<Sigh>...What happened to you Capcom? You used to be the gold standard for fighting games, rivaled only by games that appealed more to the more bloodthirsty 'edgy' crowd. Remember the Sega Dreamcast? Your fighting game lineup for that console alone was outstanding from the pringle-snatching curleh moustache grooming 'Marvel vs. Capcom 2', to the more obscure but still loved titles like 'Plasma Sword' and 'Power Stone'. You were even responsible for the revival of the fighting game genre with 'Street Fighter IV'. SF IV was certainly a step in the right direction with its overall mechanics, but with its popularity came a bunch of more fighting game titles from different companies, including your long-time rival 'Mortal Kombat' which came back after a visit from the same rehabilitation center as Sonic. But that's the difference between them and you: They stepped up against the competition. Sure, there's 'Marvel vs. Capcom 3', but you dissapointed with SFxT, and that's just with the fighting game lineup nevertheless your other titles recently. Let's not even talk about Megaman because you sure aren't.
Sorry for that little rant there; just got carried away. Let's get down to basics first. While we were still busy playing around with Vanilla MvC3, out came a little teaser from Capcom and most of us were like: "OMG IT'S STREETFIGHTER AND TEKKEN TOGETHER, ANOTHER AWESOME CROSSOVER!.." and other drooling babble noises we can utter out. And with all the hype coming from those multiple contests featuring Ono and Harada, game was pretty pumped up....but then the feces hit the air conditiong! (That's how that expression goes, right?) You see some tech-savy youngsters used their high-tech matrix-hacking thingamobobs to crack open the cd to find out that the game had content locked inside to be bought at a later date. Hijinx and hilarity ensued. So right away things weren't at a good start, but then came the gameplay itself. Sure it may have been just the players being new at it, but the new mechanics were just too cumbersome; the biggest concern that players had, the gems weren't even that significant a role in a fight, the combo/damage tradeoff was too off-balanced to take out one character, neverthless two, and then there was the fact that there were more timeouts than KOs at one point; never, EVER acceptable for a fighting game. We really tried to love this game, we really did, but in the end it just got boring to the point where the Fighting Game Community is practically abandoning it. Capcom tried to make things better, but all that happened was a certain character having the ability to crash the game when a common occurrence concerning that character happened, thus being banished to the island until it was fixed. If this was a real fight, that's already 3 knockdowns within one round, thus the referee calling it a TKO...then again maybe that wouldn't happen because of tHE FREAKIN TIMER!!
Before Seth Killian left Capcom (www.screwattack.com/news/capcoms-seth-killian-leaving-capcom) he said that concerning patching up SFxT, that there would be "fireworks". Well those fireworks better be more flashy, dangerous, and explosive than the 4th of July or Chinese New Year if this game is going to rocket back up the charts ahd hearts of gamers. Which is why I'm here to help. I've brought a shed full of toilet bombers and bottle rockets to suggest how this game could be better...and sparklers...because those are the shit.
Street Fighter x Tekken: Pandora's Exchange (Title Pending)
1. Add more types of gems
Gems have so much potential to make the game more of an RPG as well as a Fighter (Like Persona 4 Arena is doing now, only much better). Boost Gems however don't really have that much of a kick though to make a difference in a fight. Let's not forget Assist Gems. Sure some of them can be helpful to the beginners such as Easy Input and Life Increase, but when gems like the Ultimate Defense practically give you auto-wins, then the system has problems. It's not even helping the player learn, rather just get used to being more lazy. Hence why I suggest at least two more types for gems: Level 0 and Sabotage gems. Level 0 gems have less of an effect than their Level 1 counterparts, but they're easier to activate, and also can be reactivated throughout the round after a certain cooldown period. Sabotage gems are a little more complicated to explain. Well, not really, they mainly focus on..well sabotaging your opponent(s)' strategies rather than improving your own. Most would be mainly debuffs, but some the more unique examples would include:
- Bully- Automatically neutralizes your opponent's Assist gem for the match. If no Assist gems are present, the first Boost Gem in their slot is eliminated.
- Snapback- All raw launchers bring in your opponent's partner instead of bringing in your own.
- Frenzy- When your opponent activates Cross Assault, you automatically activate your's at no meter cost.
- Advanced Input Level 2- Enforces the Advanced Input Lv. 1 gem on your opponent for a limited amount of time.
2. Get Rid of/Edit Cross Rush
Light, Medium, Heavy, Heavy. Simple combo right? It's also efficient to bringing in your partner to deal out additional damage, and it does its job helping out beginners. What it also does is limit combo potential. It may just be me, but because of this mechanic, linking the different normals together to form a decent combo is hard to do unless you know the exact timing to make sure the combo hits, yet also doesn't automatically turn into a Cross Rush combo. Because of this, the amount of moves that can be special cancellable is also too thin that it limits players to use the same combos over and over again instead of varying it up a bit even just for style's sake. Even then, Cross Rush causes so much damage scaling by the its end that any other damage done is just not worth continuing unless you wish to waste time (which is a valid technique thanks to tHE FREAKIN TIMER...but that's for a later discussion). Yes, I understand that Cross Rush helps new players out with its simplicity and that SFxT isn't the same as SF IV, but if Cross Rush has to stay, then maybe tweak it up a bit so that the rapid chains don't appear so much, maybe have a Heavy attack, then the opposite Heavy immedietly follow up. Guy used to be the special one with his chain attack combos, but now that everyone has them, he isn't as special any more. Don't make Guy feel unneeded when he comes over as DLC to the game. Help a ninja out. T__T
3. Fix Pandora, aka Make It Actually Useful
Alas comes the main plot point of the game's story. Capcom wanted to implement another comeback mechanic into this game to help players out as well raise hype potential. By sacrificing your partner, the next point character gets and outstanding power boost as well as nearly infinite amounts of meter. But fearing the backslash they would get similar to that from fans getting irritated over getting their ass repeatedly handed to them by Lv. 3 X-Factor over at MvC3, they decided to tone the power down a bit. The devs turned Pandora into a gamble with a lot more risks for too little worthwhile rewards. If the Pandora character didn't KO their opponent within the next 8 seconds, they automatically lost. The problem with this is there were too many prequisites required to make the thing good. By the time your character is at the required 25% health, the opponent is mad dashing at them to finish them off, barely giving them room and time to activate Pandora favorably. Another problem was the good ol' timer. Even during cinematics and super freezes, the pandora time still ticked away, wasting away precious seconds needed to get the job done. Even with the Pandora Extend Assist Gem, it simply wasn't enough time to get things done. In the end, the fans got what they asked for: A pussified MvC3 X-Factor/Tekken 6 Rage. Sure they looked pretty, but just keep jumping back and blocking and Pandora's pretty harmless.
" Why Player? Why did you have to activate Pandora on me?"
I'm not saying extend the timer or make it more powerful, but I am saying make it less of a gamble. How about extending the required health to activate Pandora from 25% to 50%. Instead of automatically losing the round, the character merely goes down to only 1% health after the time is over. Still a gamble, but the player still has a chance to make a comeback based on skill. I do have another idea, but it's sort of crazy. Why not have two types of Pandora to choose from!
Pandora 1- The familiar Pandora in the game that we all know and forget exists. More damaging attacks, EX meter aut-refills etc. More favored as the offensive Pandora. After time is over, the user's health, as well as their returning partner's will be reverted to 1% unrecoverable health.
Pandora 2- The new version is favored as the defensive Pandora. Upon activation, the player's ability to block is removed, however the ability to parry is gained in exchange. Along with the default benefits of parrying, each parry will also convert 50% of the attack's original damage into health for the Pandora user. Moves with armor will also be unbreakable. No health deduction is given after time's up, but the fact that your partner is unavailable is still a downer.
Fix the FREAKIN TIMER!!
Why we even have to have this conversation, I don't know, I mean it's one of the basic tools in a fighting game and yet they managed to turn it into a problem. When the timer goes by fast, players tend to feel rushed, and when they feel rushed, they make rash decisions and hope for the best. It's a cripple in the intended metagame. And yet, the problems with this are so obvious that their solutions are as well.
- Put in a 'Final Strike' System- Just like how the game has that 'First Strike' tidbit at the side, a 'Last Strike' should also be implemented. Think of it as the final shot in a basketball game right before the buzzer goes off. The last button inputs made before the timer hits 00 will count as the Last Strike and thus any damage resulting from this last encounter is recognized as well. No further inputs like follow-ups can be made afterwards. The opponent is still able to react to it via block, counter or moving away, but after that exchange is done, the round is immedietly over. As far as cinematic supers go, as long as the super was activated and sucessfully connects before the timer hit 00, all related damage will be recognized and considered for judgement.
- Freeze the Timer During Certain Activations- Whenever a Super, Pandora, Cross Assault, or Cross Exchange is activated, freeze the timer during that special pose and then unfreeze afterwards. Seconds are wasted as of now because this is not present and like the previous suggestion above, will resolve a lot of heartbreakers.
Resolve Jab Pressure
This has also been receiving a couple of complaints from players. Because the blockstun on jabs is +4, the player can just keep jabbing away at their opponent for easy pressure, especially for certain characters such as Raven and Cammy. There are already simple solutions already present in the game, such as Alpha Counters and even a simple tactic as presented in comedic fashion by 'NutsvsGuts' in this video: www.youtube.com/watch
But if that's such a big leap to take for players, then simply set the blockstun to +3/+2 so that the pressure is less of a bully to them.
So those are my suggestions to improve the game thus far. I would go into character specific stuff like how Rufus' divekick was nerfed too much or how abuseable air Tatsus are..but I think I've already wrote enough as it is. As usual any input is appreciated for further discussion. I just want this game to rise up to be a star like Capcom vs. SNK 2, not sink into the dark oblivion of the hipster's game collection like Capcom Fighting Jam. Is that too much to ask? Would it also be too much to ask for Rainbow Mika as a playable character, even if her moveset is merely an El Fuerte clone?