no new challengers allowed
If I can explain Super Street Fighter IV briefly, it would be a very fun looking playground set, only with no building instructions and a large percentage of useless equipment. I've been playing videogames for over 20 years; and while I admit I do not have a competitive personality, I feel I'm well rounded and adaptive to many genres. The level of play gap is the fighting genre's greatest flaw, but I was lured in by SSFIV's nostalgia factor and colorful cast of characters.
Never in all my years have I come across a triple-A title with so little guidance given to the player. There is a Training mode, but don't be fooled. It's just a dummy for you to hit and practice your move executions on. There is no tutorial, or even tips on what your character brings to the match. No overview on what your moves do, or when to apply them. I still to this day do not understand what a "cancel" or a "cross-up" is, or what benefit it brings to the fight.
It's pathetic how lazy Capcom is with one of its most recognizable franchises. How hard is it to provide a brief 10 minute crash course for each character? Simple freeze frames and text boxes to inform me how and when to apply moves, then letting me try it for myself is all I ask. Instead they waste budget on animated non-sequiturs in Arcade mode that are of no relevance. That is if you can even make it to the pointless endings even on easy mode.
After memorizing the movelist of a couple characters best I can, I gave online a chance. Even bigger waste of time than Arcade mode. After a dozen "unable to connect with user" errors, you may get lucky enough to start a fight. Unfortunately, the matchmaking is a complete joke, and despite your request to match only with same skill level players, you'll end up facing a B grade Ryu with over a thousand points and some quote like "yeah I'm gonna combo forever!" The match will last 8 seconds, and you've learned nothing. Back to the menu! If you're masochistic enough to try again, you'll face pretty much nothing but Kens and Ryus, who do the same hopping around and upper-cutting, or jump-kick sweep move over and over again. You might as well be playing a robot.
So there you have it. 30-something characters, you'll only see 2 of them online 80% of the time doing the same moves, ad nauseam. Yeah, I suppose I could put in the hundreds of hours it takes to learn and then execute how to counter-attack those things, but to what end? To say I am better at doing a 5-second combination of buttons over and over again than some random kid online? No reward.
I don't need to assume that 99% of the GB community who reads this will take issue with just about everything I've said; so I'm sorry I don't like your game. I am not very good at it, I'll admit; but Capcom feels totally unwilling to guide me in any direction. It's like trying to teach someone a language by just giving them a dictionary. Zero context.
Yeah, I often wiff moves, and can't perform an ultra facing right. That's on me. I can spend the hours and hours until I have trained my fingers to nail it every single attempt, but then it's an eternity of figuring out when is the right time to apply it. No training dummy will tell me that. Capcom dropped the ball here. This is an incomplete and unrewarding game with absolutely no guidance given to a newcomer. If you do manage to find a way to be successful at it, you will have narrowed down the experience to about 10% of the assets the game has to offer. At $30 and a gift card with purchase, I have no buyers remorse for this, but the time wasted is something I will never get back.