• Graphics: 8.8
  • Gameplay: 9.5
  • Sound: 8.0
  • Control: 10.0
  • Replay Value: 9.5
  • Online Gameplay: 9.0
  • Overall Rating: 9.4
  • Publisher: Capcom
  • Developer: Capcom
  • Number Of Players: 1-2 (8 Online)
  • Genre: Genre

Capcom's been on a roll this generation, with Devil May Cry 4, Dead Rising, Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo HD, super Street Fighter II Turbo HD, and now Street Fighter IV. Street Fighter IV is the game we've all been waiting for 12 years! It's been 12 years since we were given Street Fighter III, and ten years since the release of SFIII's final iteration dubbed 3rd Strike. At the end of 2007, after much speculation, Capcom finally broke their silence and announced the fourth Street Fighter game. And now, just a little over a year later, it's finally here ready to be played on your PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360.

If you were with us during E3 2008, you should be well aware of how much I loved Street Fighter IV. I repeatedly returned to Capcom's booth for numerous plays, and I often stayed there longer than I should have, but that is just a testament of Street Fighter's appeal even today. It's been 16 years since I first laid my hands on a copy of Street Fighter II Turbo for the SNES, and going into Street Fighter IV, with the recent Super Turbo HD fresh on my mind, means the game has a high pedestal to reach.

And it reaches that pedestal just fine. In fact, Street Fighter IV does exactly what it was set out to do, bring Street Fighter II's gameplay, with Street Fighter III's fluidity, and add a fantastic game engine that ties it all up. The game is both accessible and extremely deep, not making any sacrifices in order to compete with the more button-mash friendly games such as Tekken, Virtua Fighter, and especially Dead or Alive. That is not to say those games are button mashers, but there are a handful of fighters in each game that allow such 'tactics'. Street Fighter IV does not. And that's what sets Street Fighter apart from other franchises.

The game boasts a fantastic line-up of characters which includes most of the Super Street Fighter II Turbo cast, including Akuma, but excluding T. Hawk and DeeJay, in addition to new faces such as Abel, Crimson Viper, Rufus, El Fuerte, Seth, and Gouken. An assortment of Alpha characters have also made their way into Street Fighter IV, such as Dan, Sakura, Gen, and Rose. A total of 25 characters can be found in Street Fighter IV, but you only start off with 16 and have to unlock the rest by playing through the arcade mode. You should also know that despite being called Street Fighter IV, the game actually takes place in between the events of Street Fighter II and Street Fighter III.

Which leads me to where Street Fighter IV does something very right; the stories. Each character you choose has an animated introduction to his/her story, as well as a proper ending, a common oversight with other fighters these days. And each fighter also has a main rival that he/she will encounter during the tournament, for example Ryu's main rival is Sagat, Ken's main rival is Rufus, and so on. These "rival battles" feature an in-game cutscene where the fighters exchange a few words before the fight begins, helping you understand a little more about the rivalry between them. And it's things like this that make you want to play through Street Fighter IV with every fighter, just so you can see their entire story, as well as unlock the rest of the game's fighters.

Super combos are now joined with Ultras, which are massively powerful and cinematic attacks that use up the character's yellow Ultra gauge (a gauge that fills up when you are attacked), as opposed to the EX/Super gauge. Where as Super Combos are done by double-maneuvering and the use of any attack button, Ultra Combos work the same way, except they require a simultaneous press of low, medium, and high attack. For those not using joysticks, the game allows you to fully remap the controller, and also includes a Three-Punch and Three-Kick option. EX Specials still exist too, and pulling them off requires the same motion as the regular move, but with a three-punch or three-kick.

For the Street Fighter III fray, parrying continues to exist but in the form of Focus Attacks, which enable your fighters to absorb an attack and immediately counter with another one. A Focus Attack can be executed by pressing both medium attacks simultaneously, or configuring the Focus premap in the controller options. Use of the Focus Attack doesn't limit to simply parrying and countering, as Focus Attacks can be used solely as an offensive maneuver. They can be charged for a massive, unblockable blow that'll leave your opponent falling to his knees, leaving him susceptible to an additional attack. The more you play around with the Focus Attack, the more use you'll find out of it – it becomes particularly useful on fighters who have a tendency to abuse their defenses and block everything.

A variety of challenge modes exist, including Survival, Time Attack, and Trial. Survival and Time Attack should be obvious; one requires surviving a gauntlet of opponents with one life-bar, the other requires beating off as many opponents as possible, both modes will also have certain modifiers enabled to the fights and feature Normal and Hard difficulties. Trial Mode is a series of practices challenge, which many newcomers and rusty players should enter to learn the ways of the game. Lastly, online gameplay is good for two gamers, and while the netcode isn't as great as Super Turbo HD's was, it's still really solid and surely makes for an enjoyable experience.

Visually, Street Fighter IV is striking to look at. It's barrage of colors strike the senses in the best possible way. Despite being a three-dimensional title, the gameplay is purely two-dimensional, so no side-stepping or any other movement besides going left and right. The graphics are extremely vivid, with a unique art style that utilizes black shading and tones, for a look that cannot be mistaken for anything else out there. The framerate doesn't chug no matter how hectic the action gets, which accentuates just how nice and smooth the animations are. While you may have seen some weird gameplay screenshots of awkward facial expressions, you don't see any of that while actually playing the game, unless you pause the action specifically to look for it. And the backgrounds, in true Street Fighter fashion, are fascinating, more so than ever before. Some are totally new, while others pay homage to the stages of past games.

Unfortunately, the one gripe I have is that the audio is a bit of a soft spot. First, and foremost, the game's theme song "Indestructible" is not only abysmal, but absolutely does not fit in with the context of the content. It is a Rock and R&B-ish tune with a singer that has an uncanny similarity to the voice of Craig David. The lyrics are cheesy and painful to listen to, and not only does the song play during the opening sequence, but also at the main menu, and even during the fights. The other audio gripe I have is some of the English voice acting, which many expected to have some faults…but couldn't someone look at the voice work and say "that doesn't sound good"? Yes, the game does have the option for Japanese voice overs too, but I don't speak Japanese or pickup on its tonal delivery, so I don't know how much better it is. On the other hand, the soundtrack is really good, blending new songs with remixed classics, and the sound effects sound solid, too. And there is a custom soundtrack option, too! Still, the game could've paid a bit more attention to the voice work.

Audio aside, Street Fighter IV is without question the best fighting game available right now, yes, better than Virtua Fighter 5. It boasts the amazing fluidity, balance, and appeal of Street Fighter II and III, with a great sense of reward. With unique stories per character, this is a game you'll actually want to play through with every fighter and unlock the remaining ones. There's a ton of depth to explore within the game's mechanics, such as the introduction of Ultras and Focus Attacks. Visually, the game looks really nice. It may not feature the most detailed characters that push the power of your HD console, but they certainly get the job done. But most importantly, it's the online gameplay and the overall value for your dollar where Street Fighter IV really wins.

Subscribe
Notify of
63 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
cheng
cheng
11 years ago

wow, great review arnold 🙂

blitz30952
blitz30952
11 years ago

Yeah, nice review AK 😀

Lord carlos
Lord carlos
11 years ago

great,cant wait 2 play it.
i hear its slower than SSF2THDR,can u speed it up 2 hd's gameplay?

JaktheDaxter
JaktheDaxter
11 years ago

I hope they have that feature. I also hope I can increase the HP so the rounds can last a bit longer. Small but important in MVC2 and even Alpha 3.

BeezleDrop
BeezleDrop
11 years ago

Great game, now Tekken 6. Need a usb keyboard lord carlos?

Lord carlos
Lord carlos
11 years ago

i have a wireless one but i'm to lazy to plug it in,along with the component cables of my 360 🙂

crapreviews
crapreviews
11 years ago

I should be picking this up today. I preordered the CE

aaronisbla
aaronisbla
11 years ago

t hawk isnt on here last i checked

www
www
11 years ago

wasn't he too big n slow.

Highbird
Highbird
11 years ago

yup but he was suuuuuuuuuuper strong!

kidgrid
kidgrid
11 years ago

yeah i was disappointed he was not in it. i love to destroy people with the big slow guys.

Xanavi23
Xanavi23
11 years ago

T. Hawk was never my fav character but he was very good as a fighter. He had a lot of strength and even some good aerial attacks.

Cpt_Geez
Cpt_Geez
11 years ago

II will be picking this up before II go to work II have it paid off II just gotta wait until tonight to play it ugh.

PSN ID: V-Dizzo-F

ceedot
ceedot
11 years ago

A lot of people have said the sound is a bit corny. Good review.

BigT_1980
BigT_1980
11 years ago

Does Street Fighter IV have Dee Jay in the roster? I never did like him too much because he was such a cheap character.

Highbird
Highbird
11 years ago

nope, he didn't make it in

Xanavi23
Xanavi23
11 years ago

I wouldn't call him cheap. Maybe a bit too easy but overall a good fighter because he was kickboxer which is a fine martial art.

laksh
laksh
11 years ago

Man, America always get PS3 games before UK, oh well, i'll get over it. I only have to wait 3 more cut throat days. It's not like street fighter legend of chun li when i'll have to wait 2/3 months after US release!

Great review btw.


Last edited by laksh on 2/17/2009 5:03:57 AM

chicko1983
chicko1983
11 years ago

Ive had it for a couple of days in Australia, hence the PAL version should have been available in the UK, maybe you just need to look around or become really chummy with you local video game store.

tlpn99
tlpn99
11 years ago

They are not allowed to in Game, the till wont let you get a game until the day it is released and they have spot checkers coming round to the shop. They cant even do it under the counter type of thingas the spot checkers will come in and count how many games are in the shop. So just gonna have to wait.

noshownogo
noshownogo
11 years ago

No T Hawk and no Dee Jay confirmed.

www
www
11 years ago

oh deejay,i remember that guy,how did he look like,was he like Tekken's Eddy?

Highbird
Highbird
11 years ago

He was the black Jamaican guy with orange pants, no shirt and a few long dreadlocks

www
www
11 years ago

oh-alright,then i think Eddy is the imitation here.

www
www
11 years ago

Uuuuuuuuu now am pickin' this sh** up fo' sho,maybe on 360 though.

fundando
fundando
11 years ago

I cant wait. The gamecrazy I pre-ordered from said they would have this in at noon. I also pre-ordered the akuma fightpad and the ken fightpad at gamestop.

tanner1
tanner1
11 years ago

Great review have it pre ordered 4 £27.99, what a bargain

Scarecrow
Scarecrow
11 years ago

I'm so getting it later today!

By the way Alrnold you're being picky, should've given it a 9.5 -_-(specially since you can use your own music for the game…)

But still a great review, psxe at it again!
Personally this is my game of the year!

Yes beating the likes of Killzone2/Uncharted :3

ArnoldK PSXE
ArnoldK PSXE
11 years ago

Are you sure? I tried a custom soundtrack and it didn't let me. Maybe my review build didn't allow it.

Scarecrow
Scarecrow
11 years ago

Aye aye, here's the link to a thread in Capcom-unity which confirms it:

http://www.capcom-unity.com/street_fighter/go/thread/view/7411/13693911/PS3_SF4_has_custom_soundtracks?num=10&pg=1

I'm so playing the SFA2 themes 😀

ArnoldK PSXE
ArnoldK PSXE
11 years ago

Thanks for the link! I must've been doing something wrong. When I get back, I will promptly make changes to the audio score and paragraph. I hold custom soundtracks in high regard.

Again, big thanks for this.

cazzy07
cazzy07
11 years ago

anyone like to have a match later my psn name is cazzy07

Robochic
Robochic
11 years ago

Man to many good games coming out before my birthday DAMN, i'll have to wait to see what i get for my b-day.

Kevadu
Kevadu
11 years ago

"I don't speak Japanese or pickup on its tonal delivery"

Uh…Japanese is not a tonal language. You may be confusing it with Chinese.

ArnoldK PSXE
ArnoldK PSXE
11 years ago

Every language has something tonal to it. And by that I mean I couldn't tell if something being said is a question or statement or what have you.

Aftab
Aftab
11 years ago

Yeah, I know, right? Only robots are "monotone". And it's wierd how some languages are tonally very similar while some are very different. I get a real kick out of Anime line-delivery…you know how they will squeeze like 10 sentences together without taking a breath, mouth flapping wide open, and with the background blazing speckled with flying tears and spit? I get a real kick out of that. Japanese society seemed very conservative, almost repressively so, at some point, and it seems as if nature unleashes itself in their anime, otaku, and contemporary artistic expressions.


Last edited by Aftab on 2/17/2009 2:21:01 PM

Lemon_Saint
Lemon_Saint
11 years ago

I have both a Street Fighter II Champion Edition and a Tekken 3 arcade cabinet … and I don't know, I get more use out of Tekken than SF, (it just sits there, complacently) ….. the reason? Tekken is a deeper fighter than SF II, (I'm still learning new moves and strategies)! Once you know the animations of SF II, it takes the fun out of it. So, regardless of this review, I'm still on the fence. Maybe I'll rent it first, (or wait for a PSN demo, hope hope)!

fundando
fundando
11 years ago

Got it this morning. I effin love this game. I know what you mean about the theme, but I am so glad I can use custom soundtracks.

psn id: fundando


Last edited by fundando on 2/17/2009 2:47:51 PM

chicko1983
chicko1983
11 years ago

I have it also, we'll have to fight sometime…
psn id: chicko1983

chicko1983
chicko1983
11 years ago

This is the best fighting game I have played, hands down.
Im finding the analogue sticks easier to use than the d-pad though.
And I still dont "get" when to use my focus attacks, only pulled one off after about 6hrs of playtime.
I suppose I got to practice a bit more…

Aftab
Aftab
11 years ago

It definitely seems that way from the review. Idk, I've always been in to Tekken, and I can't stand the thought about being imprisoned into 2 dimensions (though Tekken 1 was that way, and only 2.5 characters had a side step in Tekken 2).

chicko1983
chicko1983
11 years ago

yeah I always prefered the 2-D of SF to Tekken's 3-D. Just personal preference I suppose but the gameplay and control in this game is extremely good so you dont need the extra dimension to dodge attacks.
If you get it, my psn is chicko1983, I'd like to fight some of the PSXE regulars.

LegendaryWolfeh
LegendaryWolfeh
11 years ago

So far I love it, not that good at it, but I love it =) the opening scene was INCREDIBLE. but yeah the music was awkward, lol. anywayz, does anyone know about the free costume pack that comes with the collectors edition? I tried to input it and it didn't work so I'm guessing we gotta wait till this thursday to get the free dlc?

LegendaryWolfeh
LegendaryWolfeh
11 years ago

Ok nvrmind got the dlc thing cleared up =) lol I think i'm gonna watch the movie now lol. I'm glad I got the collectors edition lol

apofisboricua
apofisboricua
11 years ago

VERY GOOD REVIEW!!

I just bougth the 360 version of the game and Im really disapointed. The controls are really bad and one thing I notice here is that the reviewer gave 8.8 to graphics and 7.5 to sound wich I think is acurate. The game graphics are bad sometimes…just looking at what theyve done to Blanka almost make me cry!!. The music is chese at best specially the intro and the character movement is slow and bad. I have to play more into the game but Im pretty disapointed with the overall game. I just feel that 9.4 is a bit high for this game as I must give it an 8.5 at best. Im a big SF2 fan, since the SNES version. I believe thet 3rd strike is the best and I really will be pleased if CAPCOM releases an HD version on the PSN!

Good game guys but not worth a 9.4 IMO.

PS: I base my coments on the 360 version as I have yet to play the PS3 version, but asumming they are identical…

fundando
fundando
11 years ago

If you are talking controls. I played it on a 360 remote and it was terribad. I played it on ps3 controller it was bad. I am playing it on the Mad Catz Ken controller and it is sweet. THe 360 and ps3 are identical except you can unlock stuff for HOME in the ps3 one(Who cares? I don't).

LegendaryWolfeh
LegendaryWolfeh
11 years ago

I care 😐

apofisboricua
apofisboricua
11 years ago

Well I picked it on 360 cause I have some friends who play it on the 360…not XBOX LIVE…at home. As for the PS3 version I velieve the control has to be way better as Im used to play SSF2THD. BTW I like the looks of HD more than SF4!

If I knew you could have unlockables on Home I really would care more for the PS3 version cause unlike the majority "i guess" I like Home.

LegendaryWolfeh
LegendaryWolfeh
11 years ago

just throwing this out there…this game is freakin hard 😐

ArnoldK PSXE
ArnoldK PSXE
11 years ago

Yes, very. The rival battles are excruciating sometimes. My suggestion is to learn how to use focus attacks and use the EX specials as well as Ultra Combos. Instead of Supers, drain your gauge with EX specials, subbing supers by using Ultras instead.

Make sense?