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Street Fighter 4 Backlash

posted on January 13th, 2008 by christian

Capcom is taking the usual approach when it comes to hyping up Street Fighter 4. They slowly release videos and screenshots, while allowing all sorts of previews and interviews to try and assure fans that they know what they are doing.

Of course, in this day and age such a method of hype is the wrong way. I have not done much to check out how the hardcore fighting game community feels about SF4, but among mainstream gamers and the non fighter “hardcore” crowd, the reactions are less than stellar. Bad words are flying about the stages, the new character, the way the fighting itself seems to work. It all seems baffling considering the game is still in an incredibly early stage (not even alpha yet), and the only confirmed platform is Japanese arcades (which was a guarantee when the game was announced). Yet there they are, chewing up each piece of information until they forget what they didn’t like, meanwhile before the game has a release date it will have a Wikipedia page with more information than one on the Allies’ campaign in the Pacific.

Simply put, it is incredibly irresponsible of our community, and it seems even worse when you realize that if they create a hivemind opinion on the game before it releases (be it good or bad), it will be difficult to shake when the game is launched. Some (myself included) would look at this as a call for more responsible journalism in gaming. True, the majority of the gaming press has thankfully had no kind of reaction to SF4, but these same people are the ones who have no qualms pumping out every morsel of info Capcom will send to them. This is another way in which we could learn from film. A man wiser than I said on a forum, “You don’t see Roger Ebert judging a movie based on the trailers”. It isn’t that movie buffs don’t, but they aren’t the ones making the final call in a variety of respected publications. The real critics are distanced from the fans, and magazines filled with slobbering previews are an option, not a rule. Either we need a wider separation between the hype machine and the writers, or some critics whose voices are so powerful that they have much greater sway over the comments sections of game blogs.

4 Comments

  1. Dave said on January 16, 2008:

    I think it’s unfair to call on journalists to be ‘more responsible’; after all, its these bits of info which bring traffic to their sites/continued readership.I’m happy we have news sources which print every update regardless of their !!!!!EXCLUSIVE!!!!! merit.

    It’s in the forums after publication that the majority of over analysis and general lunacy happens. Is this likely to change? Ha!

    When the first SF4 images were released of course I had to see them; to get an idea of the direction Capcom had decided on – it was the same with Fallout 3.In regards to that game I got what I needed with the first couple of shots and the QandA interview. I’ve now settled in to believing that the developer will produce a quailty game for me to experience at home in its completed form. Every piece of info from now on will spoil my experience only if I let it.

    And what’s with Sagat’s head in that picture?! It’s way too small!! And those huge hands – FAIL.

  2. Christian said on January 16, 2008:

    Thanks Dave. It was tough trying to express what I meant by more responsibility among journalists. I guess the best way to put it would be that bloggers are helping to create a frenzy. Some of the traditional sites will quietly dump a batch of screens on the preview page, and will actually garner any genuine info they have on the game. When blogs post links to these pages with a bit of their own opinion, it feels like someone stirring the chum into the murky waters.

    Also, I am of the opinion that not every juicy tidbit must be digested as soon as it is released, in which csae case I don’t see the need to post every piece of media released by Capcom et al, but that is a desire that is realistically not going to happen.

  3. Dave said on January 17, 2008:

    Well, blogs are run by fans who like their opinions and like to share them whenever and as much as possible…so whatcha gonna do?
    Every gamer needs to follow the hype on at least one game (Deus Ex 2) and have that game fall short (oh yeah.) If only to demonstrate the dangers of joining that
    hivemind – Think of it as The Final Hurdle of Grinding Disappointment on the way to Gaming Nirvana.

  4. Christian said on January 17, 2008:

    Good way to look at it.

    Also, I find at least some difference between, say, a blog run by game fans, and kotaku/joystiq.

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