GamesRadar’s sister mag PSM3 UK has printed their review of Street Fighter IV, which we are providing here in its entirety. Check back tomorrow for a follow up feature covering all of the character profiles.
Whether you’re an old hand or a curious newbie; whether you were there almost twenty years ago for Street Fighter II, or whether this is your first time on the block; whether you smashed faces and bloodied noses in Alpha 1, 2, and 3, or whether you never touched a fighting game until Soul Calibur IV. Whether on SNES or Genesis, on Saturn or Playstation, on Dreamcast or PS2, on Xbox or PS3 – as a gamer, Street Fighter is in your blood.
In 1991, Street Fighter II set the standard for every beat-em-up to follow – from Fatal Fury to Mortal Kombat to Shaq Fu – redefining competitive play, accidentally inventing combos and capturing the imagination of a generation. In 1995 we raced, in 2002 we shot each other, but in 1991 we smashed faces. Not a gamer on Earth could get away from SFII and not one wanted to. Street Fighter II is early nineties gaming, so it’s not surprising that SFIV walks the same path.
Theconsole version is a nigh-on perfect port of the arcade machine that’s been tested for the best part of a year in Japan, needing nothing in the way of balance tweaks or character alterations. Not played it since Street Fighter II? It’s everything you know and love, plus new characters, bosses, a new 3D engine, new Focus Attacks on Medium Kick + Medium Punch, Throws on Light Kick + Light Punch (no longer on one button), new Super meters, EX moves, and all-new Ultra combos.
Consolesget the entire arcade game, plus nine new exclusive playable characters, half a dozen new stages, challenge modes, training modes, and more unlockables than you can throw a Shinkuu Hadouken at. It hasfewer fighters than Tekken;fewer modes than Soul Calibur; and less complexity than Virtua Fighter, and it utterly batters them all.
Make no mistake, Street Fighter IV is more relaunch than sequel, drawing from the best parts of the series but handling like a super-slick Street Fighter II. So when you start Street Fighter IV, it’s all too familiar. You know the names even if you’ve never played the game – Ken, Ryu, Blanka, Guile, Chun Li, Dhalsim, Zangief, E. Honda – the original eight World Warriors from Street Fighter II are all present and correct. Joining them are Street Fighter II’s four bosses – Bison, Balrog, Sagat, and Vega – and four new challengers introduced for the first time in Street Fighter IV.
Yep, it’s familiar – the same faces, the same controls – three punches and three kicks; hard, medium, and light. Special moves executed with motions on the stick –Down, Down-forward, Forward+Punch for a Fireball; holdBack for a second, thenForward +Punch for a Sonic Boom; rotate the stick through 360 degrees with any Punch at the end for a Spinning Piledriver. Three rounds, two dimensions, one-on-one.