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Ultra Street Fighter IV Review

Replay Value:
Online Gameplay:
Overall Rating:
Capcom, Other Ocean Interactive
Number Of Players:
Release Date:
May 26, 2015

New versions of older games are nothing…uh…new. That being said, it’s hard to say anything against most updated versions, simply because they’re better iterations of an existing game. In most cases, the new version becomes the definitive edition and one all fans should want in their collections. But occasionally, we get a dud. And as robust and enjoyable as Super Street Fighter IV is on PlayStation 4, I think this is an example of one of those duds. Perhaps the problem is that Capcom handed this project to Other Ocean Interactive, because I doubt the internal Capcom teams would’ve delivered a buggy, glitchy product. It wasn’t buggy on PS3; why would it be now?

There are good things, of course. The graphics have been updated to boast a beautiful 1080p and 60 frames per second presentation, which makes USFIV look absolutely fantastic on the new console. The excellent character design comes to the forefront and the environments are more attractive and immersive than ever. Those who appreciate the little things – like improved particle effects and the like – will undoubtedly applaud the brighter, sharper, more impact-ful display. Ripping off a special Focus Attack really allows the updated graphics to shine, and I’ve always liked the pastel-like presentation. The problem is that when the glitches start cropping up, everything becomes compromised.

That great character modeling is tough to appreciate when the characters actually disappear . They’ll sometimes just glitch out for no reason and various special attacks can cause a host of disappointing visual miscues. The lack of technical stability doesn’t just affect the graphics, either; for example, something bad happened to the sound effects when USFIV made the generational transition. When was the last time you heard glitches in fighting game effects? Well, you’ll hear them in spades in this game; many times, the effects will simply repeat over and over when there’s no accompanying visual. Repeating background effects can be extremely annoying, even if it’s not a game-breaking issue. The soundtrack still seems to perform well, though, even if the balancing isn’t quite right.

When it comes to upgraded re-releases, the first question out of everyone’s mouth is always the same: “So, what’s new and better?” The gameplay will likely remain exactly the same and everyone assumes we’ll get better graphics, but what about other fresh content? Well, unfortunately, there aren’t a huge number of fresh features in Ultra Street Fighter IV for PS4. Perhaps the most significant one from a gameplay perspective is the addition of the Red Focus Attack, which operates much like the original Focus Attack, only it uses three bars of your Super Meter. Plus, its Level One charge can still stun opponents, which isn’t the case with the regular Focus Attack. Then there’s the inclusion of all the DLC outfits, so you can dress up your fighters in different costumes. Don’t forget that this launched as premium content, so at least you won’t have to pay anything extra to put your favorite character into a cheery “Vacation” outfit.

Perhaps the only other major new feature is Omega Mode. This is the one that will most likely entice hardcore fighting aficionados to snag the latest version, because it significantly changes the combat. If you’re a Ken fan, you’ll have to adapt to chucking his Hadoken from his feet. Omega Mode is really a chance for the developers to implement some great abilities we’ve seen in previous Street Fighter installments. Okay, so it doesn’t make much sense for Dee Jay to stand there and dance while he’s in the midst of mortal combat, but many characters have very useful moves that remind us of the good ol’ days. The bottom line is that Omega Mode, while not turning the experience on its head, does add to the flavor and diversity.