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Crimson Relic

Developers take on SSFIV Features Trailer

By: Crimson Relic Jan 7, 2010 | 5 Comments

Some insight from the devs at Capcom.

English translation of Nakky Blog(Developers of SSFIV)-Thanks to Azrael @shoryuken.com forums for translation!

 

Happy New Year everyone!

Thank you for all the comments on the last blog of 2009! You're all just too nice! Thanks to you, Lil' Ono and the development staff has gotten really pumped up for the new year, the year of the tiger! And on my first temple visit of the new year, my forecast calls for good luck! What could this mean?!

Well to kick off the new year, today we're introducing new features in SSFIV! Check out the "SUPER NEW FEATURES Trailer" on the official site!

First off, let's look at one of the new features, the alternate costumes. The new characters in SSFIV will of course have their original costume as well as an alt, but the original 25 from SFIV will also be getting a new third alt costume!

Today, I'd like to show you 5 of my favorites!

First off is Rufus's "Hopping Chinese Vampire" costume!

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Super Street Fighter IV Preview

By: Crimson Relic Apr 9, 2010 | 9 Comments

Once again the Tournament of World Warriors is upon us. So what's in store? Check out this preview for all the info on Capcom's next entry in the Street Fighter series.

  With the release of Super Street Fighter IV only a little over two weeks away, the hype is building! Gamers all over the world are anticipating the release of this title, eager to get a hold of the new characters and let everyone feel their heavy hand. With all of the additional content this version has to offer over Street Fighter IV, the price of $40 brand new is a steal. So just what is the extra content we're getting? Let's see.


The Characters:

     In addition to the original 25 characters from SFIV, there are now 10 more warriors to battle with. Three of them are taken from SF3: Third Strike-Makoto, Dudley and Ibuki. Three more are from the Street Fighter Alpha series-Cody, Guy and Adon. On top of that are two brand new characters-A practioner of Tae-Kwon-Do, Juri and a Turkish Oil Wrestler, Hakan. Dee Jay and T. Hawk are returning as well. There have never been so many fighters added at once before, bringing tons of new match-ups. All of the original 25 have also been re-balanced. Changes have been made to properties of moves, frame-data, hitboxes, combo's and in some cases new special moves have even been added. The icing on that cake is that all 35 fighters now have two ultra's to pick from.

Characters and Features Trailer:

Online Modes:

  • Endless Battle Mode: This is basically the 8-player lobbies we are used to. Two players battle it out while the other 6 spectate the match and voice chat is open for all to communicate. The fact that this mode was missing from SFIV left many fans scratching their heads. The days of quiet 1v1 battles are almost over!



  • Team Battle Mode: In this mode you  have teams ranging from 2v2, 3v3, 4v4 or any mix of those, so you can have 2v4 or 4v3 if you wanted. It will continue searching for other players to fill the empty slots for you so you don't have to create room after room, as long as the slots are not set to "private".



  • Replay Channel: Capcom has went above and beyond this time with the replays. You can watch and save other player's battles, as well as your own. The only requirement to upload your replays is that you have won 3 battles in a row. There are filters in place that will make searching for the type of replay you're looking for easier. They are "Alpha", "Turbo and III", "Bosses" and "Newcomers". When watching a replay, you can choose to see input data from the controllers or joysticks, along with damage/stun/combo data. You can also choose to watch in slow motion or utilize the new ability to watch the match frame-by-frame! In any online mode if you are watching a match, with the touch of a button you can record and save that match to your hard drive! Thought that the match wasn't that good, but then something cool happened? No worries. Just press the record button and you'll get the match in its entirety! You can also gather up to 7 people with you in a lobby to watch one of the replays you have and anyone can save it.




Stages:

     SSFIV has 5 new stages to offer:

African Savannah Stage:



Construction Site:



Street Marketplace:



India Stage:



Seth's Stage:



     Many fans(including myself) do not think this is enough stages. Seth Killian has confirmed that they have heard our cries and know that we want more, though there is no word whether we will be able to get some as DLC or not. The stages that we have gotten are nice looking though and are a welcome addition.

Other Extra's:

  • Bonus Rounds: Remember smashing the car and breaking the barrels in the original SF2? Well these bonus stages are back in the Arcade Mode for your destructive pleasure.


  • Intros and Endings: Since SSFIV is set one year after the original, there are new intro and ending animations for all 35 characters. It was said by Ono in the beginning of SSFIV's development that he had heard the cry of the fans about the quality and length of the cutscenes and promised that the ones in SSFIV would be much better. Unfortuntely they ran out of time and money, resulting in actually worse intros and endings for everyone. Now instead of actually being animated, you watch still screen pictures with voicework over it.
  • New Alternate Outfits: All of the returning fighters will get one new costume, giving them 3 in total. The 10 new warriors will have 2 costumes. Capcom has unfortunately decided of going down the path of having you pay for these new costumes as DLC unlocked from the disc despite major complaints from the community when they did this in SFIV. You can either buy packs of costumes individually over time or wait until they all come out and then by the all-in-one pack.
  • Colors: So in SFIV you had 10 colors you could unlock for your clothes. This time there are rumored to be 12 colors. The 11th(Inky look) and 12th(Hand-drawn look) colors have been confirmed as becoming available if you have a SFIV save file on your hard drive.

super street fighter iv
Super Street Fighter IV on sale free shipping and a $10 credit

     So now that you know what's up, what are you waiting for?! Pre-order Super Street Fighter IV today, or win it for free right here on Gouki.com! Hurry, Dojo Edition pre-orders for the PS3 & 360 versions are already sold-out!

http://gouki.com/Story/Details/super-street-fighter-iv-super-giveaway

     For any fan of Street Fighter, this game is a no-brainer. If you haven't picked up SFIV yet, then this is your perfect chance to get in on all the action. Practice up!

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Crimson Relic

SSFIV Fight Club in Las Vegas

By: Crimson Relic Jan 7, 2010 | 37 Comments

A special night for Street Fighter.

     Tonight in Las Vegas, Capcom will be holding it's Fight Club event featuring Super Street Fighter 4. So far all we know is that everyone will be playable except the unnannounced Third Strike characters and the yet to be revealed Hakan. There are going to be a lot of camera's, so expect to see lots of footage hitting the web tonight and tomorrow.

     If you would like to watch live streaming of the event, it will start here at 7 p.m. PST and for you people on the eastside, that's 10 p.m. 

     It will be a good chance for members of the community to do some more testing with Adon, Cody and Guy, as well as see what balance changes have happened to the rest of the cast since the Fight Club event in New York went down a few months back.

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Crimson Relic

SSFIV Developer Blog: Release Date and More!

By: Crimson Relic Jan 26, 2010 | 6 Comments

Developers of SSFIV talk about the costume packs, Collector's Edition, as well as give the release date for the game in Japan.

 

Hello everyone!
I reeeeeally want to write about the Tohoku qualifiers! But as today is a special update, I've got something different to talk about!

Today, it also seems that Capcom is announcing a new title for the Xbox 360! To go along with that, I've also got some SSFIV news as well. Big news!

First, the sale date has finally been decided!

On sale April 28 (Tuesday) 2010!
The price is 4,990 yen!
What a steal!
(For Xbox 360 and Playstation 3)



Also, the Super Classic Pack of 3rd alternate costumes for Guile, Blanka, Dhalsim, Gen, and Fei Long will be immediately available for free download!
(But, if you don't get it soon, from 7/1 you'll have to buy it.)

Super Classic Pack




^This is what you'll be getting! Fei-Long is just too cool. And I personally like Dhalsim's Indian look.

But wait, there's more!
As special content exclusive to the Xbox 360, we're including a new anime that focuses on Juri! (Only available in Japan) This anime comes from Director Kizaki of "Afro Samurai" fame, and the well-known Japanese animation studio GONZO! Which means, its incredibly high-quality.

Brand New Animation



^A shot from the opening scene. Looks just like a panel from an American comic book.

Brand New Animation



^Chun-Li's in bad shape. No ribbons around her hair buns, and without her earrings, this is a very raw look for Chun, who has been badly injured.

Brand New Animation



^Smiling Juri, she seems nice enough. Looks like she's holding...a person?!

The preview trailer for this new animation has been released today! Check it out on the official site under "Trailers".

But that's not all, I've got more.
We're also going to be selling a fully-loaded "Collectors Package"!

And what is it fully loaded with?

First off is the "Character Soundtrack Collection". A soundtrack CD featuring the remix themes of all the SSFIV character's music!

There are many fans who are really passionate about the character themes in Street Fighter. As we got all character themes in SSFIV, now you've got a great opportunity to listen to them! On the way to work or school, while driving...however you like!

Next is the "All Promotional Video Collection". We're including all the promotional videos and trailers that have been made for SFIV as well as SSFIV! That's about 30 movies! ...We couldn't get the very last SSFIV PV to be released in there, but aside from that one, everything else!

I think the trailers for SFIV and SSFIV are cooler than any other game out there. I may have all this stuff for work, but I'm really happy that I can get it for my personal use, and looking forward to it!

And last is the "Character Art Collection". A wonderful art book including sketch-style illustrations for all SSFIV characters. But that's not all! There's also a mini-story for SSFIV included as well!

As we made this "Character Art Collection" in mind with the idea that you'd look at it while listening to the "Character Soundtrack Collection", the illustrations follow the same order as the songs! So its like of like a lyrics sheet. So just like the soundtrack, the last page will feature liner notes from the composer Mr. Fukuzawa, Sound Designer Mr. Endo, myself, and of course Lil' Ono.

Collectors Package



This wonderful and extravagant Collectors Package will be sold for just 5,990! Man...how can you not buy it.

But...there is one thing I'm concerned about. It seems that Capcom is planning something else for this deluxe edition as well. I've heard some things... The main details aren't clear yet, but as soon as I know something I'll be sure to tell you through the blog!

And finally! At the National Tournament April 4th, a playable edition of SSFIV will be available in Japan for the first time! Of course, all characters will be useable.

So we've got the National Tournament for the arcade, playable SSFIV, and various other events planned as well. It will be held at the BelleSalle in Akihabara! Be sure to clear your calendar for April 4th and come check it out!

And to close things off... to go with the new animation trailer that was released today, we also have a new game trailer up! This preview trailer was made for SSFIV pre-orders! Its a cool trailer that shows off just how awesome SSFIV is, so be sure to give it a look!

...And that's all for the new info on SSFIV today! I can already hear some voices in the back saying "What about info about new characters?!" To that, I can only say please wait a little while longer.

Well then, see you all on Friday!

Japan Only Animation Trailer:

English Audio:

New Gameplay Trailer:

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Crimson Relic

SSFIV Developer Blog: Character Design

By: Crimson Relic Feb 2, 2010 | 2 Comments

Developers of Super Street Fighter 4 talk about character design.

Hey everyone, it's been awhile! This is Tsukamoto.

Last week our Dev Blog took a break as Ms. Shiozawa's blog featured a special update announcing the sale date! After watching the anime trailer, Juri's way cool closing line of "This won't hurt a bit" has been stuck in my head.

Well then, this week I'd like to talk with designer Mr. Kamei about the character designs. What kind of episodes took place during the development of Street Fighter IV?

-- First off, tell us about how the character designs for SFIV were decided on.

Kamei:
I spoke about this a little in the 2nd blog entry, but when deciding the direction of the SFIV characters there were quite a bit of twists and turns. In trying to determine their shape, with the 3D body, silhouette, and volume, we came up with many different variations before deciding. For example, we had a really thin Ryu, a larger Ryu, a Ryu with a big body but small head...in the end, we felt that the current model was his best look in 3D. But before we got to that point, there were over 10 different variations of Ryu.

Ryu's History



-- What was the general feeling you were going for?

Kamei:

We wanted to bring the flavor of the old SF to life. Basically, in 3D games elongated bodies look pretty cool but we thought it wouldn't really fit well with a fighting game. With the exaggerated movements according to the game systems, the characters have to move many times faster than a normal person would. So we had to do modeling and deformations in order to match that, and the more we do the more it becomes unsightly to see. So in order to get both a cool look and easy-to-understand movements working together, we setting on doing deformations of the old pixel style. With pixels, you can easily understand their silhouette, and we can also include some cool deformations. By adding deformations, we can have easy-to-understand expressions in just a few frames of movement.

Tsukamoto:
Even for female characters, they can have facial expressions where you see them taking merciless damage.

Kamei:
Yes we included that. But personally, I'd like to improve upon that and have the characters sustain injuries. Everyone looks cool when they win without taking damage, but if you just squeeze out a victory then they should look all beat up (laughs).

Tsukamoto:
A face they wouldn't want to show to anyone. But, if you get too detailed with that then the game's rating will shoot up, so you'd have to pull that off very well.

Kamei:
Aside from the face, fighting games have a lot of intense movements. A jab punch comes out in 3 frames - 3/60ths of a second - but in that short time we'd like you to be able to recognize the forearm, the upper arm, and if their fist is clinched or not - that's the kind of silhouette we're aiming for. So that's why we basically haven't changed our way of thinking from the pixel era.

-- The movements in SFIV definitely feel like they are easy to understand.

Kamei:

You know, in SFIV we've added a transformation ability to every part. For example, when a character throws a punch, their fist will scale slightly to become larger. During the pixel era, in order to make an impression on the players, when characters threw punches their fists were drawn just a little bit bigger. So depending on the character, there are scale animations to exaggerate parts of their body as they throw attacks. Internally, its only a 1.05 magnification, so if you take a quick look at it you won't notice, but I think the silhouette will leave an impression.

An Image That Shows The Scale



Tsukamoto:
Without scaling, you don't really get the good feeling that is Street Fighter. It would be more accurate, sure, but it would be a little harder to understand. This is one of the benefits and drawbacks of 3D models.

Kamei:
Yeah, 3D models as-is aren't very interesting.

Tsukamoto:
Yeah, they're too straightforward. During the 2D era when everything was hand-drawn, the designers could think "This is a really heavy punch, so let's have the character's face warp a little bit, mouth wide-open, and we'll draw their fist a little bigger" and then they could animate it that way, but for 3D models that type of thing became a little difficult. At one point, we did think about making it more realistic, but then after giving it more thought we considered not making it in 3D at all. But one of SFIV's themes is replicating the great things about 2D in 3D, so we pressed on...this is probably one of the hardest things for the designers to tackle.

Kamei:
It took a lot of steps to get to that themes, but in the end I feel like we were able to stick to our roots and make a design, like the pixel era, where you can understand a lot of things in just a short span of frames.

-- Speaking of pixels, the SFII and Alpha series styles were pretty different. Were there any episodes in relation to this?

Kamei::

As the Alpha series was based on anime, the deformations were more severe and the information content was less than compared to the SFII pixels. So what happened for the new characters such as Guy and Cody, everyone had their own personal image of what they should look like. Even just asking the development staff, no one could agree on what Guy should look like (laughs). As there were a lot of opinions, it was pretty hard to get to a place we would all agree on. Of course, this is true for any series, but it was the most difficult for the Alpha characters.

-- It seems like it'd be easiest and fastest to just copy the silhouette from the pixel art and make the model from that.

Kamei:

We did that at first, but in just making them 3D as-is there were various problems that popped up.

Tsukamoto:
Guy was particularly difficult.

Kamei:
As Guy was the first Alpha character we ported over, we had to spend a lot of time thinking in what way to do the deformations. If you look at Ryu you'll get a good understanding of this, but in fighting games, most characters basic pose has their knees bent. They don't stand straight, but somewhat bent over. But Guy stands straight up with one knee straight. So he ends up towering over Ryu, and in 3D, what happens is that we have to make his legs short. His kicks have less range than his punches (laughs).

Guy's Kick



Tsukamoto:
For pixel art, we can just draw the legs long and they'll look cool! As Alpha was 2D, we could have these cool and cute anime kicks for all the characters, and that was one of the Alpha series's charms. But in 3D that becomes a difficult thing.

-- Were there any other difficult characters?

Kamei:

....Chun. (laughs)

Tsukamoto:
Yeah, Chun was a handful! Her model was changed so many times, I lost count! (laughs)

Kamei:
We changed her face even after the loketests.

Tsukamoto:
The Chun-Li from then and now are completely different.

Kamei:
From the questionnaires at the loketests, we realized that the players wanted a better Chun. So we finished up all the other characters first, then our lead modeling designer appointed the "Month Of Chun Improvement" and we got to work (laughs).

Tsukamoto:
Yeah, I remember that (laughs). We did that more than once, Arcade Month of Chun Improvement, Console Month of Chun Improvement...

Kamei:
Our lead designer was the one who would make the adjustments on her model body, then as her face changed (facial expressions) we'd have to fix that as well. I was the designer in charge of Chun-Li's facial expressions. So then the lead designer would make an adjustment to her body, and I'd follow up with the facial adjustment. Then we'd take a look at it, and if it didn't feel right we'd have to fix it again. That went on for quite a while.

-- Were there any characters where things went smoothly, or that you liked working on?

Kamei:

I'll have to go with Honda. Also, Dhalsim, Zangief, and Blanka. I'd played SFII when I was a kid, and I feel that their image in SFIV is the best match to that time. Its just how I feel, but I think that big strong characters are the easiest to reproduce.

-- Dhalsim is a pretty unique character.

Kamei:

Yes...speaking of, Dhalsim was one of the first characters we were able to get up on screen, after we figured out how to do Ryu. It was Ryu, Ken, Blanka, and Dhalsim. After figuring out the design direction with Ryu, Ken was easy enough to follow suit. Then Ono asked if we couldn't make some of the more unique characters, so we decided to make Blanka and Dhalsim.

Tsukamoto:
When SFIV was still just in the inspection stages, we still hadn't officially gotten the green light for development. The developers as well as Ono were still trying to figure out just what "IV" would be.

Kamei:
I thought, "This might be the last time I get to make a Street Fighter character, so I'm just going to do what I want! Give Dhalsim as many bones as I like!" So as a result, Dhalsim's preparation got the elegant treatment (laughs).

A Picture From Back Then



Tsukamoto:
Yeah, thank goodness we gave it our all back then. Its all about our love - if we didn't love the game, it wouldn't have been made.

-- Kind of surprising that Chun-Li wasn't among the first models to be made.

Kamei:

Yeah, we didn't have Chun-Li. If we think about The Month of Chun Improvement, if she'd been around back then then development would have come to a screeching halt! (laughs) Oh, I don't mean that as anything bad against Chun!

Tsukamoto:
The Month of Chun Improvement was pretty heavy. Did it make you hate Chun?

Kamei:
Not at all. There are other characters who turned my dreams into nightmares.

-- Such as?

Kamei:

...Dhalsim. (laughs) At first, we couldn't get Sim's stretching animation right at all. In particular, his arms would get jagged, and we couldn't get them to stretch beyond a certain point without getting all messy. I'd always end up saying "Curse you Sim, why do you have to move like this! This is impossible in 3D!"

Tsukamoto:
I remember we asked if it was okay if Dhalsim's arms only stretched a little bit. Okada's answer to that was "No!" (laughs) But we eventually got them stretching beautifully!

Dhalsim's Stretchy Arms



-- Is there anything else you'd like to point out about the SFIV character design?

Kamei:

What I'd like the players to notice is the level of detail given to SFIV's shader. Its a bit difficult to sum up with a shader is, but it's something that really adds a nice touch to the outward appearance of the 3D models. If you look at the expressions during Focus Attack or at the results screen, this will give you an idea of SFIV's unique shader. The extra touching effects in the PC version also come from the shader. Even with the same model, the shader can really add an extra sense of quality.

-- You mean the poster or watercolor look effect! That's the shader?

Kamei:

That's right. The shader has many different uses and tools, but in SFIV what we were going for was the moving painting look. Make the artwork of Street Fighter come to life, in 3D, and give it a sense of depth and presence - we felt that would be the most interesting expression for the game, and that's how we developed our shader.

Tsukamoto:
As we re-did Ryu's model over and over again and looked for our direction, we also advanced our shader at the same time. I feel its a very unique expression, so I would be happy if everyone were to take note of it.



-- Are there any last words you'd like to leave to the fans who are looking forward to the character designs?

Kamei:

With SSFIV, since we had the experience of SFIV behind us we thought we'd be able to complete the development in no time, but this time as well we tinkered with it right up until the deadlines. The characters of SF are all very individualistic, so getting that to properly come across in 3D takes some trial and error. But in the end, I feel the new characters retain that high quality feel, and are designed to fit right in in SSFIV! If you have any thoughts after buying the game, I'd love to hear them. Please shoot me a line!

Tsukamoto:
Well, we mostly talked about arcade SFIV, but I hope you all enjoyed today's entry.

The qualifiers for the National Tournament are under way! Arcade players, do your best! We here at the offices are praying that the players will really enjoy the tournament!

Well then, see you next week!

Community Blog

Crimson Relic

SSFIV Developer Blog: BGM

By: Crimson Relic Jan 12, 2010 | 1 Comments

The developers of Super Street Fighter 4 talk about the background music.

Thanks to Azrael once again @shoryuken.com forums for the translation!

How is everyone doing? It still doesn't feel like the New Year. But today I feel like I'd like to eat some New Year's dishes.

This is Tsukamoto.

If you're talking about Street Fighter, there are plenty of songs that are instantly recognizable that you want to sing along or hum to! So then, today we'll call on the Sound Creator Mr. Tomozawa to represent the sound team who creates these famous songs and sound effects.

Well then, please introduce yourself.

Tomozawa:
Nice to meet you, I'm the Sound Creator, Tomozawa. Continuing from SFIV, working together with the Sound Designer Mr. Endo I'm in charge of everything related to sound. My personality is that of a shut-in. As my job entails making sounds, I isolate myself so I don't bother everyone else. I also had the flu, so that played a part. At home, I'm in charge of babysitting, so that also contributes to my personality.

A recent picture of Mr. Tomozawa

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Crimson Relic

SSFIV Developer Blog: Dudley

By: Crimson Relic Mar 8, 2010 | 2 Comments

Time to go in depth with Dudley.

Devs:

The Super Street Fighter 4 developers are back again this week, discussing how Dudley plays and why he was included in the new title.

Although Dudley is fairly true to his Street Fighter 3 form, Capcom staff talks about how he was tweaked in this iteration. A big thanks goes to Azrael for translating this latest blog entry.

Hello everyone. This is Tsukamoto.

This week I'll be joined by director Okada and the head battle planner Sano, as we talk about the last of the new characters from Street Fighter 3 - Dudley - and things ranging from how he was chosen and what not.

First off, please tell us why Dudley was chosen to be added in the game.

Okada:
He was chosen for Street Fighter 4 because a lot of the development staff were really passionate fans of him, and he is extremely popular overseas. He is so popular that when producer Ono went to Europe to get opinions about the next installment of Street Fighter 4, he was consistently asked or requested for Dudley to be in the game. Also, we had a lot of requests from overseas fans to see the dream match-up of Dudley vs Balrog.

Is being a boxer the secret behind his popularity?

Okada:
Dudley's stylish boxing fight style is definitely very popular. We also feel that with his high approval rating in Europe, many Europeans want to support a fellow countryman.

What do you think is Dudley's charm?

Okada:
His character charm from Street Fighter 3 was to read the opponent, get in on his terms, and then take away their life in a flash - good rushdown power. Another part of his charm is that his attacks are very strategic. For example, Dudley has a lot of feint-type moves. He can get in close and counter his opponent's throw attempt with an attack. He's also got moves that are for the sole purpose of getting in close. If you are good at reading your opponent, then he becomes a very strong character.

Does Dudley play the same in Super Street Fighter 4?

Okada:
Yes, we have emulated Dudley's "hit and run" style as well as his fight style of getting into those open spaces from Street Fighter 3.

Sano:
Yes, his ability to control distance through various movements hasn't changed. For example, with his "Short Swing Blow" he moves back for a moment and evades his opponent's attack before launching his own - if you can use this well you can get in your opponent's face in an instant and really mess with them. Also, we brought back his "Thunder Bolt" from 2nd Impact, which can surprise people up close. Dudley also has plenty of target combos, so finding a way to get in close and utilize them will be one of the keys to victory.

How did you bring about the feel of Dudley?

Okada:
As Dudley is Mr. Gentleman, we included some gentlemanly components in his motions. His image is that of an orthodox boxer, who wastes no movements.

Sano:
Even though he's a fighter, he doesn't have that gritty Street Fighter feel, but more like that of a sports athlete. You won't find him fighting in the back alleys - he's got a strong sense of sportsmanship, and he is always polite.

Okada:
For boxers, of course we already have Balrog, but Dudley and Balrog's fight styles are completely different. Balrog just charges in like a rampaging bull*, his attacks are straight-forward and he's in your face, while Dudley is more of the "dance like a butterfly, sting like a bee" type, who focuses on footwork and keeps his distance. So Balrog wants to just land powerful single blows, while Dudley wants to use his footwork to hit multiple target combos and eat away at your lifebar.
(*Remember that Balrog's name in Japanese is Bison - so this is sort of in reference to that.)

Has he lost any moves?

Okada:
He's got all his moves from the Street Fighter 3 series. As Sano mentioned before, he also has the "Thunder Bolt". Personally, this is a move I wanted to see come back in this title, so I asked the designers and engineers about it and now its back.

What kind of move was the "Thunder Bolt"?

Okada:
If you use it when the opponent least expects it, I think its a fairly useful move. Also, it does pretty good chip damage, so I think it'll be good to finish off near-dead opponents.

Sano:
"Thunder Bolt" is one way to really throw your opponent off-guard. Use it immediately at the start of the round to have your opponent moving at your pace, and then use it with good timing to really throw off your opponent's spacing.

As the ultras are selectable this time around, tell us about the features of both of his.

Sano:
First lets talk about the "Corkscrew Cross". The first hit doesn't have a whole lot of reach, but you can use it within combos. It has a lot of various uses - for example, after launching an opponent from EX Machine Gun Blow, or after an anti-air from a high position.

Okada:
We've made this "Corkscrew Cross" in this game as a different version of his "Corkscrew Blow" from Street Fighter 3. In Street Fighter 3, the Corkscrew Blow did a lot of chip damage, had a huge hitbox, and had very little startup, so it was a tool with a lot of functionality. However in this title, the Corkscrew Cross is short-range and somewhat more limited in its usage. So that gives it a different feeling from the Corkscrew Blow from Street Fighter 3.

How about his other ultra, "Rolling Thunder"?

Sano:
For "Rolling Thunder", in order for it to be able to pass through projectiles we've given it a fairly long window of invincibility. Since there's no parry in Street Fighter 4, this is a way of dealing with fireball characters. So when you're taking on fireball characters, I'd recommend this ultra!

Okada:
When Dudley has the meter for "Rolling Thunder", this increases his mid-range options and makes it harder for fireballers to throw that fireball, so this is an advantage for him. Also, even if the opponent blocks he keeps on punching, so this can also work for chip damage kills.

Do you have any moves you would recommend?

Sano:
I'm going to go with his ducking. It lets him evade fireballs and get in close.

Okada:
At the beginning of development, ducking didn't have the ability to avoid projectiles. As Dudley was the first Street Fighter 3 character we added to the game, at that time we hadn't yet decided on how to fit them into this game. So at that time, he couldn't evade fireballs and he wasn't very Street Fighter 3-ish.

Sano:
Yes, the first Dudley was one who was based completely on Street Fighter 4's system.

Okada:
But then during development we had a lot of people experiment with him, and when we also tried him out we felt that as-is, there was no point in adding him to the game at all. So then we thought about the Dudley that players wanted to use, and how to bring that about, and that's how ended up with the ducking's current function.

Why didn't it go through projectiles at first?

Okada:
Ducking doesn't just avoid opponent's attacks, it's also a dash is it not? So at first, we worried that no one would use his regular dashes. And that this would be unbalanced. On that note, ducking is a move that we had to continually adjust right up until the end.

Sano:
If we think about it, Dudley is a Street Fighter 3 character that we are trying to put into the Street Fighter 4 series. So we went through a trial and error process with him, and the direction we settled on was to keep as much of the Street Fighter 3 feel as possible. We also did this for Ibuki and Makoto.

Are there any other moves you would recommend?

Sano:
While it's not technically a move, I would recommend his rose throw. Since this was a taunt in Street Fighter 3, its formal name is "The Rose of Victory". Okada said we absolutely had to have this, so it was added in. Of course, that wasn't the only reason (laughs). In order to add the rose throw we had to add a completely new system, and it took a lot more work than expected.

Okada:
We had proceeded without the rose throw through the middle of the development stage, but it just didn't feel right not to have it. The rose throw is one of the more memorable taunts from the Street Fighter 3 series, and it's also one of the most trademark aspects of Dudley. I'm glad we were able to get this in as a special move.

Sano:
This was also touched upon on Ms. Shiozawa's blog, but after throwing the rose Dudley can close the distance on his opponent. So its not something you can really exploit, but its not useless either. Also, the rose homes in on the opponent's head without fail.

Okada:
Yes, it even homes in on them during a jump.

Sano:
If you're in close and you time it carefully against your opponent's jump, you can whack them pretty good. So this can keep your opponents grounded, which is where Dudley likes them.

Tsukamoto:
The rose only makes contact with the opponent, it doesn't take away damage right?

Okada:
Right, it doesn't do damage. We thought about making it do 1 point's worth of damage, but we figured anyone who got KO'ed from the rose throw would be pretty pissed off so we gave up on that (laughs).

Who out of the existing Street Fighter 4 characters would you say is similar to Dudley?

Sano:
That's a really hard question. A Street Fighter 4 character who plays like Dudley... I don't think there is one. Balrog is also a boxer, but their playstyle is completely different. So for fighting style, maybe the closest would be... Dhalsim?

Okada:
Yeah, Dhalsim's stretching arms control the distance, and with his Yoga Teleport he can get in close and attack you, so in that regard maybe they're kinda close.

What is Dudley's best distance?

Okada:
For options, that would be mid-range. For doing damage, up close.

Is Dudley a difficult character to use?

Okada:
His actual controls aren't that hard. However, his playstyle really requires a psychological warfare, so in that sense he may be suited better for tactical players. If you are the type who likes to do what you want to do and hit a good combo to decide it all, maybe he's not for you, but if you like to think "Well, in this situation he'll do this move," or "if I do this I can irritate him and bait out this move," the type who really likes to read your opponent, then I believe Dudley is right up your alley.

Tsukamoto:
For games as well as real fights, good players are able to utilize these mind games. If you can get caught up in that aspect of Dudley then he'll be an interesting character to use.

Last week you also said that reading your opponent was necessary for Makoto's gameplay - does that mean that they are similar characters?

Okada:
Well, both characters require reading your opponent, but how that plays out differs between then. For Makoto, more than countering she's more about reading in order to land her moves. For Dudley, if you make a mistake in reading your opponent's options then they will evade your attack and Dudley gets countered, so he has to think about about which move he wants to make the opponent do, or how he's going to pressure. He matches up with his opponent's moves and then decides his, so that point is different.

Do you feel Dudley is suited towards beginner, intermediate or expert players?

Okada:
I'd say from intermediate to expert. I think he's harder to use than fireball characters, but as for the feeling of play itself I think he's quite normal.

Which matchup would be the most interesting for Dudley in this game?

Okada:
Of course, that would be Balrog!

Based on what we've just taked about, Dudley seems like he'd have the advantage over the straightforward rushing Balrog.

Okada:
Nah, they both have their distinctive flavors, so I think it would make for a pretty good matchup. Dudley with his light footwork and target combos seems like he'd have the advantage, but once Balrog starts pressuring he brings a lot of power. So its hard to say which is better, and I think it'll make for a good fight. If nothing else, seeing two boxers duke it out is just cool (laughs).

Tsukamoto:
Ducking the opponent's attack and trading blows looks really cool, and if you see your opponent is Balrog you can think "Okay, let's settle this!" and get really into it.

Do you have any final words for the players looking forward to Dudley?

Okada:
For Dudley, same as with the other Street Fighter 3 characters, while there may be some differences here and there, we've done our best to preserve his feel from that time, as well as add a Street Fighter 4 playstyle as well, so please look forward to that. I'd like to new players to try out Street Fighter 4 Dudley, and even for those players from Street Fighter 3 I think you'll find a new way to play him. It'll be pretty interesting.

Sano:
As Okada said, we've done out best not to disturb how it feels to control him, so I think you can play him with the same sense you did in Street Fighter 3. And of course, there's the revived "Thunder Bolt"! If you can find cool ways to use this, I'll be really happy!

Tsukamoto:
Including the new move, train up and polish your moves as well as your individual playstyle! Then take it to the ring to develop your fighting spirit and guts. I'll also give it my best!

Well then, we've covered the Street Fighter 3 characters over these past three weeks, and I hope you enjoyed it. As we've been hearing a lot of opinions about this, I think we'd better cover some of the existing characters as well. We're just getting started with preparations, so please look forward to it!

See you next week!

Community Blog

Crimson Relic

SSFIV Developer Blog: Character Adjustments Part 2

By: Crimson Relic Apr 13, 2010 | 2 Comments

Devs of SSFIV tell us what changes have happened for C.Viper, Rufus, El Fuerte, Abel, Seth, Akuma and Gouken.

Devs:

Hello everyone! This is Tsukamoto.

We'd like to keep things rolling from last week in talking about the character adjustments. This week, together with the battle planners we'll be covering the SFIV newcomers C.Viper, Rufus, El Fuerte, Abel, Seth, and also Akuma and Gouken as well.

Let's get right into it - please tell us about the adjustments for C. Viper.

Okada:
C. Viper is a character that has been heavily influenced by player feedback, so we wanted to adjust her while keeping her image from the last game as intact as possible.

Sano:
We've made some adjustments to the moves that she could just spam. For example, her Burning Kick, where even if the opponent blocks Viper is at an advantage. While there are no changes if the move hits or misses, on block we've added a few extra frames of recovery.

Any other adjustments?

Okada:
We've also made some adjustments to her Crouching Medium Punch. Her Crouching Medium Kick is pretty good, so Crouching Medium Punch gets overlooked. In order for Crouching Medium Punch to have more of a presence in the game, we've given it a bit more priority so she can use it as a counter-poke. But since Viper's play style is pretty fast-paced, it may be difficult to find the right time to use it. We improved it to just give her a nice accent. So it won't really affect her fight style, but in those times where Crouching Medium Punch lost out, now it will win.

How should we use her ultras?

Okada:
Burst Time (Ultra 1) is an ultra that had to be combo'ed into, and required a fair bit of technique, but Burning Dance (Ultra 2) is a lot easier to use. Rather than in a combo, this is a move you can hit on its own.

Now let's talk about Rufus's adjustments.

Okada:
The biggest adjustment is that the damage on his Dive Kick has been reduced. We looked into various areas, and we felt that what gave people the most problems fighting against Rufus was the Dive Kick, so that's what we focused on for the adjustments. We tried completely nerfing it, but then Rufus would have been pretty much unplayable. We went through a lot of trial and error for this, and since we didn't want to take away Rufus's playstyle or his fun, we decided to keep the move as-is and just reduce the damage.

Sano:
As you may have read on the blog before, damage is being reduced all across the board, but Rufus in particular has seen a slightly bigger reduction in damage out of all the other characters. Of course, everything hasn't been reduced, but we've been working on the stuff that he could just spam, or moves that were too strong.

So in Street Fighter 4, Rufus was just a strong character that didn't need any technique?

Okada:
That's not quite it. Of course, technique is necessary for controlling your character. Just, since his damage output was so high, when he got an opening he could do more damage than the other characters, so we are adjusting that aspect. Also, many players felt that they didn't know how to retaliate against Rufus's attacks, or they had problems knocking him down. While we haven't particularly weakened Rufus in this area, we feel that the strength adjustments to the other characters will better help them here. As for the feel of play, Rufus is perhaps the most unchanged from Street Fighter 4. So for those who enjoyed playing as him in IV, you can play him the same way in Super Street Fighter 4.

What type of move is his new ultra, Big Bang Typhoon?

Sano:
The main thing about his new ultra, Big Bang Typhoon, is that it deals out quite a bit of chip damage. So when you have ultra stored up and your opponent is trying to run away from you, you can use it to chip them to death. Also, it has a fairly large hitbox, and it vacuums in jumping opponents, so its pretty good as anti-air.

Okay, now please tell us about El Fuerte's adjustments.

Okada:
In Street Fighter 4, El Fuerte was known as the random character, so we tried to adjust him while keeping that intact. In order to be effective as a random character, technique is necessary - so in Super Street Fighter 4 as well we are keeping the feel of his play.

In general, what type of adjustments have you done to his moves?

Okada:
We've raised the damage on his Guacamole Leg Throw (Air Grab). In battle, hitting it is fairly difficult, so we gave it a damage boost to compensate. We've also made his target combo forward kick easier to connect, and probably what most people are concerned about - we're leaving his Infinite Loop Combo in.

Tell us about his new ultra, the El Fuerte Ultra Spark.

Okada:
We made it as a counter if you can match your opponent's movements. The move slides him forward, and it counts as a throw move in that state. The throw range while he's sliding is pretty wide, so if you can match your opponent's movements its a throw that will win out a lot of the time. It works great against grounded opponents, and if your opponent is trying to match your moves then this works nicely as a counter.

Against which characters does the El Fuerte Ultra Spark offer an advantage?

Okada:
If I had to choose, I'd say Ryu or the other projectile characters. The sliding goes under projectiles. Also, the throw period is fairly large, so you can do the ultra upon seeing the fireball and have it hit. But rather than just projectiles, its a move for your opponent's big attacks.

Fuerte was considered to be one of the weakest characters in vanilla Street Fighter 4, but how about Super Street Fighter 4?

Okada:
As we haven't really done a lot of buffing to Fuerte himself, maybe his position hasn't changed? (laughs). But the weak parts of him, as well as things like hitting the move but not being able to do that much damage, we have been strengthening that. So by that, players can bring out their ability more and he should be easier to use than he was in IV.

Next tell us about Abel's adjustments.

Okada:
First, we've make Sky Fall (Air Grab) easier to use. We intended for it to be anti-air, but the situations where it could actually be used were on the few side. So we've adjusted it so that its a little easier to catch people with it.

Tamamura:
We've also adjusted his sweep. It now hits from a little farther away now - its a small change but it will have a big effect on his matches. Also, his Far Standing Light Punch now comes out a little faster. In general, Abel's normals have gotten a little better.

Tell us about his new Ultra, Breathless.

Okada:
Breathless is a grab ultra where he dashes forward and pressures his opponent. You can't combo into it, but with super armor you can dash in and absorb a hit, really take it to your opponent. Also, if you hold the button down you can delay when it comes out.

Tamamura:
You can also cancel it. So if you think its going to whiff for sure, just stop it. (laughs)

Okada:
Also, as your opponent is getting up, you can start Breathless, and just before they get up, cancel it, and then just throw them regularly - my recommendation!

Against which characters does Breathless offer an advantage?

Okada:
Characters who can control distance pretty well from afar, as well as characters who do lots of mix-ups in close. It works great at all ranges, but it can be kind of hard to hit against jumping opponents.

Please tell us about Seth's adjustments.

Okada:
For Seth, we're basically tuning down the moves that are too strong, and balancing him better as a player character. We are increasing the recovery on his Yoga Teleport, reducing the priority on his jump back/up Hard Punch, and taking a look at his attack power. However players shouldn't feel as though his moves will lose functionality, as the things you can do in IV will remain the same in Super Street Fighter 4.

Seth had was considered to be fairly strong in IV, do you feel that he's about the same in Super Street Fighter 4?

Okada:
Among all the characters, I feel he's on the strong end. Conceptually, he is similar to Akuma. So, he can deal a lot of damage and has good combos, but if he gets rushed down he's weak.

Tell us about the new Ultra, Tanden Typhoon.

Okada:
As Tanden Stream (Ultra 1) is a good all-purpose projectile-type, we wanted to give him a more tricky ultra in Tandem Typhoon. The basic uses are anti-air, chip damage, and combo'ed into. Its not quite as all-purpose as Tanden Stream, but it feels nice when you hit it in a combo, so all you combo fans out there please give Tanden Typhoon a try.

Now tell us about Akuma's adjustments.

Okada:
We've adjusted his Demon Flip Throw. In IV, regardless of whether it was blocked or missed, Akuma was at an advantage, but now Akuma is going to have to use it more carefully.*
(*Azrael's note: It sounds like Okada is talking about something that isn't a throw, but the move name he says is the Demon Flip Throw, so... I dunno what to tell you.)

Sano:
Akuma is a character who deals out a lot of stun, isn't he?

Okada:
Yeah... he has loop-like combos and near hit-confirm combos, so in IV he could really dish out a lot of stun. So with one opening he could hit a loop combo and then in the next combo the opponent would definitely be stunned - almost like he gets 2 openings for the price of 1. We wanted to give his opponents a better fighting chance, so basically we've adjusted the stun on those strong combos so that they don't dizzy so easily. However, for Akuma players, if you read your opponent well and hit a really difficult combo, it'll do a bit more stun than it did in Street Fighter 4.

Tell us about his new ultra.

Okada:
We made it with the idea that it would be hard to hit, but once you do it'll feel awesome. It's almost kind of romantic (laughs). Of course its got its usefulness, and can be used in combos and what not.

And finally, please tell us about Gouken's adjustments.

Tamamura:
We've adjusted the Counter Attack (Kongo) so that it will be easier to perform. I believe a lot of people had problems with this, so hopefully this meets your expectations.

Okada:
As for other stuff, his overhead and all of his normals come out a little faster.

Tamamura:
We've also increased the hitbox on his Hurricane kick, so it will be easier to hit.

Tell us about his new ultra, the Denjin Hadouken.

Tamamura:
Denjin Hadouken is a bit unique in that even if it's blocked, it will increase the opponent's stun by a percentage. And if you hold down the button, you can charge it up for more damage. You can also use the hold to delay the timing, to catch jumpers.

Have there been any changes to the CPU boss characters?

Okada:
The boss characters are completely different from the playable versions. The boss versions of Seth, Akuma, and Gouken are the strongest (laughs). They may look the same, but their frame data is completely different.

Tamamura:
Many players told us that CPU Gouken was on the weak side, so we've re-adjusted him to be more like a boss character. The moves may look the same, but their functionality is much stronger. On the hardest difficulty setting, they'll give you a run for your money. However, we have made the easiest setting a bit easier, so a wide range of players will be able to enjoy the game.

Do you have any closing comments for everyone looking forward to the game?

Okada:
The characters we talked about on today's blog were brought to completion by the players. As such, we adjusted them to keep the interesting and fun parts they had in IV. As for the original characters from IV, we're trying to preserve that originality, so that players can continue enjoying in Super Street Fighter 4. As for Seth, Akuma, and Gouken, we didn't want to take away their feeling of being strong characters - keep their feeling of being bosses, but as player characters, adjust the areas that needed adjustment. The basic feel of the boss characters hasn't changed from IV, but hopefully the adjustments made will allow their opponents to feel that the player is skilled, not just that the character is good. Also, with new ultras for all of the characters, you have a new choice of attacks to choose from, and this adds to the ways you can enjoy playing. I would like for everyone to enjoy the new features in the game.

Tsukamoto:
Well, I hope you all enjoyed today's entry. If you want to try out some of these changes for yourself, there are various locations around Japan offering demo play, so if you can check it out by all means please do so!

And next time! For the final entry on character adjustments, next week April 20th we'll be talking about Cammy, Fei Long, Sakura, Rose, Gen, and Dan. I think there's a lot of interest in next week's characters as well, so be sure not to miss out!

As you may have read on Ms. Shiozawa's blog, this blog will be concluding soon. While there may not be many entries left, we're going to give it our all right up until the very end!

See you next week!

Community News

Crimson Relic

Halo: Reach Pics and Info

By: Crimson Relic Jan 12, 2010 | 11 Comments

Pics from the newest issue of Game Informer magazine hit the internet with some juicy info.

A summary of the new information in the magazine:

- Reach will NOT follow the book, Fall of Reach.

- We play as Spartan IIIs. Jorge is the only Spartan II on the team, and as a result is larger.

- Carter 259 and Kat 320 are the only members of their original squad.

- Jorge is a heavy weapons specialist.

- "Skully" now has a name, Emile 239. He's the silent type of the game.

- The sniper is called Jun 266. He's thoughtful and taciturn.

- We can customise the appearance of the Lone Wolf by a small degree. Awesome.

- The game is apparently darker than any of the other Halo games, even more so than ODST.

Read full story...

Community Blog

Crimson Relic

Halo: Reach Beta Info

By: Crimson Relic Apr 3, 2010 | 3 Comments

Juicy tidbits gathered from around the net that YOU need to know for the Halo: Reach beta.

In Reach, Elites are bigger, they’re faster, and they boast better shield technology than their Spartan counterparts.

Size matters. And when we say Elites are faster, we mean it. Natively, Elites walk at the same pace a Spartan runs at full sprint - Add Evade into the mix, and they’re easily the most agile combatants on the battlefield in multiplayer.

Unlike Spartans, their health is not limited to recharging in thirds as their vitality is whittled away in stages, but will recharge fully without even the need for a health pack. Their health also recharges faster, as do their shields. Significantly faster.

So, how are we gonna work them into multiplayer? Well, in a number of ways. In some circumstances, like Arena, you’ll only square off Spartan vs. Spartan or Elite vs. Elite. In others, well…stay tuned.


Evade is an Elite-only Armor Abilitiy, it's the barrel roll seen in the vidoc. (As I suspected. I wonder if there are any other Elite specific abilities...)

Armor Lock is a small portable shield that surrounds the player, giving him a short invincibility, and delivering an EMP blast.

Active Camo is like AC from H1/2/3, but it also works as a Radar Jammer. I'll jam the radars of other players, friendlies, enemies, and your own.

And then, there's Jet Pack.

I think you understand how this works. Holding down a button will enable players to fly up in the air for short amounts of time.

All these AA need energy to be used. A gauge is shown in the HUD, when it's empty, there's no more energy, and you'll need to wait a short amount of time for it to be full again.

None of the AAs are blocked, all are available from the get-go. Playing SP or MP will influence which AAs you can use, and how you pick them. In SP, AAs are available before starting the mission, or can then be picked up during the mission. In MP, players choose before the game (or before respawning) their specific Load Out. Each Load Out offers a different weapon/AA. (This indicates Bungie will not let players create and save their own loadouts, I suppose to prevent abuse of certain combinations.)

Jetpacks will be featured in certain parts of the campaign, but not in all of it. Different AAs will be available in different levels, depending on what the mission needs. In MP, the AAs available for the Load Outs will be set by the gametype/map. Jetpacks will be in the beta. In the full game, players will be able to enable/disable Jetpacks in Custom Games.

Loadouts:

At the beginning of each match or round, and again every time you wait out your respawn window, you are given the option of choosing a Load Out.

Load Outs are not player created or defined, but rather playlist and/or game type specific. Essentially, they allow you to choose your Armor Ability, your starting primary and secondary weapons, and your grenade cache on the fly.

For some playlists, that might mean every Load Out features the same weapon sets with only the Armor Abilities to distinguish them. For others, it might mean that as the game goes on, you’ll have access to more and more choices based on a number of factors we can fiddle with.

That's just one example to the right. Many gametypes will feature more uniformity in the initial selection.

What it doesn’t mean is that you will be creating your own custom Load Out to bring into Matchmaking. You’ll be choosing from our prefabricated offerings, based on what’s best suited for each gametype.

Don’t worry about power weapons being available right from the start, either. In most cases, you’ll still be finding those distributed via a number of methods throughout the battlefield, though if circumstance warrants it, we certainly can start you with, say, the Rocket Launcher.

And, of course, you can still loot the corpses of your fallen foes and you’ll still find sweet stashes of weapons strewn carelessly about the map for you to find and acquire.

Interview:

One new weapon we’ve yet to really talk about is the focus rifle. This is the Covenant really long-range “reach out and burn your face off” sniper-slot weapon. We didn’t want to make just another sniper rifle, but we did want to fulfill that type of role so we made the focus rifle that utilizes a slightly different, “tracking” skillset. It’s not an instant kill weapon, it does significant damage, but you need to hold it on your opponent for approximately one and a half seconds to kill them. It’s more about long range suppression than instant death, but it still falls into the category of pseudo “power weapon” so it won’t be all over the map or included in load-outs.

HAMRICK: The focus rifle is probably the most frightening weapon to be attacked with in the entire game. It’s definitely the one I’ll be watching closest in the beta and we’re still tuning it.

MERRILL: The plasma launcher is the Covenant’s answer to the rocket launcher and Spartan laser all rolled into one. It’s primarily designed as an anti-vehicle weapon but it’s still quite effective against infantry. It charges then fires up to four super-heated plasma rounds that all track against bipeds and vehicles. It’s not actually firing plasma grenades, but the rounds do have a similar delay time from when they stick to the target and eventually explode. There’s a delay that leads to some really spectacular chain-reactions as well as quite a few “from the grave” medals.

HAMRICK: My favorite part of the plasma launcher is the delayed explosion for each round and the resulting chain reaction.

MERRILL: Another new weapon in Reach is the grenade launcher, aka “the pro pipe.” This was primarily designed to fill a similar role to the plasma pistol and give the Spartans an EMP-capable weapon. It has two modes of fire – manual and auto. If you pull the trigger and release it, a single round will fire and detonate upon hitting a target. If you keep the trigger held, the player can choose when they want the grenade to detonate. You can essentially leave a cooked grenade on the ground around a corner as a trap and detonate it from a distance or have it explode in mid-air to take down a flying opponent.

HAMRICK: It’s important to note that we definitely do not view the grenade launcher as a “power-weapon” like the rocket launcher or sniper rifle. We want this to be something that can be included in load-outs; it’s more akin to the shotgun in that regard.

HAMRICK: Another new weapon in the beta is the plasma repeater. It’s basically the Elite answer to the assault rifle.

MERRILL: We needed a good equivalent to the AR that we could include in multiplayer but not have it break the campaign. We needed to leave the plasma rifle as fairly weak with slower projectiles in single-player to fight against but we also needed something similar, but better, for the Elites to wield in multiplayer. It is their “jack of all trades, master of none” mid-range weapon. The main defining aspect is that it’s heat-based.

HAMRICK: Your rate of fire for the plasma repeater is tied to its heat. It won’t outright overheat like the plasma rifle does but as it heats up the rate of fire will slow. You can manually vent it, all or partially, and your rate of fire will increase accordingly. You can also still melee or throw a grenade while you’re venting.

MERRILL: One side effect of the overheating is that as the rate of fire slows, the accuracy actually increases.

HAMRICK: The shotgun is also back. The biggest change in Reach is that it will now only fire inside the crosshair – previously it would sometimes fire out of the reticule. The projectiles are a bit tighter grouped now, doing a bit more damage and making you have to aim a little bit more, but the range is also just slightly increased.

JARRARD: There will be plenty more staples making their way back to Reach as well, all rebuilt from the ground up and looking better than ever. The plasma pistol now has a slight area-of-effect EMP blast when an overcharged blast hits. It can hit multiple targets (including yourself if you’re not careful). The magnum is back and it packs a punch, especially when you can land headshots. This is going to be an old friend in Reach, the effective secondary weapon you’re happy to have in your back pocket. You’ll also see needlers, sniper rifles, the gravity hammer, energy swords, rocket launchers and assault rifles.

JARRARD: Load-outs let players pick from a set of weapons and armor abilities, suited to their play style, which they’ll get access to when they spawn. For example, the “Airborne” load-out includes the jetpack, assault rifle, and magnum. The available load-out options will vary depending on which gametype is being played. In matchmaking this is something Bungie will configure but in custom games, players will be able to define their own load-out options. Things get very interesting in team games as players coordinate their load-outs and respective strategies while their opponents counter with their own tactics.

MERRILL: Think about load-outs as kind of a “dynamic class” system. We liked some of the elements you get with a class, but we’re not changing your base model or locking you into that choice. You drop in with your preferred play style, but if you decide your chosen load-out isn’t working, the next time you spawn you can select something different.

HAMRICK: That’s the nice thing because it happens a lot – as a match progresses, you and your team will shift to different load-outs and so will your opponents.

JARRARD: Nothing needs to be unlocked or “earned.” All the weapons and abilities in the game will be available from the outset but not all will be included in every campaign mission or multiplayer gametype. There will be plenty of items to unlock in the armory to customize your Spartan but they are strictly visual upgrades.

HAMRICK: An ability that we haven’t talked about yet is Armor Lock. It’s kind of a throwback to the old school bubble shield but you always have it on your person and it’s intended to keep you safe. It’s kind of like a block. If your opponent closes on you with a shotgun or is about to land a melee blow or run you over with a vehicle, you can engage Armor Lock and become temporarily invulnerable. You can’t move, aim, or shoot. You’re stuck there, but you can’t be killed. You can do that up to three times on one charge or you can do one sustained lock for a few seconds.

There is also a knockback and EMP blast component. The longer you hold your Armor Lock, the more pronounced the effect will be. There are three different tiers – if it’s just a short lock, I’ll get a small knockback and a tiny bit of EMP up to the max level, which is a much larger knockback and EMP blast. It’s really intended to say, “hey, you better not mess with me, I’m extremely dangerous even though I’m trapped in here!” It’s particularly effective against vehicles as well. Also, if you’re stuck with a plasma grenade or have needles in you, they’ll be knocked off when you engage Armor Lock. (FINALLY! A WAY TO SHAKE OFF STICKIES! AWESOME!)

HAMRICK: Yeah I can use Sprint and a sword to come at you like a freight train or I could use Sprint to run away from you when you’re coming at me with a sword.

MERRILL: And then I would use Armor Lock on him as he’s about to hit me with the sword and stun him and then come out and unload my shotgun.

 

More info on the way. See you all in the Halo: Reach Beta!

Halo 3 ODST box art
Halo 3: ODST

Community Blog

Crimson Relic

Next Zelda Announced!

By: Crimson Relic Apr 1, 2010 | 3 Comments

Team Ninja gets there first go at the Zelda franchise.

Last night it hit the interwebs that the next main game in the Zelda series is in development and is being headed by Team Ninja. Nintendo has seen the great success this developer is having with their project Metroid: Other M and worked out a deal to also work on another of Nintendo's beloved series.

Not much info is known about the game yet. What is known is that Link is supposed to be faster, stronger and all-around more bad-ass. The elves of Kakariko village have ancient techniques stored that they will teach to Link, such as teleportation, elemental magic and using two swords at once! More information to come soon!

click here to buy Zelda video game

 

Community Blog

Crimson Relic

3rd Strike Characters confirmed.**Update 4!**

By: Crimson Relic Feb 16, 2010 | 18 Comments

You wanted confirmation, here it is. *Gameplay Vid Added!*

Check back as more screens hit. Scroll down for an interview with Seth Killian from Gamespot.

Makato vs. Ibuki

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