It’s been nearly 10 years since Street Fighter got itself a new numbered title, and in the time between, the fighting genre went stale; dividing itself among players. And, while everything since SF II attempted to transform a casual fighter player into a die hard fan, not even the best could mash together a formula that would bring back that “II Turbo Nostalgia”. Then there was Street Fighter IV.
Game Review: Street Fighter IV
Release: February 18, 2009
Available Platforms: Xbox 360 & PlayStation 3
Players: 1-2 (1-2 Online)
ESRB Rating: T
Not a lot has changed in the Street Fighter series – which is what hardcore fans like. Beautiful 3D character models control no different than in 2D Street Fighter iterations; all while in crisp 3D environments. The character command list, while staying true to its roots, receives a few new wonderful additions like Focus attacks and Ultra combos. Needless to say, if ever you felt comfortable fighting through SF II or III, IV will see you doing Hadoukens and Shoryukens within 10 seconds of your first fight – easy.
19 playable characters wait to battle through every mode fighting fans learned to love; arcade, time trails, survival, and online PvP to name a few. Hand drawn animations lay the story through every character’s arcade run-thru and while they aren’t particularly amazing visually – they have a real traditional anime feel, which I like.
I’ve always held a place in my heart for Street Fighter but haven’t played a fighting game in, what seems like, ages. Capcom really gripped me with almost everything they’ve done here. The art style, is niche, but wonderful. The controls are simple at glance, but when dug into, amazingly complex yet balanced. And the best part – the Street Fighter community will probably play this title until it melts away in their console’s disk tray. Yay for Street Fighter IV!
Don’t be blinded by my enthusiasm for SFIV – it’s not all peaches and cream.
Character models look great but many barely resemble their sprite counter-parts, leaving me with a slightly bad taste in my mouth. I was turned off by the voice acting during cut-scenes; their average at best. Also, Capcom and Japan must really enjoy Street Fighter’s cheese-pop intro music which is practically unbearable. All that said and I haven’t gotten to my biggest complaint – online ranked games need a ranking system. It’s going to be a long night for first time fighters and “n00bs” who want to test themselves against online opponents. Even I went 1-30 before chucking a controller across the room and shutting off the open-online challenge options; this is a huge issue and a major turnoff if you’re looking to enjoy fighting human players. 0 BP ranked players should not be allowed to play 1000 BP or even 300 BP ranked for that matter. Ugh! How disappointing is that?
Final Say: The word fun is an understatement when speaking of SFIV. While I have a huge issue with online fighting – finding buddies that rank in your division won’t be hard and will give you endless hours of training to become the next great street fighter. If any fighting game could be in your catalog, it should be Street Fighter IV for its legacy alone.
**Note: This review was played on a standard 360 controller. I found no issues using the sticks or D-pad to perform commands and ran a command test in Training Mode. 50 Hadouken attempts on both the D-pad and Analog sticks resulted in the following: 48 – 50 successful on Analog sticks & 40 -50 on D-pad. Clearly an arcade stick would be optimal but by NO means required – at least not for me.
(Screens taken from Videogamer.com)