Review By: Siou Choy
|# Of Players:||1-2|
|Accessories:||Xbox Live (online play)|
The Street Fighter series has been considered the standard of all 2D fighting games. The series has once again retained that lofty standard, raising the bar just a little with the release of Super Street Fighter IV. While this may seem at first glance to be a pointless upgrade of Street Fighter IV, the folks at Capcom gave us more than just a normal upgrade this time around. For starters, Capcom has made all 35 characters available at boot up. Among the newly added are fan favorites from Super Street Fighter II Turbo such as Dee-Jay and T. Hawk, and new characters such as Juri and Hakan. Also added are the Car Crusher and Barrel Buster Bonus Stages that were left out of Street Fighter IV, a nice flashback for those who remember them from Super Street Fighter II Turbo. That being said, time has not been so kind to these 2 modes, as something about them just doesn’t seem as cool as it did when they were originally released.
SSFIV really pushes the Microsoft agenda of getting all players online (where they can continue to charge on a monthly basis, and revoke “ownership” of given games at will). There is the regular ranked match, endless battle and team battles. One of the odd options unique to online play is how you’re asked to watch replays of both your own and other gamers' matches (yes, it’s actually an “achievement”, just like “purchase and play your first DLC” is in some of these games lately…talk about a cynical marketing ploy…”hey, look, I got my first achievement! How? I bought it!”). It’s a bit strange to have gamers watching matches they have no involvement with, but you can pick up a thing or two from watching other folks’ fighting style. As noted, if you want to rack up any real achievements in the game, you have no choice but to get online, as Battle Points and Player Points are awarded when you win matches against other players (as opposed to the computer).
Having the “fight request” option turned on during Arcade Mode gets extremely frustrating, to say the least. Lonely players can and will interrupt you every few seconds for matches, which makes it nearly impossible to work your way through arcade mode. That said, with all the characters available at the start of the game, there doesn’t seem to be any real need to complete the game in Arcade Mode – in fact, the whole unspoken M.O. of the game appears to be “the online battle version,” with home play against the computer being somewhat pointless and redundant this time around. However, those seeking battle against gamers around the world are advised to search for themselves in “Xbox Live Battle,” as left to its own devices, the game will auto-select local and/or domestic opponents (zzzzzzz).
One definite improvement in SSFIV is how the characters are more balanced: some being stronger and others being far less cheap in their attacks than in previous series entries. Overall the SSF experience has been improved, inclusive of a fairly full roster: familiar faces from Super Street Fighter II, Street Fighter III and Street Fighter Alpha make their appearance here.
If you’ve played any Street Fighter game released over the last few years, you should have no trouble with the controls. Most characters utilize the same commands for their special moves, with Ryu’s “hadoken” commands being no different than those for Sagat’s “high tiger shot”. As the fight progresses, the super gauge fills, and as you take damage, your revenge gauge fills – filling either gauge allows you to pull off some devastating attacks.
Even though the game is supposed to be an update of Street Fighter IV, the developers didn’t exactly complete the job. A lot of downloadable content was released shortly after the game hit store shelves. While most require Microsoft Points to download (yes, that’s right, buy the game twice, then keep buying updates! This series represents Bill Gates’ dream for the future – welcome to licensing hell, or the debtor nation!), the Tournament Mode will be free to download after June 15th, 2010 (now wasn’t that swell of ‘em?). The developers also removed a few modes of play from SSFIV, namely the Time Trials and Survival Modes. While it’s more than a little bizarre that an “upgrade/update” would remove something present in the original version, these admittedly don’t impact the average fan’s enjoyment of the game, so whatever. But it’s the principle of the thing that turns my stomach…
If you never played a 2D fighting game before and are looking for the newer model, you probably can’t go wrong picking up Super Street Fighter IV. This is a decent 2D fighting game, complete with tools newbies would need to get up to speed. It’s nice to finally have the Car Crusher and Barrel Buster Bonus Stages in the game but these lose whatever limited intrinsic appeal they possess and wear out their welcome rather quickly. Having all characters available at the start of the game leaves little appeal to the prospect of completing the game in Arcade Mode. This essentially leaves you with online play, which can be amusing (or not), depending on who you get matched up with (and we’ve already addressed the bigger picture of the inherent issues related thereto). Capcom has once again proven that they define fighting games.
Posted: 2012-01-07 20:08:04 PST