Although Street Fighter III was the sequel to Street Fighter 2, it was considered by many as not a “true” sequel as it included mostly new characters, apart from Ryu and Ken of course. Capcom stated when they announced Street Fighter IV that it was the “true” sequel to Street Fighter 2 as it was going to be more inline with the famous Street Fighter 2 gameplay. Let’s assess whether Capcom’s claims were correct.
At its core, Street Fighter 4 stays true to its Street Fighter 2 roots. The fighting is buttery smooth; the controls even on a standard 360 controller are very responsive. One thing that sets Street Fighter 4 and street fighter games in general apart from other fighters is the balance of the characters. In Street Fighter 4, every character is slightly different and each one, if used properly, can be deadly to oppose. Whichever character(s) you choose to master, you will always be in with a chance. This is what makes street fighter games great.
New to the street fighter series is the introduction of Ultra Moves & Focus Moves!!! Using Super Street Fighter 2 HD as an example, in that you had the special finishing moves where our your special bar had filled up due to the number of good attacks you did and from there you were able to perform an extra powerful move that, if landed correctly would finish off your opponent. In Street Fighter 4, this still exists, but there are a few more moves that can be used. The ultra moves can be performed once you have been hit enough. This may sound weird, but it is used as a revenge move. The ultra move is very powerful and to me the idea of a player being rewarded for getting beaten up is stupid and just the inclusion of this almost ruined the whole Street Fighter 4 experience in my opinion as there have been situations where I have got my opponent to within 1 hit of his death and I have had just under half my energy lost and the opponent pulls out an ultra move due to getting a beating and it finishes me off! It is ridiculous and should either be toned down or removed all together by Capcom. Fortunately as I played the game more, I was able to combat this quite easily, and other players that become reasonably good at the game will too. The new focus move is a welcome addition, but probably an unnecessary one. The focus move is a stun move on your opponent. This is done by holding down the designated button(s) (depends on your controller layout). The longer you hold it, the greater the stun. When used effectively this can be a good weapon. Luckily it is not overpowered like the ultra moves. Overall Street Fighter 4 is one of the best fighting games to play, only hurt slightly by some cheap and overpowered ultra moves.
Street Fighter 4 is the best looking fighting game ever made. Its unique graphic style still retains that street fighter feel while providing gamers with some serious eye candy. The animations are outstanding. I love the facial expressions as the characters get hit. Everything on-screen is so detailed and smooth. This is what a next gen street fighter game is supposed to look like.
The music in Street Fighter 4 doesn’t feel like it belongs in a street fighter game. Although all street fighter games have had cheesy music, Street Fighter 4’s music is bad, especially the music that accompanies the opening sequence. Thankfully the sound effects in Street Fighter 4 are top notch. You can hear every punch and kick and they sound like they hurt when they connect.
This is where Street Fighter 4 should shine, but sadly it falls short of being great. The main reason for this is the same one that seems to creep into the online mode of most games these days, LAG! Sure if you have a one v one match with a friend in the same country as you, your match will be virtually lag free. Try playing against someone with a slow internet connection or a person from overseas and the dreaded lag will appear. Sure, a lot of the time it can be manageable, but especially when you are playing in ranked matches where your opponent is random, it can ruin the experience and put a dent in the points you have earned towards your rank. Another thing that has annoyed a lot of players is the fact that you can only do one v one! There is no lobby system that caters for 4-6 players to be together and take turns playing each other. Now this feature was included in the brilliant Super Street Fighter 2 HD and is included in many other fighting games. To not have it in what should be the king of all fighting games is very disappointing. When the recent updates were announced I was hoping they’d fix some of the above issues. Instead they introduced 2 new modes that really don’t add anything to the game. The Championship mode is fairly simplistic and is really only another type of way for players to gain grade points. The other mode they introduced in the update was a Replay feature. In games like Halo 3, it was cool that you could save a video of a cool bit of play you did during a multiplayer match and upload it to the Bungie site for all to see. In Street Fighter 4, the ability record your fight and share it with others is a bit of a mute point. Watching a replay of a fight is nowhere near as good as watching it actually happen. With the lobby system in Super Street Fighter 2 HD you could do this, so to give us a half baked attempt in a full retail game is useless. Overall, SF4 is disappointing online for ranked matches especially, but it is awesome with friends in local MP matches.
Street Fighter 4 is the best version of a Street Fighter game ever made. It also plays better than any fighting game out and looks gorgeous. Unfortunately the online multiplayer mode lets the game down. However, get a few friends over and play local multiplayer and you will have a blast!
It is a Street Figher game! You won’t find a better controlling fighter with such balanced characters.
Simply stunning, Street Fighter 4 is the best looking fighter to date. Awesome use of 3D environments for a 2D fighter. The animations and attention to detail is amazing.
The online component severely reduces the score, but the local MP can’t be beat.
Awesome sound effects and the obligatory cheesy music which just feels apart of the game after a while.
One of, if not the best fighting game around. If Capcom can actually fix some of the MP issues and introduce more than a one v one lobby, this game could be something very special.
Reviewed & Written By: Craig Cirillo