3D dizzy birds
Chirping birds swirling around a stunned character's head are nothing new - they've been around since the dawn of animated cartoons. But there's something altogether more absurd - and therefore appealing to us - about seeing them gorgeously rendered in full 3D.
Guile's sonic kick shockwave
We've seen this cornball somersault move ever since Street Fighter II, but it's never been this visually impressive before. There's a transparent ripple effect that trails behind Guile's foot as it happens, as if he's actually kicking so powerfully that his leg is tearing the very fabric of time and space. He's not, but it still just plain looks cool.
Black ink splatter on focus hit
You know that cool, ink brush-inspired art style the original Street fighter IV trailer had? Elements of it show up in the actual game. The winning character's look morphs into that style on the victory screen, and when a focus hit connects, you get a cool, black ink splatter. In any other game, it would be blood and that would be cheesy. Here, it's stylish.
Crimson Viper's high-jumping jet boots
Though we weren't into her initially, we've actually come to appreciate this whiplash-haired femme fatale and her spy-meets-dominatrix fashion sense - but it's not her vixen-like charms that won us over. It's not her smooth, hip-swivelly walk, nor the way her necktie seems to be held in place by the sheer force of the cleavage crushing it from both sides. It's the cheesy little contrails of exhaust her jet boots emit. That kind of sexy can't be bought at a plastic surgeon.