This falls in the same area as Punch-Out!! – a brand new take on an established, deeply beloved franchise that had faded in recent years. The underground fighting scene kept Street Fighter III alive for a solid decade, but this year SF IV supercharged both the critical and retail arenas, reigniting intense interest in a genre that desperately needed a fresh spin.
You’ve heard the arguments, that Street Fighter IV is as simple as checkers yet as deep as chess, that it’s a stunningly gorgeous reimagining of series known the world over. But to really understand the appeal, you have to experience the unrivaled adrenaline rush that takes hold when facing another living, breathing opponent. Just the two of you and your array of feints, dodges, counters, psych-outs, cross-ups and dirty tricks. Face to face, no excuses, just plain skill.
Take it to the tournament level and you’ll find yourself surrounded by people who “ooh!” and “aaah!” at the constant back-and-forth between two expert players. Granted, this is far from the typical experience you’ll have while playing online at home, but when considering the best games of the year, nothing has instilled such positive buzz and honest affection as Street Fighter IV. Even the arcade sticks and custom SFIV fightpad controllers are consistently sold out.
And if you have a raging boner for Metacritic:
Street Fighter IV is the highest-rated game released this year. If you’re the type who obsesses over averages and review scores (and we all do a little), there’s no mistaking the best game of 2009 thus far. We’re not resting on other site’s scores to prove our point though - check our 10/10reviewfor the precise reasoning behind such a lofty claim.
Jun 22, 2009
Top 7... prettiest games of 2008
Pick your jaw up off the floor and bask in their rainbow-colored glow
The Officially Annual Platinum Chalice Awards
The coolest, most attractive end-of-year awards list on the planet
Death by the Decade: The evolution of dying in games
From flickering to first-person suicide, we examine gaming’s insatiable death wish.