Just over a year ago our own Dave Houghton gave Street Fighter IV a glowing 10/10, an entirely deserved score for a game that breathed new life not just into the franchise, but an entire dormant genre. This perfect reinvention of Capcom’s most beloved property was a huge hit with critics, casual players and the all-important tournament tweakers that keep the fighting engine churning.
It was such a success that Capcom’s even fallen back into its revisionist ways and prepared a heavily remixed version with 10 new characters, brilliant new online modes and rebalanced gameplay, all for the bargain price of $40. With more content at a lesser price, there’s nothing for us to do but give Super SFIV another stellar recommendation and urge you, whether you have the original or not, to dive in and get addicted all over again.
Above: More depth than the biggest open world you can find
Why does this matter, again?
Let’s say you ignored SFIV but noticed all the hoopla, the YouTube videos, the fervor surrounding a game that’s ostensibly just two people mashing buttons in each other’s faces. While it’s hard to adequately explain the nationwide hysteria that surrounded ‘90s arcades to those who weren’t there, all you need to know about Street Fighter, IV in particular, is that it’s the purest form of multiplayer, the best one-on-one test of skill, the ultimate party/trash talking game.
It takes only minutes to learn how to throw fireballs and whip out dizzying Ultra Combos. Even if you barely understand the concepts, it’s still fun to pick characters at random and pass the controller around the room, pumping your fist in the air with each victory and yelling in disbelief at each loss. Conversely, it takes weeks (if not months) to master any one character in a game with 35 uniquely balanced fighters, effectively creating a game that’s as deep as you want to be, and just as fun no matter how much time you invest.
Above: Fun with or without perfectly executed Super Combos and EX moves
But what’s different about it?
In one sense, not a lot. In fact, you can read the original game’s review
and still come to the same conclusions. We’re talking nearly identical content, so if you loved IV, the handful of additions here are worth your money. If you played IV and couldn’t get into it, then there’s no way Super SFIV is going to change your mind.
On the other hand, the 10 new fighters make an already robust fighting experience even richer, especially if you’re an online player itching for new matchups. In a way, fully understanding each SF character is its own playthrough of a typical game, accounting for at least 20 hours of gameplay to become proficient. So, with even with just 10 new characters, fully exploring them all could take a whole lotta time.
Above: Potentially 700 hours of distinct gameplay
But let’s be honest – no one’s going to master every single character. It’s just comforting to know that each time you pick a new fighter, the whole experience, every counter, feint, EX special and Ultra Combo will be drastically different if you take the time to learn the details. But again, don’t be intimidated – Street Fighter is as demanding as you want it to be, nothing more.
We’ll get into the other differences on the next page, including the Replay Channel, Bonus Stages and a look at the new fighters.