The second coming? Yes.
I am not the biggest beat ‘em up fan ever (I prefer to shoot my enemies) but Street Fighter IV has converted me. Never before have I wanted to learn all the characters’ moves rather than button mashing and I wanted to actually master the game.
In a nutshell SFIV is a 2D fighter with 3D graphics. After 15 years Capcom have returned to the original main cast from Street fighter II (with some of the hidden ones) and added a few new characters just for good measure. It’s a great mix of old and new and being a big fan of SFII on the Sega Mega Drive I definitely appreciate the trip down memory lane whilst still keeping things fresh.
The game features your typical arcade mode (with an anime intro and outro for each character), challenge modes (time attacks, survival etc..), and online play as well as a versus mode for 2p fun on one console. The game works flawlessly without any technical issues from frame rate to screen tear to controller responsiveness. Everything works perfectly and you have no excuses to use if you lose.
The game is as welcoming to newcomers as it is to old masters, which is a smart play by Capcom. At first I found the game difficult to beat on easy (note – not the easiest setting) but have since managed to complete it on normal as I have learned the moves. As usual it’s about learning the special moves and then combos but in this iteration they have included a revenge meter which fills up as you get beaten up. It serves as a lifeline which can completely change a match and it’s a welcome addition and one I had fun learning. Along with this are focus attacks which are charged up hard hits. These take a lot of learning about when to be used but once learned, prove useful.
The online matchups work perfectly lag free as long as the room has a good connection (you can check before you play with a handy signal icon). I have not experienced many problems after roughly 10 games online I can only remember one ending in disconnection. When fighting online you can earn medals such as stunning an opponent, winning with a perfect, or defeating an opponent with an ultra combo. These all get added to your profile and add a further incentive to continue playing online. My only problem with online play is that there’s no spectating so you can’t gather a few people together and watch everyone fight each other, which would have added a nice arcade aesthetic. I hope this will be patched in later.
So it plays amazingly, has various modes to play though, online to test yourself against new opponents, and plenty of trophies to collect. Oh and its all technically flawless running perfectly at 60fps.
Street Fighter IV is pretty much perfect. If you want a beat’ em up this is the title to compare all others too. Your move Tekken.
Written by: Trev
- Contributing Editor