Street Fighter IV – Review


SFIV lei
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


  1. #1 by Barandum on February 24th, 2009

    I love the game but it is soooo difficult to master. Even on “easy” I could not finish the arcade mode.

  2. #2 by darrin on February 24th, 2009

    When I was a kid, I *worshipped* SFII and Mortal Kombat.

    Today the whole genre seems completely boring. Just two people punching and kicking each other? And you just do the same basic thing over and over? And the game logic seems arbitrary. When someone plays Asteroids or an FPS or a puzzle game, they know exactly why they die and why they clear a level: the rules are very clear. With fighters, players just mash the buttons and watch what happens.

    This game is fascinating from a nostalgia perspective. It’s amazing how they preserved the old style of the game but made everything look a thousand times better.

    This genre looks like you took a game like God of War and stripped out the story, the levels, the adventuring, and character building, and just had the core combat mechanics repeated over and over. And that’s not any fun.

  3. #3 by ehandlr on February 24th, 2009 [ 44542 Points ]

    Amen Darrin. I thought I was alone. Back when it was Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo Championship Edition vs Marvel Version 82…I was deeply in love with this game…..478 iterations later….meh. I played with it…..found it completely boring.

  4. #4 by Tosh Hatch on February 24th, 2009 [ 1102 Points ]

    I liked Street Fighter 2 back in the day. But I grew tired of it after all the turbo, alpha, super, amazing versions since then. I’ve tried pretty much all the fighting games, and I keep coming back to Tekken.

    I noticed several people on my buddy list playing SFIV. I’m not saying it’s a bad game, just not for me. I’d like to try a demo though.

  5. #5 by James on February 24th, 2009

    Here’s an idea. Further to your suggestion of a spectator mode, how about a “winner stays on” mode. ie. of a group of friends, two fight, the rest watch and after the match the loser gives up his go to another friend. Can make a friendly competition of it with a highest streak.

  6. #6 by Trieloth on February 24th, 2009

    Iam a huge fan of Street fighter games but this latest one is garbage. What a waste of money. I have to do alot of adjusting to the moves for characters that I had mastered. Nothing seams right…if they would have named it something else I would have looked at it differently, maybe. Bring on Tekken!

  7. #7 by Lordincubus on February 24th, 2009

    At Darren…This game can be a lot more technical then you think. It is more then just smashing buttons and watch what happens. For good players they smash a button and knew exactly what is going to happen. The tricky part is gauging what you opponent is going to do and how to react. Puzzle games are fun for about 30 seconds. Once you have mastered the game you can do it over and over but the levels are slightly harder. Playing this game is pure thumb /eye coordination. I suggest you get a PSN account and play me online. I’ll show you the Technique. This is my gamer tag.

  8. #8 by Darrin on February 25th, 2009 [ 17143 Points ]

    There’s most definitely skill to playing fighters. I’ve seen expert players play and it’s an awesome sight to see. And there is a precise game logic of hit boxes and and attack timings.

    On the downside, it can be frustrating because the underlying game logic is hard to see on the surface and learning is largely trial and eror.

    But I was being too negative. Fighters can are very pure games of 1-on-1 eye-hand coordination. It’s like a video game equivalent of table tennis or air hockey.

    I’m going to give these more of a shot.


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