Thursday, May 13, 2010

Super Street Fighter IV Review

Game: Super Street Fighter IV
Genre: Fighting
Developer(s): Dimps/Capcom
Publisher(s): Capcom
Release Date: April 27, 2010
Rating: T
System(s): Playstation 3, X-BOX 360


Street Fighter…one of the most iconic titles in fighting game history. You grew up on it, knowing that if someone shouted out “Hadoken”, then they were trying to be like Ryu or Ken. More than 20 years later, Capcom released the newest addition to its legacy of world warriors: Super Street Fighter IV. So the question is: will it stand up to the legacy of its predecessors, especially Street Fighter IV?

If you’ve played Street Fighter IV (released on February 2009 for PS3 and 360), then you’ll know that the story is basically the same. And if you haven’t played SFIV, then you may want to go back and get the game if you’re looking for story. That’s not to say that there’s no storyline in this game. This game picks up where Street Fighter II left off, if you go by the timeline (Street Fighter, SF Alpha Series, SF II, SFIV, Street Fighter 3rd Strike). Shadowloo is destroyed and a new syndicate named S.I.N. appears, hosting a worldwide martial arts tournament. As you play with each character, you see their specific story from beginning to end.

There’s one thing I’d like to point out about this game before I really get into it. On the back of the box, the creators title it as “The Ultimate Vision of Street Fighter.” To be honest…I agree with them.

The controls of this game are classic Street Fighter, with its 6 button configuration (light, medium and heavy punch/kick) that we’re all familiar with. Honestly, not much has changed with the system’s basic movements. The Focus attacks – attacks that can temporarily immobilize an opponent and absorb a single hit –, Special moves – unique moves for each character -, and Super Combos and Ultra Combos – character-specific command moves that can be done when filling up your respective meters – are still in the game. On the surface, nothing much has changed, proving the old phrase “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

However, even though the basic stuff hasn’t changed, a lot of other things are new in the game. SSFIV has 10 new characters added, bringing their total count to 35 characters. Characters from previous Street Fighter titles make an appearance on here, something that has fans of the series ecstatic over. Dee Jay and T. Hawk (who I respect but hate with a passion…yes,
LeVonn78, he’s going down) from Super Street Fighter 2 appear on here, two characters that everyone expected to be on SFIV. Cody and Guy from the Alpha series are on here as well as Makoto, Ibuki and Dudley from Street Fighter 3rd Strike. And 2 new characters are added to the roster: Juri, a lethal Tae Kwon Do fighter that possesses a destructive mechanism in her left eye called the Feng Shui Engine and Hakan, a Turkish oil wrestler who is Capcom’s “joke” character in the series.

Don’t get me wrong, Hakan is an interestingly good character. Just…, on with the review.

One of the better improvements that they did was rebalance the characters. And by “rebalance”, I mean they altered the character’s damage properties so that there would be a bit more equality. For instance, the damage on the ultra combos – end-all combos that can easily change the tide of the match when a character takes enough damage – has been modified so that a weaker character’s ultra will do slightly more damage than – let’s say – Zangief’s ultra. Granted, some characters will have strong moves, but it won’t be devastatingly strong as with last game.

Speaking of moves, the moves are another change that I like to highlight. Characters now have 2 ultra combos in SSFIV, bringing with it a bit of strategy. Taking a page from SF 3rd Strike, players can choose which ultra they can perform in their match. And the new ultra combos in general…it’s something that I have to tip my hat off to Capcom for. These new set of Ultra combos…it’s one thing to see an ultra and be like “That’s gotta hurt!” but a lot of the newer ones just make you cringe at the end of it (cough*Metsu Shoryuken*cough). Visually stunning, they are the exclamation point that you can add to the beating you give to your opponent.

The new online modes is another thing that they introduce here. Besides the Ranked match that is standard with most fighting games, there are two new modes on here: Endless Match and Team Battle Match. Endless Match is pretty much as the title states: you’re in a room with 8 other people, fighting against everyone until you lose. When you lose, you go to the end of the line, watching everyone else battle until your turn comes up. Yes, the trash talk runs rampant here with the addition of the peanut gallery in this mode. Team Battle: you’re in a team of 4 battling against the other team. When you’re not up, you’re watching the mayhem go down.

Also added is a Replay channel where you can upload the replays of online battles to the worldwide network for everyone to view. Personally I like this idea; however I don’t like the rules regarding replays. To save a replay – just like in SFIV - you have to meet certain criteria in a match. Personally, I think that you should be allowed to save a replay regardless of criteria. Because honestly, when you’re in an online fight, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be able to save a replay of you demolishing an opponent with or without meeting their criteria. Other fighting games let you do so with no stipulations, why not here?

And finally, for all the ol’ skool SF fans, the bonus stages are back. Yes, demolishing the car and breaking the barrels are included in this new installment of the game. And you are able to access them without going through Arcade mode.

So what else is there to say about SSFIV that hasn’t been said? Graphics are amazing, the new characters are a welcome addiction/addition (Dudley/Balrog, Adon/Sagat, Juri/Cammy, Juri/Chun-li), the new ultras are nuts, and the online is worth playing. What I can say about it is this: they’ve taken everything right about the earlier titles and just brought it to life here in this huge battle royale of warriors.

Final Rating: 5 out of 5

The Wolf's Core

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