5.05.2009

Throwing Me Off Balance

At this point, I've made it through arcade mode on Easiest with every character I need to beat it with to unlock all the gimme characters and Akuma. All I have left to unlock is Gouken and Seth. So far, I am really digging Abel and once I've gone through arcade with everyone and seen the intro movies and other story bits, such as they are, he is one I am gonna focus on. As it turns out, though, he is also part of one of my major gripes about the AI in this game and, really, the one major complaint I think I have pretty much always had about every fighting game I have played; throws are absolute bullshit. Abel in particular, when fighting him in single player, throws constantly. That wouldn't bother me so much if his throws didn't take about 15 to 20 percent of your health off every time. Zangief is the same way only some of his throws take close to half your health away. One move that requires one button press should never be that rewarding. Yes, I know I can spam throw when he is in range and I am getting better at defending against it, but that's not the point. Throws have always been insultingly cheap in the SF series to the point that I think there was a home version of the game that allowed you to disable them, entirely. I could be wrong on that one. Either way, I hate throws, have always hated throws and will always hate throws.

My other major complaint about every Street Fighter since Street Fighter 2 hit arcades is balance. As in, they don't even try to. I would be interested to know how many SF Tournament matches didn't have Ken or Ryu in them. Based on what I saw playing it online, not too damn many would be my guess. Don't get me wrong, I am terrible at this game and will always lose because of that fact. However, it would be nice to lose to someone other than Ken, Ryu, Guile and Sagat. Funny enough, all four characters have a ranged "fireball" attack. What a coinkydink. Maybe if I can get to non-suck stage, it won't be as frustrating, but it sure is tempting to grab Ryu or Ken and go wreck shop, because I know I probably could. 15 years of doing the same moves means I don't have to think with those guys. That's no fun, though. I always thought Ken and Ryu and the other Fireball dudes made the game too easy. I want to beat someone senseless, not spam special moves for 90 seconds. I fought a guy online that used Sagat and literally spammed that Tiger throw thing the entire time. How is that fun?

To bring it all together, I give you the crown king of imbalance and throwing; Seth. Without question, the worst boss in any fighting game I have ever played. All he does is special moves for the entire second and third round. It's infuriatingly cheap and on top of that, the fucker can teleport. They took the worst aspects of every Street Fighter character and crammed them into one dude. What was wrong with Bison? If Capcom didn't want to come up with a new boss, just give us Bison or Akuma, again. Better yet, give us Gouken. You take a character that never existed, give him life as the ultimate symbol of fan service, and sequester him to being just another unlockable? Are you shitting me? I keep hoping news will come down the pipe that we are getting a patch that gives us a boss that doesn't suck, but I know it will never happen. What a shame, too, because he mars what is an otherwise amazing game.

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