REVIEW: The sequel to the wildly popular Street Fighter IV features
a generous 10 new characters made up of 8 returning veterans and 2 newcomers.
Additions to the
roster include: Cody, Guy, Adon, T. Hawk, Dee Jay, Dudley, Ibuki, Makoto, Juri &
Hakan... all superb choices in my opinion. The roster
update is nothing short of spectacular and demonstrates one of the top
"pros" of the series' going with 3D graphics... (there's simply no way any
team of artists could've created 10 high quality, well-animated character
sprites in less than a year.)
match-ups! ... "Time to learn some class, Balrog!"
The new characters from the series past look superb in SF4's "cartoony yet intricately
detailed" 3D art style. The majority
look and sound the way they should, but a few of the characters indeed have their quirks and
"awkward" moments... *sigh* some characters just look much more
natural in 2D.
More importantly, their play-styles are traditional enough to make more old
school Street Fighter players happy and each has his/her fair share of new abilities
& gameplay strategies! The newcomers, Juri & Hakan, offer two exceptionally
unique fighting styles & personalities to the series... both of which are
forces to be reckoned with!
The most significant update in addition to the new characters is that each character now
has two Ultra Combos to choose from before the match begins, not
unlike Super Arts from Street Fighter III. The new ultras are a mixed bag... some are
even more epic than the originals and hit hard, while others seem
less-inspired, overly-exaggerated,and/or involve entirely too much
Returning characters didn't receive any movelist updates but certain move
priorities & abilities were tweaked. The changes are minor ones
overall but what isn't broken doesn't have to be fixed I guess. The combo system is
still solid, fun, and requires a high level of skill to master.
Presentation-wise, SSF IV lives up to the original's... if not succeeding
it. Thankfully, that dreadful "Indestructible" theme song was removed
from the game entirely. The new intro is packed with style, badass remixed
Street Fighter themes from the series' past and present and flows nicely from beginning to end. The main menu is
incredibly slick, and given some much needed personality by badass
character artwork (specific for certain modes mind you). Arcade Mode brings back
the story element for each character, and offers all new prologues &
endings... the character storylines are what you'd come to expect from the
series and don't take themselves too seriously, but most of the story artwork doesn't
fail to impress at least. Also included are some all new "Rival Fight"
sequences which no Street Fighter fan should miss.
Enter Turkish oil
wrestling! ... "Time to oil up!"
The new "Arrange"
character soundtracks build upon SF IV's already solid soundtrack and add
some great flavor to the game. Nearly all of the remixed themes bring a certain nostalgia
that only a true Street Fighter fan can fully appreciate. ;) The 5 new
stages are all visually stimulating and each carries a decent soundtrack of their
own. On the flip side, I was hoping they'd "remix" some of the returning stages
they did in the old days. Call it nitpicking, but I think a change of sky color
and some new background details/characters can go a long way in a sequel. What
also seems to be lacking is a Gallery/Theater mode where you can view artwork
& ending cinematics. The Car
Crusher & Barrel Buster bonus modes have returned for nostalgia value, but
the modes didn't really evolve. I was hoping it would be a bit more
challenging to get a high score... why not make "combos" count as more
points in Barrel Buster?
Now for one of my biggest gripes I have with the game, and it might
surprise you: Why can't I EX cancel or hit my opponent after KO anymore?
Seriously Capcom? You took the time... to take it out of the game?!?
things, why take something like that out? It's fun
little things, like overkill hits, that I love most about fighting games sometimes. Call it nitpicking (again)... but I
really really really enjoy punching (or kicking) my opponent in the gut one more time
after KO'ing them with a light attack. For the record, the lack of this feature lowers my
Replayability / Fun rating by one full point. :(
As expected, the Online Mode improves on the original's layout in every way by offering some
awesome new options like Team Battle, Endless Battle and the all new Replay Channel
where you can
view, save, & share replays. Replay Channel is an especially stylish mode and actually adds quite a
bit of replay value for me (no pun intended)! Lag has been very minimal in my
online experience so
far and I'd say the online mode gets a high passing grade overall.
As a Street Fighter fan of 23 years, I had high hopes for this one... and
overall Capcom didn't disappoint. Once again, the new additions to the roster were all excellent choices by the development
team. I was slightly disappointed with the original Street Fighter IV
Capcom definitely stepped up their game... 35 characters = lots of great match-ups!
I thought the addition of some "new" moves to returning SF IV characters
would've benefited the overall gameplay and mix-up game, but I guess Capcom didn't want to mess with the
balance too much. :/ Understandable, since it is Street Fighter and all.
The 10 new characters and 45 new ultra combos are definitely enough to
warrant a sequel... it's well worth the full price of $40. In closing, SSF IV is an
amazing fighting game sure to please fans new and old; and gives the series the
spark it needs to continue
being one of the top 2D fighting games of our time. Buy it. Play it. ~TFG