Street Fighter IV has been a game we've all be dying to hear about for 10 years! At one point, people had believed that Capcom would abandon the Street Fighter franchise, seeing as how Street Fighter III was released way back in 1997, with SFIII: 3rd Strike arriving in 1999. Well, it took Capcom long enough, but they've finally revealed the fourth Street Fighter a few months ago, and we're all pretty excited about it.
Off the bat, expect the original World Warriors of Street Fighter II to return, that list includes: Ryu, Ken, Chun-Li, Guile, Dhalsim, E-Honda, Blanka, Zangief, Vega, Barlog, Sagat, and M. Bison. The game's story will take place between Street Fighter II and Street Fighter III, as opposed to being a sequel to Street Fighter III.
Of course, no Street Fighter game is complete without an assortment of new challengers, and Street Fighter IV will have that covered. So far, Capcom has revealed four new characters by the name of El Fuerte, Abel, Crimson Viper, and Rufus. Developers at Capcom have stated that creating new characters for Street Fighter IV is challenging, because they have to seamlessly interact with the old cast, their move-set, and make sure the collision detection between the old and new fighters is precise. In other words, making sure everything is balanced with the new characters in the mix.
Even though the screenshots tell you it's three-dimensional, the gameplay is completely two-dimensional. Capcom promises that the game will play more like Super Street Fighter II Turbo, as opposed to Street Fighter III. This also means that the parrying system has been removed and replaced with another defense mechanic, temporarily called "Saving".
Saving utilizes a 'revenge' gauge that loads as you take damage, much like other SF games. The gauge is broken up into four segments and can be used in a variety of ways. Tapping both medium attack simultaneously will perform a special attack that leaves your opponent temporarily vulnerable. Holding down the buttons will charge the attack, make it unblockable, but will consume 3/4s of the gauge. And of course, an EX special will consume the full bar. If your timing is precise, you will be able to perform these various moves, 'cancel' out of them (meaning: moving immediately as you execute the attack), and immediately perform another special move for a special combo.
Capcom promises wild special attacks, called Ultra Moves that summon cinematic camera angles to show your character unleashing fury on the opponent, and we can't wait to see them. Additionally, while we'll get to revisit some of our favorite locales from past Street Fighter games, we'll also be treated to a host of new ones, as Street Fighter IV will feature a number of never-before-seen newcomers.
We're extremely excited and eagerly await Street Fighter IV. While we do think there are some questionable visual choices, such as the expressions fighters make when being attacked, we doubt these things will be very noticeable when actually playing the game. With so much time in development, Street Fighter IV is sure to come out polished, especially since it'll hit arcades way before it appears on your PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. If you're wondering when SFIV arcade cabs will arrive, it'll be this July.
Until then, stay posted for more info. We're hoping Capcom announces the console ports for a 2008 release.