SFxTekken: Capcom hates their fans… but mostly the Xbox ones.

Warning! The following article was due to be published last week! Think of it now as a diary, or time capsule if that makes you feel all nostalgic. Oh last week, you were the good ol’ days, how we miss you…. anyway…..

Anybody who had been following the coverage of Street Fighter X Tekken here on the Grig (aka, me) will have no doubt noticed that all had fallen eerily quiet of late on the upcoming fighters home front. And correct you would be dear reader, as the dwindling lack of page time has mirrored perfectly our fading interest in said title. Quite an achievement considering how hyped we had been for the game. However, a certain gem shaped pill and its paid for DLC poisonings proved a little too bitter for us to stomache.

But from the realm of lack of interest we have traversed a vile dividing line, particularly in the last few days, in to the murky yonder of outright disgust that could prove to be the end of any dealings we ever have with Capcom or their products.

‘But why?!’ I hear you cry, my young Griglings.

Well sit tight dear reader. This could be quite a ride.

We stand here on the brink of the release of the EU versions of SFxT and it’s been quite a week. The US version released on Tuesday and it’s been a heck of an eye opener for the Fighting Game Community (FGC) far and wide as players find that the game isn’t quite what Capcom had made it out to be. Luckily, being several days behind the US release, the findings have given the rest of the world ample time to process their findings and decide if this game is still going to be worth their while.

Now we’re not going to tread old ground and start ranting about ill conceived mechanics like Pandora, nor even spout a tirade against the ridiculous gems that seemed an appalling idea even before they announced a large portion would be paid DLC and that there would be no selectable modes that were gem free in order to force the freakin’ things down our throats. No sir, we’ve ranted till we were blue in the face about that.

What we’re here to discuss today is something entirely new, and an unadulterated new low even by Capcoms underhand standards.

It all started a few weeks ago when evidence seemed to imply that Capcom were adding a couple of guest characters to the game in the form of Pac Man and Mega Man. These had been rumoured for a while, but imagery at the end of February’s character reveals pretty much confirmed their inclusion. It wasn’t too long before we got full on teasers with Pac Man riding aloft a mech and Bad Box Art Megaman being revealed officially… but only for Sony’s Vita and PS3. What the…? The community was in confusion. Sure the Playstation was getting Cole and those two stupid looking cats as additional content, but they were Sony characters and would never be on Xbox anyway. But why were the free to be used faces of Namco and Capcom confined to only Sony’s devices? Ono explained about Sony stumping up cash to have their characters in, whereas Microsoft wouldn’t, even though Capcom were keen to add Master Chief and Gears characters. Whether or not this approach was true is unknown, however anybody who followed Ono on twitter would surely now realise all those visits he made to Sony HQ was for a reason. Whatever was going on, the absence of the two mascots on Xbox was puzzling. While I certainly wasn’t interested in any of the characters that were heading to Sony machines, it certainly ruffled my brow seeing the equally priced Xbox version with 5 less characters, and one that certainly did Capcom no favors among a large section of the community. But this was only the tip of the iceberg of appallingness.

The next instalment on Capcoms cackometer was the announcement of 12 additional fighters that were winging their merry way to the PS Vita version of the game. In itself, good news. Fan favourites such as Elena, Sakura, Cody and the like were all welcome additions. What wasn’t welcome was that they appeared to be ONLY on the Vita. Who cares about that version?! Not that I’ve played one, but if the D-pad of the PSP is any implication of the Vitas, then there’s no point porting it anyway. If Xbox owners weren’t wronged enough, Capcoms flirtings with Sony seemed to have gone further than the 5 character one night stand. People spammed Ono asking questions about the characters hitting the proper consoles and eventually we got confirmation that they would come to both home consoles eventually. In a rare display of good news, Ono even stated that he would be working on them shortly. Good, we thought. However, this statement proved highly interesting considering what was to come.

As the last few days leading up to the US launch ebbed away, copies of the game were starting to make their way in to the hands of players far and wide ahead of its official street date. Videos started cropping up with greater frequency from an all manner of sources as people started getting stuck in. That’s when news started to creep in about people digging through the files on the disc. This was what I had been waiting for. If there’s one thing that I suspected about Capcom and this game, it was if there’s DLC to be had, it’s probably on the disc already. With the 12 characters announced, I knew there was a good chance we’d be seeing them. Albeit possibly in a basic version, a la Jill and Shuma Gorath in MvC3, but enough to get a good impression. The hackers started their data mining excavation with startling results. First we got character intros and endings for the 12 coming characters. Then we got untextured character models of them as well. Then, and this was the big one, we got full on gameplay of the new characters who are all on the disc in their finished entirety! Yes that’s right. It’s the same old Capcom but even worse. On top of the 12 locked fighters, it was particularly interesting to also find that Pac Man and Mega Man were also present and correct on the Xbox disc. More Sony wranglings were obvious as apparently when Capcom had mentioned Sony stumping up moola to add their own characters, they also must’ve popped a wad in Capcoms garter belt for a Playstation exclusivity period on these two characters while they were at it.

The internet volcano was well and truly fired up, frothing like a beast demanding a sacrifice. And that was before Capcom unloaded another bomb on the community. Properly caught with their pants down, though I don’t know how they couldn’t have known the disc would be hacked, the only thing to do was to fire out a statement trying to restore some semblance of order by implementing a half hearted crack at damage control. Completely unrepentant about having a massive chunk of the cast locked on disc for future purchase, what could Capcom possibly offer up as an explanation as to why this had come about? I’ll tell you! Here is the full rundown:

Official statement:

“Capcom has confirmed that 12 new fan-favorite characters will be available as Downloadable Content (DLC) on the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC versions of Street Fighter X Tekken later this year. The playable characters will make their debut on the PS Vita system when the game is released this fall, with the console and PC versions receiving them as DLC soon after. The character information and files were intentionally included on retail versions of the PS3 and Xbox 360 game to save hard drive space and to ensure for a smooth transition when the DLC is available, allowing players who choose not to purchase the content the ability to play against players that did. More specifics regarding pricing, dates and other additional exciting DLC plans for Street Fighter X Tekken will be shared at a later date. As a reminder, the retail version of the game will be the only disc-based version consumers will need to own and all future upgrades will come from post-launch DLC. The new characters fighting their way onto Street Fighter X Tekken are… from the Street Fighter side… Blanka, Cody, Dudley, Elena, Guy and Sakura will be playable and from Tekken… Alisa Bosconovitch, Bryan Fury, Christie Monteiro, Jack, Lars Alexandersson and Lei Wulong will all be available.

By including these 12 characters on the disc, the idea was to ensure easy compatibility between players who do and do not choose to download the characters when they arrive as DLC. For example, not buying costumes in the Street Fighter IV series means you will not see the costumes when playing another person who did buy them; on-disc characters avoid this issue and allow everyone to participate in the update without additional patches or hiccups. The update also saves on file size – instead of a massive download, there will be a much smaller unlock that brings the new content to the surface.”

And here lies a further subplot to the putrid tale of a company plumbing scummy new depths: The Vita version will not launch until the tail end of the year, after which it sounds like it will further be given breathing room before consoles get the characters. Characters that are ready now. Characters that are complete and on the disc. And they’re saying they’ve done this for our convenience to help with compatability? How thoughtful.

The reality here is that what’s actually happening is that Capcom have further entered a deal with Sony to push the Vita by having characters on it that you can only, if for a short while, play on said machine. Capcom builds hype for their game, Sony gets sales for their under performing console. It’s win win.

Except if you’re a consumer.

Now, referring back to the 360 and PS3 versions again, Capcom have emphasised that this version of the game will be the ONLY disc version that will come out in an attempt to convince those saying they’ll wait for the ‘Super’ version. Thus, what they sneakily tried to do was have the ‘Super’ version already made and on the disc. Ho ho! Clever! Therefore what we have now, is a cut down version of the final product. But hey, I’m sure we’ll all be tripping over ourselves and thanking Capcom when they generously update the game for only goodness knows how much at the end of the year like the fan pleasing folk they are! Thanks Capcom! Do we also get to keep the spit in our faces?

Scum! Inexcusable! Unbelievable!

The whole thing stinks to high heaven. That real turdy putrid smell that can really burn the back of your nose and have you reaching like a man possessed. I was incensed to tweet Ono and Seth to voice my disgust asking how much worse things could get. Should have watched my words, coz Capcom were far from being done yet. I couldn’t help but notice a tweet Gootecks sent out the day of the US release asking for help in realising why on the Xbox version of the game that he and a buddy couldn’t seem to access the highly promoted ‘pair play’. This is the mode in which you and a friend could sit together and head into the dangerous world of Xbox live for some online beats. I didn’t really bat an eyelid at his problem just assuming he was doing something wrong, until more and more reports started flooding in. What was going on? The mode was largely advertised, had been highly publicised and pushed by Capcom throughout the titles development, and was discussed in the games manual. So where the grig was it? Before I go on, I really must emphasise again that this was THE DAY OF THE U.S RELEASE after thousands had flocked to pick up the game.

The answer to the problem? Not a network problem, nor a bug soon to be ironed out. No sir. This selling point that many had picked the game up for along with new sticks and the like…. IS NOT IN THE XBOX VERSION!

But why? It had been advertised! What the…? Answers darn it, Capcom! Give us answers and how you will fix this issue immediately.

The answers came alright. But it was not what we wanted to hear…

Will 2 player local co-op on Xbox Live be patched in for the 360 version of Street Fighter X Tekken? — Weegee

Svensson: It will not be patched and apologies for the manual inclusion. Seems it was an oversight. The difference has to do with how Xbox Live differs from how it handles online and offline accounts.

According to the team:

“PS3 version: It is possible to mix and match online and offline players for scramble battles and pair play battles. Two local players can play on the same PS3 using 1 PSN ID, and play against other players online.

360 version: It is NOT possible to mix and match online and offline players for scramble battles and pair play battles. So you either have to have all players be offline and local (so 4 players, 1 Xbox) or have all the players be online (4 players, 4 Xboxes).”

“The reason for this difference is because of the architecture differences between gamertags and PSN IDs. I’m not sure of the technical details, but basically it amounts to: Sony made it so you can mix and match online and offline, and Microsoft made it so you can’t.”

Really? Noooooooooooo!!! Darn that Microsoft and their foolish ways! Fair enough, time to move on I gue… hang on. JUST HANG ON ONE COTTON PICKING MINUTE! I own Mortal Kombat and I swear it had that very feature in it! In fact, not just Mortal Kombat, but Halo, Call of Duty, and a raft of other titles on Xbox where you can use one Gold profile and have a friend accompany you locally and play online using a guest account! What the…? Who is running this company?! Upon the masses pointing this fact out, Mr Svensson had nowhere to go but do a little back peddling:

Svensson: I’m going to be looking into this issue further btw. I’m also a bit confused by the feedback from the team.

Well, it’s been a week since the US launch (real time now), and so far Capcom have been their usual efficient selves… and not said a word. Huh? Anyone else starting to feel a little hard done by here?

Well, while Capcom fell eerily but predictably silent, the backlash from the fans was rampant. The pages of gaming websites far and wide were riddled with furious customers conned out of a mode that for many was a massive selling point. Capcom Unity was chocka with threads bursting with responses to the outrageous behaviour. We demanded action. Luckily, Capcom was vigilant and on hand. Not to answer questions or even make any attempt to appease their customers and fans, but to instead move threads from places where any potential unsuspecting customers might venture across them, and locking them while they were at it. Talk about a disgrace.

It also started to become clear that something else was afoot when comments sections on Eventhubs, SRK and a slew of other sites became inundated with people defending this debacle. One site reported that 200 accounts were created which turned out to be… wait for it… CAPCOM EMPLOYEES masquerading behind the facade of being your average customer! Can this behaviour get any worse?!

This was all too much. My most hyped game in years left in tatters by the greed and lies of a once great company.

Almost as a footnote, and a cherry on the turd cake, the online play was lag infested and featured awful sound issues whereby the sound effects would not play. I almost couldn’t even muster to ask the question, but this was at least something Capcom saw fit to respond to:

“Hi everyone, this is Ayano.

The new netcode implemented in Street Fighter X Tekken allows for up to 4 players to have a smooth online experience, however depending on the connection stability between players, things like “spontaneous match rollback,” “voice effects cutting out,” and “sound effects cutting out” also are occurring. This netcode is written in a completely different way than the Street Fighter IV series netcode, and that is why these problems are occurring.”

Whatever. More to the point, Seth Killian and US Community Manager for Capcom tweeted prior to this info being released, that this developer blog was actually supposed to contain info on the sound problems, online play, and Xbox issue. Well, I guess 1 out of 3 isn’t bad. For Capcom.

Our advice? Well there’s the obvious; get the PS3 version. Alternatively, and preferably for that matter, don’t but this game at all. This DLC shaped hell is only a few steps in to it’s disgraceful stride, and the further we go the worse it will surely be. Write off Darkstalkers right now, as the prospect of the DLC schemery will without a doubt push the envelope even further, and when we’re already this far past the line of any type of decency, that is a scary thought. We need to stand firm and kick this horrible disgusting company right where it hurts – in their wallets. And I for one, at least until something significantly changes, am done with Capcom.

*Update!*

Well, after another dribbling blog, Capcom at least sound ready to explain themselves. Statement due to be released shortly. Could they be ready to start putting things right, or are we in for more excuses? Stay tuned!

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