Street Fighter 2 had fireballs, Alpha had V-ism, 3 had parries, 4 had Focus Attacks; a look back at the series' changing mechanics and identity

Posted by Dakota 'DarkHorse' Hills • August 14, 2018 at 2:11 p.m. PDT

Street Fighter 2 is the game that kicked off the fighting game craze of the early 90s, so it's only natural that Capcom would produce a number of sequels and spin-offs plus entirely new titles that would need to find their own footing and identity.

The game started out very simplistic by today's standards, but added new characters, moves and mechanics to the later versions of Street Fighter 2 to differentiate it and keep players coming back though the series would move in different directions beginning with Street Fighter Alpha.

Fighting game content creator Novriltataki recently made a video presenting how they see Street Fighter has changed at its core many times over due to the adding or subtracting of new mechanics / "gimmicks" between games. This culminates in the idea that Street Fighter is lacking a true overarching identity between all of its titles when compared to other series.

The main argument brought forward is that Street Fighter 2 relied heavily on fireballs that did good damage, footsies and throws, but games like Street Fighter Alpha and Street Fighter 3 would shift that focus of a game plan to the new mechanics of the particular game instead of just adding upon what the earlier game started.

The Street Fighter Alpha games added new ideas to the mix like Custom Combos which dominated the way the game was played at higher levels while weakening fireballs. Street Fighter 3 added the parry mechanic which became vital, but also the dash, changes to throws and EX moves which would be used to build upon as the series progressed.

Street Fighter 4 brought with it the age of Focus Attacks and Ultras, but also ditched the "gimmicks" of the previous titles while Street Fighter 5 would get rid of Ultras in favor of the V-system. Novriltataki points to other fighting game franchises which seem to add to, build and fine-tune existing mechanics to develop a series to preserve its identity. You can check out the full video after the jump, and let us know in the comments whether or not you agree with the sentiment and idea presented by Novriltataki.

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