Super Street Fighter IV: Fighting in the Street for the fourth time
Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition is the third iteration of the game Street Fighter IV – which is the fourth installment to one of the most popular and well played fighting game series in history. The game was originally released in the arcades as an update to Super Street Fighter IV; it was then ported over to the gaming consoles (Xbox 360 and PS3) and later on the PC. The game has four new additional characters not found in Super Street Fighter IV – namely Yun and Yang – the twins from Street Fighter III, Oni – a new evil character and Evil Ryu – Ryu’s corrupted form. The game has all the tweaks and balance updates from the most recent arcade version of the game. If you have not yet bought a copy of Street Fighter IV then by all means get this version of the game since it is considered the complete version of Street Fighter IV.
The Fighter’s appearance
The game’s developer, Capcom has always been known for their sprite based fighting games. Having made numerous titles in the fighting game genre, they have been considered masters in the art of creating great looking and amazingly animated character sprites for their games. So when Street Fighter IV came out, people were shocked and to some extent disappointed when Capcom decided to go with three-dimensional characters composed of polygons rather than hand drawn sprites. While this is not the first time the Street Fighter cast was represented with polygon based graphics – Street Fighter EX was the first; fans apparently wanted another high definition, frame-heavy sprite based fighter – just like in Street Fighter III. Still, the decision eventually went with using three dimensional characters with cell-shaded graphics – to maintain the character’s anime look. Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition actually looks great, whether or not you prefer the characters to be sprite based or comprised of polygons and textures. From the characters both old and new, each one was designed with great detail to make sure they are both recognizable and impressive to look at.
Animations and special effects are shown with great detail in the game, especially for those heavy hitting Ultra Special moves. Each character looks great as they move, jump and attack – showing off not just grace but also power with each of their attacks. Capcom’s animators obviously took a lot of time in making sure the moves such as Ryu’s classic Hadoken or Guile’s gravity defying Summersault all remain faithful to their original look while adding some new effects to make them look newer and cooler. Newcomers also have their own distinct style and animation, which separates them from the other cast of characters. Eliminating the clone factor a lot of fighting games have when creating a huge cast of fighters.
Background stages in Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition are varied and plentiful. Each one meticulously designed to contain not just great detail and animations but also have that sense of exploration since each stage is set in a different location all over the world. Each character has their own stage, such as Dhalsim’s stage – which is represented by a busy street in India with peddlers and elephants. Although some characters share a common stage, most of the well known characters returning from previous games are provided their own stage. Some stages are just amazing to look at especially since most of them are outdoors. We can not get enough of the Savannah stage where a group of huge hippopotamuses comes too close to the action and gets toppled over when the fighters get slammed to the ground. These additional background animations – while not game affecting, really immerse the player in the game.
Bust a Groove
A fighting game’s full experience would not be complete without a great sound track playing while players kick each others butt. Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition’s sound track is decent to say the least. While there were some memorable tracks that caught our attention, there are some that were just too bland to be even remembered. We guess having a huge lineup of music tracks has its disadvantages. Still, the game offers enough decent tracks to keep us happy and let us be honest here – who has the time to listen to the sound track when we are too busy beating each other up?
Sound effects in a fighting game are just as important as the animations, since a character’s powerful punch would not look convincing if it is accompanied by a weak audio effect. The developers did a great job in recording multiple sound effects to match the game’s huge moves list. While a lot of moves in the game are not based on reality – things like fireballs created from chi energy, all of these moves were provided their own audio effects.
The Rules of Combat
Being the fourth installment to one of the fighting game genre’s iconic franchise, Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition had a lot to live up to, and for us quite frankly, it did live up to its name. The game stayed true to its roots while adding new things to the franchise to make the game appealing to both fans of the series and new players alike. The game still feels like the old Street Fighter games that we grew up with but with some added twist to spice up the classic gameplay.
Super moves and Ultra special moves are added to the game. While Super moves have always been with the series, the new Ultra special attacks were added to enhance the gameplay further more. Ultra special attack can be triggered once the Ultra meter bar at bottom of the screen fills up, these bars are filled when the player’s character gets hit – so the Ultra special attack serves as a comeback move for players on the verge of losing.
Each character has two Ultra special attacks and the players get to choose which one they want to use after picking their character. The Ultra special attack varies with each character, with some it might come in the form of a high damaging projectile attack while others might have a multi-hitting combo for their Ultra special attack. Learning what each Ultra special attack can do and how you can utilize it with your style of playing can be the key to winning an already losing battle.
Combos have always played an important role in fighting games. Gone were the days when mashing buttons would be enough to win a match. Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition provides a feature called Challenge Mode where players can learn and practice combos provided by the developers themselves. No longer do we have to forage videos from the internet or look at game guides from magazines, just to learn a combo or two for our characters. While some of these combos are hard to execute especially for fighting game novices, they are a great way to learn how to link certain moves together to make your own personal combo. Practice makes perfect, that is what we always say when in comes to becoming good in fighting games.
Online versus mode is something a lot of fighting game fans have been requesting ever since video games have gone online. Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition quenches the thirst of gamers wanting to fight other players from other parts of the world more so than tamer online versions such as Street Fighter 2 CE. Having a decent internet connection really helps to ensure that you will not get dropped from a match or experiences a round decision altering lag during your matches. Purchasing a decent controller or better yet a fighting game arcade stick will really benefit those who want to take their game to the next level.
Downloadable content for the game can be purchased online. These include costumes for all the characters in the game. Some DLC packages contain certain costumes for specific characters only, so players should be very careful not to purchase the packages that they do not want. Knowing which DLC package contains the costumes you want will save you a lot of money, especially if you only want to get the costumes for the characters you use.
The Winner of the Match is…
Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition is the definitive version of the fourth installment of the Street Fighter series. It has everything the first two versions have, additional content, characters and updates to fix any issues the previous version might have had. With a huge roster of characters, both returning and new alike, fans of the series will definitely love to play as their favorite characters again while new players will not have any shortage of character choices. Online Versus mode has been added and will surely boost the game’s replay value since players are not limited to finding new people to play with anymore. With great graphics and a decent audio presentation, Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Editioncham is a highly recommendable fighting game for both enthusiasts and new players alike, who are looking for a game to play with family and friends.