November 15, 2007  -  What SF4 Should Be!

Well, it Street Fighter 4 is FINALLY in the works!  I have no idea why one of the most popular game franchises ever would get shelved for 10+ years, but that's typical Capcom logic.  Don't get too excited yet, it seems to be every early in development, and Capcom says it's still more than a year away.
I'm gonna go over everything I expect from SF4, as well as what I'd like to see, but first things first... the most important thing about any SF game... Cammy!!  It seems like they might have given away their plan for Cammy on their profile for her in SNK vs Capcom Cardfighters DS.
A young female agent for Delta Red, a British intel service, brainwashed and engineered by Shadaloo to be its mole there.  Unlike other fighters though, she has the DNA of M. Bison and can be used to harvest organs for him if the need arises.
That's right out of the Udon SF comics.  So Cammy's gonna get dragged back over to the dark side?!  My 1st thought about that is... COOL!  The deepest and most interesting character (not to mention cutest and strongest) gets even more storyline!  But that brings up so many questions about what will or could happen...
Is she gonna be a nearly mindless slave again?  I sure hope not!  That would almost kill it for me because Delta Red Cammy's personality is what really made her such a great character.  Pigtails are #1 to me, but very a very close 2nd is her personality.  Cammy with her mind freed has a passion that influences everything she does (for better or for worse).   She's cocky, she has guilt issues, she's curious, she's dedicated to Delta Red, she loves cats, shopping, sleeping-in, and so much more!  It's what makes her such a deep character with incredible potential, but that's exactly the thing that the brainwashed Cammy is missing.  This fact alone makes me not wanna see Cammy become a Shadowloo agent again.  If it's an evil Cammy that chooses to go back to Shadowloo out of her own free will... well, that's totally different.  I still like the good Cammy much better, but evil Cammy (not brainwashed) could be very interesting.
Well, if the hints are right, the storyline is what they said.  But maybe Cammy won't turn back until a mid-boss or the ending?  Then you could keep her pretty much the same.  They might have to do that because it would be awkward to just have her show up suddenly as a bad guy again.
Is SF4 gonna continue after SF3?  SF3 really didn't tie into SF2 at all, so I hope Capcom doesn't make that stupid mistake again.  So then what happened to Cammy during SF3?   Was she just busy with Delta Red doing MI-6 stuff and not involved with street fighting?  If Cammy turns to Shadowloo, what's gonna happen to Delta Red?  I wonder if Wolfman or Lita will become a playable character in the game?  I think that would be cool!
Of course she's gotta keep her pigtails no matter what!  NO MATTER WHAT!!   You can change just about anything else, but I think I'd go postal if they touched even a hair on her head!!!  To be honest, Cammy would still be the best character by a mile without pigtails cuz she's that deep, but it's her #1 trademark.
What about her outfit?  Would she go back to her SF Alpha Shadowloo uniform or get something else?  I'd kinda like to see a new costume just for the hell of it, but I think you need to keep the basics... hat, armored gloves, leotard, and painted legs.  You can change the style, type, details, cut, color, and all kindsa stuff while still keeping the same basic Cammy look.  Change is very good, but don't try to re-invent something that's already great.
To be honest, that's not a big deal to me.  As long as she's not blatantly a sucky character.  New moves would be really fun, but I'm really all about the looks and storyline/personality.  The one thing I always loved about playing Cammy was how versatile she was.  She was pretty weak, but you had so many moves that allowed you to really mix up and customized how you played Cammy... unlike the Ken/Ryu/Akuma shotoclone bunch where is was always fireball, uppercut, hurricane kick.
I always loved how Cammy moved.  That's one of the 1st things that attracted me to her.  I hope they keep true to that like Capcom did from the SF2 to SFZ series (unlike Chun Li from SF2 & SFZ to SF3).  And don't laugh, but I hope they don't give her breast implants like she has in so many pictures >_<  That's not how Cammy's supposed to be.  Cammy's body style is athletic, not voluptuous.   She's a lean, mean, fighting machine!  Not a bouncy bimbo.
Other SF4 stuff...
I'm not just a Cammy fan.  I love a lot of the other characters and storylines too.  Almost 7 years ago I wrote a long rant about what SF3 should have been, and it was a lot of fun, so let's do it again!
Out of all the Street Fighter games, I'd like SF4 to be most like SF Alpha 3.  That game was ideal to me because it was so packed-full of details!  Characters, costumes, colors, special animations, tons of storylines (sub bosses, etc), taunts, different styles to play each character, great stages all over the world, etc. and so on and so forth.  That's the stuff I love, and I think most real fans agree.  SF3 was what I want SF4 to be nothing like cuz it was just so bland.  SF is such a rich series with so many great characters and so much history.  I want SF4 to take advantage of as much of all that as it can, and I want Capcom to expand on all of that!
Overall Storyline
Like I mentioned before, Capcom must tie SF4 into the previous SF games (even crappy old SF3).  Otherwise, they should just re-name it and don't bother calling it SF4!  Since it's been around a decade since the last game, I think it's even more important to give the longtime fans what they want, as well as giving the new fans some sense of the history in the series.
OK, enough generalizations.  It's lame to talk about what should have or shouldn't have if you don't have a better alternative!  Everything I say is a mixture of what I expect and want to see.
Gil was downright stupid in SF3.  Let's get back to Shadowloo!  And if we believe what's been hinted about Cammy, Shadowloo is still around.  The same old Shadowloo would be kinda dumb, so let's shake things up.  Building on the Cammy thing, let's say Bison was defeated in SF2 (I think that's what they tried to show in SFA3) and that's why it's important to get Cammy back... "she has the DNA of M. Bison and can be used to harvest organs for him if the need arises".  Is that why the Shadowloo gang was out of SF3? They were rebuilding?  Sagat was the #2, it would be cool to see him take over, but he's only interested in Ryu (a rematch is WAY overdue!).  Vega is crazy, but he'd love the power of Shadowloo.  However, why would he want Bison back?  We need somebody hold Shadowloo together and then work on bringing Bison back.  But who?  Cammy would be perfect if we can figure out how/why she goes from Delta Red to Shadowloo.  Or maybe the Shadowloo Dolls take over and try to bring back their master!!   Anyhow, whatever the details, I think the basic storyline for SF4 should be the re-emergence of Shadowloo!
cam Chun Li - With almost no storyline and personality, Chun Li has become one of the greatest game characters ever, but seriously, how long can you keep milking the same old cow?  Please... after all these years of same old Chun Li, UPDATE!  Give her some real storyline and personality.  And a different outfit.  Don't change her outfit much, but make some small modifications to color, cut, etc.  I'd focus on her "World's Strongest Woman" BS and have that be some kinda theme.  A rivalry with Cammy would be the best.
Ryu - I don't want him in the game!!  LOL  But I know he has to be in the game...
OMFG he needs an update more than anybody!  Is there a more generic 'vanilla' character?  Have him deal with a loss in SF3 or something.  So many times in life, you learn the most from your failures!  Everybody has a weakness in fighting.   Even the biggest, toughest guys can get a freak injury or get caught by a lucky punch.  Maybe a bad match up with some character like Sagat that makes him re-think his whole approach.  Maybe other fighters start to figure out and counter the shotoclone style.  Maybe he meets a girl and gets a social life.  I dunno, anything that changes that boring old personality, outfit, and storyline!  And please don't make the shotoclone fighting style so blatantly cheap.
Ken - Continue to evolve him beyond Ryu & Akuma.  We don't need 3 characters who're all the same.  Ken's got great personality and storyline, I hope they keep it going.  I hate playing against a cheap shotoclone in the game, but otherwise, Ken is a great character.
Alex - I thought he was one of the only good things about SF3.  He was cool, and I'd love to see him get a big push in 4.
Ibuki - I think she was the best character in SF3.  She's got tons of style, so there's a lot the could do with her.  More Ibuki would definitely be cool!  A cool rivalry would be Ibuki the Japanese Kunoichi vs Vega the psycho Spanish Ninja.
Dudley - Boxers kinda suck in fighting games.  I can't really remember anybody playing him, and I don't remember much fan support.  But I always thought he had a certain style about him that was cool.  And since he's English, tie him into Cammy's storyline somehow.
Makoto - Look = blah!  It's Sakura dressed like Ryu.  But her fighting style was awesome!  Give her a makeover, and that'll be a huge improvement!
Hugo - The Japanese players loved him.  And having Poison back him was a great addition.  Could make a pretty good storyline involving Zangief and Alex, but that's just off the top of my head.
Zangief - He's a legend, SF wouldn't be right without him.  By SF4, he's probably on the downside of his career.  I guess they could create a storyline about him trying to keep going.   Maybe a new technique that gives him new life?  Or he could take Alex under his wing, and that could give him new life.  My mom's tired old dog got new life when I got a puppy, and it was cool to see.  Or a girl... nothing inspires a guy like a girl!  How about Rainbow Mika?
Guile - He'll always be there to help take down Shadowloo.  Has he taken care of his business with Charlie Nash, or is he still fighting for his buddy?  Even if he is, they gotta expand it.  Maybe team him up with Cammy vs Shadowloo, or have him going after Cammy if she turns.
Sagat - I like the idea of him taking over Shadowloo if M Bison is gone.  However, until he gets his hands on Ryu, I can't see that he gives a damn about anything else.  Sagat is awesome, and he should have a big role (he's always been so disrespected in the series!).  Sagat is the Shotoclone killer, and his storyline really has to focus on that.  Good luck Sagat, I'll be cheering for you!
M Bison - Does he come back in the end in some new form?  His mind in Cammy's body?!  Who knows.  But he's the real bad guy that makes the SF world turn, and he needs to come back.  Let's pretend Gil never existed.
Vega - He's the guy I love to hate.  What a sick bastard!  But also, what a fascinating character that you can do SO much with!  He really could be a star.  Rivalry with Cammy is already there, and that's something that's worth expanding.  A rivalry with Ibuki makes sense too.  And since I doubt Sagat would take over Shadowloo, Vega would be next in line... and you know he'd love it!  What would his motivation be to bring back Bison?  On the other hand, maybe he doesn't really want the power cuz it's too much responsibility, so he wants Bison back to take care of all the BS while he does whatever he does.   And it's a good excuse for him to go after Cammy, who he loves and hates!
Shadowloo Dolls - What was their ultimate fate?  Bringing back 1 or all 12 in any way could be very interesting.  With the Udon comics, they've really got a new popularity.  Maybe Vega does take over Shadowloo, and they work behind his back to get Cammy and restore the real boss of Shadowloo.  Or maybe the girls take over Shadowloo outright.  That could be fun to work with!
Sakura - Bring her back after all these years as an adult, that would be fun.  I know everybody loves her because she's the uber Japanese schoolgirl stereotype, but it's time to grow up.  Maybe she's a teacher now?  Or even a college student.
Karin - Why not bring her back too?  She was kinda cool, and there's a lot you could do with her storyline and personality.
Dhalsim or Necro - Kinda the same character.  Dhalsim was cooler, but Necro's little girlfriend was cool too.  Dunno what you could do with Dhalsim.  Maybe Necro has more potential?
Akuma - Why? Do we really need an overpowered shotoclone (who are already overpowered)?  I don't see how to expand his storyline beyond chasing Ryu.
Dan, Rose, Charlie - They're all dead :(
Guy - I know he actually had some pretty serious fans.  I couldn't care less about him, but maybe he's worth bringing back.
New characters - I'd much rather focus on expanding the old characters, but adding in some totally new blood is always cool.  Maybe a MMA fighter since the UFC and Pride has become so popular, and they've really changed the world of fighting since the last SF game.  I still love my idea of somehow adding submission wins to the game.  That could really revolutionize SF and make it stand out from the other fighting games.
And maybe cross over some more characters like Guy, Cody, and Hugo from Final Fight.  But not crossover just as some gimmick to promote some other game, it's really gotta work.  Too many times game makers create some lame new character when it would be much more fun to take an existing character and expand upon them.
Big topic, but really not much to say.  Guess it really comes down to 3D or 2D.  I'll always love 2D games, but if Capcom really wants SF4 to be a serious contender in the market (with games like Tekken, DOA, and Virtua Fighter), they really must go 3D.  I hate to say it, but a 2D game will only attract a niche audience, and the game will never be a hit.  Since it's been so long since the last SF game, I suppose it's a good time to reinvent SF4 into a 3D game.  I say go for it!
BTW the graphics in the preview move Capcom released a few weeks ago... ugh.  Not my style at all, too artsy and weird.
Like I said for Cammy, I don't really care too much.  My love of SF has to do with the characters, design, graphics, storyline, etc.  A deep and complicated fighting system like SFA3 would be much better than whatever they used in SF3. 
And don't make the shotoclones so f'ing cheap!  Like how Cammy could Cannon Spike a clone from underneath if they missed an uppercut... and Cammy would take damage!  Or how many kids I've seen wiggle the joystick and pound their hands on the buttons... and kick butt against a good SF player.  Lame.
Honestly, my hopes aren't very high.  I don't have much faith in Capcom anymore cuz they've done nothing but whore out Street Fighter for a long, long time.   So arrogant, why should I think they're not milking the name some more?   Probably putting out a new half-assed SF game to promote the LOL Chun Li movie.   I'll be dreaming and hoping for a return to a great SF series, but I know in my heart it's not gonna happen.  Thank goodness for fans, Udon, and people like that who keep SF alive and great!