Street Fighter IV must be one of the most-praised titles of the past five years. Certainly by us, who called it “Possibly the best fighting game ever” at launch, only for Capcom to throw that comment in our faces with an updated version a year later. This new edition, now with the suffix ‘Super’, a la number two, added ten new characters and made the online modes so good that one member of our staff played little else for a number of months. It really was a title that defined the fighting genre in the modern day, pushing the Xbox 360 and PS3 in a similar way to the stretch of the SNES and Mega Drive’s capabilities we saw on SFII back almost 20 years ago. So it’s understandable to think that whoever wandered into Capcom HQ and ordered it was ported to a handheld ASAP probably wasn’t the most popular of gentlemen.
That’s not the only pressure SSFIV:3DE is under, either- As the long-awaited Nintendo return of a franchise that made its name as a serious living room attention-contender on the SNES, it’s a fair shout that diehard Ninty-heads will be wanting to see how their old favourite has grown up over the past few years. It’s also got the small matter of being the main big-name launch title for one of the most exciting handhelds in history to deal with. All in all, it’d be understandable if Capcom managed to screw this one up under the pressure.
Thankfully, however, it’s apparent from the moment you launch your first touch screen-based ‘Hadouken!’ that this is a worthy entry into the Street Fighter legacy. The controls have been refined to the point in which all but the most ardent of arcade fans will be content without a ridiculous plug-in arcade stick. The slide pad is incredibly comfortable and provides a far easier method of control for the more agile fighters in particular, even if we found the D-Pad is still king when it comes to hitting combos. There’s no problem with buttons, either, with light and heavy punches and kicks mapped to the face buttons and heavy on the shoulders, making finishers easier to perform than with a 360 pad.
The real talking point as far as the controls go, though, is the inclusion of the aforementioned touch screen combo moves, meaning that all players, no matter what their skill level, can pull of even the most difficult of moves, just by fiddling with an options screen. You could say this lowers the skill level involved and has certainly flooded the online servers (We’ll get onto that) with spamming of these four buttons, but it adds far more accessibility than was available to newbies in any other versions. As players who have frequently struggled to fit light kick - heavy punch - medium punch - medium punch – heavy kick into our ever-filling brains, we’re not against this, although it would be nice if Capcom had included some kind of deterrent on players who use it often besides a counter that says “Cheap Victories” on your online stats.
However, they can be easily turned off by accessing ‘Pro Mode’ on the control set-up (All controls can be completely customised to fit yourself) and can instead be replaced with one button that simultaneously gives you all three punch buttons, for instance, which is a big help, when the other option is pressing X, A and R at the same time. More difficult grabs are also available, which can be, like the simultaneous punches, strung with other moves to form the combos that the n00bz have to rely on being done automatically. This gives a great sense of satisfaction to pro players and almost makes up for losing online to a player who used two attacks in an entire 99 second battle.
However, it’s not worth panicking over these cheap fighters, as you’re main competition online will, on the whole, be people of a superior skill level than you. While we did have some problems connecting, once you get a game the service is smooth and almost entirely lag-free. Our only real gripe (Besides the odd issue with matchmaking) is that if you want to face a player using the new 3D ‘Dynamic View’, you have to use it yourself, which can get annoying for those of us who, call us old fashioned, but still prefer the standard 2D viewpoint.
Yes, this camera angle has been another talking point and something Capcom have very much been bigging up, but we found it a bit disappointing, although it’s not the gamebreaker some fans seem to think it is. While it shows off what the 3DS can do a little bit more than the standard viewpoint, it doesn’t make much of a difference, as judging distances in a flat 2D plane has never been a problem. Menus, maps and backgrounds otherwise provide some decent enough 3D wizardry, but it’s nothing that’ll have you bragging to your boring 3DS-free mates.
Something that will, however, is the fact that all this fits onto the 3DS- It’s an unconventional launch title, in that it shows off what the system can do, but in terms of power under the bonnet, rather than sticking with a gimmick or relying on flashy graphics. Not that it doesn’t look good- The low-res versions of the PS3 models look fantastic, as do the (Unfortunately static) backgrounds. The problem with Street Fighter IV is that you can’t help but praise it, and while this may not be the definitive version of “The best fighting game ever”, it’s certainly a very good stab at squeezing all the punchy goodness of Street Fighter onto such a tiny, miraculous screen.
FUN FACT: For the character of Rufus, the developers implamented advanced breast physics, for the first time, on to a man, so his belly wobbles accurately. This was the first time that such 'advancements' in technoglogy had been used on a male character.
I'm a huge fan of Super Street Fighter IV 3D- It's brilliant visually, shows off the 3D effects very well, highly addictive on Arcade Mode and the online modes are enjoyable. There are a few negatives, mind, I don't care much for the 3D Versus mode and there's a little lag online- but personally, I would have given it a 90% and a Mareep of Approval.
You are viewing the text version of this site.
Need help? check the requirements page.