Street Fighter IV is a 2.5D fighting game developed by Capcom (with co-development by Dimps) and released by Capcom for arcades (using PC-based Taito Type X2 hardware) in Japan on July 18, 2008, with a limited overseas release on August 13, 2008.
The first new entry in the mainline Street Fighter series in nearly a decade, Street Fighter IV combines the series' traditional 2D gameplay with full 3D graphics (in similar vein to the Street Fighter EX spin-off series). It features a new CG visual style with cel-shading and elements of calligraphy.
The game's story takes place between the events of Street Fighter II and Street Fighter III, involving a World Warrior Tournament held by the mysterious corporation S.I.N. (later revealed to be the Shadaloo Intimidation Network, the weapons division of the criminal organization Shadaloo) and its CEO known simply as Seth. Each fighter has their own reason for entering the tournament, such as the amnesiac Abel learning more about his fated connection with Shadaloo, but the real draw is S.I.N. luring out Ryu to analyze his Satsui no Hadou.
As the game was designed to return the series to its popular Street Fighter II roots, it features the original 12 playable fighters from the Street Fighter II series and plays closer to Super Street Fighter II Turbo, with some elements from Street Fighter III 3rd Strike. New to the series are Focus Attacks (a universal slam attack that can be charged up, absorbing damage that can be recovered over time) and the Revenge Gauge (which fills as the fighter receives damage and is used for powerful cinematic "Ultra Combos").
The arcade version of the game is the first in the series to allow linked LAN multiplayer between separate cabinets, rather than using the same hardware for two linked cabinets (as Player 1 and Player 2). Certain operator settings allow two optional modes: one allowing players to have their first three CPU matches uninterrupted by other players (Beginner Mode) and a single-player "survival mode" (Trial Mode). The Japanese version also features IC card support, allowing players to use Taito NESYS cards to track player information, unlock new costumes, and fight ranked matches.
The game was later ported to the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 on February 2009, featuring six additional characters (from Super Street Fighter II and Street Fighter Alpha), six new stages, optional English voice acting, an in-depth training mode, online multiplayer, updated cutscenes, and alternate costume DLC, with ranked multiplayer later made available as free DLC. It was later ported to the PC on July 2009, including all DLC and utilizing Games for Windows - Live. It also received mobile ports for iOS devices on March 10, 2010 and for certain Android devices on January 5, 2012 (later made available to all Japanese devices on December 30, 2012). The mobile versions are notable for using Bluetooth for multiplayer.
Street Fighter IV later received two major revisions: Super Street Fighter IV in 2010 and Ultra Street Fighter IV in 2014. Each update adds an assortment of new fighters and stages while adding new game modes and mechanics. The mobile version also received its own set of revisions, including Street Fighter IV Volt in 2011 and Street Fighter IV: Champion Edition on 2017. The game received a sequel in 2016 with Street Fighter V.
Despite the game being presented in full 3D, Street Fighter IV plays like a traditional 2D fighting game with the series' standard six-button configuration (split into three punches and three kicks, each of a Light, Medium, and Heavy strength).
As the game was designed to bring the gameplay closer to the Street Fighter II series, certain gameplay mechanics from Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike have been removed, including parries, the Super Art system, and the Judgment and grading systems. Returning from 3rd Strike include:
- Dashing forwards and backwards by double-tapping on the joystick.
- Quickly recovering from a knockdown by pressing downward on the joystick or inputting any Punch and Kick combination, both before hitting the ground.
- The updated throwing command, which is done as a "throw attempt" by pressing LP+LK. As it can be done at any range or ability, it can be "whiffed" into a punishable animation. Players who are grabbed can input the same command to escape out of it.
- The updated taunting (or "Personal Action") command, which is done by pressing HP+HK. Unlike in 3rd Strike, taunting does not provide a special buff.
- EX Special Moves, which allow players to use up 1/4 of their Super Combo Gauge to enhance the properties of certain special moves. This is done by inputting an extra punch button for special moves using a punch button, or an extra kick button for special moves using a kick button.
The universal overhead "Leap Attack" from 3rd Strike has been replaced with a new form of chargeable slam attack known as the "Focus Attack" (which can also be considered a replacement for parrying). In addition, the multiple Super Art Gauges have been replaced with the Super Combo Gauge from Street Fighter II, with each fighter having access to only one Super Combo.
Despite the game being rendered in full 3D, it is notable at the time for using 2D rectangular collision detection rather than 3D polygonal collision detection. It was noted in interviews that it originally used 3D hitboxes, and was changed to 2D at the last minute due to unusual quirks.
Replacing Leap Attacks (and, to a degree, parrying) from Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike is the Focus Attack, known as "Saving Attack" in the Japanese version. By pressing both Medium buttons (MP+MK) on the ground, the fighter performs a unique attack that, if hit correctly, can put the opponent in a unique "crumple" knockdown animation that leaves them open for attack.
The attack itself can be "charged up" by holding the command to become more damaging, with improved chance of a successful crumple. While charging up the attack, the fighter can absorb incoming hits from the opponent, with the incoming damage turning into special damage that can be recovered over time (sometimes known as "provisional" or "white" damage, shown in the vitality gauge for flashing white). Some attacks can break through the Focus Attack to interrupt it. There are three "levels" to this attack based on how much is charged:
- If the attack is a quick uncharged strike, successful hits can only crumple as a counter-hit.
- If the attack is charged briefly, successful hits will always crumple.
- If the attack is fully charged, the attack is unblockable and successful hits will always crumple.
There are some advanced techniques involving Focus Attacks, including "EX Focus" (which allows players can cancel certain special moves into Focus Attacks for 1/2 of the Super Combo Gauge) and "Focus Attack Dash Cancel" (which allows players to cancel their Focus Attack into a dash). These are commonly used in combination during high-level play either to string together large combos (by forward dashing) or to quickly recover from a blocked special move (by backward dashing).
Along with the standard Super Combo Gauge, Street Fighter IV uses a new meter known as the Revenge Gauge, which are used to perform a cinematic super move known as the Ultra Combo.
Unlike the standard Super Combo Gauge, which is generally filled up by inflicting damage and is carried between rounds, the Revenge Gauge is filled up by receiving damage and resets each round. Ultra Combos are generally used towards the end of the round, either as a flashy finishing move or as a comeback mechanic. It is unlikely for the player to perform multiple Ultra Combos in a single round.
When the Revenge Gauge is 1/2 full, the player is able to expend the gauge to perform their Ultra Combo. As the gauge continues to fill up, the damage of the Ultra Combo increases (up to roughly 150% the damage at a full gauge).
The commands for Ultra Combos are mostly the same as the ones for Super Combos, only using all three Punch or Kick buttons instead of one Punch or Kick button. The only notable exception is Akuma's, which uses a modified "Raging Demon" combination (with the joystick backward instead of forward).
The original roster included 16 playable characters (12 of whom return from Street Fighter II), one unplayable boss character, and two hidden boss characters (both time-locked in the arcade version, with Akuma later made playable).
The console versions added six unlockable characters (two from Super Street Fighter II and four from Street Fighter Alpha) and makes all boss characters unlockable for play, making the grand total 25.
It was hinted that both Dee Jay and T. Hawk were close to being included in the console version, which would make the entire cast of Super Street Fighter II Turbo playable. They were, however, brought to Super Street Fighter IV instead.
- Abel - A French practitioner of combat sambo and an amnesiac loner who participates in the tournament to learn about his past, as he was found in the ruins of a Shadaloo laboratory. He is sometimes seen as the game's main protagonist.
- C. Viper - An American agent of S.I.N. who enters the tournament to demonstrate the capabilities of their high-tech Battle Suit prototype (in which she uses a variety of hidden gadgets in battle). Her true identity and goals are unknown.
- El Fuerte - A Mexican luchador and aspiring chef who enters the tournament to not only test his over-the-top lucha libre, but to assemble new recipes from fellow champions.
- Rufus - An obese American martial artist who enters the tournament solely to challenge his self-professed rival Ken, wanting to be America's greatest champion with his own self-taught brand of kung fu.
- Seth - The CEO of S.I.N. and a mysterious being who has collected data from the world's top martial artists and assimilated them into his own deadly style of mixed martial arts (using a device in his torso called the "Tanden Engine"). Using a variety of special abilities identical to those from other characters (such as Guile's Sonic Boom, Ryu's Shoryuken, and Zangief's Spinning Piledriver), he serves as the game's main antagonist and final boss, and is only playable in console versions as an unlockable.
- Gouken - A Japanese martial arts master who is the older brother of Akuma and the mentor to both Ryu and Ken. Having been presumed dead for years by Akuma's hand, he returns to aid Ryu overcome the Satsui no Hadou. He is one of the game's hidden bosses (who was previously time-locked in the arcade version) and is only playable in console versions as an unlockable.
Returning From Street Fighter II
- Ryu - A nomadic martial artist from Japan who continues to seek the path of the "true warrior". However, his complications with the Satsui no Hadou has put him in the sights of S.I.N.
- Ken - A martial arts champion from the U.S.A. and the scion of the Masters Foundation, who reluctantly enters the tournament after a personal challenge from his friendly rival Ryu.
- E. Honda - A sumo wrestler from Japan who continues to travel the world in an effort to spread the appeal of sumo.
- Guile - A Major of the United States Air Force who dedicated his life to taking revenge on M. Bison for the death of his best friend. When the Shadaloo syndicate rears its head again, he uses his military-style martial arts to investigate.
- Chun-Li - An Interpol officer from China who dedicated her life to taking revenge on M. Bison for the death of her father. When the Shadaloo syndicate rears its head again, she uses her kung fu to investigate.
- Blanka - A beastman from Brazil who was recently reunited with his mother, now entering the tournament to earn her love and respect.
- Dhalsim - A mystical yoga master from India who must set aside his pacifism again when his family's village is threatened.
- Balrog (M. Bison in the Japanese version) - A former boxing champion from the U.S.A. who became the top enforcer of Shadaloo, now recruited by S.I.N.
- Vega (Balrog in the Japanese version) - A ninja from Spain who became the top assassin of Shadaloo, now recruited by S.I.N.
- Sagat - A Muay Thai master from Thailand who became the top bodyguard of Shadaloo, entering the tournament in hopes of a rematch with Ryu.
- M. Bison (Vega in the Japanese version) - The former overlord of the Shadaloo crime syndicate, who was believed to be dead in the second World Warrior Tournament. Using a replacement body that can withstand his Psycho Power, he seeks to usher in a new dark age.
- Akuma (Gouki in the Japanese version) - A Japanese martial artist and brother to Ryu's mentor Gouken, losing all compassion after embracing Satsui no Hadou. While seeking worthy opponents, he also tempts Ryu into giving in to the Satsui no Hadou. He is one of the game's hidden bosses (who was previously time-locked in the arcade version), who was made playable in the arcade version after some time and is playable in console versions as an unlockable.
Added in the Console Release
- Fei Long - A kung fu master from Hong Kong who made a big name for himself in martial arts cinema. When S.I.N. is believed to have been involved in injuries to the crew of his latest film, he enters the tournament in search of answers. Returns from Super Street Fighter II.
- Cammy - A member of the British paramilitary unit Delta Red, and was originally brainwashed by Shadaloo to be a soulless assassin. When the Shadaloo syndicate rears its head again, she uses her special forces training to investigate. Returns from Super Street Fighter II.
- Sakura - A high school girl from Japan who idolizes Ryu, entering the tournament to actively seek him out. Returns from Street Fighter Alpha.
- Gen - An elderly martial arts master from China and a former assassin, joining the tournament to not only seek foes worthy of a "fight to the death", but to watch over Chun-Li. Returns from Street Fighter Alpha.
- Rose - A fortune teller from Italy who wields a mysterious force known as Soul Power and harbors a strong connection to M. Bison. She enters the tournament after realizing that Bison has returned, unsure of what happened after he possessed her body. Returns from Street Fighter Alpha.
- Dan - An arrogant martial artist from Japan who specializes in his half-baked fighting style known as Saikyō-ryū. He enters the tournament to promote his failing dojo, having missed the previous World Warrior Tournament. Returns from Street Fighter Alpha.
Official controller and arcade stick
In August 2008, Mad Catz announced that they would be developing the official controller and arcade stick for the console version of Street Fighter IV. There were to be for PS3 and Xbox 360/PC. They where unveiled at the GameStop Expo 2008, and it was announced that the stick's would be easily customized without soldering. These arcade sticks came out with the game's release in February, 17 2009. There are two variations of the sticks with the standard edition costing $70 dollars and the tournament edition (the one pictured on the right) costs $150.
The Tournament Edition Fight Stick uses official Sanwa buttons and joysticks and it is also bigger in size compared to the normal Fight Stick, which has generic buttons and joysticks. Since there was a limited run of TE Sticks at the game's launch, they are rare to find other than on places such as eBay. Because of this Mad Catz released a Round 2 version of the stick, which was black instead of white, and had a different face plate.
The FightPads released included artwork from Akuma, Ken, Ryu, Chun-Li and Blanka. The PS3 version is wireless, while the 360 version is wired.
Limited edition sticks are also being unveiled at Convention through out the year, including:
PAX 2009 "Femme Fatale" Limited Edition
2009 San Diego Comic Con
PlayStation 3 version includes:
- Ryu Action Figurine
- CD Soundtrack
- "Street Fighter IV: The Ties That Bind" Blu-ray Movie Disc
- Collector's Hint Book
- Street Fighter IV Game Disc
- PlayStation Network Voucher for 5 Alternate Costumes (Brawler Pack)
Xbox 360 version includes:
- C.Viper Action Figurine
- CD Soundtrack
- "Street Fighter IV: The Ties That Bind" DVD Game Disc (only playable on an Xbox 360)
- Collector's Hint Book
- Street Fighter IV Game Disc
- Xbox Live Marketplace Voucher for 5 Alternate Costumes (Brawler Pack)
Both versions that were released in the PAL region didn't include the CD Soundtrack but did have both Ryu and C. Viper Figurines, positioned in the familiar settings of the crowded Chinese downtown.
The costume packs cost 320 Microsoft Points, $3.99 on PlayStation Network.
The release schedule for the packs was as follows:
- February 17: Grapplers Pack - Zangief, Rufus, E. Honda, Abel, and El Fuerte
- February 24: Beauty Pack - Chun-Li, C. Viper, Sakura, Cammy, and Rose
- March 3: Shoryuken Pack - Ryu, Ken, Akuma, Gouken, and Dan
- March 10: Shadaloo Pack - Balrog, Vega, Sagat, M. Bison, and Seth
- March 17: Classic Pack - Guile, Blanka, Dhalsim, Fei-Long, and Gen
- April 30: Alternate Costumes Bundle at a discount of 1000 Microsoft Points.
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Free download-able content was also added in the way of Championship Mode, a tournament style network-play mode, where top ranking players will get their data uploaded to Capcom's servers and then it will be freely made available to the public. A Replay mode was also added to the update where, just as the name suggests, you will be able to watch and upload replay data and watch top ranked players as well. You will be able to vote for your favorite replays. Competitors in tournaments will earn GP or "Grade Points" to earn entry into tournaments.
This is the official soundtrack for the game, which also comes with collector's editions of the game.
1. Introduction [0:13]
2. The Next Door [1:34]
3. AC Mode Select Screen -Game Arrange- [0:59]
4. Character Select Screen -Game Arrange- [1:03]
5. Old Temple Stage -Japan- [3:29]
6. Crowded Downtown Stage -China- [3:25]
7. Snowy Rail Yard Stage -Russia- [3:17]
8. Cruise Ship Stern Stage -Europe- [4:01]
9. Beautiful Bay Stage -Vietnam- [3:32]
10. Drive-in at Night Stage -USA- [3:14]
11. Small Airfield Stage -Africa- [3:22]
12. Inland Jungle Stage -Brazil- [3:37]
13. Historic Distillery Stage -Scotland- [3:25]
14. Overpass Stage -Tokyo- [3:22]
15. Volcanic Rim Stage - Street Fighter IV- [3:29]
16. Deserted Temple Stage -Japan- [3:02]
17. Run-down Back Alley Stage -China- [3:25]
18. Morning Mist Bay Stage -Vietnam- [3:32]
19. Pitch-black Jungle Stage -Brazil- [3:37]
20. Secret Laboratory Stage (Round 1) -Unknown- [2:44]
21. Secret Laboratory Stage (Round 2) -Unknown- [3:24]
22. Training Stage [2:21]
23. VS Screen -Normal- [0:10]
24. Results Screen [1:48]
25. A New Warrior Has Entered the Ring [0:11]
26. Continue Screen [0:43]
27. Revival [0:10]
28. Game Over [0:10]
29. CS Lobby Screen [1:13]
30. VS Screen -Rival- [0:10]
31. Congratulations Screen [0:53]
32. AC Ending -Type A- [0:40]
33. AC Ending -Type B- [0:53]
34. AC Ending -Type C- [0:52]
35. AC Ending -Type D- [0:42]
36. AC Ending -Type E- [0:40]
1. The Next Door -Indestructible- [1:34]
2. Theme of Ryu -SFIV Arrange- [3:19]
3. Theme of Ken -SFIV Arrange- [3:25]
4. Theme of Chun-Li -SFIV Arrange- [3:36]
5. Theme of Guile -SFIV Arrange- [3:15]
6. Theme of Zangief -SFIV Arrange- [3:13]
7. Theme of C.Viper [3:02]
8. Theme of Abel [2:34]
9. Theme of Rufus [2:52]
10. Theme of El Fuerte [3:11]
11. Theme of Sagat -SFIV Arrange- [3:15]
12. Theme of Vega -SFIV Arrange- [2:59]
13. Theme of Gouki -SFIV Arrange- [2:52]
14. Theme of Gouken [2:55]
15. Theme of Sakura -SFIV Arrange- [3:14]
16. Theme of Cammy -SFIV Arrange- [2:43]
17. Theme of Rose -SFIV Arrange- [2:50]
18. Theme of Gouki vs. Ryu [1:42]
19. Theme of Gouken vs. Ryu [2:38]
20. Staff Roll [5:22]
21. TGS'08 PV BGM [3:15]
22. Shop PV BGM [5:06]
23. Street Fighter IV -Orchestra ver.- [4:48]
Minimum System Requirements:
OS: Windows XP.
CPU: HT Technology-capable Intel Pentium 4 processor or higher/ Intel Core 2 Duo Processor or higher/ AMD Athion 64.
Memory: Windows Vista 1 GB or more/ Windows XP 1GB or more.
Free Hard Drive space needed: 10GB or more.
Monitor: 640x480 or higher.
Video Card VRAM: 256 MB or more, DirectX 9.0c/Shader 3.0 or higher, NVIDIA GeForce 6600 series or higher.
Sound Card: DirectSound compatible: DirectX 9.0 or higher.
Input Device: Mouse, Keyboard.
Recommended System Requirements
OS: Windows Vista.
CPU: Intel Core i7 Processor or higher/ AMD Athlon 64 X2.
Memory: Windows Vista 2GB or more/Windows XP 2 GB or more.
Free Hard drive space needed: 10GB or more.
Monitor: 1280x720 or higher.
Video Card VRAM: 512 MB or more, NVIDIA GeForce 8800 series or higher, ATI Radeon X1900 or higher.
Input Device: Game Pad (Xbox 360 Controller for Windows recommended).
Internet Environment: Broadband Connection(In order to operate on the internet, a broadband connection is needed).
On March 10th, 2010, the iPhone/ Pod version of Street Fighter 4 was released. The game originally only offered 8 characters (Ryu, Ken, Guile, Dhalsim, Blanka, Abel, Chun-Li and M. Bison) but Capcom is offering free updates that include character additions (Zangief, Cammy, C. Viper and E. Hondahave already been added).
The game offers simplified controls. There are 4 buttons on screen: Punch, Kick, Focus and Special. Since there are no Jab, Strong and Fierce options on screen, the player can only control the strength of their punches and kicks by holding different directional button while taping the respective attack. The "Special" button acts as a shortcut for Special moves. Instead of inputting quarter-circle forward, punch for Ryu's fireball, the player simply press Forward, Special to pull off the move. This makes it a little easier to deal with inputs on what is, essentially, a digital D-pad. Ultras and Supers can also be executed by simply tapping on the meter/ icon for the respective move.
- "Tournament" mode
- "Dojo" mode
- A challenge mode where players can complete various requirements and be given a letter grade upon completion
- Online versus mode