games / Columns

Elimin8 4.29.10: The 8 Worst Street Fighter Franchise Failures

April 29, 2010 | Posted by Josh Boykin

Welcome to another edition of Elimin8, the countdown that takes us through the history of some of gaming’s worst fiascos. Tonight Elimin8 takes one of the most substantial franchises in gaming history, but not before some:

COMMENT COMMENTARY

#5 :
“shat shows up in Word as being spelled correctly because it IS; it’s the past tense of the verb “to shit.”

Posted By: Guest#3581 (Guest) on April 22, 2010 at 01:29 AM
I’m kinda glad I have validation now. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard people say “shitted” (though I don’t hear it often, I have to admit it also shows up clear on my spell check), but I definitely attest that “shat” is the proper past tense form of the word.

#4 :
“Go read the Timeslaughter page on Wikipedia. It’s pretty amusing.”

Posted By: xjuggernaughtx (Guest) on April 22, 2010 at 01:45 PM
A quote from Wikipedia:
More than three years in the making, Timeslaughter was released in 1996 by Bloodlust Software and is considered by many to be their greatest game to date. Rather than using excessive gore as their selling point as most Mortal Kombat knock-offs during the fighting game craze of the middle 1990s Ethan Petty and Icer Addis instead crafted a fighter rich in story and gameplay. Sure, there was gore, and loads of it, but time travel was the central focus of the game which pleased goremongers and sci-fi fans alike..

:)

#3 :
“Points taken away for obvious inclusion of Shaq Fu (I’ve actually play way worse fighting games) and for putting Tattoo Assassins on there. That game was never finished or released. Its terrible, but it never saw the light of day.

Plus one point though for not picking on Star Wars Masters. Lame? Yes. Worst? No way.

Also, Justice League Task Force looked fine in its day.

Posted By: JTX (Guest) on April 22, 2010 at 08:21 PM
I’ll confess that I spent a solid amount of time playing both Shaq-Fu and JLTF back in the day, no lie. I beat them both multiple times, and I’m sure I must have enjoyed them a bit back in the day. But they don’t stand up to the test of time in any way, shape, or form. Still, I’m glad someone here shares my feelings on Masters of Teras Kasi! Yeah, it was bad, but I feel like I’ve seen much worse. Admittedly, I’d love to see a Star Wars fighting game done well someday…

#2 :
“You forgot some obscure game that no one has ever heard of! Waahhhh

Posted By: other posters (Guest) on April 22, 2010 at 11:35 AM
Thank you for understand that, though there are tons of crappy games out there, I can only hit 8 of them. Because of that, I can’t cover all the crap-ticiousness the genre has to offer. Thanks to those who have submitted their personal low-points without the use of “fail” in their posts…

#1 :
(Insert any post about Rise of the Robots.)

Alright, it seems like I’ve made a pretty grievous error by excluding Rise of the Robots. After doing some time with the title (yeah, I went all out), I feel that I can safely declare that it was one of the worst fighting games of ALL TIME. With only 1 attack button, an odd soundtrack, and a busted physics engine, I can safely apologize to all of you for not including it on my list. Ugh, such a bad game…
(As a side note, Ergheiz and Dissidia also sucked.)

I guess I should have saved last week’s topic for this week, seeing as the release of Super Street Fighter IV took place earlier this week. The Street Fighter series has been one of the strongest franchises in the history of gaming, without a doubt. But with that long-running history comes plenty of flops and failures, many of which have been seen in previous iterations of this countdown. So, for a trip down Elimin8′s memory lane with some new blood tossed in , this week I present:

Elimin8: 8 Worst Street Fighter Franchise Failures

8. Street Fighter Online: Mouse Generation

Imagine that Apple were to take control of the Street Fighter franchise. In their attempt to make SF easier to control and more appealing to a wider audience, they decided to change the control scheme, To a mouse. Yeah, that’s right (in case you couldn’t guess from the title): SFO: Mouse Generation is entirely controlled by the mouse. And Apple didn’t do it, but I swear, if I see a click-wheel Street Fighter…

The Problem: I guess you have to respect attempts at a new control scheme, particularly in the wake of all the new iPod Touch/iPad games that have control schemes with virtual buttons. And SF has taken risks with titles like Super Puzzle Fighter and been massively successful (XBLA gamertag is Wallstormer for any of you who want to play, though I’m likely to get my ass kicked), but Mouse Generation just feels ridiculous. And for those of you with touchpads and no mice, looks like you’re S.O.L…

The Remedy: You know, I can’t necessarily say there’s a “remedy” for this one. Only time’s going to be able to tell whether or not this game turns out to be any good, or just another piece of PC scrap. It has the potential to be a more casual, PC-based gaming experience, though I wouldn’t be surprised to see SF-themed portable mice if it really takes off…

7. Street Fighter: EX Series

Street Fighter EX3 is one of the black sheep of the Street Fighter series for a reason: it comes out of left-field and changes the entire gameplay dynamic. Competing with 3D fighters like Dead or Alive, Soul Calibur, and Tekken, perhaps Capcom was feeling some pressure to take their old reliable fighter into the third dimension.

The Problem: The EX series was always marked as an odd spin-off from the second it started using 3D graphics, but it definitely changed the nature of the series when it brought in tag matches in EX3. The mechanics of the gameplay overall were spotty, and just didn’t feel like Street Fighter.

The Remedy: The EX series seemed to take nods from Marvel vs. Capcom and Tekken Tag Tournament by its end, but Street Fighter is the best at just being itself. Street Fighter IV proves that.

6. Street Fighter 2010

For all intents and purposed, Street Fighter 2010 by any other name could have been regarded as a decent game. Or at least not lived on in infamy. But the licensing/importing process Capcom decided to run with, trying to make the American audience more receptive by inserting popular American persona Ken Masters, just ended up falling flat on its face.

The Problem: There was no reason this game should have been included in the Street Fighter series. Calling it Street Fighter 2010 was a cheap licensing ploy to try to increase sales.

The Remedy: Don’t be afraid to let a game stand on its own merits. I’ve played plenty worse platformers, and a solid advertising campaign could have really made this one work.

5. Dudley

A British boxer inspired by a real British boxer? I can deal with that? The character model looks a little corny, but maybe they were going for a particular…eccentricity featured in Chris Eubanks’ person. His move set isn’t that bad, either. But what a terrible, terrible backstory…

The Problem: Fighting games are never known for their story. Even titles like Tekken often have characters embarking on crazy, nonsense quests for ridiculous reasons, and somehow it still works. But Dudley is a Brit on the hunt for his father’s antique Jaguar…that’s right, he’s fighting to get his dad’s car back. What is this, Street Fighter: Bad 80s Movie Edition?

The Remedy: He could have just been another boxer doing a circuit, or had some sort of vast, heroic story…hell, I would have dealt with him just randomly trying to pick up some Chinese take-away, at least that could have some humor. But wow…all that just to pick up his Dad’s Jaguar? Ridiculous.

4. Street Fighter: The Movie/The Movie: The Arcade Game

Looks a bit like Mortal Kombat, doesn’t it? Jean Claude Van Damme took on the role of Guile, Street Fighter’s version of the “Real American Hero,” and though the 90s was Jean-Claude’s time to shine, this movie most certainly did not. The movie and the game, both lampooned previously in this very column, took everything people hoped for from a Street Fighter movie and made it miserable. Thanks, Capcom and the respective licensees who butchered this product.

The Problem: A fighting game starring a legitimately-known action hero is a great idea, but not when it A) messes around with the mechanics of an already-running series, B) feels particularly uninspired and cheesy, and C) is just plain bad. Funny, both the Street Fighter movie and arcade game are guilty of all of these crimes.

The Remedy: Stick with the tried and true when you’re playing with a franchise. I’m not one to say that the digitized graphics couldn’t have been used well (they usually weren’t back then), but maybe you could have used sprites drawn to look like the characters instead to maintain the Street Fighter style of gameplay?

3. T. Hawk

Wow. Can we get any more ridiculous in creating a minority character? T-Hawk, short for “Tomahawk,” has to be one of the most ridiculously designed characters in the Street Fighter universe. Yes, more than “X,” the mysterious, trenchcoat wearing drifter. And more ridiculous than “Twelve,” the amorphous machine-thing. T-Hawk = most ridiculous.

The Problem: From the face paint to the feather T-Hawk is a pretty ridiculous caricature of Native American culture. Oh, and of course, he can’t have a shirt. Just a vest to cover the bare chest. With as bad as the stereotyping gets, I’m surprised they didn’t come up with a counter where a combatant would drop a piece of trash on the ground and make him cry.

The Remedy: Don’t take the stereotyping so far. Maybe nix the face paint, kill the feather…I’m sure there are ways to create a Native American character without bordering on offensive. Hell, they’ve said he was from Mexico anyway, so there’s tons of character building facets to draw on.

2. US Street Fighter Cartoon

There were plenty of cheesy, badly-designed cartoons back in the 90s (I’m sure there’re still some today, too), but the US Street Fighter cartoon was SO BAD. The animation was sub-Captain Planet, the story was contrived, and the dialogue was WRETCHED. You don’t believe me? Check the YouTube video above here and you’ll see what I mean.

The Problem: The 90s was full of “kid-friendly, yet edgy” cartoons that were some of the first forays into outright violence. The Street Fighter TV show was like hearing a 6-year old trying to invent new swear words and was utterly uninteresting.

The Solution: Later SF-based animated series got closer to valid products by writing stronger dialogue, better characters/voice actors, and more interesting stories. In other words, the future series were just plain better. And that’s what the USA SF cartoon needed to be: better.

1. Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Except we didn’t allow ourselves to get fooled that second time. When Legend of Chun-Li was announced, the few people who got excited were either A) fans of Smallville and would watch anything Kristin Kreuk appeared in, even if it were a movie-adaptation of “Dora the Explorer” (because she can play whatever nationality she wants), or B) were people who owed Street Fighter: The Movie, loved it, and posted Facebook groups like “100000000000000 strong for another Street Fighter movie!”

The Problem: Trying to use an old story to appeal to a new audience is really popular in the movie industry right now. Take an already established IP, revamp the story a bit, and sell it to kids. Except kids are the ones who know Street Fighter, and people who were kids when the first movie came out are the ones who have now passed judgment on the Van Damme movie. Learn from your prior mistakes or it will cost you, movie producers…

The Solution: Be twice shy after being once bitten, movie industry. Without a star-power powered name like Van Damme’s in the 90s, bad movies will simply flop. Shame on you for trying to pass off the same crap twice.

You know, even though all of these were Street Fighter fails, I have a really strong urge to go buy Super Street Fighter IV…good idea?

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So, how’re you liking SSFIV? What SF products did I miss? Comment it up, everyone.

Next week, ya’ll!

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Josh Boykin

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