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Street Fighter 4 Review
publisher: Capcom Entertainment
developer: Capcom Entertainment
|ESRB rating: T
release date: Feb 17, 09 (released)
|» All About Street Fighter 4 on ActionTrip|
Back in the 80s and early 90s, hanging at the locale arcades was once one of our favorite pass times (ah, the good old days when I had braces and kept daydreaming about growing a beard... still do, as matter of fact, even though I'm nearly 30). The point is I enjoyed everything, from side-scrolling 2D platforms to space shooters. Things changed when Street Fighter came out, because it kind of overshadowed every other game for me. Yes, it was that good. Countless fighting games followed, but none were quite as fun as, say, Street Fighter 2. When I heard Capcom decided to go ahead with Street Fighter 4, I cheered at the prospect of seeing my favorite characters back in action - Blanka, Dhalsim, Ryu, Ken and others.
Capcom made an early decision to remain faithful to the SF formula by sticking with the series' traditional 2D-style gameplay. This should please all fans of the series. Another important aspect is the character roster, which encompasses a range of familiar fighters Ryu, Ken, Chun-Li, E. Honda, Zangief, Blanka, Guile, Dhalsim, Balrog, M. Bison, Sagat and Vega. These characters can be chosen right from the start, with new fighters on offer as well - Crimson Viper, Abel, El Fuerte, Rufus, new hidden characters Akuma, Gouken, in addition to the end boss, Seth.
The extensive single-player mode in Street Fighter 4 is one of the best you can hope to find in today's choice of beat-em-ups. The story may not be brilliant, albeit it shouldn't be a problem if you concentrate on the gameplay. It's way better than what we've witnessed in recent releases such as Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe or Soul Calibur IV. The combat commendably feels like the old Street Fighter games. Veteran SF players should instantly remember key moves used by some of their favorite characters. Mark my words though; SF 4 doesn't just represent a mere return to form. The game features numerous improvements to the classic gameplay mechanics of previous titles in the series. Focus attacks are the primary innovation. Using them opens the door to a variety of lethal offensive and defensive moves. Your character's ability to perform focus attacks leads to some impressive combos. If done right, these attacks deal a huge amount of damage to opponents and they look cool to boot. Although this handy Focus system stands as the key ingredient defining the new Street Fighter, you don't need to rely on it in order to claim victory against your adversary. Fights can be won with traditional moves and combos, used in earlier games.
Performing Focus attacks doesn't necessarily restrict you to a specific chain of strikes. The series of Focus moves can be stopped at any time - particularly useful if you want to confuse opponents. Apart from the Focus system and assortment of regular moves, players may employ Ultra Combos and Super Combos. It's very simple: you charge the Ultra meter by receiving damage and then pulling off numerous heavy-damage attacks when the other fighter least expects it. It's easy to turn the tide of battle and increase the excitement of each fight. Charging the Super meter is done by using normal attacks, which may in turn be combined with Super Combo attacks.
The unique art direction may not appeal to everyone, but it does lend a certain dash of originality in a sea of generic anime-flavored fighting games. It's a subtle and good move by Capcom.
Getting into the spirit of Street Fighter 4 should be equally straightforward for fans and newbies alike, which, I think you'll agree, is one of the main advantages of this game. Inexperienced players can have a whirl with other modes such as Trial to master the techniques of each character. It's an excellent option for beginners. This game also provides hours of fun during online matches, in addition to featuring tons of tasty unlockables for determined players. However, the soul of Street Fighter 4 resides in its terrific gameplay mechanics, flavored by a unique and appealing arts style. Top-notch audio evokes the sound of many familiar cries and blows from preceding titles.
Street Fighter 4 is by no means a flawless game. Looking for an in-depth story is pointless, since you won't find it here. Frankly, that's really not what you should be looking for in a fighting game. This title restored our faith in the genre and it rises high above the competition. Capcom deserves credit for this one. It's been a long time since we felt this kind of vibe and the best part is, it's a good slice of gaming even for those who are unfamiliar with previous releases. Nice work.
Now this is a fighting game, a great ride for fans and new-comers, it's an innovative brawler wrapped in a familiar-looking shell;
The story needs more work.
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