PS3 and 360 fighting game Street Fighter IV has added a new mode: Championship mode will allow for tournaments and replays of matches. The new mode goes live for both PS3 and Xbox 360 on Friday, April 24, and the best part: It's Free.
Here's how it's going to work: Tourneys are broken up into five different levels, so everyone can find a challenge without getting decimated or fighting weaklings. The system assigns "Grade Points" for tournament victories, and as you earn more points, you can participate in more exclusive tournaments. The "GP" acts like prize money -- the higher up the ladder you climb, the more GP is at stake. Here are the ranks:
- SG Championship (SUPER GRADE): 5 rounds long. The highest grade championship in which only top players can participate.
- G1 Championship (GRADE 1): Not sure how many rounds, but this is for advanced players
- G2 Championship (GRADE2 2): 4 rounds long, for intermediate players
- G3 Championship (GRADE3) 3 rounds long, for beginners
- FREE Championship (Free Grade): 4 rounds long, open to anyone regardless of their level.
At the highest two levels, where the big dudes fight, your GP is on the line: Loser cedes some GP to his opponent, although you only ever lose 5 points for a first-round loss. At lower levels, the rules are looser: You score a point at G3 even if you get knocked out in your first match, while at At G2, you don’t gain points for a first-round loss, but don’t lose any either.
To keep everything fair, tournament fights are all double-blind: You won't see which fighter your opponent has chosen until you pick your own brawler.
Another incredibly awesome new feature: Tournament mode supports shaming! If you rage-quit out of a match because you're too much of a baby to take your beating like a man, you're penalized. Frequent quitter can never advance to the top ranks. Here's where the shame comes in: The game will display your "quit percentage" for all to see. So you will look like a jackass if you drop out of matches a lot... of course, woe unto those with shaky internet connections. Those dudes will be fighting to clear their good name if their ISP drops them too often.
As if that wasn't enough for you, the new mode supports Replays. The top games will be available for "spectators" to look on and judge, like in the ancient Roman Coliseum. According to Capcom:
On PS3, viewers can watch your replay and vote in real time according to characteristics like “beautiful” or “funny.” For the nerds, you can vote once every 30 frames (that’s 2x a second!), although there is a cap to avoid total vote spamming. Replays will be ranked according to the user-submitted reviews, making it easy to find the flavor of replays you want to see.
On X360, you can’t vote on the matches, but you can watch and then save a number of your favorites. While watching your saved matches, you’ll also have the option to turn on input commands (just like the Training Mode option), so you can see the gritty details of exactly what button and joystick inputs the top players are using to win.
Wow, both "exclusive" features are pretty great. Sad that they aren't both available to everyone.
I realize this is wishful thinking, and almost certainly won't happen for a number of reasons, but wouldn't a cross-platform option be awesome for this game? I'd love to replay the matches between the best 360 player and the best PS3 player. They'd be fighting for the honor of their platform!