Street Fighter IV Review for PS3

On: PS3Xbox 360PCiPhone
Online play is robust, with some interesting features.
Online play is robust, with some interesting features.

Online play is robust, with some interesting features.

Playing online ranked matches earns you battle points, which feed in to the leaderboards, as expected. Adding to the experience is the ability to set titles and icons to your player status - what opponents see next to your name online. These are unlocked as you play, and will prove a popular incentive for the show-offs among you. Expect Street Fighter IV to be more popular online than any fighting game in recent memory.

The mark of a brilliant fighter, as all fighting game fans know, is a balanced roster. Having one or two characters that are by a country mile better than the rest is what you want to avoid. Capcom has done an admirable job in this respect with Street Fighter IV. No single character seems overpowered. Ryu will be popular, due to his ability to hit juggled opponents with his Ultra. Sagat is his usual powerful self. Newcomer Abel is fun and, with his invulnerable roll and command throw, is a dangerous threat. The characters will be ordered into tiers, of course, but what appears to be the case is that every character has, in the right hands, a chance against every other. You can't ask for any more really.

Why isn't Street Fighter IV a perfect 10? The four brand new characters are a mixed bag. Abel is fun, and Rufus, despite his jelly-like belly, is fast and potent. But El Fuerte is pointless, just rubbish, and Crimson Viper looks ridiculous - an SNK character lost in a Capcom game. Seth, a creation from one of Bison's Shadoloo labs, is not only cheap to fight against but a lazy effort on Capcom's part. He looks like a rip-off of Dr. Manhattan from The Watchmen comic book, and has moves nicked from Ryu, Guile, Zangief and Dhalsim. Capcom's had over 10 years to think of a new Street Fighter boss. One with such a silly name, and moves from existing characters, can't be considered anything but a disappointment.

Also disappointing is the game's failure to offer some kind of tutorial for people in need of a refresher, or seeking to improve their game with expert advice. Why not have videos with voice over explaining how it all works? Or videos showing how to nail some advanced techniques, like cancelling, combo timing and strategy? Trials, found In the Challenge mode, set you a series of character specific combos, which are a useful way of learning some advanced techniques, but the game simply asks you to do them and that's it. There's no effort to explain how they're done or what timing is required. You can't preview them either, a feature fighting games have provided for years now.

Street Fighter IV is the best 2D fighting game in years

Street Fighter IV is the best 2D fighting game in years

This disappointment fuels the feeling that Street Fighter IV's single-player experience is bare bones, at least in comparison with other leading modern fighting games. There's the standard Arcade, Challenge and Training modes and that's pretty much it. Bar some gallery stuff, there's nothing to unlock, no character creation mode, no accessories to dress your favourite fighter in. The animated shorts that play before and at the end of a character's journey through the Arcade mode are bitterly disappointing. They're poor quality and embarrassingly bad on the dialogue front. Think Power Rangers spliced with Pokemon and you're approaching the cringe-worthiness of proceedings. If you hoped for snippets on a par with the excellent Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie, hope for something else. Overall, the result is a game that, unless you're planning on playing local matches with friends or online, feels boring.

But that's the case for all fighting games really. Character creation, dressing characters up like Barbie dolls or pointless efforts at story have never been the genre's point. It's all about the multiplayer and the thrill of victory against real-life opponents. That's how it's been since day one, since you put your first 20p into the arcade version of Street Fighter II and challenged that joker who thought he was the dude.

Street Fighter IV effortlessly captures the Street Fighter spirit, of that there is no doubt. It's instantly familiar but with enough innovation to interest fighting game fanatics willing to dig a little deeper. Yes it's a conservative effort, a safe bet if you will, but it's still the best 2D fighting game since Marvel vs. Capcom 2. There's a magic to playing it - whether that's down to the game rekindling memories of a childhood spent drilling shoryukens, or the excitement of mastering the Focus Attack and eking out the nuances of this Greatest Hits Street Fighter engine, it doesn't really matter. What matters is that Street Fighter is back, and that long wait is finally over.

New stuff to check out

To add your comment, please login or register

User Comments

gomo's Avatar

gomo

why is the "genre" for this "beat 'em up"?... this and a lot of other games you have labled as "beat 'em up" should be under "fighting game"... beat 'em up's are games like Final Fight. I know some people like to mush up the two terms, but they describe 2 pretty distinct types of game...
Posted 19:16 on 13 July 2009
Ogre's Avatar

Ogre

Still waiting for the PC version...
Nice review though :)
Posted 23:12 on 12 March 2009
teemoe's Avatar
Delete Post

teemoe

Get ready 4 my online azzwhoopnz!
Posted 21:33 on 01 March 2009
John's Avatar
Delete Post

John

I'm in agreement that the cut-scenes are so insulting and horrible that you will wish you had never seen them. I know my soul died a little after each video.

The Boss is poorly made.. especially considering that even the goofy diaper-wearing boss in SF3 was at least creatively different (with the fire and ice sides) and wasn't ripping off other character's moves (usually reserved for a generic mimic character)

I don't think Viper looks ridiculous, but Rufus does though... I find him to be the worst designed SF character (biker mustache.. braided hawk... an unzipped jumpsuit WITH A HAPPY TRAIL!?) with El Fuerte's backstory the most retarded. (fighting to find the perfect recipe? WTF?)... with some character's like Rose showing up when far superior characters like Ibuki don't make the cut :(

I find the Ultra Combo's flawed in that some characters have ones that don't stick and others have ones that pull you in making them nearly unavoidable... and the damage they do is simply ludicrous. Ludicrous.

Those are my major complaints next to everyone only picking Ryu, Akuma and Ken online.. it gets old FAST.
Posted 12:56 on 19 February 2009
Ginger_Jesus's Avatar

Ginger_Jesus

Ok now I'm getting this for sure. Excellent review.
Posted 22:28 on 16 February 2009
rico_rico's Avatar

rico_rico

i score it 8/10 because it's boring
Posted 18:05 on 16 February 2009
Bloodstorm's Avatar

Bloodstorm

Yea, you're right about the bosses, i just wish the trend will end some day.

[fanboy mode]Terry Bogartwould own Ken lolololololol[/fan boy mode]
Posted 16:36 on 16 February 2009
CheekyLee's Avatar

CheekyLee

I don't think I have ever seen a fighter get a 10 from a non-official source. 9 will do! Great review, although I wouldn't knock marks off for the final boss. If that was the case, then DOA4 would be a 2/10!
Posted 16:14 on 16 February 2009
thpcplayer's Avatar

thpcplayer

videogamer's top 10 most anticipated 2009
10. diablo 3
9. street fighter iv
8. resident evil 5
7. half life episode 3
6. halo 3 odst
5. cod mw 2
4. pes 2010
3. bioshock 2
2. god of war 3
1. heavy rain
Now first game of this list has arrived and it has got a 9 not a 10!
This review is nice and i'll be picking this one on ps3 but i'll also keep an eye on the pc version coming later. But the question is this- Which will be the first 10/10 of 2009. as most of the most anticipated games are due near christmas. it could be resident evil 5(my guess)
Posted 15:41 on 16 February 2009
Karlius's Avatar

Karlius

I'm just glad you played with the idea of a perfect score. I think whenever I see you on Live your on SFII on Arcade lol.

I applaud your loyalty to the brand and commend you upon probably the best and most critique review of this game on at least the net and more than likely the world. I will be buying this one for sure. A 100% real fan knowing about the genre their speaking about is a breath of fresh air.

It's reviews like the above that have kept me coming back for more at Videogamer and Pro-G before it. Thank You
Posted 14:58 on 16 February 2009
wyp100's Avatar

wyp100

@ Bloodstorm

Woah! SvC2 better than MvC2? We could argue for days on that one!

Every fighter having a cheap boss might be the case, but just because everyone does doesn't make it right. A bigger problem with Seth, though, is that he's a lazy character from Capcom's point of view. M. Bison wasn't lazy, and he was SFII's boss. I reviewed it on PS3 btw.

@ Karlius

I was debating whether to give it a 10, but in the end decided against it simply because of the flaws outlined in the article. On a personal front, I think the Super Turbo engine, and the 3rd Strike engine, are superior. But that's the hardcore fighter in me talking.
Posted 12:20 on 16 February 2009
Karlius's Avatar

Karlius

Wes you let me down I thought as a supreme fan of the series you would have to give it full 10/10 marks and seen through any flaws with your rose tinted street fighter iv glasses on. : )
Posted 10:48 on 16 February 2009
Wido's Avatar

Wido

Quailty review shall have to pick it up when I have some left over lolly.
Posted 10:31 on 16 February 2009
Rickitis's Avatar

Rickitis

@ Corrupt0Killa-TomButters

It was bravo but close :)

Looking forward to playing this but I think £30 is alot for a fighter, I always wait for them to be around £15. It looks awesome though!
Posted 10:19 on 16 February 2009
Woolies Staff's Avatar
Delete Post

Woolies Staff

I wish this week would get a move on.
Posted 10:19 on 16 February 2009

Game Stats

Street Fighter IV
9
Out of 10
Street Fighter IV
  • Focus Attack truly innovative
  • Online play solid
  • Based on the brilliant Super Turbo engine
  • Bare bones single-player
Agree? Disagree? Get Involved!
Release Date: 20/02/2009
Platforms: PS3 , Xbox 360 , PC , iPhone
Developer: Capcom
Publisher: Capcom
Genre: Beat 'em Up
No. Players: 1-2
Rating: BBFC 12
Site Rank: 1,350 52
View Full Site