Review: Super Street Fighter IV
Super Street Fighter IV is the follow up to the incredible Street Fighter IV, and aims to improve on near perfection by adding a whole lot more content. Does it succeed?
- Worth The Time?Yes, undoubtedly if you liked Street Fighter IV.
- Things LovedIt has somehow managed to improve on everything the original brought to the table, more characters, more ultra combos for every character, more stages, the online mode.
- Things HatedThe CPU difficulty can still be quite irregular and hardcore.
- RecommendationI'll put it simply. Any and all fighting game players should get this or at least try it out, and those who enjoyed Street Fighter IV should not hesitate a second to buy this. It's one of the best fighting games you can get.
- Name: Super Street Fighter IV
- Genre: Fighting
- Players: 1-2
- Multiplayer: Online (8 players) and Offline (2 players)
- Platforms: PS3, Xbox 360
- Developer: Dimps, Capcom
- Publisher: Capcom
- Price: R455-499
- Reviewed On: PS3
Street Fighter IV made quite an impact when it was released in February 2009 last year. It was hard to believe how a fighting game that had been out of the picture for about a decade could come back and not only revive the entire series, but outdo everything it has done before. Now, a year later, Capcom have released the first and, as they say, final iteration of the SFIV series, namely Super Street Fighter IV. With this, one of the best fighting games around has just got a whole lot better.
Right out of the box, it’s better to state now that Capcom have truly outdone themselves once again with Super Street Fighter IV, taking what was practically a near perfect Street Fighter fighting game and making it so much better. What we have is a second iteration of Street Fighter IV that features more characters, new stages, more ultra combos, a better online and network mode and many tweaks and gameplay changes that not only alters the gameplay experience but also dramatically changes all 25 of the characters previously featured in the game, mostly due to them all receiving an extra ultra combo, if not various buffs and nerfs, making them even deeper and more fun to learn, master and play – all at a reduced price than what the original game went for. That, can be seen as reason enough to buy this game already. This isn’t just a small update, it’s a whole new world.
In detail, Super Street Fighter IV features ten more characters, two of them entirely new, bringing the roster up to a total of 35 characters. The additions include T. Hawk and Dee Jay, Adon from the original Street Fighter, Cody and Guy from Final Fight, Dudley, Ibuki and Makoto from Street Fighter III and the two new characters, Juri and Hakan. Not only do these characters have two ultra combos each, but all 25 original characters have been given an additional ultra combo to up their arsenal to two, allowing the player to choose, before a match begins, which they’d like to use. What’s truly amazing is that the new characters feel right at home amongst the old, and the game has maintained a very balanced character tier level. Due to the character additions and new ultra combos, entering Super Street Fighter IV really allows players an entirely new playing field to explore as well as allows them to feel completely up to speed with their original play styles and characters. The best part is that all 35 characters are available to you from the start, so you don’t have to go through tedious trials to unlock them like before.
Most of the basics regarding game modes and menu interface have remained the same as they were in Street Fighter IV. There is the Arcade, Training, Versus, Network and Challenge modes, as they were in the original game, except there is even more to play through and enjoy with the character additions, changes and new ultras. Once again the install, found under the System menu, is optional, but highly recommended as it greatly reduces loading times, making them minimal. Again, same as before, you have the option of selecting either English or Japanese voices for the game or, once you complete Arcade mode, select them for individual characters, letting you determine which characters you want to listen to in English or Japanese, which is great. There are also mini games, like the Car Crusher and Barrel Buster, which are reminiscent of Street Fighter II.
Noticeable improvements include the game’s new remixed main menu sound track, which is awesome, the compact and easy-to-navigate menu and character select screen and the slightly easier difficulty level. However, the problem of inconsistency still exists when playing against the CPU opponents, in that, because there are so many difficulty options and such a variety in characters, you could beat some CPU opponents to a pulp without breaking a sweat while other characters, on the same difficulty level, will give you hell. On another point, if you previously owned the DLC costume packs for Street Fighter IV, they will all be available in Super Street Fighter IV, as well as two extra costume styles for each character if a save from the original game is detected on your console.
The online has been very much improved from the last game, and Capcom really have addressed nearly all of the issues. Firstly, aside from the standard Ranked and Standard matches, there are new modes and features, such as Endless Battle, which is like a mini tournament where up to eight players participate in one on one battles in which the winners progress on, Team Battle, where players are divided into two teams, Replay Channel, where you can watch replays with other players or watch those that you have saved or uploaded and, of course, the online leader boards. The network mode has been optimised even more and has received various improvements which make jumping online and playing even smoother and easier. One of the improvements is that you can search for games specifically in your region, so you won’t have to end up in international games and get lag. Ultimately, with match invitations and this system, it’s very easy to get yourself into a lag free game and have a blast.
The awesome thing about Endless Battle, for instance, is that players are free to talk with each other while battles are going on, which can make for some extra entertainment, information swapping and trash talk. In Team Battles, you can have 2v2, 3v3 or 4v4 matches, where players will each have a go at each other, one on one of course, to see which team or group comes out best. Replays being a good thing is self explanatory, as you’ll be able to re-watch awesome matches or other players’ games if you’re interested in learning some new techniques or getting to know your opponents. Ranked matches are a similar deal, they don’t really need an explanation, as they’re simply standard one on one matches that serve as an excuse to beat up people and earn points.
Speaking of, the point system has also been changed and made better. There are now two point systems, that being Battle Points, from the original game, and Player Points. The latter is earned by coming out victorious in online matches and lost by defeat. Over and above that, you gain Battle Points as a rating assigned to the individual character you’re using. The result is that if, let’s say, Ryu is your main character, but you’d prefer to experiment with others, your Battle Points with Ryu won’t be affected while using another character, only your Player Points should you win or lose. Your Battle Points are assigned to individual characters, which is a great new system. Overall, the online has really been improved in all areas, and it’s truly an awesome experience. However, note that Championship Mode is missing, but Capcom have promised to release a Tournament Mode via DLC in June, which will allow for 4 or 8 player tournaments, which will even further expand the competitive aspect of the game.
Graphically, not much has changed, which isn’t a bad thing considering how amazing the first game looked. However, there have been improvements, and the level of detail, animation and visuals are as awesome as ever. Credit can definitely be given to a bunch of the new ultra combos and stages, as they really feel, look and sound incredible. As far as the stages are concerned, there are about five new ones, and all of them are brilliant additions, especially Solar Eclipse, and they are all wonderfully designed. Not a whole lot more can be said regarding Super Street Fighter IV, as it is essentially the same game as the original at the core, except with so many additions and improvements it’s scary. It sometimes even feels like an entirely new game. If you’re curious to find out more about the game, you can read my Street Fighter IV review which tackles the game in great detail.
At the time of Street Fighter IV, we believed that the series had reached its pinnacle. Now, Super Street Fighter IV has simply improved on everything the original game brought to the table, which is an astounding feat on its own. This is truly one of the best fighting games money can buy, and whether you own Street Fighter IV or not, this is one fighter you definitely don’t want to miss. Super Street Fighter IV is hellishly fun, incredibly deep, brilliant and beyond.