Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition Review

SSF4 3D Logo

Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition marks the end of a significant drought, as it is the first Street Fighter game to appear on a Nintendo console since 2002’s Game Boy Advance iteration of Street Fighter Alpha 3. It also marks the first time a game from the main Street Fighter series (not Alpha or a Versus series) has released for Nintendo since Super Street Fighter II Turbo Revival for Game Boy Advance the year before. Many of strides have been made in the SF universe since those times, so some may have doubts about the game’s translation, especially to a handheld like the 3DS. 

Fighting game fans, fear not. Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition is everything the consoles can offer you and more, all in the palm of your hand. The gameplay is tight and responsive, perfect for veterans and newbies alike. The Figure Collections add a bit of fun and depth to an already deep experience. Perhaps most impressive of all is the online component, which in my experience has connected to other fighters far more easily than its console counterpart. Being able to take Street Fighter whereever I go is amazing, and the fact that the game is so much like its predecessor is even better.

SSFIV3D Gameplay

The gameplay is standard Street Fighter: one-on-one fighting, first to win two rounds wins the match. The button placement is a little awkward, with the strongest attacks being on the shoulder buttons, but it’s nothing a little tweak of the control system can’t fix. A big addition to the controls are the four mapped buttons on the touchscreen: one for Super Combo, one for Ultra Combo, and two special moves. While this is intended for the new SF fans, in experienced hands it makes some characters completely broken. Imagine having to fight someone using Guile, but the opponent no longer has to charge back or down for two seconds in order to perform Sonic Boom or Flash Kick. With a press of the touchscreen, the opponent can now do these moves. Two seconds make not sound like a long time, but in a Street Fighter match those two seconds could make all the difference. Characters like Guile and E. Honda (charge moves) and Zangief and T. Hawk (360-degree turn moves) all benefit from having their strongest moves simplified, which could cause some problems for those who follow a certain strategy. 

The mode selection is robust, possibly the most varied selection a Street Fighter has ever seen. Standard modes include Arcade, Versus, Training, Online, and Challenge modes. One of the newest modes is called 3D Versus, and it implements the game’s new Dynamic View setting. Dynamic View puts you behind your character at a 45-degree angle, instead of showing the fight on a 2D plane. You’ll still control the fight the same way, but the view creates a whole new look to Street Fighter action. It’s a bit disorienting at first, fighting at an angle that Street Fighter has never used before, but once the player adjusts it’s simply awesome. I find myself playing more in Dynamic View than any other, but I’m worried that if may affect me when I go back to SSFIV on consoles.

SSFIV3D Dynamic Mode

The online mode might be one of the most impressive things about the game (and the 3DS in general), as I’ve had an easier time connecting to people online with this version than I had on the console. When you do connect to an opponent, the match runs smoothly and lag-free, which is remarkable for a handheld system. Another way to connect to players is the Figure Collection system, which utilizes the 3DS’ StreetPass system. As you fight you will collect Figure Points (FP), which can then be used to purchase figures of all the characters. The figures have different levels, from one to seven, and different stats like HP, ATK power, and DEF. Players will assemble a team of five figures with a combined level of no more than 20, then any time two 3DS systems with StreetPass activated for SSFIV3D meet, the teams will battle for more FP. There’s not a whole lot for the player to do other than strategizing a team, but it’s cool to see how your teams fare against other 3DS owners.

Among the eighteen titles that launched with the 3DS, it’s not a stretch to say that the 3D visuals are best displayed with SSFIV3D. Whether you’re playing regularly or using Dynamic View, the depth created by the 3D visuals is impressive. Fighters will stand out in the foreground, with the backgrounds just as vibrant. The only major difference between this version and the consoles is that the backgrounds are stationary. For example, in the Solar Eclipse stage, a hippo comes out of the pond in the background and opens his mouth on consoles, but here he’s just standing there with his mouth open. Now that’s not exactly a deal breaker, but it would’ve been cool to see the background movement in 3D. 

A new iteration of portable Street Fighter seemed like a pipe dream, but Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition has made it a reality. It’s everything fighting fans have enjoyed on the consoles and more, adding some modes and features that can bring the new SF fans in seamlessly. The 3DS is a young system, but it has a bona fide hit already. Make sure to play SSFIV3D. UPC: 013388305025

4 out of 5


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Author: Jason Fanelli View all posts by
Jason lives and breathes gaming. Legend tells that he taught himself to read using Wheel of Fortune Family Edition on the NES. He's been covering this industry for three years, all with the Node, and you can see his ugly mug once a week on Hot Off The Grill.

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