|Article By: BAD
Street Fighter EX launched a few years ago on the ZN-1 hardware, marking Capcom's first Street Fighter venture into the 3-D fighter arena. The game featured classic Street fighter gameplay, but when I say classic, I mean classic as in no air-blocking, just as in classic Street Fighter pre-Alpha. Though the gameplay was more classic, it also integrated Super Move cancelling, Dizzy hits,and the Alpha-style 3-Level Super bar system into the classic gameplay feel. Of course, the characters were about half old half new, with hidden characters and some secrets to find. So, everything was fine, and Capcom's venture proved to be successful not only with the first SFEX game, but with future SFEX games, right? Wrong. Fast-forward to the present state of affairs concerning the SFEX series. The SFEX series eventually went to more powerful hardware as the series expanded, and refined its fighting engine, gained and lost characters, up until the latest - SFEX3. Capcom's SF venture into 3-D fighters has been shit on since it started, and for a plethora of bullshit reasons ranging from the game being in 3-D, to just plain unjustified hate. I'd like to once again thank the fucking rats at EGM and GamePro for ill-rating another one of Capcom's great series for the most idiotic of reasons possible. A great series that is Street Fighter, the Street Fighter EX games deserve more credit than they are given; and it's not just the 'scrubs' that are at fault here, 'hardcores' need to open their eyes and see the series for what it is also.
The first reason some say they hate the SFEX series is that they claim it's not Street Fighter. Ok, now what the fuck does this mean? Now if Capcom went and made this game a fucking dance sim, or a sports game with SF characters, I could understand such an accusation, but that's not the case. What the fuck is this shit? It has the classic SF gameplay, Capcom characters, and it's a fighting game; 'not Street Fighter?' What are they talking about? Just because they alter some techniques (every SF has this), put the game in 3-D, and add Dizzy Hits, the game is not Street Fighter? Street Fighter has made many evolutions over time, and SFEX is just another step in that direction just as the other games were. I was in awe when I saw the first screenshots of SFEX, and felt the same way I had felt when I saw Street Fighter II The World Warrior for the first time. I was amazed and couldn't believe my eyes; at last a 3-D Street Fighter game to rival the shit 3-D fighter that was currently dominating arcades at that time (hint: it rhymes with 'Tekken')! No air blocking, Dizzy hits, Super cancelling, and the 3-Level Super Bar were all complementary in this game; it made the game unique in its own way while still keeping what made its 2-D founders so great. The style of the game was executed nicely in the 3-D environment the characters fought in, and the characters, while in a 3-D environment, still keep their 2-D roots while evolving; they showed the game didn't have to have the monkey-commands of Tekken or Soul Edge to pull off moves in 3-D. The system of fighting for the game was great, with a sort of mix of SF and SFA gameplay styles to fit the evolution of 2-D to 3-D (this is for the 'it brings nothing new to the fighting' bastards). The hits register well, the moves look nice, the Supers are nice, the backgrounds are good, and the game handles and plays just as an SF should. Any gameplay problems? Name them, or try to find them, and you'll be hard pressed; the series has the same great control and style that Street Fighter has always had. From SFEX to SFEX3, the series evolved in gameplay techniques and character additions just as the series' 2-D predecessors had. And besides, who wouldn't have wanted to see Street Fighter in 3-D? But then, when Street Fighter went 3-D, lemmings followed one after another, off the cliff of popular opinion and acceptance, disregarding the game unjustifiably.
The biggest, most irritating fucking reason I've heard that some justify their hate for the EX series is the fact that it's in 3-D. Ok, this is the most terrible, most stupid, most rediculous fucking reason to hate a game that I have ever even seen. It makes my blood boil to hear that the reason so many disregard a great game is because it is in 3-D; absolutely fucking terrible. Just the thought of such a reason to hate the EX series makes me irate. Those who bring this reason to their defense talk like a man with a paper asshole; what the fuck does the game in 3-D have to do with it? So because the game is in 3-D it immediately sucks? So because you like 2-D games so much you can't like 3-D games as well? What, to be hardcore you have to hate 3-D fighters? To be a hardcore SF fan you can't like or play SF in 3-D? What a horrendous reason to disregard a series so great. Out of all, I'd have to say that 'because the game is in 3-D' has to be the worst fucking reason imaginable to defend disliking the SFEX series. I've heard enough 'the EX games suck because they're 3-D bro,' and '2-D foevah 2 be hardko bro' cookie-cutter bullshit to last me a fucking eternity - would the game still get the same comments if it were L.A. friendly? This series of SF games should have caught on better than at its current level of lukewarm acceptance within the 'gaming' community.
And what about the fuckers who eat 3-D fighters up and shit on 2-D fighters while they're at it? Well, I'm not gonna let those assholes escape either; they're almost just as bad as the overnight express hardcores disregarding the series because it's in 3-D. Some who do like 3-D fighters claimed not to like this game for an almost equally retarded reason too - they claim the game 'plays' in 2-D. Ok, now lets get this straight - if the game is composed of polygons, making 3-D objects (fighters), then the motherfucker is in 3-D. In addition to that, the game's hits hit successfully or unsuccessfully depending on the angle of both players and just where in the 3-D environment they are. Some jerks say that the game 'ain't in 3-D because you can't sidestep,' which is a real display of idiocy, because the fact is that a game doesn't have to have a roll or sidestep button or dodge move to be 'in 3-D.' What the fuck does having a sidestep prove anyway? Several characters (Dhalsim, Akuma, Satsui No Hado Ryu, Garuda) in the SFEX series have moves that rotate the plane, making them fight all around the 3-D environment they are in, while certain moves hit them at different angles, pushing them into different positions on the 3-D plane. They claim as an example that Tekken is 'real 3-D' when compared to SFEX, but the truth is that the Tekken fighters fight on the same supposed '2-D plane in a 3-D environment' that they claim SFEX does. Certain characters in SFEX have dodge or side-step-type moves, instead of how every fighter gets them in Tekken; when the side-step is limited, it adds more to the gameplay. The point is that again, the game is Street Fighter, not Tekken, not Soul Blade, and not Virtua Fighter (although I love VF also); what were they expecting? Did they want the game to play exactly like Tekken (or Virtua Fighter, for that matter?), so then they could cry about how it wouldn't be true to the SF roots? Others claim that the difference lies in the reaction to pain by the fighters in the game, but that quickly becomes false when you compare Tekken to SFEX and look at the different ways that they make hit connections and respond to them - the characters in SFEX aren't lifeless, but react more as they did to hits in the 2-D SF games rather than trying to put again, the plague of 'realism' into the fighting. The characters in this game spiral, bounce, roll, fall sideways when swept, and moves knock players into different areas of the 3-D environment; how is it not 3-D? The unique engine of SFEX is what separates it from the other 3-D fighters and makes it all its own; Virtua Fighter is great because it puts the realism into the fighting with good implementation, and in the same respect SFEX is great because it keeps its 2-D roots, creating a new style of 3-D gameplay that doesn't copy Virtua Fighter's (or the far-less superior Tekken's). The SFEX series is 3-D, and the best 3-D fighting game series ever (yes, better than Power Stone, as good as it is).
It puts the classic, never-tiring SF gameplay into the 3-D world of play, creating a style of presentation that cannot be achieved in 2-D; there are some style aspects of 3-D games that just cannot be performed in 2-D no matter hard they try, and the same goes for 2-D games as well. In 2-D fighters, there's this feeling, this way of presentation that makes it a visual feast of the eyes depending on how the characters and environments are drawn. In 3-D, the camera angles and 3-D models of the characters set the mood, while the backgrounds play an important role as well; 3-D backgrounds allow the player to see different parts of a stage at different camera angles depending on moves or other actions between the fighters. Where a 2-D background can be viewed through Super Jumps or other forms of vertical scrolling in fighters, 3-D fighters have this also, but in addition to scrolling upward to view more of the backgrounds, the camera can spin or zoom out to add uniqueness. I'm not saying that I do not like 2-D fighters (or games in general) by any far stretch of the imagination (anyone who has read the other articles knows this), but I respect 3-D games too, since both 3-D and 2-D games have their own unique and different aspects to love. It's all about variation and a different types of creativity that come packaged individually with each style of presentation; 2-D is what we've come to love over time due to its sheer beauty, but 3-D hasn't been given a fair chance to get to the status that 2-D has attained over time. Some claim that 3-D fighters cannot come close to that of 2-D games because 2-D games are animated; 3-D fighters are animated too, but again, with a different style, in which camera angles play a big part in the way a 3-D model is presented. Just because a game makes a jump from 2-D presentation to 3-D presentation doesn't mean it's terrible; a different type of creativity is at hand.
In terms of character models, the characters in the SFEX games look great for what they are meant to present: the original 2-D anime design style of the characters. Some compare it to Tekken in terms of character realism and all this other bullshit that comes with 3-D modelling criticism, but what they forget is that the designers weren't trying to capture the realism factor as Namco does with their fighters; instead, the 3-D models in the SFEX games are based off of what the characters would look like as 3-D anime-style models (as in their drawings). With this in mind, it is understood why the game thankfully doesn't look like Tekken, or any other reality-based fighter; SF just wouldn't be the same if the characters were based off of realism (we don't want another SF The Movie game now, do we?). The characters' moves were also faithfully converted from 2-D to 3-D; all of the 3-D versions of the 2-D moves look fantastic - Ryu/Ken's Hadokens, Dhalsim's Yoga Fire, Guile's Sonic Booms, and Sagat's Tiger Shots rotate and spin with a nice effect, while Zangief's Spinning Lariat and Chun-Li's Kiko Sho look great as well in 3-D. Some of the coolest effects in the game come with the execution of a Level 3 Super Move that every character has in SFEX2, SFEX2P, and SFEX3, where your character pulls off a move that not only fills the screen with chaos and fear, but is also lights the screen up with lots of bright hit sparks and background pyrotechnics.
Yet another unfair comparison I've seen made to tarnish the SFEX games is comparing them to the 2-D SF games. This is a terrible comparison because 3-D fighters cannot be compared to 2-D fighters, and vice versa; they are two completely different styles in overall presentation of a game. Comparing the two types fairly is very difficult to do, considering one is based off of the character's hand-drawn animations put into the game, while the other is based solely on manipulating and polishing the 3-D models in the game to resemble that of what the 2-D drawings of the characters would look like in three dimensions. The two just cannot be compared. Which one do I prefer over the other? Is my favorite SF of all time a 2-D or 3-D SF? I like both, and I have my favorites from both sides - I don't really choose which presentation I like better because both 2-D and 3-D methods are unique in their own ways. Street Fighter EX3 is the best 3-D fighter of all time to me as of now, and Street Fighter Alpha 3 Saikyo Dojo is the best 2-D fighter ever; both games add so many options, characters, and ways of play that it seems as though they are the pinnacle of their respective division of graphical presentation. With four players wreaking havoc on SFEX3, and three players raising hell on SFA3SD, the possibilities are endless and the shortcomings few.
Surely the SFEX games aren't at all so terrible as many make them out to be, and the truth is that they're not. Those who criticize this series are selling themselves short and insulting Capcom, by thinking that Capcom would release something lackluster (contrary to what the opposition has claimed). The fact is that although the animation style has changed and the series has a different engine than previous SF games (as it should), the game still lives up to the same great SF formula we've come to love. Sure, we loved the game when it started in 2-D, and we still love them game even now in 2-D, but does SFEX deserve to be shit on just because it has evolved into 3-D? No. The SFEX series lives up and honors its SF roots by keeping the SF theme and gameplay despite the flurry of criticism to change in order to fit in with what is supposed to be '3-D' as the 'hardcore' say. Maybe if more people actually played the games, it could be realized how fun they really are, as opposed to how fun a shit-ass EGM editor, six-month face hardcore, or videogames.com newbie says it is.