Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition Review


As the fighting game floodgates burst back open with the 2009 release of Street Fighter IV, another tradition of the early 90s fighting scene continues: sequelizing the living crap out of franchises! 2010 saw Super Street Fighter IV, followed in early 2011 with the 3DS launch title Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition (which doesn’t really count, but whatever). Now we have Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition (or SSFIV:AE, if acronyms are your thing), and aside from four new fighters, the only changes are balancing tweaks that only the most hardcore of fighting fans will notice. It’s still Street Fighter, and it’s still fun, but unless you plan on fighting in tournaments every year, it won’t be different enough from previous games to warrant a full retail purchase (though the $15 DLC price is well worth it).

The most obvious of the new additions is, of course, the four new selectable fighters. Yun and Yang, the twins from Street Fighter III, make a triumphant return to the franchise, bringing their similar movesets with them. Yun is more about rushing down an opponent with power and precision, which Yang relies on his fast movement and  quick attacks. Both feel familiar to their SFIII iterations, but each one is different enough to warrant some new training sessions. Case in point, I personally have much more success with Yun than I ever did with Yang.

Also returning to the fold is Evil Ryu, who as the name suggests is Ryu with a bit more bloodthirst (not to mention the GIANT FREAKING HOLE IN HIS CHEST). Evil Ryu can best be described as a hybrid of Ryu and Akuma (OBVIOUS STATEMENT IS OBVIOUS). While Evil Ryu hits harder than his not-so-evil doppelganger, he gives up stamina and defense to do so. Evil Ryu also inherits Akuma’s teleport and Raging Demon attack, making him a bit harder to predict than normal Ryu. Ryu players may want to consider Evil Ryu as a new challenge, so long as they understand the risks and rewards of Evil Ryu’s different attributes.

While Evil Ryu is an evil version of Ryu, Oni is the evil version of an already evil Akuma (not to be confused with Shin Akuma from yesteryear). Oni is a freight train on offense with options and mix-ups galore. His Ultras are flashy and powerful, and his mobility is enhanced with a faster teleport. However, he retains Akuma’s achilles heel: he can’t take a hit to save (or prolong) his life. The more evil power Akuma consumes, it seems, the more of a softie he becomes. Oni is the ultimate high risk/high reward offensive character, one of those “don’t let up or your dead” types. If you’re going to give Oni a try, use him with caution.


To the untrained eye, SSFIVAE is the same as SSFIV with four new fighters and better online features. Casual fighting fans won’t be able to feel the tweaks made to some of their favorite characters, but believe me, they are there. You’re not going to see bigger fireballs, flashier Flash Kicks, or more fiery Yoga Flames. These changes are made in things like frames per move, hitboxes, and other little nuances that make the game as deep as it is. Some characters are enhanced, or “buffed,” from these changes (see: Fei Long), while others are weakened, or “nerfed” (see: Dhalsim).

While rebalancing is a welcome change and it keeps the game fresh, the fact that it isn’t an “in your face” change makes this version seem unchanged from SSFIV, especially to those who don’t understand the whole “hitbox” thing. The guys who look for matches on sites like EventHubs, Shoryuken, and IPlayWinner will feast on these tweaks, but my buddies who drop by the house to play for fun won’t even notice. This isn’t a problem that Capcom can fix, as it’s hard to make rebalancing sound like a good enough reason to re-purchase, but it does leave a number of gamers in the dark. These updates are aimed strictly at the hardcore fighting fans, without a lot of obvious changes to hook the casual players, but the entire package suffers because of it.

Don’t get me wrong: Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition is a lot of fun. It’s another great take on an already excellent game, with new characters to try and new character attributes to discover. Unfortunately, the majority of those changes will go unnoticed by non-fighting game enthusiasts, which may lead some people to skip it entirely. Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition is still the same fun Street Fighter experience we know and love, but without the eye to notice the gameplay balancing, it’s merely four new characters and that’s it. Fighting fans won’t want to miss it, but casuals who’ve already purchased SSFIV aren’t missing much.


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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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