Street Fighter X Tekken Interview Discusses About 3D To 2D Shift And… Darkstalkers

By Spencer . July 28, 2011 . 6:15pm

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The day before I met Yoshinori Ono, producer of Street Fighter x Tekken, he stood in front of fans that waited hours for his panel and the first slide he showed the fervent Comic-Con crowd read "Darkstalkers are not dead." That’s where our interview began, but we quickly shifted to Street Fighter x Tekken… well after talking about Rival Schools.

At the Street Fighter x Tekken panel, you said "Darkstalkers are not dead."

 

Yoshinori Ono, Producer: [Laughs] The media always asks this as their first question!

 

Yeah, I’m not surprised. I think fans are fired up about the idea of a new Darkstalkers game.

 

This has become the thing I do at the beginning of panels at Comic-Con. Maybe next year I’ll ask for $20s and the following year I’ll ask for $100 bills. While they’re holding them up, I’ll go through the aisles with a bucket and collect all of them and quit Capcom and retire rich. [Laughs]

 

Are Rival Schools "not dead" too?

 

There are a lot of games I would love to resurrect at Capcom. Right now, we need to build up a nice solid base to get the fighting game genre strong again. Street Fighter was the obvious first step for this. Marvel [vs. Capcom] has gotten us to a point where at a good level. I’d love to do Darkstalkers next. Rival Schools is a possibility. Power Stone is a possibility, we get a lot of requests for that. Right now, we’re still in the process of making sure the ground work is laid, then we can begin on bringing the lesser known fighting game titles back.

 

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That Street Fighter x Tekken panel was packed and this year you had a huge room. Just a few years ago, when you started working on Street Fighter IV, a fighting game may have been placed in one of the small rooms in the convention center. Perhaps, next year you’ll have a ballroom. However, are you worried about oversaturation? Other companies like Namco, Arc System Works, and Examu are also creating fighting games too.

 

Yeah, you can say that about a lot of genres too. For first person shooters, you have Call of Duty, Battlefield, Medal of Honor, and other games. It would be awesome to get fighting games that big. I don’t think it will ever get quite that far, but I think it is possible for fighting games to thrive, you can see how long the FPS genre sustained itself without collapsing, and I think we can do the same this time.

 

The key is not just attracting new fans, but keeping current fans satisfied, keeping them plugged in, and interacting with the community through Capcom-unity and events like this. We need to make sure the player’s voices are heard and they feel cared for. As long as we treat the fans right and cater to them, I think they will stick with us for the long haul. I don’t think we will see the bubble burst like the way did in the ’90s.

 

And you’re going to expand the fanbase with Hello Kitty cosplaying as Chun-Li? (This was a reference to a collaboration between Sanrio and Street Fighter.)

 

[Laughs] The great thing about this kind of collaboration is we’re rapidly approaching the 25th anniversary of Street Fighter and essentially the 25th anniversary of the genre. There are a lot of people who were into fighting games back then and have kids now. They might even have grandkids now!

 

This kind of collaboration is great because it allows grandparents to talk about fighting games and to give fighting game related presents to their children or grandchildren. I think this can expand the market. It’s kind of a generational thing, everyone wants their kids to be into the things they were into and I think we can expand the market with these kinds of collaborations.

 

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Speaking of generations, have you thought about rewinding the clock and making a purely 2D Street Fighter or other fighting game. Arc System Works are known for this, maybe you can collaborate with them again?

 

We have worked with Arc System Works in the past on Sengoku Basara Cross for arcades four or five years ago. It wasn’t a tremendous success, which is not to speak poorly about our partners, it just didn’t get the market that it needed. So, it is not impossible since we have an established relationship with Arc System Works.

 

At the same time, I’m the kind of guy that wants to look forward, rather than backwards. I think when we do go back and resurrect older titles like we’re doing with Street Fighter III, the key is adding a lot of features like GGPO, YouTube uploads, and other features that people are interested in now. Even when we go back to revive old titles, it’s about refreshing them and adding new features to modernize them. If we could do something in the 2D space that is new, fresh, and advances things, and doesn’t take a step back I’d be open to that. I just want to make sure we’re moving forward, not backwards or sideways.

 

You mentioned GGPO. Is Street Fighter x Tekken also using that netcode?

 

There are still some kinks that we’re working out with the netcode. I can tell you officially were not using the actual GGPO netcode that you know and love in its current form.

 

I can also say it is not using the Street Fighter IV netcode as is. There are going to be distinct changes and improvements. I can’t talk about those improvements or the system right now. Think of this as I’m throwing a worm on a hook and I’m going to reel you back in so you’ll come back and talk to us again!

 

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Maybe you can make GGPO x SFIV, I suppose. Let’s talk more about Street Fighter x Tekken. How did you translate the Tekken characters who have moves that took up 3D space into a 2D fighting game?

 

[Laughs] The process went through some trial and error and we had lots of discussions with the Tekken guys on the Namco Bandai side. Unlike games like Virtua Fighter while Tekken has always allowed players to move in 3D space with double taps to dodge in and out of the screen, at the end of the day, it essentially takes place on a 2D plane. Harada-san himself has been very open about saying the original Tekken was influenced by Street Fighter II. I think there is a 3D element [to Tekken], but the core gameplay is relatively 2D based. So, the hurdle to overcome wasn’t very high. The new build, if you get a chance to play it, should feel Tekken-y even though it is limited to the 2D plane. It wasn’t necessarily as difficult a task as you may think.

 

What’s been more difficult to implement is less about the change from 3D to 2D and more about the change of the general fighting styles in the two series. Tekken has been much more aggressive with long sustained combos and players getting into each other’s face. Street Fighter is generally played more cautiously with players judging the distance between their opponent and trying to gauge what it is they’re going to do next and how to react based on that. That’s been the hardest part and it continues to be a challenge. We actually have members of the development team on the Comic-Con floor watching how people play, taking notes, and paying attention so we can make further adjustments. It’s going pretty well, but that’s been a bigger challenge than the dimensional change.

 

Our interview continues here where Ono-san digs into Street Fighter x Tekken’s mechanics and talks about the possibility of ports to PC and Nintendo 3DS.


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  • puchinri

    Well, at least he mentioned that there are possibilities for Rival Schools and Power Stone and that he’d like to work on Darkstalkers next.

    If they do Darkstalkers next, maybe they should make that their next crossover with Arc System Works. 

    • z_merquise

      All of a sudden, Sammy vs Capcom comes in my mind (back when Guilty Gear series was still published by Sammy). 

      I even remember an interview in IGN (or was it Gamespot) where Daisuke Ishiwatari said that he was excited to see Darkstalkers characters in Guilty Gear-style sprites. I really wonder why it was cancelled and no one from either side told what happened.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Wayne-LaBranch/100002132711844 Wayne LaBranch

        Maybe they realized it was a dumb idea or probably some problems when working on it, probably the second one

  • BGMcDF

    My stance on a new Darkstalkers has been the same ever since I could type:

    SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY!

    More Rival Schools is in the same boat, but perhaps a more contained “please cease your chatter and accept my humble payment.”

    • http://www.myspace.com/Juan_Rod bluejuan85

      Indeed I need Darkstalkers I want to play as Jon Talbain again he is my main.

      • BGMcDF

        Morrigan and Lord Raptor on my part. Wasn’t that big a fan of Talbain back when I played it as a kid. 

  • Hours

    Another great interview, as usual.

    The mentions of Rival Schools and Darkstalkers make me hopeful.

  • AzureNova

    Power Stone, Rival Schools, and Darkstalkers please. I don’t really care about the other 2 all that much anymore lol

    • Trisagion

      This.

      I absolutely ADORE Power Stone and Rival Schools and I’m upset that they’re taking so long to come out with a sequel for both of these series. :/
      I never found Street Fighter appealing like other fighting games from Capcom.

      • AzureNova

        Yeah, I wish they would hurry up with sequels for those too. Nice avatar by the way. The Madness lol

        • Trisagion

          Likewise ;)

  • kupomogli

    For fighting games, Rival Schools and Project Justice are my favorite two Capcom games.  Capcom could release a Rival Schools 3 and I’d partially forgive them unless they added some more BS disc lock content.

    If Breath of Fire 6 is released then all will be forgiven.  I promise.  Clean slate until you do a major screw up again.

    • epy

      Don’t remind me about the lack of Breath of Fire. Dragon Dogma lit that hope when it was first mentioned only to exinguish it just as quickly. Man, I can’t find anything to like about Capcom this generation.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Wayne-LaBranch/100002132711844 Wayne LaBranch

      Hell i’m surprised they’re thinking about doing Rival Schools, the only time they seem interested about doing it was when Batsu was in TvC and then it disappeared when they didn’t want any Rival School/Project Justice characters in MvC3 (for some dumb reason) or they’ll do a ML3 : p

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Wayne-LaBranch/100002132711844 Wayne LaBranch

    My Hope is that they don’t screw up Darkstalkers (keep it in 2D? probably not going to happen) and Rival Schools though it won’t happen until they finish making SF X Tekken HD Turbo…i hate that joke since it probably will happen 

  • banballow

    More like Capcom wants to make the fighting genre strong, run it into the ground with re-releases, and hopefully avoid Darkstalkers altogether if possible.

    • http://www.facebook.com/santd Daniel Sant

      Sometimes I can’t tell if Capcom is breathing life into the fighting genre or sucking it out. Maybe both.

      • Bakuryukun

        the two are the same action in the world of business.

  • http://twitter.com/JohnPolson John Gavin Polson

    Spencer, thanks for asking about Darkstalkers. I have an unhealthy obsession with that series. No other series COMES CLOSE in terms of character design. I’d list other things such as BGM, animation, etc., but I figured people could at least admit that the character design was genius! 

    Ok: maybe everyone needs to agree on the BGM too. We need the CPSII era creators to recreate those awesome stage songs and character-specific win tracks.

    • FireCouch

      Don’t take this the wrong way, but to me the game just seems like Halloween Fighter.  I don’t really like the character design at all.

      • ForeverFidelis

        bitch i will end you

        • http://twitter.com/Megawarrior345 Elle

          :o lol I like the character designs. I haven’t played it in so long I forgot everyone’s names but I loved the girl with the red hood.

          • http://twitter.com/Vanpan110494 Sentoro Katarashi

            I love her too! Baby Bonnie Hood, or Bulleta! How I miss her….

      • mikanko
        • Pasta_Soup

          I’m not really a fan of the characters myself, however, the animations are amazing.  I do like that Donovan guy, though. 

      • http://twitter.com/AaqibRawat Aaqib Rawat

        it has so much depth

        if you give it time i promise it will grow on you.

  • http://slitherup.tumblr.com/ THRONE

    Is it weird to hope that both Ruby Heart and Amingo appear in the next Darkstalkers game? I remember reading they were intended to be DS characters, maybe it was just a rumor.  I fear this could be my last chance to see them.

  • http://twitter.com/Vanpan110494 Sentoro Katarashi

    Thank goodness that they mentioned Darkstalkers! If they release the game, I might start buying Capcom games again, but only if they put it in HD 2D (3D’s fine too, but NOT in SF4 ink style, god dammit! I despised that), and the story or arcade doesn’t suck. If they do add online, they need to have good online connections for everyone so that there won’t be late-to-no button responses or significant lag (especially for people who are facing others REALLY far away), and make people who quit in the middle of a match get a LOSE! I don’t care how bad people’s internet connection is, because it is their risk of going online and facing someone before they had it checked and/or repaired in the first place! And for god sake, no more re-releases unless its for everybody or they’re ports. I’m asking too much (which is all I can do), but if they don’t get most of these right (I’ll take back the graphics I guess, but everything else is a must), I won’t even bother with the game.

    Note: People who bought the original for high prices should get the update
    free. If they don’t and there is re releases/updates, they’ll be doing the same thing like they did with SF4, which means that you are basically spending over $70 for that one same game, which will suck. -_-
    All is forgiven if they do this right, PLEASE!!!

    • fermented

      I think the SF4 ink style looks fine, but the exaggerated body proportions that make the vanilla arcade SF4 cast look like their all hopped up on steroids is not.

      The TvC and MvC3 visual styles are more pleasing to look at, and they show that 2D fighting games can look great with 3D polygons.  Capcom will never go back to using HD 2D sprites after ST HDR because they take way too much time and work to make, and they can’t just copy+paste sprites like they used to with their versus series.

      I have to give Arc System Works and SNK props for still doing their thing in HD though.

  • XypherCode

    “…possibility of ports to PC and Nintendo 3DS.” ^_^

    oh and Darkstalkers X BlazBlue could be cool as well :D

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Phoenix-Ezra-Schwarz/1229376991 Phoenix Ezra Schwarz

      I never thought of that… That would be so amazing.

      • XypherCode

        yeah they’re both cool 2D fighters and considering Capcom and Arc already has some history together :D

        Felicia VS Taokaka! :P

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Phoenix-Ezra-Schwarz/1229376991 Phoenix Ezra Schwarz

          Well, I just want the artwork to be done by Arc. Then I’d be uber happy.

  • Kitestwinblades

    When they show the first trailer of Darkstalkers its gonna blow us away. Especially if its as refined as SF x TK rather than SFIV. The most 3D we’ve gotten from that series is MvC3. I cant wait to go beast mode with J Taliban nunchucks.

  • capristrider

    I hope Yoshinori Ono’s push for the next Darkstalkers is successfull (which is will be!). Can’t wait to see Demitri’s Midnight Bliss in HD. Also if Capcom release accompanying artbook for the new game that would be too cool (hint, hint capcom) ;)

    • http://twitter.com/AaqibRawat Aaqib Rawat

      come on baby

      lets play

      !

  • http://www.themogblog.com/ Edward Walton

    Im still a bit shocked how well placed the Tekken characters look in this style. One of the first things I have stated, if not the first, is that the Tekken characters look better this way than the Street Fighter characters. Ill take an exclusive Tekken roster like this any day.

  • thaKingRocka

    I wonder if Darkstalkers will return as the testbed for SF ideas that it once was.

    As for saturating the market, the FPS market is very different. I think they need to slow down the release of fighting games. Releasing three versions of SF4 has some people excited, but it has also engendered quite a bit of ill will. I love fighters to death, but I feel like there’s no point in learning them extensively because things will change immensely when an update is released, and I will need to buy a new product to stay current. New fighters and balance updates are not like the easily ignored map packs.

    Also, fighting games do not have the quick, easy accessibility that FPSs do. Look at how much time you need to invest just to learn how to use one character effectively. If things continue with this kind of rapid release schedule with multiple versions of the same base game inside of a year, then it will all fall apart again. They have learned nothing from the past. I’d rather have seen them take their time to tweak the hell out of things, add new backgrounds, and then slap those 14 extra characters into a Street Fighter 5 in March of 2012. In the meantime, they should have simply been releasing balance patches for 4 for free with one or two of the planned characters offered for free as DLC. this would mean less money in the short term, but greater longevity and relevance.

    By the way, I was shocked when I learned that EVO would be replacing SSF4 with AE. Two months to see who the best in the world is? I don’t care what they say; that is not enough time. AE should have been an exhibition tournament.

    • http://twitter.com/Vanpan110494 Sentoro Katarashi

      I agree with you about fighting games for the most part, but that’s why fighting games are so much fun! You have to invest your time to effectively learn about the characters you love to fully bring out its strengths and minimize its weakness, especially when you face other people online, at home, or in tournaments! Truth be told, I hate FPS games. Most FPS games don’t give you enough of a challenge (such as Halo and Call of Duty. I’ve played them. Not that hard). Sure that’s good for beginners and maybe casual gamers, but for intermediate and/or expert gamers, it will get old and boring quick. Also, many of the other fine genres of video games are often overlooked by us Americans because of FPS games, but I also hate it when people release the game over and over that is not free for the ones that bought the original for an even higher price. They really shouldn’t do that. Fine in the old days, but not fine today, as technology is advancing today and in the future, so they should stop that.

      • FireCouch

        FPS games are easy and get boring quickly for “expert gamers”?  Chances are you are just playing the wrong people. Sure, FPS are relatively easy to learn, but they are incredibly difficult to master.

  • http://twitter.com/OhKeh OhKeh

    All I need is Rival Schools.

  • Hinataharem

    I wonder if they will keep all of the blood and stuff if they do Darkstalkers in 3D. And Jedah’s command grab on Lillith

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Freddy-Fred/100002622008960 Freddy Fred

    Man…all these fighting games and Mega Man, Ace Attorney, Monster Hunter are all nowhere to be seen. WTF is going on, Capcom?

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Roberto-Armando-Iraheta/775564143 Roberto Armando Iraheta

      That’s because the fighting game scene just blew up big time. There’s more players than ever so basically this is their gravy train now.  And since AA and MM don’t sell as well as SF and RE, well there’s your answer.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Freddy-Fred/100002622008960 Freddy Fred

        And what about Monster Hunter? So it’s a good excuse for Capcom to not cater to the niche at all now? They’re a megacorporation, they could take a few more risks.

  • PrinceHeir

    please after SF X Tekken no more 3D FG. focus on 2D please!!!!!

  • http://twitter.com/Shadowmen19 Shadowman

    Please say rival school is not dead cause I remeber that game when I was a kid.

  • xxx128

    I really hate how sf4 is 3d instead of 2d. But i appreciate that this satisfies the dumb trend crazed masses and due to that you can always find a match online. However a brandnew capcom 2d fighter which pushes the boundaries would be so cool. And it can be done, you just have to have the balls capcom. Also why they never did rival schools vs street fighter is beyond me, seriously…

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