When Capcom announced they were doing a special edition of Street Fighter IV, I wasn't surprised. As one who has played the various editions of Street Fighter II, it was natural for Capcom to go and make an updated Street Fighter IV. I was a little disappointed that IV did not have the hooks needed to do a DLC, but Capcom's trying to make amends by making Super Street Fighter IV better and less expensive. Super Street Fighter IV is the first and only stand alone update for Street Fighter IV that will be produced by Capcom. So how does it stand up to the excellent fighter that preceded it?
I won't get into the basics of the gameplay as you can read my Street Fighter IV review for that but in a nutshell, the game plays just like Street Fighter IV which is a solid fighter and adds a few new little features and tweaks. One of the things that seems to have been changed is that the boss, Seth, looks to have been toned down. He was pretty damn cheap in Street Fighter IV, and still is in Super Street Fighter IV, but not as much so. The rest of the game feels just like it does compared to Street Fighter IV with some tweaks to some of the characters. That's great, as the fighting in IV was solid and there shouldn't have been any need to really adjust anything for Super Street Fighter IV. I found myself very comfortable and at ease using the same characters in IV as I did in Super Street Fighter IV.
For the biggest addition, we turn to the brand new characters that are introduced in this game that range from old favorites from past versions to built-from-scratch fighters that are debuting with this title. Fighters from past Street Fighter games such as T.Hawk, Dee Jay, Cody, and Guy. My hatered for fighting T.Hawk returns in this game . Juri and Hakan are the two brand new characters to the series. The characters from past games all get the Street Fighter IV make over as you would expect, so I'll talk a little more about Juri and Hakan. Juri's specialty is Taekwondo, so she has an emphasis on kicking attacks. Hakan's pretty unique to me as he's a wrestler who likes to pour oil on himself. He can slide pretty far and has powerful throws. By oiling up, you'll add to Hakan's Focus range and some abilities. The two new fighters are a fun addition and I enjoyed using them as a change of pace to the others. A total of ten have been added, bumping up the amount of fighters to 35 and the great thing about it is that they are all unlocked. That’s right, you don’t have to go about finishing the game multiple times just to be able to have some characters selectable to play with. I’m really glad Capcom decided to go this route, as I feel the technique of unlocking characters is a little outdated.
When playing single player, you'll get the anime cut scenes again just like in Street Fighter IV. Like Street Fighter IV as well, they can be rather silly and not make much sense. I do like the contrast with the anime cut scenes to the style that the game uses, though, and you can re-watch them when you finish the game with a character. Some like it, some don't; I didn't have any problems with them.
Something added to Super Street Fighter IV is the the choice of an Ultra to use. You get from two to four to choose from, depending on your character, and what’s nice is that the various Ultras are a little different in how they attack. When I talked to Seth Killian about this at CES, he equated it to outfitting your fighter with a kit of your choosing in order to customize your fighter a little bit. For example, if you’re adept at air attacks, you might want to choose an Ultra that’s air based should the character have one. It can be a strategy to select the Ultra based on the opponent you are facing. It also adds a little variety and I hope that we can see some more Ultras added in via DLC in a future date.
Absent for a while, the bonus stages of destroying a car or barrels has returned. I know I was missing this feature from past games and it's great to see them make a comeback in an updated look. I did find the barrel-busting bonus round to be harder than what I remember, but that could just be me and my declining skills. The car-destroying bonus stage is still pretty easily to accomplish and there are visual and audio cues to let you know if you are damaging the car or just pounding away without any progress. A nice little feature is that you can turn this part off should you just want to participate in fights. Playing the two bonus stages did bring back a nice feeling of nostalgia and I'm really happy Capcom incorporated the two back into the game.
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