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Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition review

AT A GLANCE
  • Yun and Yang are fun to play
  • Upgrades for weaker characters
  • Fairly priced
  • Strange balance changes
  • No new Trials
  • Still unfriendly to new players

Let’s get it out of the way, unless you already enjoy Super Street Fighter IV, there’s nothing in Arcade Edition that’s likely to change your mind. Unless you’ve got a fetish for Dragonball Z and X-treme skating twins in Kung-Fu shirts. Then you’re in business.

So what does AE bring to the table? First off, four new characters: the previously mentioned twins from Street Fighter 3, Yun and Yang, sporadic “What If?” character Evil Ryu, and the brand new Oni. AE also brings a batch of subtle tweaks for the existing cast, and some upgrades to the online replay function for those of you that are allergic to YouTube.


Above: Ryu after an enchillada platter

For 95% of potential AE customers, the characters are what matters here. If you’re serious about the game, you’ll have hours of fun grinding out combos and figuring out the new characters online as you get ruthlessly beat down by players who’ve decided to stick to their already familiar favorites. Let’s have a look:

Yun and Yang play similarly to their 3rd Strike counterparts, using strong pressure tactics to get in and combos for the bulk of their damage output. That said, both of them are surprisingly strong overall, with plenty of options for getting around projectiles and getting in close while playing mind games with their opponents. Both their special and normal moves are great, and can easily be strung together into combos. Even in you're bad at combos, Yun and Yang are excellent characters.


Above: SSJ Akuma

Evil Ryu and Oni aren't quite as versatile, but for players who like Ryu styled characters, they'll offer a change of pace. Oni is a strange mix of Akuma and Gouken’s moves, though as a character he defintely falls closer to Gouken's playstyle. He’s also the only character in the game with an airdash-like move, though it’s situational and not easy to use. Evil Ryu plays exactly as you’d expect, a more aggressive Ryu with Akuma elements. As is the standard with the Akuma-esque “dark/evil” characters, they’ve both got good damage output offset by sub-par health.


Above: Get used to seeing this win screen

AE has been in Japanese arcades for a little under a year now, and preliminary reports from the pros suggest that Yang, and especially Yun, are head and shoulders above the rest of the cast. As for the existing cast, the tweaks have hit some characters harder than others, Fei Long is now considered excellent, and Makoto and Guy have been given a selection of buffs that have made them more powerful. Generally, projectile heavy characters have taken a hit in AE, as almost every character has good options for getting around fireballs.

While Capcom did a nice job giving the lower ranked characters some much needed attention, some changes seem to have been handed out at random. It’s impossible to see what kind of impact these changes will have on the game down the road, but as of right now, many players have been left a little mystified by some of the alterations.


Above: What a dive kick looks like in Australia

The somewhat confusing nature of this DLC also requires a little explanation. Because it makes changes to every character in the game, Arcade Edition is considered a stand-alone entry. This means that when looking for match ups, the game matches Super Edition players to Super Edition players and AE players to AE players. AE players can still play against Super players online, but the game will temporarily revert itself to Super Edition. That means people still playing Super will not be able to play against Yun/Yang/E. Ryu/Oni or the tweaked AE characters online at all. AE players can also manually revert the game to Super Edition on the fly. Phew. If all of this is sounding a little confusing, apologies, but AE isn't making it easy for new players.


Above: Three! Three Yangs! Ah Ah Ah Ah Ah.

Capcom has clearly banked on the fact that AE will likely only appeal to hardcore fans that are still playing SSFIV. As a result, they’ve included nothing at all for beginner players, or gamers looking for single player content. It may be a little late in the game's cycle to expect these changes, but franchises like Mortal Kombat and BlazBlue do a far better job of helping new players evolve from button mashing. The absence of any in-game tutorials for the changes and new characters means that it’s time once again to fire up the browser and check out YouTube, Shoryuken.com, and other fighting game community sites to figure everything out.

AE’s biggest shortcoming though, is its lack of content for the new characters. There are no new Trials in AE for either the new characters or the existing cast, and little touches, like the lack of rival cut scenes for the new characters are missing. It’s a pretty lazy corner cut on Capcom’s part, and makes it clear that this content was ported directly from the arcade with no additional features for consoles.


Above: Chun-Li is not a skateboard

Then again, it’s called Arcade Edition for a reason, and its focus is solely on giving the player vs. player competition a shot in the arm. At $14.99/1200MS Points, it’ll definitely give hardcore players their money’s worth. In fact, AE is an exceptional bargain when you consider $14.99 is roughly the cost of 4 SSF4 costume packs or 3 MVC3 DLC characters. The $39.99 for the disc version is too expensive though, and is hard to recommend unless you're an Amish farmer who doesn't have an internet connection, and in that case you almost certainly wouldn't have a console/PC to play it on anyway.

If you’re still playing SSF4 online, AE is a no-brainer, and the de facto new standard for the game, for better or for worse. If you’re looking for any kind of single player content or a chance to get your foot in the door though, you can safely pass on this update.

June 8th, 2011

More Info

Release date: Jun 28 2011 - Xbox 360, PS3
Jul 05 2011 - PC (US)
Jun 28 2011 - Xbox 360, PS3
Jul 05 2011 - PC (UK)
Available Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3, PC
Genre: Fighting
Published by: Capcom
Developed by: Capcom
Franchise: Street Fighter
ESRB Rating:
Teen: Alcohol Reference, Suggestive Themes, Violence, Mild Language

17 comments

  • bobob101 - June 16, 2011 4:08 p.m.

    I ope they make it so these new characters are available for the 3DS version of Street fighter as well.
  • GamesRadarMichaelGrimm - June 9, 2011 5:59 p.m.

    @marioman50 If you don't have any version, the $39.99 disc might make sense, but you could easily score a copy of Super for around $15-$20,see if you like it, then buy the AE DLC if you do and still save ~$10.
  • 5DollarFootlong - June 9, 2011 5:36 p.m.

    from the way they re-balanced the characters in AE, to me it seems like a big advertisement for 3rd strike online. =P
  • marioman50 - June 9, 2011 2:22 p.m.

    Are you saying that someone who has yet to buy an iteration of SFIV should not buy this version and instead buy SSFIV?
  • Ampatent - June 9, 2011 12:58 p.m.

    After having played a fair share of Yun and Yang users, I have to say that they are probably just as powerful as most of the other upper tier characters. Honestly, it just depends on who you play. I've faced a number of scrub Yuns and Yangs and have yet to really come across any that are giving me serious trouble. Whether that's because Adon's matchup against the two is good I don't know, but I still don't think they're that great.
  • minimaxi - June 9, 2011 11:07 a.m.

    Count Dracula reference! I'm pretty old!
  • thochaos - June 9, 2011 10:51 a.m.

    What the hell, this is $30 here in New Zealand which is ridiculous. That's nearly double the price (US$14.99 = NZ$18.342) Complete bullshit.
  • Xtapolapopotamus - June 9, 2011 8:22 a.m.

    Whoa, that definitely didn't read like a 6. I didn't look at the score until the end. I'm sorta inclined to agree, since it doesn't really add TOO much to the overall package, but the new characters are fun, and some of the tweaks to the old characters are nice. It would have been nice to see more of the story, more cutscenes and whatnot... But maybe for SF5.
  • Teh_Ty - June 9, 2011 6:33 a.m.

    I've been playing online a lot. It's sad, ebacsue I've only seen about 1/5th of the cast being used. The only characters I've seen are Oni, Evil ryu, Ryu, Ken, Chun, Fei, Yun, Yang,and Akuma. It kinda pisses me off.
  • mainthehor - June 9, 2011 6:20 a.m.

    You spelt Australia wrong
  • StoneDreadnaught - June 9, 2011 6:09 a.m.

    From what I've heard, this update tried to reduce the amount of turtling and projectile spamming that's popular with Street Fighter. That's why characters that use projectiles have been nerfed slightly, and reaction stuff (like Guile's Flash Kick) have also been hit. Personally, I don't like the changes. I'm glad they tried to bring back Dudley and Makoto to their 3rd Strike glory, but Yun and Yang are just so strong to the point of unfairness. I bought yes, and I'm playing with the new characters, but I would stick with Super, if given the choice.
  • GamesRadarMichaelGrimm - June 9, 2011 6 a.m.

    @sgloomy Gotta agree with most of your points. It's too soon for me to say if Yun is really OP, but it feels like not only is he good, but the whole game has been bent to make his playstyle even better.
  • hydrophobicPELICAN - June 9, 2011 3:42 a.m.

    wheres fLow chart ken and sentinaL?
  • sgloomy - June 9, 2011 3:32 a.m.

    Yun and yang are owerpowered to the point of being cheap. this might be because many haven't fought against them and the reaction time is still a bit guessing, but i've had a hard time beating people who are just mashing the same 3 moves over and over again, then again, I play Cammy and her rush down nature has been toned down to a point of sucking. It definitely is a new version of SSF4, but i would not say better. Now if they kept every character from ssf4 as is and just added the 4 new ones, then the game would have been more balanced. oh and both Oni and Evil Ryu are only fun to look at, I have yet to see one of them do good online. they take too much damage and have a lot of fancy looking move that really don't do much, such as Oni's air dash, you would thing it makes him a better character, but it just leaves him open for some really heavy punish, as in you can FADC him into ultra on the way down.
  • WhiteCredo - June 9, 2011 3:07 a.m.

    Maining Ryu and as a sub-character Evil Ryu, phew, it was about time. I will also purchase the disc version, the criticism about a third SFIV on disc is valid, but heh, people like to collect games.
  • Ampatent - June 9, 2011 2:19 a.m.

    Still think the choice of characters to add is beyond stupid, but oh well... get ready for the onslaught of Yun and Fei users.
  • WelcomeGhosts10 - June 9, 2011 2:16 a.m.

    Hmmmm, always wished I had been better at SFIV, but never had the drive to get there by buying an arcade stick. Good review Grimm, I like the Amish joke. Who the hell would pay the $40 anyway? I mean really, if you are gonna buy this then you a a hXc player, and just need the DLC. Nice work.

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