Video Game Review: Street Fighter IV

sfiv cover Video Game Review: Street Fighter IV

The 2D fighting game series that took the arcade world by storm is back after another decade of hiatus.  Before Street Fighter IV came out, I wasn’t interested in it because of the change from 2d sprites to 3D polygons. Just recently I went to their Capcom/GameStop event and watched the players compete. It took me back to the old days and decided to buy the game.  I then threw my own little tournament with friends. The game is made for the fans that loved Street Fighter 2 and 2D fighting.

Street Fighter IV has more in common with Street Fighter 2 than it does with Street Fighter 3. You have your regular basic moves, special moves (fireballs, yoga fire), and super combo moves that you can perform when your super meter hit its max.

One of the coolest additions is the Ultra move. The Ultra move can be performed when your revenge meter reaches over 50%. The revenge meter fills up when you’re getting your ass kicked, so you have a chance to make a comeback because the Ultra move is very devastating. With the Ultra and Super moves at your disposal, you can turn the tide of the match.

Another new feature is the Focus attack. It replaces the parrying system from SF3. All you have to do is hold and release the medium punch and kick buttons. The longer you hold the buttons, the stronger it is. It comes in three different levels, the highest one being unblockable while the lowest level can be used to counter.

Besides the moves mentioned above, everything else plays like Street Fighter 2.

The Characters
Rufus, Crimson Viper (my favorite), El Fuerte, and Abel are the new fighters to join the SF universe. Then you got your main eight original characters from SF2: Ryu, Ken, Chun Li, Blanka, Zangief, Dhalsim, Guile, and E. Honda. Finally, you have the original baddies in SF2: Balrog, Vega, Sagat, and M. Bison. The unlockable characters are Cammy, Fei Long, Sakura, Dan, Gen, Rose, Akuma, Gouken, and Seth. The characters are more balanced than SF2, but there will always be characters than can kick more ass than others.

This is one of the reasons to get the game. A Street Fighter game that you can play online using the Playstation Network or Xbox Live. You compete with other players head to head to see who the best fighter is. The more you win, the more Battle Points you gain. Last time I checked, the highest ranking person had over a million battle points.

The coolest thing about Online mode is that you can play your regular Arcade mode and someone online can challenge you out of nowhere, just like at the real arcades. You can play with fighters from all around the world, but it’s not that great when you’re fighting someone with a low networking connection, especially if you’re from the States and they’re from another country.

The only major gripe I have with playing Online is the amount of players that chooses to play either Ken or Ryu. I think I’ve only encountered people playing the new characters either once or twice since the game came out.

Final Thoughts
SFIV focuses on the core gameplay mechanics of SF2 that made the series popular and that will attract new fans. With additions like the Ultra move and Focus attacks, it keeps the hardcore players one step ahead of the curb. Both of these combined brings nostalgia and a fun addictive gameplay that makes SFIV a true fighting gem.

Grade: A-

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