So, almost two years after its release, Street Fighter 5 is finally getting that arcade mode that has been curiously absent from the game lo these last 19 months.
Okay, sarcasm aside, let’s go for the jugular here. Street Fighter 5: Arcade Edition is a $50 release with all the new extras, modes and DLC characters in one package. It comes with all the tweaks, boosts and nerfs the game has enjoyed since it was launched. It is… it is…
It’s a bloody Super Street Fighter 5 in all but name, isn’t it?
Not that this should have shocked anyone really – Capcom has a long and proud tradition of U-Turns that the industry wouldn’t copy for at least a decade. Stating they weren’t going to do “Super” or “Ultra” variants of Street Fighter 5 was never going to fly; after all, what happens when that PlayStation exclusivity deal turns out to not be making Capcom any money and the reflexively port the game to a more successful system dominating the game sales charts like… oh, I don’t know… the Nintendo Switch is doing right now? With less than two million units sold to date – and support for Capcom’s fighting game division dissipating into the ether after another botched release in Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite, and seeing how the Switch audience gobbled up a half-arsed rehash of Street Fighter 2 HD Remix, paying over the odds for what amounted to two palette swaps…
The answer, of course, is call it something else. Arcade Edition. What’s that, there is no Arcade version in Japan yet? No worries, here’s that arcade mode. You know, the thing every other fighting game has as standard and one which Capcom itself popularised for twenty-six years? We’ll just sell this “Super” variation as… an Arcade Edition!
… look Capcom, please, sit down because Uncle Kami is very worried about you.
I get it. I really do. You really, really badly need that second wind. But is heralding the arrival of a mode which should have been there since the beginning really the… ahem… best choice of tactic here? “Look, it took us two years but here’s an Arcade Mode! Love us! BUY OUR GAME PLEASE!”
This has become almost alarming. During Sony’s TGS Presentation, towards the end Capcom came around to show Monster Hunter World and I counted at least five instances of them pleading with us to pre-order the game. Whilst I get that games are expensive and I understand Capcom hasn’t been the most flush with cash of late, this needy stance and this desperation to grab as much cash as possible as quickly as possible is starting to look sad and pathetic. It’s not like Street Fighter 5, with its character DLC and slew of costume packs, or Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite or even Resident Evil 7 are that different – with Resident Evil 7 deciding the real last bit of Season Pass DLC is to explain what happened to Zoe, you know, a thing perhaps we shouldn’t want to know (and one which cements saving Mia as series canon, which I can dig but still… it only reinforces how utterly pointless and stupid and random giving the player the choice is in the first place!).
Street Fighter 5: Arcade Edition is perhaps the more blatant approach though, because anyone who knows the series at all and understands it knows, deep down, this is a Super variant without the Super moniker, and frankly part of the appeal -is- in this whole idea that the next version is “Super”. Promoting it with a mode that was inexcusably absent for two years and making it obvious in the title? Eh… but Super Street Fighter 5? Ooh. It’s “Super”! What did they add?
This is simple marketing logic. You don’t sell a thing with a feature missing them resell it down the road by pointing out on the bloody box that a feature was intentionally missing for the whole duration. That’s just silly. And I don’t think that it will magically kick-start Street Fighter 5 sales figures – the game has been on sale in the PS Store almost constantly for most of this year, and that it’s still not shifting despite the fact that entry-level into the game is so cheap? But here comes a significantly more expensive variant with all the content and missing functions and modes. Uhh… woo?
And for all the fans actually trying to argue this isn’t a “super” variant because they don’t have to pay for the additional modes; well, first up, you paid for the game. It shouldn’t be the case that you have to pay more for updates (particularly when the base package was so barren to begin with). Also you deserve the additional modes and tweaks for putting up with it for so long. But this is a re-release of a game with DLC characters as standard and extra features and modes and stuff. In what way is that not a “super” variant? Would you be genuinely upset if the update in January for your game changes the title screen to “Super Street Fighter 5”? I doubt it.
With this game launching in January 2018, there’s still a good four months for Capcom to wake up, smell the coffee and take stock. Yes Capcom, you told people there’d be no “Super” variant. You lied. This is not news. You lie a lot. Like saying that the RE7 “Not A Hero” campaign would be added in Spring 2017, when we’re getting it in December. You lied. Deal with it, games companies lie to consumers all the time these days and only a handful of instances generally seem to stick (I’m still very glad a certain person whose name sounds like Bandy Hitchford is getting shit almost five years after that dreadful game came out…). Swallow that pride and go, “Actually, it’s just better for marketing.”
Because it is. Why would I want to buy an Arcade Edition? Wow, there’s an Arcade mode in the game now. Bravo. What took you so long? This should have been one of the first things you added. But “Super Street Fighter 5″… it’s always had a better ring to it. And we like “Super” stuff. Seriously Capcom, just be straight up on this. We know what it is. You know what it is.
So embrace the tried and tested formula that has worked for you for years now.