Super Street Fighter IV Review

Ten new faces to pick, or, ten new faces to ignore and just choose Ken?

By Rupert Higham, May 1, 2010


SSF IV


Capcom don’t exactly make it easy to produce an informative eye-opening review. Over the last eight months they have orchestrated a steady drip-feed of information via developer blogs, Seth Killian demonstrations and Justin Wong combo videos, detailing practically every facet of the game a fan could ever want to know about.


From the obvious (character line-up and new modes) to the obscure (move properties and damage adjustments) – Before any of us have even pried the disc from its box, there are very few surprises to be had thanks to their comprehensive marketing blitz.


If you’re not the kind of Street Fighter obsessive that checks www.eventhubs.com every 20 seconds just to see if Yoshinori Ono has blown his nose, you may well be wondering what makes Super so super. Early on in conceiving the update to SFIV Capcom dismissed the preferred modern method of DLC upgrade because of the sheer volume of content they wanted to add, and in fairness it shows: Ten new characters, two selectable Ultra Combos, five new backgrounds, two bonus stages, three new online modes and a comprehensive balance adjustment across the board. Those are the numbers, but what do they mean for the game?


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Knife crime is as much a plague in Metro City as any urban environment. Cody really belongs behind bars for some of the stuff he gets away with in this game.

The ten new characters boost the roster to an impressive 35, but it is in the selection that Capcom have really enriched your options. The two new faces are even more audacious in their originality than SFIV’s newcomers. Juri’s complex move set allows her to store numerous multi-angled projectiles for combo use as well as a hit counter that positions her directly above her prone opponent, ready for punishment. The Korean seductress plays a lightning-fast game of lengthy strings and high pressure, making her an ideal selection for those who find Super‘s pace a little too sedate.


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The busy India stage is bursting with activity, including the return of Dhalsim's elephant that Balrog (boxer) supposedly punched. I'm not making this up.

While Korea’s induction into the Street Fighter pantheon is a typical mix of sadistic and sexy, Turkey’s Hakan is such an astonishingly ingenious character that I imagine Google searches of the term “Turkish oil wrestler” spiked significantly following his unveiling, if only to corroborate its existence as a genuine sport. The oil shower mechanic is central to his game, increasing his oil rocket grab range and damage, as well as increasing his defence and greatly reducing friction as he performs moves, making him a deadly mid-to-close range character. If that doesn’t win you over his oil combination hold Ultra is one of the most absurdly comical sequences in gaming history, and possibly worth the price of entry alone.


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