Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Review: Super Street Fighter IV Arcade Ed.

Capcom's recent release of the Arcade Edition of Super Street Fighter IV offers a comprehensive package that fans of the series and newbies alike will relish. Should you already own one of the previous versions, however, it's questionable whether spending your hard earned cash on what is effectively a pretty tiny update is worthwhile.

Available on both PS3 and 360 in downloadable and boxed form, it includes four new fighters, some balancing tweaks and changes to its online play. There are now 39 fighters includes on the roster, all accessible from the start.
Evil Ryu is the headline act - returning after his debut in Street Fighter Alpha 2. As you'd expect, he's just like the Ryu we all know an love - but with some evil-looking red eyes and flames covering his muscly frame. Oh, and he's got a hole through his chest too! He’s effectively a hybrid of Ryu and Akuma - and is all about the fireballs and kicks, with new ultra and super combos thrown in for good measure.

Next up is Oni, another guy you wouldn't want to meet in a dark alley. You might guess from his wild hair that Oni is a powerful demon-type beast who’s all about energy moves and smashing opponents to bits. His air dash move is particularly impressive, and combined with his various fireballs and smashes, he’s perhaps the most formidable new character. A firm favourite.

Last but by no means least, the final two additions are the Lee brothers. Yang (the one with the spiky hair and rollerblades) and Yun (the one with the cap and skateboard) are fast but perhaps don't pack as much of a punch as the others.

But what else is included I hear you ask? Well, there are some balancing changes but during our play test these proved pretty subtle and all but the most hardcore of Street Fighter fans will notice. More obvious is the revamped replay mode that makes it easier to check out the abilities of some of the elite players and track their fighting prowess. It allows you to “follow” five other players and their replays, show off your own fight replays to up to 50 players, and tap into the Elite Channel where you can watch the greatest matchups of those who have earned a rating of at least 3000 PP. Quite cool if you want to see the best players and learn some new techniques.

So in summary, this is a fantastic game. A must have classic that's had its awesomeness level pushed up a notch. Problem is, anyone that owns one of the previous editions from the past few years will find this version an expensive luxury. Assuming you don't already have Street Fighter IV in your collection, however, we've got to recommend a purchase.

*Reviewed on PS3