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Critical Reception: Capcom's  Super Street Fighter IV

Critical Reception: Capcom's Super Street Fighter IV

April 28, 2010 | By Danny Cowan

April 28, 2010 | By Danny Cowan
More: Console/PC, Columns

This week's edition of Critical Reception examines online reaction to Capcom's one-on-one fighter upgrade Super Street Fighter IV, which adds "a host of improvements, balance tweaks, and new characters." Super Street Fighter IV currently earns a score of 91 out of 100 at's Richard Li gives Super Street Fighter IV an A grade. "In just one year, I've invested over 500 hours in Street Fighter 4," he writes. "I can see myself spending just as much time with Capcom's latest entry in the venerable fighting franchise, Super Street Fighter 4, without ever feeling like I'm playing a mere rehash of the same game."

"Super Street Fighter 4 isn't an incremental upgrade, it's something bigger," Li explains. "The additional ten characters, which raise the roster to 35 from 25 characters, mean that you must develop and learn even more match-up strategies specific to your character of choice. How you approach one character, say, Blanka (fast, unpredictable, and full of annoying tricks), is wildly different than, say, Zangief (a character equivalent to a moving tank)."

These new characters are carefully constructed and expand the core Street Fighter IV experience. "SSF4's new characters feel strong, detailed, and more importantly, convincingly robust," Li praises. "Culled from past Street Fighter games, including Super Street Fighter Super Turbo, the Alpha series, and Street Fighter 3, the new characters are inventively constructed, despite having similar move sets to their past versions."

Super Street Fighter IV also brings a number of gameplay tweaks and balances. "Some characters (Rufus) remain largely the same, but other characters (Guile and Ken) will rise on the character ranking ladder thanks to their noticeable tweaks," Li observes. "And dealing with ten new characters poses a new set of problems and solutions for players. For the most part, the balance decisions feel fair, moving the game in the right direction towards a more level playing field."

"Change can be scary, but it's inevitable," Li concludes. "So long Street Fighter 4, we'll miss your quirks (see: Ryu's superfireball traps, post-round hits, and Sagat's damage output). Now, let's welcome Super Street Fighter 4 with open arms."

Jonathan Ross at Destructoid scores Super Street Fighter IV at 9.5 out of 10. "Since Street Fighter IV, there's been a huge uptick in both the number of companies making fighting games, and the number of gamers interested in fighters," he notes. "Now, just over a year after SFIV's initial console release, Capcom is bringing out Super Street Fighter IV. Is Super a too-early cash in on the success of the previous game, or a welcome upgrade to the series?"

Ross finds that the new characters add a great amount of variety to Street Fighter IV's character lineup. "In all, there are ten new characters," he explains. "Eight should be familiar to fans of the Street Fighter series. Dee Jay, Guy, Ibuki, Dudley, Makoto, Adon, Cody, and T. Hawk are all back in action, and they're joined by two completely new fighters: Juri, a Tae Kwon Do expert working for S.I.N., and Hakan, an oil wrestler with some of the most ridiculous-looking moves ever seen in a Street Fighter game."

"All ten characters, from my playtime with them, seem like they'll be viable choices for combat, although some will definitely take more practice to master than others," Ross warns.

In particular: "Juri appears to be a character that leans fairly heavily towards offense -- most people online have been playing her rather aggressively, because she seems to lack a set of diverse defensive options," Ross writes. "Hakan is a grappler, but the oil mechanic adds an interesting twist. He has to constantly be pouring oil over himself, which briefly leaves him vulnerable; however, being oiled greatly increases his speed and range."

"The one major thing missing at this point is Tournament Mode, which will not be available out of the box," Ross says. Otherwise: "Super Street Fighter IV is basically everything you know from the original SFIV, but with a host of improvements, balance tweaks, and new characters."

GameDaily's Chris Buffa rates Super Street Fighter IV at 10 out of 10. "Street Fighter IV was an excellent mix of gorgeous visuals, accessible controls and old school gameplay," he begins. "Newcomers could instantly grasp the controls and dish out special moves, while hardcore enthusiasts dug a bit deeper to bring out the best in each character.

"The follow-up, Super Street Fighter IV, is more than a simple upgrade. In addition to sporting ten new characters, it includes a handful of cool modes that expand the already engaging online experience, with a future downloadable update that'll make this $39.99 package even more desirable."

These new gameplay modes add a new dimension to Street Fighter IV's competitive online gameplay. "One of Super Street Fighter IV's newest features, Team Battle, splits up to eight world warriors into a four-on-four match-up, but the game also supports two-on-two and three-on-three," Buffa explains. "The first two players fight, with the winner moving on to face the next challenger. Meanwhile, everyone else can communicate in the lobby, commenting on the match or talking trash.

"Next up, we have the Replay Channel, by far the game's coolest addition. Instead of scouring the Internet for the best Street Fighter matches, Capcom lets you do this through Super Street Fighter IV. Everyone can upload matches to the service and save them on the fly to their personal My Channel; they can also invite friends to view these matches. You can even analyze button inputs and damage per move, if you want tips or need to see how a player pulled something off; slow motion is also available."

"About the only thing wrong with the game are the stories for each character," Buffa admits. "Like most fighters, the individual narratives don't make much sense. That would be OK had Capcom given us something pretty to look at, but in this case, there are a bunch of still frames and very little animation."

"That issue aside, Super Street Fighter IV is a necessary upgrade," Buffa notes in conclusion. "Instead of cheating gamers out of their dough, Capcom pumped the game full of attractive features for a budget price. That makes this exciting brawler a must buy for both longtime fans and newcomers looking to make a name for themselves online."

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