Saturday, 28 May 2011

Feature: My 5 Favourite and 5 Least Favourite Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition Fighters

What with my exciting Top 25 No More Heroes Bosses feature coming up, you'd think I'd be busy preparing for that. Well, I am, but that doesn't mean I've not had time to write a feature for this month. Today I present one of my most 'out-there' countdowns yet. I've been playing a lot of Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition ever since I got my 3DS, and it's truly brilliant. One standout thing about the game is the massive roster of playable fighters stuffed into the cartridge, many of which are packed full of personality and have interesting, well devised back-stories. In total, there are a huge 35 fighters to play as, all varying in design. However, some of the characters well and truly suck. Inspired by the game's nationality-spanning roster, I've decided to make a list on the fighters I like the most and the ones that just annoy me into submission. Welcome to my Top 10 Favourite and Least Favourite Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition Fighters.

Throughout this list I'll be talking about my most loved and hated characters from SSFIV3DE, but in order to devise a perfect list I'll be taking several aspects of each fighter into account. My decisions will be made by looking at each character's appearence, personality, backstory and move-set. Now that I've cleared that up, let's begin with my five least favourites before moving on to my five personal favourites. Remember, only characters who appear in Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition will be put on this list, Arcade Edition fighters don't count! Let's get started with my top five least favourite fighters from the game...

5. Guile
I'll give Guile some credit - He was a decent fighter before the lite controls were implemented. Now this rough mercenary is quite simply a mindless spamming machine that somewhat ruins the online experience of Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition. Guile's two special moves, Sonic Boom and Flash Kick, usually require the D-pad or Circle pad to be held in a certain direction before they can be performed. However, with the new Lite controls they can be used straight away without the need to charge them up, and that's where all the spamming comes in. Go online and come across Guile and you'll most definitely go through the frustrating process of Guile standing at the far side of the stage spamming Sonic Booms until you get close enough for him to counter with a Flash Kick, making it impossible to land any hits however skillful you are at the game. If Capcom are planning on patching this problem then they seriously need to soon. Ranting about Guile's spammable techniques aside, he's kind of average when used properly. The bulky American mercenary is armed with a wide variety of unique button combinations and throws, but like I mentioned earlier only two special attacks. His Ultra Combos aren't great either. Flash Explosion is quite simply a combo of three Flash Kicks in a row, and Sonic Hurricane is just a massive Sonic Boom that spins around for a while. Don't get me wrong, Guile isn't bad at all, he's just so average. Add on top of that two annoyingly spammable special attacks and you've turned an average fighter into a frustrating rant generator. Patch it please Capcom.

4. E. Honda
While we're on the topic of spammable characters, say hello to E.Honda. This guy's been a Street Fighter regular since the SFII days, and like Guile, the Lite controls have ruined his legacy a bit. The extremely annoying Sumo Headbutt move can be spammed into submission by Street Fighter newbs, as well as a frustrating grab move that's virtually impossible to dodge most of the time. E.Honda's Ultra Combos are also pretty frustrating, involving the same techniques as the two special moves I mentioned. However, the spam factor of E.Honda's moves aren't quite as bad as Guile's infuriating techniques. It's his character that's the real deal-breaker here. Basically, he's a sumo wrestler who wants to show the world that sumo is the greatest fighting style humanity has ever seen. His voice is infuriatingly annoying, his back-story is stupid and don't get me started on his looks. E.Honda is basically Ganryu from Tekken but with face-paint, and that's a perfect description. And yeah, I'm aware that E.Honda was introduced long before that character, but he still sucks. I'm running out of things to say here, so let's move on...

3. Adon
"YAA, JAGUAR TOOTH! YAA, JAGUAR TOOTH! JAGUAR KICK!" Face off against Adon in an online battle in Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition and this is all you'll be hearing. Adon is extremely weak, but his moves are so fast that you'll be begging him to stop spamming them. Yup, we've got another spammable character on our hands. Basically, Jaguar Tooth involves Adon jumping to the upper left corner of the stage (or vice-versa) and dashing towards his opponent with a stab from his dagger-like legs. Yes, this move can be dodged easily, but the annoying aspect of it is that it's difficult to find an opening. Jaguar Kick sees Adon jumping skyward and dropping down with a slicing kick. Adon's final spamtastic attack is Rising Jaguar, which is basically Jaguar Kick in reverse. Adon isn't at all broken, his attacks are just crap and overused by the online community. Thankfully though, his Ultra Combos are spectacular, and reflect the psychotic personality of this muay-thai wrestler. Unfortunately, Adon isn't the cool kind of pyscho. Instead, his psychotic personality comes from thinking he's strong (like I said though, he's pretty weak). Much like E.Honda, Adon believes that muay-thai is the greatest form of brawling and that he is the strongest fighter in the known universe. Adon's annoying laugh and voice acting adds to his idiotic and pychotic beliefs, which is the main reason why he is my third least favourite fighter in the game. Things are about to get much worse though, trust me.

2. Blanka
What do you get when you mix Yoda from Star Wars with the brains of a child? Something much worse than self-obsessed muay-thai wrestlers and spammable ex-war veterans, that's for sure. Introducing Blanka. Not only is this short, green, mutated alien-like creature (sound familiar?) an expert at the arts of spamming (not again...), but he's also armed with a frustrating personality. Just so this list doesn't get repetitive, let's discuss Blanka's personality first. Basically, he's a lonely freak who got adopted by an old lady who he now calls "Mama" and lives his life to impress by fighting in tournaments. Blanka is yet another character who suffers from infuriating speech, too. I know I keep referencing Yoda, but I'm gonna do it some more: Imagine the Star Wars Jedi master but with a really deep and slow voice. And did I mention Blanka's looks? Better skip that bit. Of all the personalities in Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition, Blanka is by far the second worst. And you guessed it, the king of all annoying fighters is up next. Before that though, it's time to discuss Blanka's attacks. Most of Blanka's special moves involve rolling up into a ball and homing in on the enemy, a-la Sonic. These moves are spammed a lot by other players I've come across online in the game, but the frustration doesn't end there. It's little known, but if you add Blanka's Electric Thunder move to the touch screen, you can beat any opponent that doesn't use projectiles. Forget Guile, this is the real problem that needs patching up. Oh well, at least Blanka made beating Gouken on Hardest easy. Now it's time for the one you've all been waiting for. Or not.

1. Balrog
Some video game characters can surpass being extremely annoying. There happens to be one of these characters in Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition. Case in point? Balrog. This annoyingly rude boxer is by far the worst character in the game in my honest opinion. Balrog is the rival of Dudley, another boxer who's actually awesome. Both characters are complete opposites: Balrog is an American, money-obsessed, rule breaking fighter with literally no style whatsoever, while Dudley is a slick and suave British brawler who fights for nothing but fun and paying the rent. You can see why I think Balrog sucks. Like I said, the mindless boxer is addicted to cash and will try to earn as many bills as he can by any means necessary. His voice is frustrating and slurred, his backstory is stupid and he seems to have been designed with very little flair and imagination. I simply can't stand Balrog. There's literally no plus points about this guy. What about his move set, you ask? Don't expect anything amazing. The vast majority of Balrog's attacks involve a slow forward dash followed up by a punch. They're tough, but easy to block or counter. Aside from that, Balrog can use a not-so-nifty headbutt attack (are headbutts even legal in boxing?) which is virtually impossible to land on opponents. And what about Balrog's Super and Ultra Combos? His Super Combo is... Okay. As for Ultras, Dirty Bull involves Balrog smashing his head against his opponent's skull, stepping on their foot and delivering a single right-hook. Nothing too special there. Violent Buffalo is exactly the same as his Super Combo, but a little stronger. So yeah, nothing good in the move set department for Balrog. I hate this guy with all my hate...

Thank God that's over, I nearly wept when writing about some of those awful fighters. Luckily, we're now moving on to the good stuff! Here are my top five favourite fighters from Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition!

5. Akuma
Akuma is essentially a pure evil version of Street Fighter's poster boy, Ryu. That in itself is awesome, and I believe that this demon-like fighter is even better than the newbie's first choice, and personality-wise, this guy is just insane. In short, Akuma is Hell-bent on destruction. Even his name translates as 'Devil' in Japan, which is understandable as the word completely reflects his character. Akuma is the younger brother of Gouken, the same guy who tought Ryu and Ken everything they know. After being killed by Ryu, the Devil is revived and aims only to take down his killer... And anyone else who gets in his way. So yeah, Akuma's reasons for fighting are pretty mental, at least when you compare him to a Turkish oil wrestler fighting only to find a new oil recipe. 

Akuma's moveset also reflects the character's personality. Like I mentioned, Akuma is the brother of Gouken so naturally he's going to have similar moves to his much more peaceful sibling. Shoryuken and Hadoken variations are all in there, alongside a nifty teleportation ability that every other character in the Ryu line lacks. Akuma's Ultra Combos are some of the best in the game, and are a real spectacle even with the 3D depth slider turned all the way down to 2D. Wrath of the Raging Demon is a move that can only be avoided by dodging it - blocks just aren't enough. This Ultra sees Akuma dashing forward, grabbing his opponent and engaging in a flurry of attacks too fast to be seen by the naked eye. His second Ultra, Demon Armageddon, is even more spectacular. Akuma executes a powerful high kick, sending his opponent flying high into the air before Akuma spins into a whirlwind and smashes right through his opponent's body. Amazing. So yeah, Akuma's pretty awesome. There's plenty more where that came from though...

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