I’m sure many readers will have been on the receiving end of that accusation, that questions your gaming integrity: “You play Civilization Revolution/Super Smash Bros/Wild Gunman? That’s a baby game!” While the hyperbolic barb can sting, it is never taken literally. Until now. Following accusations that beat ‘em up sequel Street Fighter V’s story mode is too easy, a mischievous gamer let his six-month-old baby “play” the single player game as Birdie, versus the computer. The result? The baby won:
“Sorry Super Smash Brothers, there’s a new game for babies to play,” writes YouTube user Papapaint. He then adds, in response to accusations that the video is a fake:
“For everyone saying it’s a fake, Birdie has moves which come out when you RELEASE a button after holding it for a while, and the EX versions come out from holding and releasing the 3punch or 3kick buttons. I’m too busy to waste time trying to fake my baby beating an easy story mode by mashing random buttons.”
The baby’s victory is a sad indictment of Yoshinori Ono, the producer tasked with rejuvenating the Street Fighter franchise. “Street Fighter IV had 44 characters by the end of its lifecycle and when you get to my age, you can’t remember all of them,” Ono told The Telegraph. “It’s not a game where you can remember just the one or two characters that you like to play as, you have to know them all in order to effectively defend against them and that means 44 characters’ worth of moves, weaknesses and, if you’re really hardcore, frame counts, too.”
“We really needed to reset, to go back to fewer characters and build it up from there again,” he said. “Whenever we were considering how many characters to include and the most that people could handle, well, 16 characters was the number that we had in the arcade version of Street Fighter IV and it just seemed to make sense as a starting point.”
Though, before the game’s release, there were hints that Street Fighter V would be the most “entry level” iteration of the series, with Ono revealing, “The barrier to entry for Street Fighter has always been in whether you can control the game.” He added: “Whether you can put your hands on the controller and pull off the moves has been this hurdle that you’ve had to clear to take part in the game. I want it to be in Street Fighter V that the hurdle you clear is your skill as a person able to strategise how to fight in the game. I don’t want it to be if your fingers can pull off this fireball motion.”
Mission accomplished, Ono.