Super Street Fighter IV producer Yoshinori Ono has had his nose to the grindstone over the last few years.
After reviving the series in 2009, Capcom's Street Fighter team toiled away to build up the franchise by updating it a year later with Super Street Fighter IV, introducing tweaks and new characters in Arcade Edition and getting to work on a 3D version for Nintendo's 3DS.
Our Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition review praised the game for being a near-perfect port of the console fighter, while introducing some clever network features one of the best showcases of the handheld's 3D.
We caught up with Yoshinori Ono at release and had a chat about everything from the idea behind 3D Edition to Mortal Kombat, Facebook games, first-person shooters and more.
When and how did Nintendo approach you with the 3DS and did you immediately want to do Super Street Fighter IV on it?
Nintendo has been pitching the whole 3DS idea to Capcom for a while. I think that Resident Evil Revelations was the first game to be given the go ahead for it. I was too busy at the time to check up on the 3DS but the Resident Evil team kept nagging me to come and have a look. When I finally made the time to go and see it I realised what I had been missing out on - it was jaw dropping.
So we started working on it and after three weeks we showed a prototype to Nintendo and they said they wanted to announce it at E3. Everything started really quickly, we were probably the last to begin with the 3DS project out of the launch titles so we probably had the shortest time on the project. We started in late May, we had around 8 months to do this.
Why did you leave it so late? Was it due to Super Street Fighter IV on consoles?
Yes, one of the reasons I couldn't check out the 3DS out was because of Super. As soon that ended we had Golden Week in Japan where we had a week long holiday. Once I got back I checked out the 3DS and got to work.
What was going through your head when you first played it?
I had a fair idea of what the system was capable of in terms of graphics and CPU power from what I'd heard from the Resi team. It was more about the network capabilities for me. Having a list of specs in front of me those capabilities were what was singing to me, telling me to make Super Street Fighter IV for the 3DS.
A lot of fans might think of a portable SSFIV as a step down. What is it about 3D Edition that makes it stand alongside the console and arcade versions?
When we talk about the SSFIV 3DS I always mention three points about it: you can play this anywhere, anytime and with anyone. Having those three things means you can play it in any situation. This is something that no console so far can do.
Hardcore players might say 'it doesn't have a stick and that's what people will want', but if you're really hardcore would you really stoop to only being able to play the game in front of your TV? No, you'd want to play it anywhere. This is where the 3DS shines.
For people who haven't been exposed to fighting games much due to the entry barrier, who might have had some prejudice about how difficult they are, or how you might have to spend hours practicing to be competitive, the 3D Edition rewrites that. We've widened the entry barrier into the fighting game genre through Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition so now you can start playing even if you've never played fighting games before.