Arcade Edition's release comes 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 also not immune to making
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 IV player? As one of the
ladder, I'm not one of those players "in tune"
with every single 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?
no Hadou awakens yet again. . .
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
Like other classic characters introduced in the SF4 engine, Yun and
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.
Kong kung-fu brothers
return to the ring!
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"
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.
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.