An evening playing Street Fighter IV with Steve revealed that, whilst he’s got a pretty dangerous Cammy, and my Abel is not half bad, what SF4 really needs is some way of quantifying the amount of bullshit players sling at each other.
You know what I mean: those endless command-throws that have you swearing at the TV whilst your opponent giggles into their headmic; endless repeated moves that you should be able to block, even if right now you’re failing; all those moments where you realise your understanding of move-priority isn’t quite in line with the game’s.
That sort of thing. “Oh no,” Steve would say, “you hit me with your bullshit again!”
What if we could take that bullshit and turn it into a game mechanic?
Enter: the Bullshit Meter.
You can see the Bullshit Meter up the side of the screen. The supposedly-accessible SF4 is already festooned in meters, so one more in the only available space we’ve got won’t make much difference, right?
Let’s do a crash course in all the meters on screen, just to clarify the Bullshit Meter’s purpose.
At the top, you’ve got your health bar. That starts full, and decreases when you take damage; when it’s empty, you’re KO’d.
At the bottom-left or bottom-right you’ve got your revenge/ultra meter. This starts empty, and fills up as you receive damage. When it’s half-full or more, you can perform an “Ultra combo”. Basically: taking damage will eventually allow you to perform your most powerful move.
At the bottom, you’ve got your super meter. This charges as you perform special moves, and serves various purposes around making specials more powerful (“EX attacks”), performing a “Super combo”, and cancelling Focus Attacks. We don’t have space to explain it here much more.
And at the side, we have the new, improved, Bullshit Meter. There are two ways to charge the Bullshit meter.
Firstly, by performing repeated moves. Every time a player performs two identical moves in a row, their opponent’s Bullshit Meter charges a little. Standard attacks (eg: repeated jabs) make barely any dent in it; special attacks (eg: Shoryukens) make a bit more of an increase.
If a player mixes up the power of their attacks, the increase in the Bullshit Meter goes up less than if they just repeated the same strength special. For example: Ken performing jab-Shoryuken into fierce-Shoryuken fills the Bullshit Meter much less than two fierce Shoryukens in a row.
The second way to fill your opponent’s Bullshit meter is through certain “Bullshit Attacks”. Every character has one (or more) moves designated as “Bullshit Attacks”, and these make significant impact on the Bullshit meter.
Examples of Bullshit Attacks include Ken’s Shoryuken (particularly in its Fierce variety), Zangief’s Spinning Piledriver, Abel’s Tornado Throw, Honda’s Ochio Throw, and practically every special El Fuerte has.
You can see that Ken players spamming Fierce SRK are going to get punished thricely by the new Bullshit Meter.
As a result of all this: performing Bullshit slowly fills your opponent’s Bullshit Meter. This has only one effect:
when your Bullshit Meter is totally full, hitting all six attack buttons at once (preferably with your fist) will instantly quit the match.
This can, of course, be combo’d with other attacks, as it uses all six buttons; for instance, performing an Ultra attack with six buttons, instead of three (eg: QCF, QCF+PPPKKK) will perform an Ultra Bullshit Ragequit Finish.
I don’t know if Capcom are listening, but I hope we can get the Bullshit Meter into a future title update for SF4.
Disclaimer: I love SF4 just as it is, thankyouverymuch, and you don’t need a Bullshit Meter to punish the hell out of any Flowchart Kens you come across. It was an entertaining-enough idea to wrap a game mechanic around, though, if only in jest.