More interesting is the Endless Battle mode, designed to simulate the old school arcade experience. This set-up allows up to eight players to hang about in a queue using winner stays on rules. What's great about this mode is that the waiting players can watch the action and chat to each other. Endless Battle, really, should have been in IV (it was in Super Street Fighter II HD Remix), but at least Capcom's got it right second time around.
The new Replay Channel is fantastic. At its most basic it lets you save your matches to your hard disc. But more exciting is the ability to watch matches involving other players, other players who are better than you. Finally we have a way to learn new techniques, combos and strategies without having to head to YouTube. You can even turn the input data on, play back in slo-mo and turn on the damage numbers. If you see a replay that knocks your socks off, you can save it, invite a party in to watch it with you, and have it blow all their socks off, too. Super's Replay Channel raises the bar other fighting games will now have to at least attempt to reach. Brilliant.
Bad points? Some of the few criticisms I had of IV have carried over to Super. There is still no way to see how a trial should be done. The story animations are still awful. Just... awful. And you can tell that some of the new Ultras haven't enjoyed as much development effort as others. Some are just plain boring, like Ken's Guren Senpukyaku.
This frustrates all the more because most of the new Ultras are quite stupendous. Ryu's Metsu Shoryuken is a three hit Dragon Punch that may be the most spectacular in the game. Dhalsim's Yoga Shangri-La sees the flexible Indian rain down head butts from above. And Zangief's Siberian Blizzard is guaranteed to make your opponent wince.
Some have said that the rebalanced gameplay and new online modes should have been made available through a patch and the new characters sold as downloadable content for Street Fighter IV. The fact that Capcom's releasing Super a tenner cheaper than a full price game is an admission that the critics have a point.
At the end of the day, though, Super is a tremendous update to a tremendous game. It addresses many of IV's weaknesses, subtly tweaks old features so that they work better, and introduces some characters that exceed the high quality bar set in February last year. It is a game tailor made for hardcore Street Fighter fans; if Street Fighter IV didn't float your boat, Super won't either. But if you're a hardcore Street Fighter fan, Super is an essential purchase. It is the best fighting game available on this generation of games consoles, and further reinforces Capcom's dominance of the fighting game genre.