The Final Fantasy XIV director’s 57-game winning streak likely caused Zangief huge drawbacks in Street Fighter EX 2
There is a running joke in the fighting game community that Final Fantasy XIV, the hugely successful massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG), is a retirement home for former fighting game players.
As it turns out, the director and producer of this game, Naoki Yoshida (Yoshi-P), once got a Zangief nerfed in the Street Fighter EX series due to a 57-game winning streak, also choking out the game’s developers in the process.
The fighting game’s roots run deep, and Yoshida relayed the story back in 2018, in an interview with 4Gamer via Reddit/ Twitter. Yoshi-P was at the Association of Entertainment Machine Operators (AOU) show, now known as the Japan Entertainment Expo (JAEPO), a long-running conference where video game developers showcase their games.
The story gets a little fuzzy here, as the exact game and date wasn’t made clear during the interview, but based on what we know about that timeline, it was likely around 1997 or 1998, and Arika was taking a (small) positioning test at an AOU conference , most likely for Street Fighter EX 2.
Back in the day, it was common for fighting game developers to run tests before a game was released to help tweak the balance and get a feel for how it would be played by the general public.
The person who would become Final Fantasy XIV’s producer and director racked up a 57-game winning streak at the event — and even took over — and defeated three developers from Arika. Yoshida said he destroyed them.
This led to Zangief being severely weakened in the release version of Street Fighter EX 2. Zangief was generally considered to be among the better characters in Street Fighter EX in 1996, but was thought to be much weaker in the sequel that came out in 1998. According to Yoshida , that had something to do with it.
Zangief tends to be one of the most polarizing characters in the entire Street Fighter universe in regards to his balance, as this isn’t the first time a player has had a massive win streak with him on a site test, causing the developers to do so. His loss is due to that, as it actually did in Street Fighter 2 as well.
The fact that history repeated itself a few years later in a different game with Zangief in it is rather funny.
Zangief’s style of play can lead to amazing runs for players if they figure out how to navigate around his many flaws, as his pressing and pressing abilities are often best in class, or close to it, once he closes the ground on the other player.
There are many video game developers who have made highly successful titles that can trace parts of their history back to Capcom’s Street Fighter 2 and the fighting game revolution that took place after its release in 1991. We can now add Final Fantasy XIV director and producer Naoki Yoshida (Yoshi-P) to the list. that list.
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