Super Street Fighter IV Review
It’s hard to believe, but it’s been nearly two decades since a Street Fighter game has appeared on a Nintendo system. More astonishingly, Capcom decided to break that dry spell by releasing Super Street Fighter IV on a portable system. The result is no simple gimmick, either.
Capcom has shown a remarkable amount of restraint in using the hardware’s 3D effects. Dynamic Mode presentation adds visual depth by moving the action closer and positioning the camera behind characters’ shoulders, but the changes won’t make Blanka’s eyes pop out in disbelief. Purists can enter the options and shut off 3D entirely – a move that doubles the refresh rate from 30 to 60 blisteringly fast frames per second. I expect people to use Dynamic mode to show off the game to their friends for the first time, then to switch to the traditional side view.
Even if you haven’t kept up with Street Fighter movesets, you can do more than watch thanks to a new “lite” control option. This scheme allows players to turn the touchscreen into a series of customizable one-button triggers, letting even the greenest fighter pull off hadoukens and ultra combos with a single tap. Even if you’re not a complete novice, it’s a great way to learn how to play unfamiliar characters. If you’re concerned about people dominating online with their newfound expertise, you can filter out players using lite controls through matchmaking.
Pros might scoff at that kind of control scheme, and they can choose to stick with Pro controls. The touchscreen is still used, but it’s mapped for more mundane tasks such as three button-press combos and focus attacks. Even with the relatively limited number of buttons on the 3DS, I pulled off moves in pro mode without a hitch. The system’s circle pad is a godsend for rotation-based moves like Zangief’s spinning piledriver. The positioning of the d-pad makes it easy to swap between it and the circle pad depending on the circumstances.
A few things were lost in the transition to the portable space, most disappointingly in the game’s stages. They’re all there, but the charming background activities were scrapped entirely. The kids who used to scamper and cheer on the fighters in the underpass level are now rigid 2D facades, for instance. A few other minor graphical details are missing, too, but you have to squint to see them. Rufus’ belly might not jiggle quite as enthusiastically, but other graphical flourishes, like Hakan’s oil-soaked shimmer and the translucent sleeves in Chun Li’s alternate costume, are intact.
Unlike the iPhone version of Street Fighter IV, which was an admirable effort that ultimately felt like a proof of concept, Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition is a complete game. Super Street Fighter IV is one of the best fighting games around, and players owe it to themselves to give it a shot.