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Street Fighter IV Review

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Developer: Capcom Publisher: Capcom
Release Date: February 17, 2009 Available On: PS3 and Xbox 360

Every so often a game comes along that takes the video game world by storm. Sometimes it’s a shooter and sometimes a very deep RPG. Very rarely is it a 2D fighting game. Especially one that is from a franchise that is nearing it’s 23rd anniversary. Alas, Street Fighter IV has been unleashed on both the hardcore and casual gamer and nobody was ready for the explosion of sweet hadouken-y goodness that is Capcom’s latest entry into one of the most popular fighting franchises of all time.

One of the most noticeable things about this particular Street Fighter game is the graphical upgrade. Yes, the fighting is still on a 2D plane, but the graphics have undergone a stunning 3D transformation. There are beautiful backgrounds, realistic (or non-realistic depending on how you look at the art style) character models, and a fast and fluid motion that one could only expect from a Street Fighter game. Most of the high power moves feature “brush stroke” effects added to the edges of the attacking body parts giving them more visual “oomph” and helping to show the power behind the moves. Fleshed out with 25 beautifully rendered characters, this is definitely the most beautiful 2D fighter I have ever seen.

The audio is pretty much what you would expect: lots of Dragon Ball-esque screaming, and actually some pretty funny dialogue, given that the game is translated from Japanese. One of the big boosts to the game is that the characters actually talk during matches and cut scenes. Yes, I said cut scenes in a Street Fighter game. It seems they tried to give it some depth with a story, but it’s very easy to get lost and realize you have no idea what’s going on. Punches and kicks still have that same generic hit sound just like the other Street Fighter games, but for some reason, it’s just so much more awesome.

The gameplay is really what one can expect from the series. “Okay, I picked my guy, now I fight this guy for some reason and I either beat him down or get REALLY frustrated and break my TV Wii-style”. It has not really changed from Street Fighter II Turbo except for the additions of Focus Attacks and Ultra Combos. Focus Attacks set your opponent up for a free hit or a devastating combo, but can be very tricky to pull off against skilled players. You can absorb one hit when charging the attack, but if you get hit again you take the damage of BOTH attacks. Confusing, yes, but when you are able to master it, you will become the most hated Street Fighter player of all of your friends.

Ultra Combos, are the level-the-playing-field attacks. If you take enough damage, your “Ultra Meter” builds up until you can finally unleash a powerful combo that can, at times, take away half of your opponents health. But, just like Focus Attacks, it can be hard to master the timing and skill to actually pull off the move, and the consequences for missing one, can be round-ending for you.

The controls are easy to pick up and learn. They ARE customizable. Though the regular gamepad can be used, it is highly recommended that players looking to get serious should invest the money into a 6 button fight pad or an Arcade Stick for their respected system. Online play is great, and for the most part, lag free. Player Match, Ranked Match, and Championship Mode (tournament style ranked matches) fill out the Xbox Live Battle menu, and will probably keep you entertained for hours to come.

This game is a must have for fans of the series, and is actually highly recommended for casual gamers looking for a good fighter. Games like this are great for parties and as games that you would like to brag about your skills to friends. It is a very high quality, fast paced fighting game, combined with all of the classic fighters plus a few new faces that makes this one of the year’s most awesome titles.

Graphics: 9.5
Sound: 9
Gameplay: 9.5
Creativity: 9.5
Replay Value/Game Length: 10
Final: 9.6
Written by Evan Write a User Review