of gems as a total disaster, or at least not the one the loudest online posters seem to believe it is. Plenty of players seem intrigued by the possibilities of what gems could be in the context of the game. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Killian himself seemed legitimately excited by the possibilities inherent to the system:

"Ultimately, this is one of those things, as a concept, that we were talking about maybe two or three years ago, and I was excited by it. And when we got more into the implementation, I was like, 'I dunno about this.' And then once we got hands on with the actual systems, and it tickled me with what I call the 'nerd feather' of theory fighting and stuff, where I started to see the possibilities, it became instantly exciting," Killian said.

Some agree, though a subset of that group sees potential for another problem, one that's actually the polar opposite of the most popular topic of discussion.

Noted friend of Whiskey and current TwitchTV community manager Jared Rea remarked to me yesterday during an IM conversation that while the intent may be to try and give newer players a new route to accessibility, the likelihood of the converse happening is far more likely.

"The problem with systems like Gems in Street Fighter x Tekken is that they tend to achieve the opposite affects that designers are seeking," he said, "As they tend to overly complicate the process of punching another dude in the face. While it's not a genuine comeback mechanic, we've seen this situation before with Ultra Combos (Street Fighter IV) and X-Factor (Marvel vs Capcom 3), where a new gameplay system is introduced with the intent of making the game more accessible to newer or lesser skilled players, but really all it does is reset the gap on a larger scale and the rich tend to get richer."

Occupy Wall Street metaphor aside, he does seem to have a point.

Whether the rage over gems proves to be unfounded or justified remains to be seen, but the unpleasant cloud of this fan reaction isn't likely to dissipate any time soon.

"Gameplay mechanics like Gems are a lot like giving a civilian a sniper rifle," he added. "Yeah, they might shoot someone's eye out but they lack the tools to maximize its potential. Put it in the hand of a trained soldier, however, and the damage that weapon can inflict is far more significant. So while you can argue that a Gem like auto-block or some sort of massive power buff may make things easier for a new player to mount a convincing offensive; just imagine when you give those same tools to the likes of Justin Wong or Daigo Umehara."

Whatever the intent, it's safe to say that Capcom has a long way to go toward convincing would-be Street Fighter x Tekken players about the value of the gem system, especially among the competitive fighting game scene, where tournament directors are already grumbling that they may have to out-and-out ban gems from tournament play, depending on how accessible they are to everyone. Most tournaments tend to ban DLC anyway, but this is a bit of a different case.

Similarly, it seems like Capcom is a long way from where it was a few years ago, riding the wave of good feelings following the release of the original Street Fighter IV. There was a time when the company seemingly could do no wrong. Nowadays? If the vocal portions of the fanbase are to be believed, it appears wrong is all they can do. It's a PR problem that Killian and crew are going to have to tackle head-on; otherwise, this infernal roundelay of negativity they keep finding themselves in will just keep repeating itself, over and over and over...

Staff
#2 Edited by EvilGenius316 (9 posts) -

Nice

Edit: Sick day FTW!

#3 Posted by Cincaid (2953 posts) -

@EvilGenius316 said:

Nice

Congratulations!

#4 Edited by Nentisys (886 posts) -

Capcom is in the same spot as CCP. Their fans are so passionate about their game(s) that they feel like they have some input over them (which I think is especially valid for Eve Online). Everytime CCP has tried to put something in the game to "give new players a hand to close the gap" or something like that it has done the opposite.

#5 Edited by I_smell (3925 posts) -

Oh so it's like perks but in a fighting game. I also think stuff like this is fun for a sec, but really just increases the gap between who's the best and who's the worst.

#6 Posted by Ali_D (142 posts) -

It seems so weird that a company can go from being beloved by it's fans to being the subject of scorn so quickly. But it's the internet, both the good and bad sides are amplified so much that's it's hard to know what people truly make of this sort of thing. I'm not a fighting game fan but I can see why the whole gems system and the inevitable retailer specific DLC would rankle people.

#7 Posted by kollay (1926 posts) -

@Cincaid said:

@EvilGenius316 said:

Nice

Congratulations!

Viewtiful!

#8 Posted by PinkSoda (88 posts) -

This sounds horrendously stupid.

#9 Posted by Scarabus (478 posts) -

The thing I (and many others) is afraid of, is that people who pre-order will get some otherwise inaccessible gems that breaks balance (read: Sagat + preorder only gems = unmatched beast).

We obviously can't know if this is the case until Capcom reveals what these gems are, but they don't seem to know themselves.. SSF4: AE left a bad taste in many mouthes because it had such blatantly unbalanced characters that one started to doubt Capcom's judgment.

#10 Posted by LiK (916 posts) -

Nice article. I havent been following the game too closely so this was new. This whole gem thing is so not necessary, imo. Why not balance the core gameplay instead of mixing it up with powerups? And preorder exclusives? Lame.

#11 Edited by RChan (12 posts) -

Jared pretty much hit the nail on the head with his comments. Capcom (and other fighting game devs) seem to think these silly mechanics are the way to go to give lesser players a fighting chance, when the main issue is they don't know how to play the game in the first place and the only good way they can learn is to read up stuff on sites like shoryuken.com and tekkenzaibatsu.com or watch tutorials on youtube.

Now, while these are great resources for extra info, it should not mean that these devs get a pass on making the base mechanics of their game incredibly obscure within the game. This isn't like Demon's/Dark Souls beating the mechanics into your head in a rather timely fashion. This is people getting absolutely destroyed in 4 - 10 seconds when playing people better than them and learning nothing about what went wrong because important gameplay mechanics are completely hidden from them.

I've heard rumblings that Sega has a patent on its training mode from Virtua Fighter 4 EVO (which is exactly the kind of thing fighting games so desperately need). VF4 EVO happens to have the most in depth training mode to date where you can break down everything you need right to the frame. If it's true that they have a patent on this thing, it's all up to Skullgirls to show the other devs how it's done. They have made some pretty big claims about having a great tutorial mode.

Either way, great write up Alex. I look forward to seeing how this all plays out.

#12 Posted by Sword5 (150 posts) -

Another problem with Gems comes from Capcom's terrible menu design. Streams are going to have to air pre-match ads to cover the dead air while players do their button checks and going through 25 menus to set their gems.

Alex has a good point about how Capcom's out reach has backfired now that they are doing anything that matches fan opinion. It just highlights how powerless unity is. Seth just said the other day that Japan hates DLC so Capcom will avoid it for the most part.

#13 Posted by Truitt (92 posts) -

What a fantastic article. I still have hope that the gems system will turn out to be the kind of thing that players will want to use rather than ignore.

#14 Posted by jkuc316 (981 posts) -

I think the problem with gems is that it feels like an RPG-element. Myself being a Fighting game fan and an RPG fan(though not that much), it makes the game more complicated than it already is, and it allows for possible balance issues.

#15 Posted by RecSpec (3764 posts) -

I like the Gem system. I love fighting games despite sucking at pretty much all of them. I'm a sucker for customization like this. Broken or not.

Like with a lot of games, you can't rely on the diehard fans to carry you all the way. (See: Final Fantasy)

#16 Posted by JudahJones (48 posts) -

Great article and Jared hits the nail right on the head with his views. The pre order gems sets is unfortunately the latest develoment of the videogame industry. It is a business after all, and retailor specific preorder bonus is the latest way of making sure that they will sell more copies (and lets face it, if it didn't work, they wouldn't keep doing it). In terms of SFxT the only thing Capcom can do is to allow for them to be turned off, preferably as a filter for online play or in the options mode. this way you can play the game with just its mechanics and prevent any potential gem crutches.

#17 Posted by Googly (245 posts) -

Sometimes, people just want pure honest fighting.

#18 Edited by Baltimore (264 posts) -

Excellent piece as always Patrick Alex,

No matter what Capcom says or does there will be lots of folks that are not happy with what they are doing since, at their very core, change is bad. These folks who are raging on the boards don't want to even consider that what they know and love could possibly be better with a new system. Ultimately, the gem system is a different way of doing things. People don't want a different way, they want the old way that they know.

(Sorry about getting your identity wrong Alex. Was reading two different stories at the same time and....fail.)

#19 Edited by SoldierG654342 (1735 posts) -

I'm really glad to see that the old guard of video games (mostly Capcom and Nintendo right now, with a little bit of id on the side) are no longer getting free passes for everything they do. And I'm especially glad that this mentality of "Well, that's Capcom" has finally started to come to an end.

#20 Posted by MindChamber (345 posts) -

I Dont see the problems with this Gems business. Just as someone said its like a perks system which doesnt look to break the game. Ive watched a few MvsC3 tournaments and basically the great players seem to build their team on that same idea. Its like they are creating one new character with the benefits of all characters combined.

granted they have to know how each character has to move and work in order to make that work, this gem system seems almost the same, except you don't have to learn a whole set of moves to utilize them.

Gems seem like a DLC of new characters , minus the characters, just their benefits. At least thats what Im getting from that video.

I had no idea Ultimate MvsC3 wasnt DLC though. Thier excuse to make SuperSSfIV seemed justified. So why didnt that apply here?

That's about the only thing I found grimey pertaining capcom and their new announcements.

#21 Posted by Alex (1973 posts) -

@Baltimore: Hey! I'm not Patrick!

Staff
#22 Posted by rmanthorp (3875 posts) -

@Baltimore said:

Excellent piece as always Patrick.

No matter what Capcom says or does there will be lots of folks that are not happy with what they are doing since, at their very core, change is bad. These folks who are raging on the boards don't want to even consider that what they know and love could possibly be better with a new system. Ultimately, the gem system is a different way of doing things. People don't want a different way, they want the old way that they know.

It's Alex that wrote this btw

Moderator
#23 Posted by AlexanderSheen (4929 posts) -

@rmanthorp said:

@Baltimore said:

Excellent piece as always Patrick.

No matter what Capcom says or does there will be lots of folks that are not happy with what they are doing since, at their very core, change is bad. These folks who are raging on the boards don't want to even consider that what they know and love could possibly be better with a new system. Ultimately, the gem system is a different way of doing things. People don't want a different way, they want the old way that they know.

It's Alex that wrote this btw

I don't want to be that guy and I don't want to say this, but I have to: Epic Fail

#24 Posted by rmanthorp (3875 posts) -

@AlexanderSheen said:

@rmanthorp said:

@Baltimore said:

Excellent piece as always Patrick.

No matter what Capcom says or does there will be lots of folks that are not happy with what they are doing since, at their very core, change is bad. These folks who are raging on the boards don't want to even consider that what they know and love could possibly be better with a new system. Ultimately, the gem system is a different way of doing things. People don't want a different way, they want the old way that they know.

It's Alex that wrote this btw

I don't want to be that guy and I don't want to say this, but I have to: Epic Fail

I wish you hadn't... you make me seem like a dick and I was just trying to be informative without being offensive.

Moderator
#25 Posted by Ravenlight (8040 posts) -

As someone who's not really into fighting games because of the initial learning curve, SFXT isn't doing anything to make me want to try my hand at the genre.

#26 Edited by Lazyaza (2167 posts) -

I have zero interest in SFXT but eh interesting read nonetheless. Now SC5, holy shit will that game be awesome.

#27 Posted by lockwoodx (2479 posts) -

Capcom dicked over its fans with shameless overpriced ports and horrible $DLC practices. Their plunge into mainstream greed is where the Ire is coming from.

#28 Posted by Bestostero (2758 posts) -

GEMS GEMS GEMS!!! Seems like the same idea that one Marvel game they had with the infinity gems.

#29 Posted by Contro (2040 posts) -

I really wish they would quit bastardizing MvC and give fans a new Vampire.

#30 Posted by Ventilaator (1501 posts) -

I read the description of the gem system and went "...what's the problem?"
 
Then I got to the bit about DLC and pre-order bonuses.  Jebus Capcom, stop it already.

#31 Posted by nukesniper (1312 posts) -

I'll let the gem system come and then see what I think of it in the games. The reason I'm tired of Capcom is the mini-sequels they keep putting out.

SFIV to SSFIV, MvC3 to UMvC3, Dead Rising 2 to Dead Rising Frank West whatever.

As someone who was excited about most of these games, but also as a gamer who waits for a decent deal, I am glad I missed the MvC trip. From now on I won't be buying the first games of anything Capcom puts out, but that is only because a newer, better (slightly) version of the game is coming out for $40 next year. I can wait.

When Street Fighter X Tekken comes out I will wait for Super Ultra Street Fighter XXX Mega Tekken 420 to come out.

#32 Posted by MikkaQ (10268 posts) -

I agree with Jared in a sense. The gems seem neat, but also it seems like one more massive hurdle I have to climb in order to play with even average players.

#33 Edited by Mesoian (1572 posts) -

I honestly do feel for Seth Killian at the end of the day. He does his job so well, but has seemingly been putting out fires ever since Street Fighter 4 landed. Almost every Capcom game released since Lost Planet 1 has been ladened with caveats and exceptions that the company would like to simply ignore or prefer no one talk about, which tends to send their fanbases into an even higher state of frenzy than normal. With SFxT specifically, I cannot fathom why, when the game is still 6 months out, they would decide to reveal Pandora and the Gem system NOW, seemingly before any sort of heavy playtesting. 
 
And forget about managing your PR, it seems like every time Ono or Niitsuma get on the mic, they drop some sort of company line that isn't in toe with other company lines and pushes forth this air of confusion and dissuasion between the company itself and their fanbase. And even with all that, you have this sort of "active trolling" mindset that Capcom has, allowing people close to the company to slowly trickle out information which may or may not be right in order to build up their hype machine, but then when those people are wrong, much like they were with Ultimate MvsC3 earlier this summer, no one is happy and everyone is pissed off and your marketing strategies for the rest of the year are 100 times harder. 
 
Seth has a job I don't envy. It just seems...outrageously stressful. I hope the pay is good.

#34 Posted by Boiglenoight (529 posts) -

Companies seem to have caught a case of the retards, as of late:

  • Dice releases BF 3 for PC, requires Origin to play / not available on Steam
  • Google integrates Reader into Google+, now allowing you to specify who you want to share stories with (awesome), but kills sharing of stories in Reader itself.
  • Capcom creates what looks to be a super awesome and well-balanced Street Fighter vs. Tekken--who'd have thought would it would turn out so good--and threatens to gum the game up and alienate its target audience with a "Gem" system no one wants.

Also, Facebook keeps needlessly changing.

#35 Posted by AlexanderSheen (4929 posts) -

@rmanthorp: You were not offensive, I am.

#36 Posted by RenMcKormack (1072 posts) -

@Alex: Are you going for Whiskey Media MVP? I mean I feel like no matter what site I am on you somehow wrote it. Good article, I feel bad for Seth I feel like he wants to tell the competitive people that gems are actually ok but can't yet due to publicity release timing stuff from his corporate overlords.

#37 Posted by Mesoian (1572 posts) -
@keef said:

Companies seem to have caught a case of the retards, as of late:

  • Dice releases BF 3 for PC, requires Origin to play / not available on Steam
  • Google integrates Reader into Google+, now allowing you to specify who you want to share stories with (awesome), but kills sharing of stories in Reader itself.
  • Capcom creates what looks to be a super awesome and well-balanced Street Fighter vs. Tekken--who'd have thought would it would turn out so good--and threatens to gum the game up and alienate its target audience with a "Gem" system no one wants.

Also, Facebook keeps needlessly changing.

To be fair, the first two aren't retarded, they are very deliberate attempts to pull people away from the industry norm and into their own product which is, at least externally, fairly different from how other things work.
#38 Posted by Boiglenoight (529 posts) -

Also, from now on Alex shall be referred to as Patrick, and Patrick, Trevor.

#39 Edited by dvorak (1496 posts) -

@Baltimore said:

Excellent piece as always Patrick.

Or, you know. Alex. Because he wrote it.

Right up there at the top.

#40 Posted by megalowho (960 posts) -

Really nice to read a long, interesting gaming article like this with my morning coffee. Great work Alex.

@Nentisys said:

Capcom is in the same spot as CCP. Their fans are so passionate about their game(s) that they feel like they have some input over them (which I think is especially valid for Eve Online). Everytime CCP has tried to put something in the game to "give new players a hand to close the gap" or something like that it has done the opposite.

That's a pretty good point. Being wildly out of touch with a devoted fanbase while simultaneously trying to milk them for more money won't just anger people on a small corner of the internet, it can seriously hurt your company. See the recent wave of subscriber cancellations, product development restructuring and sincere apologies coming out of the CCP camp. Capcom isn't at that point yet, but I also don't think the Japanese leadership is going to come to any grand realizations about fan outreach anytime soon either.

#41 Posted by Brodehouse (9588 posts) -

You know I was about to appreciate the change in tone, and then Alex decided that this article was the best place to make a snarky comment about Marvel vs Capcom 3.

#42 Posted by Marcness (54 posts) -

@JudahJones: Well, retail pre-release packages are "working" and they're continuing to practice doing it because there are more ignorant customers than there are caring ones.

I think it's bullshit that publishers release preorder in-game incentives specific to a retailer, let alone preorder in-game incentives in general....but there are far too many people with the "just take my money!" mentality that my unwillingness to buy in to the nonsense is insignificant. I also think the same thing about DLC. The SSFIV costume pack thing is a good example. You're telling me that I had to pay an extra $15 or so over a long period of time to unlock items that are already on the disc that are only aesthetic and don't affect the game in any way? I'm sorry, but I'm not buying into it....but it doesn't matter, because there are so many more people with more money than sense that say "Oooh! I can almost see Sakura's coochie in that costume...SOLD!!"

#43 Posted by Boiglenoight (529 posts) -

@Mesoian said:

@keef said:

Companies seem to have caught a case of the retards, as of late:

  • Dice releases BF 3 for PC, requires Origin to play / not available on Steam
  • Google integrates Reader into Google+, now allowing you to specify who you want to share stories with (awesome), but kills sharing of stories in Reader itself.
  • Capcom creates what looks to be a super awesome and well-balanced Street Fighter vs. Tekken--who'd have thought would it would turn out so good--and threatens to gum the game up and alienate its target audience with a "Gem" system no one wants.

Also, Facebook keeps needlessly changing.

To be fair, the first two aren't retarded, they are very deliberate attempts to pull people away from the industry norm and into their own product which is, at least externally, fairly different from how other things work.

So the first two were deliberately retarded, while the third is inadvertently retarded.

#44 Posted by sickVisionz (1268 posts) -

I these will be as "game breaking" as the Ultra/Super Combos that they were compared to, then I don't see any issue with them at all. Gamers love to hate. I've enjoyed most of the Capcom games I've played this gen. I hope they keep up the good work.

#45 Posted by Mesoian (1572 posts) -
@megalowho said:

Really nice to read a long, interesting gaming article like this with my morning coffee. Great work Alex.

@Nentisys said:

Capcom is in the same spot as CCP. Their fans are so passionate about their game(s) that they feel like they have some input over them (which I think is especially valid for Eve Online). Everytime CCP has tried to put something in the game to "give new players a hand to close the gap" or something like that it has done the opposite.

That's a pretty good point. Being wildly out of touch with a devoted fanbase while simultaneously trying to milk them for more money won't just anger people on a small corner of the internet, it can seriously hurt your company. See the recent wave of subscriber cancellations, product development restructuring and sincere apologies coming out of the CCP camp. Capcom isn't at that point yet, but I also don't think the Japanese leadership is going to come to any grand realizations about fan outreach anytime soon either.

Well it also doesn't help that the people forming these crazy Capcom boycotts are the same ones swayed by honeyed words a few weeks later. I was pretty down on UMvsC3 when first announced, but I still ponied up.
#46 Edited by ratzombie (170 posts) -

I think the gems actually sound kind of interesting, my main problem with the whole thing is having pre-order and/or retailer exclusive gems.

Not like I'm going to buy Street Fighter x Tekken on day one anyway, I might as well just wait for Ultimate Street Fighter x Tekken: Arcade Edition Dash Hyper Turbo - Now with more gemz!.. right?

#47 Posted by geirr (2476 posts) -

What's Capcom again?

#48 Edited by skrutop (3615 posts) -

Great article, Patrick...wait, @alex wrote this? Huh. :P

Specifically to SFxT, the gem rage makes for interesting ranting at this point. The discussion is moot for high-level tournaments. If they're as balanced as Killian says then the top players will figure out the combinations that work for them and use them extremely effectively against each other. If they're not balanced, gems will simply be banned. There's not harm to them either way. In regular online play, they'll certainly make an impact, but the community will live with it the way they did X-Factor, Ultra combos, or Dark Phoenix. The community can bitch all it wants, but the loudest complainers will still wait in line on day one to pick the game up.

Which brings me to the broader point. If I'm Capcom then I am LOVING the attention that SFxT is getting at this point, because it shows how passionate and popular this game is in the community. I hate to say it, but if Namco were announcing gems in TxSF, then far fewer people would be bitching about it, and Giantbomb wouldn't have a news story on their front page about the nerd rage for their newest game. When it comes to hype, the opposite of hate is indifference, not love.

#49 Posted by Sagalla (214 posts) -

As a hardcore Tekken and Streetfighter guy - I think I just lost interest in this game - unless sanity prevails and these things are gone. I remember Marvel Super Heroes and gems back in the day, but this implementation seems really poorly thought out.

#50 Posted by FLStyle (4581 posts) -

Excellent article and a great read.

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