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|[ 06/27/04 ] = Capcom Fighting Jam Impressions .01
At this year's E3, Capcom unveiled a new 2-D fighter tentatively titled Capcom fighting Jam. Fighters from the worlds of Street Fighter Alpha, Street Fighter III, Red Earth and Darkstalkers will square off in Capcom Fighting Jam. Kick ass. It's nice to see a completely new 2-D Capcom fighter; seeing the shots remind me of how it was back when Capcom was in their prime (around the CPSII era, when they were constantly announcing new 2-D fighting games). Although I expected to see something a little different (visually), the shots look good. The backgrounds look smooth and crystal clear (like the ones in Capcom VS SNK), the graphics are bright and colorful, and the characters look similar to what we've seen in CVSS2. Sure, the characters don't look like the cast of GGX2, but they're still hand-drawn, right? It would have been nice to see better visuals through efficient utilization of current hardware (TriForce or AtomisWave, for example) for this title, but we're lucky just to be seeing a new 2-D fighter from Capcom at all. This aside though, at least we know it will feature loads of quality animation characteristic of Capcom (that's a good thing). Not that many characters have been shown, and Capcom hasn't released much information; maybe some of the other character sprites won't be "recycled sprites." Either way, as long as the game has a good cast, I'm there. And an interesting roster is one of the things I'd really like to see in this game. I have suggestions for what characters I'd like to see make it to the final lineup:
] = That Should Be Given Consideration
Series ] = Final Fight
Series ] = Darkstalkers
Series ] = Saturday Night Slammasters
Series ] = Red Earth
Series ] = Star Gladiator
Series ] = Rival Schools
Series ] = Alien VS Predator
Another thing Capcom really needs to do is make unplayable characters. Fans know what this means; like old times, with CFJ they need to make several characters unplayable. Not just one or two. We're talking four, five, possibly six unplayable characters here. CFJ needs something similar to the unplayable "Final Four" of the original Street Fighter II. It would make things more interesting that way; part of the reason why people get sick of fighting games these days is because modern fighters (although fun) lack the allure of mystery. If all of the game's characters are playable right off the bat, or can be unlocked, there's nothing else in the game for the player to wonder about. SFII wasn't only a hit because it was revolutionary; it had the allure. The allure that keeps the player coming back for more to fight those special, unplayable characters that are rarely seen. To compliment this, the lid should be kept on at least half of the roster. Don't reveal all of the characters right away, Capcom! Leave some for us to find on our own!
More stages than CVSS2, better music than CVSS2, and better balance than CVSS2 would be great. CFJ's backgrounds already look nice (because they look like the ones from CVSS), now if there are at least double that of the number of backgrounds in CVSS2, fans will have no complaints. The music in CVSS2 was repetitive and irritating at times ("wooa, wooa yeah, wooa, wooa yeah, this is true love we're makin', so have a good time" was bullshit); Capcom can fix this with CFJ by reverting back to its fighting game roots. This can be accomplished by either putting in tracks from previous Capcom fighters, or by making music without trying to impress the masses. This may seem to be a CVSS2 rant, but Capcom can learn from the horrible balance in CVSS2 and make CFJ as close to balanced as possible. Balance is in the eye of the beholder (or so they say), and programming isn't an easy job, but Capcom needs to give it serious consideration; balance is essential. Nobody wants to go to the arcade, or join a tournament, only to fight the same three or four characters over and fucking over. It's boring when you go to arcades in various regions, only to see that everyone plays the same shitass "top-tier" garbage. No more shitty balance, Capcom, please.
And while I'm on the subject of balance, no more fucking glitches! Take your time with CFJ, Capcom (we'll wait). When glitches were discovered in MVSC2 and CVSS2, it made them virtually unplayable. Shit like infinite combos and locks (just to name a few) in MVSC2, and roll-canceling in CVSS2 make true competitive play impossible. I don't like to use the term "broken" (because it's often used too loosely), but roll-canceling really does break CVSS2, and it's fucking bullshit. So much work was put into the development of the game, and right at the end (during the play testing), the testers dropped the ball. And not just with CVSS2, but with CVSS, MVSC2, SFIIITS, and more. With CFJ, this can be fixed by getting rid of the shitty testers and hiring new ones (who aren't part of "the scene"). It is said by some that half-assed testing is the result of tournament players being hired as testers; if this is the case, then it is a problem that seriously needs to be addressed so that CFJ can be balanced (or damn close to it). If you are reading this, Capcom, please take your time and give us something that isn't going to be saturated with glitches and balance issues.
A multiplayer mode similar to (and as complete as) that of Street Fighter Alpha 3 Saikyo Dojo's Dramatic Battle would also be cool to see, not to mention fun. Sitting out while two friends battle can be boring (especially when they're both equally-skilled players), so a multiplayer mode (or two) would keep the action at a steady pace. There are no hardware constraints, so there's no reason why the game couldn't have something like this. Rowdy 3 or 4-Player fights are the best! As for other modes, I'm sure there are other players out there who wouldn't mind seeing a Survival Mode (since human opponents aren't always available). Sure, CVSS2EO's Survival Mode pisses me the fuck off sometimes, but overall it's a challenge and it's fun. And while we're still on the subject of modes and such, a customization mode would be nice, too. The customization modes of SFA3SD (World Tour) and CVSS2EO (Color Edit, Groove Edit) added more gameplay variation, allowing players to pit their custom creations against each other. There's nothing as cool as being able to use your own custom killing machine to battle your friends now, is there?
The list of things I want to see in CFJ is quite long, but there's still one thing that hasn't been mentioned: online compatibility. Not only me, but just about every other Capcom fan out there wants to see Capcom implement online compatibility into their new fighting games. They have to; online compatibility has become essential in videogames. Online play, online ranking, and content download add a whole new, fascinating dimension to the fighting game experience. CVSS2EO was a start, but more Capcom fighters need to be online (internationally, not just in Japan). Online compatibility not just at home, but in arcades, as well (similar to what Sega and Sammy have done). More than anything previously mentioned, CFJ needs to have online compatibility.
|[ Extra ] = Features
|[ 1 ] = The MagicBox