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Street Fighter IV review

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.

The match-levelling Ultra moves, charged by taking a beating, are far from a simple noob-friendly win button. Yes, you can use them as a basic "Get out of jail free" card if you like, and there's not a damn thing wrong with that, but a little experimentation reveals a whole lot more to them.

Ken's is hard to effectively land. Ryu's leaves him wide open if it misses. All of them can be blocked or avoided with fast enough reactions, and some can be cancelled into from a normal move, or even a special, with a sound understanding of the game. (Indeed, some need to be in order to have a hope in hell of being any use against a decent player) It's classic Street Fighter. Seemingly broad strokes which reveal a multitude of tiny detailed brush flecks upon closer inspection.

The same goes for the new focus attacks. Chargeable to either absorb a single hit or unleash a mighty unblockable strike, their uses when backed into a corner or pre-empting an attack are obvious. But once you learn that you can dash out of them to essentially run "through" fireballs? Or that a fast player can deactivate a charging focus using a sneaky double jab? Then you're really having fun.

New characters? You'll love them. In fact after a day or so you'll be so bonded that you'll barely even see them as the new guys at all. Abel's unapologetic brawling is useless at range, but a visceral joy to use when up in your opponent's face. C. Viper feels a little out of place at first thanks to her super jumps and ground-pounds, but that's exactly why she adds so much to the game. El Fuerte is weak, but so radically different in play mechanics from any other character in SF history that you'll be enjoying yourself with him too much to care.

And that's exactly the thing. For all the talk of character tiers, differing levels of play and carefully balanced game depth, Street Fighter IV is about the sheer enjoyment of controlling your character and moving them around the screen; running, jumping, dodging and beating lumps off your opponent (or even vice versa). Everything about Capcom's design here seems engineered with the simple aim of putting smiles on faces and invoking cackling laughter from groups of friends.

It's the instinctive, razor sharp controls and the solidity of the characters' weighting. It's the crunching sense of impact with each and every hit. It's the speed with which the focus and tone of a fight can change, and the freedom for improvisation lavished upon the player at every turn. It's the sheer, staggering amount of personality infused throughout the game, by every perfectly-judged animation, facial expression and line of dialogue. This is an ultra-optimised version of Street Fighter that looks, sounds, plays and feels just like we always thought Street Fighter II did when we fell in love with it in the '90s. But better.

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+

52 comments

  • 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

Showing 1-20 of 52 comments

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