Street Fighter IV Review (PS3)

Theyíre back! Street fighters from all over the world have returned once again to enter a tournament and square off against the best there is. If youíve never played a Street Fighter title in the past, then youíll be glad to hear that Street Fighter IV is easy to pick up and play without having to know all the intricate complexities in the fighting system. While itís no mere button-smasher, it shouldnít scare away newcomers due to how inviting the combat is. Street Fighter IV is simply the fighter that every other fighting game wished it was.

Fan favorites such as Ryu, Guile, Blanka, Ken, and Chun Li have all returned along with 10 other fighters from Street Fighter II. Outside of those 15 fighters a few other fighters are showing their friendly faces including: Rose, Gen, Sakura, and Dan. If those donít satisfy your tastes, Capcom has introduced six new fighters that all are vastly different than the returning characters. Rufus is an obese American kung fu fighter who should entertain all players who decide to choose him. Crimson Viper is a sexy agent for weapons manufacturer S.I.N. that is among the most graceful fighters to be included in the series in a long time. Seth is the leader of S.I.N. that towers over his opposition outside of Sagat and Zangief. El Fuerte is a Mexican lucha libre fighter thatís all over the screen with his manic attacks.

Cammy makes her return as an unlockable character
A view from the top

Abel is a bruising French grappler that can whip his enemies from one end of the screen to the other. The last inclusion, and probably the most satisfying to fans, is the introduction of Gouken, Akumaís long thought to be dead brother. So as you can see, Capcom has put together 25 incredibly unique fighters to make use of.

The fighting system thatís incorporated in Street Fighter IV isnít that far removed from Street Fighter II. If youíve played any of the Street Fighter titles in the past youíll feel right at home when you boot up the game and begin your first match. Throwing fireballs, executing uppercuts, and performing Vegaís Izuna Drop all are similar to how they were pulled off in Street Fighter II. The biggest difference from Street Fighter II to Street Fighter IV happens to be the addition of Focus Attacks, Ex attacks and much more.

The Focus Attacks are unblockable counterstrikes that are useful for competitors to take advantage of as they can also absorb a single attack and regenerate health afterwards. Players can play Street Fighter IV without ever using a Focus Attack, but itís to their own benefit to learn how to use them to their full potential. Moving away from the Parry System in Street Fighter III, the Focus Attacks are one of the most important additions to the series as itís a matter of figuring out when is the best opportunity to use the attacks against your opponents and in what arrangement rather than blindly wasting them in battle.

Thatíll teach him for trying to fight in his underwear
Valentineís Day? I guess itís already over for these lovers

On top of that, there are also Super Moves, Ultra Combos, the aforementioned Ex attacks (modified Super Moves) and throws to think about when you are battling offline or online. So as you can see, Street Fighter IV is a virtual chess battle that plays out with a tremendous amount of mayhem going on the screen. If youíve never learned how to cancel maneuvers, itís best you start learning as soon as possible if you want to compete with the best Street Fighter fighters.

As far as game modes go, SFIV has a wide array of modes to play through to keep your attention. The typical Arcade and Versus modes are included where you can play against computer AI and friends, so nothing new there. During the Arcade mode, youíll run into a few cameos from fighters that debuted in SFIII and Street Fighter Alpha. If that doesnít tempt you, there are intros and epilogue anime videos to watch for each competitor.

Thereís a Challenge Mode that allows for three different kinds of challenges for players to compete in that all have Normal and Hard difficulty modes. Time Attack is superb to test your skills as you waste through a set number of opponents by a particular time limit. Survival Mode is a great challenge to see how long you can last with one health bar as you advance to the next opponent. The last Challenge Mode is Trial Mode that assists in teaching you how to learn Super Combos, Ultra combos, regular combinations and cancels. Outside of that, thereís a Training Mode to beat up a dummy or CPU opponent along with a Gallery to visit that lets you look at unlocked art and videos.

Guile is here to save the day
Ken prays his new attire will pave way to a victory

The last game mode that needs mentioning is online battles. Players can jump online and compete against opponents according to skill or connection quality. After every match, players will earn a rank while fighting to prove how great of a fighter they are compared to their competition. The more you win, the faster youíll go up the ranks. The more you lose, well you know the drill Ė the faster youíll go down the ranks. The matches so far have been practically lag free, but that could all change by the time the game launches and millions of gamers worldwide jump online to compete against the best Street Fighter gamers. Sadly, thereís no tournament mode online nor are there any spectator/quarter matches where you can watch two fighters battle and face the eventual winner. Hereís hoping that Capcom brings either of those two game modes they featured in their two downloadable versions of Street Fighter II for the 360 and the PSN to SFIV.

If that hasnít convinced you to pick up a copy of SFIV, maybe this will: the graphics are outstanding! Sure, the character models are hulking monsters compared to their original opposites, but they have now gone 3D and look beautiful in motion. While the game is still fought on a 2D plane, SFIV is one of the best looking fighting games youíll be able to experience on any system to date. Capcom put a tremendous amount of time into developing fluid animations and extravagant effects to go along with their Ultra Combos. This is truly one spectacular fighting game that proves Capcomís focal point Ė Street Fighter is back!

Top Game Moment:
Jumping online and winning your first match against a human opponent is enthralling.

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By crawlroman (SI Core) on Mar 10, 2009
This one is not hardcore but cool =D
By slaythat (SI Veteran Member) on Mar 23, 2009
looks quite good although it could have a lot more in it
By BoneArc (SI Elite) on Apr 10, 2009
This is Called Old School butt-kicking Time!
O Yea!
Guile was always one of my favs :3
By BoneArc (SI Elite) on Apr 10, 2009
wait a minute this is for PS3????? The images to me look like the old game :O
must be seeing bad cause of the graphiques on photos are not what they appear!
By crawlroman (SI Core) on Apr 10, 2009
Well SF is since 80's=D
By slaythat (SI Veteran Member) on Apr 14, 2009
Robust and challenging single-player modes, strong online multiplayer, and gorgeous visuals make this a must-have for any fighter fan.

The Good:
Gorgeous character models, animations, and background art Comprehensive multiplayer modes Accessible but nuanced gameplay Plenty of replay value for completionists.
The Bad:
No tournament mode Online play suffers if either fighter's connection is slow.