“Gems” Debate Worries Hardcore Fighting Game Players

by on July 30th, 2010
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Many hardcore fighting game fans are excited about the future release of Street Fighter X Tekken, but a recent announcement has rocked Capcom’s loyal fans.

A New Mechanic:
It seems that a new mechanic, refereed to in Capcom’s trailers as the “gem system” will allow players to select gems before each match. These gems will give players various bonuses based on what kind of play style the player likes to use. There are defense gems, which increase a player’s defensive ability for a limited amount of time. There are also attack gems, which, of course, increase the amount of damage a player can deal out over time. These are not the only two categories, though. The list of gems and bonuses goes on and on.

Trouble arises.
While this may seem like an interesting game mechanic, many of Capcom’s fans are upset that the gems will provide unfair advantages to players who may not otherwise be very skillful. To make matters more unsettling, it seems that certain gems will only be released as downloadable content or as a bonus for pre-ordering the new title. This news comes among an array of other questionable downloadable content choices that Capcom has made. Fans of the Street Fighter and Tekken Franchises are concerned that this practice of providing certain gems only as “extras” that must be paid for will make for an unfair playing field.

It gets worse for the most loyal fans.
Furthermore, what is even more troublesome is that it is very likely that veteran players who prefer not to use the gem system wont be able to turn it off. This has upset many loyal fighting game fans. In most fighting games, when a certain mechanic has the potential to greatly influence the outcome of a battle regardless of player skill, that mechanic can be turned off. This has worked out well in the past with franchises such as the Super Smash games from Nintendo.

Now they play the waiting game…
While there is still plenty of uncertainty to go around, the fact of the matter is that we won’t be able to tell just what kind of impact this new system has on game-play until we’re able to get a better look at just how much the gems affect player battles. Until then, die-hard fighting game fans will have to hold their breath and hope for the best. The video game world is always a very fragile and versatile place.

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