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Street Fighter IV

AT A GLANCE
  • Endlessly fun, deep and exilarating fighting
  • Gorgeous and unique visuals
  • The best vs. multiplayer around
  • Seth is a horribly cheap boss
  • The anime cut-scenes are short and badly animated
  • That ill-fitting intro song. Ugh.

So here we are then. Street Fighter IV. A game which a couple of years ago existed only as an unlikely fanboy dream, but which now elicits a passionate response from absolutely everyone, be it nigh-religious fervor or a wrinkle-nosed dose of "Whut?" But which faction is right? The enthused or the confused? Well here's a clue. It's the former, without a single doubt.

But before we go on explaining just why Street Fighter IV is easily one of the finest crafted games of this console generation, a brief disclaimer regarding this review. It would be very easy of us to spout on about the return of Street Fighter as a second coming for 2D gaming; a vindication of "old school" design methods and a revitalitation of SNES-era gameplay.

We could probably even reference Braid and Geometry Wars as evidence of some pseudo neo-retro revival movement. But we're not going to. Because frankly, that line of thinking is utter bollocks, and does a disservice both to Street Fighter IV and to 2D gaming itself.

These aren't geriatric out-of retirement boxers, back for one last "Aw bless 'em, they're trying" novelty exhibition. They're perfectly legitimate elements of the gaming spectrum which do and offer things that 3D design just never can, chronology of development be damned.

Put it this way, David Bowie put out his best work in the '70s, so does that make Ziggy Stardust any less relevant than Nickleback? No it does not, and so Street Fighter IV needs no special treatment or excuses. Understand that everything said in this review applies to you, no matter how long you've been gaming or what you've played before.

Which fittingly segues us straight into Street Fighter IV's greatest success, the fact that it is utterly accessible and almost dangerously enjoyable to all. Given how deeply ingrained they now are into gaming lore, the chances are that you already know the basic mechanics of Street Fighter whether you play it or not. But even if you've been playing since the SNES, never will you have been able to get so much out of them so quickly.

Input windows for special moves and linked combo hits are now a good deal more friendly (moreso even than in HD Remix), meaning that chains and counter-attacks long the preserve of only the mighty elite are now open to all. But that catagorically does not mean that SFIV is a dumbed down approximation of it's former self. Rather, it's a distillation of everything that the series has always been about; an easy-to-grasp interface acting as the entry point to endlessly explorable depth and experimentation. It's just that now, all but the terminally cack-handed can start sharing in that depth from the off.

And what there is to share. What we're talking about here is essentially that Street Fighter sequel everyone dreamed about after Super Turbo, the one that took the Street Fighter II model further without adding the ludicrous complexity of SFIII. The new additions may seem on the surface like token gestures ("Extra super moves? Pah!", a very wrong person would no doubt say), but in reality they masterfully achieve the damnably tricky feat of making everything new and different as well as reasurringly the same, surely the highest ambition of any sequel.

More Info

Release date: Jul 07 2009 - PC
Feb 17 2009 - PS3, Xbox 360 (US)
Jul 03 2009 - PC
Feb 20 2009 - PS3, Xbox 360 (UK)
Available Platforms: iPhone, PC, PS3, Xbox 360
Genre: Fighting
Published by: Capcom
Developed by: Capcom
Franchise: Street Fighter
ESRB Rating:
Teen: Alcohol Reference, Violence, Mild Suggestive Themes
PEGI Rating:
12+

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  • fuzzynutz - July 31, 2009 3:43 a.m.

    sucks, just sucks
  • marbury83 - May 26, 2009 3:23 a.m.

    Street fighter and veteran of all fighting games in general here. Difficulty on this seems way way off. First run through i was owning face like usual until the last boss which i could not beat after many tries. I then stepped it down to the easiest difficulty just to screw around...only to start getting beat on the earlier fights. I had to go back just to make sure i didnt increase it. The cpu was fighting waaaaaay better than when i was on hard difficulty. WTF?!
  • Battman17 - March 12, 2009 9:04 p.m.

    Last! Lol...
  • Dreddwar - March 7, 2009 3:33 p.m.

    Just got this game. Gonna try it out now. My gamertag is= TomOvWar Look me up for a match of this game.
  • Clownsarescary - February 18, 2009 8:46 p.m.

    My theory for Street Fighter IV's undeservedly high scores: the average age of reviewers now were heavy street fighter arcade users back in the day, and are simply paying homage. To them, all Capcom had to do was remake it in HD. To everyone else, this is just a fighting game, albeit a quite rewarding one. 10/10 does not take into account the average gamer.
  • pogo - February 17, 2009 10:53 p.m.

    sounds like a good game, cant wait for my friend to mail me the game
  • sakboy97 - February 17, 2009 9:24 p.m.

    boooooo bust! 10/10 wtf! just like GR gave Rock band 2 10/10 but what did they give K2 like an 8/10 or 9/10 WTF SF4 sucks it should've stayed in the past!
  • MP5-PRO333 - February 17, 2009 8:29 p.m.

    i dont get how this beats killzone 2
  • veratron - February 17, 2009 3:11 p.m.

    great review can't wait to get a copy of the game. so happy to hear its way better than mk vs. dc. Long Live Street Fighter!!
  • smallberry - February 17, 2009 6:25 a.m.

    I'm really bad at fighting games but I think this is one game that everyone just needs to have in their collection. I hope the controls on the Sixaxis are decent. Great review too. Happy to hear that its accessible to newbies like me.
  • reyalejandro13 - February 17, 2009 5:50 a.m.

    HADOUKEN!!!!!!!!! that is all.
  • thefinalmax - February 17, 2009 5 a.m.

    Thank you, overly-anxious pre-ordering.
  • garnsr - February 17, 2009 3:55 a.m.

    Are they poking fun at the real Seth?
  • alf125 - February 17, 2009 3:19 a.m.

    thank god they didnt make the mistake of making it 3-d
  • hairy truman - February 17, 2009 12:55 a.m.

    SFII Turbo was my favorite games for years. To know that Street Fighter IV is just an improvment on that, WITH new characters (and my favs, Dhalsim and Akuma ftw), just makes me so happy to know that i'll be playing this game for 10 more years, and not even get close to being bored of it. Great article, thanks GR
  • skelt - February 17, 2009 12:34 a.m.

    cheers on the awesome best and worst parts vid. only thing is that from what I've seen, the little anime sequences look kinda nice. I can like the over-the-top background and ridiculously epic guitar. If capcom is making fun of themselves on this part than i think it's pretty damn funny. if not, than that's just embarassing for the publishers.3
  • Phazon117 - February 17, 2009 12:23 a.m.

    Gaaah, this or RE5, the desision of a winters worth of cash.
  • Z-man427 - February 16, 2009 8:42 p.m.

    is this really any surprise?
  • Japanjack - February 16, 2009 8 p.m.

    ZOMG ZOMG ZOMG ZOMG ZOMG Hurry up and come out so I can buy you!!
  • hardcore_gamer1990 - February 16, 2009 5:37 p.m.

    Capcom = The only game manufacturers with a true understanding about what their fanbase want and give them exactly that TAKE THE FUCKING HINT SEGA!!!! lol