Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition
REVIEW: SSF4: Arcade Edition's release comes about about 3 years after the original Street Fighter 4 hit the arcade scene. Since then, Capcom has treated Street Fighter fans to generous amounts of updates and new content for the evolving game. After all the success and mainstream attention Capcom achieved with SF4, I'm sure many gamers would claim that Capcom is now trying to "milk" Street Fighter IV for all that it's worth, in an effort to make as much money as possible... and to an extent, they're right. However, people should keep things in perspective...
See, even if Capcom wasn't smart enough to keep their hit title new and fresh, people would still be playing vanilla Street Fighter 4... with a passion. That said, there's not much room to complain when they're adding in new characters, cool alternate costumes, and listening close to player feedback when tweaking the game engine. Capcom has certainly done a lot of things right with this era of Street Fighter, but they're certainly not immune to making mistakes...
No doubt the hardcore Street Fighter IV player is happy with the latest incarnation, but what about the casual player ...or the on/off Street Fighter player? As one of the ladder, I'm not one of those players "in tune" with every character match-up, move/hit properties, and all that "pro gamer" stuff that the hardcore Street Fighter crowd goes wild over. That said, what is left for the fighting game player like myself, who greatly appreciates the addition of the "smaller" aesthetic details?
First, let's talk about the core upgrades from Super SF4 to SSF4: Arcade Edition. The arcade version of Super Street Fighter IV adds 4 new characters to the roster: Yun, Yang, Evil Ryu and Oni Akuma, making for a total of 39 fighters in all. Several small tweaks were made to every return character - some attacks & abilities were toned down while others became stronger, in an effort to create a more balanced and "competitive" game. Like with the previous upgrade (SSF4), no entirely "new" moves were added (which I thought the game could've used). On that note, each character only has one intro and one victory animation? I expected each fighter to have at least two by now.
The Replay Channel contains several new features, including: Replay Follower - which allows players to follow their favorite players on the channel, and My Channel Advanced - allowing players to distribute their replay data to up to 50 players. Once players purchase the $15 upgrade to SSF4, they can still play online against players with the original SSF4 since the game allows you to switch between either version at will.
So how are the new fighters? Yun & Yang bring tremendous speed and a "rushdown" style of fighting to the solid line-up. Overall, they're really fun to use and any SFIII player who used them in the older games will most likely feel right at home. Evil Ryu & Oni Akuma offer a new take on the "shoto" style fighter and have some pretty badass moves in general. Even though the "ultra powerful" Evil Ryu and "godlike" Oni have their cool moments, they also seem slightly out of place. Plus, I'm sure many fans would've rather seen the return of other veteran street fighters, instead of more "shotos". Personally, I was hoping to see R. Mika, Karin, Alex, Hugo, Urien, or even Twelve make the cut...
Like other classic characters introduced in the SF4 engine, Yun and Yang's translation isn't what I'd call "perfect". Visually, there are still some elements & animations that don't hold a candle to the "2D days," especially considering the epic SF3 series. In SF3, Yun & Yang had some of the most fluid movements ever to be seen in a fighting game, so I knew the translation to 3D wouldn't be flawless. I see quite a few animations that could've been animated smoother, but overall, the cool kung-fu brothers translated fairly well. Once again, Evil Ryu and Oni might be a little too "godlike" for the Street Fighter universe, but they also have a few convincingly badass animations.
Aside from the new characters and the character balancing, Arcade Edition doesn't offer much else in the way of "new". As a veteran Street Fighter player, I used to enjoy seeing a new take on the backgrounds when a sequel was released (like when SF2 was upgraded to SF2: CE or Turbo). Simply changing the sky color or adding new details in the background went a long way... and I know I'm not the only one who feels that way. These days, Capcom seems to prioritize game/character balancing over any sort of visual enhancements when releasing an upgrade. While that's a commendable move and will please the hardcore player, the part-time players are saying.... "So that's it?"
Arcade Mode prologues and animated endings were added for the 4 new characters, but unfortunately, Capcom didn't add any "rival battles" for them. Anyone hoping to see some cool motion captured pre-fight interactions with Yun & Yang will be left disappointed. I guess we shouldn't expect all the bells & whistles from an upgrade entitled "Arcade Edition," but it surely would've made that extra $15 we shelled out feel a little more worthwhile. However, I'm still not complaining.... The solid Street Fighter 4 gameplay engine stands the test of time.
Last Updated: 11/27/2012 Developer(s): Capcom Publisher(s): Capcom Designer(s): Yoshinori Ono (producer), Daigo Ikeno (character design) Artwork by: Daigo Ikeno Platform(s): Playstation 3, Xbox 360, Arcade Release Date(s): December 16th, 2010 ( Arcade)
June 7th, 2011 (PS3/360)
July 15th, 2011 (PC)
December 13th, 2011 (SSF4: AE 2012 Edition)
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, Rose, Gen, Fei Long, Dan, Sakura, T. Hawk, Dee Jay, Cody, Guy, Adon, Juri, Dudley, Ibuki, Makoto, Hakan, Yun, Yang, Evil Ryu, Oni Akuma
Related Games: Street Fighter 4, Super Street Fighter 4, Super Street Fighter 4: 3D 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, Blazblue: Continuum Shift 2, King of Fighters XIII, Street Fighter X Tekken
Gameplay Engine 8.5 / 10 Story / Theme 6.5 / 10 Overall Graphics 9 / 10 Animation 8.5 / 10 Music / Sound Effects 8 / 10 Innovation 6.5 / 10 Art Direction 7 / 10 Customization 8 / 10 Options / Extras 8 / 10 Intro / Presentation 7.5 / 10 Replayability / Fun 8.5 / 10 "Ouch" Factor 9 / 10 Characters 9 / 10 BOTTOM LINE
8.4 / 10
Review based on PS3 version Final Words: With Arcade Edition, Capcom once again added several new "chess pieces" to the table, giving the hardcore crowd more to play with, and enticing "on-and-off" players to return to the ring. The tried & true SF4 gameplay engine still holds it's own as the leading tournament fighting game, and the balance changes that were made seem to enhance the experience overall. History repeated itself a few months after AE's release with the (free) "ver. 2012" update.
Fans expecting many new bells & whistles may end up disappointed, but the new characters add more to the game than one might think. At the end of the day, paying $15 for an upgrade to one of the best 2D fighting games of this era is certainly worth it... if you're going to play it for the gameplay, that is.
Arcade Edition definitely isn't an entirely "new" experience, but if you still enjoy playing SF4, there's no reason not to pick up the Arcade Edition upgrade. Nonetheless, I think Capcom could've... should've given us just a little more bang for our buck this time. In any case, the SF4 series is still alive and well in the competitive scene, and Capcom was smart to "shuffle the cards" and continue their support for the game. ~TFG Webmaster