Let's start with the basics: Super Street Fighter 4 is Street Fighter 4, but better. It's got eight new characters (three of which I've played), more stages, rebalanced gameplay and improved online functionality. It'll be cheaper, too - although Capcom is yet to confirm by how much. Put simply, it's a must buy for all Street Fighter 4 obsessives.
That said, there lingers an argument from some that the game, or more specifically the new features it'll bring, should be made available as downloadable content and not via a standalone title. That's an argument for another day, one for the review perhaps. Here I'll assume you're so excited by the thought of playing as giant Native American T. Hawk, Jamaican kickboxer Dee Jay or Korean evil bitch Juri that there isn't space left in your brain for arguing.
Juri is the headline new character and Street Fighter 4 head-honcho Yoshinori Ono's personal favourite. She's the series' first Korean fighter, a fact that becomes less puzzling the more you read up on Japan-Korea relations. She looks like a female Goth version of Tekken kickmaster Hwoarang, he of the unpronounceable name. She wears white Taekwondo trousers, has a lovely midriff (am I allowed to fancy a cartoon?), is fond of purple, and sports an evil fake eye powered by evil organisation S.I.N. She's also got something to do with cheap ass evil end boss Seth.
Don't hold her creepy looks against her, as she's absolutely bitchin', perhaps too bitchin'. In the build I played she felt overpowered. All of her special moves use quarter circle motions, but as a Taekwondo expert they all involve kicks, not punches. She has a curious projectile (quarter circle forward and kick), which sees her perform a high kick followed by the release of a small ball of purple stuff - apparently it's nature channelled through ki energy. The height of the projectile depends on the kick button used: light kick sees the projectile travel along the ground; medium sends it horizontally and hard sends it diagonally up. She can hang on to it, if the player holds down the button, and unleash it by letting it go. She's also got a whirlwind kick of sorts (quarter circle backwards and kick), which seemed pretty useless in standard form. Juri's strengths lie elsewhere.
Her Akuma-like dive kick (quarter circle back and kick in the air) can hit multiple times if you keep hammering the kick button. On its own it's a useful mix-up, but in EX form it becomes one of the most devastating moves in the game. The last kick bounces her opponent off of the edge of the screen. That's right, I said bounces. No, you're not reading a Tekken preview; you're still in Street Fighter territory, but only just. This is Super Street Fighter territory.
If you're positioned correctly and are quick-fingered, you can follow the dive kick up with a special move, her Super or even her Ultra - a lengthy attack which sees the vixen spin in a purple haze of kicks, then land an eye-watering blow to the spine before slamming her opponent to the ground. Her Ultra can even be juggled after her basic whirlwind kick, if her opponent is in the corner. Juri's juggle potential is almost up there with Ryu's, and this should cement her place in the game's top tier.
Juri is already deep in Tekken territory, but Capcom clearly feels she's got further to go, because the developer's added a counter to her already varied repertoire. A quarter circle back and punch triggers an altered stance, a bit like a taunt. If she takes a hit while in this pose, she'll change her position in the blink of her... er... purple eye. Use light punch and she'll dart backwards. Use medium and she'll slip underneath her opponent and stand up behind them. But use hard and she'll jump straight up. From there you can do the EX mid-air dive. If it connects, it's easy to throw out a follow-up special move/Super/Ultra. Devastating.
In the many matches I played with her, this move proved incredibly useful. It's great for mixing up your game and making your opponent think, but it's at its best used after a barrage of blocked attacks. When you know your opponent's going to bust out a move just to try and escape your onslaught, throw out the counter and you'll be back on the offensive.