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SSFIV Developer Blog: Makoto

By: Crimson Relic Mar 2, 2010 | 1 Comments

Time to find out what the deal is with Makoto in Super Street Fighter IV

Devs:


It's gotten quite warm lately. Seems like soon we're going to have to watch out for hay fever too, eh. Good day everyone. This is Tsukamoto.

I'd like to continue the introduction of the 3rd Strike characters we began last week.

This time we're going to talk to the Okada, the director and the 'battle-planner', Tamamura about Makoto.

Please tell us about the reasoning for including Makoto.

Okada:
Although Makoto was only introduced in Third Strike, her unique fighting style made her an interesting character that had quite a following. Even in tournaments there wasn't a shortage of Makoto players. When we decided on how many characters from 3rd Strike we wanted to include in Super Street Fighter 4 that played into the decision.

How did the development team react when it was decided that Makoto was going to be included?

Okada:
She was quite popular in the development department as well, so they welcomed the decision. Third Strike was a game the team originally played a lot anway, they played both the console as well as the arcade version endlessly.

Oh, for research purposes, of course!

Even then there were quite a few people on the staff who used Makoto so we thought about how things would turn out if we she were to be included in SSF4 even before we made the decision. The programmers also already thought of things they'd have to add for her to work properly at that time.

What do you think makes Makoto a fascinating character?

Tamamura:
I'd say it's her guessing game. She doesn't have a lot of big combos, so you have to think about how to make each of your blows hit. She also is a character that can put intense pressure on the opponent; it's great how you can scare them into not pushing any buttons as you close in. The big damage she does once she gets in also is part of her charm.

Okada:
I think most people will know this but there were 6 characters in 3rd Strike that people put into two groups: The "three strong" ones: Ken, Chun Li and Yun. Then the "three evil" ones: Urien, Dudley and Makoto. The last three were also called arashi (devastating / rush-down) characters, they were known to be pretty unpredictable.

What exactly do you think makes Makoto one of those "evil" characters?

Okada:
Since she is so powerful she can completely destroy an opponent if she makes the match go her pace for just a moment. Even though she looks like a little girl, since she has some of the best damage output in the game, being the karate-girl that she is, she has a surprising offense and some quite tricky moves.

There's the Karakusa (grab and choke), for example, which lets you get a free attack in after it connects. Since she can do a lot of stuff after she gets you with the Karakusa, thinking about how to grab you and how to follow up afterwards makes her a lot of fun.

Will those components of her play return in Super Street Fighter 4?

Okada:
Let's see. She doesn't play like her old version 1:1, but I feel we reproduced her play-style quite well. Apart from the guessing game and her damage output, there's also the factor of attacks using speed; none of those have changed.

Are you talking about her movement speed?

Okada:
Yes. Even though her normal walking speed is incredibly slow, she still has one of the fastest dashes in the game. In 3rd Strike she could change the pace of a match by getting in and landing a Karakusa, so that's something we wanted to redo properly.

Tamamura:
We also basically recreated her animations based on the sprites from 3rd Strike, she still got all her target combos as well.

Is there anything you want us to know about her moves in Super Street Fighter 4?

Tamamura:
We slightly changed the efficiency of her Fukiage (upwards punch), so you might want to take a look at that. In Third Strike she only took a step forward when using the EX-version but this time around the strong and fierce versions will also have that attribute. I think this'll allow for a wider variety of uses for this move.

The Tanden Renki was one of her three Super Arts in Third Strike, but this time it's her Super while the others are her Ultras.

Okada:
That's correct. We included Tanden Renki as her Super.

Tamamura:
In 3rd Strike it made her attack power go up while at the same time it didn't allow her to block. Since she could still parry, if you were really good at it you could rush your opponent down with increased damage without taking any yourself. So basically it was a super art for people confident in their skill who then could go on to turn a match around - as there's no parrying in SSF4 though, she wouldn't have any defense at all if we took blocking away from her. But we were worried that if she were allowed to block the move would become way too strong; that was something we talked a lot about with the staff.

Okada:
In the end we made her able to block but adjusted the balance while taking the matchups into account.

Tsukamoto:
The inclusion of the 3rd Strike-characters really gave a quite some trouble. From the beginning, Makoto was a character that was quite difficult to use and when used by a good player could wow you with her speedy and elegant movement. I feel that aspect is pretty much the same in this iteration, so I'm sure you'll have lots of fun with her.

Is there anything else to tell about the Tanden Renki?

Okada:
In Street Fighter 4 there weren't any moves with a time limit, neither were there any that upped the damage of all other moves, so there were some new rules we had to implement.
 

Tamamura:
Juri also has her timed feng-shui engine now, so we also thought about making Makoto's tanden an ultra-combo as well. We found that it wouldn't balance out that way and ended up having both timed ultras and supers in the game.

Apart from efficiency, how went you about to preserve the "Makoto-feeling"?

Okada:
We payed a lot of attention to her lines. One of her big special traits is her Tosa-dialect, so we also had the sound recording professionally supervised by an expert.

Tsukamoto:
Yes, yes. Makoto was the only character that did not only have to be translated into English, Spanish, French, etc. - but also into tosaben (laughs). Even though it's also Japanese, Kawasaki, the man in charge of the lines, had to pay a lot of attention. I feel the results were very good.

Okada:
Another trademark of Makoto is the long headband that she got wrapped around her neck like a scarf. In Third Strike we conveyed a feeling of trajectory and speed by the way that headband moved, so of course we had to do that in Street Fighter 4 as well. How it fluttered when she charged up her Hayate is an example of that.

Since there wasn't anything like that in Street Fighter 4, having just part of a character move like that, our programmers had to write new code specifically for that purpose.

Tamamura:
It's also called the "wind-making machine" (laughs).

What kind of player do you have to in order for Makoto to suit you?

Okada:
I don't think this character is intended for beginners. She has quite a hard time getting around fireballs.

Tamamura:
Since she hasn't got a lot of range, there will always be situations where she's at a disadvantage. She can't show her potential unless she closes in on her opponent, so you have to be good at that to play her well.

Okada:

Anyone who has played a Street Fighter game can do the basic motions and probably has quite a specific image about their speed in mind. Makoto's movement speed is extremely different and feels kind of like she were the only character that is moving in water. When we also take her very fast dash into account she is in the extreme on both accounts, which takes quite a bit of getting used to. When you're in that range where you can barely hit your opponent but he has a hard time hitting you, you might fall back into the pattern you're used to with your normal walking speed but with Makoto it's not that easy.

In other words, if you're used to Street Fighter, she might be a character that confuses you at first.

Okada:
That's how I feel. But as it was that way since 3rd Strike, people who have already grown accustomed to her have nothing to worry about.

Tsukamoto:
Yup. Because I like wild and strong female characters I'd like to get better with her but at the beginning it was a bit confusing.

Tamamura:
On the contrary, if you haven't played any fighters before and start out with Makoto, you actually might not find any problems with her.

So there probably isn't an existing character in Street Fighter 4 that resembles her.

Okada:
No, I don't think there's a similar character in the game. There are other characters with grappling moves, other character with dashing or other similar moves, but overall she plays very differently.

Who'd be an interesting opponent for Makoto?

Okada:
Seeing as it'd be an instant victory for either of the two, Akuma with his big and hard-hitting combos might be interesting. If Akuma gets the offense he can win very decisively and Makoto can destroy him just as quickly when she attacks because of his low health. So it'll be about whoever gets by his opponents defense first or is able to change the pace in his favor, which should make for an intense battle.

Sounds like the first hit might decide the winner already.

Okada:
Yes. The players won't wait each other out but attack and seal the deal instantly once they get in.

Tamamura:
I think fights against charge-characters will be quite interesting as well. They automatically guard when they want to charge a move, so you'll be able to get in right at that moment, which might make her quite a tough matchup for charge-characters such as Guile and Deejay.

So Makoto might become the natural enemy of chargers?

Tamamura:
No, not at all. Since Makoto is very weak against fireballs, both parties won't be able to attack carelessy but will have to really get into each others minds. That's as far as Guile and Deejay are concerned anyway. For other charge-characters like Boxer and Claw it looks like it'll become an intense spacing game. Since Makoto always wants a close fight and is at an disadvantage otherwise, she'll want to get in using Moves that move her forward as much as possible.

As a conclusion, say something to the players who are looking forward to Makoto.

Okada:
Her extreme offensive power as one of the "three evil" characters in 3rd Strike will be the same in Super Street Fighter 4, so to everyone who likes that exhilarating feeling of hers, please do try Super. There also are a lot of small differences to her previous version, so please take your time to explore and learn the new Makoto.

Tsukamoto:
The Third Strike characters really are very popular, we got an awful lot of questions this time. Seems like we'll have to keep answering them even after this character-corner is over.

Also, the preliminaries for the national tournament are very intense. Good job to everyone who took part in the Kansai preliminaries #2. It's only a short while now until the real tournament starts, so everyone go for it! I'm rooting for you!

Next week we'll talk about Dudley for a bit.

See you then!

Community Blog

Crimson Relic

SSFIV Interview with Seth Killian

By: Crimson Relic Feb 26, 2010 | 1 Comments

A brand new interview with Seth Killian, answers some pretty good questions about Super Street Fighter 4.

First of all thank you for this great opportunity seth, i know you are a very busy man.

1- My first question will be about the state of SSF4 right now, how complete is the game at this stage?

Development on SSFIV has recently been completed.

2- How much did the game change since the latest fight club ?

Of course the three new SFIII fighters are big, but otherwise tweaks to the entire cast were ongoing up until the final build.  There aren’t radical changes to the characters you’ve seen already, although even small changes can be significant. Just as an example, Juri’s dodge (QCF away + P) causes her to fly in one of 3 directions if you attack her during the move.   In the builds we’ve shown so far, she absorbed the damage from the hit (as in a Focus Attack, or like Gouken’s counter move) before dodging.  This has been changed to allow her to dodge the hit without taking damage from the first hit.  That doesn’t make her a totally different character, but it does make the move a lot more viable, and changes her strategy a lot in certain situations.  Every change in the game has an impact.  

3- You guys have recently announced the 3s characters, a move that certainly pleased the sf3 purist, what was the reason behind including sf3 characters and what made you guys decide which 3 ?

The 3S characters were added based on a combination of their popularity with fans and their contributions to a diversity in fighting style.  Ibuki and Makoto have a pretty unique style, and while you could say “Dudley is also a boxer,” his playstyle is totally different from Balrog’s, so we were excited to add him as well.  He’s just cool.  

4- was it difficult to include these characters since they came from a game with a different play system?

I certainly thought it would be.  Integrating them turned out to be more a matter of subtle tweaks than a need to reinvent them, so I’m happy to say that their personalities came through very clearly.  3S fans should feel right at home, and they’ll probably rack up a lot of wins—Dudley, Makoto, and Ibuki are beasts.

5- A lot of people complained about Dudley’s english VA in ssf4, what does Capcom think about this?

I’m not involved with any of the voice recording work, and while 3S Dudley certainly has some of the games most memorable lines, all of the new voices in SSFIV grew on me pretty quickly.  After you’ve been playing it for a while, the characters just sound like themselves.  I find myself saying the new lines like “Keep it classy” a lot in casual conversation, even though pretty much nobody knows what I’m talking about.  

6- What can you tell us about the old SF4 characters, how different are they from sf4 in terms of balance?

The addition of 10 new characters, new moves, and two Ultras for everyone obviously has a giant impact on the overall balance, so in a lot of ways it’s apples and oranges.  There will definitely be some shakeups in the overall rankings from SFIV.  

7- Does that mean that all characters have been rebalanced or just some?

Every character in the game was rebalanced over the course of development.  You can’t think about balancing in terms of just some characters, as changes to any one affect their matchups against the entire cast.  In the end, some have wound up being very close to their SFIV incarnations, while others are pretty different, and some (like Chun Li) can play in a very different style just because of their new Ultra combo.  So while Chun Li didn’t get a ton of specific changes to her moves, if you’re up against a Chun Li playing Ultra #2 (Kikkosho), you have to play in a totally different way.
 

8- So Sagat is not going to be as dominating as he is now in sf4?

Sagat is still powerful—his techniques all still work, but I would say he’s going to face a lot of stiff competition from the returning cast and the newcomers.  While he has more options in Super SFIV than he did in Super, he also has more tough matchups, and his ability for massive comebacks isn’t as strong.  In SFIV, he could be essentially dominated for the entire match, and then make a huge comeback from one hit or even a trade.  In Super SFIV, he’ll need to play well the entire match to win consistently.
 

9- Are all characters receiving new moves in ssf4 or just a few ?

Apart from the new Ultra combos for everyone and the new characters, just a few returning characters got other new moves.  That said, changes to existing moves can also create a brand new role for an old move.  It’s easy to understand this just by looking at SFIV Ryu—he didn’t get any moves you haven’t seen in previous SF games, but you’d get killed if you tried to play him the same way you had in earlier games.
 

10- One major complain i see online is about the motions shortcuts and how they mess up some of the inputs and timing. Does SSF4 still has the input shortcuts and if so can we disable them in an option maybe?

We’ve discussed a change, but nothing has been altered yet.  We do know that input shortcuts have bothered a particular range of traditionalist players (which would include me) in some specific situations.  The intention with shortcuts was to make some of the difficult motions more accessible, so a good effect of the shortcuts is to help newbs and help to get more people playing, and it’s definitely easier to pull off these moves than it was in the older games.  On the other end of the spectrum, the very best players are able to play around the shortcuts and not let it affect their game.  For some people in between those guys, who have been playing for a long time and can pull off a shoryuken in their sleep, the shortcuts can sometimes cause trouble. The fate of shortcuts is still TBD.  

11- What is the possibility of SSF4 getting a patch balance post release?

We’re confident in the balancing work, but of course the competitive community of players will have the last word on the results.  A patch is possible, but we’re not planning on one apart from the free Tournament Mode DLC update.
 

12- One area that has not been discussed yet is the netcode. does SSF4 has the same netcode as sf4 or is a completely different code?

The backend has been reworked extensively, primarily to accommodate all the new online modes (player lobbies, tournaments, etc.), but it will function along the same core principles.  We have added a greater degree of control in your matchmaking preferences, so it’s easier to find the best quality connections when you’re online, and I think that will also make an important difference.  I don’t play online yet regularly (outside of our tests), but the reports from the press who have review copies (and play each other online) are that it’s gotten even better.

13- SSF4 has only 4 new different stages, and while they are all a welcomed addiiton to the game, i can’t help but feel that 4 stages are a low number. Could SSF4 be getting additional stages via DLC ? and is it technically possible?

There’s also a new version of Seth’s stage, so I’d put the number closer to 5, but I hear you.  I understand that players always want more of a good thing, but keep in mind that the team has been working extremely hard to complete the game on schedule.  Stages are important, but with all of the new modes, characters, balance, bonus stages, and more, there’s a lot to get done in order to make the Super SFIV package as great as we can make it.  Many of the core group rarely even leave their desks—the team has been working extremely hard so please understand that.  I’d also add that the new stages aren’t just new–they’re pretty great.  The African eclipse is my favorite SFIV stage ever. There are no plans for DLC stages right now, although we have tried to create the backend hooks to make changes.

14- speaking of DLC is capcom planning more DLC contents besides the announced free tournament mode and Alt Costumes?

The costumes and the free tournament mode are the only plans for additional content right now.  

15- One thing we have heard from Ono san, is that SF4 was not built to receive online updates and expansions and that was one reason why ssf4 is a stand alone game. Is SSF4 being built the same way or will it be possible for the title to be updated later on to become ssf4 hyper turbo remix via an online expansion  ?

This should be technically possible, though there are currently no plans for anything like that.

16- A welcomed addition to SSF4 is the re-done animated prologues and endings by studio gonzo. will the old animated sequences done by studio 4C for sf4 still be included on the ssf4 disc ?

All the animated sequences have been redone.  It’s a new story, so the SFIV sequences are meant for the SFIV story, and the new SSFIV sequences tell the Super story.
 

17- Will there be an option this time around to play all prologues and endings in a sequence rather than clicking on each one by itself?

Interesting idea.  I’ve actually been playing the game itself so much that I don’t know off-hand, but not that I recall.

18- Xbox 360 owners in Japan will be treated to a downloadable SSF4 anime movie focusing on Juri, will we get that same movie in NA and EU, and if so, is it going to be exclusive to xbox 360 as well?

The X360 exclusivity is only for the Japanese territory. There hasn’t been a decision made yet on how the anime movie will be used outside of Japan.
 

19- Since the box art for SSF4 has been revealed, a large number of fans (including me) have requested the boxart to be changed and match the excellent Japanese boxart. Knowing that this happened with sf4, can we expect Capcom to listen to us fanboys one more time ?

The marketing department certainly spent a lot of time looking at all the feedback.  We’ll see shortly which direction they take as a result, but rest assured that they’re aware of the reaction.  

20- SF4 will be making its way to the portable realm by having an iphone port. what are the chances of a future sf4 or ssf4 psp version ?

If it were solely up to the team, I’m sure SFIV would be on every platform imaginable.  Those kinds of decisions are made by the strategy group, however, which has to take into account the port dev costs and time investment vs likely profits.
 

21- Last question, we were told on several occasions that people who kept their sf4 copy will be treated to a bonus when they purchase SSF4, can we get a hint on what this bonus might be?

The marketing team would probably kill me for letting that out of the bag, but I’ll say it looks pretty cool.  

Thank you Seth.  

 

Source: http://www.hadoken.net/?p=1306

Community Blog

Crimson Relic

Bayonetta Review

By: Crimson Relic Feb 26, 2010 | 3 Comments

Does this witch have what it takes to stand next to Kratos(God of War) or Dante(Devil May Cry)?

     For those who don't know, Bayonetta is an action/adventure game(most of the focus being action) in which you play an Umbran Witch who is suffering from a case of amnesia. She hasn't forgotten how to kick people's asses though, which is what she'll be doing to figure out who she is, where she came from and what the hell she's supposed to be doing.  She uses "Hair Magic".  Her whole suit is made out of hair, so the more she has to use her powers, the more her clothes start to disappear...sweet.

     The game starts off with a bang and rarely lets up on action or graphical splendor throughout. The opening scene you begin playing in has you defying gravity by standing on a falling piece of a clock tower as it hurtles over a cliff, battling foes on the long drop down. During this battle you'll be visited by a two-headed dragon with an upside-down face in the middle - yeah this guy:

 

     Yeah, he wants to stop in, say, "Hi" and bust your face in with some fireballs.
 

     This boss will be following you through the first few levels which results in some cool fights. As big and awesome as he is, he is actually one of the smallest bosses in the game! All of the enemies and other bosses are greatly detailed and have many fluid animations.

     After the opening scene you play a prolouge level that will train you in the basics of the game. From here you will most likely discover cool moves that you didn't even know you could use in the opening sequence. Bayonetta has a ton of moves at her disposal from the get-go and has many, many more to unlock as you progress. You begin with having two guns for your  hands and two for your feet(yes, guns on your feet). There are guns to unlock and much to my surprise, other types of weapons such as a sword, whip, bird-like lightning/fire talons and more. Speaking of unlocks, there are tons! Besides moves and guns, there are accessories with all types of abilities, costumes, different characters, difficulty levels and even alternate versions of some of the weapons. After you've beaten the game, you can also view the 3D character models of all the enemies and bosses. Some of these bosses are crazy detailed and big, so being able to view them in this way I thought was a real treat. 

Graphics:

     The graphics in this game are bad-ass.  It's not even that the environments or the characters themselves are the best ever- it's in the way it was put together. There is a lot of detail to keep each area from looking boring and there are a lot of effects going on all the time that look great as well. Put together with great animation, an engine that runs at 60 frames per second consistently and you come away with a great looking game.

     Sexyness is a huge part of this game. Bayonetta likes to rub her fingers over her crotch area and breast a lot, as do some enemies. If I'm not mistaken, one of the torture attacks you use on one of the female fiends actually kills them with a huge orgasm...don't let your kids watch this game.

     Some of the cut scenes are done in still frames and have a comic book feel to them. It threw me off at first, I thought they were taking an easy way out by not having fully animated cutscenes all the time. After watching a few though, I thought perhaps they wouldn't have looked so great animated and leaving the motion in the imagination of the player may have just been a great way to go. The cutscenes that are animated are awesome and very over-the-top. I do have one complaint however and that is the screen-tearing issue. It doesn't pop up everywhere in the game, but it does in a few places and it's a little annoying. I am not a fan of screen tearing at all  and it's a shame this nasty little thing made its way into Bayonetta. It is a small gripe though in the overall picture.

 

Sound:

     The music in this game is something special. You can definitely tell this game was made in Japan(No offense to anyone in or from Japan, I love Japan!). The music is a mix between techno and some lady who keeps singing some song over and over again. Needless to say most of the time I had my own music blasting. The sound effects are really good though. All the weapon noises and explosions came out just fine. The voice acting is passable, I at least didn't ever think it was bad.

 

Controls and Gameplay:

     Controls in this game are tight and very responsive, which is critical in a game like this. Gameplay-wise, it is very similar to other games in it's genre, such as God of War and Devil May Cry. This is a good thing, as both games have great systems for smashing up bad-guys. I feel that Bayonetta ups the ante in some areas though. By simply pressing the Right Trigger , you can dodge almost any attack in the game. Timed right, just as you were about to be hit, this will cause the game to go into "Witch Time", which is basically slow-mo for the enemies and smash up time for you. Some enemies and bosses in the game are near impossible to defeat without using this technique, plus it looks really cool and makes you feel like a god. Another way in which I believe Bayonetta trounces the competition is in her moves and combo's. I haven't seen this many moves in a action/adventure game since Ninja Gaiden. Bayonetta has just as many, if not more moves and combo's than Ryu Hyabusa and that's saying a lot. Couple that with the fact that she can switch between two seperate, costumizable weapon set-ups on the fly mid-combo and BOOM! It's mind-blowing.

The Verdict:

     As you can tell, I really enjoyed my playthrough of Bayonetta. I played through one time on normal. It wasn't too tough to get through on this difficulty, though I did have my fair share of deaths. I can see battle being really intense on higher settings. You have to unlock them though, normal is as high as you can go the first time.

     I'm not here to say Bayonetta is better or worse than any other comparable game in the genre. I look at all of these types of games in the same light. I play it for the awesome graphics, to fight and destroy the bad-ass bosses and enjoy the ride. I don't think any of these action/adventure games keep anyone's attention for long, but to just play through once or twice is just plain fun and a definite treat for the eyes.  Kind of like when you go to the theater to see the newest  "End of the World" movie. You don't go because you think it's going to tell the best story you've ever heard, it's because you want to see huge shit get blown up in awesome ways. That's excactly what this game delivers.

Community Blog

Crimson Relic

SSFIV Developer Blog: Ibuki

By: Crimson Relic Feb 23, 2010 | 4 Comments

Creators of Super Street Fighter 4 talk about 3rd Strike character Ibuki.

Devs:

Hello everyone. This is Tsukamoto.

The Street Fighter 3 characters have finally been announced! This week, of the 3 new characters, I'd like to focus on Ibuki.

I'm sure everyone would like to hear more about her moves and what it took to get her in Street Fighter 4, so director Okada as well as the main battle planner will be joining me this time around.

So now let's meet the battle planner.

Sano:
Hello, I'm the planner Sano. I'm the type of old guy who wakes up early, goes to work, works until late, and then gets up early the very next morning (laughs). For the development of Super Street Fighter 4, I'm particularly working on things relating to the battle, and character adjustments. Since I'm an old guy, you'll find rice crackers on top of my desk. Just give me rice crackers and tea and I'm in paradise.

First off, tell us the details of how Ibuki was added to the game.

Okada:
We've mentioned this several times before, but a basis of the Street Fighter 4 series has been to celebrate 20 years of Street Fighter, by having a reunion of sorts. We were able to get Alpha characters in Street Fighter 4, so this time we wanted to give Street Fighter 3 fans something, and as Ibuki was the most popular of the female characters she was decided on.

What do you think is Ibuki's charm?

Okada:
First, I think its her appearance. In other games we have cyber-ninjas, or ninjas in regular clothes - there are a lot of ninjas, but always with sort of a twist. Ibuki has the mask and the ninja outfit, so you know immediately that she's a ninja, and I think a lot of players really got in tune with that. Also, while she has this old-time ninja look, she herself is in the middle of her youth and is a girl of the current times, so that contrast is also appealing.

How do you bring out the feel of Ibuki in Super Street Fighter 4?

Sano:
For Ibuki's moves, we didn't want players who used her in Street Fighter 3 to feel that something was off, so we're making her playstyle as close to Street Fighter 3 Ibuki as possible. Also, as Okada said, she's an orthodox ninja at first glance, but her character is one of a normal girl, so we are trying to bring out her feminine side in her lines and dialogue as well as in her proportions.


The text says "Oh, the sailor school uniform is nice! I'd like to try it on once myself."

What has been retained from Street Fighter 3?

Okada:
The most important thing is her playstyle and feel.

Sano:
Even though they are the same series, the systems of Street Fighter 4 and Street Fighter 3 are pretty different. So with the game's speed and timing, there are certain things that just have to change. But, for the players who have been playing since Street Fighter 3, I think they have a natural feel for when to do a punch, kick, or special move - its ingrained into them. So we're making adjustments to try and preserve that feeling as much as possible.

Okada:
So we've given Ibuki a super jump. In Street Fighter 4, the only character who could super jump was C. Viper. It was necessary for putting together many of her combos, and I felt that was interesting. So for Ibuki, same as Viper, we're making adjustments for Ibuki to have combos that utilize the super jump.

Were there any difficulties in making Ibuki?

Sano:
She has the Kasumi Gake (command dash) and the Tsuijigoe (ninja flip) ... The Kasumi Gake closes in on the opponent in an instant from afar, and the Tsuijigoe flies over their heads. But unlike other special moves, these moves don't actually attack. In Street Fighter 3, if Ibuki used the Kasumi Gake or Tsuijigoe to get in close, afterwards if you could read what she was going to do you could fend it off with a parry. But since there's no parry in Street Fighter 4, if Ibuki suddenly went from being full screen to in your face, that was a little hard to deal with. And with her target combos, if you ate a jab then you were going to be eating a lot of moves after that.

That'd be pretty scary to fight against...

Sano:
At the beginning of development, we put in her target combos almost the same as they were in Street Fighter 3. What happened is that if she got in close once, the match was pretty much over (laughs). So first off, we did a thorough tweaking of the distances of her moves like Kasumi Gake and Tsuijigoe. We re-did it over and over again, so we were really a lot of trouble for the motion director.

Tsukamoto:
No no, its because of things like that that the games becomes interesting, so they are necessary. There are plenty of areas where if one thing works then another won't. Achieving balance within the system also works this way.

Okada:
In Street Fighter 4 we have the Focus Attack, which is sort of similar to parries, but as Focus only absorbs one hit, it loses badly to target combos. So for this game, finding a balance between target combos and the Focus system was our biggest worry.

How did you deal with target combos?

Sano:
There were a lot of things to worry about, but we eventually made them along the reasoning that they're not so much a combo as they are a special move. For example, for the Shoryuken in this game, with one command you get two hits, not withstanding whether it actually connects on the opponent. For Ibuki's target combo, in order to get the second hit you have to push the button a second time - that's the easiest way to think of it I believe. The damage of one hit is fairly small, but if you land the entire target combo you get the damage of a special move.

Okada:
Just from that, target combos might sound kind of weak. But unlike regular special moves, you can stop the target combo in the middle. So if your opponent has blocked up to the 2nd hit, you can not throw out the 3rd, look for an opening, and then start attacking again. This kind of usage will give you an advantage I think.

Were there any details put into her appearance?

Sano:
For appearance, it would have to be the "zanzou" (after image). For Third Strike characters, when they start moving quickly they leave an after image behind. In order to get this in Street Fighter 4 our programmers and designers worked really hard.

Okada:
At the beginning of development, when we said we think we can make the after image happen, the staff was skeptical, wondering if it would make the processing too heavy. When you have a bunch of 3D models on the screen at once, it makes the processing burden really heavy and then things start to drop.

Sano:
We gave a lot of thought about how to make our ideal after images without putting too much burden on the game. The result is that in Super Street Fighter 4, to get that ninja-like after image we've used effects. Our lead effects designer did his best to make it look like an after image without any feeling of it being odd, and I think it came out pretty good.

What's the move where we can get the best look at the after image?

Sano:
That would be the Kasumi Gake. We poured our blood and sweat into creating it, so if everyone can use this move a lot I'd be really happy (laughs).

Is there anything else you'd like us to pay attention to?

Okada:
Although her face is usually concealed by the mask, she really does show a lot of facial expressions, so if everyone would notice them I'd be really happy. Since you can't see all of her face, we tried to make it so that you could understand her faces of pain or joy just from the areas you can see above the mask. For other characters, if you could only see half their face you might not understand their expressions, but for Ibuki that area really needs to be feminine, especially from the side. So for the designers, she was probably the most difficult character to make.

Sano:
For the demos of Ibuki, even if we zoom in on her all we can see of her expressions is her eyes, so the facial adjustments for her took longer than the other characters. If I think about it now, I think the facial adjustment time was about the same amount of time as we needed to adjust her moves (laughs). The designer would say "How about this?" and we'd look at it and say "Change this area!" We went back and forth like that up until the final deadlines.

Okada:
When she says her move names, you can't see her mouth, but her entire facial area is properly animated.

Sano:
Yes, we didn't slack off just because you don't get to see it. She has plenty of expressions, the same as the other characters!

What type of player do you think Ibuki is best suited for?

Okada:
Well, she's a character where you'll be plenty busy with inputs, so maybe I can recommend her to players who liked using C. Viper in Street Fighter 4, where execution is essential, or for those players who like characters with lots of options.

Sano:
For me, I think Ibuki is suited to those who want to get the most out of a single character - would you call it an inquiring mind? The more you use her, the more you'll find combos, and that's necessary for her. I think that aspect is fairly interesting.

Would you say she's more of an advanced character than one for beginners?

Sano:
Beginners can use her too, but if I had to pick I'd say she's suited for intermediate. The more you improve with her the more fun she becomes, and you also get stronger as well.

Okada:
The target combo requires rapid inputs, but the commands are simple enough to execute, so I don't think she's a character that beginners will hate. Even if you just give her a first try you can get some dynamic movements out of her, and before you know it you'll have her moving like a pro.

Do you have any tips for using Ibuki?

Okada:
As Ibuki is fast, you can use small movements to throw off your opponent and then attack them from there. Ibuki's strength lies in close quarters, so rush your opponent down without giving them the chance to attack back - I think that'll be what decides victory.

Sano:
From there, Ibuki's strength will lie in her target combos, so skillful use of those will make for a strong Ibuki. For example, take the infamous Sagat LOL Combo (Tiger Uppercut, FADC, F+RH, Ultra) - for opponents who are just looking to land that, it'll be easy to start reading their patterns. But for Ibuki, she has many different target combos, and she can say "Well, this this combo won't work then I'll go this route!". So she can dish out a lot of different target combos, and her opponents won't be able to read her as easily.

What characters would you like to see Ibuki match up against?

Sano:
If we're talking about movements, that would have to be Ibuki vs C. Viper. For both, their specials and execution are essential, so both will have to show off some tricky play. You thought you were going to pressure your opponent from the air but now you are on the receiving end - I feel like it would become a fiery battle like that.

Tsukamoto:
C. Viper has the Seismo Hammer, right? She has a lot of setups for it, getting you just at the right distance. So I wonder if this will be a difficult battle for Ibuki.

Do you have any thoughts for the players looking forward to Ibuki?

Sano:
First, please give Ibuki a try. I'd like for everyone to get an idea of how nice it is to use her. As was said before she's somewhat close to C. Viper, but more than Viper you get a more direct feel of her moves, so I hope you enjoy it.

Okada:
Ibuki is cute even at a first glance, so that might be what you focus on, but we've also put a lot of effort into her motions and her design, so please pay attention to her whole production. Please realize her charm, even behind the mask, while playing her.

Tsukamoto:
As this was a character that many people were waiting for, I tried to include a lot of images. Ibuki fans, did you enjoy it?

For various reasons, we couldn't show more skin around her pelvic bone, but I rather like the look of her costume. Her flowing hair is also a nice impression. So I hope you all use her at least here and there.

Next week we'll be talking about Makoto. See you then!

Community Blog

Crimson Relic

SSFIV Developer Blog: 3rd Strike Chars and more!

By: Crimson Relic Feb 18, 2010 | 3 Comments

New characters, iPhone Touch Street Fighter 4 and the National Tournament.

Devs:

Hello everyone! Today, I have three huge announcements for you all - new characters, iPhone/iPod Touch Street Fighter 4, and details about the National Tournament!

I think many of you may already know about this from this week's Weekly Famitsu, but we have characters from the Street Fighter 3 series joining the fight!

Ibuki!

Her rival opponent is Sakura!

Makoto!

Her rival opponent is Fei Long!

And, Dudley!


(Azrael's Note: The text in the picture says "What an incredibly rude thing to say.")

His rival is Balrog!

Maaaan, it took some courage to get these characters in the game. Mostly because they come from a game system that featured parries. They are very popular with everyone, and our development staff also wanted to give them a spin in the world of Street Fighter 4! I don't have to tell you though that adjusting them... yeah, vomiting blood levels.

So, that kunai I've been teasing you with all along... of course that was Ibuki's!

This is her Ultra II, where she showers you in a rain of kunai.

And for all of you who used Dudley in Street Fighter 3, I gotta tell you - you can throw the rose in Super Street Fighter 4 as well!

The move's name is "Rose of Victory". While it doesn't do any damage, when it hits it causes the opponent to pause briefly, giving you a change to get in there and attack.

And last we have a little bit about Makoto. While this has nothing to do with her moves... for her voice recording and her alternate costume, Makoto was the hardest out of all the characters, by far.

Especially her voice recording. From Third Strike, Makoto has used a very country dialect. So this time around, we got a professional in country dialect to help us, and it took us an unprecedented number of takes, but we got it done. Also, her voice actor is the same from Third Strike, Ms. Makoto Tsumura! She did great work for us without complaining even once.

These guy's Ultra I, Ultra II, and sample voices are all on the official site under Characters, so go check em out and have fun training with them in your head!

Well then, let's get to today's second news point. I think there are a lot of people who already know about this as well! Our development staff has secretly worked on a version of Street Fighter 4 for the iPhone/iPod Touch, and we're finally pulling the curtains back on it!

Unfortunately, there will be no arcade stick for this, but with Capcom's virtual pad, once you get used to it you'll be pulling off commands in no time!

And of course, you'll be able to enjoy random battles! With Bluetooth, you can take on those stronger than you at any time!

For those who know SFII but are unfamiliar with Street Fighter 4, we have an original mode The Dojo to help you become stronger!

This is the Trial Menu for the iPhone/iPod Touch version. Use this dojo to perfect your skills!

Sale date is planned for March. While you won't be able to use all characters from Street Fighter 4, we will have more detailed info about the available characters released in the coming days, so stay tuned for that!

So everyone, put Street Fighter 4 on your iPhone/iPod Touch and enjoy heated battles around town, at work, or at school!

And for today's last announcement, with the Qualifiers entering into the final half, I'd like to announce details about the Street Fighter 4 National Tournament!

First up is the brackets. This time, we have 9 regional qualifiers, 2 spots for the dream team, and 2 spots for last-chance qualifiers. That leaves one mystery spot, for a total of 14 finalists to challenge for the title of strongest in Japan!

Yep, 2 last-chance spots. This won't be a lottery, we'll have a tournament for it. So if you want to participate, get a team together and wait for further details. Right now we are still deciding on the meeting time and what not!

And now, about the next stage. At last year's tournament, we had as special guests Ryu's voice actor Hiroki Takahashi, Ken's voice actor Yuji Kishi, and Sakura's voice actor Misato Fukuen. This time around, our special guests will be Guile's voice actor Hiroki Yasumoto, Viper's voice actor Mie Sonozaki, and Juri's voice actor Eri Kitamura!

And we'll also have Lil Ono up there as well... just what kind of crazy stories will they share?! Its a special stage that's sure to be a lot of fun. To enjoy it together with us, please come to the tournament!

Yep, come out to the tournament! And for those of you who want to see high-level fighting with your own eyes, we have extra-special seats prepared just for you! This is a special seat that gives you a great view of both the fighting, as well as the special stage. And there's only 100 of them.

Those 100 seats aren't first-come, first-serve. If they were... we'd have some real fights on our hands! So! We are taking applicants for them on our Official Site's National Tournament Page! After a strict lottery, 100 lucky fans will be chosen!

The application period is from now until March 3rd (Wednesday). Read the Rules of Entry, get pumped up and please enter! We're waiting for your entry!

Even if you don't get the special seats, of course we have standing room available for you to view the action.

We also have other important information about the National Tournament Event on the information page, so be sure to read it at least once.

Well, that's about it for today's news announcements, right?

... Whoops, got one more! The Collectors Package is currently under development!

This is the character soundtrack collection plus all-promotional video collection! The Chun-Li and Juri label is pretty nice, isn't it?

But making this label actually took quite a bit of work. Please take a look at these three images.

You may not understand well, but these three images are slightly different. Take a look at the one on the far right. Its not that its a bad picture or bad lighting. If we just put the illustration of Juri on top of the label, this is what happens. But its not very pretty, is it?

So then, we put white paper under the illustration, and the labels in the center and the left are the result. For the one in the middle, the white is at 50%. That means we put the illustration on top of semi-transparent white paper. The one on the left is 100% white - we put the illustration on top of the fully white paper.

You can see the illustration most clearly on the 100% white, but it looks too much like a toy. You won't really appreciate the hatching touch of the picture. So that's why we'll be manufacturing it on the 50% white version!

You may not care about such small details, but everyone here has put our heads together to come up with something we can, in good confidence, say is the best, even for these little things. So we hope you have high expectations for us!

Well then, that's all for today's news. I'm worried it might have been a little too much, but right now we're in the middle of getting the most pumped up for Super Street Fighter 4 we can get!

Thanks for sticking with me until you were almost out of breath! See you again next week!

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

Read full story...

Community Blog

Crimson Relic

SSFIV Developer Blog: Move Tweaking and Costume Alts

By: Crimson Relic Feb 9, 2010 | 1 Comments

A little bit of info regarding some adjustments to moves.

I really wanted to go to the 1st Kansai Regional Qualifiers... It seems like the Kyushu Regional Qualifier last week was also incredible! This week it's the Chubu Qualifiers! Everyone, do your best!
Hello, this is Tsukamoto!

This time, I'd like to talk about some things that all our players have been concerned about - move adjustments/tweaking and the alternate costumes. I'll be joined by director Mr. Okada, and the battle player Mr. Tamamura.

-- What kind of adjustments are being made this time around for SSFIV?

Okada:

First, we decided to stick with the idea of keeping whatever was possible in SFIV intact. For balancing a fighting game, there are two different possibilities - make the moves of the stronger characters less effective (nerf) or to make the moves of the weaker characters more effective (buff). Going the route of buffing the weaker characters moves makes for more difficult adjustments, but as we didn't want our players to feel stressed out, we decided to go with buffing the weaker characters for SSFIV.

-- Will we still be able to do combos and such that were possible in SFIV?

Okada:

Yes. As long as leaving it in wasn't too dangerous, we've been making our adjustments while leaving in combos that were possible in SFIV. We had decided on this at the very beginning of development.

-- What kind of adjustments are being made for the characters who are said to be too strong?

Okada:

If we're talking about strong characters, that would be Sagat right? Before making adjustments, we asked for the opinions of people who play Sagat. We found that, more than using him just because he was strong, that there were a lot of people who enjoyed playing the character. So we have been making adjustments while trying to preserve that sense of enjoyment. Sagat has the infamous Tiger Uppercut FADC Tiger Destruction Ultra combo, as well as many other powerful tools. So we're not trying to take away all of his powerful tools, but just look carefully look at what we can retain and then make adjustments from there.



-- So that means that the feel of playing Sagat won't really change in SSFIV?

Okada:

To a point, it will be really close to how it was in SFIV. Of course, there will be adjustments made to his move's damage output and effectiveness, so it won't be exactly the same as SFIV. But it is our intention to keep as much as possible of the play of Sagat that players found fun and interesting.

Tamamura:
Also, I don't think that there will be any instances where you feel that a move has become really nerfed from the previous game. Not just the moves, we are also looking at things like vitality and stun values.

-- Zangief was also pretty strong.

Okada:

In SFIV, when Zangief did a Double Lariat against larger characters, really the only thing they could do was to block it. For example, maybe Abel players aren't too fond of the matchup against Zangief. So this time in SSFIV, we're making adjustments to avoid things like that.

-- But if we're talking about strong characters....

Okada:

If we just look at the effectiveness of his moves and his general abilities, Ryu was also considered to be pretty strong. We've made some general adjustments on Ryu as well, but probably the easiest to understand is that his strong and fierce Shoryuken have been changed from SFIV - they've gone from one hit to two. Those who have been playing Street Fighter games for a while probably already know this, but in SFII the Shoryuken was two hits. So now we feel as if we've come closer to the feel of that time.

-- How does the 2-Hit Shoryuken change things from the last game?



Okada:
If he doesn't get the full 2 hits, if only 1 hit connects on his opponent, the damage output is less than what it was in SFIV.

-- Does this mean you've nerfed the damage on the Shoryuken?

Tamamura:

I don't think you can really call it a nerfing. You can still use it as a poke/counter, and I think its easier to use in combos now, so we've adjusted it to make its proper use a bit easier.

-- What kind of adjustments have you made for the characters who are considered to be weak?

Okada:

In general, our weak characters are thought to be Vega and Guile. So of course, we've been making adjustments to buff them up. To give a specific example, we've increased the amount of hits Vega can take before he loses his claw. His claw has a lot of priority, so in SFIV in order to make it not too good we made it so that it came off fairly quick. But the players all responded that Vega was weak, and I think this is a big reason why. So this time, while also thinking about general balance, we've made the claw a lot more durable as compared to SFIV. And for Guile, in SFIV I felt that we didn't really capture his "footsies and normals" gameplay style, so we took a good look at that area and made adjustments.

-- If there have been any big changes for other characters, please tell us about it.

Okada:

We had a lot of requests from Rose players who wanted to be able to grab an opponent with the Soul Throw after they've been launched by the Soul Reflect. So now you can. This wasn't something that she's been able to do before, but it certainly looks like she should be able to. So this time we've made it so that she can catch with the Soul Throw. We've made adjustments such as this, so please look forward to them.



-- If you are making adjustments to all characters moves, then does that mean we have to re-memorize all our opponents combos from scratch?

Okada:

We felt that we didn't want to make big changes to the combos, so we haven't for the most part. We have been balancing things so that players from SFIV can make the transistion to SSFIV with all their knowledge intact, and for new players to be able to pick up the game without feeling too much opposition.

-- How about the strength of the CPU opponents?

Tamamura:

As we heard a lot of opinions from our players about this, we've also made adjustments to the CPU opponents.

Okada:
We've widened the difference a little bit between EASIEST and HARDEST in Arcade Mode. So EASIEST is a bit easier, and HARDEST feels like it might be the toughest yet. So this will give you a different play experience from SFIV!

-- So here let's switch gears and talk about the alternate costumes. Tell us the details of adding the alternate costumes to all of the characters this time around.

Okada:

First, our development staff had decided from the beginning that all of the new characters in SSFIV would have to have an alternate costume. But then we started thinking about how to give our fans even better service, and talks arose of giving the existing SFIV characters another costume. As SSFIV is on a pretty tight schedule, originally Mr. Tsukamoto had said "That's not really possible is it?" But then Mr. Kamei said "I'll get it done even if I vomit blood!" and since he was willing to go that far, we decided to go ahead with the additions (laughs). So we really are grateful to the designer.

-- How do you decide on the look of the alternate costumes?

Okada:

For the alternate costumes in SFIV, we looked at the character personality, and then what type of look they would have based on that. So we decided to stay faithful to the characters. So generally, we have a lot of stoic designs. For SSFIV, producer Ono expressed a desire to bring out the more playful elements of the alternate costumes, so from that we have ones like the Mega Zangief F.

-- Were there any difficulties in creating the alternate costumes?

Okada:

First, time! That's what we want the most when trying to make something good. During the draw-up period all we talked about was how and if we could make the costume that would be the coolest for the character.

Tsukamoto:
The character it took the longest to decide on was Ryu.

Okada:
Yeah. If we're talking about Ryu, he's martial arts clothes with a headband! ...But aside from that he doesn't really have a strong impression, so it was difficult to break that. For his alternate this time around, there were some opinions to just have him look casual, in a T-shirt and jeans. But we felt that Ryu is at his coolest while fighting, so he should be wearing something that shows his battle readiness. So that's how we arrived at his current alternate costume of the hakama pants.



-- Were there any ideas that were dropped?

Okada:

To go along with Mega Zangief F, we also had a Mega Blanka. When he does his Electric Thunder move there'd be these coils on his back that would light up. But then when we put Mega Zangief F and Mega Blanka together, it didn't really feel like a Street Fighter game anymore, so we eventually dropped it.

-- What are some of your personal favorite alternate costumes?

Tsukamoto:

I like Mega Zangief F. When he jumps, he's got rocket boosters in his feet that light up and make you think that something's gonna pop out. Its a really intricately designed costume.



Okada:
There are a lot of great things about Mega Zangief F! If you look closely, you can see the background is reflected in his various parts. Also, we made sound effects just for him (laughs). But personally, I like Balrog. He's got a nice wild look that's just really cool!

-- Do you have any final comments to the players looking forward to the game?

Okada:

First, about adjustments, aside from just tweaking existing moves, we've also added new ultra combos, which is sure to increase the fighting styles of many characters. For all the players who have been giving it their all in SFIV, they can bring all their techniques over to SSFIV and also enjoy new ones. And of course for those who are just getting started with SSFIV, we've made adjustments so that its easy to jump right into, so please look forward to it!

And about the alternate costumes, the work that goes into making one is almost the same as it would be to make a whole new character. There's a lot of detail in even the smallest areas, and it shows how hard the designers worked on it, so please take a good look at them. As Ms. Shiozawa mentioned on her blog last week, the alternate costumes for Guile, Blanka, Dhalsim, Gen, and Fei Long will be available from the start as a special feature. Give those a try, and if you like them then we'd be thrilled if you used the other alternate costumes as well!

Tsukamoto:
Well, I hope you enjoyed this week's entry. We were able to get some details about the game balance and adjustments. If there's demand for it, I'd like to make another chance to talk a little bit more about adjustments.

Well then, see you next week!

Community Blog

Crimson Relic

SSFIV Developer Blog: All Kinds of Little Crap

By: Crimson Relic Feb 4, 2010 | 0 Comments

Read up on some stuff that the developers of SSFIV have decided to let you in on.

Hello everyone!
There were a lot of people at the Kansai Qualifer last week, and it was really exciting! Oh, and someone who had come from Hiroshima gave me some momiji manju (meat buns). I was really happy. And they were very delicious! Thanks for the treat.

Well, we're at the point where its really cold, with some snowfall even. In this cold weather, as I was checking the DVD menus and booklets that come with the Collectors Package, I was able to get some good leaked info from the e-Capcom staff Ms. Kana Urazawa and Mr. Mini Suke!

It seems as though the details for the e-Capcom version have been decided! ...And as they were literally just decided not to long ago, unfortunately I have no samples to show you. But for those of you who have been holding off on making your e-Capcom reservation in lieu of more info, I wanted to get this info to you as quickly as possible!

First let's get the big stuff out of the way! There will be 4 packages available for sale on the e-Capcom website.

 



1. Regular Edition
Only the SSFIV Software! 4,990 Yen! (Tax Incl)



2. Collectors Package
Includes a DVD with all of the promotional videos from SFIV to SSFIV, as well as a soundtrack CD featuring remixed themes for all the characters. Only 5,990 Yen! (Tax Incl)

3. Regular Edition + e-Capcom Special Bonus!
This will be the SSFIV software, plus the e-Capcom special bonuses. The PV DVD and character theme soundtrack are not included!

4. Collectors Package + e-Capcom Special Bonus!
The official name for this is the "Super Stret Fighter IV e-Capcom Limited Edition (Collectors Package Ver)".
This is the most fully-loaded set! Includes the Collectors Package and the e-Capcom bonuses! You'll wonder how we can afford to give away all this stuff!


Well then, let's take a look at the e-Capcom Special Bonuses!



For those of you who want to try out Juri, but don't want to hit the pause button every time just to see her moves, this is perfect for you!

Displayed just like a calendar, this wonderfully practical item lets you see the command list and select combos for all characters! For example, just as you would turn to February in your calendar, you can turn to Juri's page and confirm her special moves without having to interrupt your play. Its simple, but most definitely functional.


Come one come all! This is something our development staff has been saying "We want this!" "We need this!" "Why didn't we have this before!" about, so me and Lil' Ono pushed for it. Just like SFIV, SSFIV has a Trial Mode, where you can polish up your combos and what not.

However, each character has 24 different trials. As the level gets harder, so does the timing, the conditions, and it just gets much harder in general. Even our developers can't clear them easily. As there's no type of example or guidebook in the game (sorry!), you just had to figure it out on your own.

And that's where this special DVD comes in. For all characters, you'll be able to see stick motions, hand movements, and the in-game screen on a split-screen! (Right now, we're not sure if we can do this for all 24 trials, but rest assured we will have it for the later hard trials at least.)

And we also have plans for some of the best SFIV players to use the new characters in SSFIV in an all-out battle, that we'll record! We'll have more information about this as it becomes available, so stay turned!

Man...it isn't just nice bonuses, its also very practical as well! And the price is...7,490 Yen! (Planned) We were hammering out the price at the very last minute before updating this blog!

Now, we are currently taking pre-orders for these special bonuses at the e-Capcom website. (Please note that you must be an e-Capcom member to take advantage of pre-orders).

Also, don't forget that we are also accepting pre-orders for the Collectors Package. Only limited quantities of this are being made, so if you want to be sure to have yours on the sale date please be sure to make your reservation early!

And finally, an announcement! On our official site, we have some new HD wallpapers up! Just click on your favorite character, move the mouse to somewhere in the background, right click and select "Use As Wallpaper"! Enjoy the SSFIV characters on your desktop!

Well then, the National Tournament is just 2 months away! If you think its just a tournament and a test-play event, you are sorely mistaken. ...What...what?!

Oops...if I say anymore than that, they'll get angry at me again, so this is where I take my leave of you! (runs away)

Community Blog

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!

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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: Site Update Tuesday

By: Crimson Relic Jan 21, 2010 | 5 Comments

The developers touch on 2nd Ultra's, a recent tournament and hint at a big announcement coming with their site update next week.

Hello everyone! Thank you to everyone who in the comments for the last blog were concerned about my health.

Well then, today there are a few things I'd like to share with you!

First is the character page on the official site! For the newcomers in SSFIV like T.Hawk and Guy, but also for the returning SFIV cast as well, for 21 of them under the "Characters" page we have movies up of their Ultra I and Ultra II!

Personally, I like Balrog's "Dirty Bull", Cody's "Last Dread Dust", and Ken's "Crimson Hurricane Kick"! Within the Capcom offices, Rufus's "Big Bam Typhoon" is a big hit!



We'll keep the updates rolling out, so keep an eye out for them.

The second issue of the day is the page exclusively for the National Tournament! There you'll find the results for the 1st Kanto Qualifier that took place at Taito Station Takadanobaba last Saturday! As there are 9 qualifiers in total, to try and post about them on this blog...yeah...so that's why the Results Page will be updated every Tuesday with new results!

...Having said that, please let me write a little bit about it here. Thanks to the efforts of the tournament organizers and the arcade staff, our 44 registered teams were able to get pumped up, and the fans who came to watch also got into it, so it was a great time! Everyone, thank you very much!



The winners were the "Lettuce Sandwich" team of Kyabetu, Shiro, and Ojisanboy. In the final round against the team of "Mahou Shojo Zangitan's Challenge! Chapter - National Tournament", both team anchors, Ojisanboy and Mahou Shojo Zangitan clashed to decide it all! Ojisanboy kept his cool - my heart was probably beating twice as fast as his. And with this, the "Lettuce Sandwich" team advances to the stage of the National Tournament! Congratulations!

Next up is the Touhoku Qualifier! As you can see on the Results page, there'll be Mago, Tokido, and Akimo, and plenty of other interesting teams sure to shake things up! Let's all head to Sendai!



Well then, let's get to the third announcement - an update of the mobile site! Not the mobile site for the arcade version, but a site within Capcom just for SSFIV! Check it out! (Az: You would only be able to access the site with a JAPANESE mobile phone. It doesn't look like it offers anything different from the regular official sites.)

We've got an introduction to the game systems, and the latest news, as well as the newest promotional videos, and you'll also be able to view videos of characters Ultra I and II together with the update of the official site on 1/26! Mobile sites these days have become really incredible!

Also, for newcomers who may not be familiar with the Street Fighter series, we want you to know all about them, so there are pages introducing the previous titles from Street Fighter I up to SFIV!



And of course, we'll have some special limited edition wallpapers, so be sure so save it to your bookmarks and check back often.

Well then, the last news item for today is to tell you that this blog is going to have a special update! Tuesday is usually the day for the Dev Blog to update...but not this time! On Tues, 1/26, this little Nakky Blog will be doing the updating! ...Which means that as soon as I finish this entry, I have to write the 1/26 entry as soon as possible.

Why will I be updating on the 26th? There's no other reason of course - I've got a big announcement!



...That's blurry for a reason.

The official site will also be updating on the 26th, so don't miss it! There will be new images to look forward to as well.
(*The Dev Blog will be taking a break on 1/26)

...Aaaaaaand that's my 4 news bites to close out this entry! See you all next Tuesday.
(Or maybe at the Touhoku Qualifiers?)

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Crimson Relic

SSFIV Developer Blog: Voices and Sound Effects

By: Crimson Relic Jan 18, 2010 | 4 Comments

Developers of Super Street Fighter IV give us some more insight.

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

 

The National Tournament has finally gotten underway, and the first Tokyo qualifier has been decided!* Also, the weather just keeps getting colder. Everyone, be careful not to catch a cold! This is Tsukamoto.

(*Az: There is a link here that leads to a results page for the first Tokyo qualifier. The "Lettuce Sandwich" team of Shiro (AB), Ojisanboy (SG) and Kyabetsu (VI) won. The page also mentions that Mago's team will take part in the qualifier in Northern Japan this Saturday 1/23, and details about the Tokyo Qualifier will be posted on the Nakky Blog 1/22.)

Continuing on from last week, Mr. Tomozawa and I would like to talk about the voices and sound effects. We're gonna get really in-depth about the voices and SE!

-- First off, tell us about the character voices.

Tomozawa:

For the character voices this time around, not counting the prologue or ending, all together there are around 10,000 bits of data. It's probably a bit unheard of to have this many vocal samples for a fighting game. There are a lot of characters, and also because of things like splitting one voice into several parts, the overall number just increases.

-- What do you mean by splitting a voice?

Tomozawa:

For example, let's take Gouken's "Kinjite! Shoryuken!" (Forbidden Shoryuken). That isn't just "Kinjite!" and "Shoryuken!". For the last half of the motion, we match up the voice with the the action, so it gets cut up into "Sho" "ryu" "ken". For the arcade version, that was the extent of the increase, but when we made the home version there were more characters and rival battles, so the data became about 3 times as heavy as the arcade version.

Gouken's Shoryuken



-- There certainly are a lot of lines (battle narration) during the rival battle.

Tomozawa:

When looking at a video of a rival battle on an internet video site, in the comments someone had said "Is there this much talking in fighting games nowadays?" But I think on average the characters won't talk that much (laughs).

Tsukamoto:
In manga/comics, before a battle they often have a little verbal sparring. The characters talk just about at that level.

Tomozawa:
Yes. In SSFIV's battle narration we've added and changed some things around, so that's something to look forward to. For example, now right after the battle gets started there will be some lines of dialogue. But if the character gets hit in the middle of their lines then they stop talking. So if possible, please refrain from hitting them and listen until the end (laughs). Also, we've changed some of the triggers that would initiate a voice sample from the rival battles in SFIV, and some of them have completely new triggers. So looking for those can be fun.

-- So there's something for those who have already seen the rival battles to enjoy as well.

Tomozawa:

There are no rival battles that use only the same voice samples from SFIV! If anyone finds all of the voice samples, I'd give them a present (laughs). I'm pretty sure you definitely can't find them all.

Rival Battle



-- With that many, checking them also seems like quite a task.

Tomozawa:

Yeah, unlike the prologues and endings, we have to check these during a battle, so it takes time. For example, if we want to confirm the FIRST HIT trigger, that one only happens once a battle. So first we have to try it for both the 1P and 2P. There were 17 of those triggers in SFIV. So that's 17 for 1P and 17 for 2P. We also had both Japanese and English, so 17 x 4 = 68 voice samples, and that's just for one rival battle. We have to confirm each one to make sure its the right voice, that it did come out, and adjust the volume as well. At first we didn't really know what we were doing, so it was just shots in the dark. But now we've got the process worked out efficiently.

Tsukamoto:
That's always difficult. For the English voices, even as we were checking them we had no idea what they were saying (laughs). But the feeling was right on the mark, so that's our sound team for you!

Tomozawa:
We worried quite a bit about the English voices. With Japanese, as long as we could hear it then we could confirm whether the lines were correct or not. But I'm not a native English speaker or anything like that, so there were a lot of things that I didn't understand, had no idea what they were saying. There are also characters who speak with an accent, so those were particularly difficult to understand. If I couldn't hear what they said, then I had to go back to the script and confirm it, then go back to the battle and see if I could pick it up. Characters who spoke easy to understand English were fun, but for characters with a special accent, especially El Fuerte, I had no idea. I had to check many times "Is this what he's saying?"

-- Speaking of English, in SFIV you can change the character voices to English - how was this decided on?

Tomozawa:

As we want people to understand the story and emotions of SFIV, we basically thought to just have the voices in Japanese. But if we talk about the impression of the series up until now, there are some characters were players must have thought "I wish he'd speak in English." So for those players, we wanted to be able to give them the option to have an English voice for that character. That's one reason. Also, from our overseas players, a lot of people said they wanted to use the original Japanese voices. For example, people who want to use Ryu in his original voice. So in order to be able to enjoy various styles, we set it up in SFIV that you could change the character voices individually. Of course, SSFIV will be the same.

-- Were there any other incidents with the English voices?

Tomozawa:

I mentioned this before, but various countries have different ways of speaking, right? So then characters end up having accents. The easiest to see this in is Rose's Italian accent, she uses a very hard R. You have to roll your tongue for it. We put that much detail into it, so if everyone would listen closely and notice it I think it'd be interesting. Also, attention was paid to the differences between American and regular English. I have no idea though (laughs).

Tsukamoto:
Depending on your tastes, you can set certain characters to English and try out various settings. As Ken's Japanese and English voices are both cool, I can never decide which one to pick (laughs). Also, Sakura's English voice is pretty high pitched, so that's interesting.

Tomozawa:
Sakura's English voice is an actual high school girl! Well, she may have graduated by now, but at the time of recording she was still in high school. As her voice has quite a different image from the Japanese one, I rather like it.

Sakura During Battle



Tsukamoto:
On the other hand, Cammy's voices in Japanese and English are pretty close to each other.

Tomozawa:
Ms. Sawashiro, Cammy's VA, is really good at English. She was able to smoothly read the formal name of BLECE (Boiling Liquid Expanding Cell Explosion) with no problems. We recorded two different patterns, and her concern was "I don't really have confidence in a British accent". Everyone who was there could only say "Like we'd be able to tell the difference?" (laughs)

Tsukamoto:
I heard this from Mr. Endo, but Cammy's VA Ms. Sawashiro went to the overseas recording to take notes. She spoke a few lines to Cammy's English VA, and only hearing that voice, the sound director said to Cammy's English VA "You don't have to speak yet". Ms. Sawashiro is so good, that she was mistaken for the English Cammy's VA.

Cammy During Battle


Tomozawa:
Rufus's English VA also gave it his all, not to be outdone by Mr. Hatano. There's lot of good stuff to listen to, so I hope everyone gives the English version a try!

-- Speaking of, judging from the promotional videos the announcer's English voice seems to have changed.

Tomozawa:

Yes, its been changed. We wanted players to feel with a quick listen that SSFIV was new and different, and Mr. Endo felt that the easiest way to get that feeling across would be through the announcer. As this is a series update, there are some sounds we couldn't change, particularly the character voices. So as this would be the easiest to understand, we changed it.

Now tell us about the SE.

Tomozawa:
The environment, the hardware, even TV's from when we made sounds for SFII have all changed. So if we tried to use the same sounds, it just wouldn't fit. If we borrowed the sounds from SFII and tried to force them into SFIV it would just sound off.

Tsukamoto:
There are people who want to hear the old hit sounds from the 2D games. But SFIV is presented in 3D, so having them in would kind of be an ear-sore, I think.

Tomozawa:
Even within the Street Fighter series, the hit sound has changed quite a bit. Especially in Alpha - in SFII the hit sounds were quite heavy, but in Alpha they were much lighter. We did study the previous titles, and though it was really a trial and error process, I feel like the SE we have now are the best fit for the environment and the images. For example, in the past the sound for punches and kicks were the same, but in SFIV they're different, so this is an area in which we've improved. Also, there's been a little change in SSFIV from SFIV. We've tweaked the volume balance so its a little easier to hear than in SFIV.

Ryu Vs Juri During Battle Hit Mark



-- How about SE that goes with the stages?

Tomozawa:

For stage SE, first we have to decide where exactly we are going to have sound. For example, the stage designer had expressed a wish for the car in the India stage to blow its horn. But the car doesn't really move around on screen, so if the horn sounded people would probably wonder what it was. So its best not to have that sound. Of course we had voices for the elephants or anything else that sticks out, but the battle is the main attraction, so we can't distract from that.

Tsukamoto:
We also can't have move SE and focus attack SE covering each other up. Its difficult finding a balance that preserves the right feel and doesn't interfere with the fight.

Tomozawa:
Also, depending on the stage materials, the jump, landing, and knockdown sounds change. If you listen carefully, you can pick up on it. On the Overpass Stage, the sound changes for places on the ground with puddles of water, and the Brewery has both metal and wood parts of the floor. Talking about stages in SSFIV, the Korean stage has both a stone pavement and asphalt, both of which make different sounds. SE is pretty difficult.

Korean Stage Stone Pavement



Tsukamoto:
It is. Even if there's just one SE that's a bit grating to the ears, it'll be improved upon greatly. You can really feel the passion of the sound team. I hope all the players keep this in mind while enjoying the game.

-- Do you have any favorite voices?

Tomozawa:

For voices, I'd like for everyone to listen to all the taunts. Even if you have to set them all one by one, please give them a listen (laughs)! Also personally I really like Juri's voice, so definitely check her out! Her voice is a big reason why she's just a vibrant character.

--How about any SE?

Tomozawa:

For SE...this kinda covers everything, but we're doing it in 5.1ch. So its not just a basic flow of sound, but everything happens point by point. Probably the easiest to understand is the sound when the meter fills up. Also, I really personally like the sound of the fire on the Vs screen. Its kind of a background noise, but its really nice. It might be a little difficult to hear just in stereo though.

-- I don't think there are a lot of gamers who are experiencing the 5.1 sound though.

Tomozawa:

Yeah, there probably aren't a whole lot of people who have that setup. But if you know someone who does, please go have a listen! Also, the feel of the remixed BGM will change as well under this sound system.

Tsukamoto:
Aah, I don't have a sound system at home. ...Well then, I'll just have to buy one! Give me some good recommendations later.

-- Do you have any final comments for the fans looking forward to the sounds?

Tomozawa:

Regarding this, I have a comment from Mr. Endo, so I'll read that first.

"The song composition, where to put in sounds, the sound effects, all have been planned by the sound designer. Where to loop the songs, the sound effects, and their dynamic usage, if you can naturally get pumped up while playing that's what we were aiming for, so we'd be happy."

As for me, I personally feel that voices are the big focal point in fighting games. They're often called tools of fighting. As a tool, if we think about it that way then it doesn't matter if its there or not. But voices include your spirit. Voices can bring out that character's specific traits, and you can also feel the passion of the voice actor. Maybe you don't really get an appreciation for it in the arcade, but for the console version, in the rival battles and things like that, it really reinforces the characters personality and background. This is something featured in all voices, so if possible I'd like for you to listen to all of them.

Tsukamoto:
That's right. BGM, voices, SE are tools of the fight, just like controls or graphics. They bring out an important part of the experience!

I hope everyone enjoyed today's entry. We got a chance to talk about some things we normally don't get to talk about. If you could find an interest in how we made these things, I'd be very happy.

Next week we'll be talking about character design!
Until next time!

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