Super Street Fighter IV - PS3 Review
Roughly a year after the release of Street Fighter IV, Capcom have seemingly taken a page from the sports-title book and popped out an annual update for their flagship 2D fighter with Super Street Fighter IV. Granted, given the positive reception we gave Street Fighter IV at Futuregamez, it was hardly a game with flaws that needed fixing. So, have Capcom purely tacked the word 'Super' at the start of the title to milk its loyal fanbase further, or have they added enough extras to warrant the addition of another SF title to your collection? This reviewer's a little torn on the issue, but read on and make a judgement for yourself.
|Fighting in the new laboratory stage.|
So then... what is Capcoms motivation behind the release of Super Street Fighter IV? At a simple level, you can compare it to the difference between Street Fighter II and Super Street Fighter II; new fighters, new stages, extra moves and tweaks. This year's revised title has these changes plus more, including new ultra combos, character tweaks, and an improved online experience.
So you'd like some extra characters? Well... Guy, Cody, Adon are back from the Street Fighter Alpha series; T. Hawk and Dee Jay are back from Super Street Fighter II; Makoto, Ibuki and Dudley have returned from Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike. As if that wasn't already enough, there are two new characters; Juri (a provocative Korean taekwondo master) and Hakan (a Turkish oil wrestler with equally crazy moves), which brings the total roster to a whopping 35 characters, 10 more than Street Fighter IV. Thankfully there's no never-ending unlock process required for the characters, so all 35 will be available to you right off the bat when you first boot up the game.
|The bonus car smashing stage returns.|
Rather than the new characters just being re-skins of existing characters (as you'd expect from any other fighter), this is Street Fighter, so they're well balanced and have a unique enough move-set that they'll actually be worth playing through. On the topic of balance too, several of the existing players have had their strengths (and weaknesses) tweaked since Super Street Fighter IV. So while characters like Sagat and Zangief may have had their power turned down a little, Vega has come off slightly more powerful; they're subtle changes, but definitely ones that existing fans will notice and need to accommodate for.
|Newcomer Juri takes on Vega/M.Bison in SSFIV.|
Super Street Fighter IV's new characters are also selectable in Trial Mode, which will make the road to mastery that little bit less bumpy. While Dave didn't dwell on it too deeply in the SF4 review, Trial Mode is essentially a graded training mode which begins with normal moves, and then extends to specials, supers, combos and chains/links into specials. It definitely gets challenging, but it's this offline training which helps build your skills from the bread-and-butter basics through to the valuable more advanced combos. Characters now have an additional ultra too, which trial mode will certainly help out with mastering for new and old players alike.
In an interesting move, the two game modes Survival and Time Trial have been removed in the upgrade from Street Fighter IV to Super Street Fighter IV; sure, they weren't exactly the most played game modes, but it's odd that they've been pruned. In their place are remastered barrel and car-destruction stages (from the Street Fighter II days of yesteryear), which are also encountered during the arcade game-mode. While these stages aren't in-depth by any stretch of the imagination, they're a welcome hat-tip to fans of the 16-bit title, and newbies will find them a refreshing break on your way through arcade mode.
|Battle in, or above, Metro City.|
Multiplayer has always been at the core of Street Fighter's charm, and fortunately this is an area where Super Street Fighter IV has made some much-needed improvements in the online realm. The lobby system is now improved and what it should have been in Street Fighter IV; the addition of region-locking now enables you to only search for fights in your local global region, keeping those nasty high pings at bay. Endless mode (where the victor stays on) and team battle (up to eight players on two teams battling each other knockout-style) are two of the additional online multiplayer modes; backed by a replay channel which will let you record your own fights and also share them with the world. The much awaited tournament mode still doesn't yet exist sadly, though is due to be released via DLC sometime during June – given the attention to detail for the other online modes, we don't doubt this will be worth the wait.
|DeeJay vs Rufus in Super Street Fighter IV.|
In the upgrade to Super Street Fighter IV, character profile portraits and the menu interface have been given a new lick of paint, as well as the introduction movie. Aside from this, the visuals are virtually the same as those in Street Fighter IV; characters are sufficiently-detailed up close, though at a distance the impact of the 3d visuals is somewhat lost. Fortunately, certain specials and ultras are rewarded with camera panning and artful angles, which help to show off the level of detail that has been put into the visuals. While pretty visuals are often associated with painful load times, an optional 5 Gig HD install helps out by making load times next to unnoticeable.
|Huzzah! Meerkats make it into SSFIV.|
So, the million dollar question – is Super Street Fighter IV worth the extra investment for owners of Street Fighter IV, even if it is at a reduced retail price (RRP $69.95)? The way I see it, if you're a casual gamer who already owns Street Fighter IV and you only give it a spin once every few weeks/months, then this would probably be a superfluous purchase. If you love your Street Fighter and play Street Fighter IV online currently, chances are you've already made the switch to this. However, if you're yet to purchase a fighter for the PS3, this is the best fighter around that money can buy, and looks like it'll hold that crown for some time to come.
Review By: Chris Gobbett
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|GRAPHICS||Classy SF4 visuals, only let down by some disappointing cutscenes.||91%|
|SOUND||Remixed tunes are an artful tribute to past Street Fighters.||84%|
|GAMEPLAY||It's Street Fighter, but raising the bar for online multiplayer||93%|
|VALUE||The best 2D fighter, for a fraction of full-game price?? Giggedy!||88%|
|OVERALL||For a game with such pick-up-and-play charm, as well as long-term replayability, they don't get much better than Super Street Fighter IV. Casual gamers with SFIV might want to think twice before purchase, but to everyone else – grab this one at its already-low price, and you won't be disappointed!||91%|