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Submitted by Chris Leyton on February 27 2009 - 12:03

Ryu, Ken, and co are finally back in one of our most anticipated titles ever...

Down, diagonally down-right, right, punch... there's very few commands that are so inextricably woven into a gamer's psyche as the iconic Street Fighter moves.  The significance of Capcom's 2D fighter series cannot be overstated, such was the importance of Street Fighter II during the 90's that the promise of an arcade-authentic port to the SNES back in 1992 is still Capcom's best selling title to-date.  It's hard to imagine anybody not knowing the technique for Ryu's Hadoken, Zangief's devastating spinning piledriver, or Blanka's real name.

A decade of coin chugging updates spurred numerous imitators as the fighter became the most popular and prolific genre of the time.  But the success of the fighter, more specifically the 2D fighter, soon began to suffer.  Following the intricacies of the Alpha/Zero series and the complexities of Street Fighter 3's parrying system, interest in Street Fighter began to wane.  Part of this collapse in popularity can also be attributed to the decline of the arcades and the rising power of the home consoles, while the shift to 3D caused issues that thwarted many other genres that attempted the transition.

Ten years after Street Fighter III: Third Impact seemingly signed off the franchise for good, Ryu, Ken, and co are finally back in the long-awaited console conversion of Street Fighter IV and it's fair to say the absence has made the craving grow stronger; the fighter has gone full circle and we're quite prone to the dextrous challenges that Street Fighter IV poses.  In a calculated response to the apparent link between the increasing complexities following 1993's Super Street Fighter II and the dwindling popularity, Street Fighter IV stems from the SFII School of knocks.  Anybody who can remember the commands for Ryu's Hadoken or Guile's Sonic Boom (the difference between rotate and charge characters), no matter how distant or hazy, will be instantly drawn into Street Fighter IV and partying like it's 1992 all over again.  It should also entertain a new audience with its skilful challenge and prove that great games don't always require a battle rifle or elaborate storylines.

Initially it seems as though Capcom has largely left innovations to the background (which incidentally are incredible variations of classic SFII backdrops), however soon the significance and weight of the all-new Focus system in particular becomes increasingly apparent as a core dynamic to the staple SF gameplay.  The underlying depth of the Focus system as an adaptation of the Alpha Counter firstly provides an accessible means for players to counter an opponent's attack and momentarily make them susceptible to a following attack, adding to the attack/defend, ying/yang swing of a good fighter.  The Focus System is much more then that, however, adding extra layers of technique for masters to grapple with.  Hitting the two medium attack buttons to activate the Focus Attack also serves as a Focus Cancel, abruptly bringing a halt to certain special moves to seamlessly continue into a new attack.  Charging up the Focus Attack to the first stage is also crucial to the Focus Dash, an essential technique to master when it comes to surprising your opponent and gaining the upper hand.  Although Focus commands are initially as simple as pressing two buttons together the underlying additional techniques provide the depth for SF aficionados to appreciate, it's the measure between accessibility and depth that made Street Fighter II a widespread hit, and it's easy to see similar qualities in the fourth instalment.  Perhaps less important but more visually potent are the Ultra Moves.  Tied into the introduction of the Revenge Metre, Ultra Moves are the opposite of the traditional EX Special Move and Super Combos, relying on a gauge that fills up whenever you're on the end of a beating.  It's another factor to the perfectly balanced game of attack/defend that Street Fighter is all about while the 3D camera flourishes are the veritable icing on the cake.

Featuring an impressively comprehensive roster of 24 characters largely returning from Street Fighter II (and its many variations) alongside a handful of new faces, Street Fighter IV's finely tuned balance of characters is largely unmatched.  Although we still maintain that Crimson Viper looks as though she should be in an SNK fighter, it's fair to say the new characters continue in the same vein as the more established faces.  In classic Street Fighter tradition the process of fighting and unlocking hidden characters such as Akuma and Gouken with the requirement of varying numbers of Perfects and Ultra/EX Special finishes poses the typically insane question of your SF skills and provides genuine long-term challenge.  Beyond the customary Arcade (complete with excellent anime sequences) and Vs modes, Street Fighter IV is also packed out with an excellent Challenge mode that pits various different criteria such as beating an opponent in a certain time, and of course the inclusion of online play.

Naturally Street Fighter IV had to feature online play, but like numerous fighters before it, the issue of lag is a constant thorn.  It's not that the game suffers from lag in a noticeable way, as generally online bouts are smooth and responsive, however Street Fighter fanatics will notice a difference that can be measured in individual frames, which seems to be more off-putting for seasoned SF players then it is for newcomers.  That said the decision to recreate an Arcade like experience and allow challengers to jump in even when you're in the middle of a bout in the Arcade mode is a touch of genius, and collecting tokens and titles provides a satisfying sense of progress and reward.

Of course there's also the issue of a wonky d-pad that just can't hack it - particularly for Xbox 360 owners - but we're not going to moan about that too much as there are other alternatives for the slightly more serious SF fan.

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  • Graphics: 89%
     
  • Sound: 83%
     
  • Gameplay: 94%
     
  • Originality: 90%
     
  • Longevity: 82%
     
Overall Score: 9/10
Although it's unlikely to rekindle the impact of Street Fighter II, there's little denying that Street Fighter IV is a return to the joyful simplicity of the game that spawned an entire era.  We've sorely missed the skilful challenge and raw intensity of 2D fighting games, something that Street Fighter IV provides in abundance.

 

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User avatar
By: Anonymous

Added:Mon 28th Feb 2011 20:51, Post No: 69

they cant make no strret fighter movie with out ruining and taking out every cool scene. ken was half japanese and half caucasion and the legend of chunli that [#@!?] who directed the film said that bison and everyone aren't going to where there costumes and gen played by gen come on now, he'd been better playing ken masters. i remember chunli was from china and was chinese how do you get a white girl playing a chinese role. everyone was in shape in the games and the anime. The people from [#@!?] london or wtever the [#@!?] there from ruined mortal kombat 1 and the [#@!?] perv who wriot mk anniahlation just like batman begins was weak and dark knight was weak except the bat motorcycle scene was cool. If they make a sf movie please give fans wt they want. cause we are some fans of sf.


User avatar
By: Anonymous

Added:Thu 30th Apr 2009 22:49, Post No: 68

do you not have any commands for the game?

FanyRoch~~:)


User avatar
By: Anonymous

Added:Wed 29th Apr 2009 01:21, Post No: 67

WHEN WILL THERE EVER BE A STREET FIGHTER MOVIE  THAT IS TRUE TO THE STORY LINE AND CHARACTER MOVES??? Every movie released has left everyone puzzled with questions about the rest of the cast!

CAN SOMEONE STEP IN AND DO THIS CULT CLASSIC VIDEO GAME RIGHT?

Disappointment after disappointment... 

it's been done before guys... With the graphics in most action adventure fantasy movies these days can we please get it right!?! Lets turn fantasy into reality!!! 

 


User avatar
By: Anonymous

Added:Wed 22nd Apr 2009 10:48, Post No: 66

KRDQJ-67XYD-4FV2V-DW84F-WW92B


User avatar
By: Anonymous

Added:Sun 19th Apr 2009 14:30, Post No: 65

How anoying, just tryped all of them in and noe work, they have all been sued but people havent said theyve taken them. *cry*


User avatar
By: Anonymous

Added:Sun 19th Apr 2009 14:27, Post No: 64

JPKJR-4GFYX-XG6TX-3CQ38-MG74B is gone


User avatar
By: Anonymous

Added:Fri 17th Apr 2009 19:21, Post No: 63

this game at bestsku dot com comes with a free chun li figure.


User avatar
By: Jaden Arbiter

Added:Sun 12th Apr 2009 17:12, Post No: 62

You know what a good rating for this game actually is? It's a 4.5. Why? That's because even if I was the number one fan of the original Street Fighter back when it was released 22 years ago in the classic arcade market I would still be as open minded as to say that I never want to see it in my face twenty-two years in the future no matter how much I had once liked it back in the day. What I am denoting is that nothing has changed at all since back then, nothing more than a few pretty looking images and character models in testament to what people would expect from the 21st century. But what ever happened to efficiency and competition? Tradition and bias won't ever get anyone anywhere.


User avatar
By: Jaden Arbiter

Added:Sun 12th Apr 2009 16:56, Post No: 61

Ok so basically all you are saying about Street Fighter IV is an unnecessary briefing of Capcom's 22-year history concerning the series, why seeing 24 original characters return is better than 22, claiming that the whole "focus attack" concept is a seemingly genius mechanic even though its mediocre at best, and the online functionality in IV has a unique play on person vs person fights. So what happened to summarizing sound, graphics, the rest of the gameplay, longevity, and storyline? Someone is being biased while throwing sickingly pretentious words as they review. Just read the review I submittied for it on Gamespot, I try to actually be objective.


User avatar
By: Anonymous

Added:Sun 12th Apr 2009 16:40, Post No: 60

Why did you even bring up Leisure Suit Larry? No one ever said anything about it, you must have some special affection for the game that you can't help but try to deny it every day of your life even if it means blaming other people for liking it when they don't. Unfortunately the pendulum of destiny has already rung, so no matter how much you despair over Leisure Suit Larry ringing in your head every day of your life you will become insane over it without stop and eat unleavened bread for 12 consecutive days and nights before spurting your last breath of air in this world. Good luck with your future, I'm glad I didn't get stuck in your situation.


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