You may remember that I had some angry remarks directed at Capcom when I was last on the cast, and the release of the game has given me vindication for my anger. It's been a week sense the launch of SFV for PC and PS4 (SFV has existed in Japanese arcades for some time now) and Capcom has been plagued by server and connectivity issues across both platforms and in large numbers. Despite promises from the outset, Capcom has been slow to address these problems and have been caught with it's metaphorical thong down. Couple this with the already bare-bones experience that is pitiful by even by Capcom's incredibly low standards, and you get Penny-Arcade ripping apart what was once seen as the premier 2D fighter.
But why are we surprised? Well, if you based your purchase of SFV on the vast majority of the professional video game critics/reviewers: SFV is not only a great game but didn't hint at the majority of problems that SFV players currently face. If you looked at the aggregate rating on Metacritic on the Feb 16th, you saw a critic score of 85 (as of this writing its a 78). That is a huge difference from the user reviews average score of 3.3. Why the gap?
Some of you might suggest that the 1-10 (or more realistically 6-9) rating system is flawed and that metacritic users are just trolls using the extreames of the rating scale to prove their point. Maybe a more binary system of measure, like Steam's "recommend," is a better indication of a games inherent goodness. As of this writing about 2,000 steam users would not recommend SFV to 1,500 that would. We still have the same problem.
The critic review problem is something that has been lampooned by game journalist for over a decade while they continually reinforce the problem with the ever burning need to be "first" with the story/review/headline. They need eyes on their publications. Eyes on their publications mean advertisers. Advertisers mean growth and a greater likelihood they will get review copies of games. The cycle repeats.
This isn't an ethical problem as most people would like to point out. I firmly believe that most game reviewers write their honest sentiments about the game and the experience they had with it. A game like SFV most likely had stable servers when most reviewers had their advanced copies. Most reviewers also don't have long with the game before they have to type out their experience. But SFV is so bereft of features that one cant imagine them not seeing the majority of what there is to be had. This leads to reviews found on Games Radar, that rate the game a 9, even though they admit that they are only do so because of what they expect the game to be.
This is almost sickening to me.
How do you fix it? Well, you really can't as long as people are willing to pay for broken and unfinished products with the expectation that something good will come out later. In the case of SF: maybe people will learn this time and wait till Ultimate Street Fighter Turbo Your Mom's Edition hits. Maybe people will play excellent 2D fighters like Blaz Blue or Skullgirls instead? More likely, Capcom will shrug as they cash the check on franchise they are slowly killing.
I'm gonna play Far Cry: Primal now, hopefully I won't be back here ranting after I play that.
Dick Sledge out.