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Head to Head: Super Streetfighter IV vs Blazeblue: Calamity Trigger

Had to be done really! This battle actually has extra relevance since I am one of the poor residents of the EU, Blazblue wasn’t released until 9 months after the US, which was a little over a month ago!! So it wasn’t given a significant amount of time to grow it’s userbase, whereas SSFIV has now come and steamrollered everything! well, everything except for FIFA world cup…

In any case, I figured that it would be a good idea to try and compare the 2 and see how the stack up. For the TL:DR answer (and remember this is just my opinion) the better game is blazblue. By a long country mile!!!
But that wouldn’t be much of a comparison so after the jump, I have listed the points which one game has over the other!

Advantage: Super Streetfighter IV

  • Bigger character roster: no getting around this one. SSFIV has a total of 36 characters to choose from. That’s 3 times the size of the Blazblue crew! And each one plays sufficiently different from one another so there’s no complaints of copy characters even if their moves are incredibly similar, except maybe shotos…
  • Familiarity: This is a big one too. I don’t think there’s a video gamer alive who does not know at least one of the Streetfighter 2 cast in this game! They set the standards for other beat em ups and playing with them just feels like coming home
  • No entry level requirement: Capcom tried really hard to make SFIV accessible to everyone, from the complete noobs to pro players. That has carried on in SSFIV so even if you get your ass handed to you by an excellent player, you don’t feel as though you’ll never get to be that good.
    With Blazblue, it can be very intimidating for new players to pick up. It’s not as bad as streetfighter 3 3rd strike (which is still probably the most hardcore beat em up out there) but it’s easy to see how new players can be scared off by watching high end matches (they’re way more interesting than SSFIV matches tho)
  • Fairly basic mechanics: SSFIV doesn’t give you much in terms of tools to fight with. Aside from the standard and special moves, there are the ex moves, supers, ultras and focus attacks. Heck, you only need to worry about 2 bars aside from your health. Compare that to blazblue, where you can have up to 4 bars to keep track of!! As a result, one could argue that SSFIV is more “pure” in terms of it’s combat.

Advantage: Blazblue

  • Awesome soundtrack: If you say you don’t like the rock tracks on blazblue, you are LYING!!!
  • Totally unique characters: The roster may be smaller than SSFIV but each character plays completely differently from eachother. Especially when you incorporate their individual drive attacks, attacks unique to that character! In fact, some of the drive attacks make the characters unique, not only in Blazblue, but within the beat em up genre in general. Can anyone tell me a character in any beat em up who plays like carl or Rachel with their drives?
  • Greater variety of tactics. The problem with having so many characters in a game is that it makes it difficult to let them diversify tactics. They are often set into very specific styles of play so unless you meet a very high end player, most people will play the same way, so every ryu/ken/juri/etc will feel very similar if not identical to each other!
    Blazblue allows players to swap tactics on the fly due to the flexibility of both the system and the drives so even if you meet several players of the same character back to back, they won’t neccesarily be using the same tactics! It helps to keep the game feel fresh!
  • Vastly superior netcode: I don’t know what kind of voodoo magic the game makers used but I have never had any lag in a blazblue match! The starting animation may be slowed down but once the action kicks in, it is near perfect! In contrast, SSFIV is sloppy. I love the fact that they have finally added rooms to let you play against more than 1 person at a time, but The connections are incredibly fickle, with lag appearing suddenly, even if you’ve had multiple lag free matches prior.
  • More forgiving with the inputs: I’m not sure why but on occasion, I find it very difficult or even impossible to perform even some simple moves in SSFIV. Sometimes I am unable to perform the correct move at a critical time but could do so earlier or later in the match. such screwups can be incredibly frustrating, but I don’t usually have that problem with Blazblue. If I can’t do a move, it’s because I really CAN’T do that move. The input is too difficult!

In the end, being a gamer, I favour blazblue for it’s more interesting mechanics, intense matches and greater variety in character control and playstyle. At the same time I understand what Capcom were trying to do when they made SSFIV but due to various niggles, I do occasionally find it an incredibly frustrating game. I’ve lost a fair few matches which I should have won due to the commands not getting in or unusually large hitboxes for certain attacks and when that happens, it’s really annoying. But when I lose matches in Blazblue, I feel that it is simply because I am not good enough. The difference in skill is much clearer and so there’s less room for animosity.
Having said that, when I play with some of my mates, I am one of the players with slightly higher skill so I can imagine that it can be quite disheartening when I win several matches in a row by using my stronger characters. Our levels on SSFIV are much closer.

I’ll still play SSFIV as that’s where the majority of players are and it’s a shame that I couldn’t play Blazblue for longer (only the really high level players are left now) but it was a blast and  I still hope to rope some online friends to go a few rounds from time to time against my Noel Vermillion.
Here’s hoping that we don’t have to wait too long for BB: continuum Shift!!!

  • subaruhess

    What type of controller are you using to play? I found out since the original SFIV that the game requires really fast inputs for the moves to register.

  • http://lookingglass.kokidokom.net gundamjehutykai

    I’m using a mad catz SFIV fightpad. Works great with blazblue!
    But I must admit that using an arcade stick is actually a handicap for me. I just can’t use them at all. My skill literally halves when I do use them!

  • subaruhess

    Sticks are not too bad actually, but they do need a slight tune up to work better with fighting games because most if not all of the ones for ps3 & xbox360 have a square gate fitted to the stick which makes it hard to pull accurate rotation inputs.

  • http://lookingglass.kokidokom.net gundamjehutykai

    Don’t get me wrong, I can see some advantages to using sticks but I just can’t input the commands anywhere near as effectively. It extends to the arcades as well!! As for the square gates, yeah that is a problem for a lot of them. You need to buy a pretty high end stick to get an octagonal gate as standard.
    Then again, I may buy a stick if I get a chance to play some awesome shmups!! Still gutted that deathsmiles in the US will also be region locked.

  • subaruhess

    Even the high end sticks have a square gate but you can mod them quite easily with an octagonal gate which is what I did to my Hori RAP3 stick. But I guess its up to you if you want a good stick or not. Didn’t know deathsmiles had a region lock, continuum shift on ps3 wont have region lock will it?

  • http://lookingglass.kokidokom.net gundamjehutykai

    Nah, No PS3 game has any region lock on it. Kudos to Sony for doing that! Deathsmiles is on 360, so the locks are up to the publishers, and most lock them.

    For now, I’m happy with the fightpad. I’ve always played beat em ups with a pad so my hand is more used to the pad movements. My playstyle isn’t high end enough to warrant a stick yet!

  • http://radiantdreamer.wordpress.com radiant

    Wooh glad you ended up liking Blazblue! I’d have to say that Blazblue is quite scalable in that pros can play against amatures and still have a good time. Street Fighter, not so much… :P

    I’ve become quite a fan of Blazblue, but I don’t play fighting games all that much, so Blazblue has mostly been sitting aside. I too prefer it over Street Fighter as well. I mean, me having sold Street Fighter 4 kinda proves that. :P

    And yeah, I do like the soundtrack for Blazblue. :)

  • http://lookingglass.kokidokom.net gundamjehutykai

    I agree that there is more scope on Blazblue for players to really branch out so even pros playing against amateurs can have a good time, but then the gap between pros and amateurs may prove to be too wide for some. I know a few players who prefer Super Streetfighter IV because it’s more forgiving and you’re less likely to have your ass handed to you.

    I’ve been desperately trying to get into SSFIV but I’ve hit lots of snags like little lag issues which prevent me from doing the correct moves and other weird elements where I think I’m safe from a move due to the positions but in fact, I’m not!

  • http://lightningsabre.blogspot.com lightningsabre

    Hmm… I’ve only played the normal SFIV, and had considered BlazBlue many times, but always turn it down because of its supposedly challenging gameplay (and price). The price has gone down recently, but I think I don’t have much time to play anymore >_<

  • http://lookingglass.kokidokom.net gundamjehutykai

    I never found the gameplay on Blazblue to be too challenging, just more diverse and flexible per character. But I ended up playing more super SFIV simply because that’s what everyone else is playing! Playing against the AI all the time only gets you so far.