3D Edition offers a simplified control scheme for beginners. This “Lite” mode lets you map any special move or Ultra Combo to any button; in a way, this makes the game play more like the stripped down (but still fun) iPhone version of Street Fighter IV. It’s still a compromise though, as you’re sacrificing normal moves for supers and Ultras, and charge moves (Blanka’s ball, Guile’s sonic boom) can be fired off with no recharge. Obviously this configuration is not going to satisfy a serious player, so Capcom included the the ability to filter online players by Pro and Lite type - a smart way to separate those who want to stick to the usual six button layout.
Regardless of which control mode you choose, the touch screen is divided into four hot keys you can assign to various moves. In Pro mode, you can set these four buttons to throw, triple kick/punch or focus attack, while Lite continues to allow any and all moves to rest there. Mapping triple kick/punch to the top right and bottom right buttons seemed to work best, allowing for somewhat easier Ultra Combos. However, the other two touch buttons are on the left side of the screen, meaning you’d have to take your thumb away from the d-pad or analog nub to hit them. In that moment, you are neither moving nor blocking – a bad move in any street fight.
Outside of the one on one fights, there’s a new wireless mode called StreetPass that pits teams of Street Fighter figurines against each other. Once activated, the 3DS scans the area for other systems using StreetPass, then engages in a mock battle between the two teams based on each figure’s stats. Winning a match accumulates Figurine Points, which can then be spent on higher-ranked figurines. Higher ranks have different attributes, so there’s definitely a collectability factor in addition to their stats.
It’s amusing to open the 3DS at the end of the day, see I’ve battled four other people in the building and then spend my points on new figures, but other than spending coins this is a very hands-off, secondary mode. It’ll be interesting in heavily populated, 3DS-centric areas (like PAX, Comic-Con or school if you’re fortunate to have a class full of early adopters), but if you’re just poking around town I can’t imagine you’ll have to settle for collecting trophies, not fighting them.
Above: Figure collecting, as summarized by Capcom
Super SFIV 3D is a commendable achievement, and absolutely contains everything that made the console version great. However, our recurring problems with multiplayer (online and off) and the unavoidable concern of button layout hindered an otherwise amazing experience. The result is still arguably one of the best portable fighters of all time and undoubtedly a showpiece launch title for 3DS, so it still comes highly recommended. And if the online smoothes out in the coming weeks, consider one of our biggest concerns moot.
Mar 25, 2011