Being a long time fan of the street fighter series (especially Street Fighter 2 and its countless revisions), I have all but gave up on the hope of Capcom releasing a proper sequels for the decade old Street Fighter 3 with the demise of the US arcade scene and the decline of the fighting game genre in the last few years, the announcement of Street Fighter IV genuinely took me by surprise, but a pleasant surprise indeed!
When first booting up the new Street Fighter, the first thing I noticed is the shining new 3D graphics, as Street Fighter has always been THE 2D fighting game out there, this may upset some hardcore Street Fighter fans. But worry not! the 3D is merely cosmetic, once you spend some time playing, you'll forget that it's even modeled in 3D, as the game play is strictly taking place in the side view 2D plane and all the characters are modeled and shaded in a very cartoony/anime style, it only changes camera view when you pull off an super/ultra move that will go into a pre-set animation.
If you have experience with any of the previous street fighters, you'll feel instantly at home with the control, I have no problem pulling off combos I used to do in Street Fighter 2. That doesn't mean the game is just a re-skin of the old games, it added a ton of depth, if you just rely on what works in the old games, you won't get very far. Subtle changes are added to each character, dragon punches (Shoryuken) used to be my answers to pretty much everything, but it's no longer the "God" move anymore in SFIV, it's still very powerful, but you can't just throw it with impunity and hoping it will counter all the opponents' moves. And in SFIV, it's possible to string together long combos and juggling moves that are impossible to do in previous street fighters, although it will take a lot of skills to pull these off, but the result is visually impressive and very satisfying.
And one of the reasons I was dropping quarters after quarters back in the days of Street Fighter 2 is because of the competitive nature of the game, it is fun to play against the CPU, but nothing can compare to playing with a human opponent with a similar skill level as you. Since people aren't going to the arcade anymore, online matches have become a way for people to play together, I was initially worried that the lag will kill any fun we can have playing online (especially after the atrocious network play of Street Fighter 2 Hyper Fighting released a couple of years back), I was surprised that the online play is very fast and responsive, I didn't notice any lag or slowdown during the few rounds I played on XBox Live. One thing I did notice is that with the anonymity of not playing face to face (or side to side), "cheap" moves are much more prevalent compares to playing in the Arcade.
I highly recommend this game to veterans of the series or any fans of fighting games, Street Fighter IV is stylish and deep that rewards tactical thinking as well as lightning reflexes. One thing to keep in mind is that this game should be played with a joystick to get the maximum enjoyment, so pick up the game and a good fighting stick, and I'll see you online, Shoryuken!
What did you think of this review?
Street Fighter IV is a 2008 fighting game produced by Capcom. It is the first numbered Street Fighter game released by Capcom for the arcades since 1999. The coin-operated arcade game was released in Japan on July 18, 2008 with North American arcades importing the machines by August. The console versions for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 are currently scheduled to be released on February 12, 2009 in Japan, February 17 in North America, and February 20 in Europe. A Windows version will follow during the second quarter of 2009.
While Street Fighter IV features models and backgrounds rendered in 3D, the gameplay remains on a traditional 2D plane. Producer Yoshinori Ono has stated that he wanted to keep the game closer to Street Fighter II. A new system called "Focus Attacks" ("Saving Attack" for the Japanese version) has been introduced, as well as Ultra moves. The traditional six-button control scheme returns, with new features and special moves integrated into the input system, mixing classic gameplay with additional innovations.
The game has a very similar feel to Super Street Fighter II Turbo, but also has several features from Street Fighter III 3rd Strike. Pressing both light attack buttons is still for throwing, and both heavy attack buttons are for the personal action or taunts. Both medium attack buttons are for the focus strike. Dashes and quick standing are also in the game. C.Viper is the only character who can perform a high jump.
It was ...