The Definitive Current-Gen Street Fighter!
To a good number of folks, Super Street Fighter IV is a simple cash-in for Capcom. To the fans and the hardcore fighters, Super Street Fighter IV is a thank-you letter to the fans. Now most of you ask why the extra characters added now and not last year? Why isn't it DLC? Why not add in the extra online game modes as an update? We can go on and on and on. Well, if you ARE thinking that way, why do games even have sequels if everything can just be downloaded into your HDD? Street Fighter IV packs in more extras than many of the full sequels you find today as just an expansion of last year's game and for the cheaper price, this game is definately going to be worth the time and money you'll be spending for it!
First things first, bonus stages are back in Super Street Fighter IV. Many of us (including myself) have hoped and dreamed to see these short but sweet moments brought to HD, and especially with the Street Fighter IV graphics backing it up the car crusher mode just brings a satisfaction that you wouldn't be able to get with SF2 or SF3, while breaking barrels have never looked so beautiful in a Street Fighter game! You'll hit a bonus stage during Arcade mode about 3 or 4 fights in, and then another 3 or 4 for the second bonus stage. To many of us Street Fighter fans, arcade mode just feels right this time around. Once arcade mode is beaten the bonus stages will be unlocked as challenges which you can play whenever you want. Also, those that found the time trials and survival trials ridiculous will be happy to know that those have been completely taken out. To unlock costumes and taunts in various game modes. For example, the more I play as Akuma, the more costumes and taunts I will unlock. The combo trials are also back to welcome newcomers, refresh veterans, teach a few new combos and moves etc which will unlock titles and icons for your in-game online profile.
Of course bonus stages weren't the biggest additions to the game, you'll find that there are new options to choose from when you're going to take a battle online. There's the usual Ranked Match which allows you to jump right in with quick match or find a match suited to your preferences with custom match or create your own lobby with create match. The new additions include Endless Mode, which is essentially an unranked lobby for 8 players and is...you guessed it, and endless cycle of battles. It was a popular feature included in Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix and only made sense to include it in Street Fighter IV, sadly it wasn't, but it's here now and is a great addition. Second, we have the Team Battle. It's a 2 v 2 game mode which works like a regular online match set up with a twist, you have a partner with you. You and your partner have to defeat both players from the opposing team. The most interesting feature is the replay channel, a feature many thought to be a free update with Street Fighter IV, and although we received the feature, it was a huge disappointment. In Super Street Fighter IV you can watch the previous fights you had online, or watch experts battle it out to learn the tricks to dominate a match. It doesn't have as many features as replay features you might find in other games, but it works well and is yet another great addition to the game.
Finally, the biggest addition in Super Street Fighter IV is the 10 characters added to the 25-character roster. These characters include Turbo II additions Dee-Jay and T-Hawk, Alpha characters Adon, Guy and Cody, Street Fighter 3 vets Ibuki, Makoto and Dudley, and finally new to the Street Fighter series Juri and Hakan. Dee-Jay and T-Hawk play just the way you would expect them to and this also goes for Adon, Guy, and Cody. The Street Fighter 3 characters however, have been tweaked and balanced to fit in to the Street Fighter 4 universe and Capcom did a great job of making sure they were fun to play yet they still play as similar as possible to their SF3 versions. Finally we have the 2 new characters Juri and Hakan. Both are great to play as, Juri has her fast kicks while Hakan has his hilariously slippery grabs and slides which make for unique playstyles for both characters. So with 10 new characters to the SF4 roster, that brings us up to 35 total characters, most characters play different and must be approached with a different strategy, and for those that were annoyed with the Ken-maniacs from SF4...well it seems that most players have either moved on, or the people that purchased Super Street Fighter IV are players that love to take risks and adapt to new character movesets and I've fought a diverse amount of players online.
For half the price, Super Street Fighter IV is a great package for fighting game fans and SF fans alike. It is just an expansion, but remind yourself that a "certain" franchise comes out every year November offering little new things here and there and sells for full price. The amount of content found in Super Street Fighter IV is enough to challenge a full-fledged sequel in terms of content for only half the price! Oh...and one more thing...each character has two ultras (one new ultra added to previous SFIV characters.) All I can say is...SHORYUKEN!