Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Review | Super Street Fighter IV

With the release of Super Street Fighter 4 just around the corner, I'd thought I'd treat you, my beloved readers, with a sneak peak of the newest update to Capcom's heavyweight beat 'em up franchise. For the chronically uninformed among you, Street Fighter has been around since the late 80's, and has spawned many different series on almost every console available. Street Fighter 4 is the forth core game of the series, set confusingly enough between the events of 2 and 3. The format is simple: a 2D beat 'em up that uses 3D graphics. However the simple design belies an incredibly deep fighting system that is easy to pick up, but hard to master. People have been playing this game for over 20 years, and it still hasn't lost steam!

For those who have played some form of Street Fighter before (and if you haven't, where on earth have you been?!), SF4 plays more similarly to SF2 and 3 than to any of the more recent VS or alpha series, foregoing giant screen-filling attacks for more technical combos and special moves. All the characters and environments look incredible, and the facial animations are hilarious! Some may feel they take away from the serious tone of street fighter, but how can a game with a giant green electric beast and a stretchy-armed yoga master be taken seriously?

The online component of the game is well developed, with voice chat, match-making and ranking systems all in place. You can even search for a fight based on connection strength, so there is very little lag. If you haven't already taken the fight online, give it a try.

'This is all old news!' I hear you cry. That may be true, but the SUPER Street Fighter version of 4 brings with it new characters, stages, costumes and online modes and addresses balancing issues based on community feedback. With a full 10 new characters (bringing the roster to a screen-bursting 35) and each character able to choose from to different ultra combos, players will find there's a lot of variety to keep them busy.

The new characters are a mix of old favourites from throughout the Street Fighter series (such as Dee Jay from Super Street Fighter 2 and the knife-wielding Cody from the Alpha series) and newcomers like Juri and Hakan. Hakan is a personal favourite of mine, a Turkish oil-wrestler who slips and slides his way across the screen, using his momentum to increase the range of his command throws.

Many people who already own SF4 may wonder whether it's worth shelling out for the update, but with the addition of unique characters like Cody and Hakan, as well as the new online modes and options, it's difficult to see why you shouldn't trade in your existing copy of Street Fighter 4 to get value off the supposedly low retail price. There may not be many arcades around any more, but a well fought round of SSF4 brings back those glory days!

CeX Rathbone Place, London
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