What can really be said about the legendary Street Fighter franchise that hasn’t already been said?
Street Fighter has had its high moments and low moments over the years. It has had amazing moments in video gaming history, like when Akuma first appeared in the series as a secret final boss. It has also had some of the worst moments in video gaming history, like the introduction of Dan and the entirety of Street Fighter III.
But let’s face it, the Street Fighter franchise has done just about every known trick in the fighting game arsenal. How can you possibly update a franchise that has done everything?
Along came Super Street Fighter 4.
In typical Capcom fashion, this game serves as the successor to Street Fighter 4, the first numbered Street Fighter game since 1999. Developers wanted to create a feel for this game closer to Street Fighter 2 Turbo, a classic in its own right.
Does Super Street Fighter IV hold up, or is it relegated to the tomb of rejected Street Fighter games?
How many times can I say Street Fighter in one article?
Let’s find out. Today, I’m looking at Super Street Fighter IV by Capcom.
What this game does right
This game brings back some old favorites
With 25 characters, Street Fighter IV had a pretty sizable cast, but developers thought that wasn’t enough, adding 10 new characters to the mix.
This game brings back a number of old favourites, like Dee Jay and T. Hawk from Super Street Fighter II, Adon from the original Street Fighter (that’s about 25 years of history there!) and Dudley, Ibuki and Makoto from the Street Fighter III series of games.
The game also introduces two new characters to the group. Juri, who introduces Taekwondo to the Street Fighter universe, and Hakan, a Turkish oil wrestler who makes an… interesting… choice for a fighter.
All in all, every addition to the cast doesn’t take away from the game’s overall balanced gameplay. Some have weaknesses, some have a LOT of weaknesses, but there is always something about these characters that is redeemable when you play as them.
This game is addicting with a group of friends or online.
The game does what many of the older classics in the Street Fighter series were always able to capture. This is a game that you will want to play with friends, at home or online, again and again.
The fighting engine makes it so many inescapable situations in the older games just can’t happen anymore. It provides many different opportunities to balance the game’s fights with combobreakers or moves that don’t totally destroy you upon impact.
This game breaks the Capcom mold.
Meet Super Street Fighter 4: Arcade Edition…
This is one of the first times that I can remember where you could actually download an updated version of the Street Fighter series without having to physically buy another game!
For those gamers that already owned Super Street Fighter IV, you could download the update to Arcade edition for a minimal cost, increasing the staying power of this version of the game, while giving gamers another option if they didn’t want to buy the Arcade Edition fresh off store shelves.
That’s what makes this game even better for me. I have witnessed a major milestone for Capcom.
WHAT THIS GAME DOES WRONG
This game has no story
Yes, this is a fighting game, I know. I’m sure I should be looking elsewhere for my epic sweeping storylines like Xenoblade Chronicle or the Final Fantasy series, but you know what, I am tired of that excuse.
The Mortal Kombat franchise is a fighting game series and it has a pretty solid story for everyone of its characters. The mythology has even spawned action/adventure games, movies and comic books.
How about Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe, this game had cutscenes that took place throughout the entirety of the storymode, bringing in some of the best voice actors in comic cartoons. Mark Hamill even had a role in it!
Soulblade is another example, just about every single version of the game has some type of sweeping story that each of the characters follow.
There is story here in Super Street Fighter IV, but really, all you get is an introduction animation, a random cutscene in the middle with some random fighter and some random declaration from your fighter after you beat Seth, the game’s final boss. That’s it.
If that doesn’t count as a tacked-on storyline, I don’t know what does.
This game has some pretty lame characters
I’ll refer back to our friend Hakan from earlier…
Hakan is one of the strangest things I have seen in a Street Fighter game. And like I said, this is a STREET FIGHTER game, the home of the green man from Brazil, Blanka.
This is not to poke fun at characters like Dan, who is supposed to be a total joke, or Sakura, who isn’t met to have much of a backstory except for being a douting fan girl, but then you have characters who are just total stereotypes or just completely stupid.
And speaking of stupid…
What ever made any of the guys at Capcom think that this was a good idea for a character? I realize this guy existed in Street Fighter IV and wasn’t added in this version of the game, but I don’t care.
Why did this version of the game KEEP HIM IN? Why does he even exist? He’s like the bad lovechild of Dr. Robotnik, Hulk Hogan and a demented clown.
That being said, for all the bad characters out there, nothing can top the awesomeness that Ryu and Akuma.
This game’s final boss is a cheating bastard.
And I thought M Bison was bad…
Seth is without a doubt, the ultimate cheap-shot, cheating computer that I have ever seen at the end of a fighting game and I have beaten Chaos in Dissidia: Final Fantasy.
The main problem with how Seth is programmed in this game is that its difficulty level cannot be changed with the actual in-game difficulty.
Let’s say you are a brand new player and set the game to easy. You plow through the game, only for Seth to mop the floor with you. That’s because Seth is always set to a normal difficulty.
There is no sympathy if you are just learning the game. Seth shows no discrimination in kicking you from one side of the level to the other. He teleports, he throws you into some sort of gravity ball that seems to hit you in ANY POINT on the stage.
And the worst part is, he’s not even a cool villain.
This is M Bison…
This is what a final boss should be like. Note the menacing face, the cool costume, the evil overtones and the glowing hand of doom. This is a cool villain, even if he was played by Raul Julia in a crappy video game movie.
This is Seth…
M Bison he is not…
Regardless of whether you or a fighting game fan or not, this game is worth at least trying with a group of friends. Its a thrill at parties and serves as a great introduction to fighting games in general.
Battles are not overly complicated like something in Virtua Fighter or Mortal Kombat versus DC Universe. And aside from the game’s final boss, you will not run into too many battles that are practically unwinnable unless you are on the insane difficulty levels.
Overall, Super Street Fighter IV is a well done game. Its worth picking up.
Note: Street Fighter count = 25 times
Cracking the Case moves to Tuesdays! Take that, Epic Meal Time!
We’ll take to the skies with Raiden IV!