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There's not a lot left to say about Street Fighter IV. After talking to Capcom'sSF master (opens in new tab), detailing 12 tiny nuances welove (opens in new tab)and comparing classic combos to their SFIVcounterparts (opens in new tab), we're at a loss for words. Well, we were until the latest character, Rufus, was announced and we couldn't take our eyes off his pulsating belly. It's hypnotically disgusting, trust us.
He's meant as a joke character; both he and El Fuerte fill holes in the roster like puzzle pieces according to Yoshi Ono, one of the most excited producers/managers we've spoken to about the game. He admits Rufus is intentionally silly, and that calling him the "American Dan" would be acceptable. Oh we will, but excuse us if we can't help but play a few rounds as this hefty combatant. He's big yet fast, and has several extremely unconventional moves. The Galactic Tornado spins him in place, slowly pulling your opponent into the vortex; if caught, you can start linking combos. Another sends him flying vertical like a dragon punch, only he's jabbing quickly with two hands. Strange moves, and we got our asses handed to us rather fast (as did everyone else who played as the new characters, it seemed), but damn if it isn't fun.
And that's the biggest thing we took away from our extensive time with SFIV - it's going to be fun. Two people playing for hours, constantly switching characters, trying new techniques, attempting to master at least one, is a feeling we can't wait to have again. That same sense we got from SFII, that "deep as you want it to be yet still highly accessible to anyone" feeling, is in great effect.
SFIV's coming to consoles and PC... sometime, and with it we'll see new characters not present in the current build or in the arcade version. Will they be console exclusive, like Cammy here and Sakura there? They're not saying just yet, but expect further announcements even after the game ships. Want more love in the home version? Get this - Capcom plans to provide fully animated prologues and endings for each character.
The clip we saw was Akuma vs Ryu (which could also be a roundabout way of sorta-confirming Akuma), though it's not clear if this lengthy clip was meant for consoles or just for demo. Looks like there are still questions to ask after all.
We've got this amazing new trailer on the next page, but before we head there, please enjoy the best screenshot of the month.