|Release: March 27, 2011|
|Screen Resolution: N/A||Mild Language, Mild Suggestive Themes, Violence|
by Amanda L. Kondolojy
It isn't very often that a handheld game supersedes a console version of any game, much less a fighting game. In the history of handheld gaming, I think I can count the number of halfway decent fighting games on one hand. Something about the handheld genre just doesn't lend itself very well to fighting games. The controls are generally wonky, rosters are truncated, and features are cut so the fighting game can be squished onto a handheld cartridge or disc. Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition bucks this trend. The game includes everything you've come to expect from the Street Fighter series, and includes even more features that will keep you engrossed for hours upon hours.
Before we get to all of the awesome new features in Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition, let's talk about old features. If you've already played Super Street Fighter IV on home consoles, the interface will look familiar to you. The game features thirty-five characters, and they are all unlocked from the beginning. The game's main single-player mode, arcade mode, is identical to the console version, and you can take characters through the mode and earn collectibles by completing the arcade mode with all the different characters. If you need a break from the arcade mode, the game also features the same training and challenge modes that were featured in the console versions.
The online mode is also the same, using a fairly simplistic lobby system to match you up with either random opponents (with a lightning-fast Quick Match system) or opponents that fit a certain criteria. As you fight opponents online, you can level up your online ranking with battle points, and earn special badges and nameplates that will be displayed next to your ranking.
Honestly, if they would have released the game with the same features as the console version and slapped a little 3D magic on it, I would have been impressed. Super Street Fighter IV is not an easy game to condense, and including this much content on a DS cartridge is nothing short of amazing. However, what makes Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition the best fighter I have played on a handheld is the sheer amount of extra content that was thrown in just for this new edition. And no, we aren't talking about tack-on concept art or flimsy "bonus" content. We're talking about actual new content that will pull you in to the action in brand new ways. Even if you are the most hardcore Street Fighter fan, there's new content for you to enjoy here.
One of my biggest gripes about fighting games on handheld consoles is the controls. They either are over-simplified or just not as responsive as they could be. As precise control is a huge factor in the Street Fighter series, I was understandably nervous about this aspect going in to the game. However, no matter whether you use the 3DS' analog stick, or the d-pad (which I would personally recommend), the default controls are identical to the console versions, and if you are a seasoned veteran of the Street Fighter series, you'll have no problem jumping right in. If you are not a Street Fighter buff, the game includes a "lite" control option that allows you to assign some of the more complex special moves to the 3DS' touch screen. The screen is separated into four slots, and you can customize the special attacks that go in these slots any way you want. The button combinations are also a lot more forgiving in the "lite" mode, and although it can seem like a watered-down version of Street Fighter at first, there is a lot of fun to be had tinkering around with the touch-screen controls. The slower learning curve will certainly help those newer to the Street Fighter Universe.