I really wish Super Street Fighter II Turbo: HD Remix were available right now. It's the only fighter that would let me talk tons of smack, revisit old online rivalries (while making new ones along the way), and gradually rise through the ranks as a formidable badass. Of course, we all know the biggest obstacle that's from preventing all those dreams coming true: it's still in the beta phase.
Yeah, how's that build working out, by the way? Well, in case you haven't been following the latest updates, a lot of diehard fans seemed extremely disappointed during the first week the beta went public. If you were able to look past the fact the beta was limited to using Ryu and Ken, could endure random crashes during online matchmaking, and could accept Ken's exceptional juggle ability, then the whole experience wasn't so bad. What a lot of people seemed to take for granted though was this sneak peek was deliberately labeled a "BETA", meaning bugs should be expected. Capcom anticipated this and provided a special section for participants to present their online experiences and requests to help tighten things up before its final release.
Last week, HD Remix made an appearance adjacent to Street Fighter 4 (which I should point out, naturally received a lot more attention) and I had the chance to see how things were coming along since the debut of the 360 beta. The most noticeable thing I picked up was the fact attendees could test-drive Dee Jay, T-Hawk, and Akuma in action. Alas, my personal favorites, Guile and Chun Li were still inaccessible. I spent a bit of time with Dee Jay and Akuma, who basically played identically to their counterparts in the classic version. Akuma, of course, now takes damage like a girl, but I love the potential of his air fireball, which can be setup for some awesome cross-up attacks. You can forget about seeing new additions to play-test in the beta, Associate Producer Rey Jimenez has pretty much said "Fuggedabouit", lol. Not for nothing though, I am getting tired of using shotos 24/7, too.
I also had the chance to get a glimpse at the remixed stages for T. Hawk, Cammy, and Dhalsim. The T. Hawk stage was very vibrant and seemed to come alive, despite a few framerate issues that Rey says are still being worked on. Oh, and Backbone is considering a new voice sample to replace that high-pitched version featured in the original. It kind of resembles the tone found in the Third Strike games. I couldn't get a confirmation that the new voice was making the cut; perhaps the developers will just end up surprising us in a future blog update.
On that note, Capcom Unity recently published an extensive update about the new patch developed for the beta. The most significant changes include balance tweaks to Ken's Shoryuken juggles; fixes for random crashes when players attempt to join games; improved network code (see: less lag); Super Finishes now correctly displaying in 4:3 mode; and the game speed being adjusted to match the original speed in the game.
You know, I've got to hand it to Capcom and Backbone Entertainment for all they've accomplished with the game so far. Though what's even more impressive is just how seriously they've taken this project - a tribute to all of you who've taken an active interest in helping them make this an acceptable, polished product. There should be no room for bickering right now, especially with the beta's extension to September 5th and a multiplayer patch just around the corner. But if things are really eating away at you, don't spend time complaining on your local message board, send all that input to beta.capcom-unity.com, and who knows -- your voice can make a difference.