Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition being touted by many as the highlight of the 3DS launch line-up. Eurogamer certainly enjoyed it.
But for some fighting game fans it represents a worrying first step towards oversimplification. Thanks to the optional Lite mode, 3D Edition allows players to perform special moves with a simple tap of the touch screen. And special moves which previously required a charge now don't. So, must we learn how to play the game all over again? Has Capcom deserted its loyal fans?
Street Fighter producer Yoshinori Ono's answer is an unequivocal no. Here, in an interview conducted before his star turn at the 3DS launch in London last week, the developer attempts to calm hardcore fears and offers us a glimpse into the future of the world's favourite fighting game.
Eurogamer: What was your first impression of the 3DS dev kit?
Yoshinori Ono: Before E3, Takeuchi [Jun, chief producer for Resident Evil 5] already had the kit and had been nagging me to come take a look. But because I had been so busy with the console editions I had been putting it off. In mid-May when I finally went to see the kit, I just went, "Wow." I knew then I had been missing out.
We took it back to the Street Fighter team and showed it to people. Of course the 3D element is a major innovation, but we thought that shouldn't deceive us in terms of the attractiveness of the 3DS.
We came up with loads of ideas. It gave me this excitement I used to have when I was younger, as a computer geek, and we used to overclock microchips.
I'd like to ask Eurogamer to correct a misunderstanding some people have. Back in Amsterdam, I did an interview with German press. I mentioned 3DS and Dreamcast in the same conversation. I wasn't saying 3DS is like Dreamcast.
What I meant was, when Dreamcast first came out it was such a developer-friendly kit. I was thrilled to see it because I saw so much potential in that. It's the same excitement.
I'm not talking about the fate of the hardware, by any means! This has to be a hundred per cent clear, because it became rather awkward for me to visit Kyoto after that.
Eurogamer: You've said the console edition of Street Fighter IV did a great job of rekindling interest in fighting games, but it didn't expand the audience for them. Is that what the 3DS edition is all about?
Yoshinori Ono: I did say the console version didn't quite grab the audience base I was hoping it would. But Nintendo hardware usually has a wider reach, from very casual gamers to hardcore gamers.
With 3DS we've provided two extra main features to help, especially the casual users, so they can now play the game more easily and it's more accessible with regard to special moves. At the same time, it has an improved online system. You can play the game more easily and you can play with other people with even more convenience.
With these features I believe we will be able to reach a much wider audience than we have ever done.