Capcom Sticking with 2.5D for Future Fighting Games

Street Fighter IV Graphic and Control Style to Become Standard?

January 21, 2010 Last year saw the return of one of the most popular fighting franchises, with Capcom’s Street Fighter IV. The game met with critical acclaim particularly for its creative mix of 3-D style graphics while keeping the control scheme on a 2-D plane as has been the hallmark of the series dating back to its days on the Super Nintendo.

Producer Ryota Niitsuma, currently working on a new fighting game, Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars, in an interview, mentioned that Capcom fighting games for the foreseeable future will also use the same balance between graphics and control. In the interview Niitsuma explained his fondness for the current system.”I think that was the best way to present the Capcom and Tatsunoko characters to their fullest, I think at Capcom one of our specialties is 2D fighting action and we have had a great history of making games like that.

He also went on to say that the mash up of 3-D and 2-D elements are probably what Capcom will embrace in the near future. “The 3D models on a 2D plane is a very good match and all of the (game) systems are capable of supporting such a feature. When making such games we can show our knowhow. Going out into the future I can’t say it will remain like this forever, but for the forseeable future I can see us making our games in this style.”

This “2.5-D” style that Capcom has put together is fantastic. It looks great and the game play is not hindered by trying to exist on multiple planes of movements. Some fighting games like the Soul Caliber series and to a lesser extent Tekken have allowed players to move and interact on multiple planes. The simplicity of the 2-D fighting scheme invites old-school gamers back into the fold, but remains complex enough that timing and practice is needed to really master it. Button mashing with only get you so far.

My own hope would be that other game developers look at this combination of styles and think about adding it to their own fighting games. With each passing generation of consoles it seems that all developers and genres are being pushed to embrace the 3-D elements and upgrade themselves even if it might not be in their best interest. Would a fully 3-D interactive fighting game work? Perhaps it would, but developers shouldn’t feel forced to re-invent the wheel particularly if what they have been doing has been such a success. Is it really a put down to tell a developer that they are still using their original control scheme? If it works spectacularly then no it isn’t. Don’t believe me? Just go ask the developers of New Super Mario Bros. Wii. Aside from a few new waggle controls its the same basic control scheme that we’ve been using since the Nintendo days, and in some ways its better than ever. If it’s good enough for Mario, it certainly is good enough for Capcom and other fighting game developers.

Source: Kotaku