Super Street Fighter IV Review

When Capcom announced that they were releasing another version of Street Fighter IV, a mere year later than the original game, the main reaction from the internet gaming community was a collective moan. Granted, we didn’t know much about the game when we first received details, but Capcom was reverting to a time period when gamers were not online-enabled and downloadable content was non-existent terminology — when releasing a new version was what was done to correct balancing issues and introduce new features in fighting games. And they were dubbing it “Super,” a loving homage… or a sign of them acknowledging their return to the old days, depending on who you ask.

But now that Super Street Fighter IV is in my hands and I’ve played it nonstop, I can’t help but feel this retail disc is absolutely necessary. What Capcom has done with this iteration is something that is truly unheard of. They took vanilla Street Fighter IV and crafted a completely new and fresh experience that couldn’t be done with a DLC patch, added new characters, and re-worked every aspect of the game. If you thought Street Fighter IV was a finely tuned beast, Super Street Fighter IV is the perfect storm for fighting fans.

Super Street Fighter IV adds a wealth of new content including characters, stages, and modes. The 10 new characters include Super Street Fighter II fighters Dee Jay and T-Hawk, Alpha series’ Cody, Guy, and Adon, and Street Fighter 3 favorites Dudley, Ibuki, and Mokoto. Newcomers Juri and Hakan round out the additions, bumping the character count to 35. Every character now has two ultra combos, which can be selected before the match starts, Street Fighter 3 style. Outside of the second ultra combo, the fighting system is largely unchanged, which is a good thing. Focus attacks can be used to parry and break through an opponent’s defense. EX moves are more powerful versions of all characters’ standard special moves. They hit harder and send the opponent farther, usually setting up for more devastating combos. You can also perform an EX cancel out of certain moves to keep opponents stunned or to escape in case you aren’t safe after the move.

Juri dishing out the pain on M.Bison

While the fighting system does remain unchanged, the characters themselves have undergone a serious overhaul. All the characters have been re-balanced. Sagat is no longer an overpowered monster, El Fuerte has been given a damage output buff, and Seth no longer destroys you the moment the words “Fight!” appear on the screen. The new characters have been integrated well and their moves and styles don’t conflict with the original roster. Every character feels fresh again and ripe to re-learn their intricacies and frame data, for those who want to dive deep.

The feature set this time around is incredibly robust. The Car Crusher and Barrel Buster minigames from Street Fighter II have returned and what a nostalgic welcome they are. The only thing that’s missing is that hapless guy coming out and proclaiming, “Oh! My Car!” The two bonus stages are present in arcade mode, but can be turned off if you don’t want to go through them constantly. They are also added to the new challenge mode, where you can attempt them for high scores. Trials are back, which is a special training mode that both teaches you advanced techniques for all the characters and challenges you to pull them off. Every character has 25 trials and as you progress through them you unlock titles and icons, which can be used for your personalized fighting card that players see before you fight them online.

The online mode, one of the biggest gripes from Street Fighter IV, has been completely overhauled. Ranked battles are where you go to gain your BP and PP, points that determine your rank. Instead of player matches, though, an Endless Battle feature has been implemented. Here, players enter a lobby and each takes turns fighting the winner. Everyone watches the match and can chat. Winner stays and the next person in line moves up to fight. I loved this mode. You can either drop into a random lobby or create your own where friends can join up, throw some hadoukens, and chat away as you have fun competing. There’s also a new team battle mode which splits players up into two teams of four to duke it out for supremacy. All of these occur in a nearly lag-free environment, thanks to Capcom’s GGPO network code. In all of the matches I participated in, I didn’t experience any lag. Finding games was also a painless affair, something that I was constantly fighting with in Street Fighter IV. It’s been cleaned up, streamlined, and is very easy to navigate with minimal hassle.

El Fuerte gets acquainted with the floor

But one of the coolest and most welcome additions is the Replay Theatre. Your matches can now be recorded and are uploaded to the Replay Theatre for others to download and watch. Clips are split up by their selected characters (e.g. Turbo & III is a channel for Turbo and Street Fighter 3 characters), and you can enter the selected channel to see clips for the character you’re looking for. Players can upload combo videos for others to study or record a particular beatdown for bragging rights. Or perhaps you and a friend had an amazing match that can’t be expressed in words. Replay Theatre makes sharing all of these possible. It’s a great way to capture awesome moments or make tutorials for others, and a good way to foster the community.

The graphics have also been given a new coat of paint. Everything looks cleaner and the new stages that have been added include a bit more animation in the backgrounds. The Metro City level, for example, has numerous characters in the background carrying girders, and the metal beam you are on rotates around to show off the level. The fighters’ animations and facial expressions look more detailed and the camera angles have been spruced up for the ultra combos. The menus have also been cleaned up and have more animation in them. Things like the Fight Request feature are present before you start arcade mode instead of having to go into another menu to turn it on or off. It’s just such a high degree of polish that everything works more smoothly and looks better than before.

To say Super Street Fighter IV is “worth it” or even necessary is an understatement. The addition of 10 new characters, re-balanced fighters, new features, and a revamped online mode make this $40 dollar package an astounding deal. Capcom has done much more than slap on a few new characters and push the game out the door. They’ve taken the original title, reconstructed it, and produced a game that surpasses the original Street Fighter IV in every way possible.


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Author: Matt Erazo View all posts by

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