Ah, Street Fighter IV – probably my favourite game at the moment. I’m waiting to get an Arcade stick – and so haven’t played for a few weeks – as I think I’ve reached my limit on a controller. I can’t press the different buttons quickly enough with only my thumb. ;)
Having only just got the game on the Xbox a month or so ago ( I got it on release for the PC as I didn’t have a 360 at the time) you might expect I would regret the announcement of Super Street Fighter IV so soon after. This is definitely not the case, but then I am a little obsessed…
For anybody who has yet to buy them game, it’s probably worth waiting for SSF4. It’s being released as a standalone budget-priced title (I’m hearing £29.99 RRP) and you won’t need the original at all. They won’t be compatible with each other though – they have different game engines – but if you keep your old copy of SF4 you are guaranteed some bonus goodies. No details have been given on these so they might be rubbish! I’m hoping you get the alternate DLC costumes for free, but I doubt that’s what it is.
I’m 99% sure that if you bought any costumes in SF4 they will be forward-compatible with SSF4 though.
The updates announced so far are:
- Bonus Stages – Beat up a car and barrels just like in Street Fighter II! something that was sorely missed by fans of the series were the bonus stages. They’re back and, unsurprisingly, look and play exactly like they did in SFII (apart from being in fancy 3D of course).
- Ultra Combos – It seems like everybody is getting at least one new Ultra Combo. They are still activated in the same way, but you choose one before you start a battle. Think “Super Arts” in Street Fighter 3.
- Team Battle – A new online mode where you can have up to 8 players competing in a team vs team set-up. 2vs2, 3vs3 or 4vs4 are available. You can fight alongside randoms or invite a friend.
- Lobbies – A new lobby system has been integrated into online play so that you can view other players in your group fighting each other. Not that exciting for the more casual amongst us, but anybody who needs more data to fill their fighting game brain will love it!
- Updated Replay – The replay system has been spruced up a bit. You can now queue up several videos at once rather than select them one at a time. Hopefully they implement the PS3 system of voting for your favourite parts of the video on all platforms too.
- Endless Battle – Do you miss the arcade system of winner stays on? Well now you can experience this on Xbox Live with Endless Battle Mode!
- Gameplay Balancing – No specific details have been provided on what will be balanced but they have said that in general they will not nerf anybody and will instead provide new counter moves to other characters where appropriate. They have said that the Arcade Boss – Seth – will be even stronger!
- New Moves – Maybe it goes without saying, but you can expect new moves for everybody. Also the Focus move is apparently faster to come out and has been fiddled with slightly. Could be interesting.
- New Characters – At least 6 new characters are entering the tournament with Cody, Adon, Guy, Dee Jay and T. Hawk all returning from previous games. A new character Juri has also been announced. She looks very cool and looks to shake things up a bit with her Tae Kwon Do. “About 8” new characters has been bandied about by Capcom so expect to see a few more announced before the game is released in April. Check out the following trailer to see the new 6 in action.
The last bit of news that will surely make everyone happy is that ALL of the characters will be unlocked from the start.
I’m most looking forward to the game engine tweaks so that the fights are even more balanced than they are already. None of the characters announced so far have gotten me particularly excited (except for all-new character Juri). I haven’t played too much of them in past games – beside Guy, who I never really got the hang of.
Characters I would like to see from past Street Fighter games are:
- R. Mika
As long as another grappler (other than T. Hawk, although I will give him a try) is added I will be happy. I currently play as Zangief most of the time (mainly due to a lack of long and complicated chain/cancel combos) so more similar characters would be good for me.
Overall I am in favour of this update. Yes it’s going to arrive just a year after the original but it will hopefully give us a much needed improved game engine. With all of the other updates, in new game modes and characters, I think that £30 RRP is pretty reasonable. I will probably get this at release but available funds will ultimately decide. If you can pre-order at < £20 then I think Mr. Overdraft will come in to play though.
Incremental updates are nothing new to Street Fighter either, in fact without them we wouldn’t have received Super Street Fighter II Turbo (and the HD Remix on Xbox Live), Street Fighter Alpha 3 or Street Fighter III: Third Strike. These 3 games are easily the best of the Street Fighter bunch and are all up there in Top-10 fighting games lists all over the internet.
If you don’t like fighting games this probably isn’t going to change your mind. If you bought the original and haven’t really played it, then you probably don’t need this new version. If you haven’t stopped playing Street Fighter IV since you got it, or still play it on a regular basis, then I think you owe it to your skills to upgrade this April!
Super Street Fighter IV is slated to be released on the 23rd of April 2010 in the UK.