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Xbox 360 12 Month Live Gold Card LOWEST PRICE!!

By: goukijones Nov 24, 2009 | 8 Comments

Don't pay full price for Xbox Live Jimmy! These two sites have amazing deals!

xbox live 12 month gold card

With an Xbox Live Gold subscription you can play games online! Like Modern Warfare 2 and Madden. Get special deals and discount only for gold members and of course stream Netflix!

So check it out, you can get Xbox Live for $10 Cheaper than a directly from Microsoft. You can order it now, put the code in and time will automatically be added to your account. You can't lose. Why not save $10 or more?! Don't be a Jimmy!

You got two options here ...

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Review

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Mindjack Review!!!

By: Cinderkin Jan 18, 2011 | 15 Comments

It's time to get your mind jacked! Is this game worth your hard earned dollar? Find out in the Gouki.com Exclusive Review.

Let us describe Mind Jack for you in one word. That word would have to be “Awful”.

Mindjack is a game developed by Feel Plus and published by Square Enix. Which means already that the game is probably not going to be very good, but why is it awful? With Gears of War controls, Resident Evil camera controls, and classic Japanese story telling you’d think Mindjack would be a complete success. Well unfortunately it’s not. This review is going to be slightly different than the rest mainly because If I didn’t explain this game in a step by step manner, then you wouldn’t believe what I’m about to tell you.

Let us start off with the very beginning of the game. The cinematic is very much the same as in this trailer save the promotional messages.

After that is over the game then goes into the Mindjack press start screen. where your only option is to choose Rebirth. Hit rebirth and the game literally starts you to an empty room with 3 computer screens and a man. It is a basic tutorial mode, showing you how to move the camera and yourself. Then it teaches you how to mind hack, and bam achievement unlocked. Mind you I haven’t even reached the main menu of the game yet. Once I hack into the man standing there, they then want me to hack into a computer. Once that is completed bam another achievement and the game takes me to the Mindjack main menu. Now I can choose my options, setup, xbox live matches, or campaign. I chose the campaign and this is where the game just loses me. You start as this guy (Jim) in an airport terminal. You’re looking for a girl named Marie. Once the cut scene ends you take control of Jim and are tasked with following Marie. Note that at this point the only thing you can do is walk and roll. You reach Marie and a cut scene ensues where you start fighting some random guy, and to make things worse it’s the most action I’ve seen in the game so far and It was a damn cut scene. After a few more cut scenes the game lets you actually play. With a pistol in hand you’re tasked with taking out all of the enemies on screen. This is where the game is supposed to be fun, but instead gets worse. Mindjack is all about multiplayer for some odd reason. Even in your single player campaign anyone can hack into your game and join the enemy team. Therefore impeding your story progress, and stopping you from having a good time. I’m playing the game and some random guy jumps in my game (lv 14) and destroys me with rockets. Mind you I’m only a lv 1 character. What kind of bs is that? Once I died the game took me to a game over screen and I quit right then and there.

Read on further for the games full breakdown

Story

Mindjack takes place sometime in the future where a new technology that allows people to hack into your mind is common thing in the military. You play as Jim some dude who can’t seem to stop yelling. You also have a partner named Marie, but is called something else. I don’t know it’s confusing. Anyway from what I gather Jim is getting his life back together and is now taking on missions for someone named Lilo. That is as much of the story as I know, because quite frankly I refused to play anymore of this game to find out.

Gameplay

The gameplay in Mindjack is very much like the Gears of war franchise. Aiming is done with the left trigger, shooting with the right. Running and Cover are mapped to the A button, and reloading is done with the right bumper. That being said, Mindjack has a great control scheme and it works very well. It can feel a bit clunky at first but within a few minutes you will feel right at home. It’s just too bad everything else about this game sucks. The mind hacking is just weird. You are fighting for your life and the next thing you know your down, and have to hack into a different body to continue. Hacking into anyone will automatically give them a pistol. So the lawyer who is cowering in fear during a shootout will get mind hacked and join the fight with guns and all. It just doesn’t make sense. The multiplayer component can be turned off, but the game stills plays as if it’s on. You could be in the middle of a firefight and then pause the game. The game shows that it’s paused, but everything is still going on. So if you take a bathroom break, be prepared to return looking at a game over screen.

Visuals

The game looks decent. Nothing too bad about it, reminds me of FF13 but with less detail. The character models are what you would expect from a Square Enix title. The environment is detailed nicely, for a game that is all about shooting and hacking.

Audio

The game has some of the worst audio in a game to date. The voice work is cheesy, and not to mention just boring. Jim is always yelling, but it sounds like he’s just talking. It’s awkward, and unpolished. When the two main characters are having a conversation Jim acts as if he is a football field away, and Marie talks as if she is right next to Jim. Makes no sense.

Online

The online multiplayer is just dumb. There is no death match or capture the flag modes you would expect. It’s just hacking into someone’s single player campaign and either helping them or hurting them. Which means that the multiplayer will only last a week before it is a complete waste of time.

Mindjack is a complete pile of garbage and should be classified under the category for Jimmy Ass Game! Do yourself a favor and stay away from this game. Don’t try and play it, don’t try to rent it. If someone asks you to play it they are not your friend. It is one of the worst 360 games I’ve ever played. This is 2011 Jimmy! Square enix is losing it.

Bottom Line: FLUSH IT!

Review

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X-men Arcade Review!

By: Cinderkin Dec 16, 2010 | 15 Comments

The old school '92 classic beat 'em up has returned. Is it worth your money? Find out in the Gouki.com Review. Welcome to Die!

If I could describe the X-men Arcade game in one word it would be Disappointment.

Why you ask? Well I'll tell you why. I fondly remember going to the Arcade in San Diego California as a kid. Playing all sorts of games, blowing my hard earned money on good games, bad games, broken games (still pissed about those) and the best arcade games around. Back in the early '90s the top arcade games for me where the Beat 'Em Ups. The Simpsons Game, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and who could forget the X-men Arcade game. Many of us had the 4-player cabinets in our local arcades, but some of us where lucky enough to have 6-player action at our fingertips... and just for a quarter (I miss those days).


I would spend hours beyond hours every week playing the X-men Arcade game. Meeting new people every time and having a blast. So I was stoked to find out that Konami was bringing this childhood classic back. At 800 MSP or $10 PSN I was sold. I bought this baby yesterday and to my surprise I was severely disappointed.

The game is exactly as I remember it, which is the problem. After 18 years I was expecting Konami to release an updated version, not just a smoothing filter. I wanted to have a remade X-men Arcade with updated sounds, graphics, and gameplay. Now I am not the person who hates the classics, or thinks they aren’t fun. My problem is that they could have had two games in one. X-men Arcade Classic, and a revamped version as well.

You have the choice between two version of X-men Arcade, USA and Japan. The Japanese version is better than the USA version solely because when you use a Mutant Power in the USA version it drains your life meter before using your energy orb. The Japanese version is the other way around. The USA version is much more difficult which would be a great challenge had the game had some sort of continue system. Instead you have unlimited lives, and can basically just spam Mutant Powers the entire time. Sure they take away your life energy, but who cares you can’t lose. Even online play has infinite continues. There is no way to change it either. So basically unless you’re like me and really want to try and relive the classic, you’ll try not to spam Mutant Powers.

My first play through was solo, and I beat it in 30 minutes. I spent $10 only to be jerked around for 30 minutes. This game welcomed me to die alright; I wanted to end my life and the game after playing it. The character selection is how you remember it, you can choose from; Cyclops, Storm, Wolverine, Colossus, Night Crawler, and The Dazzler (yes she is a real X-men) each character has his/her own Mutant Power. Cyclops shoots laser beams from his eyes, Storm strikes her enemies with lightning, Wolverine slashes his claws at his enemies (lamest Mutant Power), Colossus goes into rage and destroys enemies surrounding him, Night Crawler teleports across the screen and destroys anyone in his path, and The Dazzler who uses sound frequencies to destroy her enemies.

For the most part of the game you are fighting your way through sentinel after sentinel with a few other enemies here and there. There are also eight boss characters, Pyro, Blob, Wendigo, Nimrod, The White Queen, Juggernaut, Mystique and of course Magneto. Each boss is basically a push over save Magneto. As one falls after another you move onto a new level. The story of this game is basically Magneto threatens the city with his army of sentinels and Kidnaps Professor X and Kitty Pryde. It’s up to the X-men to Go and Save the City as well as rescue X and Kitty.

It’s a pretty simple game, only using 3 buttons; Attack, Jump, and Mutant Power, which makes for an easy to pick up and play game. Online play is done well, with the option of playing 6-player drop in drop out co-op with relatively no lag. The only issue here is even on expert difficulty, 6 players can run through the game in under 15 minutes. It’s really hard to suggest spending $10 for such a short time of play.

While the X-men Arcade game is still a great classic in my heart, this new version is just plagued with not adding anything new to the game in 18 years. I had fun playing it, but I think it’s a waste of $10 Jimmys. Buy it if you’re a huge fan and have to get your hands on it, but for the rest of you out there just Demo it

 

Bottom Line: Demo It!

Welcome to Gouki.com. Write about video games the way you want. News, Blogs, Reviews or whatever you want to call it. Earn points and unlock achievements to move up the leaderboard. Win prizes and be entered into contests.

So here is how it works Jimmy. You get points for voting on stories and leaving comments, but the most points can be earned from actually writing on Gouki.com. It can be a News, a blog, review, preview or pretty much just about anything video game related. [Very Important Read Our FAQ] Keep it personalized for the most success. The better your story, the more "like" votes, comments and views you get, the more Gouki.com points you will earn. Below is a list of all the points and achievements you can unlock on Gouki.com. Starting with the Daily Double. The best way to get double points visiting every day.

Daily Double - Vote on any story, Comment on any story, and Write your own story. = 55k. (Once per day.)
Leave a comment = 5k per story that you comment on.
Vote on a story = 10k per vote.
Write a story = 40k per story.
Daily Double = 110k total.

Story Points - For each story you write you get 40k, plus these bonuses depending on how popular your story is.

Comments Galore
Receive 5 comments on your story = 50k (per story) - Bronze
Receive 15 comments on your story = 250k (per story) - Silver
Receive 30 comments on your story = 1m (per story) - Gold
Receive 100 comments on your story = 3m (per story) - Platinum

Liked - You receive 15k points for every “like” vote for your story.
Receive 10 "like" votes on your story = 100k (per story) - Bronze
Receive 20 "like" votes on your story = 500k (per story) - Silver
Receive 40 "like "votes on your story = 1m (per story) - Gold

Popular - The more popular your story becomes the more points you get. *Hint use the share buttons to get your friends to read, vote and comment on your story.
Write a story that gets 1k views in 24 hours = 100k (per story) - Bronze
Write a story that gets 20k views in 24 hours = 1million (per story) - Silver
Write a story that gets 50k views in 24 hours = 2.5million (per story) - Gold
Write a story that gets 100k views in 24 hours = 5million (per story) - Platinum

Jimmy’s Seal of Approval - Your story is featured on Gouki.com = 1 Million (per story)
It’s alive - Secret Achievement = 50k (once per story)
Journalist - Write a story that gets 25k total views per story = 500k (per story)
Love it or Hate it - Get 50 “like” or “dislike” votes on 1 story = 5m (per story)

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Community Blog

dragonkiss83

DragonKiss83's quest for a Street Fighter X Tekken team

By: dragonkiss83 Feb 12, 2012 | 12 Comments

After a while being away from Gouki.com I have returned to find a challenge, I must somehow choose a team from a roster of the stars of Street Fighter and Tekken. Wish me luck.

The death of my pc has kept me from being able to post on here since November, but with a Laptop ready to go I return to the site to do some catching up, and what do I find?  Gouki.com has another kickass giveaway going on.  And this time it was for Street Fighter X Tekken.  All it takes is write a story about the team you want to play as, easy right.  Wrong. As I look over the roster I realize that a team of two characters just isn't big enough.

The truth is from the Tekken side I have a few favorites, Jin and Kazuya are at the top of the list but you can't overlook Yoshimitsu or King.

If they had the right Jin He'ld be on the team for sure.

I just couldn't decide.  So I decided to check out the Street Fighter side.  And it just made things worse.  Ibuki felt like a sure thing, at first.

But as I looked at the list there were just to many great characters to choose from.  Akuma (Gouki) is always high on the list

.

And you just can't over look Cammy...

or Bison.

This just keeps getting more complicated.  I'm sure all use them all in various combinations until I find the right mix, but I still have to start somewhere.  So I just keep watching videos and reminiscing about all the fun I've had with them in the past.  And then it hit me.  What better team could I start with?  How was it not obvious from the start?

Poison and Juri!  Juri is one of the craziest female characters to ever put the digital beatdown on anyone.  And Poison can throw down with the best of them with the added bonus of distracting your opponent as the wonder if she's packing heat.  The quest was over! For now at least.  Until I have a chance to try the characters out and really get into the mechanics of the game (including how much I suck with various characters) I can't be sure what my final team will be, but I do have a place to start.

Best of luck to all of you who enter.   And remember don't be a Jimmy!

Gouki.com #1

 

And just for the Jimmys...

 enjoy.

Raychul Moore, long time friend of Gouki.com recently visited San Diego Comic-Con. She has a few great stories to tell from the event. From random Jimmys hating on the Booker DeWitt gender swap & of course the 12 year nuabs I mentioned.

Me? I don't know how I feel about the gender swap stuff, but that's 1 of her gimmicks & that's fine. She's easily the most popular girl I know who is doing that. A little weird yeah, but she makes it work. My only thing is like the Drake, she did Drake from Uncharted a few years back. She had on the same thing he did, long sleeve shirt & jeans. That's definitely more of a personal thing, she wasn't trying to appeal to any sex there. What am I talking about at this point? The Booker DeWitt was definitely sexier, but she explains why in the video below. Plus there's the whole story about the 12 year olds & Cammy's butt. 

Thanks for watching. Who are your favorite nerd girls? Leave her name in the comments for me. ;-)

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Prestige Edition is no longer listed on the website and not available to pre-order in the store.

When I picked up my Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 I engaged in the regular video game banter with the clerk. Seeing what he knew and or what was good. He kinda mumbled something about the Modern Warfare 2 Prestige Edition no longer available for pre-order. I said what? That game doesn't come out for two months, I never heard this story. I read the frickin' news everyday!

So I immediately grabbed the closet iphone and went on the website. Sure enough you can't find it on their website. So I went to the Best Buy website and they had it listed. Drove over to the Best Buy in person ... grabbed the pre-order box and took up to the counter and pointed to prestige pre-order on the back and told the girl I want that one rite dere! At this point my reciept says Prestige, so I will take that. We'll see what happens down the road.

For those of you Jimmys that want the Prestige order I suggest you get your head out of your ass and find out wtf is going on in your neighborhood.

Jimmy!

Cliffy B just couldn't resist putting his face in one of those cool Bulletstorm videos. Demo date confirmed through Twitter. And finally the word on multiplayer and it's not what you would expect.

Bulletstorm demo date confirmed via @danacowley on twitter yesterday. January 25, 2011. We're gonna get the Echoes mode which is, campaign levels that you play solo and compete for high scores against your friends. I'm a little disappointed if I won't be able to experience some of the co-op. Either way though, I will be playing the demo and playing the shit out of it hopefully. Bulletstorm looks like a TON of fun.

In a new Bulletstorm video posted, not included in the Bulletstorm preview I just wrote two days ago.

Bulletstorm Weapons and Anarchy mode - Cliffy B jumps in to take up Tanya Jessen screen time. Sad face. So Cliffy B is all up this video talking about the weapons. I'm exciting about the weapons. I'd be more excited if Tanya Jessen was telling me about them more. Remember that feeling you got throwing the Perfect Dark suitcase gun up against the wall as a turret? Bulletstorm has me interesting in seeing what I can do with their weapons. They all have some very cool concepts and secondary functionalities. The main premise of the game is to just fuck up as much shit as possible at a time and see who can score the most points. 

So now we know, there is nothing traditional about the Bulletstorm multiplayer. There's PvP, but it's only for points. I don't think you will even be playing at the same time. Something similar to racing against your friends times on NFSHP. This is great, for that you can compete with your friends and you don't have to be online at the same time. I just don't think it will have much replay value. The hardcore Gears Jimmys are gonna be screaming that there isn't traditional multiplayer, but that is just not the style of Bulletstorm. Wait for Gears of War 3 ya Jimmy.

And finally I leave you with yet another video about Bulletstorm. Epic has been blowing it out with the promotions and they are all great. Make sure you check out and subscribe to the Epic Games YouTube Channel.

Bulletpoints #4

Blog

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Pro-Trolling in Battlefield 3. Video & Xbox Live messages. HATE

By: goukijones Jan 28, 2012 | 4 Comments | Updated: Jan 30, 2012

Some may say it's trolling, but GoukiJones relocates constantly staying 1 step of his Nemesis. Of course there was some hate mail soon after the match from the Jimmy. The video has been time stamped with highlights for your viewing pleasure. #dontbeajimmy

I like to time stamp some highlights and this game in particular is a classic time stamper. Mostly for my homeboy GSO Lockheld. Sarcasm there, I've never met the guy or played with him online. Great sport though. I sent him a GG message afterwards, here are his two responses below. 

Followed up with ...

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Review

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Lucha Libre AAA Heroes of the Ring Review!!!!

By: Cinderkin Oct 21, 2010 | 10 Comments

Check out the Review by Cinderkin.

If I could describe Lucha Libre Heroes of the Ring in two words STRAIGHT TRASH would be it.

Summary:

Lucha Libre Heroes of the Ring is a complete load of garbage. If you thought John Cena was bad, Lucha Libre AAA makes him look like a godsend. With its horrible controls, broken gameplay, and announcing that repeats every couple of minutes, and only 30 wrestlers, you have to wonder how this game even hit the shelves. It almost feels as if the game is mocking the sport instead of praising it. Even the great La Parka and Apache couldn’t save this game. Why is this game so bad? Read on below to find out.

 

Story:

You’re probably thinking how could a wrestling game have a story? Well it’s simple really. The story revolves around you. A Luchador looking to make a name for himself by starting off as a nobody and making his way up the popularity charts (I’m serious that’s the story). In the beginning you are given a choice between two alliances. The good guys Tecnico or the bad guys Rudo. It’s your classic Face vs Heal scenario that WWE is well known for.

Gameplay:

At first glance the gameplay for Lucha Libre is reminiscence to the classic WWF and WCW wrestling games on the N64. With your quick and strong grapples, taunts, special finishing moves after building up your meter and so on. Once you actually get your hands on it though you’ll soon find out that it’s not like that at all. In fact the controls for this game are almost completely broken. You quick and strong grab with the trigger buttons, and perform grapple moves with the face buttons. The shoulder buttons are for running and countering. You have your quick punches, your quick kicks, and your strong attacks. Just the kind of thing you expect from a wrestling game. The problem is that the controls feel extremely sluggish and the character movements are very slow. You hear Luchador and you expect high flying fast paced wrestling action, but what we are left with is the slowest most un responsive piece of wrestling garbage to date.

Audio:

The audio work in this game isn’t bad, but it’s not good either. The main issue is that I’ve only heard about 4 songs the entire time I was playing the game. You’ve got one song that loops forever on the menu screens. Then two songs during the actual matches, and then one more song when creating a luchador. Pretty pathetic if you ask me and music isn’t the only problem here. The commentary is abysmal. I swear in the five minutes of my first match I heard the same six lines. The announcers try really hard to be funny and informative at the same time, but what you get is cheesy lines and obvious play by play.

Features:

Lucha Libre AAA has a few defining features that separate this game from the Smackdown vs Raw series. The first being the Mask Editor, which lets you customize your luchador’s mask in about a hundred different ways. It was nice to see them give so much thought to creating and defining your luchador. Another thing is the popularity system. The way better you wrestle the more popular you get during a match. The more popular you are the more access you have to the high flying, over the top wrestling moves. It’s a pretty neat system that rewards the player for mixing up moves, going for big risks and taunting their opponents. Everything else is what you’ve already seen in other wrestling games.

Visuals:

This game flat out looks ugly. It has an arcade like look to it, but is also trying for the realism look. All the arenas and rings look the same basically. I think there were only six or seven crowd models. Just doesn’t work. The wrestler models look crisp during their intros when walking out to the ring, but once the match begins they lose that look. The wrestlers themselves do look like their true life counterparts, which is why it’s unfortunate that the designers didn’t do a better job in the overall visuals.

Lucha Libre AAA Heroes of the Ring just doesn’t stack up to the Smackdown vs Raw series. It’s cool to see a game based off the Mexican sport of wrestling, but it’s too bad that it wasn’t done well enough to be worth playing. Being sold at a $60 price point, I am thinking Konami has lost their minds. This game isn’t even worth $20 let alone $60!

Bottom Line: FLUSH IT!

Tell us what you think in the comments. Don't be a Jimmy!

Review

goukijones

ModNation Racers review (beta)

By: goukijones Jan 11, 2010 | 9 Comments

Yes yes, this is a review of the ModNation Racers beta. Videos, pictures of the game and my opinion. If you're a fan of Mario Kart 64 oh boy Jimmy!

ModNation Racers had me pumped and screaming at the TV. Everything about the racing reminds me of Mario Kart 64. Mario Kart 64 was my favorite kart racing game of all time. I still have my original copy of the game with all of MY records. Choke/Peach suck. Now ModNation Racer isn't an exact clone, but it's real close. There's some racing enhancements, like the shield which is a great idea. You have to know the timing with the shield for all the different weapons so you can deflect them. There's also a straight up turbo that you build the meter up by drifting, doing other tricks, or using a weapon on another racer. Something else that is different from Mario Kart 64 is that you can boost while your drifting. Turbo while drifting really gets your kart going fast and my heart even faster. I thought was a great idea. Check out this video of my finishing in 1st place, Number 1 in the World!

Modnation Racer 1st place

I finished the beta with about 2800 experience points and was rated 5 stars "Phenom" so I got a good fill of the racing. Totally loving the racing! I would just load up MNR and work on the computer until the race started. Sometimes I was waiting up 10 minutes to get into a race. That didn't bother me though. Never lagged out of a race. I wish at the very beginning of the game (especially after the first time I loaded the game up) that it would skip all of the intros and load right into the Modspot. The last couple of days I played, as soon as the Modspot loaded up I went right into experience races. On average there was at least 7 people in the same race. 4-12 spots.

"I'm not cheating asshole! I have the level 3 green speed boost it does a warp." The noobs, the screaming kids and obnoxious voices were the worst thing about the game. I couldn't find the mute button. There's got to be more weapons in the final version, there was only four I think in the beta. I have an idea for one, how about a slingshot. It grabs the closest kart to you, stops him/her and slingshots you passed them. Level 2 would just have a further reach and level three forces all the kart to go backwards for 3 seconds except yours.

The creation station is extremely brilliant I saw some incredible designs! Basically you will have the tools to create anything you want.

I created how I envision my self in the virtual world "GoukiJones."

Gouki Modnation Racer mod

Also the Gouki.com mascot Jimmy!

Jimmy Modnation Racer mod

Of course I made a couple of different karts too, but this was my coolest one.

Modnation Racer car mod

The beta didn't offer much to choose from, but the final version looks like its going to have loads ... thats what she said. What the other users were creating just with the beta version was incredible. You know Mario Kart track clones are going to pop up, I can't wait to see Yoshi's Valley.

ModNation Racer beta video

***SCREEN BURNS*** Warning ModNation Racer has been burning my TV screen. Nothing like this has happened to me in years. None of my ModNation Racer sessions were that long. I've played Halo 3 and Final Fantasy for days and days and never got a burn. I can still see the "?" from the loading screen. WTF is up with that? I hope this is not going to be a serious issue for people.

***HACKERS/CHEATS*** Hacking and or cheating was definitely not being addressed during the beta. Bigwoopmagazine, which is a horrible site by the way had the fastest lap on one track of -00.00.333. Come on now! Stuff like that needs banishment immediately.

***GLITCHES*** I didn't see anything that really stood out. I got this crazy rocket on video that kept chasing me through the entire race. The rocket finally hits me and then another comes from out of nowhere and chases me down again. Another time I did a speed boost and hit a wall, but ended up being stuck in the wall and having to use select to reset my kart.

Modnation Racer Rocket glitch

The ModNation Racers beta was awesome! This is for sure a day one purchase and pwnfest! Pre-ordered! I had an excellent time with the racing and I loved the thrill of the finishes. Don't change a thing. The steering and drifting with the turbo was spot on, let people change their buttons and for Christ sake let me shut off the music. But don't worry about tweaking the steering or make a turn wider or thinner. Learn how to race Jimmy! I'll see you online when ModNation Racers comes out! Don't be a Jimmy!

Pre-order ModNation Racers for $56.99 right now!

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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