Super Street Fighter IV Review

Developer: Capcom / Publisher: Capcom / ESRB: Teen (Alcohol Reference, Mild Language, Suggestive Themes, Violence) / Played on: Xbox 360 / Price: $39.99

This is Video Game Review on Machinima.com, I’m Justegarde, and I’m performing a half circle fierce punch to spinning pile drive this review of Super Street Fighter IV right to your face. It’s only been a year since Street Fighter IV came out, but I’m going to tell you why this new and improved version is worth the money. Check it out.

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Gameplay

The silky smooth combo-filled action that permeated the first Street Fighter IV returns for another round of action. The 10 new characters inject as much personality as they do variety, though it’s clear that there is a new premium on offense. For example, Sakura’s new second ultra can be comboed out of a normal uppercut, while Dudley’s fists just seem to drain an opponent’s life bar no matter how they’re connecting. Many of the special moves in Super build on the layers of experience you’ll have earned executing advanced techniques in last year’s game.. And this is a good thing; criticism was leveled at Street Fighter IV claiming the game had become too defense-oriented.

The verdict is still out on whether or not newcomers hakan and Juri will stick in the minds of SF fans, but Capcom definitely gave them distinct visual themes and gameplay styles (after all, who doesn’t love a Turkish man who douses himself in oil during a fight?). Ibuki plays very similar to her Street Fighter III iteration, and her combos are heavy on the input buffering. By contrast, Adon and Cody both require advanced use of the focus attack dash cancel to really make the most of their limited repertoire of special moves, but they remain just as deadly. All in all, the characters feel both new and familiar at the same time.

The training mode has been streamlined and expanded. Now there are 24 challenges for each character to train through, and the game doesn’t kick you back to the menu between them, which was a cause of endless frustration in the original version when you wanted to nail that link combo one more time.

On top of this, additional little touches freshen and tighten the experience. Menus have been both cleaned up and contain more information. The classic bonus stages from Street Fighter II that involve destroying a car or breaking barrels return in a blaze of glory. There is functionality for saving and watching replays that isn’t dissimilar from Halo’s saved films feature. What’s more, you can actually invite your friends into a lobby and view your saved matches together. It’s like some nerdy, arcade-inspired online slumber party.

Multiplayer

A load of new multiplayer modes complement the new characters nicely, including several features that should have been in the first edition of the game. Endless Battle mode functions like an arcade cabinet: up to eight players get in line, and it’s a winner-stays, loser-to-the-back-of-the-line affair for as long as you want. Everyone waiting gets to spectate, too, which keeps your attention even when you’re not playing a match.

A Team Battle mode adds the ability for teams of two or four players to fight one another in a single-elimination format to crown a champion, which is an appreciated King of Fighters touch to the game, and will add to the game type variations in tournaments.

There are still some esoteric facets to the ranked match points system that are difficult to decipher, but on the whole it functions similar to the original. All in all, it doesn’t matter what angle you look at it,: Super is built for online multiplayer. The new modes and features encourage groups of friends to pound the crap out of each other on a nightly basis and then relive it through the glory of saved films.

Graphics

SSF IV sports some new costume shaders that give characters a neat comic-styled cross-hatch look, and unlock if the game detects a save file from the original SF IV. Beyond that, a handful of new locations and the new characters, despite coming from disparate Street Fighter titles from years gone by, blend perfectly into the visual theme of the game, which is quite an achievement.

Bottom Line

The facts are this: 10 new characters, new modes, new features, and all for 40 bones. If you’ve already spent your money on the original Street Fighter IV, there is enough material on this disc to fork over the extracash (and besides, your friends will leave you behind and be playing it anyway). There are a couple missteps: you can no longer change individual character voices into different languages (what a weird thing to take out), and DLC has already been announced with added multiplayer features (for Christ’s sake, the game isn’t even out yet!). Super addresses the problems of the original, but withholding content for DLC post-launch is just perpetuating the cycle. Aside from those gripes, Super Street Fighter IV is a damn good time.

9/10

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