Published on May 7th, 2010 | by prime1
Super Street Fighter IV Review
Summary: Street Fighter IV really is a masterclass in design
You know you’ve played too much Street Fighter when you catch your hands acting independently of your brain. Just earlier today, this reviewer glanced down to catch his fingers ritualistically acting out double fireball motions, like an ex-smoker sucking on a pen.
It’s the kind of withdrawal symptoms that can only be cured by Super Street Fighter IV. With its 10 new characters, second Ultras for every fighter and (thank the good Lord Hadoken) online lobbies, this is everything that a beat-‘em-up fan could ask for.
Street Fighter IV really is a masterclass in videogame design, and Super only improves on it. It’s slightly faster, making things more dynamic, but it’s the tiny balancing tweaks that make all the difference. Sagat is slightly weaker, Ryu’s Dragon Punch now hits twice… they’re minute changes that most people won’t even notice, but for the hardcore, the audience that Super Street Fighter IV is actively targeting, these changes mean everything.
They’ll change entire tactical decisions for players who can think three or four moves ahead; who put as much value in feints and fake-outs as they do in their ability to pull off an Ultra combo. After all, in its purest form, Street Fighter is human chess, a battle of minds as much as fingers and thumbs.
Not that those digits of yours are going to be left out though, as the 10 new characters in the game change the battlefield considerably. The chaps and chapesses from Street Fighter 3, for example (Ibuki, Makoto and Dudley) are far more complicated than most of the original cast, but when they’re mastered, they’re absolutely deadly. They’re joined by DeeJay and T-Hawk from the original Super back in the Street Fighter 2 days, who are both polarizing in their appeal and still seem a little out of place.
The Alpha characters – Guy, Cody and Adon – fit in better, straddling the line between complexity and quality and proving excellent additions to the roster. Adon’s screen-darting Jaguar Tooth move is already proving an excellent tool in disarming new players.
They’re joined by Juri, the high-kicking techno girl, and the utterly bizarre Hakan, a Turkish oil wrestler who has to be seen to be believed. It’s now such a well-rounded roster that there always feels like a way to beat even the cheapest of opponents. If they can take you Blanka and your Adon, they might not be able to handle your Makoto. It freshens up the options brilliantly.
With the longetivity in any fighting game coming from multiplayer, it’s a treat to finally have proper online lobbies to enjoy, and we’ll keep you up to date on GameUber.com of their quality. Until then, though, enjoy the finest 2D fighting game ever created.