SSF4 - Less is more
Street Fighter IV came out early last year, and revolutionized 2D/3D fighters, as Street Fighter tends to do. As one of the highest rated games of 2009, Street Fighter was once again deemed the true "King of Fighters". Over 15 months later, many have tried, but none have succeeded in capturing Street Fighter IV's massive commercial appeal. Can essentially bonus content justify shelling out an extra $40? Well, to put it simply - yes. And here's why.
35 characters litter the field in SSF4, which is 10 more than Street Fighter IV had. With each character comes hours and hours of training and honing skills with set character. Every character has unique abilities, and while some may seem similar to each other, rest assured - Capcom's done their best to even out the playing field. While it's out of reason to assume that we all can master each and every character, it's good that if you get bored with a character you've mastered, there can be one more you can hone to perfection. Unless you play as Dan.
As stated before, there are 10 new characters added to the classic roster. Eight are from prior Street Fighter titles, and two are brand new. Fans of Third Strike and the Alpha series will be happy that Ibuki, Makoto, Guy, Dudley, Cody and Adon are back while players from the beginning will eagerly show respect towards T. Hawk and Dee Jay from Super Street Fighter II. The two new fighters were made just for SSF4, and are a whole lot of fun. Hakan, a Turkish Oil-Wrestler, and Juri, a sexy taekwondo virtuoso, bring a big mix into SSF4. Let's start with Hakan. Within your first match of playing with Hakan you’ll realize how damn weird he is. He squeezes people so hard they splurt out of his arms, and his Ultra Combo, well… you'll have to see it to believe it. Juri, on the other hand, works similarly to the middle-weight fighters such as Ryu and Ken, so if you're looking for a familiar start, get hands on with Juri. I know I would ;)
This is essentially an evolution of a great formula - it doesn't dramatically change the whole formula that Street Fighter IV brought to the table. The controls are spot on how they were in Street Fighter IV. Even if you can barely comprehend the concepts that Super Street Fighter IV slaps you in the face with, it’s still a whole lot of fun to pick characters at random and pass the controller around like a hot potato, throwing your arms in the air with each victory and cursing your ass off when you lose. If you've mastered Street Fighter IV, it won't be as rough of a transition as someone who hasn't played Street Fighter since the arcades in 1992. But, some things haven't changed. Some characters remain as overpowered as ever, like Sagat. Many a curse word has been dished out at Sagat. Noobies will flock to this titan as he offers the best overall stats. But, Capcom wouldn't make unbeatable characters. He can be conquered. All the characters from Street Fighter IV are back - and better than ever. Chun-Li, Gen, Seth, Balrog, they're all here. Each character has at least two Ultra Combos, in comparison to one from Street Fighter IV. However, only one Ultra can be selected at a time.
The game features a few more online modes, including Team Battle with up to 8 players. You're constantly in the same lobby with these 7 other people, so if you have a mouth for war, beware, you'll be booted if you act dickish. Replay Channel is it's own crazy thing. It gathers and filters the best online showdowns in it's own organized categories. You can even turn on the player inputs and watch in slo-mo, if you’re that micromanaged and want to know every last move the best dish out. Plain and simple, it's easy to navigate, actually interesting, fun, and organized.
image from GamesRadar
There really is very little to complain about with this game. If I could really call it a complaint, it would by somewhat difficult if you invested so much into Street Fighter IV, there really isn't thaaaat much to pull you into purchasing this game, but with a $40 price tag, it's silly if that's too much to ask. More characters, stages, content, all for 2/3 of the price, you'd be a fool to pass this up. But, if for whatever reason you didn't enjoy Street Fighter IV, you may want to stay away. If you're expecting a revolution again, you'll be disappointed. Think of it as jumping passed a 'Turbo' or 'Hyper Fighting' and straight into the best of the best. Some of Capcom's games this year have been for the most part, underwhelming (Lost Planet 2, Dark Void), but this fully redeems any "harm" Capcom may have done so far. Just be warned - once you get sucked in, it takes a while to get back out.
Final Score: 9.5/10