Street Fighter X Tekken producer Yoshinori Ono made an announcement at New York Comic-Con that has been causing controversy in the fighting gaming community since then. Street Fighter X Tekken will be have a gem system that will give power-ups and boosts to playable characters.
The gem system is based on Assist Gems and Boost Gems. Assist Gems offers upgrades like auto-block, a feature that has been slammed by the fighting game community as, basically, an "easy button" for players.
Gamasutra spoke with Capcom's Seth Killian about the drama and he said, "I don't think there's any combination of gems which will help a weak player beat someone who's much stronger than them." Auto-block in particular has "sent people into a tizzy," Killian says, "because it's like, can't you just block everything? Well, yes, but it requires meter from your bar."
The gems, according to Ono's Comic-Con presentation, are intended to "help narrow the gap between strong players and weak players," said Killian. He added the gems will hone in on the players' weaknesses and strengths, an idea that differed from Ono's original statement.
Capcom has not announced how gems will be obtained. Many fear microtransactions will come into play, giving those with more money an advantage. Killian clarified nothing has been decided and that they were still "figuring that stuff out."
"The game comes with some gems, some of them will be available as pre-order bonuses and things like that."
"There's also worry about this guy [that] has more money and buys the special edition -- will he have an advantage over me? The gems, in the way we've approached them, are balanced against each other."
Based on current reactions from the community, it seems unlikely that gems will be allowed in tournaments like EVO. "We'll see how the tournament organizers go with it," added Killian.
Gamers who don't want anything to do with Gem mode can opt out. There will be a No Gem mode.
We spoke with Fighting Word's host Ernie Moreno about the topic, here's what he had to say:
"When I think of fighting games and what separates them from other games today the biggest thing is its instant accessibility. Anyone who plays a fighting game can become skilled at it without any restrictions like leveling up or a fully customizable character. Any player, no matter what the skill level, always has an equal chance against another player. That's what I love about fighting games, I love the open nature of it. I can see this affecting the tournament scene because of that.
Take a game like Super Smash Brothers Brawl, a great game but due to all the items that effect the game, SSBB has never achieved the kind of following that Street Fighter has. Whenever I examine why a game like SSBB has never risen to the popularity of SF, the items that drastically change the game are the key. They make the game a roll of the dice, a certain item at the right time can change the game drastically and fighters get frustrated at this situation because it's beyond their control. There is a No Item Mode but the items are so integral to the game that they really can't be cut out.
That's the conundrum here, will Capcom be able to integrate this system in a way that truly balances the game and allows new players to feel like they have the same advantages as veteran players? Theoretically, no. I feel like this game is too packed with modes and moves. But we can't be too negative here because we don't have the finished product. Ultimately the community will either accept this or reject it. I look forward to testing it out for myself."
How do you feel about gems being added to SFxTekken? Is it a step in the right direction or will it ultimately hurt Capcom's fanbase?
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