I’m sure I have these buttons and stuff for a reason …

“Cut it out!”

“Stop doing stuff for me!”

“I’m not a little kid anymore, I know you want to help but you really aren’t, you are making things worse”

“I know you love me but you need to take a step back and let me do things for myself, I’ll never learn if you don’t or I’ll develop some bad habits now that I won’t be able to get out of in the future.”

This may look like a typical rebellious teenage outpouring but it’s not, it’s me speaking to a game trying to work out why it thinks it is a good idea to mollycoddle people, intelligent gamers, people who like to work things out for themselves.

As always, my focus is with Street Fighter, Super Street Fighter 4 to be precise, easily my favourite fighting game on the 360, EASILY! My problem is that it just wants to do so much for you, take away the trouble of you having to actually learn something or show some ability with what you’re doing.

Let me give you an idea on what I don’t like, I have a list, it’s not long, but it’s very important;

  • Blocking for you – this is the first time in street fighter history, pushing a button while blocking would traditionally break your block, usually ending up with you eating a punch to the grill, you can push what you want while blocking, it’s not going to do anything.
  • Auto Correction – turning you around to complete special moves, like jumping over E.Honda, the player just has to push a button for the head butt to come out, as opposed to being aware of the cross up and acting on it, relying on the player to understand what’s happening.
  • Shortcuts – shortcutting inputs on moves, although this has been around in various forms in the past, the Street Fighter 4 series have included a whole new set of them, some of them are so ridiculous that they have to be seen to be believed.

While comical, this shortcut has been confirmed as working in the Street Fighter 4 series, who's laughing now!
While comical, this shortcut has been confirmed as working in the Street Fighter 4 series, who's laughing now!

While all of these things may sound like they don’t amount to much it does essentially mean that a large part of the fighting game basics which you would have to learn are taken away from you, you no longer have to rely on reactions, patience and instinct, instead you can rely on the game to help you along instead of punishing you for making mistakes, in turn helping you understand more of what’s happening in the game.

I’m not saying making games more accessible is always a bad thing, recently I’ve been swallowed whole by Splinter Cell: Conviction, it’s simplification of the control system, combat system and available options have actually made the game entirely more enjoyable, it’s just that in some games I do actually want to be fully engaged, I want to think for myself, I want to be punished for mistakes so I don’t make them again.

I can make decisions for myself and if those decisions lead to me being set on fire, punched through the sky or spun through the air and smashed into the ground then I think I should be allowed to experience that and learn from it.

Sam reminds us of when life was tough!
Sam reminds us of when life was tough!






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