It's clear that Capcom listens to its "Street Fighter" fans.
That's the main reason why "Super Street Fighter II Turbo" is being remade at all.
"The game wouldn't exist if it wasn't for this fanboy interest," Capcom community manager Seth Killian told me yesterday during a demo in a Manhattan hotel. "It's a reboot of quite an old game."
He explained that longtime fans were also involved in working on the game's design, art, music and network system. And there were even more fans offering feedback for how their favorite game should be remade. But Killian said they could only do so much. Some of the things that fans wanted just had to be left out.
"Guile's flipping overhead roundhouse kick is really just his forward kick turned upside-down."
"There were things we couldn't do because of the budget but also because the code is so old and weird," he said. To add new animations, for example, the developers sometimes had to use variations of existing ones, just like the original game did. "You don't notice it because it animates well, but Guile's flipping overhead roundhouse kick is really just his forward kick turned upside-down," Killian said, laughing. "So it seems new like a new move when you're doing it and it has different properties, but it's really just the same animation."
As a result of the old code, the developers also weren't able to include new characters; but that didn't prevent them from adding some super moves, like Akuma's raging dragon. "He never had a super before in the original game," he said, "and the way we were able to do that is because the raging dragon doesn't actually animate. The screen goes black and you're able to see explosions!"
"Every Tom, Dick and Harry says, 'I want Chun-Li to throw a fireball that's like bigger than the whole screen.'"
Although they simply couldn't add a lot of things they might've wanted, Killian thought the technical limitations were ultimately good for the game because it kept the designers in focus. And while many of the things that fans wanted made it in, there were definitely some requests that they weren't able to accommodate regardless of the old code.
"Listening to the fans is literally what I'm all about, but it's still a balancing act," he said of taking fans' feedback into account. "Every Tom, Dick and Harry says, 'I want Chun-Li to throw a fireball that's like bigger than the whole screen.'"
Killian explained that a lot of fans requested a new Chun-Li super move, which actually could've been possible with the animations, but the team felt that it would change the character too much. "We felt that it was really kind of unbalancing. The Chun-Li [super move] was basically this giant puffball super that she has in some other games that would've just totally changed the nature of her. It's like if you gave Blanka a dragon punch; he wouldn't really be Blanka anymore."
"If you gave Blanka a dragon punch he wouldn't really be Blanka anymore."
He added, "There are some people who want things like a fun, zany, what-if, Marvel-versus-DC dream combination, and there's M.U.G.E.N. for all that stuff. I like watching that stuff -- you guys go nuts. But if it's going to be a more serious game, you try and respect -- I don't know how to say it -- the tao of the character... I've been playing this game for 15 years, and each character has sort of an essence. So Blanka with a dragon punch is not Blanka."
"Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix" will be released on PSN and XBLA later this year.