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Saving Street Fighter: Yoshi Ono on Building Street Fighter IV
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Saving Street Fighter: Yoshi Ono on Building Street Fighter IV

September 26, 2008 Article Start Previous Page 4 of 5 Next

What is most important when you're designing a counter system? This is a different kind of counter system than has been used in the past, and it feels like there's much more flow to it. Obviously, with III, you had to press the opposite direction you're used to pressing, so that was actually a big barrier for some people. This is much more fluid and can go into or out of combos, potentially. How did you decide for this one what was most important?

YO: The parry system in III was really fun and everything, but the problem was because you only have six frames to enter the command, it was really great for expert players, but really, really hard for the less serious players to get into.

So our main goal with this game was that we had two things that we were aiming for: we wanted to make it easy for people to enter and perform the move -- that's why it's only a two-button input -- and it had to be obvious to the player that they did something.

We didn't want them to do it by accident and wonder what happened. They had to see really visually right away, "Hey, I just did something."

You push two buttons and you have a brief period of invincibility where you can do a parry-like thing -- an aggressive, offensive attack. That's great, because if you're trying to make a chess-like game, it's got to be something that's easy for people to do and to utilize.

At the same time, we wanted to make the system deep enough for really hardcore players to get into as well, so that's why the system itself is quite deep.

If you want to, you can use it as a feint, dash out of it, and then move into other moves, and things like that. People who are more beginners to the genre can use it very simply, and more hardcore players can use it in an entirely different way. We wanted to have something for them as well.

Yeah, it seems to have a lot of potential as a launching pad for other techniques. I haven't gotten to play it that much, but is there a limit to how many times it can happen back and forth? I don't know if there's a defense gauge or anything like that. Or can it go infinitely between skilled players?

YO: You actually can't keep trading it back and forth infinitely, the reason being that there's three levels of it. If you just tap it, for example, you just kind of do a punch. If you hold it down a little longer, the character will flash for a second and you can do a stronger attack.

If you hold it down long enough, you'll automatically attack without you doing anything, and that's actually unblockable, even if the other guy's also trying to do the focus attack where he's invincible for a second

That invincibility is overwritten by the unblockable attack, so eventually, someone is going to do the unblockable one and knock someone out of the pattern.

So when you get high-level players trying to do this together, it's going to be a bunch of like, "Do I let go? Do I try to hang on to do the unblockable?" But you can't just keep doing it back and forth.

That's good, because the worry is that eventually with fighting games, exploits come out. I don't know if you have any sense of what those might be, or if you've totally gotten on top of all of them. Because like in Street Fighter II HD, there was the problem of Ken being able to do too many Shoryukens at first, and in CVS2, people would constantly roll and throw. Do you think that you've gotten them all out of the way so far?

YO: Well, we put a hell of a lot of time into trying to eliminate things like that at Capcom. In all honesty, it's kind of a bad habit, where we usually end up with some kind of exploit in most of our fighting games, to a degree.

We did test the crap out of it to make sure that it didn't happen, but the truth is, the arcade game just came out in Japan and Asia last week [as of the time of this interview]. They haven't found anything yet. If they do, of course we'll fix it for the home version, but right now, we're just waiting with bated breath to see if anybody does find something.

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