Street Fighter IV
Last Updated: 3/25/2013 Developer(s): Dimps/Capcom Publisher(s): Capcom Designer(s): Yoshinori Ono (producer), Daigo Ikeno (character design) Artwork by: Daigo Ikeno, Polygon Pictures Platform(s): Arcade, Playstation 3, Xbox 360, Windows, iPhone Release Date(s): July 18th, 2008 ( Arcade)
February 17th, 2009 ( PS3/360)
July 7th, 2009 ( Windows)
March 2010 (iPhone)
Characters: Ryu, Ken, Chun Li, Dhalsim, Zangief, E. Honda, Blanka, Guile, Sagat, Bison, Balrog, Vega, Crimson Viper, El Fuerte, Abel, Rufus, Seth, Akuma, Gouken, Cammy (console exclusive), Rose (console exclusive), Gen (console exclusive), Fei Long (console exclusive), Dan (console exclusive), Sakura (console exclusive)
Related Games: Super Street Fighter 4, Super Street Fighter 4: 3D Edition, Super Street Fighter 4: Arcade Edition, Street Fighter, Street Fighter 2, Street Fighter 2 Champion Edition, Street Fighter 2 Turbo, Super Street Fighter 2, Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo, Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo: Revival, Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo HD Remix, Street Fighter 3: New Generation, Street Fighter 3: 2nd Impact, Street Fighter 3: 3rd Strike, Street Fighter 3: 3rd Strike Online Edition, Street Fighter Alpha, Street Fighter Alpha 2, Street Fighter Alpha 3, Street Fighter Alpha 3 Upper, Street Fighter Alpha 3 Max, Street Fighter Alpha: Anthology, Street Fighter Anniversary Collection, Street Fighter EX, Street Fighter EX 2, Street Fighter EX 3, Street Fighter: The Movie, Super Puzzle Fighter 2 Turbo, Super Puzzle Fighter 2 Turbo HD Remix, Pocket Fighter, Tekken 5: DR, Soul Calibur 4, Street Fighter X Tekken
Gameplay Engine 8.5 / 10 Story / Theme 7.5 / 10 Overall Graphics 9 / 10 Animation 9 / 10 Music / Sound Effects 8 / 10 Innovation 9 / 10 Art Direction 8.5 / 10 Customization 9.5 / 10 Options / Extras 9 / 10 Intro / Presentation 8.5 / 10 Replayability / Fun 7.5 / 10 "Ouch" Factor 9 / 10 Characters 8 / 10 BOTTOM LINE
8.9 / 10
Review based on PS3 version Final Words: One can't deny that Street Fighter IV ushered in a "new era" of fighting games. Even though many people would tell you the fighting genre wasn't anywhere close to "dead" before SFIV, this one game definitely turned many heads from the "mainstream gaming universe" back in the direction of fighting games. Even though it may not be the best Street Fighter game ever made, SFIV came through as the "next gen" Street Fighter game that everyone was waiting for, and it was a huge success.
Besides being 3D, Street Fighter IV takes the series in a whole new artistic direction... the new art style doesn't stray too far from previous installments, but is original enough to give SFIV its own flavor instead of being something we've seen before. The new 3D character models can be intimidating to fighting game purist, but when given a chance, the iconic fighters shine like never before.
Comparatively to SF III: 3rd Strike, I still think the prequel is a deeper and better fighting game overall (along with many others); but that certainly doesn't mean SF IV isn't a good game. Capcom demonstrates they can still put out a quality and successful 2D fighting game by "keeping it simple" and returning to its roots.
SF IV has the technical gameplay that hardcore players thrive on, but the same core principles from the original and classic games (Like SF2 or SFA) can be used to play this game in almost the same exact fashion sometimes. On that note, it definitely feels like a game I've played before, which lowers the replayability score just a bit. Lately, I seem to prefer fighting games with more "mix-up" options, and SFIV comes up kinda short in that category. The good news is, pro and casual players alike can find something to enjoy about this game. SF IV has "next-gen 2D fighting game" written all over it and really makes a statement to all the "non fighting game players" out there that indeed: People still love 2D fighting games!
So do I have any major complaints? Firstly, the character openings & endings in the story mode are pretty weak and make little sense. Nearly all of them seem to "stop short" before explaining anything about the actual story. Then there's that cheesy intro/menu song (especially in English)... it's possibly worse than Marvel VS Capcom 2's selection screen song and that's saying A LOT. There are also a few quirky animations here and there, and the fighters don't really move as "naturally" as those from other recent (and past) fighting games. The new "3D cartoony" style works in some instances, but isn't perfect from all angles.
Worth mentioning, I personally don't find myself "craving" to play SF IV quite like I crave to play certain other fighting games... *cough* Tekken 5: DR & Soul Calibur 4 *cough*. It's certainly nothing against 2D fighting games (because you know I love them), it's just that there are less ways to beat my opponents in SF IV, which I consider a flaw since I'm a player that really loves mixing it up. The combo system is solid, but something about it doesn't quite have me hooked. At the end of the day, SF IV is semi-simple old school fun with a next gen paint job, and yes, it's definitely worthy to be called Street Fighter IV... it's a must buy. ~TFG Webmaster
STORY: Just as the excitement of the previous, now legendary tournament finally fades, word of a new world fighting tournament spreads like wildfire among martial artists across the globe, trailing a series of bizarre rumors along behind: The mysterious disappearances of numerous famous fighters. A terrible threat in the form of a new, deadly secret weapon. The possible connection between S.I.N. the sponsor or the new tournament, and the supposedly destroyed Shadaloo.
New fighters also step up and make themselves known, almost as though responding to these troubling rumors. A young man who searches for his lost past. A female agent with the potential to be an executive member of S.I.N. A man who burns with the desire to defeat his greatest rival. A Luchador who seeks the ultimate recipe. Before these newcomers stand those from the previous tournament, each bringing their own renewed determination. Some fight for those dear to them. Some fight to finally take their revenge. And some fight simply so that the entire world will chant their name.
A complex clash of human relationships and the truth of a terrible plot that lurks behind the championship. This is the chaos that Ryu, who has been honing his skills with the simple goal of becoming the ultimate fighter, one beyond the constraints of mere morality, now finds himself thrown into... Amid pursuit and escape, friendship and betrayal, the curtain rises on a new stage of battle!
Master Gouken's return is nothing short of epic.
REVIEW: A 2D fighting game... retaining the classic 6-button layout that the SF2 series made world famous in arcades in the early 90's... featuring stunning next gen 3D graphics & intuitive gameplay... it was certainly a long time coming. Street Fighter IV is no doubt the longest awaited sequel to Capcom's "indestructible" franchise. 2D fighting game fans have been waiting since 1999 for a proper new installment to the Street Fighter series... so was the wait worth it?
Capcom attempted to bring their trademark franchise into 3D once before with the Street Fighter EX series, a trio of games that got a mixed reaction from fans (actually, mostly negative). The technology available at the time SFEX was created didn't allow the characters to fully live up to their 2D counterparts visually and the gameplay didn't quite live up to expectations either. There are pros & cons about a trademark 2D fighting game series going 3D, but in SF4's case, thankfully, the pros convincingly outweigh the cons.
The new 3D graphics format offers incredibly dynamic camera angles during super moves, a variety of extra taunts & animations per character, and also leaves the door open for "alternate costumes" for all characters (which you'd never see in a 2D fighting game)... to name a few things. Since the artists don't have to "hand draw" every frame of animation, it's much easier to add more to the characters, especially in the long run when the time comes to make sequel(s).
Capcom has brought back the entire original cast of Street Fighter II... the 12 most recognizable fighters of the franchise and perhaps the most iconic fighting game characters of all time. It's great to see all the classics brought back in a new light and given a true next gen make-over. Four colorful new fighters have also joined the roster: Crimson Viper, El Fuerte, Abel & Rufus, not to mention an all new boss character, Seth. Additionally, a generous amount of characters were added to the home versions of the game, including: Gen, Rose & Sakura from the Street Fighter Alpha series, and fan favorites: Cammy, Fei Long & Dan Hibiki.
Like any other true Street Fighter fan, I have a certain love for the "classic" SF cast... but as a huge fan of SFIII: 3rd Strike, I also find myself dearly missing some of the "New Generation" cast while playing this game. SF IV actually takes place some time after Super Street Fighter II Turbo & before SF III... which is a crucial and interesting time period in the series, and as I expected, ties in Street Fighter 2's storyline with Street Fighter 3's. Thanks to the choice time period, the future installments of Street Fighter IV will allow for the largest & most diverse line-up in the series' history.
Some of the most epic camera angles ever seen in a fighting game.
The new 3D graphics are have a very original flavor to them among this generation of video games. The eyes are treated to incredibly colorful backgrounds, awesome projectile effects, and unparalleled character detail. Highly entertaining facial expressions activate at seemingly the perfect time, making classic 2D battles more epic than ever thought possible. Seeing your opponent's eyes pop out and their mouth widen, as they cringe in terror before you blast them with a super move, is beyond satisfying! There are ton of other "support" facial animations which occur during gameplay, and sometimes can only be fully appreciated when the game slows down (during a KO or super move)... very cool and original stuff.
Clothing & hair movement in SFIV is also done brilliantly, especially for a 2D fighting game. Even the "background characters" have a handful of diverse animations, adding to the mood of each stage very nicely. There are even more crazy visual effects that make SFIV stand out, such as when a character gets electrocuted... you can actually see the unique internal bone structure of each 3D model, which looks freakin' amazing in motion. Other lighting effects that come from the characters (like Blanka's electric attack) even light up select areas and things in the backgrounds that reflect light. Ohh, and fireballs in SFIV are pure eye candy... easily the best looking video game fireballs of all time!
SFIV's gameplay engine is a mixture of past successful Street Fighter recipes... SFIV has elements from SSF II: Turbo, the Street Fighter Alpha series & the SF III series. However, let's get one thing straight, right off the bat... SFIV is not Super Turbo and it's not 3rd Strike. If you're expecting Super Turbo or Third Strike, you should simply go back and play those games (they're still good!). Open your mind to Street Fighter IV because there's a rewarding yet somewhat "simple" gameplay system intact, which takes the series back to its roots but, at the same time, presents some innovation in its own right. Air blocking and parrying is absent (probably a good thing in this game) but several notable gameplay elements from the SF III series make the return, including dashes (double-tap forward or back), EX Specials (special move with two buttons instead of one), taunts (strong punch + strong kick), two-button throws (weak punch + weak kick), and special-canceling into super moves!
While I was disappointed when I first heard that parrying was gone, after playing SF4, I'm actually glad parrying isn't in this game due to the general flow of the game and fast-paced animation (I'll get to that later). The newly introduced "Focus Attack" is a great substitute for the parry and actually adds "something" to the classic 2D gameplay. The Focus Attack is punishable while being charged, and it takese two hits to knock the charging character out of the move. For example, if Chun-Li begins to charge the move against Ryu, he can hit her with a low punch and then a fireball. The low punch will be absorbed, but the fireball will make contact. A special or super move can be executed right after a successful focus attack, which really make the focus attack a crucial (and fun) element of SFIV's gameplay.
The other new addition to the gameplay is the "Revenge" super meter, which is very similar to the one found in SNK's Samurai Shodown series. When your character takes a certain amount of damage, they will be able to unleash a unique and devastating super move which can turn the tide of the match if connected... as cool as they are, the Revenge or "Ultra Moves" are slightly overpowered in my opinion, makimng comebacks a lot easier to pull off (and far less impressive when it happens). In addition to the Revenge Meter, a classic Super Meter is also in place which is used for EX attacks and basic super moves. This means your character can actually fill up two separate super meters (which can be a very very dangerous thing when used effectively).
The all important animation is something "different" then what many of us SF veterans have come to know and love. The SF3 and SFA series in particular are known for their sharp 2D sprites and crisp, clean animations. Those (now classic) 2D sprites had depth, weight, and their moves just had a certain "pop" to them that never seemed to change. Bringing the series into 3D really changes everything, particularly the flow of the animation. The way SFIV "moves" really takes some getting used to after playing its 2D predecessors for so many years, but the good news is: you can get used to it. Certain "familiar" character animations and moves do look very different in 3D (fast paced if you will), and in some cases, just don't look quite as "pretty" or well-executed (especially when it comes to that ouch factor)... dare I say some of the characters got a bit "sloppy" with their technique? For example, I remember Vega's jumping axe kick looking a hell of a lot cleaner (technique-wise) and much more fluid in his SFA rendition... of course I'm "nitpicking," but this is coming from someone who has studied the classic sprites and animations practically for a living.
SFIV's animation in general seems "sped up" in normal gameplay, but the true beauty of the animation can be fully appreciated when the game slows down during a super move... it's actually pretty amazing how many frames of animation are behind every single move in the game. Many classic priority attacks "look different" and some have even changed all together (nothing wrong with change right?). Jumping is also faster (and choppier) than one might be used to in the SF III or SFA series, but again, you get used to it. At the end of the day, most movements and attacks really do have that spark, and when they connect, it hurts like never before!!! The pulse-pounding camera angles that the 3D graphics engine provides adds brilliant new depth to some of the classic super moves, and nearly every character is represented beautifully. In fact, some characters have definitely seen their finest days in SFIV... but I wouldn't say "all".
The home presentation of Street Fighter IV is well rounded and packs everything a fighting game player needs (and then some). You've got your Arcade Mode, VS Mode, Network Battle, Challenge Mode, Training Mode, Gallery, and plenty of Options. Arcade features some semi-decent animated prologues & endings for every character, in addition to highly entertaining cut-scene "Rival Battles" which use the in-game graphics. The pre-fight, motion captured cinematics before a Rival Fight are simply epic (and borderline emotional)... props to Capcom for going the extra mile and remixing some of the classic BGMs specially for these fights and even including a wide variety of custom dialogue during the fight between rival characters... Woooow! The new character win quotes are not only witty & smart (and sometimes hilarious) but they're even character-specific at times, which is another appreciated detail borrowed from from 3rd Strike.
Challenge Mode offers a variety of ways to test your skills, featuring: Survival, Time Attack & Trial Modes. Going through Challenge Mode is also the path to unlocking alternate character colors & taunts, artwork & sketches, and even various "icons" and "titles" that you can add to your online player profile (there's a ton to unlock)! The trophies/achievements are also fun and very challenging. The PS3 version even features a handful of exclusive items for Playstation Home. The options in SF IV are also pretty epic... you have the ability to use either Japanese or English character voices, and can even choose which characters specifically you want to speak in either language, which is a fighting game first and simply an awesome option to have. I personally find Dan's voice to be horrid in English, but I prefer characters like Guile to speak English, so it's really nice to be able to set your preferences. Along with the voice acting, the music in SFIV is very well done (besides the horribly catchy main theme song which makes me want to strangle the singer, especially during the part when he sings OFF KEY). If for some reason you grow tired of the game's official soundtrack, you can thankfully set your own personal music to play in the background thanks to our next gen game systems... yes!
I can vouch for the PS3 version and say the online mode is very solid. Even on "2/ 3 out-of 5 bars" I've experienced very minimal lag. The complaints I have about online is that, firstly... your online "rank" isn't very clear when you go up against random opponents. Adding titles and icons to your player profile is cool & all, but it's hard to tell what skill level your opponent is (this was fixed in the sequel). I also wish you could create a room that can hold more than 2 players (this was also fixed in the sequel). All in all, the online mode is pretty bare bones but gets the job done.