|System: X360, PS3, PC||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Capcom||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Capcom||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Feb. 17, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
The two other gameplay elements are Super and Ultra Combos. Super Combos should be familiar to fans of the series. Instead of giving each character multiple Super Combos (like in the Street Fighter Alpha series), Capcom is again turning to Street Fighter II; each character has one Super Combo they can perform once the appropriate meter fills.
While Super Combos are nice, Ultra Combos are where it's at this time around. Performing them, however, is a little tricky. Each character has a revenge meter that fills as they take damage. Once the Revenge meter and Super Combo gauge are full, the character can unleash an Ultra Combo. These attacks pull the camera out of its static, side view position so that players can get a view of the multi-combo carnage. For example, Guile's Revenge attack consists of a series of somersault kicks that sends his opponent flailing through the air.
Story-wise, Street Fighter IV is set between Street Fighter II and Street Fighter III. Capcom isn't giving away much at this point from a narrative standpoint, but it has given some info on the presentation front. There will be animated prologues and endings for each character. Whether these will be done in the oil painting style of the original Street Fighter IV trailer or given a more traditional anime touch is still up in the air.
Aside from cutscenes, Capcom isn't really ditching the classic story formula. In Street Fighter IV you'll still fight warrior-after-warrior until to you get to a final boss. A blue, nearly naked muscle man named Seth takes the place of final bad guy this time out (sorry M. Bison; apparently you're not evil enough anymore). Like many fighting game final bosses, he can use the abilities of other characters (like Dhalism's stretchy limbs and Ken's dragon punch), but also has his own attacks like an air vacuum that sucks you over from across the screen, allowing him to deal out a brutal combo.
The arcade build of the game runs at 60 FPS, but Capcom has not said whether the console port will match it or lock-in at a respectable rate of 30 FPS. However, knowing how Capcom aims for cross development (the arcade version is essential running on an upscale PC), it's not a long shot to say the console and PC ports could be arcade perfect. Either way, the game looks beautiful. Characters have thick ink outlines that give them a painted look (much like Okami) and their individual animations are so over-the-top that they come off as cartoon-like.
Capcom is promising online play, but there aren't a lot of details about it at the moment. Hopefully, they take the necessary time to iron out any bugs in the net code - just a few milliseconds of lag in a networked fighting game can spell doom for a game's online lifespan.
A proper Street Fighter sequel has been a long time coming. Capcom seems to have struck a very nice balance: The classic gameplay of Street Fighter II is there and new elements - like Focus Attacks and the Revenge system - add some complexity to the game, while not feeling completely foreign or out of place. Fighting fans should have a lot to look forward to on their consoles when Street Fighter IV launches.
CCC Freelance Writer