Although I was pretty hyped leading up to the release of Sifu, I had a bad feeling, even before reviews validated my gut instinct: Sifu looked like it might be rather punishing. This was the biggest hurdle for me when I was deciding whether or not to purchase it. I mean, I knew I probably would (although if I waited for reviews maybe down the road during a sale), but there was a smidgeon of hesitation. But regardless, I threw caution to the wind and decided to pick up a copy.

So there I was, the Sunday before release, mulling over whether or not I should buy the premium version to take advantage of the early-access bonus. But while reading the Sifu page on the PlayStation Store, the language seemed more ambiguous than I had originally thought it was. It appeared that just by pre-ordering either copy — and not exclusively the $10 more expensive premium edition — it was possible to get that 48-hour early access. And, considering it was within 48 hours before the official launch, I took a chance and pre-ordered the game to see if I’d get to play it in that window.

And sure enough, once it finished downloading, the game unlocked and I was well on my way to enjoying those glorious opening moments; mouth agape, cheering audibly like a gleeful gamer baby. The amount of skill and precision the game requires, however, quickly became apparent, and considering I was pretty wiped, I called it a night and went back to playing Dying Light 2.

The following day — the Monday before the official release — I went to work, did my thing, and ate dinner with the family before I decided to fire up Sifu and take my lickings. However, I was now met by an 11-hour count down timer.

Sifu - Meme

Um… What?

Now, I had actually heard some online rumbling about how people were having trouble accessing their early access bonus, people who had paid the extra $10 for the premium edition. I even left a comment on a Kotaku article — smugly as is my M.O. — saying I had purchased the base edition and was early-accessing the hell outta the game. I guess I just love to eat crow.

Because I was faced with the strangest gaming experience I have had in quite some time: I had already played Sifu for an hour, only to then have to wait 11 hours before I could paly it again, seemingly as if for the first time. And my PS5 backed me up — right there on the updates portion of the dashboard were my most recent Sifu exploits, so I knew it wasn’t just a dream. And yet, there I sat, waiting to further play a game I had already started to play, like some Farmville plebe.

I can only assume that the either the early access was in fact only intended for pre-orders of the pricier version, and that perhaps someone flipped the wrong switch somewhere, granting access to the wrong group of players, so another switch was flipped to reverse course (switches, of course, being the cornerstone of how video games operate behind the scenes). Or maybe it was just a mixed bag of who got access. Perhaps my early access was indeed intentional, but then I got screwed later on.

In truth, it hurts my brain trying to suss out what the heck happened here. Look, I’m no switchologist, okay?


If nothing else, I should finally be able to play Sifu again when I get home from work today. That is, of course, until I repeatedly get my butt kicked, swear a bunch, and retreat to Minecraft for the rest of the night.

Man, what a Sifu Snafu.

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