Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are mine alone and do not represent the opinions of any organization for whom I produce written or video content.
Before I get started today, I just want to let you guys know that I couldn’t be happier to finally have my digital hands on a copy of Ultra Street Fighter IV. The hype that had been building since my first Ono Shoryuken last year at Evo finally manifested itself in an updated version of one of my favorite games of all time. I have fun every time I play it and I expect to continue to do so for many months to come. That doesn’t mean that the update is perfect.
I’ve been putting together the community roundup posts over at SRK since the game’s release and in so doing I’ve seen some pretty dark corners of the Ultra update. A great number of these bugs have to do with FADC dash-throughs and involve weird hitbox and hurtbox interactions. Many of these are new, but even more of them remained in the game from the days of Arcade Edition ver. 2012. If you’ve not seen these before, here’s a video that NurseLee compiled which appeared on Shoryuken.com’s front page yesterday:
This isn’t even close to a comprehensive list. In fact, there’s an entire thread on the SRK forums dedicated to this problem. The real kicker? The original post was created 11 months ago. That means that the glitch has been public knowledge for almost a year, which means we knew about this stuff before the Ultra update was even announced.
This particular bug isn’t game-breaking. Sure, the dash-throughs could potentially land someone that final mix-up to take that final round of that final match in winners finals (did I say “final” enough?) but it’s not likely. Gambling 2 meter for this kind of opportunity, especially when each specific instance only works on a handful of the cast anyway, just isn’t something to get overly upset about when it comes right down to the competition aspect of the game. But why are these bugs still there at all and how do more of them keep getting introduced?
The dash-throughs aren’t the only oddities that I’ve seen in abundance, either. Over the course of several evenings of casual sets with my local FGC, I’ve run into a strange error involving character placement. It’s difficult to explain and I’ve not yet been recording when the glitch has occurred (you’ll all be the first to see it when I do catch it on film), but if certain moves hit at certain angles and force a character to move, say, forward (so that the attacker should land in front) sometimes the attacker actually lands behind. I’ve seen this from Rolento (vs. Decapre) and Dudley (vs. Ibuki) which makes me think that it could be something to do with small hurtboxes. It’s confusing, though. It’s a lot like a fake crossup, but the attacker nearly touches the ground behind the defender before swapping to the back, or the other way around. I have tried to recreate the incident, but I can’t. This makes me think that it’s an inconsistent kind of bug and that’s much worse than one that can be produced repeatedly for a couple a reasons: first, it’s harder to pin down what’s causing it; and second, people can’t train against it or have any way to anticipate it.
And finally, what about Elena’s inconsistent hurtbox that Wolfkrone found within the first days of the update? If this problem exists, I’m certain that it’s not exclusive to Elena, as none of the other bugs seem to be isolated incidents.
Bugs in fighting games are an interesting beast to discuss. We so readily forget that the entire idea of combos came from a bug way back in the days of Street Fighter II. Had that bug not been expanded upon purposefully by developers like Capcom, we likely wouldn’t have the fighting games that we play today, as characters able to do nothing but throw fireballs at one another and punch every once in a while sounds like little more than a re-skin of Pong. No one wants to play a re-skin of Pong. Kara cancels started out as a bug, too. So could these wonky hitbox issues be semi-intentional since many of them made the transition from Arcade Edition ver. 2012 over to Ultra? Or am I just giving Capcom too much credit here?
Take every bit of this (and a great deal more that I’m all but certain I’ve missed) and combine it with the fact that every new character and every new stage added in the Ultra update were transferred over from the failed Street Fighter X Tekken and therefore aren’t “new” at all. What? Oh, right, Decapre wasn’t. She’s a completely new charac–
Wait, no she isn’t. She’s Cammy wearing an alternate costume and enhanced with Raven’s particle effects from, you guessed it, Street Fighter X Tekken. Now, I love Decapre. She’s a character fun enough to main, but that doesn’t excuse the fact that Capcom built her up as much as they did, then teased a fan favorite like R. Mika before finally showing her to us. If Capcom’s goal was to piss off a whole lot of people, they succeeded. But we’ve all heard this issue discussed more times than we’d like, so I’ll leave you with this final thought:
Are we, the first handful of FGC loyals who slammed down fifteen bucks, simply beta testing a product due to release two months from now? Will these problems even be addressed in the physical release of the game? Will we be waiting for a 2015 or, worse, a 2016 iteration of the game before we see these problems fixed?
I guess we’ll know more in August. I’ll see you guys Friday.