The Plague of Half-Finished Games

SF5

‘Street Fighter V’ launched last week.

Don’t know if you heard.

It got great reviews. Well mostly. Critically it is currently sitting at a 79 on metacritic; which is far from a bad game, but it is also a distance from the highs the ‘Street Fighter’ franchise is known for.

It gets even worse, the user score is sitting at 34!! A score that is unheard of in a numbered sequel in one of gaming’s most famous franchises, the best in genre, hell the best in some generations! How in the hell can a mainline ‘Street Fighter’ game be sitting on a 34?

Well those negative reviews are pretty scathing and all of them focused on one issue. An issue that has become  more and more prevalent in recent years. Although Capcom have sunk to some very deep depths over the years they would surely want to keep Street Fighters name untarnished. Right?

Well for the definitive answer, let’s take a look at what features ‘Street Fighter 5’ launched with:

  • 16 characters (12 returning and 4 new)
  • survival mode
  • story-mode “prologues” that consist of 2-3 fights per character interspersed with still images (the “cinematic story expansion” is coming in June)
  • online lobbies capable of only holding 2 players (8 player lobbies are promised “soon”)
  • no arcade mode
  • nearly broken online matchmaking (beginning to work better 20/02)
  • no challenge mode (coming March)
  • no spectator mode (coming “soon”)
  • no in-game store (coming March)

Quite how a game can launch with so little in the way of functionality is borderline criminal. I look around the internet and I see gamers on both sides of the conflict. Those who are (rightfully) complaining about spending £50 for half a game (arguably less than that) and those who are defending it using the argument “in x amount of months it will be complete and amazing!”

mad-catz-arcade-fight-stick-sfiv-high-res

I even bought this before I bought SFIV!

Let me state where I am in the whole debate; I am a huge ‘Street Fighter’ fan, I have owned
every numbered entry into the series and put an ungodly amount of hours into them (without ever getting good at any though, amazing!) And while I have no doubt that SFV will be a great, great game when it is finally finished – it is; quite simply, missing too many fundamental features to be given that title right now.

I am with those gamers who are complaining about the game and I will not be purchasing it until everything; I think is required in a fighting game, is added.

I have no idea how anyone can defend a story mode that lasts about 7 minutes per character (although you do unlock purchasable costumes in the store…that’s not there yet), servers not working after 2 BETA tests (that were far from good, functionality-wise) or not having an arcade mode! Seriously! ‘Street Fighter’ is the ultimate arcade game and yet it is not here! It is 2016, and SFV is missing modes that have been standard since 1992.

What. A. Joke!

‘Street Fight V’ is not the only game to be released in such a state; ‘Battlefront’,  ‘Splatoon’ and ‘The Sims 4’ and ‘Rainbow Six Siege’ all were too! Every one of these games was barely half-finished and at the time of writing only ‘Splatoon’ has successfully added meaningful content (for free) and turned around those initial impressions. It went on, got better and turned into a cracking game; it was in my opinion, the second best of last year!

All of this is before we consider games coming to us with chapters missing (I’m looking at you ‘The Phantom Pain’) or with-held content to be sold to us as at a later date; remember the furore around ‘Marvel Vs Capcom 3’ on disc DLC?

Releasing half-finished games is fast becoming a pox on our fine hobby and if left unchecked it has the potential to destroy it!

I don’t care how good a game is, if it is barely half done when they ask for my £50 – they will not get it. There are two possible solutions to this issue publishers are creating (because I have no doubt it is publishers making these calls);

  1. Finish the game and re-release it physically – I will buy a good game when it is finished absolutely no problem. Even if it had a tricky launch.
  2. Price what is available now accordingly. I would have no problem buying SFV if it was priced in the budget range (£25). I can live with the short-comings if it makes financial sense to me. When it is complete in June I will happily pay full price for it!

I hope publishers get the message; we can not stand for this practice!

Why not leave a comment if you have ever been burnt by a half-finished game?

What did you do with it?

Have you bought SFV or are you planning on waiting? 

 

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