Fighting games. One of the safest havens where beefs between individuals can be squashed in a relatively safe venue. One of the big cheeses of the fighting game scene, Yoshinori Ono, is the individual who was chiefly responsible for what we know as Street Fighter IV and all of its iterations.
Currently, Ono is working on Street Fighter X Tekken, mish-mashing the two rival fighting game series into one convenient title. While other fighting game franchises have their fan bases, Soul Calibur, Virtua Fighter, or King of Fighters, Capcom fighters will always have a dear place in the fighting game community.
The Street Fighter franchise is closing in on its 25th anniversary this year and games like Street Fighter X Tekken will be there to remind the community that Capcom isn't quite done with the fighting game scene. Recently, a trailer showed off that Mega Man and Pac-Man would be making playable appearances in SF X Tekken, whether or not they will be viable characters to play is another question entirely. Sony's platforms seem to be getting much more attention than the Microsoft console, as Xbox 360 will not be receiving any exclusive characters.
What does Ono see in the future of fighting games? He would like to see more customization and dynamic character models that evolve during a fight. The former will be seen in SF X Tekken with the introduction of the gem system where players will be able to equip up to three gems to their fighter. The gems will grant certain boons during a fight to increase damage, speed, vitality, defense, attack, and Cross Gauge build up. Fans of the fighting game community might find the addition of a "perk" like system to be superfluous and even unwarranted. When SF X Tekken releases and fans get their hands on it, that's when the real input and opinions will come out.
Using the gem system in SF X Tekken, Ono looks at it like a springboard for the kind of customization he would like to see in the future. Here's what he has to say:
"In fighting games, the only difference between me and you is how good I am. But what I want to do with fighting games from now on is add in that element of customisation, where I can have a Ryu that's different than your Ryu, so we can compete on a different level than just our execution.
"So in that case it would be like, the Ryu that Yoshinori Ono made is the best, or the Ryu that other guy made sucks. If we could have that interaction between the fans: I've created this great character so why don't you come try it, or that guy's character he made isn't so good. Why isn't it that good? If we can get that back and forth between the community and create more dialogue and interaction within the game, that would be the best case scenario."
Ono wants a more user-generated content when it comes to fighting games in the future, rather than just have the stock characters available. The implications could be huge and the depth for characters could become endless. However, on the other hand, there could just be an entire mess of overpowered characters with no balance. 8 minutes of SF X Tekken gameplay are available to view, but it doesn't look like the gem system had been implemented during the original recording.
Not just being limited to a participation-only level of enjoyment, fighting games are definitely one of the most entertaining games to spectate and have been for quite a long time. Ono would like to add more elements that would be fun for spectators to enjoy, like having a fighter's clothing become more and more tattered throughout the bout.
"So maybe the guy's clothes could get ripped off during the fight. Chun-Li would be like, 'Oh no!' There are a lot of things we could do with the graphics to make it look better. But in terms of the basics, we already have a lot of the power we need."
It might not be too long before that particular element will be introduced into Capcom's next fighting game, whatever it might be. The company can rest on its laurels for a little while yet with the current releases of Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition 2012 or Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 and with the upcoming release of SF X Tekken.
Excited for the future of fighting games? Which fighters are you playing now?
Street Fighter X Tekken releases on March 6, 2012 for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, and PC.
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