Comparing HDR vs KOF 98 UMFE
Hastily written while at work and barely proof read back in 2014 but I felt like publishing it today in 2017.
Why HDR wasn’t the game it could have been. TLDR Summary; HDR should have been rebalanced ST with brand new characters. If you rebalance a game, its a completely new game and if you further change it you are just reinforcing that its a new game. Kof 98 UMFE is a perfect example of a great new game that is a re-release. Rebalanced gameplay but kept most of what everyone loved. New characters and backgrounds. New sound tracks etc. Oh and it included an old version of the original. It’s not trying to replace KOF 98, by just trying to rebalance. It’s a whole new game but in the spirit of 98.
Super street fighter II turbo, is the quintessential fighting game. It’s classic in almost everyway. It’s the textbook definition of a fighting game. It pits two characters against each other with individual life bars and who’s ever is drained first loses. It has a diverse character roster with clear match ups that be difficult to overcome. But still are possible for the most part. The game may have it’s issues with random stun and random damage here and there. And counterpick bad matches like honda vs O.sagat. But is a beloved game by casuals and competitors alike.
Sometime in the early period of downloadable store games, Capcom were planning on releasing titles to Xbox live and PSN. They are already started in a minor way and also had been doing so on the prior consoles. Backbone Entertainment handled a lot of these ports. During development of Capcom Classic Collection Volume 1, Producer David Sirlin suggested they do a redrawn Puzzle Fighter and Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo to which they eventually agreed. Eventually they contacted Backbone entertainment to handle the port of two games. Street Fighter Alpha 3 was one of the titles Supposedly Capcom wanted re released with updated balance but Sirlin managed to talk them out of it. Alpha 3 would have been a much harder game to tweak. Capcom loves Alpha 3 re releases.
David Sirlin and the team at Backbone entertainment took great care and work into HD Remix. There was a lot of work adjusting the balance and trying to handle Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo’s randomness. They adjusted reversal timing, input windows for moves, changed commands to be easier such as Zangief’s spinning piledriver or Ken’s funky kicks, easier to do mash moves like Honda’s hands, for anyone who has played Honda in ST will know how helpful this was with hard punch hands. Tiger knee motions were removed and moves that require three buttons were taken down to two.
David Sirlin really really cared about the balance. Everyone should definitely read his about it on his sitehttp://www.sirlin.net/sf-hdr/street-fighter-hd-remix-design-overview. Obviously with him playing Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo competitively it was a main factor. He’d finally have a chance to impact the future of the game forever and change things he may have even complained about in the past. Smoothing out some of those rigid 7-3 matchups making them close to 6-4 and sometimes even 5-5. Without taking fun away from the character. This is definitely not an easy task. A lot of the game’s enchantments were focused around competitive play like a hitbox viewer.
The HD graphics were done by Udon Entertainment who does Street Fighter’s comic series.
The redesigned characters look awesome and the animations are pretty smooth. The backgrounds stay true to the original Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo counterpart, while changing up a thing or two here and there. In my opinion the background updates seem to try to make Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo’s backgrounds less racist/culturist. For example in Guile’s updated background there seems to be people of other race now and also everyone isn’t blonde anymore. Chun Li’s and Blanka’s stages both seem to have gotten economic improvements as there original stages seem to imply economic hardship.
The soundtrack is remixed by OCremix and has a huge variety of styles and different composers.
Ok so basically this game is an attempt to replace Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo with a better version. A game that is beyond classic. An insurmountable feat which almost was a total success and it did succeed in bringing in a lot of new players to the fighting game community and in many other ways. But the game itself didn’t last and here’s why I believe that is.
First, it’s a basically a new game version of an old game but no really new game content.
If it were to have new battle designed by Sirlin and character designed by Udon, I believe it would have been more difficult to ignore the game later on.The new characters could have easily been original Street fighter characters or pull from the comics. It would always bring people back with “Wow who’s that character?” Instead of using the game to play the classic balanced version in legit Capcom tournaments and using a supergun’d cps2 board everywhere else. I know the older players would probably protest a new character but would they not protest any change to their beloved Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo.
Second, they should have included the old game. It could have been the Dreamcast port they build it on with the fixes. It would have been great because the competitive scene would get an easily accessible version of Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo and a rebalanced new version with it.
Third, some sort of challenge mode or even tutorial mode on how to play the characters would have been great.
Fourth, having not enough uniqueness into Hd remix in terms of game content, new moves, characters etc. Players eventually just moved back to Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo.
All in all HD Remix did help Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo’s popularity in general and provide a smooth over point going into Street Fighter 4. You could say it may have even helped its popularity particularly in the states. But it’s not a good example of a re-release because of no clarity in what they wanted to release.
Quick contrast, King of Fighters 98 is like the Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo of SNK fighters. Released 4 years after Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo, it’s a classic in it’s own right. With it’s own set of balance issues and bugs. But for the most part just like ST, it’s a competitive standard. Snk re released the game with huge changes. They left the graphics the same for the most part but the balance was redone, new mechanics added to Ex groove. Made Ultimate groove where you can build your own groove. Added new stages, new characters and new modes. But most importantly after all those changes they realized it was a completely different game so they included the original Kof98. A Similar process was given to KOF 2002 UM.
The game sorta splits the Kof community competitively depending on where you live but for the most part Kof98 players will play both. If you look up competitive footage you will see that both games exist competitively and are enjoyed. Whereas HD remix isn’t. I personally feel it’s an ok game but without the aforementioned changes it didn’t seem to have the lasting power it could have. If it had new characters in the game unique to it, maybe from the comics, it would be a totally different story. Be sure to check out www.Sirlin.net , and check out his write ups on the game a huge amount of love and work went into it and if you haven’t played Hd remixhttp://amzn.to/1TFadzL be sure to give it a try!