Daishi’s Twitter – Round 9

Week 10 – 26/02/11 – 04/03/11

Thanks. There’s always room for improvements tho, even if the change can be risky RT @JackOfMyLife: I personally believe that SC is perfect.

Risky changes? That’s too easy. Daishi’s got something up his sleeve.

Daishi continued to discuss some of the gameplay and balance topics from last week:

Forcing players to study is bad but being able to make players learn as they have fun is good. RT @TreSanBan: What’s wrong with studying?

To elaborate a bit, there are break-points in most fighting games, at an input level especially, that eventually demand that a player hit the books, and then hit up training mode, if they want to proceed. What they are is different for each game, and when and why they matter is key.

That a player will need to learn and practice if they want to improve is a fact. But if they have to spend 6 hours in training mode, with a laptop, a movelist printout, and a music stand, before they can do bread and butter punishers, well, that’s a problem. That’s an entry barrier that most players will not bother to pass.

Of all the modern fighters, Soulcalibur can at least claim a simple enough input barrier, at low levels, for most characters. As well, there are no 1-frame links, dash cancels, very little in the way of fuzzy guard or option selects, and most of the game’s systems are transparent enough. The biggest demand on a player’s time is interaction with the other characters, so they can recognize moves and setups, and know the optimal responses, and most of that can be puzzled out during actual play.

Yes, there are Just Frames, and yes some of them are both difficult and crucial, but given the option to choose between Just Frames and 1-frame links, I’d choose Just Frames 9 times out of 10. That’s not to say Just Frames are perfect, or even particularly well done; as they are now, they’re too often arbitrary in their placement and random in their effect. Some are must haves, some are superfluous, and there’s no rhyme or reason for the distinction.

Being able to refine and distinguish play is what these complicated subsystems should be for, not as basic hurdles to throw new players off.

As an aside, who else has somewhat fond memories of bringing printed movelists to arcades?

I totally agree. RT @briancgiles: SC1 had the best 8WR. SC2 was too strong with avoid. SC3 all stepping weak. SC4 too slow, stuck in mud.

Every game has its suited speed and pace. Generally I like fast games. RT @BladeHero7: I really don’t like really fast paced games.

I personally like the gameplay and pacing of Virtual-On OT but SC is definetly closer to Virtual-On Force RT @tetubusi:

That last comment is lost on me; I haven’t played Virtual On since it was in arcades, and that was just one of them, so I’ve no basis for comparison.

What’s clear is that Daishi still prefers Soulcalibur 1 in a lot of ways. That’s the game he started with, so it makes sense. It’s been a long time since I’ve played Soulcalibur 1, but I can safely say that all forms of movement — from 8 way run to backstep — were orders of magnitude faster than they are in Soulcalibur 4, and safer.

Daishi has been repeating 2 points: that he prefers faster games, and that he prefers faster, if not safer, movement. Which is a complete reversal of the direction the series has been moving in since Soulcalibur 2.

All I dream about is work. I just want to get the game done and release it! RT @Trace_afj: Today I dreamed that I play with Setsuka in SCV..

What do you like about Talim? RT @JakajanTiamu: The things I want most from Soul 5. Talim please

I like Cervantes from SC1 the best. RT @astrofaes: SSF4- but SC is already the perfect pace. P.S. plz bring back cervantes from SC2, not the davy jones ripoff in SC4!

I understand but the same thing can be said for other characters as well. Both Yun Seong and Hwang have their fans so it’s a hard pick. RT @Zephyrus21: what I want the most for SC5 is Hwang and Li Long. Please bring them back

Shura might be a bit hard for many reasons.. RT @Dentenshi: Bring Shura back please ;D

More requests for returning characters. Of the lot, Cervantes seems like the safest bet; he’s been in every other Soulcalibur game, and is both an original member of the cast, and without any clone characters.

Except for Shura, of course. But as Daishi says, she’s unlikely to return. She’s not really an official Soulcalibur character, but instead a bonus character designed by Hiroya Oku, the artist behind the popular Gantz manga and anime. Who owns the license? Would Namco pay Oku a second time to use a character who is a 1:1 clone with no connection to the Soulcalibur story?

Talim is also a unique character, and seems popular enough. No reason to remove her from the game. Setsuka as well, and Daishi has said that both Cervantes and Setsuka are amongst his favourite characters in the series.

As for Hwang, Yun, and Li Long. On the surface, there’s no reason that Hwang and Yun couldn’t co-exist, and Hwang is always around, as far as Soulcalibur’s story is concerned. Li Long? He was neat in Arcade Edition, but didn’t cross over like Amy did. Maybe bald dudes who swing pointy sticks aren’t compelling enough anymore.

Logic is necessary but logic alone can be boring. FUG joined the team from SC3 and his my work mate now. Sits near me. RT @crna_ruka:

This is interesting. This ruka guy makes a long series of posts about game speed and balance and the like, but all in Japanese, so I’m not going to post it here. However, at one point he name drops FUG, and if I’m reading everything right, that means that one of the best Nightmare players in Japan is working under Daishi now. There are vids of him in action, playing Arcade Edition.

That’s another tourny player on the team.

I played both X-Men and X vs SF. I also played Tokidensho Angel Eyes 😛 RT @tetubusi:

I still prefer XvsSF to any other VS game — its only flaw being Captain America’s absence — so Daishi demonstrates good taste, as far as I’m concerned.

Touki Denshou: Angel Eyes is one of those mid-90s Japanese fighting games that never made the jump overseas. A 2d, all-girl fighting game that was basically Arcana Heart before Arcana Heart, and most notable for crudely mixing pure 2d sprite characters with 3d, prerendered abominations, at least for the arcade release. It was fast, though.

What a rare opinion. RT @igorpelego: The thing I love the most about SC4 how difficult and challenging ToS was. I hope you can bring us something like that!

There’s a basic problem with these extra modes. Well, 2 problems.

First, they’re a means to an end. People play them because they’re either the best, or the only, way to unlock stuff they actually want.

Second, and this dovetails into the first, the player has to fight the game’s AI. Which means that the best strategy, and the way most people will play, is to find the easiest or fastest way of exploiting the AI’s weaknesses so they can get the next unlockable item.

So in a perverse, obtuse way, there is strategy involved, just not the kind the developers intend, or the players want. It’s probably too difficult to separate the problems and not worthwhile in the end.

Not to say that such a mode wouldn’t be, or shouldn’t be, included in the new game, just that it should be divorced entirely from unlockables. Give the players an interactive story and arcade mode. Or better yet, a download-based conquest mode modelled on Soulcalibur 2 arcade and Arcade Edition, where the enemies are generated from ghosts the game updates from leaderboards and friends lists. There are enough options, just from backtracking through the series, to negate any need for a terrible Tower of Souls of Chronicles of the Sword.

Not being able to pull them off often was the main problem. RT @Lasership84: Please improve the presentation of the finishing moves from sc4

This is an interesting sentiment, considering the way Critical Finishers progressed through the history of Soulcalibur 4. Before the game was released people were sure they’d be a game-breaking gimmick, after the game was released it was obvious that they weren’t, then the game was patched and Soul Gauge damage was lowered across the board, making Critical Finishers even rarer, and in Broken Destiny they were both harder to land, and easier to defend against. The trend has been toward making them the equivalent of an i900 unblockable, or Guilty Gear’s Instant Kills; something that exists in the game, but almost never happens in a real match.

Which again leads me to believe that Daishi has something up his sleeve.

Sorry, I don’t know Ninja Turtles very well. RT @PhotonRez: Do you like the Ninja Turtles? They’d be great for a new Soul game.

Is Berserk popular in the west? RT @altrodesi: and Guts from the manga berserk would be great guest characters.

Didn’t know Guts from Berserk was popular overseas.

Need to ask the boss, Higuchi-san. RT @aeconklin: Have you considered adding “Tales Of” characters from the RPG as bonus characters for SC5?

Ninja Turtles! The best guest character suggestion yet. Someone mail Daishi a Ninja Turtles trade.

As for Berserk, while the manga and anime are well loved by a fair number, Guts is far from a household name. He’s not even up to Spawn’s level. His video game presence is even lower, with the last Berserk game released outside of Japan more than 12 years ago, and on the Dreamcast. For whatever reason (sales?) the game’s sequel was never localized, which isn’t a good sign. Not to say he wouldn’t be a neat character, but if you dressed Nightmare or Siegfried up you could accomplish the same thing.

Now, Tales characters. That would be something. Namco already owns them, Namco wants Tales games to sell outside of Japan — regardless of how bad they actually market and distribute them — and there are Tales games  both in development and scheduled for release. Back when Soulcalibur 4 had been announced, and Project Soul had said that there was a big guest character reveal in the works — ended up being the Star Wars characters — the Tales series was high on the list of candidates. In fact, Lloyd from Tales of Symphonia did make a guest appearance in Soulcalibur Legends.

Would have to work with a company. Offcourse I will ask for the highest quality 😉 RT@msasbaly: have you ever thought about making SC Anime?

And why not? Every other fighting game series gets some shitty anime adaptation.

If anyone’s curious, Virtua Fighter English Dub > King of Fighters Another Day = Street Fighter 2 The Animated Movie >>> Tekken The Motion Picture. That’s as far down that rabbit hole as I go.

I can’t be the only person who bought the Street Fighter Anniversary Collection because they included the movie on the dvd.

Good idea. Not sure who’s in charge at the company but we’ll have to organize it! RT @lifeasadesigner: Namco SPONSORING Nationals in JP/US

Take a hint from Blizzard, and put some money down. It attracts the players, it makes things exciting, and it pushes the boundaries of competition.

I want to but I can’t 😦 Think positive! It’s a surprise waiting for you! RT @Trace_afj: can we know when are you going to show something?

The earlier the better… is all I can say. RT @jaeseongoppa: When do you think you can release Soul Calibur 5?

Whatever he’s got right now is just concept art and napkin notes anyway. I have to believe that when there’s some real news to announce, we’ll get it.

Finally:

Advertisement! Siegfried and Mitsurugi will appear in Family Stadium 2011! http://twitpic.com/44yd0o http://twitpic.com/44yd0q

Pro Baseball Family Stadium 2011 is a 3ds launch title. There’s not much info about it anyway, just a few screenshots that make it look like they’re going for an oldschool style, which is fine with me. I haven’t enjoyed a baseball video game since the NES.

It would be a neat, if not very timely, cross-promotion if the new Soulcalibur game included the baseball uniforms as alternate costumes.

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