Street Fighter IV Q&A - Familiar Faces

Everything old is new again in Capcom's upcoming sequel to this legendary fighting series. Find out about the newly announced characters and more in this interview.

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There was a time, back in the early 1990s, when fighting games ruled the arcade scene across America, Japan, and around the world. And if you had to go back in time to the starting point of the fighting craze, you'd stop at the sublimely balanced Street Fighter II, a game ahead of its time; one for which even the term "seminal" is an understatement. Fighting games may not be at the forefront of gaming the way they were in those halcyon years, but if any game is going to rejuvenate interest in this flagging genre, it's Street Fighter IV.

If the name alone didn't already whet your nostalgic whistle, consider this: Capcom has announced that the entire lineup of fighters from Street Fighter II--including Chun Li, Zangief, E. Honda, Blanka, and Guile--will appear in Street Fighter IV. To find out more, we went straight to the game's producer, Yoshinori Ono, and Capcom's director of communications, Chris Kramer.

GameSpot: The character designs here seem to be very faithful to the originals in Street Fighter II. Considering the many different looks of all these characters, why did you decide to go back to SFII?

Yoshinori Ono: The character designs for this title aren't based on SFII as much as they are intended to represent the next step in the evolution of the Street Fighter series in general. However, I can say that I personally look at this game as being closely tied with SFII, and you may see some influence in the art design from that title as a result.

Note that the art director, Ikeno, was also involved in SFIII, so the influences come from many sources. His intent is to represent the natural visual evolution of the series as a whole.

The gang's all here.

GameSpot: Shadaloo's been mentioned a few times in relation to the game. Can we assume Bison, et al will also be making a return?

Chris Kramer: We can't comment upon any character possibilities right now other than the ones previously announced (Ryu, Ken, Chun Li, Crimson Viper) and the new characters we are talking about today. Additionally, we're still keeping elements of the story a mystery. We want to pique players' interest and keep them thinking about Street Fighter IV for some time. More of the story will be revealed in various forms in the months ahead of us.

GS: Why stick with 2D?

YO: I consider one of the core elements of Street Fighter game design to be playing within a 2D plane.

Working only in two dimensions, players are free to read their opponents' moves and engage in compelling tug-of-war-style fights. This is at the core of what makes Street Fighter fun. There was no hesitation on my part when moving forward with this project. I knew from the start that we must stick to the 2D gameplay formula.

Focus attacks and the revenge gauge are two of Street Fighter IV's new mechanics.

GS: What new moves can we expect from each of the eight original characters?

CK: Street Fighter IV is building upon the foundation of everything that made Street Fighter II a phenomenon. You can expect to see new gameplay elements applied to the returning characters, including moves that come from the new game systems being added.

GS: You've unveiled focus attacks for both defense and offense. How will players be able to implement these in gameplay?

YO: I can't go into too much detail here just yet, but I can tell you that it is a system designed to add a little spice to combos and the idea of reading your opponents' moves. We're currently making adjustments to the system so that it can be used in this fashion.

One of my goals for this project is to create a game that a wide audience can enjoy. That is why focus attacks are implemented with a rather simple and intuitive command. You need only to press the middle kick and middle punch button simultaneously to initiate the move.

In this way, light users who may not be familiar with the intricacies of fighting games have a new weapon in their arsenal that they can utilize with relative ease. At the same time, high-level players will find new and interesting uses for this new move, working it into their combos and strategies to bring out the depth and breadth of the system.

Expect even more new characters to be revealed in the coming months.

GS: Are focus attacks tied into the previously unveiled revenge gauge? How do the two systems work and interact?

CK: The gameplay system designs are still being finalized; the way that focus attacks and the revenge gauge function in final form will be shaped by feedback from the AOU show, location tests, and internal play sessions. Feedback from the player community (with experts both inside and out of Capcom) will be crucial for fine tuning these newer systems.

GS: How many new characters are you planning to introduce?

CK: At AOU, we will be revealing the return of the original Street Fighter II roster. Needless to say, there will be more brawlers added and revealed in time.

GS: What can you tell us about Crimson Viper? How does she fight? How will she fit into the SF story?

YO: As of right now, all we've revealed is Viper's existence.

If you are after information as to her connection to other characters, I'm afraid I'll have to make you wait a bit longer. I can share this much about her fighting style, though: Her strength comes not from a complete mastery of martial arts like so many other characters, but rather from her use of technology. She utilizes a system of high-tech devices.

This series has always involved what I call "tricky" characters (like those who stretch their limbs or emit electricity), but Viper is unique even when compared to the characters we have already seen. She really represents an entirely new and unique fighting method that encompasses everything from electricity to fire. I hope you look forward to giving her a test drive!

E. Honda says, 'No more questions for now!'

GS: When is the game's story set in Street Fighter chronology?

YO: Well, the [sequel] number has indeed ticked up one unit, but the story and time period is actually not after SFIII. This game actually takes place after SFII. Is it before SFIII? Does it represent some parallel timeline? I guess you'll have to wait and see...

As for why we chose to not place the game after SFIII, ask me again at a later interview...

GS: We'll try to wait until then. Thanks for your time.

Discussion

457 comments
X_CAPCOM_X
X_CAPCOM_X

Not including any SFIII characters = Big mistake.

saquib_h
saquib_h

This is EXACTLY how a classic should be brought back - by keeping the core eliments unchanged. The art direction and idea of keeping it 2D is just right! But that means we are also expecting a lot more players, stages, customes and add-ons as there will be a lot of space left for using class looks and 2d technology. I just hope the unused resources of nex-gen hardware will be fully utilized in other ways. Please have a look at this: http://saquibhussain.multiply.com/journal/item/36

wenbin09
wenbin09

hope it be on console soon

nate1222
nate1222

Question: what console(s) will it be on? @m_law Because they're trying to sell to 'White boys' in America. Remember FFX? In the scene where Tidus was on top of the airship, just as he hugged Yuna, his eyes (still blue) took on a very 'Asian' shape. That was SquareEnix saying, "Ha-ha, suckers! He's one of us!".

m_law
m_law

answer me this: why are ryu's eyes blue all of a sudden?

Deaval
Deaval

Hope it will be worh waiting for. :)

DrScorpio
DrScorpio

it Like old friend, coming whit new suit and more lovely! It should be successful.

Pangamaster
Pangamaster

Lol when i went on a trip to India, in my hometown they had EX2 and everyone was playing it and said it was ok, and me coming from america i had played a lot of fighting games and i pwnd people there that play a lot so i laugh. Ps. This game is going to be a Xbox360 exclusive.

metalgrinch
metalgrinch

I for one think the graphics look amazing, but I bet a million bucks it's fake, these graphics look too good, these are probably CG sequences, most likely not actual gameplay. Unfortunately this seems more like an SF2 REMAKE instead of a genuine sequal to the series. I mean, I hope they at the very least give them new costumes! Is this straight to arcades only, or next-gen systems?

Cloud_in_midgar
Cloud_in_midgar

WOW this looks bad, the character models are really lacking the visual flare of their ancestors.

sobleck
sobleck

um...ok...the character models look nothing like the trailer, the arcade is....well people don't spam the arcade anymore even in Japan, come one, this is a dissappointment and a let down on all levels. I mean, i'd rather play capcom vs snk: svc chaos or capcom vs snk 2, or streetfighter three or just plain old street fighter 2. actually thats prob why they are making it arcade only, they know t won't sell anymore...they didn't deliver what their trailer promised, i was expecting highly stylized dark visuals, a deep story, a nice hybrid between 2d and 3d fighting, you know something worth buying or even going out to see. Lame capcom....LAME

X-Zer0-X001
X-Zer0-X001

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

another_drew
another_drew

"Yeh, nobody plays fighting games anymore. I mean, just look at Smash Brothers and Tekken and Soul Calibur. Nobody plays those games, right guys. Guys?" Yeah....right... That's the reason that SSBB has been the headline of numerous magazines and websites. The reason everytime a Tekken game gets into development, it's talked about for years. Soul Calibur I understand, it's lost some of it's glitz over the years. Hopefully this game will bring about the ressurection of 2D fighters. I could never really get into the SF games, doesn't mean I don't like them, I just suck at them. lol But, I'm extremely excited about this game. P.S. - In case anyone didn't read the article in EGM's article two months ago about this game, theres a chance that Ryu and Ken's teacher, Shen Long will make it in as a secret character. @ Bad-Chad - That has got to be one of the most random statements I have ever heard.

Proman84
Proman84

"Why stick with 2D?" How dare you even ask that question! It wouldn't be a Street Fighter game otherwise! I'm so happy that they are sticking with 2D!

blesst1
blesst1

i never go to the arcades anymore...they're always filled w/ emo kids playing ddr and ole grandmas playing skee ball. they better port this

thereal11
thereal11

what arcade only who goes to arcades anymore? sure itll come to console eventually.

Aries03
Aries03

Yo i cant waite for this game 2 drop,for real... The trailer looks sweet and the still pics that i've just seen make me want it that much more.All the other pervious attempes to turn this great game into a 3D/Tekken style game have all failed but this i know will shine like a bright light coming out of the darkness and will be remebered for a long time to come. P.S....They better have Akuma in it,they need him.

bshaw84
bshaw84

guile looks lame, but the other pics are sweet.

skinnydave
skinnydave

First off, I don't think the fighter is dead any more than Halo is dead. If you have any doubts, check out the communities at shoryuken.com or evo2k.com - these people are hardcore fighter fans. The same communities exist for every game genre, and these diehards are the people SF4 is geared towards. I happen to be one of these diehards. I own 2 arcade cabinets (with boards from Alpha 3 to UMK3 to Samuai Showdown 2). I go to tournaments. I play hours a day on ggpo, kaillera, and xbl. I own nearly every console around, including a modded ps2 for import games like hokuto no ken. Some call it obsessive. Every fighting game is different, and that 's what the fans want. I personally think Capcom is taking a huge chance with SF4, but I am glad they are. "Feedback from the player community?" Awesome. I wish more game companies did that! The bottom line is, this game isn't going to appeal to everyone. But for fans of the genre and the series, this is a huge deal. Capcom is giving the fighter faithful exactly what they want - something new, but familiar all the same. And I, for one, can hardly wait. P.S. EX sucked balls. Capcom even said so.

jackson84
jackson84

I cant wait for this game to drop...from looking at the images...it brings back so many memories of SFII

heroofwinds1
heroofwinds1

i hope the game turns out to be good because one of the titles i started playing videogames with was street fighter 2 and i loved it.street figher 3 was very bad as we all know,it came out as an early ps2 title and the result was disapointing in every way.i think that it is a good move to keep it in 2d,and to see all the old charachters coming back and i hope that we will be able to play it on wii too because the wii remote and nunchuk can make this game come back to the great glories it had in the past.

masterclone
masterclone

Everyone asking what system, At the moment it's for the Arcade

Bad-Chad
Bad-Chad

I hope they have a new character from Canada. Maybe a native indian that's not a stereotype like tomahawk, more like Wolf from Virtua. Or maybe a huge grizsly bear type white mountain man who'd be a nemesis to Zangief.

swiftstar183
swiftstar183

Does anybody know what system this will be on?

randomrings
randomrings

I don't have a system for this... but I like the style of it. It's like an Anime game's style mixed with the style of Gears of War or Fable. Something like that.

b4ever
b4ever

its the best street fighter ever seen i think its will be great game but i want to no on wich game is it i hope ps3

padejace
padejace

-> carrierj1 No that is not true :) But the genre needs new idea indeed ...

Invincibleloner
Invincibleloner

Carrierj1- actually there are plenty of people who play fighting games. You just named the biggest names in the business that keep on living amonst the oldest so look within yourself before posting comments like this. You probably play those games like ff11 or wowc that destroy your social life or something. I think those games are wack as **** but I know well enough that people play those like crazy and have to have no life in order to be the best vice in a fighting game you have to have good skills and tactics in timing rather than you equipment screen with hp and defense and.......that crap is wack..... On another note, I think that this game is gonna be weak. The story is looking like its going back. They arent evolving crap. they can be cool witht hte 2d thing but not bringing too many of the original cast back with the same damn clothes and crap. No facial hair or scars or something. Look at Mark of the wolves' Terry Bogard, he was evolved in moves and looks. Get dante or nero in a capcom vs game or something sheesh.... Evolve that. P.S. Yoshinori apparently wants to waste Gamespots time cuz he dont know ****

carrierj1
carrierj1

Yeh, nobody plays fighting games anymore. I mean, just look at Smash Brothers and Tekken and Soul Calibur. Nobody plays those games, right guys. Guys?

infamous2117
infamous2117

tell me why did they ditch EX? that had to be one of the best in the series, when i first seen the first video im thinking this might be the new version of ex only called sf4. man i hope this at least has good gameplay. just because im a big fan i will buy it regardless.

GUNSTARheroBLUE
GUNSTARheroBLUE

@Jazilla "but nothing, and I mean nothing will bring back the coolness of the fighting genre. Gaming evolution has passed it by." Dude, I wholeheartedly agree..capcom didnt even do a redesign Or show any EVOLUTION of the original Characters- God man how can they be so Lazy in that department.. Sorry to hate , but the SF4- the Characters look Fat , Blocky and ugly. everythings been done with the Fighting genre , even when they try to bring something new , it seems more like a tacked on Gimmick- gets old really fast.

Jag-T1000
Jag-T1000

The graphics are gonna be great but I wish they would' have gone with CGI graphics. The same used in Killer Instinct. In a way I think Rare beat Capcom when they made that game. Every one was disappointed with SF3 because it had the same graphics as SF2. Imagine Ryu and Ken in CGI or Cammy and Chun-li. That would be awesome. I guess I can only wish for Killer Instinct 3. :)

Sk8more67
Sk8more67

I loved those games and I can't wait for the newest one keep up the good work Capcom!

ps3pwnr
ps3pwnr

this game is gonna be swweeet gonnA be way better than third strike

jazilla
jazilla

You are dead to me Street Fighter Series. I dumped so many quarters in you at age 16. I believe I paid for peoples college funds that worked at 7-11 at the time. It was either college, or their crack fund. You consumed my life, but nothing, and I mean nothing will bring back the coolness of the fighting genre. Gaming evolution has passed it by.

deviant9
deviant9

The more you look at the screenshots the more you know its gonna be nowhere near as good as the SF2. They need DOA style tiered levels or something to really bring it to life. Theres not one person I know that would pick any other fighting game over SF2 and a real new update of it would be excellent.. but folks, this aint gonna be it. Will be fun and all but wont fulfil expectations of fans.

Pun_Laca
Pun_Laca

Not too bad looking so far. I'm really diggin the thought of retaining the original 2-D fighting aspect while adding 3-D rendering. Although some of the characters' faces look ominously eerie (and by eerie, I mean awfully ugly)

GEMINIVice
GEMINIVice

I personally hope the gameplay is as good as Third Strike, if not, then better.

Tking1293
Tking1293

Hopefully it'll be just as good as SFII.

aileron2
aileron2

hey WTF with those graphics they are ugly chun-li seems like a man

GUNSTARheroBLUE
GUNSTARheroBLUE

how many times have we seen where a game has a flashy Intro, and then falls up short in the game play...why not go Hi-res like Guilty gear? 3d graphics with a 2d overlay format- Street Fighter EX4? Bringing Back the old Characters from SF2 is nice, But- cmon Capcom needs a kick in the butt when it comes to fresh NEW SF character designs... (how about giving the job to some of the SNK Playmore artists????) No more thong brothers, shapeshifting aliens, Robot-like Inspector gadget fighters- and 6 pallete swap Shotokan Karate types... all In all , I have to see it "hands on Gameplay" to believe the hype..

kam21
kam21

Good to see new face of my old favorite game.

athenian29
athenian29

I'm not one for fighters. Oh, and supersexysteve1? Street Fighter is made by Capcom. Sega makes Virtua Fighter.

mskittykat
mskittykat

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

mskittykat
mskittykat

So far this looks hot. I lovet he fact that they tied in the concept artwork right into the game, I think it works well and something that we rarely get to see.

ErikB0869
ErikB0869

Really looking forward to this one. I hope Garuda's in it, though. That would make my day!