Mania Grade: A+
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- Game: Street Fighter IV
- Reviewed Platform: PS3
- ESRB: Teen
- Developer: Capcom
- Publisher: Capcom
- Sound: A
- Gameplay: A+
- Replay: A
- Graphics: A
Street Fighter IV
It's good. Really, really good.
By Sam Bishop
February 17, 2009
Capcom gets some major props for their return to the fighting arena in STREET FIGHTER IV(2009).
Sometimes there are games so ridiculously awesome that all of us over here at TotalPlayStation.com can't help but gush about 'em outside our site. Since we know nobody wants to read two massive articles, though, we figured we'd give you, guys a chance to get a more condensed version of our full (and much longer) version -- think of it as an at-a-glance look at what we thought, but not so short that you won't get a general idea of where we're going. Handy, no?
It's been years since fighting games were truly popular, much less relevant. There have been plenty of attempts to update things to try to recapture the glory days of Street Fighter II and its expansions, but none, 2D or 3D, have had the magic that those quarter munchers possessed in spades. Street Fighter IV has that magic. In fact, and this might sound sacrilegious, Street Fighter IV is better.
It's prettier, it's deeper, it's more varied in moves, characters and strategies than the (former) king of tournament fighters, yet possibly one of the most accessible and newbie-friendly fighters you'll ever find. So willing is Street Fighter IV to share the breadth of the total classic 2D fighting experience that it offers dozens of training challenges to get even first-time players up to speed and busting out combos in no time flat.
And then they can go online and challenge people at their skill level and even wager points against 'em in lag-free ranked matches. There's literally months of game to experience here, but it's spoon fed to the player in increasing waves of technique and depth. The built-in lessons also carry with them a handful of awards that can be pinned to an online persona like badges of honor. Yeah, I managed to finish all the lessons for Sakura and now I'm a beast with the chipper little schoolgirl, but I also have the titles and icons to prove it. Plus, I graduated from scrub to experienced player along the way despite being rusty at fighters.
See, everything revolves around the new EX move. Think of it like a replacement for the ultra-hardcore parry moves from Street Fighter III, but far more easy to pull off. It's also simultaneously the gateway to advanced play and a quick 'n dirty way to mix things up for newcomers. If you just tap both medium buttons, it works much like a parry, negating a single attack. Hold it for a bit longer and it still deflects, but also opens the other guy (or girl) up for a follow-up counter-attack combo. Hold it for a few seconds and it becomes an unblockable strike.
EX moves can do everything from cancel out of combos and dashes to break up the flow of a battle to make some special moves more powerful, but they sacrifice the ability to do Super attacks. Luckily, just getting hit fuels the Revenge Meter, which in turn unlocks Ultra combos, so there's always a last resort move. In fact, the two can be combined if both meters are maxed out to deliver the ultimate finishing/hail mary move: the True Ultra.
Despite having over two dozen characters, there's never a sense of unbalance. Anyone can pick anyone and, if they know that character well enough, they can beat anyone else. The level of polish and the raft of unlockables are simply insane, but if you want the full scoop on how all the different moves, modes and advancements work, head on over to TotalPlayStation to check out the full review.