|Release: March 27, 2011|
|Screen Resolution: N/A||Mild Language, Mild Suggestive Themes, Violence|
by Andrew Groen
Street Fighter IV has been on a long, unbelievable, and completely unanticipated trip since its release in 2008. One-by-one, on platform after platform, Capcom has been dominating their competition in the fighting game genre. Street Fighter IV was a bonafide hit in the arcades of Japan, and even ten years after the series' last numbered installment, the fan base hadn't diminished at all. In fact, it's grown over the years as it reaches more young fans
Shortly after release in the arcades, Street Fighter IV moved onto home consoles where it again become an unmitigated success on the Xbox 360 and PS3. Its flawless online play and easy-to-learn-difficult-to-master classic fighting gameplay (that it helped pioneer nearly twenty years ago) won over a whole new generation of gamers. Two more unlikely successes followed as SF4 moved onto the PC and the iPhone. The new control input systems were intimidating, but fans adapted to those as well.
After the success of Super Street Fighter IV, we've now come to perhaps the most radical new installment: Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition. Part of Capcom's extreme success with this recent reimagining of their classic series is that they've managed to make every single version the best possible version on store shelves. Each release is slightly better than the last. SSF4 is essentially the ultimate culmination of this strategy (at least until they release the inevitable Super Street Fight IV "Turbo" 3D Edition, which hopefully – for comedy's sake – would be followed by Super Street Fighter IV Turbo Alpha 3D Edition EX HD Remix.)
Once again SSF4 3D Edition is the ultimate version of the fighter. However, this one can't really be called incremental. The most ridiculously obvious addition is, of course, that it's in 3D this time around. This isn't just a little graphical sheen added to a good-looking game though. SSF4 has always been the perfect graphic style to eventually be adapted to 3D. The style of having three-dimensionally modeled characters appearing on a 2D plane has always looked good, but now with those characters appearing in literal three dimensions, it's out of this world. The characters pop off the screen as if they were always intended to do so.
The 3D effect on the Nintendo 3DS is pretty incredible under optimal conditions. Thankfully there's not a whole lot of trouble achieving those optimal conditions. It's a handheld. Just hold it the right distance from your face!
The only thing we're not entirely sure about yet is the 3DS controls. I haven't yet been given enough of a chance to test the system to see how the controls will adapt themselves to the complex maneuvers of a fighting game. For instance, even given that the 3DS joystick is far better than the PSP nub ever was, it's still questionable as to whether it can handle a quarter million half-circles as I blast through the single player. If the online connectivity proves reliable (and there's really no reason it shouldn't be), then that's a whole lot more abuse that the system has to put up with. Fighting games are really tough on a portable game's controls. It was actually Street Fighter Alpha 3 on the PSP that essentially ruined my PSP's controls years ago.
Some people may say that's not a big issue, but it's actually a huge issue. These controls are implanted directly into the portable system. You can't just go to the store and pick up a new set of controls for $40. So at this point we remain cautiously skeptical about fighting games on the 3DS.
For now it seems as though Super Street Fighter 4 is an unstoppable force. Even three whole years after the game's release, it is being considered a killer app for the 3DS. Right now, it's hard to disagree. The game looks so good in motion that it practically makes the whole experience new again. With the inclusion of online play and the new "over the shoulder" viewpoint really give this game a great new vibe. Will it be worth buying again? You'll have to wait for the review to come in to find out, but right now it's looking promising.
CCC Freelance Writer